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The Best Shallow Frying Pan for Your Kitchen

Best shallow frying pan

Shallow frying is a cooking technique that requires less oil than deep frying. It can be used to fry a variety of delicious foods, including fried chicken, french fries, and onion rings.

In this article, we will help you choose the best shallow frying pan for your kitchen!

You would think that a chef like myself only enjoys restaurant-style foods. Occasionally I like to treat myself to some homemade french fries or fried chicken.

Fried food is fantastic; it packs loads of flavor, and it’s easy to make if you have the right frying pan for it.

I reviewed three pans that are great for shallow frying. The best overall pick is the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet with Iron Cover and Assist Handle. It both retains and conducts heat well, and it’s an excellent value.

Our 3 Best Shallow Frying Pan Picks

Below are the best shallow frying pans you can buy today.




Best Shallow Frying Pan For Your Kitchen

Below you will find three reviews of some of the best shallow frying pans. 

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet with Iron Cover and Assist Handle Review

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet with Iron Cover and Assist Handle
  • Material: Cast iron
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick: Yes (When seasoned)
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Come with lid: Yes
  • Induction compatible: Yes

This Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet with Iron Cover and Assist Handle is the best overall shallow frying pan because of its solid construction and excellent value. This pre-season cast iron skillet is durable and great for shallow frying, searing meats, cooking steaks, stews, and soups.

Build quality of this Lodge skillet is well above what you can expect from a frying pan in this price range. This pan is extremely heavy, which can be a downside for some, but I’m sure you’ll be happy with this purchase because it’s an investment that’s going to last a lifetime.

I saw some reviews online complaining that the seasoning or the coating is coming off. It can happen if you don’t take care of it properly. My Lodge skillet is in mint condition mainly because I know how to take care of it properly.

Cast iron is a great heat conductor; therefore, the cooking performance with this skillet is excellent. Shallow frying with this Lodge skillet is easy. It distributes heat evenly throughout the cooking surface. The tall sides give you enough space to fill the pan with oil, just enough to submerge food into it. Remember, once you put the food in the oil, the oil level will rise.

It also comes with a heavy lid; however, it’s not very useful for frying. But if you plan to use this pan for other dishes, it will come in handy.

Helper handle is a nice extra feature, especially when a pan is so heavy like this Lodge skillet. Most pan doesn’t have this feature and if you want to learn the differences between skillet and frying pan I suggest you to read this article I wrote.

Maintenence, on the other hand, is not that easy. It requires seasoning. After frying, it can be a messy job to clean the skillet.

Pros

  • The best pan when it comes to shallow fry
  • Retains heat well
  • Durable
  • Well built
  • Can withstand high heat
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Requires a lot of maintenance
  • Heavy



Cuisinart 733-30H Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Cover Review

Cuisinart 733-30H Chefs Classic Stainless 5 12-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Cover review
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick Coating: No
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Come with lid: Yes
  • Induction compatible: Yes

This Cuisinart 733-30H Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Cover is an excellent choice for those on a budget. It’s not the best stainless steel option, but it’s an excellent value for the money.

The build quality of this Cuisinart saute pan is solid. It also feels heavy, but not too much. The stainless steel handle is attached well and very comfortable to hold for a long time without any sign of tiredness or pain in your hand.

Because of this pans structure, I’m worried it might warp someday. I’ve seen customers complaining about this already. But only a few encountered this issue. O multi-ply construction with reinforced rims would make it more durable, but it’s hard to expect that at this price range.

Stainless steel is not the best heat conductor; therefore, this pan has an aluminum base that conducts heat evenly. So cooking food on this pan is great. The tall sides make it perfect for shallow frying.

This Cuisinart stainless steel saute pan comes with a helper handle that makes it easier to move it around the kitchen countertop when cooking over the stovetop fire burner or induction cooktop.

Stainless steel interior surface does not perform as well as a nonstick pan. Keep in mind that if you want to use this pan daily, you’ll need to get used to it.

Cleaning this pan after using it for frying is relatively easy. However, it’s not as easy to clean as a nonstick pan.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Stainless steel handle gets hot when on a gas stove.



Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan with Cover Review

Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan with Cover review
  • Material: Hard anodized aluminum
  • Oven safe: Yes
  • Nonstick Coating: Yes
  • Dishwasher safe: No
  • Come with lid: Yes
  • Induction compatible: No

Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan with Cover is an excellent nonstick shallow fry pan. It performs great; therefore, it would be a perfect addition to your cookware arsenal.

Build quality is excellent, but it doesn’t feel as premium as other stainless steel pans like All-Clad. The pan is light. It has a thin base that is prone to warping. According to few reviews online, I saw people complaining about the warping as well.

The riveted stainless steel handle is solid and comfortable to hold. However, food stuck to the rivets on the interior surface, which can be annoying to clean.

Cooking performance, on the other hand, is excellent. PFOA-free nonstick layer performs great. When shallow-frying, try to keep the temperature low to medium for the best performance.

Cleaning this pan after using a lot of cooking oil is easy. With a few dashes of dishwasher soap, the fat comes off easily. Keep in mind that this pan is not dishwasher safe.

Pros

  • Performs well
  • Good value for the money
  • It comes with a helper handle
  • It has a glass lid

Cons

  • The thin base is prone to warping.



Guide to Buying Shallow Frying Pan

Below is a guide on how to buy the best shallow frying pan.

Material

The material from which your pan is made will determine how well it takes to heat and its overall durability. The most common materials used for a shallow frying pan are:

  1. Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials for pans. It is durable and won’t corrode or rust over time. Make sure the pan has a multi-ply construction that includes materials like aluminum or copper for the best heat distribution.
  2. Cast iron is another good material for pans as it distributes heat evenly and is extremely durable, but it can be heavy.
  3. A nonstick pan can be an excellent option; keep in mind you can’t use very high temperatures because it can damage the nonstick coating or warp.

Pan Size

The best size for a shallow frying pan is one that is just big enough to hold all of your food without crowding them. A pan too small will cause the food to become soggy (because oil can cool down very fast when a pan is overcrowded) rather than fry, and a pan too large may not heat up quickly or evenly.

The ideal size for shallow frying pans is about 12 inches across, so you have plenty of room for your food. Also, it doesn’t require as much cooking oil.

Heat Conductivity

The best material for a pan is one that has good heat conductivity, so the pan heats up quickly and evenly. Copper and aluminum are the best materials for heat conductivity. Stainless steel is a good option, but it doesn’t hold as much heat. However, stainless steel bonded with aluminum or copper is some of the best pans for shall frying.

Features

It’s great to have a frying pan that is also induction compatible. It makes it more versatile.

Maintenence

Cast iron is difficult to maintain. It requires seasoning, and it isn’t easy to clean. I have a guide on how to clean cast iron skillets.

Before choosing a shallow frying pan, make sure to consider how much maintenance it requires. Stainless steel and nonstick cookware are much easier to clean and maintain.

Price

The best price for shallow frying pans is around $50. The pan should have good heat conductivity and be well made. It doesn’t need to have lots of features or extra bells and whistles, just a simple design that does the job it’s intended for.

Don’t choose an expensive deep fryer if you are only going to use it for shallow frying.

Difference Between Deep Frying And Shallow Frying

Shallow frying is when food is submerged in oil just deep enough that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the pan. Deep frying is when your food sits on top of a pool of oil, and you need to use tongs or a spider strainer to get it out.

Shallow frying

Shallow frying happens at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while deep frying usually takes place at about 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Deep frying is usually done with a deep fryer (you can also use a pot or a saucepan in some cases), while shallow frying can happen in many types of cookware, including cast iron skillets or nonstick pans.

Deep Frying

You need less oil when you shallow fry since your food isn’t completely submerged in it, like when you’re doing deep-fried foods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about deep fry and nonstick pans.

Are Woks Good For Deep Frying?

Most wok pans are not that great for deep fry because they have a thin layer of metal. You can still use them, but it’s not recommended for deep frying because the oil will cool down too quickly and heat up too fast.

Carbon steel wok is the best type of work for deep frying. They are thicker than other types, and they conduct heat better, resulting in more even cooking.

Can You Shallow Fry In a Nonstick Pan?

Yes, shallow frying pans are great for high heat cooking. Most nonstick pans have a PFOA-free coating that is safe to use at up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them perfect for the job.

Keep in mind some nonstick pans are only good on medium heat, so you’ll want to check the description before buying.

Our Verdict

The best pan for shallow frying is Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet with Iron Cover and Assist Handle because it’s durable, well priced, conducts heat evenly, and I’m sure this pan will last a lifetime. You can’t get more in this price range.

Best Value For Money Cookware Set

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