10 Best Frying Pans | April 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Few things are more frustrating in the kitchen than a good piece of food stuck to a bad piece of pan. Most of the frying pans on our list offer good nonstick capabilities, often without the use of harsh or dangerous chemicals, and are ranked by durability, heat retention, and cookability. Skip to the best frying pan on Amazon.
10 Best Frying Pans | April 2017
Overall Rank: 6
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
★★★★★
10
The All-Clad Emeril E83605 is hard-anodized to resist wear, feels comfortable and balanced in the hand, and has a polished nonstick coating that is conveniently dishwasher-safe. It is certified to be 100% PFOA- and cadmium-free.
  • ergonomically designed handle
  • heats evenly to eliminate hot spots
  • does not come with a lid
Brand T-fal
Model 2100083063
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
9
The Simply Calphalon 10-Inch uses a riveted handle of silicone and stainless steel that's safe to go in the oven for baking and broiling. Its proprietary two-coat, nonstick interior requires little to no oil for a fast, even cook.
  • durable exterior
  • tempered glass domed cover
  • coating wears down over time
Brand Calphalon
Model SA1390HC
Weight 4.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
8
The Rachel Ray 12-Inch is oven-safe up to 350-degrees, which isn't the highest threshold among cookware pieces, but still offers you the ability to make the majority of dishes. It's part of a larger collection by Rachel Ray.
  • hard anodized interior
  • nonstick coating is easy to clean
  • rivets collect a lot of debris
Brand Rachael Ray
Model 87645
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
7
The Cuisinart 622-30G is constructed with a 100% aluminum-free Quantanium nonstick cooking surface that's reinforced with titanium, and is oven-safe up to 500 degrees. Its stainless steel handle stays cool when the pan is on the stove.
  • non-porous and highly wear-resistant
  • tapered drip-free rim
  • interior scratches easily
Brand Cuisinart
Model 622-30G
Weight 5.9 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0
6
The Farberware Classic 12-Inch has a specially designed rolled rim to prevent drips when you are pouring and that also allows its lid to fit snugly. The skillet and its top are made from the same high-quality 18/10 stainless steel.
  • oven-safe to 350 degrees
  • dishwasher-safe
  • very heavy to use
Brand Farberware
Model 50012
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The T-Fal E83407 is made of durable cast iron, which offers superior heat retention, and can be used in ovens set at an impressive 600 degrees. It is also safe to use on the open flames of a grill or campfire, though it is a heavy addition to a hiker's pack.
  • perfect for roasts
  • long handle for easy grip
  • initial manual seasoning required
Brand T-fal
Model 2100082838
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
The environmentally-friendly Ozeri Stone Earth delivers nonstick performance while remaining free of the harmful chemicals used in the majority of modern cookware. It remains fume-free even when frying at high temperatures.
  • magnetized bottom for induction heat
  • coating is scratch-resistant
  • stone may crack with poor handling
Brand Ozeri
Model ZP3-26
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
3
The multifunctional, preseasoned Lodge Cast-Iron L10 has a detachable silicone grip that slides easily over the handle for a safer interaction when cooking. Its cast-iron material provides incredible heat retention on any surface.
  • releases food easily
  • includes a glass cover
  • built for rough handling
Brand Lodge
Model L10SK3ASHH41B
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0
2
The T-fal E93808 features a unique, centrally located Thermo-spot heat indicator that shows when the pan is perfectly preheated for cooking and it's time to start the sizzling. Its stainless steel base makes it a great option for induction cooking, as well.
  • riveted handles for a secure grip
  • safe to use with metal utensils
  • limited lifetime warranty included
Brand T-fal
Model 2100080897
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
1
The large surface area and tall, straight sides of the All-Clad 4403 prevent splattering and allow for easy turning with a spatula. This skillet is suitable for soups, stir fries, roasts, and almost any other culinary undertaking.
  • 3-ply bonded construction
  • high-quality stainless steel
  • aluminum core delivers even heating
Brand All-Clad
Model 8701004414
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

What Do I Need To Consider Before Purchasing A Frying Pan?

You might be surprised to discover that all frying pans are not created equal. Far from it, in fact. You can start with a pan's handle, which may be made of coated plastic, wood, or some other substance that will not scorch your hands. There are certain pans on the market, however, that are built as one cohesive unit, meaning that if you grab the metal handle without a potholder or an oven mitt, there's a decent chance you will get burned.

An average frying pan can weigh anywhere between 2-12 lbs, which is significant, especially for anyone who enjoys cooking dishes that require tossing the ingredients to achieve a proper flavor. A pan's weight is usually the result of whatever that pan is made of, and how thick the metal has been molded. Cast-iron pans are extremely durable, for example, but they may also be unwieldy. An aluminum pan may be easier to manipulate, and yet its surface may also be a bit more prone to wear.

Whenever shopping for a frying pan, you'll want to look for phrases like scratch-resistant, and no-stick surface, as these are reliable indications that any cooked food will slide onto a plate easily, and the pan's surface won't be difficult to scrub. Along those lines, it's also worth confirming whether a pan is dishwasher-safe, as this might save you some time and elbow grease.

Depending on how you plan on using a frying pan, you may want to take note of its oven-safe temperature. Oven-safe temperature refers to how much heat a frying pan can withstand inside an oven before it becomes susceptible to damage. Of course, the majority of fried foods are meant to be heated over a burner, but in the event that a certain recipe calls for placing a pan inside the oven, it's worth pursuing a model that is oven-safe up to a temperature of 450 degrees or higher.

Frying 101: Several Basic Tips

Frying is a great way to prepare foods so that they're brimming with flavor. At the same time, any successful pan-fry begins long before you place the food into a skillet. Different meats might benefit from marinating, for example. And marinating may require a bit of prep work several hours, or even an entire day, before the cooking actually begins.

If you're frying meat, it's best to remove that meat from the freezer early so that it has ample time to defrost. Prior to cooking the meat, be sure to pat it down with a paper towel, drying off any spare beads of moisture. Mixing moisture with cooking oil in a preheated pan will cause the oil to hiss, putting you at risk for a burn. Moist meat may cook up soggy, as well.

Assuming you are cooking meat in an oily batter, you'll want to roll the meat in flour to ensure that the batter sticks. Otherwise, your food may end up with patches of batter, resulting in an uneven texture that could affect the taste.

Every blend of cooking oil has what is known as a smoke point - the temperature at which that oil gets hot enough to sear, or cook, something. Canola oil, for example, has an extremely high smoke point of 205 degrees. Alternative choices like sunflower oil, peanut oil, and safflower oil have lower smoke points. The bottom line being that if your fried foods come out tasting bland or overdone, it may be the oil, as opposed to the recipe or any other ingredients, that is to blame.

How The Frying Pan Has Evolved Via Different Cultures

The earliest known frying pans existed in Ancient Mesopotamia, and these pans were little more than flat earthenware sheets that could be warmed with oil over a fire. The Ancient Greeks improved upon this idea by introducing a metal pan known as a tagenon. A tagenon was usually accompanied by a cone-shaped lid with a pull handle on the top. The pan itself would be used as a plate after the cooking was complete.

During the 2nd century, the Ancient Romans handcrafted a frying pan known as a patella, which was made of copper or bronze. A patella featured high-curving walls around the edges so that food could be manipulated by a fork or a spatula, and oil could be drained without solid ingredients spilling over. In Roman mythology, Patella was an agricultural goddess who ripened crops, giving life to the annual harvests.

Toward the end of the Middle Ages, certain European cultures used a cast-iron bowl with three metal legs known as a spider pan to fry their food. The spider pan was different than its predecessors in that it didn't need to be held or suspended over a flame. Spider pans were unwieldy, but they could be set down on a table by their metal legs and used as a serving dish after a meal had been prepared.

After metal stoves were invented during the 18th century, the French invented several variations on the traditional frying pan, including the sauteuse (a saute pan), the evasee (a specialized pan with sloping edges), and the fait-tout (an all-purpose pan that's name literally means "to do everything").

The first company to patent and produce an electric frying pan was Sunbeam in 1953. The Automatic Frying Pan, as it came to be known, allowed American consumers to cook fried foods without any need for a burner or a stove.



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Last updated on April 24 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.