Skillet is a must-have inside the kitchen. It is also known as a frypan or a frying pan. It is used for browning, searing and – of course – frying foods.
If you easily get confused when you are surrounded by different pots and pans, we have a tip for you to identify which one is a skillet. You are looking at a skillet when you see a pan with a flat bottom, wide diameter, no built-in lid, long handle, and low sides. Smaller skillets usually have a diameter of 8 inches. On the other hand, 12 inches is the typical diameter measurement for bigger skillets.
After careful research and product testing, we are giving you the best 12-inch skillet in today’s market.
Our Pick: Ozeri Stone Earth 12 Inch Frying Pan
Ozeri Stone Earth 12 Inch Frying Pan is 100% free from PFOA and APEO. Perfluorooctonoic acid (PFOA) is an obsolete material for cookware while alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEO) is banned because of its harmful effects on the environment. This 12-inch skillet has a stone-derived coating all the way from Germany, providing it with the ultimate nonstick, scratch-resistant and easy-to-clean surface. It can easily heat up because of its magnetized base and heavy-duty aluminum inside the pan.
Runner Up: Lodge Cast Iron 12 Inch Skillet
Lodge Cast Iron 12 Inch Skillet has a silicone handle so you will avoid touching hot metal. It is seasoned with oil for a long-lasting, nonstick finish. It is perfect for different ways of cooking food: grilling, frying, braising, broiling, baking, sautéing and searing. You can use this 12-inch skillet at home and even outdoors. It can be used on the stove, grill, inside the oven, or freely above the open fire when you go camping with family or friends. It can also last for more than a decade because of its durable materials. This product is the best when it comes to fast heating and heat retention.
Calphalon Nonstick 12 Inch Omelette Fry Pan comes with a free lid. Its features focus on the perfect cooking of hash browns, omelets and other simple frying tasks. One factor making this 12-inch skillet the best tool for omelets is even surface heating because of hard-anodized aluminum. The lid is composed of tempered glass for durability. This product can also be safely used in ovens. It recommends handwashing for longevity, but it is not a hassle because the surface does not retain any substance for easy cleaning. Its silicone handle has a beautiful shape for a more convenient cooking.
Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel 12 Inch Skillet has high-quality materials, making it a great choice not just for homes but for restaurants as well. Its lid tightly seals the food inside as you cook to retain moisture, nutrients, and flavors. Stainless steel is an excellent material for skillets because it does not change flavors and colors, and affect food chemistry. This 12-inch skillet is dishwasher-safe for convenient cleaning.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 12 Inch Open Skillet has sloped slides for a bigger cooking coverage. It cooks food deliciously because it avoids hot spots due to even heat distribution. It has a unique design with its helper handle and side grip, but it remains balanced when you cook any amount of food in it. The rims are good for quick and non-messy pouring. This product can also handle storage inside a freezer without deterioration of quality.
T-fal Ultimate Hard Anodized 12 Inch Fry Pan is affordable but can last for several years because of its durable aluminum composition. Despite its low price, it is nonstick, comfortable to use because of its silicone handles, and oven- and dishwasher-safe. Another amazing feature of this 12-inch skillet is its Thermo-Spot indicator. It can indicate if the pan is ready to cook something. You just have to wait for the centermost part to turn into a bright red dot.
How to Select the Best 12 Inch Skillet
The main factor to consider before purchasing the best 12-inch skillet for your home or business is the material or composition. Each material has different strengths and weaknesses. Before discussing the materials, we need to know first the features that define a perfect skillet.
The best 12-inch skillet should be easy to clean, scratch- and rust-resistant, free from the toxicity of Teflon, and nonstick. It should have an even heat distribution for flawless cooking. It must also heat up fast because of the material’s effectiveness in heat conduction. Lastly, a good skillet must not react to alkaline and acidic foods. Some skillets react to acid and alkaline which affects the color and taste of food, especially soup and sauces.
Now, here are the different types of 12-inch skillets according to the material:
Stainless steel skillets are easy to clean, scratch- and rust-resistant, Teflon-free, and non-reactive to acidic and alkaline foods. However, it may give inconveniences when it comes to fast and even conduction of heat. It can also be a hassle for simple cooking such as omelets because of its sticky surface.
Copper and Carbon Steel
Skillets made of either carbon steel or copper ace the nonstick factor. They are also good in distributing heat quickly and evenly. They are safe to use because of the absence of Teflon. But, cooking gourmet food is not preferable with these skillets because they can be reactive to certain ingredients. These frying pans also do not guarantee longevity because they are not resistant to scratches and rust. You need patience in owning carbon steel and copper skillets due to how tricky it is to clean their surfaces.
Cast iron skillets are similar with copper and carbon steel types when it comes to strengths and weaknesses. However, these are easier to clean because of improved coating. Cast iron is also the most common material for skillets.
Anodized aluminum skillets are poor conductors of heat. They are more useful in cooking simple food such as fried egg, omelets, and hash browns. They are also more likely to contain Teflon. If you are not careful, you might purchase a toxic skillet made of anodized aluminum.
Pure aluminum is the weaker alternative to anodized aluminum, even the weakest out of all materials for skillets. Its only strong points are heat conduction and resistance to rust. However, this material is one of the cheapest for budget-conscious buyers.
Stone-coated skillets are the best ones when it comes to functionality, durability, and safety. They ace everything we are looking for in a great skillet: non-reactive, quick and even heat distribution, nonstick, free from toxic, resistant to rust and scratches, and convenient to clean. The only downside? This material is rarer and more expensive compared to most types.
When it comes to composition, a lot of modern skillets contain a certain combination of materials to improve known weaknesses. For example, stainless steel can be nonstick after being combined with other materials. A skillet may also have different materials for the base and the sides. New skillets tend to have bonus features through a unique design and construction. That’s why it is best if you do more research about frying pans with an innovative combination of materials so you can take advantage of fresh features.