Best Stainless Steel Skillet


Comments Off on Best Stainless Steel Skillet | Last Update: September 3, 2019

Looking for the best stainless steel skillet? We don’t blame you! Good stainless steel is one of the safest materials for cooking, and many models cost less than cast iron or high-quality ceramic cookware. While cleaning and maintaining a stainless steel skillet can take a little time, the benefits outweigh the effort.

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Best Stainless Steel Skillets To Buy

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  • Heats up and cools down quickly
  • Lifetime warranty covers defects
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  • Extremely durable
  • Great size for all kinds of cooking tasks
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  • Perfect for omelets and other egg dishes
  • Versatile shape
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  • Flared edge makes pouring easier
  • Budget-friendly alternative
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  • Good quality, particularly for the low price
  • Cooks evenly and retains heat well
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Key Considerations: Best Stainless Steel Skillets

You might wonder why so many professional chefs enjoy cooking in stainless steel pans. There are a few reasons: Stainless steel looks great, it’s easy to clean, and it weighs less than similarly sized cast iron cookware. Additionally, stainless steel is classified as nonreactive cookware, meaning that it won’t promote a chemical reaction with the foods you cook in it. Here are some important things to keep in mind as you choose the perfect stainless steel skillet.

  • Weight – High-quality stainless steel skillets tend to be heavy, with thick bottoms that help prevent hot spots from forming. It takes a little longer to heat a heavy pan, but those extra moments translate to better food. Additionally, heavier skillets are less prone to warping.
  • Magnetic Bottom – If you like the idea of induction cooking, then be sure that the bottom of your skillet is magnetic. If the pan’s bottom is made with nickel-free stainless steel, then it will work with an induction cooker; if you go for a cheaper pan with an aluminum bottom, then you’ll need to add a magnetic plate to ensure that your skillet will be suitable for use on an induction stove.
  • Where Was it Made? – It’s important to consider the manufacturing process when choosing cookware. If you’re concerned about health implications connected with different types of metal, then it’s a good idea to spend a little time researching that country’s manufacturing regulations. Canada, the United States, and European nations have some of the strictest regulations, and are excellent sources for quality stainless steel cookware.
  • Aluminum or Copper Core – Aluminum can be pretty confusing stuff. On one hand, you’re probably wary of cooking food in it; on the other, a stainless steel skillet with a copper or aluminum core will heat up a little faster and you’ll enjoy even heat distribution as well. There’s a catch though – if your skillet develops deep scratches and you notice rust developing, then it’s a sign that metal from the core could be leaching into your food – and if that’s happening, it’s time to replace your cookware.

With these considerations in mind, you’ll find it easier to select the best stainless steel skillet for your needs.

#1 All Clad Professional Master Chef 2 Stainless Steel Skillet

 

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The 10” All Clad Master Chef 2 Stainless Steel Skillet offers a classic, slope-sided profile. A brushed aluminum exterior and a thick aluminum core provide rapid, even heat, while the stainless steel interior offers a combination of food safety and easy cleanup. The riveted handle offers a long, tapered profile for a cool touch. This skillet is made in America, and is covered by All Clad’s lifetime warranty against defects.

Pros

  • Heats up and cools down quickly; more responsive than some other skillets
  • Lifetime warranty covers defects

Cons

  • Handle shape feels uncomfortable for some users
  • Aluminum exterior isn’t suitable for induction cooking
  • Exterior has a tendency to discolor over time

This Stainless Steel Skillet is Ideal For:

If you’re looking for a medium-size skillet that you can use for a variety of recipes, then you’re probably going to appreciate this one from All Clad. Note that there’s a bit of a learning curve for cooking in this skillet as it heats up very quickly and does best at low to moderate temperatures.

Once you’re accustomed to its responsiveness though, you’re likely to enjoy what it can do for your food. Functionality is the name of the game here, and this isn’t the prettiest pan, particularly after it’s seen some use. If you’re a stickler for shiny exteriors, skip this skillet in favor of one with a stainless steel outer layer.

#2 All Clad 12 Inch Stainless Steel Skillet with Lid

 

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The All Clad 12” Covered Skillet offers a wide, flat base and a low profile. With stainless steel inside and out, it offers an aluminum core for even cooking. The contoured handle is riveted to the pan’s body for strength. This skillet is oven and broiler safe to a temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It is compatible with induction tops, and is covered by a lifetime warranty. Made in America.

Pros

  • Extremely durable; stands up well to everyday use
  • Heats quickly and evenly
  • Great size for all kinds of cooking tasks, not to large and not too small

Cons

  • Best for low to medium heat; doesn’t work well at high heats (common issue in stainless steel skillets)
  • Some reports of wobbling
  • Must lift chrome lid to see inside

This Stainless Steel Skillet is Ideal For:

If you’re looking for a skillet that’s perfect for browning meat, sautéing veggies, and making quick sauces, then this one might be the one for you. Simple, classic, and very well-made, it’s our all-around pick for best stainless steel skillet for everyday use.

#3 Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel Omelet Pan

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Made with three layers of aluminum at its core, the Calphalon Signature Stainless Steel Omelet Pan features a stainless steel interior as well as a stainless steel exterior. A brushed stainless steel handle provides cool comfort, while a helper handle makes it easier to transfer food. This skillet is suitable for induction cooking. It is dishwasher, oven, and broiler safe, and is backed by Calphalon’s lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Perfect for omelets and other egg dishes
  • Nice long handle provides good leverage
  • Versatile shape makes it easy to sear meat and cook a variety of foods

Cons

  • Higher price than some similarly sized skillets
  • One report of a consumer receiving a pre-owned skillet instead of a new one

This Stainless Steel Skillet is Ideal For:

People who want a combination of versatility and utility are likely to appreciate this skillet. It’s a very popular model from a respected manufacturer, and it’s sized to handle a variety of tasks with ease. While it isn’t the heaviest 12” skillet we’ve reviewed, it does offer plenty of heft, even heat, and excellent heat retention.

#4 Tramontina Gourmet Prima Stainless Steel Skillet

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The Tramontina Gourmet Prima Stainless Steel skillet is induction-ready, with a triple-layer base of bonded stainless steel, aluminum core, and magnetic stainless steel. A contoured handle with steel rivets offers a combination of comfort and security. This skillet is made in Brazil, and is covered by a lifetime warranty. It is dishwasher safe, and can withstand oven and broiler temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros

  • Flared edge makes pouring easier
  • No hot spots
  • Budget-friendly alternative

Cons

  • Narrower base than some similarly sized skillets
  • No lid

This Stainless Steel Skillet is Ideal For:

People who are looking for a quality skillet at a moderate price are likely to appreciate this one. While its base is a bit narrow, its high, sloped sides are perfect for sautéing. Be sure to follow the enclosed instructions if you opt to add this pan to your cooking arsenal, and you’ll be rewarded with great-tasting food and easier cleanup.

#5 Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel Skillet with Glass Cover

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The Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel Skillet features high, straight sides for good heat retention. Ideal for browning and searing a variety of foods, it includes a vented, close-fitting tempered glass lid. The handle is rounded for comfort, and offers open construction for better air flow and a cooler feel. This skillet is dishwasher safe, and can withstand oven temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is compatible with induction tops.

Pros

  • Good quality, particularly for the low price
  • Cooks evenly and retains heat well
  • Very deep, large capacity

Cons

  • Heavy, but doesn’t have a helper handle
  • Water can be trapped in the seal between the lid’s glass and metal components; must be dried carefully to reduce potential for rust

This Stainless Steel Skillet is Ideal For:

If you like to cook large quantities of food, yet your budget won’t permit you to purchase an expensive name-brand skillet, this is an excellent alternative. Most users are thrilled with its capacity, as well as with its ability to cook a variety of foods perfectly.

The see-through lid is a fantastic extra. If you have trouble with heavy objects, note that this skillet might cause problems for you when it’s full. If you’re on the fence, know that you can get around the “no helper handle” issue by transferring food into a serving dish using tongs, a slotted spoon, or a ladle.

Caring for Your New Stainless Steel Skillet

Now that you’ve chosen the best stainless steel skillet for your kitchen; enjoy these quick tips for taking great care of it. Like cast iron skillets, good-quality stainless steel skillets can provide you with many years or even decades of satisfying meals.

  • Hand-Wash: True, it takes longer to hand-wash pots and pans and many brands are dishwasher safe, but washing in hot, soapy water, rinsing in clear water, and towel-drying can preserve the finish. Be sure to give your new skillet a thorough washing before its maiden voyage and after every use.
  • Season Your Stainless Steel Skillet: Before cooking, add a little bit of your favorite cooking oil and get the pan hot – almost to the point of smoking. Swirl the oil around, and then reduce the heat to the desired level if needed. Add a little more oil along with your food, and you’ll find that your pan is nearly if not entirely nonstick. You will need to repeat this process after every wash.
  • Avoid Harsh Scouring: Even meticulous cooks burn food from time to time. If you burn the bottom of your skillet, soak it in hot water scrub the burnt area with a little baking soda, which will wear through the burn without scratching the stainless steel. Wash as usual and if burnt debris remains, repeat the soaking process. Steel wool, scouring pads, and abrasive cleaners can damage your skillet. Avoid things like bleach and oven cleaner, too.
  • High Heat Causes Sticking: If anything is smoking, your pan is too hot and whatever you’re cooking is likely to stick. High heat can also cause warping, particularly in thinner, lighter weight stainless steel skillets. If you find this disappointing, consider investing in a cast iron skillet, which can take significantly more heat than other types of cookware.

With a few of the best stainless steel skillets in different sizes plus some easy tips and tricks to prevent burning, you’ll enjoy cooking more than ever – and your family and friends will appreciate the delicious results. We wish you success in your next culinary adventure!