Friday, December 3, 2010

Frying Pan 101: Part 1

All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Fry Pan
Frying Pan
There are an overwhelming selection of pans out there on the market.  Unlike stock pots, frying pans have more complex science behind it.  No single pan is ideal for every use. This guide will help you choose the right frying pan for the right job.

What is a frying pan?
All-Clad Stainless 3-Quart Saute Pan with Loop
Sauté Pan is not a Frying Pan 
Frying pans or skillets are a flat bottomed pan with relatively low sides that flares outwards which help with evaporation and steam dissipation.  It's slope sides make it easy to flip food and slide it out onto a plate when done.  Frying pans are specifically designed for high heat cooking, such as frying, searing, browning. However, they are also useful for caramelizing and reducing sauce.

In comparison, sauté pans are not frying pans, because its vertical sides are designed to reduce splatter and keep in moist heat, making it perfect for sautéing, braising, and panfrying.

Weight and Thickness
Some pans come with an added metal layer on the bottom and/or is super heavy compared to other ones of the same size. Does it mean that its poorer in quality? No.  Lighter pans are usually preferred for light sautéing  (it's easier to flip and toss food).  Heavier pans maintain its temperature better when cold food is added, making it ideal for cooking bigger items or searing meat.  Maintaining high heat is essential to ensure meat don't stick to the bottom.

Next post, we will examine pans made from different materials.

No comments:

Post a Comment