A good pan is a staple in any kitchen, whether you’re using it to sauté, fry, sear, broil, braise, reduce, or exploit any of the myriad other functions at your disposal. And while most of us have a pan (or two) at the ready, it might be time to upgrade what you’ve got or step up into a new, elevated quality of cookware. To help you navigate some of your options, we compiled some of the highest-rated and most versatile pans and skillets we could find (with a smattering of our favorites).
FOR A STAINLESS STEEL PAN
All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Fry Pan
The low-profile on this top-rated fry pan makes it versatile. A 4.4-star average rating from more than 350 reviewers makes it a solid choice. Speaking of solid, its three-ply bonded construction is comprised of stainless steel encapsulating an aluminum core, marrying durability and evenly spread heat. With stainless steel handles that are firmly secured to the pan, this won’t become another flimsy pan in your cabinet. And it can endure up to 600 degrees so it will perfectly journey from your stove and into the oven.
FOR A CARBON STEEL PAN
Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan
Compared to stainless steel or cast iron pans, “carbon steel has the heat retention properties of cast iron without the weight of the other two,” chef, restaurateur, and the host of Top Chef Tom Colicchio told Scouted. Made In eases the learning curve of an unfamiliar material like carbon steel with a simple how-to in an attempt to ensure you’re getting the most out of your new cookware.
FOR A CAST IRON PAN
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
One of Scouted readers’ all-time favorites, this cast iron darling is a great skillet to keep around for everyday use. More than 3,500 reviewers gave it an average 4.6-star rating and at less than $30, it’s hard to go wrong here. An included silicone handle holder slips atop the cast iron skillet and can withstand up to 450 degrees of heat so it can accompany this skillet into the oven on most trips. And you don’t have to worry about seasoning with the Lodge skillet since it shows up preseasoned, ready to help you cook up a storm.
FOR A NONSTICK PAN
Scanpan CS+ Sauté Pan with Lid
For those of us who like having a fitting and handy lid around for those last minute adjustments to salmon, eggs, or otherwise, a lidded pan is perfect. The commercial grade nonstick surface here is free of harmful chemicals and the whole unit is handcrafted in Denmark. You’re getting hefty durability here combined with sharp aesthetic. This is an investment piece for a kitchen you’ve decided is worth investing in.
FOR AN ENAMELED CAST IRON PAN
Le Creuset Signature Cast-Iron Skillet
If you want to add a next-level cast iron skillet to the collection, you must consider the Signature. It’s not only striking in appearance but also packs a functional punch. An interior enamel finish in matte black is designed to handle the high heat you’ll burn beneath it and develop the iconic cast iron patina without the need to season and maintain it. The glass-like finish is stain-resistant and prevents sticking, making things a bit easier in that sense, too. You can get it in seven different
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