So, you finally decided to replace your old frying pan with a new one. And before you head over to the nearest shopping mall or purchase it online, it’s important to take note that not all pans are created equal. Every pan, even the expensive ones, has its own advantages and disadvantages. To make it easier for you, we have listed 5 Types Of Pans You Should Know that might come in handy before you spend your hard-earned money.
1) Nonstick Aluminium Pans
The most common one of them all are typically coated with Teflon. Or in a more (long-winded) scientific term, polytetrafluoroethylene a.k.a. PTFE. The Teflon material, of course, is responsible for giving the pan a nonstick cooking surface. That means you don’t have to worry about cooking or frying sticky/delicate foods, like say, an egg. Nonstick aluminium pans also require less or even no oil during the cooking process. They are also lightweight, affordable and easy to clean.
But keep in mind that nonstick aluminium pans are not suitable to be used in the oven. Not to forget using a metal spatula can scratch the coating of its surface. And if the scratches turn out to be severe, it’s best to replace the pan since you’ll be risking your food to be contaminated with the harmful chemicals from the exposed Teflon surface.
Consider this: Le Creuset TNS 24 cm Frying Pan, Tefal Everyday 24 cm Frypan or Tefal Super Cook Plus 24 cm Frypan
2) Hard-Anodised Aluminium Pans
If you are willing to splurge more for a pan, you might want to consider ones that are made from hard-anodised aluminium material. Hard-anodised aluminium pans have plenty of advantages that make them a worthy investment. First, they are more durable and even scratch-resistant. The latter particularly means you can use any type of utensil to fry your food, even the metal variety. You can use them to cook varieties of foods no matter acidic or delicate.
Of course, like any other pan, the hard-anodised aluminium varieties have some of their own disadvantages. As mentioned earlier, they are generally expensive. They are not suitable for high-heat cooking or used with a cooking spray. For the latter, doing so would leave a hard-to-remove sticky residue on the surface due to the fast-evaporating properties found in the cooking spray.
Consider this: Takeo Hard Anodized 24cm Open Non-Stick Frypan
3) Cast-Iron Pans
These types of heavy-duty pans are best used for searing or browning meat and poultry dishes. This includes everything from steak to chicken and burger patties. They contain excellent heat distribution, meaning you won’t have a problem cooking your food evenly. Not to mention they can retain heat longer and are built to last for many years.
But when it comes to their disadvantages, cast-iron pans can be heavy to handle. They are generally not suitable for cooking acidic food since these types of pans tend to be reactive. They also take some time to heat up properly.
Consider this: il Gusto 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
4) Stainless Steel Pans
The word “long-lasting” is best described for stainless steel pans, which also known for their resistance against stains and corrosion. If that’s not enough, a well-made stainless steel pan can withstand the likes of dents and even scratches. Their surfaces are non-reactive, making them safe enough to cook acidic food without leaching bad chemicals. And that is not all, as stainless steel pans can be used for other types of cooking from making sauces to browning meat. You can even cook your food in the oven.
As good as stainless steel pans are, they suffer from poor heat conductivity. This is particularly evident if you end up buying the basic or moderate-quality model. Which is why you should spend more on a stainless steel pan that comes coated with aluminium or copper. Another disadvantage? Stainless steel pans are not suitable for high-heat cooking styles since they tend to cause discolouration over time. To prevent this from happening, it is highly recommended to use these pans on low-to-medium heat.
Consider this: Cuisinart Contour Stainless 12″ Skillet with Helper Handle or IKEA OUMBÄRLIG 28″ Frying Pan
5) Copper Pans
If there’s one thing that worth mentioning about getting a copper pan, it has to be its excellent thermal conductivity. They can get hot in a jiffy and are even adaptable to different cooking temperatures in a consistent manner. All the aforementioned advantages ensure you can have your meal evenly cooked.
However, copper pans are heavily reactive with food upon the cooking process. Whether you are using them to cook alkaline or acidic foods, you might have to deal with its metallic taste. Finally, copper pans are generally very costly for most people.
Consider this: Mauviel M’Heritage M150C 26 cm Copper Frying Pan