How To Choose The Best Frying Pan: Ultimate Guide


Frypans used to be such a simple purchase. Once upon a time, you only had the traditional cast iron frypan. Then newer, more advanced aluminium versions entered the kitchen, and suddenly, choosing a frypan was harder than poaching eggs. 

Hard coats, anodised aluminium, aluminium coated stainless steel, stainless steel/aluminium, copper/stainless steel, carbon steel, Teflon, and other non-stick coatings make the list of frypan choices never-ending. And that’s all before considering the pan thickness and the other endless list of handle types. 

With all of that in mind, how do you go about selecting the perfect frypan? Well, that depends entirely on what you want to do with it. 

Do you have a specific cooking technique or recipe in mind, or is it just for general use in the kitchen? Sometimes it’s better to have more than one frypan for different services. But for now, we’ll take things one step at a time as we help you navigate your way through the frypan conundrum.

Which Frypan is suitable for you?

Lockdowns have made home cooking more important than ever. Unfortunately, a lot of us are cooking on subpar frypans. If you’re looking to explore new styles, cuisines, or just trying to nail a good steak, you might need to invest in the right kind of pan for your recipes.

Frypan handles

Depending upon the material the frypan is made from, your frypan could have a handle made from either heatproof plastic, cast iron, stainless steel, silicon or a combination of these.

Stainless steel handles are a brilliant choice as they don't conduct heat. Other metal handles have a hollow core, which helps keep the temperature down.

Silicon and heatproof plastic also stay cool during cooking, are comfortable to hold and less likely to slip if you have wet hands. Just be careful of some silicone handles as they're not designed to withstand high temperatures.

Weigh it up

Another important consideration when buying a frypan is deciding what feels right to you. Sure, a top of the range cast iron frypan might seem the perfect choice for those tender steaks, but if it's almost too heavy to lift, it'll invariably end up staying in the bottom of your kitchenware drawer.

Non-stick vs stick

Perfect for cooks who:

  • Like cooking to be quick, convenient and low maintenance.
  • Avoid cooking with unnecessary oils and butter.
  • Enjoy using nylon, silicone or wooden utensils.
  • Understand that a good, thorough handwash in the kitchen sink is safer than the dishwasher.

Non-stick fry pans have their pros and cons. For example, if you're looking for an everyday fry pan that can cook most foods like eggs, bacon, pancakes, fish and pancakes, a non-stick pan is perfect.

Their non-reactive coatings, such as Teflon, ceramic or even industrial diamond powders, mean just about nothing will stick to them, making clean-up a breeze; a damp rag is all you need.

The downside is that non-stick pans don't like high heat. Too much heavy heat will delaminate the coating and destroy the pan. And you can’t use metal utensils unless you want to scratch away the non-stick coating. 

For non-stick pans, follow the buy once, cry once policy. Buy the best quality non-stick pan you can afford, as the coating will be superior to the cheaper brands and will last much longer. Buying one good pan is much cheaper than buying multiple cheaper pans.

Minimax has a vast range of non-stick frypans, like our Swiss Diamond Prestige Clad Frypans. Made with Swiss Diamond's revolutionary diamond non-stick coating, little to no oil is needed to cook a healthy and nutritious meal. Constructed from a durable five-layer base for excellent thermal conductivity that eliminates hotspots, its sleek stainless-steel exterior will bring elegance to your kitchen.

Minimax Pan Tips: Never crank up the heat! Go low and slow with non-stick cookware. While high temperatures are ok for a quick sear, you’ll want to dial it down to medium when cooking with non-stick frypans.


Perfect for cooks who:

  • Are environmentally and health-conscious.
  • Want a pan that is more tolerant of high temperatures.

Ceramic frypans are also non-stick, thanks to the presence of silica. However, using one isn’t as straightforward as a regular non-stick frypan. The benefit of ceramic frypans is that it's a chemical-free cooking surface, making it an ideal choice for the environmentally and health-conscious cook and one of the fastest-growing frypan categories. Ceramic frypans are entirely PFOA, PTFE, lead and cadmium free, which means the pan doesn’t let off fumes and won’t blister if overheated.

Take your healthy cooking skills to the next level with the Premiere 28cm Frypan from GreenPan. This expertly crafted cookware for your kitchen features an advanced ceramic surface reinforced with diamonds for excellent heat transfer and durability no matter what you’re cooking.

Minimax Pan Tips: ceramic frypans are best suited to hands-on cooks. If you enjoy the art of cooking, you’ll want to invest your money in a selection of ceramic cookware.

Cast iron

Perfect for cooks who:

  • Need high temperatures to cook their food.
  • Want something virtually indestructible.

A significant advantage of cast iron is its ability to transfer heat from the cooking surface to what you're cooking. That's why, if you're looking for a frypan to cook steaks, cast iron cookware is your best bet.

Cast iron heats uniformly and efficiently, perfect for cooking on a mid to low heat to sear a perfect steak. Just make sure the pan is hot before slapping down your steak.

Apart from their weight, the main drawback with a cast iron pan is that it doesn't react too well to acidic ingredients, such as wine. For these meals, a stainless steel frypan is best.

As far as cleaning goes, a quick rub with a sponge and a natural abrasive, like salt, will clean most cooking residue.

Minimax also have a fantastic range of cast iron frypans from the world's finest pan makers. You'll find the full range of cast iron cookware online, including the Le Creuset 20cm Signature Cast-Iron Skillet is a frypan you'll hand down to future generations. Stylish and colourful, it makes a perfect serving dish, keeping food warmer for longer on the dinner table.

Minimax Pan Tips: before storing your cast iron pan, coat it with a bit of cooking to help prevent any rust spots.

Stainless steel

Perfect for cooks who:

  • Love a steak with a restaurant-quality crust.
  • Are prepared to forego easy maintenance in favour of a superior cooking surface.

Stainless steel is sometimes regarded as the jack of all trades for cookware. Stainless steel pans are much lighter than their cast iron cousins, long-lasting, and are non-reactive to acidic ingredients like lemon juice and wine. And you can use any kind of kitchen utensil when cooking with stainless steel, thanks to its protective coating.

Again, we refer to our buy once, cry once rule for stainless steel frypan purchasing. High-quality pans are typically heavier than other stainless steel pans thanks to their multi-layered construction, which helps spread the heat evenly and efficiently across the frypan.

As far as keeping stainless steel frypans clean, here is a fabulous trick you can use before every meal. Heat your empty pan to the highest heat. Turn the heat down, add a drop or two of oil to the pan and swirl it around to coat. Leave for a minute or two, then add your food (and more oil if necessary) and cook.

With the cooking complete, those first few drops of oil will have sealed the pores in the pan to prevent sticking. Now you can wash it all away without all that scrubbing.

Check out our enormous range of stainless steel cookware, from inexpensive quality pans to Italian-made chefs' quality pans. Browse our online collection today, including the beautifully crafted Swiss Diamond's Premium Steel Frypan Twin Pack. Featuring two of Minimax's most essential frypan sizes, it is the ideal addition for an introduction to cooking and busy kitchens alike.

Minimax Pan Tips: stainless in name and nature. Hot soapy water and an abrasive kitchen scourer - we suggest our best selling Euro Scrubby - is all you need to put the sparkle back in your pan.

Frypans from Minimax

So when shopping for a frypan, consider the handle, its thickness, materials and quality. Then weigh that up against the feeling of the frypan - It's weight, balance and just how it feels in your hand. That way, you'll be in a better position to make an informed choice when you purchase that perfect frypan at your nearest Minimax store.