Best frying pans for 2023 – non-stick, cast iron and for pancakes

Top Frying Pans

Always Pan

Ninja Zerostick 28cm

Salter Megastone 20cm

Best frying pans for 2023 - non-stick, cast iron and for pancakes

Best frying pans for 2023 – non-stick, cast iron and for pancakes. (Image: GETTY)

You don’t need a bunch of appliances and tools to cook a delicious meal at home. In fact, the only essential piece of equipment you need is a frying pan. A frying pan or a skillet is singlehandedly one of the most used items in any professional and home kitchen due to its versatility. Whether you enjoy fried eggs for breakfast or making a vegetable stir fry, a frying pan is compatible with several different cooking techniques like sautéing, searing, boiling, braising, frying and even steaming.

With so many different types available, finding the perfect pan can be tricky but there are three for any chef to keep in mind; cast iron, non stick and stainless steel. Iron pans last the longest but are heavy, non-stick pans are the easiest while stainless steel pans are the favourites of professional chefs. Each all have their benefits and all range in price points, which is perfect if you’re looking to save on the everyday essential. Just remember, never use metal utensils when cooking with non-stick pans as it can ruin the top layer and damage it over time!

In addition, dimensions are important to consider when buying a frying pan. Most pans are categorised by its overall diameter, and are measured across the top centre from one top side to the other. Depending on your need, frying pans come in a range of sizes from 20 – 28cm. Different sizes are suited towards cooking different potions of food, as well as kitchen space.

To coincide with Pancake Day happening today, here’s a guide with all the information you need when finding the perfect pan for you. There’s expert advice from top chef, Nigel Haworth, on how to find the right pan, and a list of the best frying pans, with pros and cons, to guide your experience.

1. Our Place Always Pan

The Always Pan was launched by American brand Our Place a few years ago with the aim of replacing eight traditional pieces of cookware in one brand. And it succeeds. With a choice of eight beautiful pastel colours, it’s one of the best non-stick pans and can be used to fry, sauté, steam, skillet, as a saucepan, and has several practical functions including a heatproof handle, non-toxic coating, nesting beechwood spatula. Made from an enamelled cast iron for durability, it also comes with plenty of cooking accessories including a steamer and has a handle and lips for easy pouring. If you’re looking for one pan that can do it all, it’s this one, although its material makes it a little heavy if you struggle to carry full pots and it’s sadly not dishwasher safe.

2. Ninja Zerostick Frying Pan

While Ninja is known for its air fryers and top blenders, its cookware range is equally as impressive. The Ninja Zerostick frying pan is up to 20 times tougher than traditional non-stick frying pans and is the best pick if you’re really looking for a superior non-stick pan. It’s also oven safe up to 260 degrees. Nothing will stick to the bottom of the pan and it’s got a slim handle that feels comfortable to hold.

3. Salter Megastone Pan

Smaller frying pans are great for single-person households or if you’d like to fry only a few items like eggs. The Salter Megastone Pan is only 20cm in width, making it ideal for smaller kitchens and its aluminium construction allows heat to be distributed very evenly for a speedy heat-up. Its super lightweight and non-stick with additional coatings to protect it from damage. A bargain at under £17, it’s a perfect small-sized addition.

4. Tefal Simplicity Pancake Pan

There’s nothing more delightful than having pancakes for breakfast and you can make the perfect ones at home with the Tefal Simplicity Pancake Pan. Long-lasting and non-stick, it’s designed with a Thermo-Signal® indicator which makes it even easier to know when the pan is hot enough for cooking. The size is ideal for making big pancakes and its width makes it easy for flipping. As a bonus tip, use a cooking oil spray like Frylight to help making fluffy pancakes that don’t stick.

5. Progress Shimmer Collection

If you’ve got a budget of under £20 for a frying pan then look no further than this Progress pan, which has a glitter-effect coating that makes it stand out. Made from aluminium, it’s lightweight to hold and suitable on all hod types. Its 24cm length makes it good for cooking larger meals like omelettes and it also comes with deeper lids that prevent spillage. The handle is made from silicon so it’s cool to touch. While you can use it with metal utensils, we recommend not to help extend its longevity.

6. Le Creuset Cast Iron Frying Pan

Le Creuset is loved for its beautiful, cast iron casserole dishes and its frying pans are just as stunning. It’s made from enamelled cast iron which makes it durable to last for years, and it’s also a healthy choice as an emailed surface needs less oil. Suitable for all hobs, it’s perfect for making big meals like paella or fried rice, so its a great choice for serious home chefs. The only downside that its heavy so do keep this in mind as it’s not as easy to manoeuvre around the hob.

7. Viners Everyday Frying Pan

Constructed from stainless steel, the Viners pan is an impressive everyday frying pan you can use to make breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s got deep lids that make it ideal for preventing splashes and has several practical features like a soft-touch handle for comfort and a double non-stick coating. It’s also the perfect size for pancakes and has a five year guarantee. Just be warned that the end of the handle can get fairly hot.

8. MAISCHOU Deep Frying Pan

If you’re looking for a pan that can also be used in the oven, the MAISCHOU Deep Frying Pan is a great option as it comes with three removable lids, which also helps to save space. Made from cast aluminium, its scratch resistant and comes with a glass lid with drain holes on one side and a steam vent on the other, which makes it great for boiling and steaming. Amazon shoppers praise its versatile size for cooking on the hob and in the oven. Although, do remember that the lid and handles aren’t oven safe. 

9. ProCook Professional Stainless Steel Frying Pan

With a stunning stainless steel design, the ProCook Professional Frying Pan is a great uncoated frying pan that will serve you well when cooking small dishes. Designed to be used in both professional and home settings, it’s high-quality and has a bonded base for even heat distribution.  If you want to cook at home like a pro chef, uncoated pans are the best for searing as they produce delicious flavours and is perfect for cooking steak. 

10. Hiker’s Camp Frying Pan

If you’re spending a few days camping and want to cook over a fire, this pan is specifically designed to cook over any type of heat. The Hiker’s Camp Frying Pan is made from stainless steel and has a two-layer base for optimal heating. Plus, the handle folds so you can tuck it away into your backpack. Super lightweight at less than half a kilo, it’s also a bargain at only £11.99.

Expert Frying Pan Advice

It can be tricky finding the perfect frying pan at home, so we reached out to chef Nigel Haworth, chef patron at The Three Fishes for his professional advice. If there’s only one size pan to buy, Nigel recommends getting a 28cm wide one. “From a large steak to some lovely sardines, these truly give you the versatility for cooking all foods,” he says. Here, he shares top tips on how to find the right frying pan and what the pros prefer.

Which pans are the best for frying?

As a chef in a busy kitchen, I use either a tri-ply stainless steel or cast-iron frying pan. Both are exceptionally durable and excellent conductors of heat. 

What frying pans do chefs use?

Chefs predominantly use stainless steel frying pans, and the best of class are the Hestan NanoBond range – these don’t stain and will withstand the extreme heat of the commercial kitchen. They also have titanium-based nano layers that gives it a non-stick basis, without any coating on the pan.

How long do frying pans last?

It is very much buy cheap, buy twice. Many mid-range pans now come with a lifetime limited warranty. Always try to buy non-stick with a metal handle so that you can put the pan directly in the oven.

When to throw non-stick pans away?

The time to throw a non-stick pan away is when the Teflon coating starts to peel, think of it as an investment in the quality of the food you produce, a perfect fillet of fish needs a good non-stick finish to get the skin crispy you won’t achieve that with a damaged Teflon coating.

Expensive Vs Cheap Pans

Always invest in a cast iron pan. The big advantage to cast iron is that it holds heat longer and reduces temperature spikes when cooking or baking, as well as being able use it on your gas range, electric stove, induction cooktop, in the oven or over the campfire. Many other pans are just not as versatile.

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