Best Frying Pans To Improve Your Cooking Skills

Find the best frying pan for your kitchen.

Best Frying Pans

by Natalie Corner |
Updated on

For a versatile piece of cookware equipment, the best frying pan is what wouldn’t be without in our kitchens. When it comes to the best pots and pans, a well-chosen frying pan doesn’t just fry food, it can sear a steak to perfection, sauté onions so they’re golden and add an extra crunch if you’re showing off your cooking skills.

Picking one of the best frying pans really comes down to what you would use it most in the kitchen. If you like to use your pan for cooking everything because you want to reduce the amount of washing up, an all-purpose pan set is going to be ideal.

Best Frying Pans At A Glance

Best cast iron frying pan: Le Creuset Signature Enamelled Cast Iron Skillet Frying Pan – View on Amazon UK
Best frying pan with lid: Procook Professional Anodised Frying Pan with Lid – View on ProCook
Best value frying pan: Lakeland Stainless Steel Non-Stick Frying Pan – View on Lakeland

If you’re somewhat of a dab hand in the kitchen and like to whip up various dishes during dinner parties or date nights then you need to consider different size frying pans that will support your cooking skills. And if you’re wondering whether you need to pick up specialist pans for your induction hob, fear not, because a lot of kitchenware brands make frying pans compatible with all hobs.

Best Frying Pans

Best cast iron frying pan

Le Creuset Cast Iron 23cm Signature Skillet
Price: £98.92 (was £130)

This wouldn’t be a complete cookware list if we didn’t include a Le Creuset. A brand known for its colourful aesthetic, its Le Creuset Signature Enamelled Cast Iron Skillet Frying Pan is worth the investment, especially if you’re building up your Le Creuset collection. Although technically an enamelled cast iron frying pan if you’re just starting out cooking with cast iron, this does an amazing job when it comes to searing and sautéing your food because it's slightly lighter, non-stick and thanks to a handle on either side and pouring spouts makes it easier to work with.  

Customer review: “I have had this piece of art in a form of a skillet for nearly 18 months now and to be honest I love cooking every single day because of this pan. Initially, it took me a while to get used to using it as it's a skill to cook on cast iron but once I got the hang of it – I am never ever going back to stainless steel or Teflon. The food tastes so much better. The steaks are juicy and with a perfect crust. Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is a discovery for me. The omelette is amazing and the salmon comes off so juicy. It's almost hard to believe the difference and prior to buying it I wouldn't have believed the adverts praising how good the food can taste. I do believe the Le Creuset adverts - truly converted now.”

Pros

  • Variety of vibrant colours available
  • Slighter lighter than other pans
  • Fabulous for searing
  • Save on energy bills with low heat

Cons

  • Takes practice to use correctly

Best frying pan with lid

Professional Anodised Frying Pan with Lid
Price: £50 (RRP £79)

www.procook.co.uk

It’s trickier than you may think to find a frying pan with a lid, it’s not always a necessity when you’re making food that you need to stir all the time. But if you’re making a curry or stew that needs a little extra cooking time, a lid comes in handy. Professional Anodised Frying Pan with Lid with a Cooltouch® handle that means you won’t accidentally burn yourself when lifting the lid, but you’ve still got to be careful of any steam. 

Customer review: “This really is a very good pan. It cooks evenly, seems durable and washes very easily. Having a lid is ideal for cooking at low temperatures. I love using this for making omelettes and finishing them off under the grill."

Pros

  • Well-fitting lid
  • Premium quality
  • Even heat distribution

Cons

  • This is the largest size available

Best value frying pan

Lakeland Stainless Steel Non-Stick Frying Pan
Price: £18.99 (was £37.99)

www.lakeland.co.uk

If your frying pan has seen better days but you’re looking for value for money, this Lakeland Stainless Steel Non-Stick Frying Pan is an affordable yet quality option. It has more depth than your average frying pan, which means less chance of losing your food over the edges, although it may not be ideal for pancake flipping. A deep aluminium base and three layers of DuPont™ Teflon® Platinum non-stick coating makes it a lot more hard-wearing than most. 

Customer review: “Had this pan about a month now and I cannot fault it. Used five times a week for breakfast, lunches and evening meals it handles everything I cook in it. Particularly good for omelettes even without greasing and great for vegetable stir-fries with just a spot of oil. So easy to clean with hot water it truly is non-stick. It is a solid pan though not too heavy to lift. Would recommend it to those wanting a medium-sized frying pan.”

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Not too heavy to lift
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • The customer reports the non-stick coating deteriorating

Best non-stick frying pan

Tested

Salter BW05746S1 Megastone Collection Non-Stick
Price: $28.38

You’ll feel like a total professional when it comes to cooking with this Salter BW05746S1 Megastone Collection Non-Stick frying pan and it‘s under £20. The mottled, rugged Megastone coating improves cooking performance as well as looks good, it is compatible with metal utensils (so no horrible scratches) and is designed to be durable and long-lasting.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to cook with
  • Compatible with metal utensils

Cons

  • Base burns easily

Best heavyweight frying pan

Tested

Smeg Frying Pan
Price: £87.96 (was £109.95)

www.debenhams.com

Smeg’s cookware is packed with plenty of quality design features optimised for all cooking styles and needs. More importantly, it is ideal for getting an even cook on steaks or if you're cooking a huge dish of fried food you can do it all in one pan. The Smeg Frying Pan features an essential non-stick primer coating, allowing food to brown without the nuisance of sticking or having to use extra oil in your cooking. The range works on all hob types including induction. Available in cream, red and black to match other Smeg products.

Pros

  • Even cooking
  • Minimal oil needed
  • Cleans easily

Cons

  • 30cm size was too large for a small hob to use other pans

Best frying pan used by a chef

Scanpan CTX 20 cm Frying Pan
Price: $87.66

We’d all like to think we’re a dab hand in the kitchen, with every chance of winning MasterChef if tasked with whipping up a dish for Marcus Wareing or Monica Galetti. It may not be likely, but if we have the right cooking tools then we reckon we’re in with a shot. According to Masterclass, Gordon Ramsay’s preferred frying pan of choice is by Scanpan. The Scanpan CTX 20cm Frying Pan is made from heavy-duty steel with aluminium layers for quick, even heat distribution and the ceramic-titanium non-stick surface allows the use of any utensil, including metal. 

Customer review: “Normally, I get a new non-stick pan every year or two, since I'm yet to find one that doesn't deteriorate. But it's kind of wasteful and decided to take the plunge on a top-quality pan. Went for this, because it seemed surprisingly light and the quality means it's razor flat, which is good for my induction hob. Seven months in, and the surface is just about as good as new - a couple of scratches from my carelessness but still works like new. Also still razor flat. Very happy and am confident this will last for a good few years. I use it a lot too – daily high heating.”

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Even heat distribution
  • Any type of utensil can be used - including metal

Cons

  • Non-stick coating can wear off

Best frying pan for induction hob

Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK 28cm Frying Pan
Price: $22.49 (was £44.99)

All the frying pans on our list are suitable for induction hobs, but the Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK 24cm Frying Pan has had rave reviews thanks to its higher heat threshold of 260°C. It combines plasma ceramic bonding with a unique non-stick coating, which means every pan stays flake and peel-free and is metal utensil-safe.

Customer review: “Great frying pan. Good weight without being too heavy. Non-stick and easy to clean. Liked it so much bought a different size as well.”

Pros

  • Best for stir-fried dishes
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe for metal utensils

Cons

  • Too deep for pancakes or omelettes, pan surface reduced

Best forged aluminium frying pan

Salter Earth Forged Aluminium 24cm Frying Pan
Price: £14.99 (was £17.99)

If you’re looking to add a touch of colour to your kitchen that isn’t too permanent, we recommend upgrading your cookware shade to the interior colour of du jour, pale green. This Salter Earth Forged Aluminium 24cm Frying Pan is good-looking, long-lasting and durable, and each frying pan features a soft-touch Bakelite handle. 

Customer review: “It's the perfect pan. I have the medium size and it's light, pretty and seems to be very good quality. If I need another pan, I will buy this again. It's also eco-friendly material.”

Pros

  • Works well with all hob types - including induction
  • Eco-friendly
  • Soft touch handle

Cons

  • Non-stick wears quickly

Best ceramic frying pan

If you’ve been on the internet at any time this year, there is a fair chance you’ve come across the Always Pan from Our Place. And – yes, you may be thinking. A viral pan? Surely, not. Allegedly, the Always Pan can replace your frying pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, non-stick pan, spatula and spoon rest. That’s a lot, and we are impressed. With the updated 2.0 version, the stylish Always Pan can even double as a roasting or baking dish. Fancy that.

Pros

  • Integrated all-in-one design
  • Chemical-free non-stick
  • Innovative extras to impress

Cons

  • It might be too bulky to store for some

OUR VERDICT: What Is The Best Frying Pan?

Le Creuset Signature Enamelled Cast Iron Skillet Frying Pan is the best frying pan to invest in that will last you a lifetime of whipping up a storm in the kitchen of all your favourite dishes. Customer reviews say it’s one of the best investments to make and is sustainable because you’re not replacing a cheaper version every other year.

For the best value frying pan, we’d recommend the Professional Anodised Frying Pan with Lid. It has depth for all sorts of dishes and is a reasonable price. Also, the Cooltouch® handles are a great additional safety feature.

FAQs: Best Frying Pan

Buyers Guide

Go for a non-stick frying pan as it will make life in the kitchen easier and you’ll need less oil when you’re cooking.

For an all-purpose frying pan, a good size to choose is 24cm. Big enough to cook your stir fry in, small enough to flip your pancakes without them falling apart. If you’re looking for a smaller or a larger pan, sizes can vary between 16cm right up to 32cm.

Frying pan material is either aluminium or stainless steel unless you’re looking for a cast iron frying pan. A stainless steel frying pan is great if you're cooking at high temperatures. There's very little difference between a frying pan and a skillet pan either, the names are simply interchangeable and both pans do the same job, it’s down to preference.

Check what type of hob you have when purchasing cookware and that they are suitable for electric, ceramic, gas or induction. The frying pans in our list are compatible with all hob types.

What Is The Best Material For Frying Pans?

Non-stick pans have become a bit of a contentious issue because of worries over the chemicals in the non-stick coating known as polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon. However, it is not dangerous and poses no real risk to users.

A non-stick pan is your best option when it comes to choosing cookware because you will need less oil or fats when cooking and it’s easy to clean. Ceramic frying pans are a good choice if you have concerns but could degrade more quickly.

What Frying Pans Do Chefs Use?

If you’re ever watching Masterchef or any other cooking show featuring professional chefs in the kitchen, you’ll notice the lack of non-stick pans.

It’s not necessarily down to the worries about Teflon, it’s down to how fragile they are. Surprisingly, repeatedly heating a pan will degrade more quickly over the years, and in a professional kitchen, this can prove to be very costly. Cast iron is a favourable option for chefs because not only can it withstand high heat, but it can also be seasoned and ready for whatever food you need to cook. A cast iron pan is more likely to last 10 years than an aluminium pan that’s been in the dishwasher several times.

Natalie Corner is the Commercial Content Editor across the Specialist Portfolio for Bauer Media. She specialises in all things coffee and tea related for A Modern Kitchen. When she's not hopped up on caffeine she's testing the latest space-saving hacks to organise her small kitchen.

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