The right type of frying pan depends on the type of cooking you want to do and your budget. For healthy cooking, a non-stick frying pan may be the best option. Many professional cooks prefer cast iron, stainless steel or copper frying pans, but these types of pans often require additional care and treatment.
Frying pans made from copper are excellent heat conductors. Copper pans get hot faster and retain heat for longer periods of time. They are suitable for cooking items that are highly acidic. Copper frying pans are very durable, but they are also the most expensive type of frying pan. Using sharp utensils can easily damage or tarnish the pans. Copper pans will also easily lose their shine and sheen and need to be polished regularly.
Stainless steel frying pans need to be pre-greased before using and require more oil to prevent food from sticking than any other type of pan. Stainless steel frying pans are often made entirely from durable stainless steel that does not need to be polished. It is also safe to transfer the pan to an oven or a grill. Stainless steel is an excellent conductor of heat, and some types of stainless steel pans will include a layer of copper on the bottom to further increase heat conduction abilities. These pans are excellent for searing foods at high temperatures.
A non-stick frying pan is a frying pan that has been coated with a layer of Teflon. Usually, these pans are made from either an aluminium-tin mix or are stainless steel pans that have been given a coating. In some cases, there are also cast iron non-stick pans. Teflon is not a durable substance and is easily chipped or scratched with sharp or metallic utensils. Teflon will peel or flake off when it has been overheated or over a period of time where it has undergone much use.
A cast iron frying pan is a classic frying pan that can be used for indoor and outdoor cooking. They are very heavy, but have very even heat distribution and heat conductivity. You can purchase pre-seasoned or untreated cast iron pans. Both types of pans will need to be pre-seasoned before and after each use. Cast iron pans are especially useful for slow-cooking, pan frying and cooking techniques that require transferring the pan from the hob to an oven or grill.