Which Frying Pans Are Best?

10" Frying Pan & Skillet | ETERNA Non-Stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong with it's glass lid.10" Frying Pan & Skillet | ETERNA Non-Stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

The perfect frying pan is the culinary Holy Grail, and your prize for finding it is the ability to effortlessly flip pancakes, perfectly sear a steak, and scramble eggs like a pro. But with the plethora of options out there, how does one choose the best skillet for culinary success? We're about to embark on a sizzling adventure to uncover the secrets of the best frying pans for your cookware collection.

1. Why You Need Good Frying Pans

12" Frying Pan & Skillet | Silver | Oberon Series | Dalstrong beside it's lid.12" Frying Pan & Skillet | Silver | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

If you've ever been a slovenly twenty-something who thinks having a single, cheap frying pan is good enough, then you're probably also familiar with that incredible epiphany that comes over you when you realize how much easier life gets when you get a really good frying pan. And if you're not, we're here to tell you about it.

A great frying pan opens a bunch of doors you never even knew were shut. A great frying pan has a lot of versatility as well as many nuances that make them indispensable tools in the kitchen. A well-chosen frying pan is a linchpin in preparing a wide array of dishes, because of course, a good frying pan is a multifaceted tool that (figuratively) wears many hats. In cooking techniques ranging from searing and sautéing to simmering and beyond, a good frying pan is right there for you.

Finding a really good frying pan

Imagine trying to flip a pancake and it sticks, tears, or, worse, lands anywhere but your plate. Or consider the frustration of attempting to sear a piece of salmon to perfection, only to find it welded to the bottom of your pan. These culinary mishaps are not just minor inconveniences; they can turn cooking from a joy into a chore. 

This is where the magic of a good frying pan comes into play. With the right pan, food not only cooks more evenly but also releases effortlessly, making cooking feel less like a battle and more like a dance.

Versatility at its best

Good frying pans come in a variety of materials and sizes, and each of them offer their own particular benefits. For instance, nonstick fry pans are celebrated for their convenience and ease of use, especially when cooking sticky or delicate foods like eggs or fish. Thanks to the slick surface of a ceramic nonstick fry pan, you can slide down an omelet with ease. 

On the other hand, carbon steel pans excel in tasks requiring high heat, such as achieving that ideal sear on a steak, showcasing their unparalleled ability to withstand and distribute heat evenly.

Indispensable for every cook

Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef, the right frying pan can elevate your cooking. A stainless steel skillet can be your best friend when you’re aiming for a golden-brown crust on your chicken breast, thanks to its superb heat distribution. 

For those who enjoy the convenience of modern technology, induction compatible pans are a godsend, making cooking faster and more energy-efficient.

A lifetime of culinary adventures

Okay, this is a big one. A really good frying pan is going to last. You're not going to be throwing it away after a few months. If anything, you'll grow together in the kitchen.

Investing in a high-quality frying pan means investing in a tool that can last a lifetime. Consider the enameled cast iron skillet, which not only improves with age but can also be passed down through generations, becoming a cherished heirloom and a repository of family culinary traditions.

Making cooking fun

Ultimately, the right frying pan makes cooking a joy. It becomes about the experience of creating something delicious and sharing it with others (even if it's just your cat for now). With every flip, stir, and sauté, a good pan becomes an extension of your hand, transforming raw ingredients into mouth-watering meals.

In the end, the quest for the perfect frying pan is deeply personal. The main goal is to find a pan that fits your cooking style and preferences, as well as the everyday needs of your kitchen. Whether it's the lightweight agility of an anodized ceramic pan, the rustic charm of a blue carbon steel frying pan, or the sleek efficiency of a 12-inch stainless steel fry pan, the right choice can turn the act of cooking into an art form. So, take the time to choose wisely, and let your frying pan unlock a world of culinary possibilities.

2. What To Consider When Buying The Best Frying Pans

12" Sauté Frying Pan | ETERNA Non-stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong beside a dalstrong cutting board.12" Sauté Frying Pan | ETERNA Non-stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

So now you know you need a good frying pan. How do we find them? What do we need? Well, the first thing you need is a keen eye for detail. If you don't have that, our suggestion is that you find a friend or loved one who can help you out. You also need a clear understanding of your cooking needs. 

Understanding your cooking surface

The surface on which you cook can greatly influence the type of frying pan you should choose. For those with traditional gas stoves, options are broad, but if you're using an induction cooktop, you'll need a pan with a magnetic base to ensure compatibility. Similarly, electric ranges might require pans with a flat bottom for optimal contact and heat distribution. 

The right pan will act as a bridge between your cooking surface and your culinary aspirations, ensuring no recipe is off-limits due to technical mismatches.

Heat distribution matters

Even cooking is the hallmark of a great dish, whether it's achieving the perfect golden crust on a piece of fish or cooking a pancake through without burning the edges. A pan that guarantees uniform heat distribution ensures that every inch of its surface is equally primed for cooking, eliminating hot spots that can lead to uneven cooking. This trait is particularly crucial for dishes requiring precise temperature control, making it a top consideration in your selection process.

Compatibility beyond the stove

Your cooking adventures may sometimes lead you from the stovetop directly to the oven. Hence, looking for frying pans that are oven safe opens up a realm of culinary possibilities, from finishing a thick steak to perfection in the oven to crafting a delicate frittata. Additionally, for those embracing the efficiency of induction cooking, finding induction-compatible pans is non-negotiable. These features ensure that your pan is not just a one-trick pony but a versatile tool in your culinary arsenal.

The cleaning conundrum

12" Sauté Frying Pan | ETERNA Non-stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong in front of a dalstrong cutting board.12" Sauté Frying Pan | ETERNA Non-stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

Let's face it, no one signs up for culinary endeavors to spend hours at the sink. Ease of cleaning is a critical factor in choosing the right frying pan. Nonstick surfaces promise a swift cleanup, allowing you to transition from cooking to enjoying your meal with minimal delay. However, the choice of material (which we'll delve into more deeply in the next section) can also influence the cleaning process, with some pans requiring more specific care than others to maintain their condition and functionality over time.

Aesthetics and ergonomics

While functionality reigns supreme, the look and feel of your frying pan hold considerable weight. A pan that matches your kitchen's aesthetic can make the cooking process more enjoyable, while ergonomics play a pivotal role in handling and maneuverability. A comfortable grip, balanced weight, and a handle that stays cool on the stovetop can transform your cooking experience from laborious to effortless.

Longevity and investment

Finally, consider your frying pan an investment in your culinary future. Quality pans might come with a higher price tag at the time of purchase, but their durability and performance can offer unparalleled value over time. Assessing warranties, brand reputation, and reviews can guide you towards a pan that not only meets your immediate needs but also stands as a culinary companion for years to come.

Selecting the best frying pan is a nuanced decision. It involves considering how the pan will integrate with your cooking habits, kitchen equipment, and culinary ambitions. Keep these factors in mind and you'll be able to find a key player in your culinary journey that will influence the quality, ease, and enjoyment of your cooking experiences.

3. Frying Pan Materials: Which Frying Pans Are Best For Your Cooking?

12" Sauté Frying Pan | Hammered Finish Black | Avalon Series | Dalstrong on top of a wooden table.12" Sauté Frying Pan | Hammered Finish Black | Avalon Series | Dalstrong

Diving into the world of frying pan materials can be intimidating. All this talk about various types of steel, heat retention, conductivity… It can be overwhelming for someone who simply wants a hot surface on which to make pancakes. But it's important to be informed about what these tools are actually made of, as each material offers unique benefits and quirks, catering to different cooking styles, preferences, and dishes. 

Understanding the nuances of these materials can enhance your cooking experience and make you a better cook. It can also equip you with the knowledge you need to choose a pan that aligns perfectly with your culinary endeavors.

Nonstick pans

Nonstick pans have revolutionized the cooking world, offering unparalleled convenience and ease of use. They're the heroes of the morning breakfast rush, allowing pancakes and eggs to glide onto plates with minimal effort and cleanup. Pans like the Zwilling Madura Plus have set the standard with their durable, high-quality nonstick surfaces that stand up to daily use without faltering. 

Dalstrong makes amazing, top-quality pans such as the Dalstrong Oberon 12" Eterna Non-stick Frying Pan & Skillet which use the ETERNA nonstick coating. This type of coasting outlasts traditional non-stick surfaces with a PFOA and APEO free surface.

Carbon steel and cast iron

For those who revel in the art of cooking, carbon steel and cast iron skillets are the materials of choice. These pans excel in heat retention and distribution, making them ideal for searing meats and vegetables to perfection. Their ability to withstand and maintain high temperatures ensures a beautifully crisp exterior while keeping the inside succulent and juicy. 

While these pans do require a bit more care—seasoning to maintain their nonstick properties and prevent rust—they reward your efforts with depth of flavor unmatched by other materials. Plus, their induction compatibility makes them versatile additions to any kitchen, bridging traditional and modern cooking methods.

Stainless steel

12" Sauté Frying Pan | Hammered Finish Silver | Avalon Series | Dalstrong on a stove top12" Sauté Frying Pan | Hammered Finish Silver | Avalon Series | Dalstrong

Stainless steel skillets are the unsung heroes of the culinary world, prized for their durability and versatility. Unlike nonstick pans, they're perfect for high-heat techniques like searing and deglazing, adding a rich, complex flavor to dishes. Brands such as All-Clad D3 Stainless are renowned for their exceptional quality, offering pans that feature a core of aluminum or copper sandwiched between layers of stainless steel. 

This construction optimizes heat distribution, allowing for even cooking without hot spots. Stainless steel pans are also oven safe, making them ideal for dishes that start on the stove and finish in the oven, broadening your culinary repertoire.

Copper frying pans

Copper pans are admired for their awesome heat conductivity and control, allowing for precise temperature adjustments. This responsiveness makes them ideal for sauces and foods requiring delicate heat management. 

However, copper pans often come with a higher price tag and require a bit more maintenance to keep their lustrous appearance and prevent oxidation. They may not be induction compatible without a special base, but for culinary enthusiasts who value precision and performance, copper frying pans are a worthy investment.

Ceramic nonstick

Ceramic nonstick pans offer a non-toxic alternative for those wary of traditional nonstick coatings. These pans are usually made from a base of metal that is then coated with a silica-based gel, creating a nonstick surface without the use of chemicals. They're known for their easy cleanup and even heating, though they tend to be less durable than their PTFE and PFOA counterparts. Ideal for low to medium heat cooking, ceramic nonstick pans are perfect for health-conscious cooks looking to minimize fat without sacrificing convenience.

The choice of frying pan material is a hugely important consideration  that can affect not only the outcome of your dishes but also your overall cooking experience. Whether you prioritize ease of cleaning, health concerns, heat retention, or flavor development, there's a pan material that's tailored to your needs. 

From the effortless convenience of nonstick and ceramic coatings to the rugged charm of cast iron and carbon steel, and the dependable performance of stainless steel to the precise control offered by copper, the right frying pan is out there waiting to become the cornerstone of your culinary adventures. With the proper care, it'll be by your side for years to come.

Read about the 10 stylish ways to store your pans, here.

4. Must-Have Dalstrong Frying Pans

1. 12" Sauté Frying Pan | Silver | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

12" Sauté Frying Pan | Silver | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

Let's talk about the Dalstrong Oberon Series frying pan. First off, it heats up fast and cooks evenly, making it a dream for everything from searing a juicy steak to flipping the fluffiest omelettes. The secret is in its 3-ply aluminum core hugged by layers of tough 18/10 stainless steel. It's built to last, so much so that you might be passing it down a generation or two.

But here's where it really shines: its versatility. This pan doesn't care what stove you've got - gas, electric, induction - it works with them all and is oven and broiler safe up to a scorching 600 degrees F. Plus, it's a cinch to clean and won't release any nasty chemicals into your food because it's PFOA and PTFE free. And, it comes with a lifetime warranty. Sounds like Dalstrong is pretty confident in this pan, right?


  • Quick to heat and nails that even cooking across the board, saving you from those hot spots that can ruin a good meal.
  • Tough as nails but still manages to look sleek on your stovetop - and it's ready to take on any stove you've got.
  • Cleaning is a breeze, plus it's safe for practically everywhere - oven, broiler, dishwasher, even the freezer for some reason.
  • Health-conscious? This pan is too. No PFOA or PTFE to worry about here.


  • It's a bit heftier than your average pan. Might take some getting used to if you're all about those feather-light pans.
  • Quality comes at a price. It's an investment, but think of it as buying peace of mind (and some seriously good meals).

2. 12" Frying Pan & Skillet | Silver | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

12" Frying Pan & Skillet | Silver | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

Here's another entry from Dalstrong's Oberon Series. This pan is designed to sprinkle a little bit of that magic onto your cooking routine. It's the kind of pan that feels right at home on your stove, whether you're searing a steak to perfection or gently cooking eggs to fluffy perfection. With its 3-ply aluminum core and extra layers of 18/10 stainless steel, it's made for the long haul and ensures everything cooks up nice and even.

So, how does it stack up against the sauté pan we talked about before? Well, they share a lot of the same great features, but this skillet is a bit more about the everyday versatility - think of it as your go-to for just about everything.


  • Stellar at heating quickly and cooking evenly. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it's got you covered.
  • Built to last with that tough cladding technology, meaning you won't be shopping for a replacement anytime soon.
  • Just like its sibling, it's ready for any stove top and is a breeze to clean up after.
  • Health and safety first – no PFOA or PTFE in sight, making your cooking worry-free.


  • If you're used to lighter pans, this one's medium-weight might take a little getting used to.
  • It's an investment, just like the sauté pan. Quality doesn't come cheap, but it's worth every penny for the durability and performance you get.

3. 12" Sauté Frying Pan | Hammered Finish Black | Avalon Series

12" Sauté Frying Pan | Hammered Finish Black | Avalon Series | Dalstrong

Alright, let’s switch gears and talk about Dalstrong’s Avalon Series, particularly their 12" Sauté Frying Pan with that eye-catching hammered finish in black. This pan boasts a 5-ply copper forged foundation that promises not just to heat your food but to do it with the finesse of a professional chef. Quick heating, even cooking, and the kind of responsiveness to temperature changes that can make or break delicate dishes are what this pan is all about.

So, how does it stand up against the Oberon Series? While the Oberon pans focus on durability and non-stick technology, the Avalon brings in the big guns with its copper core, providing unparalleled heat conductivity. Let’s break it down:


  • That copper core heats up so fast and so evenly, you’d think it was doing the cooking for you. Premium conductivity that leaves iron and stainless steel in the dust.
  • The pan's responsiveness to temperature changes gives you the control you need, whether you’re searing, sautéing, or simmering. It’s like having a dial for precision cooking.
  • Not only does it perform like a dream, but it also looks the part. The hammered finish isn’t just for show; it adds texture and depth to your kitchen aesthetic.
  • It’s built like a tank with a 2.5mm thickness that can handle the heat without warping or denting, plus it's safe for practically every cooking environment - oven, broiler, even the dishwasher.


  • If you’re not into the extra attention it needs because of the copper, this might not be your forever pan. Copper is fantastic for heat but does require a bit more love to keep it looking and performing its best.
  • The hammered finish and luxurious design might have you treating this pan more like a showpiece than a workhorse, which would be a shame given its capabilities.

4. 12" Frying Pan & Skillet | ETERNA Non-stick | Oberon Series

12" Frying Pan & Skillet | ETERNA Non-stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

If the previous pans were all about durability and versatility, this one adds a layer of non-stick wizardry into the mix. Imagine the same high-quality, 3-ply aluminum core and stainless steel combo that's built to last, but with a non-stick surface that's off the charts in terms of longevity and performance. The ETERNA coating on this bad boy is said to outlast traditional non-stick surfaces by leaps and bounds, making sticky, stuck-on disasters a thing of the past.

Comparing it to its siblings, the ETERNA non-stick version steps up the game in ease of cooking and cleaning, offering a slick surface that's hard to match. Let's dive into what makes it stand out, and maybe where it doesn't shine as bright as you'd expect.


  • The ETERNA non-stick coating is a game-changer, boasting longevity 26 times longer than its closest competitors, which means eggs sliding off your pan today, tomorrow, and years from now.
  • Designed with the same attention to detail as the rest of the Oberon series, offering quick heating, even cooking, and a durable build that's meant to last.
  • Just like its siblings, it's ready for any heat source and can go from stovetop to oven (up to 500 degrees F) without breaking a sweat.
  • It sticks to the Dalstrong promise of being free from harmful chemicals, offering a healthier cooking experience with its PFOA and APEO free surface.


  • While the ETERNA coating is its biggest sell, if you're a fan of developing a pan's patina and the flavors that come with it, you might miss out on that with this non-stick wonder.
  • It's so good at being non-stick that you might have to adjust your cooking style, especially if you're used to a bit of sticking for searing or sauce-making.

5. 10" Frying Pan & Skillet | ETERNA Non-Stick | Oberon Series

10" Frying Pan & Skillet | ETERNA Non-Stick | Oberon Series | Dalstrong

This pan packs a serious punch in a more compact size. It's outfitted with the same top-of-the-line ETERNA non-stick coating you've heard about, ensuring your cooking experiences are nothing short of magical. This pan is all about bringing high performance to smaller batches of food, making it perfect for those intimate dinners or when you're cooking for one.

So, how does it stack up against its 12" counterparts? While it offers many of the same benefits – durability, exceptional heat distribution, and a chemical-free cooking surface – its size brings a few unique advantages to the table.


  • Its compact size means it heats up even quicker, making it perfect for those times when you're in a hurry to get breakfast or dinner going.
  • The smaller footprint doesn't just mean it's great for cooking smaller portions; it's also a cinch to store, especially in tighter kitchen spaces.
  • Don't let its size fool you; this pan still boasts the same ETERNA non-stick surface, meaning cleanup is just as easy, whether you're cooking a single egg or a couple of chicken breasts.
  • It's just as versatile and robust as its larger siblings, with the ability to go from stovetop to oven (up to 500 degrees F), and it's safe for all types of stovetops, including induction.


  • If you're used to cooking larger meals, you might find its size a bit limiting. It's perfect for singles or couples, but for family-sized meals, you'll be reaching for something larger.
  • With its professional-grade handle and construction, you're getting a pan that's built for serious cooking; however, the maneuverability for those quick, wrist-flicking cooking techniques might feel different due to its compact design.

5. Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of frying pan is best?

The best type of frying pan depends on your cooking needs. Nonstick pans are great for low-fat cooking and easy cleanup, carbon steel and cast iron excel at high-heat cooking and flavor building, and stainless steel is versatile for various cooking methods.

What type of frying pan is healthiest?

Ceramic nonstick pans are often touted as the healthiest option, as they are free from PTFE and PFOA, chemicals commonly used in traditional nonstick coatings.

Is ceramic better than nonstick?

Ceramic offers a health-conscious nonstick option without the chemicals found in traditional nonstick coatings. However, traditional nonstick pans often offer better durability and performance for low to medium heat cooking.

What kind of frying pans do most chefs use?

Most chefs prefer carbon steel or cast iron skillets for their versatility and ability to withstand high temperatures, making them ideal for searing and oven finishing. Stainless steel pans are also a staple in professional kitchens due to their durability and heat retention.

In the world of cookware, finding the perfect frying pan is a bit like finding the right life partner: it takes some searching, but once you find the right one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Whether you opt for nonstick convenience, the rugged charm of cast iron, the sleek versatility of stainless steel, or the responsive heat of copper, the right pan will not only improve your cooking but might just make you fall in love with the process all over again. So, arm yourself with knowledge, head to your nearest cookware store or fry pan at Amazon, and may the best pan win your heart.


Witten by Jorge Farah
Born on the coast of Colombia and based in Buenos Aires, Jorge is a cooking enthusiast and kitchenware obsessive with a tremendous amount of opinions.

Which Frying Pans Are Best?

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