The Best Frying Pan for Steak: Guide and Reviews 2022

best frying pan for steak

If you are looking to buy a new frying pan, then this article is for you! As a chef, I have tested and researched the best frying pan for steak and compiled my findings in one easy-to-read article.

There are many different brands and styles of frying pans on the market today, with prices ranging from $20 to $200+. This makes it challenging to find the Best Frying Pan For Steak without doing hours of research. I will discuss what is essential when buying a new frying pan: heat conductivity, cooking surface area, nonstick coating material, and more!

For those who want to skip reading and head straight for the conclusion: HexClad 12 Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Frying Pan is the best pan overall. It doesn’t require as much maintenance as the cast iron. It’s versatile and performs well not only when cooking the stake but other dishes as well. As a chef, I love this pan.

However, if you’re looking for a pan on a budget, then this 10.25-Inch Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Fry Pan is the best-cast iron pan money can buy for cooking steak. It’s an excellent value for the money; it’s durable. Overall it’s a great frying pan for a juicy steak. However, keep in mind it requires extra maintenance, and it’s very heavy.

Our Top 5 Frying Pans For Steak

Here are the seven steak pans you should consider if you want to cook the most delicious steak.




Best Frying Pans For Stake Reviewed

Below you will find our reviews of the seven best frying pans for steak.

HexClad 12 Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Frying Pan Review

HexClad 12-Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Frying Pan Review
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick Coating: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Come with lid: No
  • Induction compatible: Yes

This HexClad 12 Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Frying Pan is the best pan for steak. I will even go as far as saying it’s one of the best stainless steel pans you can buy. I love this pan because it’s so easy to use, it’s durable. I’m sure most home cooks would love this pan as well.

This pan has a tri-ply construction which makes it very durable. Unlike some other same-size pans, this hard-anodized aluminum frying pan is lightweight. Right out of the box, this pan feels premium. The riveted handle is sturdy and quite thick.

But let’s talk about cooking performance. This is where this frying pan shines. The best feature about this pan is the nonstick coating. The highest-grade PFOA/C8 FREE ceramic nonstick coating is terrific for cooking and searing steaks. It claims it’s a scratch-resistant coating; however, I don’t dare to use metal utensils on this cooking surface.

This pan is conducting and retaining heat well. Excellent heat retention ensures that the steak cooks evenly and fast. Some pans drop in temperature quickly when you place two or three cuts of steak on the interior surface. It usually happens because of a thin base and materials used in the pan. My cast iron frying pan tends to develop hot spots where the heat source is most intense; therefore, steaks cook unevenly if you cook two or more steaks. This Hexclad has no issue with that. Lightweight construction makes cooking food a joy in this pan.

Cleaning a pan after seeing a steak is a messy job. The nonstick interior surface of this pan makes cleaning easy. I usually use a paper towel to get rid of the excess food and wash it under warm water with a dash of dishwashing soap.

Pros

  • Great non stick properties
  • Easy to clean
  • Comfortable stainless steel handle
  • It can withstand very high heat, which is important for cooking steak.
  • Oven safe

Cons

  • Expensive



10.25-Inch Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Review

10.25-Inch Lodge Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Review
  • Material: Cast-iron
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick Coating: Yes (when seasoned)
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Induction compatible: Yes

This 10.25-Inch Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is excellent for frying steaks. I would say this cast iron skillet is the best overall pick, but this pan has one significant disadvantage – it’s hard to maintain. 

The stainless steel pan is so light in comparison to this cast iron skillet. Yes, the build quality is excellent, and it feels indestructible. Most cast iron cookware is durable; hence you don’t have to worry about it. I’m sure it will last a lifetime.

The cooking performance on this cast iron skillet is not the best, but it is still great. Better than most frying pans. Cast iron among cooking enthusiasts and chefs is considered to be a pinnacle of all cookware materials because it’s so versatile. You can use it on a campfire, on your stovetop, or even in the oven. It’s also great at retaining heat, but when cooking more than one stake, it develops hot spots at the heat source, which is annoying because the stakes are browning unevenly—resulting in one part of the steak being more crispy than the other.

Cleaning cast iron skillet is not an easy task. You can’t just dip it in soapy water; otherwise, it’ll lose its natural nonstick surface, which you get from seasoning the pan.

Keep all these things in mind; even though this cast-iron pan performs well when searing and cooking, it requires more of your time to clean it and season it.

Pros

  • Great for searing steak
  • Withstands high temperatures

Cons

  • Requires seasoning with cooking oil
  • Heavy. Stainless steel cookware is much lighter.



12-Inch All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel fry Pan with Lid Review

12-Inch All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel fry Pan with Lid Review
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick Coating: No
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Induction compatible: Yes
  • Comes with lid: Yes

This 12-Inch All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel fry Pan with Lid is an excellent choice for steak lovers for a few reasons. First, it has a big flat cooking surface that can accommodate four or more steaks with ease. And the last thing it comes with stainless steel lid, which is rare because most fry pans do not include the lid.

This All-Clad D3 stainless steel pan is built well. It has three bonded layers of stainless steel and aluminum, which makes it quite heavy compared to some other pans in my review. A polished exterior looks fantastic, and overall, both the lid and the pan look premium. Riveted handles are sturdy though they could have made them a little bit thicker; that’s my personal preference.

The cooking performance is excellent. A tri-ply construction is thin enough to make this pan ideal for searing steaks. This pan is amazing for steaks because of aluminum (which is an excellent heat conductor)and stainless steel. It does not develop hot spots, which is a nightmare if you cook more than one steak. It also has excellent heat retention, although not as good as All-Clad D5.

Beware, the handle tend to get hot when steak is cooking on high heat.

The lid is not helpful for searing steaks; however, it is a more versatile pan for other dishes.

Maintenance is easy, although washing a nonstick pan after cooking steak is easier. Steak juices can burn if left unstirred. The tri-ply stainless steel construction is not as forgiving as a five-ply construction.

Another minor downside is a polished stainless steel exterior – it’s a fingerprint magnet. It’s hard to keep it clean.

Other than that, it’s an excellent option for someone who wants to have a lifelong pan for steaks.

Pros

  • One of the best pans for searing
  • Durable
  • Great design
  • Come with lid
  • Conducting heat well

Cons

  • It can be hard to clean
  • The polished exterior is hard to keep clean
  • Expensive



8 and 10.25 Inch 2-Piece Fry Pan Set Review

8 and 10.25-Inch 2-Piece Fry Pan Set Review
  • Material: Stainless Steel and Aluminum
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick Coating: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Induction compatible: Yes
  • Comes with lid: No

It’s great to have two different-sized pans. That’s why this 8 and 10.25 Inch 2-Piece Fry Pan Set is an excellent buy for those who don’t have both small and regular sizes in their cookware collection. I often use a smaller 8-inch pan for cooking one or two stakes. It’s more compact and takes less space on the cooktop.

Both ScanPan pans in this set are well built and durable. I like thick riveted handles; they are well constructed and solid. For nonstick pans, these two pans are heavy because both have a 5-ply construction.

I’ve noticed a smaller pan has a few scratches on the cooking surface, but that doesn’t impact cooking performance. It happens on nonstick cookware all the time.

While talking about performance, both the 8-inch and 10-inch pans are great for searing and cooking steaks. On both cooking surfaces, heat conductivity and retention are outstanding. Heat retention is excellent with only a tiny amount of cooking oil, steaks cook evenly and even in a full 10-inch pan.

Even though both pans are considered heavy for cookware with nonstick coating, they did not cause me any issues. Both have nice thick handles, which makes it easy to move around the kitchen.

Cleaning both pans is easy. Leftover residue comes off easily without needing to use abrasive scrub. In general abrasive scrubs, steel wool, and dishwasher are not so great for the cooking surface.

Pros

  • Great nonstick properties
  • Easy to clean
  • Superior heat retention due to a five-ply construction

Cons

  • Heavy



10.5-Inch T-fal Fry Pan Review

10.5-Inch T-fal Fry Pan Review
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick Coating: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Induction compatible: Yes
  • Comes with lid: No

I have mixed feelings about this 10.5-Inch T-fal. It performs great, and it’s an excellent value, but I’m not sure about its durability.

The build quality is not as good as the rest of the pans I tested in this article. For everyday use going for the HexClad or Lodge cast iron skillet is better (if you wonder what is the difference between skillet vs frying pan read this article). 

The black coating on the exterior started to peel while the interior surface is holding up pretty well.

Handle feel cheap and plasticky, unlike the All-Clad.

Cooking performance, on the other hand, is excellent. Steak cooks evenly on the nonstick titanium surface, and the pan responds to temperature changes instantly.

Cleanin this T-fal pan takes a minute or so. You can also use a dishwasher to clean it, but that may speed up the process of exterior peeling, so I would not recommend doing that.

Pros

  • Great non stick pan

Cons

  • Works best only on medium heat
  • Durability is not on par with more expensive pans



Guide to Buying Frying Pan For Steak

Here’s a detailed guide on how to buy a frying pan for steak.

Guide to Buying Frying Pan For Steak

Heat Conductivity

The Best Frying Pan for Steak conducts heat to cook your steak evenly. When choosing a frying pan, look at the metals used in construction. Pans made with aluminum or copper are very efficient conductors of heat and will help you achieve an even sear on your steaks every time. A copper pan is the best pan when it comes to thermal conductivity.

On the other hand, a cast iron pan is a poor conductor of heat and will require more time to reach an appropriate cooking temperature. Nevertheless, it’s still considered a gold standard when it comes to cooking the steak.

Stainless steel frying pans are another material that is great for searing steaks. The steel’s ability to hold heat and distribute it evenly will give you a perfect sear on your steak each time. 

However, when it comes to heat conductivity, copper and aluminum are better options. Here’s a thermal conductivity table to give you an idea of how each metal conducts heat.

MetalThermal Conductivity [BTU/(hr·ft⋅°F)]
Copper223
Aluminum118
Brass64
Steel17
Bronze15

Heat Retention

One of the most important things to look for in a frying pan is its ability to retain heat. If your steak isn’t cooking quickly and evenly, then you’re not going to get that nice brown crust on one side before the other has overcooked.

Cast iron typically has excellent heat retention, but it’s also very heavy.

Stainless steel is another good choice for its ability to retain heat, but it’s not going to be as heavy or sturdy as cast iron.

If you want a pan that retains heat well and is light enough that you can pick it up with one hand, then consider getting anodized aluminum.

Tri-ply pans are also very good at retaining heat and will keep your pan hot for a long time.

Weight

A good frying pan for steak for most home cooks should be light and easy to handle. The material determines the weight of a skillet: cast iron, carbon steel, etc., so it is important to consider this when choosing.

Some of the best frying pans for steak are made from cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum as it heats evenly and retains heat well.

Cast iron is not a lightweight pan – it can be too heavy for most home cooks. If that is the case, other lightweight options are equally good; however, they are more expensive than cast iron.

If looking for an ultimate lightweight pan, then a carbon steel fry pan is your best option.

Size

A bigger frying pan allows you to cook more steaks at once. The best size of the frying pan for steak is 12 inches in diameter and with a depth of two to three inches. A bigger pan is more versatile since you can cook steak only for yourself or the whole family. A smaller size frying pan, on the other hand, is ideal for cooking individual steaks.

Design

There are many different shapes of pans like square, rectangular and circular.

I want to point out one design feature that is often overlooked, and it’s a helper handle. The helper handle is that little handle on the opposite side of the long handle. Helper handles are used for lifting and moving pans when they are heavy with food. It’s also meant to provide an extra level of leverage and control when moving or tilting the frying pan because it puts less strain on your wrists and arms.

It’s an additional feature that you should consider if you’re regularly cooking steak or more than one steak at a time.

Maintenance

Steak pans are notorious when it comes to cleaning. They collect grease and can become a nightmare to clean.

Nonstick fry pans are easy to clean and do not require a lot of maintenance.

Cast iron pan, on the other hand, is hard to clean and requires more maintenance. You are going to need to season it before cooking.

Cleaning a cast iron pan requires more work than the nonstick pan. As I mentioned earlier, if you’re a type of home cook who prefers to spend less time cleaning and wants to avoid seasoning your pans, then stay away from cast iron frying pans.

Stainless steel and nonstick pans are the best ones for more practical home cooks.

Warranty

A good quality frying pan manufacturer should offer a warranty that can cover manufacturing defects. Preferably a lifetime warranty. It is an excellent way to ensure you get the most value for your money, especially if it costs around $100 or more.

What Is The Best Oil For Pan Frying Steak?

What oil should you use to pan fry steak? This is a question that I get asked all the time. The answer depends on what kind of steaks you are cooking and which ones taste best with your preferred preparation method. For most cuts of meat and most home cooks, the best oil for pan-frying steak is neutral oil with a high smoking point like grapeseed or canola oil.

What Is The Best Oil For Pan Frying Steak

You can use olive oil, but it is not as good. It will smoke at a lower temperature in comparison to canola and sunflower oils.

Best cooking oils for pan-frying steak also include clarified butter and lard. These fats have been used in European culinary traditions for centuries because they can withstand high temperatures without burning or getting rancid easily. They are the most popular choice among chefs who cook at high-end restaurants.

As a chef, I like to finish my steak with butter because it adds richness and depth of flavor to the meat.

So my advice would be to start with a grapeseed or canola oil and finish with a small amount of butter for more flavor. Once you’re comfortable with this cooking technique, try to fry pan a steak with clarified butter or lard if you want to impress your wife or friends with a tasty piece of meat.

Tips for Cooking Steak

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cook a perfect steak every time.

tips for cooking steak
  1. Take your steak out of the fridge 30 to 40 minutes before cooking. This will allow the steak to get to room temperature, which is very important because your meat will be more tender. Dry the beef with paper towels and season it generously with salt (leave pepper to the very end).
  2. Heat the pan until it is very hot but not smoking.
  3. Add some oil to the pan (about two tablespoons), making sure that you coat the surface evenly, so there is no bare spot where steak is touching the frying pan. You can use clarified butter or lard if desired, then add the steak carefully so that you don’t splash yourself with burning oil.
  4. Flip the steak once every minute.
  5. Once the steak has cooked for around three to five minutes on each side, you can start testing it with a meat thermometer (here’s a link for what temperature is a rare medium and well-done steak). If you don’t have a thermometer, the best technique is to cut a little piece of steak at its thickest part and look at how much pink it has (most chefs, including myself, can determine how well the steak is cooked by simply touching the meat, however for home cooks it might be more challenging). If your meat still looks red after cooking, and you prefer it to be cooked more, just leave it in a pan for a couple of more minutes.
  6. Once the steak is cooked to your desired temperature, leave it to rest for five minutes before serving.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are the most frequently asked questions about cooking steaks in a frying pan.

Cast Iron or Stainless Steel Which is Better For Searing?

Stainless steel pan with an aluminum core is better for searing meat because it ensures even heat distribution. Cast iron has a good reputation for searing meat, but it is not as well suited to this task because cast-iron pans are more likely to burn food than stainless steel or aluminum alloy because it develops hot spots at the heat source.

Can I Cook Steak In a Regular Frying Pan?

Yes, you can cook steak in a regular frying pan. Just make sure you get the right pan.

There are different types of frying pans on the market, but can you use any type of frying pan for cooking a steak? The answer is no. Some frying pans will work better than others for cooking your favorite cut of meat.

Some pans withstand high heat and can take the searing heat of a flat stovetop, while others cannot.

So make sure your fry pan is made from a material that can withstand the high temperatures required for pan-frying steak.

Pan Fry Steak Covered or Uncovered?

Never use the cover to pan-fry a steak. It will steam it instead of searing it.

The best way to pan-fry a steak is by not using the cover and cooking uncovered so that the juices can evaporate, causing them to caramelize on top of your meat, resulting in deeper flavor penetration. Pan-frying without covering also gives you more control over how done your steak ends up being.

Our Verdict

I love the versatility. I also appreciate the ease of use because nowadays, not everyone has time to look after their cast iron cookware. This premium HexClad 12 Inch Hybrid Stainless Steel Frying Pan is my absolute favorite pan of all time.

If you’re on a budget and expect to get a good frying pan for cooking steak, this 10.25-Inch Lodge Cast Iron skillet is also an excellent choice.

Best Value For Money Cookware Set

Take a look at this amazing cookware set! It would be an excellent addition to your kitchen

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