Most people are familiar with a round frying pan. However a Oval one, thats something you dont see everyday. Its oblong shape and typically long handle makes its a pretty unique pan. However, if you dig deeper into french cooking, you see these cookware popup time and time again. They come in many different design and configuration. The Best Oval Frying Pan shares the same characteristic as a round one. Good even heat distribution, hefty weight and great searing ability. But considering how niche this pan is, finding a good one can be difficult.
What is a Oval Pan used for?
Most people wonder, what is a Oval Frying Pan for? The answer is, simply fish. These elongated pan make it the perfect size to fit a standard trout. With a round frying pan, you have so much unused space on the sides. For people who like to be as efficient as possible, the unused space is a bit maddening. Joking aside, you will find that with these type of pan, oil tends to pool in better. As a result, you get a better coating of whatever sauce you are cooking in.
Aside from fishes, you can still use a oval frying pan as a standard pan. Most manufacturer will advertise them as perfect for sauteing meats and vegetables. But lets face it, its really designed more for fish.
There are cast iron oval frying pan. Those are typically used to make fajita or as a sizzling plate. If you do get those model, be sure to get one with a base. They arent really that big and are more suited for single serving.
Oval Frying Pan with a dual loop handle are often used as a gratin pan. Since they are narrower, you can fit more of these pans more neatly in the oven. Thin Copper Gratin pan are a favorite among French Chef. Since they conduct heat so well, the gratin dish gets pipping hot and bubbly all over.
There is one big issues with these type of pan. That is heat, since these pans will not hit the circular ring of most gas range, the heat distribution is poor. There is a reason why most frying pan are round. They are optimized to be used in the home kitchen. You can get around this by using a induction stove top, but its not really utilitarian is it. With that being said, if you heat up the pan slowly, heat distribution isn’t an issue. If you cant be bothered to do that, getting a copper oval frying pan will alleviate the issue.
Best Oval Frying Pan List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Oval Frying Pan. Since these are pretty niche object, prices are a bit high. Nevertheless, I list the best in each category. Choose one that best suits your need.
Mauviel 0 M’Heritage M’150B (Best Overall)
Nothing beats a French Classic. Mauviel has been making copper cookware for over a hundred years. Modern technology has let them forego the use of tin and employ the durability of stainless steel. This Copper Oval Pan conducts heat fast and gives a perfect sear to any fish. While this is a great performing pan, be aware of the brass handle. It will burn you if you are not careful.
Mauviel 0 M’Heritage M’150B Copper Oval Pan, 11.8″ Bronze Handle (Best for Gratin)
If you want to make gratins or simply bake, these dual loop handle are a better design. It wont get in the way like frying pan one. You have many size to choose from, but usually the bigger one are more versatile. As with the other pan, the brass handle will get hot. Use a glove when removing it.
DeBuyer Heavy Oval French Steel Fry Pan (Best Buy)
While Copper are some of the best, they are also one of the most expensive. Luckily, there are much more affordable carbon steel option. This model by De Buyer is made in France and uses a heavy duty carbon steel construction. It will develop a nonstick coating overtime and you can even use it in the oven. If you are looking for something durable and affordable, then De Buyer is the choice for you.
Mauviel M’stone3 Non-Stick Oval Fry Pan (Best Nonstick Variety)
The copper and carbon steel are good option. Used effectively, and nothing will stick. But in reality, some food simply stick. For those situation, getting a nonstick variety might be a better choice. This model by Mauviel uses anodized aluminum for durability and performance. They apply 3 coating of nonstick finish so that it wont wear down as fast. But with all nonstick pan, there is a limited wear time. Be aware of what you are getting into.
A Oval Pan is a very niche product. However, if you enjoy cooking or frying fish, then it might be a good purchase. They pool but the sauce into the center and coat the fish with flavor. There are quite a few different model, the copper are the best. However, they are also some of the most expensive. In this case, you might want to consider a carbon steel variety. Finally, the nonstick coating are the easiest to use. But they do wear down overtime. Choose one that best suits you.
Want more Oval Cookware? Check out our article on the Best Oval Cast Iron Dutch Oven.