When we consider buying a new pan we pay attention to different things. The first one is price, of course. How is it possible that some pans cost 3 and some other 30? Why should I spend 30 if I could have 10 for this price and use a new one every day? Well, taking apart wasting pans is not very ecological; the truth is there are many reasons that justify big price differences. The following are the things you must pay attention next time to buy the best pan for you.
1. What is it made from and how is it made
Material and manufacturing process are two of the key quality and price factors. As you can read in our post “How to distinguish between a good frying pan and a bad one at a glance”, aluminium pans can be stamped, forged or die casted. Stamped ones are the cheapest, but they also offer bad useful life and performance. Forged are more resistant and better but the best ones are die casted ones. Yes, they are also the most expensive ones, but we really recommend you to choose these ones if you can. Learn how to distinguish them. Frying pans are not only made of aluminium, there are other common materials such as iron and stainless steel you can learn about.
2. How is it coated
If you have chosen an aluminium pan, non-stick coating is as important as manufacturing process. Buying a super wonderful cast aluminium pan with an awful non-stick coating is probably a waste of money. Let’s get into this step by step: the two basic non-stick coatings used in aluminium pans are ceramic and PTFE. PTFE is the most known and popular, the old one. But you probably know him as Teflon –although Teflon is a brand. It has had some bad press recently, but don’t believe everything you read because it is not always true. And then we have the ceramic one, whose use has grown a lot since somebody started speaking badly of PTFE. The truth is both have some pros and cons, but despite all said about him, if your goal is avoid food from sticking on the pan, we still recommend you choosing PTFE. Not any old one, a good one, the one used by a manufacturer you trust in.
3. Where can you use it
This is a basic and very important point if you have or are thinking about having an induction cooktop. You must remember induction pans are suitable for all cooking surfaces; but if your hob is an induction one you would need an induction pan for sure. Yes, they are more expensive than the other ones, but the other ones don’t work in induction cooktops, even the prettiest ones. Good news is you can easily distinguish them because it is clearly indicated in packaging, but it’s very important to know that not all induction pans have the same good performance because making pans work in induction cooktops is not as easy as it seems. There are also some other things you must know to cook comfortably and without problems with induction. Don’t worry, they are easy facts. Finally, if you don’t have an induction cooktop and no plans to have one in the future, don’t buy induction pans. You will save some good money!
4. Details, details, details
So far, so good – but, not good enough by far: details are still missing. Are details really important in a pan? Yes, because details stress the difference. Design is very important in a pan. Not only because it makes it beautiful, but also because good designed pans offer more useful advantages and if we are going to spend good money in a pan, we must demand everything. Good design improves heat distribution for an easier cooking. Weight is also very important: it must not be too much light because it could knock over, neither too much heavy to be easily handled. But maybe the most important detail is the handle. It must be comfortable and ergonomic and, as we are requesting everything, removable handles are better.
To summarize, pay attention even to the smallest details before buying a new pan: take it, shake it, move it and play a little bit with it. Make sure it’s practical and comfortable because if you do it well it will last many years.