Cooking, a quintessential art, and a life skill are often enhanced by the use of quality tools. Among the essentials in the kitchen are the right pans, which can make all the difference when it comes to preparing a delicious meal. This article will explore the best kitchen pans for various cooking techniques like sautéing, frying, baking, and more, helping you achieve a top-notch culinary experience for yourself and your loved ones.
Sautéing: The Non-Stick Sauté Pan
Sautéing is a cornerstone of cookery, involving cooking food quickly over high heat using a small amount of oil or fat. The best pan for this purpose should transfer heat effectively and have a non-stick coating to ensure that your ingredients won’t adhere to the pan. Look for a sauté pan with a wide, flat base and tall, straight sides to prevent spills and allow for easy stirring. A well-fitted lid is also a plus for keeping moisture in when required. Our top recommendations for non-stick sauté pans include the All-Clad HA1 and the T-Fal Professional Nonstick Sauté Pan.
Frying: Stainless Steel Skillets and Cast Iron Pans
For frying, two distinct options are available: stainless steel skillets and cast iron kitchen pans. Stainless steel skillets provide excellent heat distribution and maintain heat stability for perfectly cooked food. These pans are perfect for both shallow and deep frying. The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel Skillet and the Tramontina Gourmet Tri-Ply Clad Fry Pan are both great options.
Cast iron pans, on the other hand, heat up slowly but retain heat exceptionally well. They are especially suitable for searing and frying at high temperatures. Cast iron pans come in two varieties: regular and enameled. Both have their benefits, with regular cast iron pans developing a natural non-stick surface over time, and enameled pans being easy to clean and more resistant to rust. Some popular cast iron pans are the Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet and the Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet.
Baking: Ceramic Baking Dishes and Glass Baking Dishes
Baking dishes are essential for beautifully crafted desserts, casseroles, and more. A quality baking dish offers even heat distribution and is simple to clean. Ceramic baking dishes, like the Emile Henry Modern Classics Rectangular Baker and the Staub Ceramics Rectangular Baking Dish, are known for their excellent heat retention and resistance to cracking.
Glass baking dishes, such as the Pyrex Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes or the OXO Good Grips Freezer-to-Oven Baking Dish, possess excellent heat conductivity, allowing for even cooking, and are easy to clean. They’re also perfect for storing leftovers, thanks to their airtight lids.
Grilling: Grill Pans
Grill pans are an indoor alternative for achieving those tantalizing grill marks without having to use an actual grill. A good grill pan should heat up quickly and evenly, and be able to retain heat for effective grilling. Cast iron and enameled cast iron are popular choices for this purpose. Some outstanding grill pans include the Lodge Square Cast Iron Grill Pan, which offers excellent heat retention, and the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Square Grill Pan, which is easy to clean and ideal for searing.
Having the right pans for the job can spell the difference between a mediocre meal and an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re sautéing, frying, baking, or grilling, excellent cookware can up your culinary game and make sure that every dish you make is perfect. We hope you have enjoyed this tour of some of the best kitchen pans for various cooking techniques!