A frying pan, or skillet, has a round shape, sloped sidewalls, and a lightweight design, which are helpful features when tossing foods in the pan. Its rim is wider than the cooking surface to promote the quick evaporation of liquids.
Saute pans have higher sidewalls than frying pans, which makes them better suited for cooking foods in more liquids without the risk of the liquids spilling over. A frying pan is ideal for shallow frying meats and vegetables with very little liquid. Despite its name, many chefs prefer sauteing foods in a frying pan over a saute pan because its sloped sides make it easier to toss foods.
Frying pans come in a variety of materials. Which type of frying pan is best for you will depend on what you are cooking and the level of maintenance you want to put into your pan. In most cases, you will likely need a few different types of frying pans to satisfy cooking your menu items. Take a look at these five frying pan types to determine which pans you need in your kitchen.
While cast iron skillets take longer to heat up than other frying pan materials, they heat evenly and consistently with no hot spots. They are great at retaining heat and can be taken from the stovetop to the oven or grill and then to the table for service to keep the food warm. A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is naturally non-stick and can withstand very high temperatures without warping or getting damaged. Cast iron requires frequent maintenance, but the benefit is that it can last a lifetime with routine seasoning and using proper cleaning techniques.
Yes, a cast iron skillet can be taken directly from the stovetop to the oven and vice versa. It can withstand high heat for an extended time and retain that heat for long periods, making it great for use as a serving vessel.
Yes. Cast iron is extremely durable and when properly seasoned can stand up to metal utensils without its surface getting damaged. Metal utensils are a great option to use with cast iron to ensure your utensils can withstand a cast iron's heat retention.
Once the pan has cooled down, use a clean paper or lint-free towel to wipe excess oil and grease. Cover the skillet's surface with coarse kosher salt, add a small amount of hot water to form a paste, and scrub with a sponge to remove any stuck-on food. Rinse the pan with hot water and then thoroughly towel dry the skillet. Evenly rub a light layer of cooking oil onto the inside of the skillet and store it in a dry place.
Offering excellent heat conduction, aluminum frying pans dissipate heat quickly for efficient, even cooking. Uncoated aluminum frying pans have a stick-, rust-, and corrosion-resistant surface and should only be used to cook low-acidic foods since acidic foods, such as tomato paste, citrus, and vinegar, react with aluminum and can alter the flavor of your food. Many professional aluminum frying pans are hard-anodized or feature a non-stick coating to make them non-reactive. Aluminum pans are not compatible with induction cooktops since aluminum is not magnetic.
As long as it is labeled oven-safe, aluminum pans are safe to use in the oven. Aluminum has a high melting point of 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit so it can handle high cooking and baking temperatures.
No, aluminum pans should be hand-washed only. Aluminum cannot withstand the high heat of the dishwasher or harsh dishwashing chemicals, which can tarnish or stain the surface.
You cannot use metal utensils on aluminum pans. Since aluminum is a soft metal, using metal utensils on an uncoated aluminum surface can damage its surface. You can use metal utensils, except for sharp kitchen knives, on hard-anodized aluminum pans. The anodization process adds a thick layer to the aluminum, which increases its durability and scratch resistance.
Once the pan has cooled, hand-wash the pan in warm water with mild dish detergent and a sponge. Use the rough side of the sponge or wooden spatula to scrape off stuck-on food bits. Never use steel wool or other abrasive scrubbers to clean the pan, as this can scratch the metal.
Typically made by adding a non-stick coating to aluminum pans, non-stick frying pans are ideal for cooking delicate foods with a tendency to stick, such as fish, fried eggs, and pancakes. The non-stick coating limits the amount of oils and fats needed to cook food and makes cleanup a breeze since your food won't stick to the pan. Non-stick pans are best used in low to medium heat settings to extend the coating's life. Using a non-stick pan in high-heat applications can damage the coating and cause it to smoke, peel, or flake.
It depends. Not every non-stick pan is oven-safe, so you should confirm with your pan's manufacturer. Some non-stick pans are oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
No, you should hand-wash all non-stick cookware to ensure its longevity. Strong dishwashing detergents and the high heat from the dishwasher will damage the non-stick coating over time.
You cannot use metal utensils on non-stick pans as this will chip and scratch the chemical non-stick coating that can then flake into your food. If they become chipped or scratched, they will need to be discarded immediately and replaced. Instead of metal utensils, opt for wooden or silicone utensils when using a non-stick pan.
Thanks to their coating, non-stick pans are easy to clean. Once the pan has cooled down, use a clean paper or lint-free towel to wipe excess oil and grease. Hand-wash the pan in warm water with mild dish detergent and a sponge. Never use steel wool or other abrasive scrubbers to clean the pan, as this can scratch the coating.
For durable, long-lasting pans that are easy to clean and usable on induction cooktops, stainless steel frying pans offer a great solution. Their non-reactive properties make them an excellent pan for slow-simmering tomato sauces and other acidic recipes. Stainless steel does not conduct heat well, so most commercial stainless steel pans will have an aluminum-clad bottom to promote even heat distribution and eliminate hot spots. The main drawback of stainless steel pans is that they aren't naturally non-stick, but this can be combated with proper preheating and cooking oils.
Most stainless steel pans are oven-safe. However, the max oven-safe temperature may vary by manufacturer and product line, so it is necessary to check your item's specification sheet before use.
It depends. Some manufacturers will label their pans dishwasher-safe, but for the longevity of your pans, it is best to hand-wash stainless steel pans. Dishwasher detergents can be harsh on the stainless steel and may lead to corrosion, and in general, regularly dishwashing your pans will dull and spot them over time.
Yes. It is safe to use metal, wood, and high-heat silicone utensils on stainless steel pans.
Once the pan has cooled, handwash the pan in warm water with mild dish detergent and a sponge. For stuck-on foods, use the rough side of the sponge or wooden spatula to scrape off food bits. Never use steel wool or other abrasive scrubbers to clean stainless steel pans as this can scratch the metal. If your stainless steel pans are labeled as dishwasher-safe, make sure to use a metal-safe detergent to protect the pans' surface.
Like their aluminum counterpart, carbon steel frying pans are an excellent conductor of heat. However, they are a more durable and long-lasting option with the proper care, plus they can be used on induction cooktops. They can maintain both low and high temperatures for greater versatility and can cook both delicate foods like eggs and fish as well as sear thick meats like steaks and pork chops. Like cast iron, carbon steel pans require regular seasoning to maintain their non-stick capabilities. However, they heat up faster and are more lightweight, making them a great alternative to cast iron skillets. It is important to note that carbon steel pans are not ideal for cooking acidic foods as they can alter the foods' taste.
Yes. Like cast iron, a carbon steel pan can handle very high heat and go from the stovetop or grill to the oven without damaging the pan.
No, carbon steel pans are not dishwasher safe, as they can rust in moist environments. Instead, carbon steel frying pans should be hand-washed with warm water and a soft-bristle brush or non-scouring sponge.
Yes. Carbon steel pans are extremely durable, and once the pans are well-seasoned, they can stand up to metal utensils without getting scratched.
Use a clean paper or lint-free towel to wipe out any excess oil and grease. Wash the pan with warm water and a soft-bristle brush or a non-scouring sponge. For stuck-on food, fill the pan with just enough water to cover the bottom and let it simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Allow the pan to cool and then scrape the food off with a spatula. Immediately dry the pan with a paper or lint-free towel and then evenly rub a light layer of cooking oil onto the pan.
A non-stick pan has an easy-release coating that prevents foods from sticking to the pan. They are ideal for delicate foods that cook over low to medium heat, such as eggs, pancakes, crepes, seafood like scallops and tender fish, cheesy dishes like quesadillas or grilled cheese, and nuts.
Since there is no coating to worry about damaging, untreated stainless steel pans are a more durable option than non-stick pans. However, they are not naturally non-stick, so burnt-on food can be a pain to remove; therefore, they may not be the best option for cooking delicate foods. Stainless steel pans tolerate much higher temperatures and are great for browning and searing foods like meats and vegetables.
There are a variety of non-stick coatings a frying pan can have, such as a standard PTFE non-stick coating to manufacturer-specific coatings. Read on to learn more about the different types of non-stick coatings a pan can have, ranging from good to best.
Once you've decided which frying pan material you need, the next step is to figure out the pan size. Frying pans come in different sizes, with 8-, 10-, and 12-inch being the most popular sizes across the industry. The smaller the pan size is, the faster it heats up and evenly distributes the heat, but the faster it will lose its heat. While it may seem like a larger pan size is always better, some foods, such as eggs, benefit from cooking in a smaller, more contained space. We have listed the most common commercial frying pan sizes below and what they are best for:
To determine a frying pan's size, measure the pan's diameter from rim to rim. A frying pan's advertised size is not the diameter of the cooking surface, and due to the tapered design of a frying pan, that diameter will always be around 2" smaller.
A frying pan's thickness is measured in either gauge or mils. -1 mil is equal to 1/1000", so the higher the mil, the thicker the metal. The gauge works oppositely - the higher the gauge, the thinner the metal. A thick pan is more durable than a thin pan but may not conduct heat as quickly. Most commercial frying pans will fall between a thick 10-gauge construction and a thinner 22-gauge construction.
Coagulation to Caramelization: How Heat Affects Food
We all know that most food preparation involves heating the food , whether by roasting, baking, grilling, frying, or searing. We know that during the cooking process, red meat gets brown, liquids become solid, and flavors change. But have you ever wondered why that is? In order to help you better understand the cooking process, we've explained the basics of why food reacts the way it does when it's heated up. Proteins: Coagulation Plant- and animal-based foods are made up of long molocules called proteins. When they're heated, the proteins break up and lose moisture. This makes them change from a liquid (or semi-liquid) to a solid in a process called coagulation in food. Temperature this starts at: 140 degrees F Examples: hard boiled or fri
Pots vs Pans
Matching the proper cookware with the right cooking method is tricky when there are so many types of pots and pans to choose from. Each type of cookware has unique benefits that can improve your dishes when used correctly. We'll explain the differences between pots and pans and identify 5 of the most popular styles so you can choose the right pan for the job. Shop All Cookware What Is the Difference Between a Pot and a Pan? A pot has tall sides and two loop handles, while a pan is shallow with one long handle. Pots are used for simmering or boiling liquids that completely cover ingredients to cook from all sides. Pans are used for cooking methods that apply high heat to produce browning , like reducing, sauteing, searing, or frying. We'll i
Propane vs. Natural Gas: Comparing Cooking Fuels
Whether you manage a restaurant , cafe, or food truck , gas-powered cooking equipment is frequently used in foodservice operations. Gas burners generate significantly more heat than electric burners, allowing for faster cooking times and greater efficiency in the kitchen. The two main types of gas used in commercial settings are propane and natural gas. We'll introduce both types and what sets them apart below. Use these links to learn more about propane and natural gas: What Is Natural Gas? What Is Propane? Difference between Propane and Natural Gas What Is the Cost of Propane vs. Natural Gas? Propane and Natural Gas FAQ What Is Natural Gas? Natural gas is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground. It is primarily composed of methane, a colo