What Kind of Frying Pan Do I Need?

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is a Frying Pan?

A frying pan, also called a skillet, is a common type of pan found in all kitchens.  They have a round, flat bottom and short sides that usually angle outward.  Frying pans usually have a long handle, but some bigger pans may have a smaller handle opposite the long handle for easy movement.

What are Frying Pans Used For?

Frying pans are used on the stove to brown, fry, sear, and cook foods.  Frying pans can accommodate most cooking needs, like softening vegetables, cooking beef, and frying eggs.

Learn About Frying Pans
A nonstick frying pan filled with freshly cooked vegetables and meat.

What are the Different Types of Frying Pans?

  • Nonstick
  • Stainless Steel
  • Cast Iron


Nonstick frying pans use a nonstick coating.  They cannot usually handle high heats. Nonstick frying pans are better for stickier foods or foods prone to burning quickly.  Metal utensils should not be used with a nonstick pan because they may scratch or chip the nonstick coating.  If the nonstick coating is chipped, the pan may need to be replaced.  These pans are easy to clean.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel frying pans heat and cook food evenly.  Stainless steels frying pans are typically more durable and last longer than nonstick pans.  They can also usually handle high heats.  When cooking with a stainless steel pan, coat the bottom with oil to keep foods from sticking.  Stainless steel pans are usually highly durable and scratch-resistant.  These pans are easy to clean.

Cast Iron

Cast iron frying pans heat and cook food evenly.  They are highly durable and handle high temperatures well.  This type of pan is heavy.  Cast iron frying pans come seasoned or unseasoned, but require seasoning after use to maintain the health of the pan.  Once seasoned, the pan is usually nonstick.  This pan is highly scratch-resistant and is considered virtually indestructible.

Recipes Using Frying Pans

Scrambled Eggs and Goat Cheese

Add some extra flavor to this breakfast favorite with goat cheese and fresh herbs. Start by melting butter over low heat and adding eggs, making sure to stir frequently to scramble the yolk and the white. Once the egg is almost set, add in a dollop of goat cheese and chopped basil and parsley. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and serve with toasted bread.

Chicken Fajitas

In a bowl, combine thinly sliced chicken with cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and onion powder and stir to combine. In an aluminum frying pan with oil, sauté the chicken strips until cooked thoroughly, and set aside. Cook sliced pepper and onions in the same pan until soft, and add the chicken back into the pan to combine. Serve the fajitas with refried beans and tortillas.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Upgrade your standard pancakes with ricotta cheese and lemon zest for a flavor boost and fluffy texture. Make a standard pancake recipe using flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, keeping the wet and dry ingredients separate. Add the cheese and zest to the wet ingredients and slowly stir in the dry ingredients without over mixing. Cook the pancakes on a buttered griddle or nonstick pan, until golden brown on both sides. Serve the pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup.

Easy Queso Dip

Make a dip perfect for chips and veggies that is creamy and flavorful. In a cast-iron pan, make a sauce using diced onion, jalapeño, milk, cornstarch, and Monterey jack cheese. Looking for something spicier? Replace the jalapeño with a serrano pepper for a boost of heat.

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