It’s fry time

We have the pick of the pans so come dinnertime you can kill it with a skillet! Check out our guide to all the different types of frypans for sizzling sensational results, every time.

Non-stick frying pans
Non-stick frying pans

Non-stick frying pans

Designed to help you cook with less oil, non-stick is a great option for delicate foods like fish or eggs, as food won’t stick to the pan and burn, which also makes it easy to clean. 

Cast iron frying pans
Cast iron frying pans

Cast iron frying pans

Cast iron provides excellent heat retention and even heating, making it ideal for searing, frying and grilling and its durability ensures a long lifespan. 

Stainless steel frying pans
Stainless steel frying pans

Stainless steel frying pans

Scores high for durability as it’s resistant to rust, corrosion and staining and able to withstand high temperatures without damage. 

Ceramic frying pans
Ceramic frying pans

Ceramic frying pans

Features a non-toxic, ceramic cooking surface free from PFOAs, lead and cadmium. A healthier alternative to traditional non-stick, it’s also easy to clean up.

Enamelled cast iron frying pans
Enamelled cast iron frying pans

Enamelled cast iron frying pans

Available in a range of pretty colours with no seasoning required, enamelled cast iron provides excellent heat retention and even heating, making it ideal for searing, frying and grilling and its durability ensures a long lifespan. 

The ultimate guide to choosing the perfect frying pan

Welcome to your comprehensive guide to selecting the best frying pan for your kitchen. Whether you're a home cook or a professional chef, the right frying pan can significantly enhance your cooking experience. This guide will assist you in navigating the diverse world of frying pans, ensuring you make an informed decision tailored to your culinary needs.

Understanding your needs

Before diving into the myriad of frying pan options, it's crucial to assess your cooking habits, kitchen space, and current cookware. Are you often cooking for one or preparing meals for a large family? Do you have limited storage space? Answering these questions will help you select a pan that not only suits your cooking style but also fits seamlessly into your kitchen.

Identify your priorities

When choosing a frying pan, it's important to prioritise features that matter most to you. Durability might be key if you're a frequent cook, while ease of use and maintenance could be paramount for those with busy lifestyles. And of course, the price is a vital factor for most consumers. Balancing these priorities will lead you to the pan that best fits your needs and budget.

Types of frying pans

Frying pans come in various materials and designs, each offering unique benefits. Non-stick pans are ideal for low fat cooking and easy cleaning and great for beginner level cooks, while stainless steel pans are known for their durability and versatility. Cast iron pans excel in heat retention and flavour enhancement, and ceramic non-stick pans offer a healthy cooking alternative with their natural non-toxic properties.

Let’s dig a little deeper

Skillet pans

Skillet pans are a versatile kitchen essential, known for their deep sides and sloped edges. This design makes them ideal for a variety of cooking methods, including frying, searing, and even baking. Skillet pans often come in non-stick, cast iron, or stainless steel varieties, offering flexibility to suit different cooking preferences.

Non-stick frying pans

Non-stick frying pans are a popular choice for their ease of use and maintenance. Their non-stick coating ensures that even the most delicate foods release easily, making them ideal for cooking things like eggs or fish. They require less oil, promoting healthier cooking, and are typically easy to clean, some are even dishwasher safe.

Seasoned cast iron frypans

Seasoned or raw cast iron frypans are celebrated for their durability and exceptional heat retention. They're ideal for high heat cooking, like searing and frying, and can even be used in the oven, on the barbeque, over the campfire and on all stovetops. These pans develop a natural non-stick surface over time with proper seasoning and care, enhancing the flavor of the food.

Enamelled cast iron frying pans

Like seasoned cast iron they heat slowly and evenly and retain heat incredibly well. They feature an enamelled surface, often in attractive colours, which does not require ongoing seasoning. They are suitable on all stovetops and in the oven.

Blue steel frying pans

Blue steel frying pans are a great option for cooking over high heat, blue steel is ideal for browning, reheating, searing and simmering. Its robust construction ensures long-lasting durability, and when properly seasoned, it develops a natural, semi non-stick surface.

Stainless steel frying pans

Stainless steel frying pans are known for their strength and even heat distribution. Resistant to rust and corrosion, they are durable and ideal for various cooking techniques. While they may require more oil or butter to prevent sticking, their robustness makes them a staple in many kitchens.

Ceramic frying pans

Ceramic non-stick frying pans offer a healthy alternative to traditional non-stick with their natural, non-toxic properties. Ceramic frying pans are generally lightweight and heat up quickly. While they provide a non-stick surface and are easy to clean, they are best used over low to medium heat to maintain their coating.

Copper core frying pans

Combining the superior heating of copper with the durability to stainless steel, copper core frying pans usually feature a copper core in the base, surrounded by layers of stainless steel.

Frypan sets

Frypan sets are a convenient solution for those looking to equip their kitchen with multiple size options. These sets often include pans of varying sizes, catering to different cooking needs, from single servings to family sized meals. They are available in different materials, including non-stick and stainless steel.

Pros and cons of each type

Each type of frying pan has its advantages and drawbacks. Non-stick pans are easy to handle and clean but can be less durable. Stainless steel pans are long-lasting and suitable for a range of cooking techniques but may require more oil or butter to prevent sticking. Seasoned cast iron pans provide excellent heat distribution and flavour enhancement but are heavier and require more maintenance. Ceramic pans are eco-friendly and easy to clean but can be less durable over high heat.

Key features to consider when buying a frying pan

  • Material and build quality: The material and build quality of a frying pan directly affect its performance and longevity. Aluminium pans heat up quickly and evenly, while stainless steel pans offer robustness and compatibility with induction cooktops. Cast iron pans are unbeatable for heat retention, and ceramic pans offer a non-toxic cooking surface.
  • Ease of use and maintenance: Consider how easy the pan is to handle, clean, and store. Non-stick coatings offer convenience in cooking and cleaning, while pans with ergonomic handles and lightweight designs improve handling. Additionally, some pans are dishwasher safe, adding to their convenience.
  • Compatibility: It's important to choose a pan that is compatible with your cooking appliances. For induction cooktops, ensure the pan has a magnetic base. Oven safe features are essential for dishes that start on the stove and finish in the oven.
  • Brand and price comparison: Brands like Tefal, Scanpan, Anolon, Essteele, and Le Creuset are renowned for their quality and offer a range of options in various price brackets. Comparing these brands can help you find a frying pan that meets your quality standards and budget.
  • Price range: The price of frying pans varies widely, depending on the material, brand, and features. Basic models can be quite affordable, while high-end pans, especially those from premium brands, can be a significant investment.

The right frying pan can transform your cooking experience. By considering your cooking needs, prioritising features, understanding the pros and cons of different materials, and assessing brand reputations and prices, you can select a pan that is perfect for your kitchen.

FAQs

What are the key differences between non-stick and stainless steel frying pans?

Non-stick pans are great for easy cooking and cleaning, ideal for delicate foods like eggs and fish. Stainless steel pans are durable and versatile, suitable for high-heat cooking and searing.

How do I choose the right size frying pan?

Consider the number of people you cook for and what you cook most often. A small pan of 20cm is great for solo meals, while a larger pan of 30cm or more is better for family-sized meals.

Can I use metal utensils with a non-stick frying pan?

It's best to use wooden or silicone utensils with non-stick pans to avoid scratching the surface. Metal utensils can damage the non-stick coating.