What’s your favorite pan? How to pick the best pan for you!
Let’s be real. Not everybody is a pro home cook and has a lavish, showroom-worthy kitchen stocked with every top-rated pot, pan and appliance imaginable. As much as we’d like to pretend it’s true, we aren’t all Giada De Laurentis’s or Gordon Ramsay’s behind pantry doors. But no matter how polished or unpolished your culinary chops are, we’re betting there’s at least an old frying pan, skillet or similar “universal” pan stowed away in your kitchen.
What’s in your cupboards? Maybe it’s a seasoned, well-loved pan your grandma passed down to you… or maybe you picked yours up at a rummage sale when moving into your first place… or maybe you were one of the lucky ones who received a complete cookware set as a wedding or housewarming gift, but did you know that frying pans aren’t all created equal? That you could find a pan that’s almost tailored-made for you?
We had a chance to test a few pans, geared especially towards novice cooks who prefer nonstick and no-fuss cooking:
Everyone needs at least one nonstick sauté pan in their kitchen. If you’re looking to update your collection, consider T-fal’s Professional Total Nonstick 10” Pan (kind of a “nonstick pan for dummies” as it’s incredibly user-friendly). Its durable nonstick surface helps keep oil use at a minimum… resulting in “healthier sautéing” since you don’t need as much fat. The pan is unique in that it contains a patented Thermospot technology indicator that turns bright, solid red when preheated at the correct temperature, so there’s no guessing if your pan is hot enough or not. The surface area of this pan allows for plenty of room… we could easily cook four individual portions of protein without over-crowding. The pan also regulated heat well throughout the entire surface. Pick up one of your own at Target.com for $29.99.
If you tend to make lots of quesadillas, hot sandwiches or crepes, you might really like IMUSA’s 12” Quesadilla Pan, perfect for getting that crispiness on a fresh tortilla or toasting sandwiches (grilled cheese, anyone?). This pan makes crepe-making a breeze–a dessert staple in my house. Its flat, nonstick cast aluminum surface warms quickly and doesn’t need to preheat long. I found it really came in handy for crisping up my favorite guilty pleasure—fried nutella and banana sandwiches. You can also find this pan at Target.com for $19.99.
If you pride yourself on living “green,” check out WearEver’s Pure Living Ceramic 12” Saute Pan—our favorite of the bunch. I dare you to find something that sticks to this pan’s ceramic nonstick surface! Though it has all the same pros of nonstick, what it doesn’t have is toxins (no PFOA, PTFE, and cadmium). The fry pan makes healthy cooking (and not-so-healthy frying) super easy and cleanup couldn’t be simpler. The pan’s surface wipes down effortlessly and is dishwasher safe. It’s available in two colors, though my favorite is Champagne. Find it at Walmart.com for $24.99 (for red) and $34.99 (champagne).
Test samples were provided for review purposes. Please view our Disclosure Policy for more information.