More than half of the people who buy a frying pan end up disappointed with the chosen model. Sometimes, they realize as soon as they take them out of the packaging that they have made a mistake. Other times, after a few days of using them in the kitchen.
Why is this happening?
There are hundreds of makes and models to choose from. The price range is very wide, and the most expensive pan is not always the best. It influences the type of fire you have in your kitchen, what you plan to cook and who is going to use the pan. It is not the same to make a simple French omelet as a half-kilo beef steak.
Does the perfect frying pan exist?
All pans have some drawbacks. If it’s not the weight, it’s the price. Those that do not stick often swell and the cheapest ones end up being expensive in the medium term.
However, if you take note of the most frequent mistakes made when buying a pan, you may be able to equip your kitchen with the 2 or 3 pans that you need.
Mistake #1: It’s a good pan, but it’s too heavy
Easily flipping an 8-egg potato omelet in a heavy skillet is within the reach of very few. Some people decide to invest in a good frying pan. Look for quality materials, so that it lasts a lifetime. After all, a quality frying pan is a good investment that pays off both in health and money.
The problem is that quality pans are heavier than cheaper ones.
While a stainless steel or cast aluminum pan can weigh more than 2 kilos, a stamped aluminum one (the thinnest layer of aluminum) can weigh less than half. Weight can be key when flipping a potato omelet, but also when handling the pan when it’s full. Above all, it will depend on who uses the pan.
Cheap pans are lighter because they are made from a thinner layer of aluminum.
|It is always good to have a light frying pan, even if it is cheap and is dedicated exclusively to making potato tortillas or similar|
Mistake #2: The pan is not the right size and height
When they tell you the diameter of a pan, they mean the diameter of the top and not the base that is in contact with the heat source.
Many people think that the diameter is that of the stove.
Most pans have sloped walls. A 28cm pan on top, can be 21cm. at the base, with which the difference is more than remarkable.
This problem can have several consequences:
- Useless energy expenditure – If the stove is ceramic, the base of the pan does not cover the entire diameter of the stove
- The heat is not evenly distributed – if the pan is too big, the heat may not reach all the ingredients equally.
Regarding the size and dimensions, other issues must be taken into account:
- The height – if you plan to use it in all kinds of recipes, you want it to be higher because that way you will be able to make stews or fry with plenty of oil (potatoes or croquettes, for example)
- The diameter – if it is very large, the handle may not support the weight of the pan with the food inside. It usually occurs in low-quality pans.
|A pan that is too large has the advantage that it is suitable for everything, however, it also has drawbacks|
Mistake #3: The pan bulges
To seal a slice of meat well, it is necessary to put the pan at very high temperatures. It is a challenge that not all pans overcome. On an induction hob, the heat can reach very high levels, and the pan ends up deforming as it is not made of very consistent material.
If you plan to use the pan to cook meats at a very high temperature, you must take into account the material that the pan is made of.
Stainless steel, cast iron or thick cast aluminum will resist better than pressed or forged aluminum pans. Forged aluminum is a thin layer of aluminum that has been shaped into a pan by putting it in a press. No heat is used and is so fine, that it tends to warp. Forged aluminum is similar to the above, but heat is used, which allows the sheet to be thicker.
Molten aluminum, as its name suggests, is melted and poured into a pan-shaped mold, which when cooled achieves great resistance. Just like with steel or iron. Being a cast iron, the maker can make the pan as thick as they like. in theory, it has almost no limits.
The solution is to buy a quality pan if you plan to use it at high temperatures. Otherwise, you will need many pans if you want to continue enjoying meat that is well done on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Mistake #4: The pan is slow (or not at all) on induction cookers
The paella does not make up, and is only heated in the central part, is cooked halfway.
Although they tell you that the pan is suitable for induction cookers, this does not always happen. In some cases, it doesn’t even work, while in others it only works halfway.
The induction cooker serves to save energy since it only heats the part that comes into contact with the pan. If the bottom of the pan doesn’t have stainless steel, enameled steel, or cast iron, it won’t work. Induction generates a magnetic field that, when it comes into contact with a ferromagnetic metal container, causes it to heat up, and that heat passes to the food.
In aluminum pans, which are a significant percentage, the manufacturer must place a ferromagnetic base so that the induction hob can detect them.
If they tell you that it is compatible with induction cookers, it is because it is true. However, in practice, the results are not always satisfactory.
Stainless steel or cast iron pan ensures 100% compatibility. Also, high-end aluminum ones have a good compatible diffuser base.
|That the pan has a good diffuser bottom is important when cooking so that one part of the recipe is not made more than another.|
Mistake #5: The pan sticks, wasn’t it non-stick?
A nonstick pan has many advantages. Because food doesn’t stick, you don’t have to put a lot of oil, and they’re easier to clean.
Non-stick pans are perfectly suited to today’s lifestyle. There is no time to cook, much less to clean, and the kitchen is intended to be healthy and light. However, the world of non-stick coatings is very complex. There are many types of coatings, many of which do not live up to expectations.
Some pans stick from day one, while others lose their coating too quickly. The best non-stick pans have titanium particles as reinforcement.
Mistake #6: Wasn’t it a pan without Teflon?
You seek the best for yourself and your family. You have heard that Teflon is not healthy, that what is released and mixed with food is carcinogenic, or that it gives off toxic gases.
Teflon pans continue to be manufactured and will continue to be. It has been proven that it does not imply a health risk.
Besides, Teflon is just a brand name for a coating that includes PTFE.
PTFE is present in most non-stick coatings on pans, whether they are titanium or stone-effect. You may be avoiding buying a Teflon pan and buying it under another name. If you want to choose a non-stick pan that will not disappoint you, I recommend the following article:
Mistake #7: Ignoring the handle of the pan
There are so many things to look at before buying a pan (the diameter, the weight, the nonstick, the material of the pan, if it is suitable for induction) that you can overlook a very important detail.
The panhandle doesn’t have much of a mystery. At first glance, it seems that it will fulfill its function well. It’s comfortable to hold, doesn’t burn, and seems consistent.
However, problems can appear in a short time:
The screw loosens and forces you to continuously tighten it.
A certain slack appears that makes you distrust the pan and that it will not all fall to the ground one day.
Pans have different types of handles:
By material they can be:
- Bakelite – is the most basic
- stainless steel – they are strong and durable
- Fixed – it is part of the body of the pan with which it forms a unit
- Removable – can be removed to put the pan in the oven or for storage without taking up space
Depending on the diameter, size, and weight of the pan, you will need a more or less resistant handle. Some pans are not balanced with the handle if they are filled with food.
Mistake #8: Didn’t the reviews say they were great pans?
Being guided by the opinions of other users is a good idea. However, they will not always take you to buy the pan you need.
Some opinions do not serve you for several reasons:
The use that each one makes of the same pan
It is not always stated how often the pan is used, for what types of recipes, what type of fire it is used on, and what temperature the pan is preheated to.
Nor do they tell you how they clean it, if they put it in the dishwasher or if they wash it with the utmost care.
Misleading marketing campaigns
Today no article does not have its marketing campaign. However, not all of them are as “clean” as others.
Some pans have many very positive opinions in a very short time. It seems that they are going to revolutionize the kitchens. Also, they are too cheap for their price, and they are not from a well-known cookware brand.
The problem is that you buy them, and it may be that after a few months of use, and when you have seen for yourself how bad they are, there is no longer a place to leave an opinion because they have been withdrawn from sale. You can no longer find them in the online store where you bought them.
Mistake #9: The pan is difficult to clean, needs to be seasoned, or be overly careful
Some pans practically do not need care, and they can be washed in the dishwasher without further complications. You don’t have to cure them or anything like that. On the other hand, there are pans, such as cast iron ones, that need a curing process so that the pan does not rust or food sticks.
Other pans, such as non-stick pans, are not recommended to be put in the dishwasher because they lose the non-stick layer, despite the manufacturer’s claims to the contrary. However, they are practically cleaned with a napkin, while others tend to stick more and require more time and effort.
Buy a pan that fits your lifestyle. If you don’t like wasting time, go easy and choose a pan that doesn’t force you to take care of it and spend more time on it than you have available.
Mistake #10: You make the wrong brand of pans
In the end, the pan was made in China. Even though it is a “lifelong” brand, you turn the pan upside down and you see a “made in china” in very large letters.
Just because it’s made in China doesn’t mean the pain is bad. The problem is that you buy thinking that it is manufactured in Spain, France, Germany or Switzerland.
Choosing the brand well is important, because you ensure quality, although you have to know the characteristics of the specific model of the frying pan. Each brand has several ranges, and not all respond to the same expectations.
There are well-known brands that are no longer what they used to be, and that now only maintain the logo but have changed owners. They are not manufactured where they used to be, and the quality that made them famous is no longer the same. Despite everything, they are good options as long as they have an adjusted price-quality ratio.