From the length of the handle and whether it’s non-stick, to whether it’s ridged or smooth, comes with a lid, and can go into the oven, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to frying pans, so here’s how to choose the best one for you.

Before you even think about buying a pan, check your hob. If it’s induction, you need to look for a pan that specifically says that it will work with induction hobs. Unlike gas and electric hobs, induction hobs don’t actually produce any heat. Instead, when you place a pan on the hob, the metal coil in the hob creates a magnetic field that results in an electric current that heats the pan. But if your pan is made of aluminium, glass, or copper, it won’t work with an induction hob unless it has a layer of a magnetic material on the bottom.


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Most frying pans have a smooth base, but if your budget—or storage space—is tight, and you’re less fussed about eggs and omelettes, you might want to think about a griddle pan which can be a lot more versatile than a frying pan. If you also have a saucepan in your kitchen arsenal, you’ve got almost everything covered. Griddle pans come with ridges in the base and are great for cooking meat, seafood or vegetables. The ridges hold the food away from the fat, making them a healthier option.

To make your frying pan even more versatile, look for models that come with lids and can also go in the oven. This means dishes like tarte tatin—an upside down apple tart that you need to start on the hob and finish in the oven—can easily be transferred between the two. Similarly, if you’re making a pot pie or toad in the hole, having one pan that will take you all the way through makes life—and washing up—easier. Shorter handles make for more manoeuvrability if you’re looking to use a pan in the oven—and can be less of a hazard when the pan is on the hob too.