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Sear and Sauté Like a Pro With the Best SkilletLast updated: 6 May 2022
A skillet is a must-have piece of cookware in every kitchen. They’re often confused with frying pans due to their same shape and somewhat similar build. However, unlike the flared sides of frying pans, skillets are designed with straighter sides to avoid splashing.
Skillets are extremely versatile; they can be used to cook almost everything. With its straight sides and deep inside, you can cook with more liquids. They often come with a tight-fitting lid that locks the moisture in and prevents splashes. Skillets have long handles, flat and wide bases, and are usually made from cast iron, aluminum, or stainless steel, making them highly durable.
If you’re looking for a multitasking pan as well, take a look at our top recommendations for the elite skillets in 2022. We’ve also put together a buying guide to help you pick the perfect skillet fit for your kitchen and cooking.Show contents
Buyer’s Guide for Finding a Skillet
Here’s some information about skillets you need to know before buying one:
How To Maintain a Non-stick Skillet?
Non-stick pans usually come with aluminum bases that can hold up pretty well against heat, but the non-stick coatings on top require extra maintenance. These coats tend to wear down quickly and need to be used with care. Here are a few tips for prolonging your non-stick skillet pan’s life:
Storing your pots and pans the right way can have a huge impact on the longevity of their lives. Incorrectly storing or piling up pans can leave scratches. Avoid stacking your cookware to protect the surfaces.
Don’t use metal utensils
This is a common one. Metal utensils can easily scratch up the non-stick coating and chip it away. You can use wooden, silicone, nylon, or plastic kitchen tools instead.
Make sure you hand wash the non-stick skillet even if the manufacturer has labeled it to be dishwasher safe. Use soapy water and a soft sponge to clean it up after every use. Non-stick pans get damaged in dishwashers due to hot steam, high temperatures, harsh chemicals, etc.
Avoid high heat
Non-stick cookware easily gets damaged from exposure to high heat. Avoid using them for browning, searing, frying, or for recipes that require high heat cooking.
Don’t store food in them
Another mistake to avoid is storing food in a non-stick skillet. Lemon juice, tomato, wine, and other acidic food can break down the non-stick coating when you leave them in it for a long time, no matter if they’re refrigerated or not.
Non-stick skillets do require you to use oil. However, cooking sprays should be avoided as they can create a sticky build-up over time. This can easily wear down the surface.
How To Clean a Cast Iron Skillet?
Here’s how you can take care of a cast-iron skillet so it can last longer:
- Let the skillet cool down completely after use before you start cleaning it.
Run it underwater, and use mild dish soap, and a scouring pad to scrub off the food.
- You can also use a cast-iron pan cleaning brush.
- Rinse the skillet and wipe it well to completely dry it.
- Put a few drops of oil and season it before storing.
- For stubborn burnt-on food, you can use hot water and a spatula to take it off and clean the surface.
- Always store the pan after covering the surface with a paper towel.
How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet?
When you’ve thoroughly cleaned and dried the skillet, the next step is to season it. Seasoning refers to the process of bonding an oil to the iron. This process is just a simple one; here’s how to season a skillet:
- Heat up the cast iron skillet pan on a stove until it’s really hot.
- Put a few drops of flaxseed oil or canola oil on a paper towel and start running it all over the pan. Wipe off the excess oil on the surface with a clean piece of paper towel. If you don’t clear out the excess oil, you’d simply end up with a gummy, sticky mess there.
- Let the pan cool down.
- Repeat the process two or three times if you notice the shine isn’t enough.
How To Pick a Quality Skillet?
Here are a few things to look out for when buying a skillet pan.
The first thing you need to consider when shopping for skillets and frying pans is the size. This decision will depend on how big your family and friends’ gatherings can get. Skillets come in different sizes, some are small and designed to fry just an egg while others can cook up a full meal for the crowd.
You can select the size based on the number of people you serve daily. For instance, if you’ll be feeding just one or two people, you’d need nothing bigger than a 3-quart skillet. For larger families, 4-quart skillets are enough.
Skillets are made out of a variety of materials. Some are made of cast iron, copper, or stainless steel, each material offers different cooking capabilities. Choosing the right material involves figuring out the kinds of food you will mostly be making and the frequency of cooking. If you cook a lot, you’d probably want several skillets made from different materials.
To explain a little further, if you’re cooking on high heat, you’ll want to get an enameled or bare cast iron skillet as these can withstand high temperatures and hold heat well. It is perfect for searing steaks. Braising meat, making sauces, and similar types of cooking would be better with stainless steel skillets. And if you’re looking for easy clean-ups, get a non-stick pan. However, Non-stick skillets have a lower heat threshold as compared to other kinds.
Consider the effort and time you wish to spend on cooking and cleaning your utensils every day. Some skillets are ready for use right out of the box, meaning you are not required to season them before use. The kind usually never requires any extra or special maintenance afterward either.
Cast iron and carbon steel skillets are the most demanding in regards to maintenance and cleaning. Non-stick surface skillets require you to use just plastic or silicone tools with them so the surface doesn’t get scratched. While others made out of cast iron or stainless steel can be used with any kind of utensils. You also need to consider the kind of handle, heat protection, or hot pads you need with the pan.
The Top Skillets You Can Buy In 20221– Best OverallCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet comes with an assistant handle and a brutally tough base to be your next go-to pan for years to come. You can safely use this pan on the stove, in the oven, over the campfire, or on the grill.
The cast-iron skillet is 10.25 inches in diameter and can be used for all kinds of kitchen procedures. This includes baking, frying, sautéing, searing, grilling, and broiling food. It’s also perfect for induction cooktops. The skillet comes pre-seasoned with a 100% natural vegetable oil that not only gives it a nice shine but also prevents burning. It offers great heat retention as well.2– Runner-UpCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
This Carote Frying Skillet is made from sturdy aluminum and is coated with an eco-friendly granite that is non-stick and PFOS- and PFOA-free. It offers a smooth surface that is easy to clean and handle as well. The cookware body is shaped from a die-cast which makes the pan a lot sturdier and more durable.
Moreover, this pan comes with a bakelite wooden handle that not only offers a comfortable grip but also looks great. The handle will also stay cool while you cook, even on high flame. This skillet pan is suitable for all kinds of stoves, including an induction stove. The flat base evenly spreads out heat that prevents burning.3– ContenderCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
This cast-iron skillet comes ready for use with its soy-based oil pre-seasoned base. The polymers create a layer of seasoning that’s equivalent to 10-15 rounds of seasonings at home, so there’s no need for initial seasoning before first using it. Its large diameter allows ample cooking space for all kinds of dishes. The skillet can be used on all kinds of stoves including induction, electric, gas, or ceramic-glass top or ovens.
Moreover, it comes with superior heat retention that helps keep the food warm and pan warm for a long time. You can use this skillet for frying, braising, sautéing, baking, searing, roasting, and more. A layer of non-stick polish and proper seasoning makes sure that no food is burnt or spoiled. For easier use, there is a second handle on the opposite side as well.4– Honorable MentionCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
This is a 12-inch non-stick skillet pan that comes with a glass cover as well. The cover locks in all the flavors and saves your stove from splashes. It has been designed to provide unsurpassed heat distribution for evenly heating the pan and thorough cooking. The rim is tapered to allow a drip-free pour. Moreover, the handle is made out of stainless steel and stays cool even when you’re cooking on the highest flame.
In addition to that, the hard-anodized construction of the pan makes sure that it evenly spreads the heat to prevent any hot spots or burning and heats up quickly. The sloped sides allow for easy tossing and a large cooking surface. It’s safe for use on all kinds of stoves.5– Also ConsiderCheck On AmazonTHE SCOOP
This is a foldaway electric skillet that comes with a tempered glass cover. This transparent cover allows you to monitor the meal cooking inside. One corner of the skillet is built like a spout to allow a splash- and drip-free pour. It also doubles as a holder for spoons and spatulas. Both the skillet pan and cover are safe for the dishwasher.
Moreover, the non-stick surface is on the inside and outside to allow a smooth cooking experience. It comes with a removable base that comes off by folding down the arms. This allows easy clean-ups and increases the versatility and usability of the skillet. You can also control the heat on this pan with the help of a control master knob. The stay-cool handles on both sides also allow it to be used as a buffet server.
People Also AskedQ: What can I cook in a skillet?
A: You can cook anything, from frying eggs, omelets, frittatas, cutlets, and pancakes to soups and sauces.Q: Can I put a skillet in the oven?
A: Generally, yes you can. But to be safe, check for the manufacturer’s guidelines on it.Q: How many times should I season a cast iron skillet?
A: You should season the skillet three to four times initially to set a good seasoning layer.