Don’t cheap out on your basic frying pans. This is the place to spend a little extra dough for good quality. There’s nothing worse than a frying pan than heats unevenly, burns your food, and is so thin that it warps and has to be replaced after only a few months of use.
I recommend stainless steel because it’s durable and easy to care for. An inner layer of aluminum also improves the heat conduction so the pan heats up and cools down faster. The All-Clad Master Chef 2 frying pans are as good as it gets. They use two layers of sturdy stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core that heats up quickly, holds heat, and spreads it evenly across the base.
Do not get uncoated aluminum pans. It can react with acidic foods like tomatoes, wine, or citrus. Stainless pans are the ones you want for pan searing meats before roasting or braising, or for cooking things like medallions of pork or chicken cutlets, and then turning the brown bits in the pan into a fabulous pan sauce.
Spotlight on our favorite products
Big. Bold. Flavor.
Introduce big, bold flavor to your BBQ and grilling creations thanks to the Meathead’s Amazing line of pork, red meat, and poultry rubs as well as a KC-style BBQ sauce. Click here to read more and to purchase.
– THIS IS NOT AN AD –
The All-Clad pans pans have nicely sloped sides so you can practice flipping food with a flick of the wrist, and the handles are riveted on permanently. The pans can go into the oven or on the grill, but beware, they get hot. You’ll need to use a potholder or folded kitchen towel. I recommend getting two basic sizes: the 8 inch All-Clad Master Chef 2 Fry Pan for cooking small quantities of food and the 12 inch for searing a couple pork chops at a time or sauteing a big pile of onions.
Note that these pans are not cheap, but they will last a lifetime. Although they are dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended and will extend their life. From the date of purchase, All-Clad guarantees to repair or replace any item found defective in material, construction or workmanship under normal use and following care instructions.
Now, of course, stainless steel pans are not completely nonstick. If you’ve ever cooked eggs in one, you know. For cooking more delicate foods, I also like to keep on hand two nonstick pans in the exact same sizes, 8 inch and 12 inch. But go cheap. All nonstick surfaces eventually scratch and wear off, despite the manufacturer’s claims. I buy cheap nonstick pans and throw them away every five years or so. Get them at your supermarket. Go for the heaviest ones you can find with sloped sides which makes it easier to fold and slide out an omelet. Check the way the handle is attached. They are usually screwed on, but riveted handles are better. Either way, make sure it’s sturdy.
All-Clad 8 Inch Stainless Steel Frying Pan
Where to buy (buying from this supplier supports this website):
Meathead, BBQ Hall of Famer - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat-controlled oven. Click here for our review of this superb smoker.
The Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’. Click here to read our detailed review.
High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!
Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.
Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.
Post comments and questions below
1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.
2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.
3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.
4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.
5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.