Best Skillets iMore 2021
A good skillet is the reliable workhorse your kitchen needs. You can turn to it when you're frying eggs, sauteing chicken, flipping pancakes, or making a one-pan recipe. If you like to please your palate with a variety of foods, there's plenty of reason to keep a few skillets with different finishes in your kitchen. We've gathered a collection of the best skillets of each type for your cooking needs.
- Forever pan: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 12 inch
- Nonstick with lid: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Pan, 12 inch
- Hard as a rock: Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri, 12 inch
- Nonstick with heat indicator: T-fal Professional Nonstick, 12 inch
- Professional grade: All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Pan, 12 inch
- Best for camping: Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet, 12 inch
Forever pan: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 12 inchStaff Pick
Although it requires a bit more maintenance -- handwashing, drying, and re-seasoning -- cast iron is way better at retaining heat than other materials. Heat retention makes it great for searing, and even baking almost any dish. You can also use it on the grill or over your campfire. With a little love, this cast iron skillet will only get better over time and last you decades.
Nonstick with lid: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Pan, 12 inch
If you want to cook with fewer oils and fats, then nonstick is the way to go. The interior of this nonstick skillet is reinforced with titanium, which will allow the coating to last a long time. Cool grip handles keep your hands safe from burns and prevent slipping. The Cuisinart Chef's Classic is safe to 500F, and even comes with a glass cover for monitoring food on the stovetop.
Hard as a rock: Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri, 12 inch
Traditional nonstick pans can include chemicals you may want to avoid. Stone Earth pans from Ozeri give you the same nonstick experience, without the risk. The magnetized base is ready for your induction cooktop, and the silicone handle resists heat so you can safely toss ingredients around in the pan.
Nonstick with heat indicator: T-fal Professional Nonstick, 12 inch
T-fal includes their Thermo spot heat indicator in this pan, so you know when preheating is complete. This feature is incredibly useful if you're using a hot plate, which can be less reliable than traditional stoves or cooktops. The interior is durable and safe for metal utensils if you prefer them. You can also place it in the oven up to 400F.
Professional grade: All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Pan, 12 inch
Stainless steel pans are a favorite of professional kitchens because they're lighter than cast iron and nearly indestructible. The All-Clad Tri-Ply line is no exception to these standards, and also provides even heating due to the encapsulated aluminum core. When you're ready to broil, this pan is safe all the way to 600F!
Best for camping: Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet, 12 inch
Similar to cast iron, this carbon steel pan from Lodge will last you a lifetime with proper care. The long handle makes it ideal for campfires or grilling, allowing you to keep your hands far away from the flames. You can also use it on traditional stoves, and even induction cooktops. When you're finished using it, you'll need to hand wash, dry, and add some cooking oil to retain the finish.
While all of these options can tackle any cooking task, the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is the best at almost everything. It's durable, retains heat, works on the stove or in the oven, and you can even take it camping. You'll need to clean it right after use, and you may even need to re-season it, but it will keep performing great year after year.
However, if you need more of a grab-and-go pan, and don't want to spend time maintaining cookware, consider the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick pan. It comes with a glass lid, and it's a breeze to clean up -- making it the perfect skillet for your egg dishes.
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