There are many different type of pans on the market. Frying pan, saute pan, omelette pan, nonstick pan, rondeau pan and more. They share a lot of similarities and difference. However, these pans specializes in different task. The frying pan is better for searing food, while the saute pan is better for sauce orientated sauce based dish. The Best Type of Pan for your Home Kitchen depends on the type of cooking you will do. Often time, its better to have a few different pan just for the occasion.
Best Type of Pan for Induction Cooktop
Any Pan that has a magnetic pull can be suitable for induction cooktop. You can test it via magnet. Generally, I recommend stainless steel fully cladded pan like those from All Clad. They offer quick and even heating. While you can use cast iron, I find that most induction cooktop too weak to fully heat it. Not only that, it can scratch the surface.
Different Type of Pans
Below, you will find a list of different pan. The type of pan you choose should depend on your need.
The frying pan is the kitchen workhorse. Almost everyone should have one. They sear, saute and simmer just about anything. True frying pan have low sloping side that promotes liquid evaporation. You should avoid pan with overly tall sidewalls. Those are more designed like saute pan. For a regular frying pan, you should stick with a fully cladded stainless steel pan. They give you the best sear and generally last a lifetime. I find that the All Clad D3 model offers a good balance of price and performance.
Non Stick Pan
A lot of Cooking Enthusiast will scoff at a nonstick pan. However, this nonstick cooking revolutionized the cooking industry. There is a reason why even professional chef uses nonstick pan. It makes life easier and are great for things like eggs and fish. With that being said, cheap flimsy one work, but the better one are the thicker models. They hold heat better and perform better overall. I find that the Professional Tramontina one is a good choice and affordable to boot. If you can, get a 8 Inch and a 12 inch for maximum versatility.
A Saute Pan is a straight sided pan. They are used for simmering, braising and even shallow frying. The main difference is that this pan holds more liquid than a frying pan. Since the sidewall is straight, it condense liquid more than a frying pan. This make it the perfect for braising. However, the condensation of liquid also means that its less effective at browning food. Since most food gets soak in liquid, having a pan that is nonstick is not that important. Its better to have a stainless steel one for durability.
A saucier pan or Chef Pan is less known but one of the most versatile. It is like a Wok with a wider base. They are great for braising or just as a soup pot. Since the walls are taller, they are also great for stir frys and tossing food. Sauces are also great for making, hence the name. The curved corner makes it perfect for blending sauces and other mixture. Whisk glads effortlessly across it as oppose to straight sided pop. 2 qt saucer are better for making sauces. However, the larger 4qt one is more versatile.
Best Type of Pan for your Home Kitchen Thoughts
These pans are the best for your home kitchen. You should be able to cook just about anything just with these pans alone. Although this list looks to be All Clad orientated, they do make quality cookware. Their design are great and perform well. The only downside is the handle. Not everyone enjoy it and some downright hate it. Nevertheless, there are many options out there. Choose one that best suit you.
Looking for a cross between a dutch oven and a saute pan? Check out our article on the Best Rondeau Pan.