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Skillets, Sauté & Frying Pans

Fry, sear, brown, poach, braise and sauté to your heart's content!

Here at Chef’s Complements we have a vast skillet, sauté and frying pan selection at sizzling prices. Whether you’d like to buy a small skillet to sear the perfect steak, a large frying pan for that Sunday family fry-up or professional sauté pans with lids, we stock every pan you can think of. From square frying pans and cast iron skillets through to non-stick sauté pans or stainless steel sauteuses it’s all right here on this website and in our kitchen store in Taupo.

Please note: Pans are measured according to the diameter of the lip, not the cooking surface.

What’s the difference between a frying pan, skillet and sauté pan?

  • A sauté pan has a wide, flat bottom and relatively tall, vertically straight sides. It usually has a lid and is heavier than skillets.
  • A skillet has sides that flare outward at an angle. It may have a lid which can be purchase separately.
  • A frying pan is the same as a skillet!

How to choose the right material for frying pans/skillets

We have put together a brief comparison of cast iron, stainless steel, carbon and non-stick frying pans to help you make an informed decision.

Cast Iron Skillets

  • Cook great steaks
  • Don’t react well with acids like wine
  • Gradually take on a natural patina which makes them non-stick
  • Won’t chip, scratch or peel off
  • No toxic chemicals released into food
  • Ovenproof

Carbon Frying Pans

  • Seasoned like cast iron skillets which makes them naturally non-stick
  • Lighter than cast iron frying pans and heat up faster
  • Affordable, durable & popular in commercial kitchens
  • Won’t chip, scratch or peel off
  • Safe to use at high temperatures (unless non-stick skillets)
  • Compatible with induction cooktops and ovenproof

Stainless Steel Fry Pans

  • Number One choice for many professional cooks
  • Long-lasting, durable & light-weight
  • Entirely non-reactive (great for cooking with acidic ingredients such as wine or lemon choice)

Trick for cooking in a stainless steel frying pan: Heat to high heat, turn down and put a drop of oil in the pan. Swirl, leave a minute or so, then add food and more oil if necessary.

Non-stick Frying Pans

  • Ideal for low- or no-fat cooking
  • Great for gentle cooking such as eggs or fish
  • Don’t brown food as well as other pans
  • Easy clean-up (DON’T put in the dishwasher as this can damage non-stick coating!)
  • Care needs to be taken when storing non-stick pans to protect coating (see our light-weight felt pot and pan protectors)
  • Don’t tolerate high heat as this can damage the non-stick surface

How to care for cast iron skillets/frying pans – how to season cast iron

Most cast iron skillets come pre-seasoned, making them non-stick. However, if you notice a dull, gray colour or if food starts sticking to your cast iron frying pan, you can simply re-season your pan in 4 easy steps:

  1. Wash your skillet with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush, then dry thoroughly.
  2. Apply a THIN, even coating of melted vegetable shortening or cooking oil to your frying pan inside and out.
  3. Place aluminium foil on bottom rack of your oven to catch drips, then preheat to 175 to 200 degrees.
  4. Bake your skillet for 1 hour, then turn your oven off and let frying pan cool in the oven.
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Skillets, Sauté & Frying Pans

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