This best fry pans for cooktops guide will help you decide which fry pan you should buy. The cooking surface is just as important as the material the fry pan is made from. This is because the three main types of cooktop surfaces produce heat differently, and the material a pan is made from distributes it differently. In the case of induction ranges, a fry pan might not distribute heat all all.
Electric ranges can be frustrating, especially if you are using the wrong frying pan. It takes a long time for the burner to heat up, and food can easily burn. For best results, chose a thick fry pan with a heavy bottom. You’ll find that heavy fry pans will heat evenly, and your meal will be less prone to scorching. For more information, visit our page on the materials used in fry pan construction.
For electric ranges, one of our favorites is the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillet (pictured right). It's as sturdy as you'd want in a skillet, as well as being chip and crack resistant. It has dual side spouts to accommodate both right and left handers, and it comes in six gorgeous colors.
Though not in as many homes as electric, many consider gas ranges the best for stove-top cooking. But since gas ranges heat quickly, frying pans made of cast iron, copper, and aluminum work best to evenly distribute heat. You can find more information about the construction of these types on our materials page.
One of our recommendations is the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Omelette Pan (pictured right). It's made of a heavy-gauge aluminum with three full layers of nonstick coating. The long stainless-steel handle stays cool no matter how high the flame and is backed by a lifetime warranty.
With an induction range, it is important that you choose a magnetic pan. Stainless steel and cast iron will get the job done to your liking. However, aluminum, glass, ceramic, and copper fry pans won’t heat up at all. Look for terms such as “induction ready” in the fry pan’s description. You can find more information on our materials page.
An induction ready fry pan that we highly recommend is the USA Fry Pan from Stonewall Kitchen Gourmet Food (pictured right). This versatile fry pan is crafted from five-ply stainless steel and has an aluminum core. It doesn't rock or spin on the cooking surface, will perform just as spectacularly on gas and electric stoves, and comes with a manufacturer's lifetime warranty.