The 10 Best Frying Pans

Updated April 07, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 42 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 cooking surface. Most of the frying pans on our list offer remarkable nonstick capabilities, some without the use of dangerous chemicals, and are ranked by durability, heat retention, and cookability. The bad news, of course, is that now if you ruin dinner, it's all on you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best frying pan on Amazon.

10. T-Fal Pre-Seasoned Skillet

The T-Fal Pre-Seasoned Skillet is made of durable cast iron, which offers superior heat retention and can be used in ovens set at an impressive 600°. It is also safe to use on grills or open flames, though it would make a heavy addition to a hiker's pack.
  • perfect for searing
  • long handle for easy grip
  • oil pools at its edges
Brand T-fal
Model 2100082838
Weight 10 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Cuisinart Chef's Classic

The Cuisinart Chef's Classic is constructed with an aluminum-free QuanTanium nonstick cooking surface that's also reinforced with titanium, all of which may be what you need to make Wolverine. Regardless, it holds heat and releases food remarkably well.
  • nonporous and highly wear-resistant
  • tapered drip-free rim
  • on the heavy side
Brand Cuisinart
Model 622-30G
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Simply Calphalon

The Simply Calphalon 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, saving you a little money and a few calories.
  • durable exterior
  • tempered glass domed cover
  • coating wears away over time
Brand Calphalon
Model 1774663
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

7. Rachel Ray Hard-Anodized

The Rachel Ray Hard-Anodized offers rapid and uniform heating, so you can enjoy evenly-cooked meals every night without having to spend your entire evening slaving over a hot stove. If you've ever wanted to flip an omelette one-handed, this is the one to try it with.
  • well-made and durable
  • nonstick coating is easy to clean
  • rivets collect a lot of debris
Brand Rachael Ray
Model 87645
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Techef Onyx

The new Teflon Platinum coating on the Techef Onyx offers an incredible amount of friction reduction, so if you're the type who often forgets to stir the eggs, you won't have to worry about having lots of back-breaking scrubbing in your future.
  • oven-safe non-plastic handle
  • lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • doesn't come with a lid
Model OXF30
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Utopia Kitchen Jumbo

If you're just beginning to build out your arsenal of kitchen tools, or if you just want to have some scratch left over to buy food, the Utopia Kitchen Jumbo is a budget-friendly option that, nevertheless, manages to offer even, reliable cooking on a nonstick surface.
  • smart choice for college students
  • two heat-safe handles
  • can't use on induction stovetops
Brand Utopia Kitchen
Model UK0272
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Ozeri Stone Earth

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
  • reliably secure handle
Brand Ozeri
Model ZP3-26
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Tramontina Professional

The removable silicone grip on the Tramontina Professional makes it easy to hold onto, regardless of whether you're sautéing veggies on the stove or broiling steak in the oven. There's also a hole on the handle that allows for easy hanging when you're done.
  • compatible with most cooktops
  • excellently balanced
  • ideal for omelettes
Brand Tramontina
Model 80114/535DS
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Lodge Cast-Iron L10

The multifunctional, preseasoned Lodge Cast-Iron L10 provides incredible heat retention on any surface. You'll find plenty of uses for it in your everyday meal prep, but you'll also want to take it with you for all the cooking on overnight camping trips.
  • releases food easily
  • includes a handle cover
  • built for rough abuse
Brand Lodge
Model L10SK3ASH41B
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. DaTerra Cucina Vesuvio

The premium DaTerra Cucina Vesuvio will add a touch of class to your cookware, not to mention a high level of functionality. The nonstick surface is long lasting, even if you use it every day, so you'll more than get your money's worth over the life of the piece.
  • cadmium- and lead-free construction
  • perfect for frying chicken
  • ideal for sunny-side-up eggs
Brand DaTerra Cucina
Model VFP-28
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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 07, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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