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Choosing a Stainless Steel Fry Pan

A stainless steel fry pan or skillet is the choice for many chefs. The stainless steel frying pan is often the workhorse in restaurants and home kitchens. A quality skillet offers an attractive appearance, great heat distribution, and easy cleanup. Whether you saute, make crepes, or pan fry, a stainless steel skillet is a great tool to use. You can’t get the fond for sauces from a nonstick pan as you can with stainless steel.

All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Fry Pan

Frying Pan Basics

Frying pans are typically sized 7″ to 14″, and have sloped sides. The sloped sides make it easy for turning, flipping, and releasing foods. A similar sized pan but with straight sides is a sauté pan. The frying pan is great for frying eggs, searing, or browning with oils, butter, or liquids. A stainless steel frying pan with its attractive shiny surface fits the decor of many homes.

Why Choose a Stainless Steel Fry Pan

Stainless steel cookware is lightweight, non-reactive to foods, healthy, dishwasher safe, and works on or in a stove or induction unit. Because it is not good at distributing heat, a quality stainless steel frying pan will be clad with layers of copper and/or aluminum, at least on the bottom if not up the side walls also. Quality stainless steel is referred to as “18/10” because it contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. 18/10 stainless steel is best on the inside, and a magnetic or 18/0 stainless steel on the outside for induction cooking. Because stainless steel is non-porous, and not coating with chemicals or nonstick surface treatments, it is considered a healthy cookware.

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Characteristics of a Stainless Steel Frying Pan

All-Clad Stainless Steel Fry Pan

While a standard stainless steel frying pan does not have a nonstick interior surface, proper cleaning and heat levels will avoid food sticking to the frying pan. Quality aluminum or copper layered frying pans distribute heat so well, manufacturers recommend using just low to medium heat. Preheating the skillet for a couple of minutes first will heat the pan adequately for most purposes. The preheating closes the pores of the metal surface reducing the chance of food sticking. The polished surface makes the stainless steel frying pan easy to clean, inside and out. Like most metal cookware, it is not recommended to add salt directly to the stainless steel fry pan. Rather, add salt to liquids or foods already being cooked.

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Cleaning a Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Most stainless steel skillets are dishwasher safe. Even so, hand washing is recommended. Usual cleaning involves immersing the stainless steel frying pan into warm sudsy water, and clean with a fine powder cleanser like Bon Ami or Bar Keepers Friend. Rub in a circular motion from the inside outwards. Dry the pan immediately. Do not use oven cleaners, bleaches, or steel wool.

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The stainless steel frying pan is found in the homes of many chefs and serious home cooks. It is versatile, easy to clean and a safe alternative to nonstick surfaces. Look for 18/10 stainless steel with aluminum or copper layers.

Happy Cooking!


Choosing Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Stainless steel cookware sets offer durability, versatility, and style. Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its healthy non-porous surface, appearance, dishwasher safe clean-up, and durability. Like cookware sets made of other materials, they usually include 6 to 14 pieces, lids included. Whether buying an individual piece or a complete stainless steel cookware set, be sure to look for quality. Higher quality stainless steel will always be “18/10” on the inside and clad with either copper and/or aluminum.

Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Why Choose Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Stainless steel cookware sets are healthy, durable, attractive, and versatile. When properly cared for, it lasts a very long time, and is easy to maintain. Stainless steel is dishwasher safe. Be sure to check out the manufacturers care and use instructions, as well as pick up a quality stainless steel cleaner.

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Stainless Steel Cookware Set Tips

Stainless Steel Frying Pans

Cookware sets can include both a small and large frying pan. You will see a variety of names for these items including frying pans, skillets, and omelet pans. The small frying pan will usually be around 8″ while the large will either be 10″ or 12″. They make some as large as 14″, but are rarely included in cookware sets.

Sauce and Sauté Pans

The sauté pan looks much like a skillet, but the side walls are straight up, and they can come with a lid. The sauce pan is what most would call a small pot. These vary in size from 1 quart to 4 quarts.

Stock Pots

The stock pot is large, usually around 6 – 8 quarts. They are great for making homemade soups, boiling water for corn on the cob, pasta, or other large items.

What to Look For

Small stainless steel cookware sets usually include one or two frying pans, one or two sauce pans, and either a large sauce pan or a stock pot. Larger cookware sets will include both a large and small frying pan, one or two sauté pans, two or three saucepans, and a stock pot.

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Happy Cooking!