Which Pan Is Right For You?

- When cooking (fun jazzy music)

in the kitchen, it's very important

to use the best tools for the job.

This will ensure maximum flavor as well as optimal textures.

Hi, my name's Alexis, and today

we're going to talk about the difference

between three common household pans.

Let's start with the nonstick pan.

This is probably the most common pan for beginner cooks.

These are fairly inexpensive, and due

to their nonstick surface, they're super easy to clean.

To increase the longevity of your pan, you need to ensure

that you're taking proper care of the nonstick surface.

For example, when you're making scrambled eggs,

you should always be using silicone or wooden tools.

And that goes for all other dishes as well.

To get the best results from your nonstick pan,

we recommend you cook delicate dishes

like eggs, pancakes, grilled cheese,

and lighter fish such as tilapia.

Proteins like steak, chicken thighs,

burgers, or salmon aren't ideal for a nonstick pan,

as those require high heat.

If you're looking for easy cleanup

and don't wanna make dishes that require

high heat, this is the pan for you.

So now let's talk about cast-irons.

I think everybody should own one of these pans.

Cast-iron pans are exceptionally versatile.

These sturdy pans can be used

on the stovetop as well as in the oven.

Cast-iron pans are not only affordable,

but if you take proper care of them,

they can last for decades.

These long-lasting pans can be used

to cook an array of dishes, from steak,

fruit cobbler, and even frittata.

You can cook nearly everything with a cast-iron pan,

but for beginner cooks, they may seem intimidating.

Pans need to be treated before their first use,

and the cleanup is more involved than with a nonstick pan.

If you're willing to do the cleanup,

cast-iron pans are a worthwhile addition to any kitchen.

Now let's talk about our third and final pan.

Stainless steel is without a doubt

my favorite pan to use in the kitchen.

These pans are built tough, and like cast-iron,

can be used on the stovetop or in the oven.

They're particularly good

when you want a nice sear on a protein.

You can truly cook everything with a stainless steel pan:

salmon, sauteed vegetables, risotto, and even eggs.

The fear around using the stainless steel pan

is the idea that food will stick.

To prevent this, you need to make sure you're using

a pre-heated pan and the appropriate amount of oil.

So, here I have two chicken thighs, and I'm gonna show you

just how easy it is (clattering)

to make sure your food doesn't stick.

First things first, let's pre-heat the pan.

I'm going to add about two teaspoons of oil,

just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.

Once the oil begins to shimmer,

I'm going to add the seasoned chicken, skin side down.


I'm going to let the chicken rest

in the pan for a few minutes.

Once the chicken begins to pull away

from the pan, it should be ready to flip.


It's so easy.

Check out that beautiful golden skin.

I'm going to let them brown for a few more minutes

on the other side, and then I'm going

to finish them off in the oven.

After you remove the chicken from the oven,

there's going to be some brown bits

at the bottom of the pan.

This is called the foundation.

At this point, you can go ahead and scrub the pan,

or what I prefer to do is take advantage

of the amazing flavor from the chicken fat

and make a really simple pan sauce.

Reduce the stock for a few minutes,

then add garlic, thyme, and a bit of butter, and stir.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and you've got

a great, easy dinner and a clean pan.

So, as you can see, stainless steel

can do everything that a nonstick and a cast-iron can do.

In my opinion, it's the most versatile pan out there.