If you're looking to pep up your kitchen, you might want to invest in a quality stainless steel skillet. This is an excellent vessel to cook everything from meats to veggies. You can pan roast and fry meat and veggies and make simple pan-based sauces in seconds. But how do you choose the best stainless steel pan? What are the key factors to consider? We will learn all of that and more in the following few sections.
What We Look for in a Great Stainless-Steel Skillet
Very often, we struggle to select the best stainless steel skillet. With so many excellent skillets out there, it is certainly difficult to pick the perfect fit. However, you can always filter your options depending on some specific factors. In this section, we will discuss the factors you need to consider while choosing a quality stainless steel skillet.
Understand the type
When you search for a stainless steel skillet, you will probably find multiple options across all kinds of price ranges and specifications. Some of these skillets come with only one layer of aluminum coating under the external stainless-steel layer, while others will come with five different internal coatings for more stability and maneuverability. While exploring your options, try to choose something with multiple coatings because of the obvious benefits. These pans also ensure a better and more even level of heating that helps cook your food properly.
Look for side handles
If you're looking to cook some heavy meals on your skillet, look for products with the extra helper's handle. This handle is an unbelievably useful benefit, and it helps carry your food with more ease. You might also want to look for products with a lid as they keep your food safe and protected for the longest time!
Even though certain skillets are designed to be used on gas, you will find others with gas and induction compatibility. If you want to make the most of your skillet, you would want a pan that has this dual compatibility.
Test Your Skillet
To ensure the maximum usability of your skillet, you would want to test them. One of the first tests is related to the device's responsiveness. The idea is simple: you want to find out if the pan is responsive enough. Typically, this is assessed by checking if the pan can evenly cook food in high heat. This is especially relevant when you are pan-frying meat and veggies or whipping up a quick sauce. You don't want a lumpy sauce only because the pan cannot cool quickly enough when you set it away from the fire. Neither would you want a pan that doesn't cook your food evenly due to improper heat distribution.
To perform this test, you need to fill all the participating skillets with water. Make sure the water is at room temperature. Next, set your pan on any consistent source of heat and time it. Check how fast the water boils in each of the pans. The final step would be to remove the pan or skillet from the heat source and time their cooling period.
When you finally review the results, you will find most of the skillets performing the same way. However, you will also notice the difference in a couple of seconds. Ideally, the best stainless steel skillet will boil water within a time window of 15 seconds (+/- 5 seconds).
Even though this is an excellent way to test your skillet, it shouldn't be the only test that your skillet undergoes. In addition to the responsiveness test, you also need to check the results from the Evenness test.
How does the evenness test work?
To perform the evenness test, you would want to spread a semi-liquid mix on every skillet and check how fast they cook. This can be any mixture ranging from pancakes to crepes. As you observe the pancakes/crepes forming, check their evenness with a spoon or a fork. At this point, you will find certain crepes forming more air bubbles than the others. Contrary to many, this isn't an indicator of uneven heating.
To check the evenness of your final pancake/crepe, you want to check the brown areas. Does the final product have an even brownness, or do you find the brown areas in patches? If the browning is uneven or even lopsided, there is a high possibility that the skillet doesn't heat evenly. The best skillets will ensure even browning on the final product.
This is yet another excellent way to test your skillets and pans. This offers proper clarity and confirms if your pan/skillet is of good quality. You do not want a pan that is either extremely heavy or extremely light. What you want is a perfect weight balance that provides even heating for your food items.
You would also want to check the quality of the handles. You do not want handles with bad grip. So, hold the handle and check if it is comfortable and sturdy enough. Usually, shorter individuals tend to prefer handles that do not feature any tall arcs from the pan. Alternatively, taller individuals would prefer the arced bit around the handles.
You also want to toss different types of food to check how the skillet performs in cooking or heating them. The more you experiment, the better you would understand the products and their feasibility. So, make sure you get a chance to do that before investing in the product.
Actual cooking tests
While the parameters mentioned above are certainly useful in selecting the best stainless steel pan, you also want to try a bunch of real cooking tests to assess the true proficiency of the product. One of the easiest ways to do this is by pan roasting your meat with skin on. Chicken or turkey breasts can serve as an excellent starting point. Once you're done cooking the meat, cook some veggies on the skillet. You also want some tossing and stirring action to judge the product's overall competence and efficiency.
You want a pan that perfectly sears your meat and cooks your veggies evenly. Next, you would also want to check the deglazing abilities of the product. A quality stainless steel skillet or pan will always help deglaze sauces quickly. So, this is yet another underlining feature you need to consider.
This is an excellent 12" stainless steel pan that makes cooking a tad simpler. Whether you're looking to whip up eggs, sauté vegetables, toss meats, or anything in between- this device will certainly meet your requirements. Thanks to its exceptional heat retention capacity, your food is evenly cooked, and practically nothing will stick to your pan.
The product comes with a solid 304 stainless steel coating. If you didn't already know, this is significantly better and even healthier when compared to non-stick pans. The surface will be completely unaffected by the type of food, and because the material is non-porous, the color of your food won't change either.
We also loved the great design of the product. Unlike leading pans, this one comes with a comfortable handle that offers the best grip. What's more, the handle will be perfectly cool even when you are whipping up piping hot food on stovetops. The design is also compact, meaning you can accommodate the pan anywhere.
The final and biggest highlight of the product is that it is fully compatible with induction cooking or any other type of stovetop. You can also conveniently use this pan in the oven.
Overall, this is a great product, which is also affordable and low-maintenance.
12" Hammered Stainless Clad Frying Pan
This is another exceptionally powerful cookware from the range of imarku. The product is specially designed for high heat cooking, and thanks to its superior aluminum coating, it ensures even heating and full durability.
As with the previous product, this one features a comfortable handle that also gives you a solid grip. To add to that, you have the multifunctional capacity of the cookware that helps you use it on a wide range of stovetops.
The design is unique, and it leverages the classic techniques of handcrafting. This is an excellent attribute because it ensures the product's elegance and makes way for better-cooked meals.
As with other products from the line of imarku, this one is easy to clean. All you need to do is create a mix of water and detergent and then use it to clean the pan. The device is also dishwasher safe and thus completely ideal for your modern home.
Choosing the best stainless steel skillet is not easy. However, when you consider the right factors and test the products well, you will certainly end up with the best from the lot! To make your job simpler, we tested numerous pans and skillets before zeroing in on our featured products. So, if you are looking to enjoy easy, hassle-free cooking, follow our guidelines or choose our recommended products. Either way, you will leave with the best stainless steel pan that is stylish, sleek, and incredibly functional.