Stainless Steel SklletIn the November issue of Good Housekeeping, you'll see our 8 top skillets. We don't take our recommendations lightly! Our picks were based on exhaustive methodical tests on 74 - yes you read right, 74 - 12-inch pans. We zeroed in on 12-inchers - the ones we think are the most versatile because quite simply, they hold a lot. Whether you're cooking a one-dish supper like chicken and peppers or pork chops with apples, using them to brown meat for a stew, or making a frittata for brunch, it's the size you're most likely to grab. Ten things we learned that can help you pick out the best new skillet and use it wisely.
Related: Quick and Easy One-Dish Dinners
- For browning, your best bet is a pan with low sides and a large surface area. It can hold more pieces at once and foods won't steam as they brown.
- If you're making a skillet dinner, opt for a deep pan that can hold lots of veggies and sauce.
- Much as I love nonstick finishes for their easy use and care, when it comes to steakhouse-style steaks, I turn to cast iron.
- For long simmers, cast iron's a good choice. And in fact, if you need iron in your diet, cooking in cast iron can up your levels.
- If you'll be using your skillet to brown a frittata or finish cooking fish in the oven, check the oven temperature limitations before you buy.
Related: How to Season a Cast-Iron Pan
- Wonder what's the deal with anodized aluminum? It's aluminum that's been treated in a way that darkens the surface, makes it more durable, and prevents it from interacting food. It's great for all-purpose cooking-you get aluminum's benefits-even cooking and medium weight, without the disadvantages - it won't dent, discolor, show stains, or leach into your food turning it gray.
- Secret to turning out omelets? A skillet with sloped sides.
- Don't use nonstick cooking sprays on nonstick surfaces. They won't help and just result in a gunky buildup that will detract from rather than enhance the finish.
- What's your tolerance for cleaning? If you absolutely hate it, go nonstick.
- If you insist on stainless steel, inside and/or out, equip yourself with a Dobie scrubbing pad and the cleaner called Bar Keeper's Friend.
What are some of your favorite skillet recipes? Let me know in the comments!
-By Sharon Franke
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