10 Best Stainless Steel Frying Pans of 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

You know that beautiful, even browning that professionals seem to achieve so effortlessly? Well, it turns out that it’s not all about expertise. The pan you are using for that purpose might have something to do with it too.

Besides, not just browning, your success on things such as sautéing and searing can heavily fluctuate relying on the pan you use. Therefore, you must buy a high-quality stainless steel pan for your cooking.

But how do I know which one is the best stainless steel frying pan? – is what you might be asking. Here is where we come to help you with our researched list.

With the review below, the pan of your dreams should only be a few scrolls away.

 

Benefits of Stainless Steel Pans

Before we get into the pans themselves, let’s get something sorted – why you should buy a stainless steel pan. Several reasons justify that decision, which we’ll now talk about.

Coatings (or Lack Thereof)

One of the most popular alternatives of one of these products would be nonstick frying pans, which have a coating over them. While these coatings are safe for humans nowadays, there is a temperature limit to them.

If you cross that temperature, it would mean that the upper layer might come off – and that’s harmful. In those terms, stainless steel will undoubtedly provide better results, as it doesn’t have any coatings.

Therefore, if you might use the product with high heats for purposes like browning. Thanks to their comparatively even heat spread, you can achieve an impressive result.

 

Durability

When it comes to durability and longevity, it’s hard to beat this material. Pans generally go through quite a bit of abrasion and cleaning throughout their lifetime. And stainless steel handles it much better than something with a coating.

Although you can still get some scratches on your pan if you use the wrong things, it’s not nearly as terrifying as it might be in other cases. And if you have got a two-ply or five-ply product, things get even better.

 

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Many bare-metal pans might end up giving you an unsavory taste if you cook something acidic on them. For instance, tomato sauce is one such food, and those products might alter the recipe’s flavor (in a negative manner).

Moreover, there is no risk of this material releasing harmful materials into your food, doesn’t matter what you cook on it. Therefore, these pans are all the more suitable for long-term usage.

 

Best Stainless Steel Frying Pans Reviews

The cookware you are using can have a significant impact on how the results turn out. Here are the top pans that will provide you with the best taste and quality for the price.

1. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Pan

While you don’t have to maintain a ton of rules while washing a stainless steel pan, you still need to be careful while cleaning them with abrasive agents. Moreover, many of them are not okay with dishwashers, which can be a bummer.

The first frying pan on our list is the 722-24 from Cuisinart – a product you can wash in a dishwasher without any worries. Furthermore, it cleans comparatively easily even with those stubborn foods, thanks to the design and quality steel.

This one is a 10 inches pan in terms of size, as you can imagine, it’s a decent size for most of your workloads in the kitchen, unless you need to cook a large quantity at a time.

Another impressive feature about this pan is the tapered rims. Whenever you’re pouring something in the pan, those last few drops always end up falling outside, don’t they? Well, this curved rim will prevent that from happening.

Of course, the look of the product is also essential. And this product comes in a mirror finish, which suits most setup quite well. But let’s talk about arguably the most crucial bit now – the heat distribution.

This pan comes with a base encapsulated with aluminum, meaning that it doesn’t only use stainless steel. And that’s a good thing because you get the best of both worlds here, and the heat conduction will see improvement too.

Another bit we appreciate is the fact that it comes with a steel riveted handle. It stays cool even with the pan on high heat, which is helpful. Lastly, the cover fits extremely well and seals the moisture in for better flavor and nutrients.

Pros

  • Ideal size for most users
  • Well-suited for frying
  • Tapered rims prevent dripping
  • Handle stays cool

Cons

  • Some users reported slight warping
  • Aluminum filling isn’t on the sides

 

2. Tramontina Tri-Ply Fry Pan

When searching for the best stainless steel skillet or pan, you need to keep the core in mind. Many pans will come without a core made from a different metal, which might not be able to provide you with impressive heat distribution.

You need a much more conductive metal to help with that weakness of stainless steel products. That’s why our next pick comes with a tri-ply cladding from Tramontina. Along with the outer layers of steel, there is an aluminum core.

This core stays between the outer parts and acts as a catalyst in improving heat conduction and distribution. Without that, there would be the possibility of facing hot spots that ruins the consistency of your cooking.

Moreover, the steel that the product uses has to be of high quality too, as it can even affect your health. Thankfully, this pan uses 18/10 (percentage of chromium and nickel) stainless steel – one of the best you can get.

What makes this pan even better is that you can use it with an oven, too, as it’s oven-safe up to 500-degree Fahrenheit. And to add more to its versatility, it’s also safe to clean with dishwashers, which many products aren’t.

If you rely on a cooktop (for instance, an induction cooker­), you have nothing to worry about here either. This product will suit all sorts of cooktops with impressive efficiency and performance.

Another part that people often overlook is the handle, which can often make or break the experience. This 12” pan comes with a riveted handle made with the same high-end stainless steel, which ensures a comfortable grip.

Pros

  • Tri-ply construction method
  • 12” size hits the sweet spot for most
  • Quality stainless steel
  • Aluminum core for better performance
  • Ergonomic riveted handle

Cons

  • Some users reported the outer layer chipping
  • Manufacturing location can vary

 

3. Cuisinart Stainless Open Skillet

If you are searching for something inexpensive and compact, there are a lot of available options. However, it’s hard to find some trustworthy alternatives, as the lower price bracket often has more inferior quality products.

Our next pick – the 722-20 from Cuisinart, will fulfill those requirements of yours. This product is surprisingly affordable, no matter which way you look at it. But let’s talk about the size and dimensions first.

Catering to the need for compact stainless steel fry pans, this one has a total diameter of eight inches. That also means you should not go for this one if you need to cook a large amount of food at a time. However, it will be much quicker to heat up.

And don’t let its affordable pricing fool you. It comes with a base encapsulated with aluminum – a material that performs better than stainless and allows for heat to spread quickly. Moreover, this base allows the product to eliminate the possibility of hot spots.

As with the other products from this line-up, this pan also comes with a practical design that will prevent dripping with the tapered rim. Moreover, the impressive quality of the steel does well to ensure durability too.

Another crucial property for many users is whether or not the product is safe to wash with dishwashers. This one is dishwasher safe, too, so you do not have to compromise any critical features here.

Furthermore, you can use it with your induction cooker, making it all the more versatile for various purposes. Along with its enticing pricing and the classy mirror finish, this pan is quite an enticing choice.

Pros

  • Design suits most setups
  • Tapered edges prevent dripping
  • Affordable pricing
  • Aluminum base for better efficiency
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Some induction ranges aren’t supported
  • Build quality could be better

 

4. Frigidaire 3-piece Stainless Steel Cookware

Depending on your purposes and necessities, having multiple pans can be quite beneficial. For instance, you can have them get through with dishes of different sizes. That can especially be helpful if you want to cook multiple items at a time.

Our next pick is a three-piece set that comes with stainless steel pans of three different sizes. The smallest of the bunch is an eight-inch one, while the other ones are ten and twelve inches, respectively.

Of course, more pans necessitate more cleaning in the end, so that can be a headache. Thankfully, these products are safe to clean with dishwashers. However, cleaning it still can be a bit hard; therefore, we would’ve liked to see some improvement here.

Another headache for many users is whether the pans are suitable with various cooking tops such as glass or induction. In those terms, these products do exceptionally well, as they are compatible with all of them.

You can also use them in an oven. With the lid on, the highest temperature you can go up to is 400-degree Fahrenheit. That number goes up to 450-degree Fahrenheit when using them without the cover.

Thanks to the variable sizes, you can use them for purposes ranging from pancakes, stir-frying to sautéing or searing and achieve impressive results. And the even heating capabilities of these pans play a positive role in that.

That is possible thanks to the aluminum base that they have. This portion of the pans also ensures there are no hot spots that might result in a worse experience. And given the affordable price, they’re quite the all-rounder.

Pros

  • Up to 450-degree with ovens
  • Supports all sorts of cooktops
  • Safe to clean with dishwashers
  • Three different sizes improve the versatility
  • Even heating with an aluminum base

Cons

  • Somewhat harder to clean
  • Quality control needs more work

 

5. Cooks Standard Stainless Steel Pan

When buying a pan for yourself, it’s necessary to look at the depth as well. The reason you need to do that is it can affect how you cook. For instance, a deeper pan would be more suitable for purposes like sautéing or boiling.

That’s because it won’t let the food go over the pan even if you are stirring or even deep-frying. Our next pick is a pan from Cooks’s Standard that comes at a higher depth to give you an edge.

Apart from that, this 5-quart pan is 11 inches in diameter, which hits a good spot in size. And this quantity is achievable due to its increased depth and size, which is well-suited for boiling, steaming, or deep frying.

Another great addition is the stainless steel lid that it comes with, which ensures a tight seal and keeps moisture or heat from dissipating. Furthermore, the riveted handles stay cool and provide you with a comfortable handling experience.

As you know by now, stainless steel is comparatively easier to clean, and it ensures impressive durability. However, its ability to conduct heat and eliminate hot spots is nowhere near as remarkable. That’s why it uses an aluminum disc bottom.

This design allows the pan to maintain its durability and looks from the exterior while achieving better thermal efficiency, thanks to the aluminum. As a result, you get faster and more consistent heating capabilities.

You can use this product on gas, induction, or ceramic surfaces – meaning it’s rather versatile. Moreover, it is oven-safe for up to 500-degree Fahrenheit, and cleaning it is pretty simple with or without dishwashers.

Pros

  • A core made of aluminum
  • Flat base with flared sides
  • Quality stainless steel lid
  • Higher depth allows for ease of usage
  • Remarkable heat distribution

Cons

  • Some users complained about pitting
  • Sticking might be an issue for some users

 

6. Farberware Stainless Steel Frying Pan Set

As we said before, having multiple options in your arsenal can come in surprisingly handy, especially if they have different form factors. They can be suitable for various purposes and give you an edge during cooking.

The next pick on our list is a set of pans from Farberware, meaning you get two in the package. And knowing only that bit can make these a superb deal for most buyers because the price tag they come with is nothing short of surprising.

But let’s move on to the dimensions now. The smaller one of the two is an 8.25-inch pan, while the bigger one measures 10 inches. This difference in size can be helpful depending on the amount of food you’re cooking.

Furthermore, these products are also oven-safe, although their temperature limit is somewhat lower than the slightly pricier options, which is understandable. These pans are safe to use in your oven up to 350-degree Fahrenheit, which is around 176-degree Celsius.

However, the manufacturer has still managed to ensure proper heat distribution. You get an aluminum core with both of the products, which improves their ability to carry heat faster and eliminate any possible inconsistencies.

The handles that they come with are pretty comfortable to hold as well. And they manage to stay cool even if you are cooking at a higher heat, which is appreciated. The overall build quality is decent, although it could have been better.

For instance, cooking eggs on them can give you a hard time with cleaning. But given their price and the fact that they are dishwasher-safe with decent heat distribution, these stainless steel fry pans are quite the deal.

Pros

  • Two options regarding the size
  • Reasonably priced
  • Okay with dishwashers
  • You can use them with ovens
  • They can handle high heat

Cons

  • Cleaning them isn’t the easiest
  • Occasional reports of some residues out of the box

 

7. Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Frying Pan

At this point, we have another high-quality pan from Cooks Standard. An issue with most products is that the aluminum/copper base they use doesn’t apply to the walls. That means the core is only at the bottom, not throughout the pan’s body.

This bit can cause your cooking’s consistency to take a hit, so you must lookout for this specific property. To our pleasure, the following product has an aluminum base that extends to the pan’s sidewalls as well as the bottom.

Of course, the base does not mean much if the steel’s quality isn’t up to par. Fulfilling our expectations, this one comes with 18/10 stainless steel that ensures durability and doesn’t harm you even with prolonged usage.

We appreciate the little efforts that make the users’ lives simpler. One of those is the curved edges, which make pouring or spreading liquids like oil much more effortless. The curved/tapered edges of this product do that quite effectively.

Another one of those features is the riveted ergonomic handle that stays comparatively cool and allows for easy handling. Along with the flat base and curved sides, this bit does not fail to impress us.

As we already said, having a deeper base allows for a better experience regarding things like sautéing, stir-frying, or deep frying. This pan follows that same design trend and will enable you to do all those and more.

This pan is also dishwasher safe, which only adds to the amount of convenience. Furthermore, the polished design makes it easier to clean. Add in the fact that it’s oven-safe up to 500-degree Fahrenheit, and it’s a superb deal.

Pros

  • High-quality stainless steel
  • Aluminum core extends to the sides
  • Comfortable riveted handle
  • Polished surface is easy to clean
  • Well-suited for sautéing

Cons

  • Slight discoloration in some cases
  • You need to be careful to prevent sticking

 

8. All-Clad Brushed Stainless Fry Pan

We have talked about how having curved edges can be helpful for various purposes, including sautéing and pouring liquids. However, another vital bit can make a difference when you’re cooking – a flat bottom.

And that especially applies if you are cooking on a cooktop such as an induction cooker. Our following product is an impressive one from All-Clad that comes with curved edges and a flat top, making pouring easier and avoiding dripping.

This 12-inch fry pan is also suitable for any style, be it searing, stir-frying, or sautéing. And thanks to the size, you can cook a sizeable amount at a time too. But that is not the biggest highlight of this pan – the build quality and heating capabilities are.

What makes it so good is its five-ply design. That means you have five layers of metal, which is quite an impressive feat. The outer layers are pure stainless steel, of course, but you get two aluminum cores and another stainless one on the interior.

The aluminum layers ensure that the pan heats up efficiently and quickly, while the steel in the middle helps further eliminate the possibility of hot spots. Moreover, the outer layers give it the strength and durability that we praise.

And since it uses 18/10 polished steel, it won’t react to your food and provide higher stick resistance. These altering layers ensure another crucial part – preventing the possibilities of warping even at up to 600-degree Fahrenheit.

In terms of the handle, this pan does exceptionally well. The heat-resistant stainless steel handle stays cool even with high heat. While it might seem somewhat costlier to many, the build quality and performance make up for that.

Pros

  • 12-inch curved design
  • Five-ply bonded construction
  • Construction method prevents warping
  • Up to 600-degree Fahrenheit
  • Highly polished surface

Cons

  • A little costlier than the other options
  • Occasional chipping, although rare

 

9. Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Skillet

While the pan’s body is highly crucial, something we should not overlook is the lid or cover. Without a proper seal, the product will fail to hold in the heat and might even lose its flavor and nutrients.

That’s something our following pick – the MultiClad Pro – ensures quite impressively. You get a tight-fit stainless steel cover with it, making sure that it doesn’t lose any of the heat and moisture while the pan is covered.

And you probably know by now that we love ourselves some plies in the construction of the pan. This bit is exceptionally vital, as stainless steel alone might fail to be enough to give you the best heat spreading and consistency.

Moreover, this 10-inch skillet pan also has a pure aluminum core between the outer stainless steel layers, to no one’s surprise. This little bit can make a significant difference in the overall result and save you from issues like hot spots.

It’s also safe to wash with dishwashers, which is always appreciated. And it takes things one step higher by being oven-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, it’s broiler-safe too, which makes the package even better.

Another crucial bit that can determine the overall experience with a pan is how well the handle performs. In this case, it comes with a cast stainless-steel handle that manages to stay low on temperature and stay strong in its place over time.

The tapered edges also ensure that there’s no dripping. And while all this seems relatively conventional (albeit impressive), this product’s price is what helps it secure its place on our list. It’s also reasonably priced compared to other products.

Pros

  • Three-ply construction
  • Rims are curved
  • Broiler and oven-safe up to 550-degree F
  • Riveted handle stays cool
  • Impressive tight-fit stainless cover

Cons

  • Staining might be an issue
  • Possibilities of warping with high heat

 

10. Anolon Triply Stainless Steel Frying Pan

We have reached the final product of our list. This one is slightly different from what you have seen so far, the most significant exception being its size. With its 12.75-inch diameter, it’s the largest of the bunch that we have reviewed.

Not just that, it comes with a deeper height to allow for a better experience with deep frying, boiling, or sautéing. Therefore, if you require something comparatively larger with more real estate, this is the way to go.

But enough about that – let’s talk about the construction at this point. As it says above, it comes with a three-ply structure that has the standard aluminum core. With the aluminum in the middle, the outer layers perform more efficiently.

Moreover, the brushed stainless exterior always plays a role in preventing the product from warping quickly or scratching. Not just that, this bit also gives you an easier time with cleaning as well, which can be a headache.

And thanks to the high-quality steel, this fry pan ensures that it won’t react to your food, keeping things safe in the long run. Moreover, it fares just as well in terms of versatility. You can use it with all sorts of cooktops, including induction.

To make things even better, you can use this pan with your oven too. You don’t have to worry about its capabilities with withstanding heat, as it’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite remarkable.

Like all of our favorites on this list, this pan is also dishwasher safe, which is an excellent addition. With its affordable pricing and stainless steel handle that provides you with a comfortable handling experience, this pan does well.

Pros

  • Large 12.75-inch diameter
  • Up to 500-degree F in ovens
  • Remarkable heat distribution
  • Compatible with all cooktops
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Sides are a bit too flared
  • Many users face sticking issues

 

What to Look for Before Buying?

Empty stainless steel frying pan on wooden culinary background

Stainless steel pans have a daunting number of variables, which you will realize once you go out to buy one. Therefore, you must prepare yourself depending on your needs and preferences. Here’s a brief guide on pans to help you choose one quickly.

Steel Quality and Thickness

It goes without saying, but you need to ensure that the steel your pan uses is high-quality. Generally, it would help if you opt for 18/8 or 18/10 (amount of chromium and nickel) grade stainless steel, as they are pretty impressive in terms of quality and ensure health safety.

And in terms of thickness, a pan that’s too light or too thin is undoubtedly a bad sign. That’s because this property has its good sides. For instance, it can indicate whether the product went for cheap build quality.

Furthermore, a thicker pan will be comparatively sturdier and prevent dents more effectively. Hot spots can also be problematic when you are cooking, creating a lack of consistency, and the thickness can play a role in that too.

 

The Core or Ply

You might be aware that stainless steel is far from being the best conductor of heat. That’s why many manufacturers use another metal or ‘cladding’ that helps improve that bit, ensuring the best of both worlds.

These products generally have the secondary material acting as the core, allowing them to conduct heat much quickly and efficiently. You will see products that say five-ply, tri-ply, and so on – these all have another metal other than the steel.

You can find various mixes of materials. For instance, an aluminum core allows for impressive heat conduction. Not just that, it ensures that there are no hot spots, which severely hurt the performance of the product.

Copper is even more efficient compared to that, however. Not just in comparison to aluminum, it’s one of the best options you can find. As proof, you’ll find out that it requires almost three times less thickness in comparison to aluminum for the same heat distribution.

 

The Size

Choosing the pan’s size is crucial regardless of whether you are buying a nonstick or stainless steel product. And the size here refers to the whole body’s diameter, which you should keep in mind.

You’ll find that the most common diameters include 8 to 12 inches. It goes without saying that you can go for something more extensive than that. But why and when should you opt for that option?

Well, the most obvious answer is that you can cook more food at once on a larger pan. Therefore, if you require your product to be able to do that, go bigger. However, it would help if you keep in mind that smaller ones will heat up much quicker.

 

Price

In an ideal world, the pan’s price wouldn’t be an issue. But it certainly is on this one. The cost of the pan you buy will firstly depend on the materials you opt for. For instance, a product with an aluminum core won’t set you back too much.

However, if you choose to go for the copper options, things can go relatively higher quickly. And that’s somewhat expected, as those products cost more to manufacture and provide you with much better heat conduction and consistency.

Hence, it’s up to you to find the sweet spot. And that spot varies on numerous factors, so the answer to this question will depend on your necessities and budget.

 

Included Accessories

You can find pans that come with various necessities, such as spatulas, spoons, or ladles. Now, if you need these things, you might consider buying the whole set.

However, make sure you have researched whether the accessories’ quality is worth spending your money on. And if there’s no need for them at all, we would suggest getting a product without those to save yourself some money.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are pans with different cores better than only stainless steel?

Compared to many other metals, stainless steel does not have an impressive heat conduction ability. Therefore, you can find products with various cores that help with that issue – it could be copper, aluminum, or something else. And yes, they are better than the ones without a different core.

 

Can I use my stainless steel pan with an oven?

Yes, you should be able to do that unless mentioned otherwise. However, if the product is too thin or doesn’t use quality steel, you might face issues upon usage with an oven. Otherwise, stainless steel can tolerate a lot of heat.

 

Is it safe to use my stainless steel pan with the stove on high heat?

Undoubtedly. One of the reasons these products are so popular with purposes like searing or browning is that they can handle a lot of heat and provide consistent results. Unlike nonstick products, you don’t have to worry about the heat.

 

Can stainless steel cookware release toxic elements?

The chances of that happening with quality products are almost non-existent. However, if the product does not come with high-quality steel, there are risks of toxic elements. Therefore, try to buy products with stainless steel such as 18/10 or 18/8.

 

Which core should my pan have?

As we have already said, stainless steel doesn’t do very well regarding heaty conduction, so having a different core is helpful. The most popular options are copper and aluminum, with copper being the best option at a higher price. If your budget is a bit on the tighter side, you can go for the aluminum options.

 

Final Words

Your frying pan is going to be one of the most vital weapons in your arsenal. Hence, it’s essential that you try to get the best stainless steel frying pan for your kitchen. And the options mentioned above are surely going to ensure that for you.

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