What to Look for When Buying a Frying Pan
From hearty fried potatoes to sweet crepes to tender steak - frying pans are real all-rounders and indispensible for cooking. Alongside saucepans and cooking utensils, frying pans belong to the foundation of any kitchen and make delicious meals easy. After only a short time on the hob, they heat your food uniformly and thereby create truly scrumptious dishes. From skillet pans to woks and griddles, iron pans to stainless steel frying pans or even ceramic pans – the choice is enormous. With so much choice, it's important to know what you are looking for. What should you pay attention to when buying a frying pan?
1. Coating: Advantages and Disadvantages of Non-Stick Coating
Non-stick frying pans are universally applicable and the best choice for daily use. Whether fried eggs, meat, fish or vegetables - nothing is burning here. The food slips easily through the pan and can be easily turned. The non-stick coating allows a fat-free, vitamin-friendly and healthy preparation. Meat becomes juicy and vegetables stay crisp and fresh. After use, simply clean the frying pan with a soft sponge and a small amount of detergent. To avoid attacking the coating and increasing the life of the pan, use only silicone, wood or plastic cookware.
Teflon pans are among the best-known models with non-stick coating. Teflon is resistant to all solvents and chemicals, and is particularly good for foods that typically adhere quickly to pans. A Teflon pan should not be left empty on the hob for more than three minutes, otherwise its coating starts to lose its power.
If you're looking for a pan with a coating, ceramic may also be a way to go. Regardless of what the name suggests, it isn't the pan itself but its coating that is ceramic. Ceramic absorbs heat quickly and distributes it optimally through its entire surface. Thanks to its high heat resistance, the frying pan does not release any harmful substances. Pans marked with the words "PTFE- and PFOA-free" are generally free of the plastic polytetrafluoroethylene and of the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid. The All Steel pans from the Finnish manufacturer Fiskars are made of high-quality stainless steel and are provided with a Ceratecº ceramic coating. They can easily withstand temperatures of up to 240 degrees Celsius and are available in sizes from 24 cm to 28 cm.
However, many cooks swear by uncoated pans, especially when it comes to roasting meat and poultry. Such models can be heated very strongly, so that the pores of the meat close in no time. The meat stays juicy on the inside and gets crispy on the outside. Do not add any fat until the frying pan is hot.
2. Materials: Aluminium, Iron or Stainless Steel Frying Pans
Whether with or without coating - most household pans are made of aluminum or stainless steel. But cast iron pans are also becoming increasingly popular. Here you can find out which properties the respective materials bring.
Aluminium: Aluminum is rust-resistant, lightweight and easy to shape. In addition, the material is relatively inexpensive and easy to coat. An aluminum pan has a particularly good thermal conductivity, but does not store the heat very long. In most cases, an aluminum frying pan is dishwasher safe. Nevertheless, if you clean the pan by hand, do not use scratchy pot sponges or brushes to protect the seal. An aluminum pan is not extremely heatable, because the material could deform at high temperatures over 250 degrees. Pans with an aluminum crucible are more dimensionally stable.
Stainless Steel: Stainless steel pans are rust-free, corrosion-resistant and food-safe. Although the heat conduction through a stainless steel support takes about 15 times longer than with an aluminum pan, the stainless steel frying pans store and distribute the heat much better. In addition, stainless steel pans can be heated more. In the floors of many models, a thermal layer of aluminum or copper is incorporated, which provides for improved thermal conductivity.
Cast Iron: A cast iron pan is extremely robust, durable and easy to clean. Pans made of iron are scratch and cut resistant, so they can not be damaged by any sharp cutlery. Cast iron releases natural iron to the food, which benefits the healthy diet. In an uncoated iron pan, the roasted aromas unfold perfectly and give the fried food a very special taste. Before the first use, you burn the pan with oil - this creates a natural coating that allows fat-reduced roasting. Cast-iron pans are solid and heavy. They store heat for a long time - even after switching off the cooker. This allows you to leave the food in the pan to marinate and thicken nicely. Cast iron pans are also ideal for fried potatoes and steaks.
3. Size and Shape: From Woks to Griddles
When selection a suitable frying pan, it is not only the material that plays an important role: you should also consider the size and shape. Round pans with a diameter of 24 and 28 cm ae the most common. 24 cm models are suitable for almost every dish and can generally accommodate two to three servings. Pans with a diameter of 28 cm, like theStainless Steel Pan by Eva Solo, offer enough space for four portions. They are particularly suited to stir-fries and thin crepes. In small pans with a diameter of 20 cm you can prepare excellent scrambled eggs, omelette or pancakes. Smaller portions for one or two people will fit, too.
In a frying pan with an extra high rim - as is usual for the pan, the sauté pan or the wok - you cook complete meals with meat, vegetables and gravy. The high rim makes it possible, for example, to gently steam and turn over large quantities of vegetables.
Pans with a low rim - the crepes pan, the egg pan or the paella pan - ensure that you can easily turn the food around with a spatula. They are the best choice for all egg dishes or fried dishes.
Square pans have the advantage that they have a larger usable floor area. They take the same amount of space on the stove, but take on more fried food. Many long dishes, such as skewers, fit better in a square pan. Especially grill pans are therefore often angular. They are equipped with a grooved floor, which ensures the crispy-brown grill stripes and good roasting properties. The grill pan can be heated up and stores the heat - ideal for steaks. Thanks to the grooves, the food is not directly on the bottom of the pan and does not stick so fast, so you can get along with less fat.
4. Hob Types: How to Match Your Frying Pan to Your Hob
Not every frying pan is suitable for every type of kitchen stove. For induction cookers usually only pans with a magnetic bottom can be used. Aluminum and stainless steel pans are inherently non-magnetic, but must be provided with a special bottom. A cast-iron pan is suitable for all types of stoves. In your kitchen is a gas stove? Then you should refrain from an aluminum pan, as this could quickly deform in high heat. For the ceramic hob any frying pan is suitable. On the respective product page you will find all the features of your favorite at a glance - so you make sure before you buy that you choose the right model.
Especially practical: Many manufacturers offer an extensive pot set - so the saucepan and frying pan are perfectly matched. Your kitchen is well equipped with the La Cintura di Orione pot range from Alessi.The pot set is also suitable for induction and includes a large saucepan, various casseroles, pans and a Sauteuse - so you cook like the professionals.
5. Price: The Perfect Pan for Every Budget
The small Hardface Pan by the renowned brand Fiskars is available for less than £50. In the mid-range, between £70 and £100, you'll find larger models from Fiskars and various stainless steel and aluminum pans from Eva Solo. Particularly exclusive models, such as the Tools Frying Pan by Iittala, make up the highest price-range.
Personal Shoppers at Connox
If you would like to buy a frying pan online but would like some more advice or help, our customer care team are happy to help! We're at your side with advice and tips, offering recommendations and answering your questions. And then, we'll deliver your order to your door!