For someone new to cooking, knowing the types of cooking pans and using the right ones for the intended purposes can be an overwhelming task. Sometimes people tend to use the same cooking pan for all their cooking needs. This can cause problems because pans are designed for specific purposes. Frying potatoes in a frying pan will give you delicious food to eat while frying the same potatoes in a pan meant for boiling water can lead to bad results.
So, what are the different types of pans? Some of the most common are frying pans, sauté pans, roasting pans, sheet pans, bun pans, and sauce pans. Each of these pans serves different purposes and when used interchangeably, they do not provide the best results. Some of these pans even have subcategories, like sauté pans can be either straight sided or slope-sided.
In addition to the types, the material of the pan also plays a role in determining if the pan is right for a particular purpose. There are non-reactive pans which are used to cook acidic foods like lemons and tomatoes. These non-reactive pans are made of stainless steel or glass and unlike reactive pans, which are made of aluminium or cast iron, they do not impart any flavour in acidic foods.
Frying pans, like the name suggests, are used for frying vegetables while sauté pans are generally preferred for frying meats and fish. Sauté pans are also used for browning. Choosing aluminium for sauté and frying pans is usually recommended because it responds to the heat and does not distort when subject to high temperatures.
There are also non-sticky frying pans available which take up less fat when cooking food. These pans can be used to cook food with less oil and also, because of their non-sticking property, food doesn’t tend to stick, preventing them from breaking. Fish and eggs are usually cooked in non-sticky pans.
In some cases, steady and even heat is required and so, cast-iron skillets are used. Though it heats slowly, once the pan is heated, it holds the heat extremely well. This makes it the best choice for foods which need to be deep-fried or cooked slowly.
Sauce pans are used for heating soups and making sauces. They are shaped in such a way that it is easy to whisk the food out of the corners and they are spacious enough to stir the sauce when it is being made. The material used here is generally copper or stainless steel.
Sheet pans and bun pans are used for making cakes, rolls, cookies and other such items. They come in various shapes like square and rectangle and also in various sizes. Sheet pans are made of tempered glass or any other material that can be kept inside an oven.
In addition to the above mentioned pans, there are also other types like grill pans, gratin pans, paella pans, etc. Some can be used as a substitute for a pan that you do not have and the taste of the food still remains unchanged. However, it is easier and better to buy the proper pans from reputed kitchen equipment marketplace Nella Cutlery if you’re going to be cooking a particular cuisine or type of food regularly, because then using the right pans can make a huge difference in the end result.