Frying pans truly are one of the greatest kitchen products out there. Do more than just frying an egg. Learn all about frying pan uses and all the amazing things you can do with a pan.
Fry Pans: don’t be fooled by the name—its potential spans far beyond just frying foods. No matter the time of day or the occasion you’re preparing for, a Fry Pan can be of service.
Are you curious about how to get the most use out of it?
Read on to learn about all the things you can do with a Fry Pan.
What Is a Fry Pan?
Listen, we get it. There are so many different pots and pans in your kitchen; it’s hard to keep track of which one is which. Let’s break it down, shall we?
A Fry Pan is a flat-bottomed pan, usually about eight to 12 inches in diameter, with low outward flaring sides and a long handle. Modern-day Fry Pans are usually made out of stainless steel or aluminum; however, other materials used in its construction can include cast iron or copper as well.
When it comes to cooking, there are a few advantages and disadvantages to fry pans:
- They’re lightweight, which makes them great for stirring and flipping the food that you’re cooking.
- They hold heat longer than other pans.
- They can quickly and evenly cook foods.
- Due to their sloping sides, there is less surface area to cook on.
Of course, there isn’t just one type of Fry Pan. Today there are a few variants out there to choose from to fit your cooking needs, the most common ones being non-stick and electric.
Non-stick frying pans are essentially just cookware that has a Teflon coating to help ensure that no food sticks to the pan.
Now, you’ve probably heard some things about Teflon containing toxic chemicals that can lead to health risks. Those chemicals are known as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding these chemicals and the harm of non-stick cookware, so let’s get some of the facts straightened out:
- PTFE and Teflon are the same thing.
- Teflon is made using the chemical known as PFAS.
- The Ecology Center says that PTFE-based pan coatings can release PFAS into the environment during manufacturing, high-temperature cooking use, and during disposal or recycling.
Teflon and PTFE exposure is more dangerous than we originally thought. One major concern that people have is the possibility of the coating flaking off, being ingested, and leading to health risks.
These dangerous substances are known as forever chemicals: once they enter your body, they don’t ever leave. One of the most common ways that PTFE and similar chemicals can be ingested is that when a coated pan is heated to a high temperature, these chemicals leave the pan’s surface and leach into your food.
Thankfully, there are non-stick pans that aren’t made with those harmful chemicals.
We get the frustration and confusion of not truly knowing what’s safe and what isn’t, which is why those of us here at Caraway created a product that provides the solution to all your safety concerns.
Our wonderful non-stick Fry Pan is made from non-toxic ceramic and free of any harmful chemicals, including lead, cadmium, PTFE, PFOA, and other PFAs. We achieve this feat by using a one-of-a-kind ceramic coating that allows for easy clean-up and flawless heat distribution.
This way, you don’t have to worry about anything harmful leaching into your food, and you can focus solely on cooking up a great meal!
The other type of frying pan is known as an electric fry pan. This product essentially just incorporates an electric heating element to the pan itself so it can operate on its own away from the stovetop.
These pans are popular kitchen appliances due to their unique thermostatic control. That is, they are great at regulating heat and maintaining temperatures. Of course, they do differ in appearance compared to traditional frying pans.
Electric frying pans have a notable square or rectangular shape, heat-insulated legs so they can stand on countertops, straighter sides, and come with a lid. With these features, they are often seen as a mix between a Fry Pan and a Sauté Pan.
Relatives of the Fry Pan
When you hear the name “Fry Pan,” what kind of pan comes to mind? You’re probably envisioning several pans that you have in your kitchen. After all, they do look very similar. But there are some key differences that can help you to differentiate between them.
The two that you’re likely to mix up are the Fry Pan and the Sauté Pan.
Sauté Pan vs. Fry Pan
The main visual difference between a Sauté Pan and a Fry Pan is the slope of the sides. That is, as we mentioned before, a Fry Pan has low sloping sides, whereas a Sauté Pan has high sides.
To put it simply, a Sauté Pan is designed to cook large volumes of food without overcrowding. You'll likely see people tossing the food up and in a back and forth motion when cooking with this pan.
Typically used in high heat with oil or fats, Sauté Pans also come with a lid to prevent splattering. They’re really great for shallow frying meat or vegetables, braising meat, and searing meat before cooking it in the oven.
On the other hand, a Fry Pan is primarily used for stirring and frying foods together, quick-cooking, and crisp frying.
But let’s get more specific.
Things You Can Do With a Fry Pan
We’ve alluded to some of the cooking techniques that work great on Fry Pans, but let’s explore that a bit more.
Here are some of the things that you can do with a Fry Pan:
Frying an Egg
For those busy mornings that call for a quick and easy breakfast, a Fry Pan comes in handy. Just crack an egg, give it a flip, and you’re good to go. (Actually, in this Fry Pan, you can cook four to six eggs at a time!)
It's a hassle-free, easy clean-up meal that leaves you satisfied and ready to take on your day.
Breakfast is never complete without crispy hash browns, and your Fry Pan has the power to make them. After pressing all the moisture out of the shredded potatoes, toss a thin layer of it onto a Fry Pan with some oil and watch it fry to a golden brown color.
You’ll be left with the crispiest hash browns and the most satisfying crunch you’ve ever had!
Taking your recipes to the next level can be done with these simple cooking techniques: roasting and toasting. Have you ever made a dish but felt like something was missing? We may have your answer:
Tossing some garlic cloves, pine nuts, or herbs onto your Fry Pan brings out the flavor and gives those basic recipes the depth you’re looking for.
The large cooking surface of Fry Pans makes them great for when you want to pan-fry meat because it helps to keep moisture away from the food, resulting in a nicely browned dish. With this basic cooking technique, you can create some delicious, restaurant-quality meals that are sure to impress your friends and family.
Stir-Frying Meat and Vegetables
You don’t have to go out to a restaurant to eat a fancy bowl of stir fry, especially if you have a perfectly good Fry Pan sitting in your kitchen. All you have to do is sear your meat of choice on both sides until it’s fully cooked, toss in the vegetables, add your seasoning—and there you have it. A quick, easy, inexpensive, tasty meal made from the comfort of your own home.
Making a Chocolate Fudge Cake
Believe it or not, you can make this very simple yet delicious dessert in minutes using a Fry Pan. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together, pour the batter into a frying pan, and cook on low heat for 30 minutes with a plate on top, and voila!
A decadent, Fry Pan dessert. The best way to make this recipe would be with a mini frying pan; however, you can improvise with a regular-sized one if you need to.
For those busy weekday mornings before work or even on a lazy Sunday, a Fry Pan always comes in handy. This kitchen essential is the key to making delicious food in a timely manner that is sure to fuel your body all day.
And remember, just because the Fry Pan is a kitchen essential doesn’t mean it can’t look beautiful. As fans of intentional living, our Fry Pans come in five colors (Sage, Navy, Gray, Perracotta, White, and Cream) to match any kitchen aesthetic. While the Fry Pan can be the center of the meal, the kitchen is the center of your home.
Live simply and live beautifully with Cookware Sets and Linens from Caraway.
Undisclosed PFAS coatings common on cookware, research shows | The Ecology Center
Authorized Uses of PFAS in Food Contact Applications | Food and Drug Administration
Public Health Are Nonstick Pans Safe? | Scientific American
Chocolate Fudge Cake Recipe | Tasty