Knowledge Base

Frying Pan 101 – Everything you need to know about frying pans

Common asked questions about frying pans

If there’s one piece of kitchenware that you can and might be using every day, it’s the frying pan. 

Frying pans can be used to prepare so many different types of dishes and meals. We’d say that without a frying pan, your kitchen is absolutely not complete. In this post, we’ll be answering a wide range of questions that you may have about this kitchen workhorse. If you’re in the market for a new one, continue reading to get our insights into what we think is the best frying pan.

What can you prepare with a frying pan?

Think you need a lot of different pieces of cookware to prepare dinner? Well, not really. A premium frying pan can go a long way in preparing a range of different meals and dishes. 

When it comes to the types of dishes and meals you can prepare with this piece of cookware, there are literally an endless amount of different meals you can try out. 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Taste.com.au

Pasta is probably going to be number one on the list of dishes you can prepare with a frying pan. And yes, you can even prepare a mouth-watering frying pan chicken lasagne with a piece of cookware as simple as the frying pan.

Noodles, stir frys, frittata caprese chicken and more are all possible with a frying pan. 

Try out some of these recipes to try out with your pan.

What is the best frying pan?

When you’re shopping around for a new pan, you may be overwhelmed by the limitless choices you have available. From large to small, non-stick, ceramic, cast iron, or stainless steel, the choices may have you feeling perplexed as to which one to choose. 

Aluminum non stick frying pan
MasterClass Aluminum Frying Pan

It doesn’t have to be so complicated though. Finding the best frying pan all depends on your personal needs, cooking style, budget and how much time you want to be spending on maintaining it.

What are the different types of frying pans?

The material of the pan is probably the most important factor to consider when choosing which one will be best for you.

Uncoated Aluminum

Aluminum pans are usually very lightweight and they heat very quickly. We suggest that you leave out uncoated aluminum as an option when you’re considering which frying pan to purchase.

The reason for this is because uncoated aluminum pans heat unevenly and they usually react to acidic ingredients such as tomatoes when heated up. 

Non-stick Coated

Aluminum pans coated with Teflon provide you with a non-stick cooking surface. If you regularly cook delicate foods such as eggs, fish and pancakes, then this type of frying pan is ideal for you. 

The only drawback to non-stick aluminum pans is that they can’t be popped into the dishwasher, you have to wash them by hand. But that shouldn’t really be a problem since the non-stick coating will make the wash-up easy and simple.  

Furthermore, these pans can’t be used when you’re making use of metal utensils while cooking. This is because the non-stick coating will flake when scratched with metal utensils.

Ceramic Coated Frying Pans

Ceramic coated frying pans are coated with a silica-based gel which is made from sand. This creates a non-stick chemical free cooking surface. 

These pans are also known as “green” non-stick frying pans because of the fact that they are free from chemical coatings. These pans are great for when you want a non-stick surface without the added chemicals. 

Ceramic coated frying pan
MasterClass Ceramic Coated Frying Pan

The only drawdown to using a ceramic coated frying pan is that they can’t be used for high-heat cooking, neither should they be put into the dishwasher for cleaning. 

Stainless Steel Frying Pans

Although stainless steel frying pans are not great conductors of heat, they still make great all-purpose frying pans. Stainless steel frying pans are great for searing meat, making sauces for pasta and making food in the oven. 

Ideally you should look for stainless steel frying pans that are made up of multiple layers of material, so something like a tri-ply or multi-ply. Sure, these pans are heavier than their single layer counterparts, but not as heavy as cast iron frying pans. 

Because stainless steel frying pans are free from any coatings, you can use any type of utensils when cooking and they can actually be popped into the dishwasher when done. 

The drawdown to using a stainless steel frying pan is that food tends to stick to the surface of the pan. An easy way to overcome this is to ensure that you grease your pan. 

Cast Iron Skillets

Our favourite type of pan is a cast iron skillet. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, no kitchen is complete without a cast iron skillet. Cast iron skillets or frying pans are great at distributing heat so that food can cook evenly. 

Lodge cast iron skillet with handles
Lodge cast iron skillet with handles

Cast iron frying pans are extremely versatile. You can grill meat, sear chicken and prepare a delicious cast iron skillet steak. Because cast iron skillets can be used in the oven and over an open fire, you can also bake your own bread and desserts using this frying pan. 

Let’s be honest, cast iron skillets can’t just have positives. One disadvantage to cast iron frying pans is that they are quite heavy and they require maintenance and ongoing care.

Carbon Steel Frying Pans

If you don’t want to feel like you’re getting a workout each time you use a cast iron frying pan, then a carbon steel frying pan is the ideal alternative. Carbon steel is more lightweight than cast iron and it’s thinner as well. This means that the material doesn’t retain heat as well as it’s cast iron counterpart.

Frying pan FAQ’s

Can I put a frying pan into the dishwasher?

It depends on the coating of the pan, the manufacturer will state if the frying pan is dishwasher safe. Our advice is to avoid putting your frying pan into the dishwasher. You don’t want knives, forks, spoons and other items scratching the surface of your frying pan.

Can I use a frying pan in the oven?

It depends on which frying pan you’re talking about. Cast iron skillets/frying pans are safe to use in the oven. Always check the packaging of the frying pan to determine if it’s safe to use in the oven.

What are the most common frying pan sizes?

Frying pans come in all shapes and sizes, from 16cm to 38cm. 20cm frying pans are ideal for 1 to 2 people, 24 to 26cm frying pans are ideal for serving 3 to 4 people and 26cm to 28cm frying pans are best for more than 4 people.

How are frying pans measured?

Frying pans are measured from edge to edge, and not base edge to base edge.

What frying pan is best for steak?

The best frying pans for preparing steak need to be heavy and able to retain heat. Of course cast iron would be an excellent choice for cooking and searing a steak. If cast iron is too heavy for your liking, then your next best option would be a copper frying pan. 

Copper is an amazing conductor of heat and it’s the most efficient at transferring heat.

What frying pan is healthy?

The best frying pans for health in general would be ceramic coated frying pans. These pans are free from any chemical coatings, unlike typical Teflon pans. 

Frying pans are a must-have in every kitchen, big or small. What is your favourite type of frying pan?