Oven Safe Skillets: Everything You Need to Know
- Frying Pan & Skillet 9” | Avalon Series
- Frying Pan & Skillet 9” | Oberon Series
- Frying Pan & Skillet 10” | Oberon Series
- Frying Pan & Skillet 12” | Avalon Series
- Frying Pan & Skillet 12” | Oberon Series
Cooking allows us to experiment endlessly in the kitchen. My personal favorite item, aside from a stellar apron and an unstoppable utility knife, is my cast iron skillet. But are there other types of skillets that are also oven safe? This is something I’ve asked myself time and time again. The short answer is yes. But the longer one requires a bit more detail.
Not all skillets are made equally and not all skillets are oven safe skillets. While stainless steel cookware is normally conducive to being baked, it won’t fly in the oven if it lacks a stainless steel handle. You can’t go wrong with a dutch oven, but how many people outside of our grandmothers have those on hand? Speaking as someone who knows my way around a kitchen fairly well, I’m still so unsure what I can or can’t properly pop in the oven.
- Which Metals Are Oven Safe?
- Which Metals Are Not Oven Safe?
- What’s the Difference Between a Skillet and a Frying Pan?
- Our Top 5 Skillet Recommendations
- FAQ Section
Understanding oven safe skillets really comes down to what kinds of metals are oven safe or not. Of course knowing the differences between our kitchen supplies also helps us determine which sort of pan we can pop in the oven.
We’ll learn the differences between cast iron cookware, a nonstick frying pan versus a stainless steel skillet and so much more. Then we’ll take a deep dive into some of the best skillets on the market. By the end of this crash course you’ll never have to doubt which pan is oven safe or not.
1. Which Metals Are Oven Safe?
When we think of an oven safe skillet, an old school cast iron pan probably comes to mind. While one of the most commonly known oven safe skillet types, we often overlook a good stainless steel pan. As we’re shopping for the best type of oven safe cookware it’s important to take a look at the type of metals that can and cannot go in the oven. In other words, cookware material is key.
1. Cast Iron
This is the pinnacle of an ovenproof skillet made entirely out of, you guessed it, cast iron. Made for a transfer from stovetop to oven, the cast iron is a fantastic conductor of heat for any cooking surface. An enameled cast iron won’t rust, will hold flavor, and is bound to evenly heat your meal of choice.
If properly maintained the preseasoned cast iron skillet can even serve as a non-stick pan. While an entirely oven safe skillet, the cast iron requires slightly more maintenance than its other metal counterparts.
2. Stainless Steel
If you’ve ever used an induction cooktop you know how incredibly stainless steel is at creating an even cooking surface. But did you know that stainless steel could also be cooked at any oven safe temperature? Most any stainless steel skillet is actually the ideal cookware for the oven as long as its handle is entirely stainless steel as well.
Stainless steel is incredibly hard to damage at high temperatures and because of its lack of nonstick coating is completely dishwasher safe as well. While it is not a typical nonstick pan and therefore food may get stuck, the heat conduction makes up for this nuisance with its stellar flavor honing abilities.
I’m sure you’ve lined your baking trays with aluminum foil at some point in your cooking career, so you don’t need me to tell you that aluminum is absolutely oven proof. In fact, the reason stainless steel is so fantastic is largely due to its aluminum core.
The thing about aluminum, however, is that while it is great at conducting heat it’s not the best at retaining it. Meaning an aluminum pan or skillet will be absolutely safe in the oven and additionally will take you a whole lot longer to cook whatever it is you want to cook than say any stainless steel pan.
Here’s yet another metal that you might have assumed made up our trusty oven proof skillet: the tried and true copper. While it works its magic at high temperatures, the main downfall is that fully copper skillets may also make your food taste a whole lot like what I’d describe as a Heineken beer, blood taste (others may just say it tastes like copper).
While the copper pan was much more likely to leave a taste behind back in the day, copper cookware these days has been perfected and is now one of the top heat retaining conductors like the cast iron skillet or a stainless steel fry pan.
2. Which Metals Are Not Oven Safe?
Picture this: you’re in hour four of your dinner party food prep chopping away with your freshest paring knife and everything is sizzling at just the right temperature.
You go to braise that last dish by finishing it off in the oven and all of a sudden the kitchen fills with the inescapable scent of burnt plastic. The meal is ruined, the ambiance as well. Fear not my fellow cooks, we can avoid this awful situation by being aware of what kinds of metals are not oven safe.
Some of our favorite kitchen supplies involve a solid non stick pan which essentially means it contains a teflon coating. If you’re a scrambled egg lover you know just how helpful a nonstick skillet (or teflon pans in general) can be. But just because it has a nonstick coating, doesn’t mean we should be using the nonstick pan in every cooking scenario.
Non stick cookware often includes elements like a plastic handle that won’t hold up in the heat of an oven. Make sure you’re checking whether or not the handle is silicone and therefore able to withstand high heat. Dalstrong nonstick skillets never have handles made of plastic, and are therefore oven safe.
Additionally, at very high temperatures teflon can burn off and create toxic fumes. The best bet with any nonstick frying pans is to check to see if it’s labeled in the manufacturing notes as an oven proof skillet, otherwise assume it isn’t and leave it on the stove.
3. What’s the Difference Between a Skillet and a Frying Pan?
The jury is out on this heated kitchen debate. There are strong proponents of the concept that a skillet and a frying pan are exactly the same, but there are others who revel in the minute distinctions between the two.
While both come in a variety of forms from carbon steel to nonstick to stainless steel they are largely both used for shallow frying with their slightly sloped sides and flat bottom. You can braise, boil, fry, grill, sear, and sauté to your heart’s content with either a skillet or a frying pan.
The term skillet is most often in reference to a cast iron skillet, a frying pan is a bit more open to interpretation. That said, there are some that believe the main difference lies in how deep each are.
Certain chefs will argue that skillets are slightly deeper than your average frying pan. I’d also suggest that a frying pan is more likely to have some sort of glass lid (or stainless steel lid) whereas a skillet usually does not include a lid. But in any case, both of these options luckily come in many diverse oven safe pan forms.
4. Our Top 5 Skillet Recommendations
When it comes to skillets and frying pans there is nothing I want more than an option that conducts heat, creates an even and controlled cook, and has the adaptability to fit in the oven if need be. The following are our favorite recommendations for a frying pan and skillet that can meet all of your searing, braising, cooking needs.
If you’re interested in style and grace you can’t go wrong with the stunning silver frying pan and skillet combo. This premium steel 9” frying pan is ideal for any and all kitchens and absolutely oven proof. With its perfect size and easy to grab handle, you can entertain with ease.
- The 5-ply copper forged foundation means that heat conduction is at an all time high and the stainless steel layers with premium aluminum means you won’t lose out on any heat retention.
- The all silver style is sleek and professional and made to match any and all kitchen types from professional kitchens to your home induction stovetop.
- The 9” frying pan and skillet is the perfect size for omelettes, sauces, jams, or even searing a nice piece of thick protein.
- Available in a cookware set.
- I love the 9” size, but if you come from a large family you might consider the 12” version of this fry pan for a bit more room to play.
- This is a built to last frying pan and skillet and it will truly hold the test of time, but that said the price point is not the lowest on the list. For a cheaper alternative, try the Oberon Series 9” Frying Pan and Skillet.
- The detail on the silver is my favorite part, but if you’re more of a minimalist you may prefer the bare silver of this frying pan.
Slightly less aesthetic but never sacrificing on the quality, this 9” frying pan and skillet is an absolute steal. With a stainless steel aluminum mix, this is the sort of oven proof (for up to 500 degrees) cookware that you’ve been waiting for.
- The combination of stainless steel and 3-ply aluminum means this skillet is made to tackle all of your frying needs with expert heat conduction and retention.
- The price point of this frying pan and skillet is absolutely ideal and made for even beginner cooks in terms of their budget.
- Its ultra strong 2.5mm thickness and satin and nylon finish ensures no denting, warping, or scratching after prolonged use.
- Again if you’re looking for a larger frying pan and skillet than the handy 9” size, but you might be more intrigued by a 10” option.
- If you absolutely hate soaking your pans after a quick fry perhaps a nonstick skillet is what you need. In that case I’d suggest the nonstick pan version of this that will really blow your mind.
- You’ll still need to use an oven mitt when you take this pan out of the broiler, but that’s the same with pretty much any oven safe cookware.
With 10” to play with this is the kind of frying pan and skillet that will make your parents proud. It’s the top of the line in terms of ultra functional cookware that includes the nonstick coating of your dreams.
- Gone are the days of scrubbing and scrubbing at food that sticks to the bottom of the pan. With its Eterna® coating it is the world’s longest lasting PFOA and APEO free non-stick coating.
- The 10” frying pan is made with a 3-ply aluminum core, making it incredibly responsive to any changes in heat, for the utmost cooking control.
- The side-handle is engraved to evenly distribute the weight of the pan, meaning you won’t have any unfortunate messes during transfer from stovetop to oven or vice versa.
- Standing tall at a respectable 10” some cooks may prefer to use a smaller 9” pan or a larger 12” skillet. I tend to think that if you can’t decide, the 10” is the best of both.
- While I absolutely love nonstick frying pans, it tends to mean that the inside of the pan is black rather than an all silver look. It personally doesn’t bother me, but for those monochrome lovers that may be a downfall.
- The nonstick coating may freak some people out, but fear not for this coating is non-toxic, non-hypoallergenic and free of any harmful chemicals found in an old school non stick surface.
Built to last a lifetime, this particular frying pan and skillet is a whole 12” of pure style and functionality. This is the kind of frying pan and skillet to splurge on as its durability and finesse will render you scrumptious meal after scrumptious meal.
- Made with a 5-ply copper forged foundation layer and layers of nonreactive stainless steel and aluminum you just can’t beat the heat conductivity of this particular frying pan and skillet.
- This pan can do it all from frying up something on the stovetop, to broiling in the oven, to cooling off in the freezer, and running through the dishwasher. It’s the skillet that won’t cause you any hassle.
- Its all black look is arguably my favorite (and the most similar to that of a cast iron skillet), complete with a stainless cookware lid that maintains a perfect seal.
- Easy to clean, which is a gift to professional chefs and home cooks alike.
- With 12” you can cook just about anything in this frying pan, but again there are cooks that prefer less room to work with and might consider a 9” or 10” option instead.
- While I’m a sucker for anything that looks remotely close to Darth Vader, there are those who prefer a lighter style. The all black look may be a bit too harsh for some garden cottage kitchens.
- Investing in high end cookware is never a bad call, but if you’re looking for a cheaper price point I’d consider the Oberon Series, Frying Pan & Skillet 12” instead.
With slightly less ply, this 3-ply aluminum core cookware can be the wizard you need in your kitchen. Clean and fresh design, mixed with an incredibly thoughtful, top of the line nonstick coating, I’d consider this frying pan and skillet for any and all of your summer wedding gift purchases.
- Its combination of thick stainless steel layers and aluminum core all you to brown and braise whatever you throw in your pan effortlessly as you control the exact temperature of your food.
- I can’t talk enough about how lovely it is to find a nonstick pan that is still oven and broiler safe. It's toxin free and made out of the longest lasting non stick coating there is.
- Because we love pans with lids, it must be noted that it includes an extra strong 4mm tempered glass lid, absolutely perfect for thwarting off any grease splatters during the morning bacon rush.
- I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, there are chefs who prefer certain sizes to their oven safe cookware. I can dig a good 12” but if you’re looking for something smaller explore the rest of the skillets here.
- Because of the nonstick component the base of this frying pan is black, if you’d prefer an all-silver style, check this equally priced 12” frying pan out.
- While you can’t beat the price of this particular skillet, I’d say if you’re looking to splurge it may be worth your while to up the ply number and try out the Avalon Series Frying Pan & Skillet.
5. Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know if a skillet is oven safe?
It will often tell you in the packaging when you purchase it or include an oven safe symbol on the bottom of the pan. When in doubt, google the skillet or frying pan and you should be able to determine it based on the company website’s write up. If you are unsure, do not put it in the oven. Call the company number and infer or trust me you can really ruin a pan and an oven.What is the best oven safe skillet?
There are so many fantastic oven safe skillets. Here’s an extensive list of some of the absolute bests. But if you want my humble opinion, I’d go with the Avalon Series Frying Pan & Skillet 12”.What can I use if I don't have an oven safe skillet?
You can use a dutch oven if you have one or pretty much any casserole dish. There are a lot of ceramic pans or other ceramic cookware that will do just fine in a pinch. But if you really want to braise properly, I’d suggest you invest in an oven safe skillet!Can I put a frying pan in the oven?
You can put many frying pans in the oven, but not all! The key here is the material of not only the pan, but particularly the handle. Be really careful about whether or not the pan has any plastic on it, as plastic is known to melt and melt messily!
You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs.
Written by Monique NicholasBased in Vancouver, Monique enjoys jumping into bodies of water, sending postcards, and adding lemon to every single one of her dishes.