If we're being a little honest, some meals taste a lot better when they’re fried. A frying pan, sometimes known as a sauté or skillet pan, is probably one of the most versatile cookware pieces in the kitchen. You can use the best pan for deep frying gyoza to sear steaks, prepare pancakes and burgers or even sauté vegetables and so much more.
Selecting the ideal fryer pan will depend on factors such as how many people you'll regularly feed, how much maintenance you can take on, etc. Some people prefer using a dedicated pan, others prefer a wok, while others like going the dutch oven way while deep-frying. Bottom line, a deep fryer pan should be wide and have a stocky bottom to help avoid burning the food.
There's an endless list of the different types of frying pans in the market. The best performance frying pans fall under three main categories, which include:
- Iron pans - they are highly durable but much harder to maintain
- Non-stick pans- they are easy to maintain but a lot less durable
- Stainless steel - popularly used by the pros but relatively harder to use
If you’re out scavenging for the best deep-frying pan in the market for your kitchen, here's a list of the best deep-frying pans.
The Best Pan for Deep-Frying
1. Solidteknics 26cm AUS-ION Seamless Iron Skillet
- 10" Skillet With Smooth Finish by AUS-ION is 100% made in Sydney from 3mm Australian Iron; even heating and no warping; healthy, durable,...
- Seamless, one-piece, rivet-free construction; easy to clean and more hygienic; total length 20", skillet bowl 10" diameter & 2" deep
- Naturally pre-seasoned for a healthy nonstick option; ready to use, no stripping required; suitable for use at high heat with any heat...
- Ergonomic, wide and concave handle is more comfortable to use with better control and less hand fatigue; generous venting in neck reduces...
- To clean: use wooden utensil or steel wool to lightly scrape pan under hot running water; dry thoroughly; do not use soap; new pans will...
This wrought-iron skillet is remarkably impressive. Unlike other pans, the Solidteknics iron skillet has been forged with a single metal layer, meaning it has no rivets or weak points. Simply put, it is indestructible, which is probably AUS-ION confidently give you the multi-century warranty.
The pan feels a little heavy at 2kg; therefore, it is not one you'd casually use to toss pancakes on.
The handle comes with a well-placed groove for the cook's thumb. And more importantly, it has a webbed design on the handle that prevents heat from being conducted through the metallic handle and burning your hand.
Since they are made from iron, the AUS-ION skillet will need a little more maintenance. Before using it, you should season it with enough oil (flax is most recommended), which gives the pan a natural non-stick surface. This will take a few hours, at least. The process includes smearing a thin layer of oil on the pan, place it in the oven at maximum heat for a full 90 minutes, take the pan out, let it air cool, and repeat the process. The gold colour it came in soon turns black and greasy.
It cooks brilliantly even under heavy heat. The iron pan scorches the bottom of the meat, giving your fried chicken a heavenly caramelised char, and the non-stick surface means your juicy steak leaves the pan clean once you're done cooking.
After seasoning, the pans are low maintenance, meaning you can comfortably use any utensils while cooking without the fear of scraping off any nasty chemicals. For example, you can even use metallic spatulas.
To clean, simply run the pan under hot water while scraping off any food remnants. Note that using soap or detergents, and scouring pads, may end up eroding the non-stick patina you've created. When dry, reapply the thin layer of oil.
2. Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet
- 14 GAUGE CARBON STEEL heats quickly and retains heat for even cooking; best for searing and browning
- Use on gas, electric, induction stovetops, outdoor grills or open fire
- Seasoned with oil for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use. Its lightweight design and long, comfortable handle makes it...
- Easy care: hand wash, dry immediately, rub with cooking oil
- Made in USA; Approx. 12" diameter rim to rim/9.875" bottom
If the cast iron pan is a little too heavy for your liking, the Lodge carbon steel pan is a great alternative. This carbon skillet is made of a carbon and steel alloy, mixed in slightly different ratios. It gives off the same level of heat but with a much lighter and thinner construction.
This carbon steel skillet comes pre-seasoned out of the box, so it's ready for use. The surface top gets better with time and use. The pan doesn’t have the traditional non-stick coating, but as the seasoning builds, the deep-frying skillet develops a non-stick layer while the rough surface slightly smoothens out.
The handle attached to the pan's body has three rivets in a fixed triangle, so you can be confident it will durably stay firm. The 12-inch seasoned carbon skillet size is enough to cook for a crowd. You can confidently use the pan on every cooking top, including induction burners, a campfire, or even a BBQ grill.
This pan is durable enough to last a lifetime, just like a cast iron deep-frying skillet with proper care and maintenance.
Although the pan may look like something that a forty-niner would pack on his mule while on his way to pan gold, the ruggedness does well to complement any interior decor theme, from industrial chic to country.
Bottom line, if you love cast iron, you will definitely love the Lodge seasoned carbon steel skillet because it gives you the same non-stick ability and even heating but with less mass. It heats up a lot faster, too.
3. Scanpan CTX 26cm Non-stick Deep Fry Pan
- 5-layer cast aluminum
- Polished 18/10 stainless steel exterior
- Ceramic-titanium PFOA-free nonstick
- Riveted stainless steel handle
- Will not warp, peel, blister or crack
'Non-stick' pan loosely describes a pan that has one of the two types of non-stick coating:
- Teflon - a form of plastic with non-stick capacity
- Ceramic - a natural, mineral coating that is non-stick and hard, but also more fragile
A non-stick pan is sold ready to use, meaning you don't need to pre-season it, and it should still retain its sleek cook surface throughout multiple uses.
The Scanpan CTX is a patented, high-tech pan created from a ceramic-titanium compound. Ceramic has a natural non-stick capacity, while titanium is naturally hard. Hence, the combination of the two gives you a sleek, slippery cook surface that is non-stick and durable. Scanpan further adds an extra non-stick layer which is protected from scratches or chipping by the ceramic-titanium construction.
The sturdily built pan has a Mohs score of 9.5, meaning it's almost as indestructible as diamond. The pan has five layers;
- A stainless steel exterior for durability
- 3 layers of aluminium for even heat conduction and distribution
- 1 layer of stainless steel on the bottom surface
It gives a sturdy feel with firm rivets and a hefty base. Most importantly, the Scanpan skillet is built to withstand more heat than most non-stick pans can. For instance, it's oven-safe at 260C, whereas most are limited at 175C. It weighs 1.39kg, so it's a little heavier than most non-stick pans but still lighter than most cast iron deep fryers.
Using liquid wash soap is fine, but you wouldn't need to. Overall, it makes a sturdy, sleek deep fryer that is easy to clean, makes crispy deep-fried foods that you can try different recipes with.
4. Joyce Chen 22-0060 Flat-Bottom Carbon Steel Wok
- Large traditional wok with lightweight composition and helper handle for better maneuverability
- Heats evenly to prevent scorching and cook stir frys evenly
- 1.8mm heavy-duty carbon steel gauge can handle high temps up to 500 degrees
- Oven safe up to 350 degrees with the removable resin handles attached
- Season the uncoated surface often to get the most life and flavor out of your wok
Many chefs would recommend a wok as one of the best pans for deep-frying. Deep-frying may not be its primary purpose, but woks actually work great for deep-frying foods. The inclined sides, the huge opening, and the flat bottom allow consistency even in home cooks, even when deep-frying.
The Joyce Chen wok is made out of carbon steel, which is becoming quite popular in deep-frying pans and skillets. It evenly conducts heat and is much lighter than cast iron. The wok is a great deep fryer due to its flat bottom, slanting sides, and a wide opening diameter of 14 inches. This makes it ideal even as you cook for a whole crowd or family.
It has a long, dual-riveted phenolic handle that retains cool even while you cook over the stovetop. It has an additional handle on the alternating side for easy handling as you cook. Like cast iron, the wok needs to be regularly seasoned, and it is not dishwasher-safe.
5. All-Clad 4114 Stainless Steel Fry Pan
- 14-Inch fry pan with wide flat base and versatile low-profile shape
- 3-ply bonded construction consists of durable stainless steel encapsulating an aluminum core for even heating throughout
- Highly polished cooking surface with starburst finish offers stick resistance and easy maintenance, plus won’t react with food
- Contoured stainless-steel handles permanently secured with stainless-steel rivets; capacity etched on base
When it comes to fry pans, and you need to cook for the whole family, you need a fry pan with a lot more space that can still deep-fry foods for different recipes. The All-Clad 14-inch stainless steel fry pan will give you enough room to sizzle up burgers or deep fry pork chops or steaks for the whole family. The stainless steel surface interior gives it all a great sear.
It has a polished starburst pattern on the cooking surface to prevent the food from sticking, while the flared sides make tossing foods easy like a pro chef. This large fry pan is oven safe and broiler-safe as well, going up to 600 degrees. This means you can safely start cooking on the stovetop and then transfer it to the oven. It has an aluminium core on its bottom and on its sides that is totally covered with a durable stainless steel layer for quick, even heating. It is easy to manually clean by hand and is dishwasher safe as well.
Factors to Consider to Buy the Best Pan for Deep-Frying
The type of material that makes your fryer pan will determine the fryer pan heat retention, weight, maximum heat capacity, deep-frying results, and stovetop compatibility. If you want a pan that will ideally hold very high heat that is especially useful when deep-frying foods, for that great crispy sear on a steak, you should consider getting either carbon steel, cast iron, or stainless steel.
Pans made of aluminium are generally lighter but won't retain heat much. On the other hand, non-stick pans a great choice for frying eggs or food that stick on the bottom. They are easy to clean up but are generally not recommended for cooking on high heat due to the non-stick coating. If you want induction-compatible cookware, make sure to check on the manufacturer's specifications.
Fry pans come in different sizes, from the 4.75-inch pans that are great for frying one egg to the generously sized 14-inch pans that are ideal for cooking family-sized portions. If you want to get one pan to start with, go for one that is a little deep and between 8-10 inches. This size is perfect for cooking deep-fried chicken breast or two, turning up fluffy scrambled eggs, or sauteing vegetables.
If you regularly cook large-sized crowd portions, you might want to go for a dutch oven. The dutch oven size is ideal for large portions and is versatile enough to try other recipes and deep fry food.
Cast iron fry pans generally need seasoning to keep the non-stick layer. Some need to be pre-seasoned right out of the box before using, while others come already pre-seasoned.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Pan for Deep-Frying Food
1. How do I season a cast iron or carbon steel fry pan?
Carbon steel and cast iron require similar maintenance and care. First, remove any protective coating it comes with, then put a thin layer of vegetable oil on it. Put it in a 300-degree oven for one hour. Then remove it and wipe the excess oil.
2. How do I clean a fry pan after deep-frying?
Cleaning your deep fryer pan largely depends on what it is made of. However, the rule of thumb for most cookware is to clean off any food debris right away. After which, you can either hand wash it or put it into a dishwasher if it is dishwasher-safe. Cast iron deep fryer pans require a little more special care.