Pan-frying, stir-frying, browning, searing, and sautéing – all these cooking techniques have two things in common. One, they add coloration and flavors in many delicious dishes, and second, they require high heat.
This brings us to an important question: which pans are suitable and safe for high-heat cooking?
Certain types of cooking pans can safely withstand high temperatures. You should make it a point to be careful with the pans you choose for cooking otherwise you’ll end up ruining them or your food or worse, both!
Let’s have a look at the options you have:
4 Types of Cooking Pans that are Safe for High-heat Cooking
Not all cooking pans are made equal. Some can easily handle high-heat cooking while others can simply not stand the heat.
Here are four types of pans you should look for:
Thanks to its optimal durability and impressive heat conductibility, cast iron pans are ideal for high-heat cooking. On top of that, these pans are usually more flexible and inexpensive than others. From stovetop and oven to grill and open fire, you can use it with anything!
Important note: To make your cast iron pan somewhat non-stick and rust-resistant, you should season it regularly. (More on the pan seasoning later)
Enameled Cast Iron
The main reason why cast iron pans require regular seasoning is that they are highly reactive to acidic ingredients.
Enameled cast iron pans, on the other hand, are not as they already have a ceramic coating. The enamel supports even heating and the cast iron base makes for maximum heat retention and safe high-heat cooking.
As one would suspect, these cooking pans are comparatively more expensive than cast iron pans. Moreover, both these types of pans are heavy and hence, you may have a hard time lifting them.
Stainless steel pans are a perfect choice if you’re looking for a lightweight option that doesn’t compromise on the safety aspect of high-heat cooking.
Besides, these pans are inexpensive and highly durable. They’re also non-reactive, which means that you don’t have to worry about cooking with lemons and tomatoes. On top of everything, stainless steel pans are dishwasher safe, allowing easy and hassle-free cleaning.
On the downside, these pans may not conduct heat very well. Thus, you should pick one that has an aluminum or copper core to ensure quick heating of the pan and thorough cooking.
The addition of aluminum or copper works wonders for stainless steel pans, as they’re excellent heat conductors.
Also read: How to Season Stainless Steel Frying Pans
For people who’re confused between getting stainless steel or cast iron pan, carbon steel cookware offers the best of both worlds.
Perfect for high-heat cooking, these pans are heavier than stainless steel but lighter than cast iron pans. In terms of heat conductivity, it’s also the middle ground.
However, carbon steel pans do require regular seasoning and they aren’t dishwasher safe.
Top 8 Best Cooking Pans for High-heat Cooking (Comprehensive Review)
|Lodge 10 Inch Cast Iron Chef Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Pan...||9.5 / 10||Price not available||Check Best Price|
|Le Creuset LS2024-3067 Enameled Cast Signature Iron Handle...||9.5 / 10||$181.18||Check Best Price|
|Cuisinart CI22-24CR Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron 10-Inch...||9.0 / 10||$48.66||Check Best Price|
|Lodge 12 Inch Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet. Large Steel Skillet...||9.0 / 10||$24.78||Check Best Price|
|T-fal E938S3 Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat...||8.5 / 10||$45.07||Check Best Price|
|Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware, Fry Pan, 2-piece||8.5 / 10||Price not available||Check Best Price|
|HexClad Revolutionary Laser Etched Hybrid Technology Cookware,...||8.0 / 10||Price not available||Check Best Price|
Let’s look at these best cooking pans for high heat cooking:
- Sloped sides with tear-drop handle
- Pre-Seasoned and ready-to-use
- Superior heat retention and even cooking
The Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is known for its outstanding performance with high-heat cooking, flexibility, and durability.
It comes seasoned and ready to use at a very affordable price. Featuring superior heat retention, it ensures thorough and even cooking. Whether you’re cooking on a stovetop, campfire, grill, or in an oven, it can easily handle high temperatures.
With size options ranging from 3.5” to 15’, this everyday pan is perfect for sautéing, simmering, braising, searing, and frying. You may even have fun baking or roasting with it. Moreover, when handled with care, this cooking pan can last for decades.
Just remember, this multi-purpose cast iron pan requires regular seasoning to keep food from sticking to its surface.
- Heavyweight fry pan requires very little oil, making it an excellent...
- Optimized for steady, even heat, Le Creusets improved enamel interior...
- Black enamel interior requires no additional seasoning, unlike other...
Signifying remarkable culinary craftsmanship, the Le Creuset Cast Iron Fry Pan features an expansive surface and high heat retention abilities.
This heavyweight pan requires very little oil, which means it is best for low-fat cooking. The signature design boasts a black enamel interior to eliminate the need for seasoning.
The handle has a large loop to make holding and lifting the pan easy for you. Even when you’re wearing oven mitts, you can expect a safe, comfortable grip.
The cast iron used is of high quality and versatile. This cast iron pan can be safely used in the oven and broiler. It is also dishwasher safe for fast and convenient cleaning. Scrubbing with a nylon scrubber or sponge will remove all food residue and stubborn stains.
- Porcelain enameled interior is perfect for cooking: surfaces do not...
- Wide cast iron handles provide a comfortable and secure grip. Oven...
- Cast Iron construction provides superior heat retention and even heat...
Measuring 10”, this round-shaped cooking pan is highly durable for a multitude of cooking techniques with zero compromises on the flavors.
The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron pan features a porcelain coating, making it safe for you to cook at high temperatures with acidic sauces. The coating also prevents food odors from sticking to the pan to ensure delicious everyday cooking.
The strong construction can retain and evenly distribute the heat. With this cooking pan, you don’t have to break a sweat while searing your favorite steak.
Moreover, this pan has a sleek, timeless design that complements the look of any modern kitchen. It isn’t high maintenance either. You can simply clean it using a dishwasher, saving yourself the time and efforts of seasoning and scrubbing.
The only disadvantage of this cooking pan is that it weighs up to 5.8 pounds. To overcome this, it comes with wide handles that offer a comfortable grip and easy lifting, even with oven mitts.
- Takes high heat for best browning/searing
- 12 gauge carbon steel heats quickly and retains heat for even cooking
- Brutally tough for decades of cooking. Steel riveted handle
The Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet is strong enough to take high heat for exceptional browning and searing experiences.
The carbon steel construction allows the pan to heat quickly and retain maximum heat for safe and reliable cooking. It is an ideal choice to be used with gas, electric, open fire, outdoor grills, and induction stovetops.
The oil seasoning gives it a smooth finish that only improves with regular use. It has long, easy-grip handles for comfortable lifting. At 4.2 pounds, it is lighter than cast iron pans but exceptionally sturdy with an amazing non-stick capability.
- HEAT MASTERY SYSTEM: T fal's heat mastery system is a 3 ingredient...
- THERMO SPOT INDICATOR: The ring around the spot turns solid red to...
- DURABLE NONSTICK: Scratch resistant and toxin free, hard Titanium...
If you want your cooking pan to add to the shine and sparkle of your kitchen, you should consider choosing the T-Fal Ultimate Stainless Steel pan.
Thanks to its heavy-gauge base featuring an aluminum core and copper disc, this pan delivers optimal heat for even cooking and prevents warping. The stainless steel construction allows it to stand an oven temperature up to 500o F.
The stainless steel interior doesn’t react to acidic foods. The pan comes with solid handles and vented lids for safe cooking. The handles aren’t only aesthetically appealing but also ergonomic-friendly. The glass lid works to trap heat and moisture and has a vented hole to allow the escape of steam for visibility.
The pan also has measuring marks on the inside for easy filling. It is dishwasher safe, guaranteeing easy cleaning.
Warning: The stainless steel handles can get hot during high-heat cooking so make sure you’re wearing oven mitts.
- Impact-bonded aluminum bases provide fast, even heating. Safe for the...
- Long, ergonomic handles provide a secure grip even with full, heavy...
- Fill lines make measuring easy, and covers have straining holes that...
The Calphalon Stainless Steel Fry Pan is a lightweight, affordable option for everyday cooking.
This pan features impact-bonded aluminum bases for fast and even heating. You can safely use it in the oven, broiler, stove, and dishwasher. The handles are long and ergonomic-friendly, allowing for an easy and secure grip. They’ll remain cool even if the pan gets too hot during high-heat cooking.
The measuring lines allow for strict filling. This pan has a flat, wide bottom for even cooking, ensuring plenty of room for cooking. The sides are sloped for easy tossing and flipping.
The HexClad 10” Pan boasts a unique grooved design to cater to the needs of cooking fish, meats, and sauces by preventing over-spill.
This pan works great with electric, gas, induction, and ceramic cooktops. It is perhaps the only hybrid pan featuring a fusion of stainless steel and non-stick. It also features a laser-etched hexagon design and tri-ply construction.
The 10” pan is highly resistant to scratches that could potentially seep chemicals into your food. The aluminum layer ensures even, consistent heating and allows the hexagon layer to create a series of peaks and valleys.
The valleys are non-stick to allow cooking without butter or oil. They also make the cleaning process easier. Moreover, with the stainless steel surface, you can expect to cook restaurant-level meals while preventing any peeling or flaking.
The HexClad pan is induction-ready and dishwasher safe featuring stay-cool handles to promote safe high-heat cooking.
The Sardel 10” Skillet is a great go-to pan for sautéing, searing, and stir-frying. The 5-ply stainless steel construction makes for safe high-heat cooking. Even if the pan gets piping hot, the heat-resistant handles will stay cool so that you can cook that perfectly seared steak or crispy salmon.
The sides of the pan are shallow and slanted to make it easy for you to stir, flip, and toss the ingredients for easy and even cooking.
At 10 inches, this versatile pan is ideal for everyday cooking, thanks to its lightweight and high durability. It is safe to be used in an oven and dishwasher and is induction compatible. You can get this pan with or without a lid, depending on your cooking needs and preferences.
How to Season Cast Iron and Carbon Steel Pans
Here are a few reasons why you should season your cast iron and carbon steel pans regularly:
- It prevents rusting
- It makes the pan non-stick over time
- Non-stick pans are easier to clean
- It makes the pan less reactive to acidic sauces
- It keeps food odors from lingering behind on the pan
Seasoning your pans is a simple procedure. Simply, apply a thin layer of oil on the pan surface before heating it for a couple of minutes. After it cools down, rinse it with water without scrubbing.
Repeat the steps until your pan looks clean and shiny and the food glides with ease.
Hint: You can season your cast iron or steel carbon pan in an oven or on a stovetop for best results.
Follow this guide while purchasing high-quality cooking pans that are safe for high-heat cooking for wonderful cooking experiences every day!
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