When it comes to pans, chefs have a plethora of material options. A cast-iron skillet is sturdy, but it’s also plenty heavy, while a carbon steel one is nonstick, but its coating may contain chemicals that you’ll want to be careful about heating. Stainless steel is another worthy entry, and is superior to its brethren for its ability to perfectly brown or crisp meat and vegetables. Plus, it’s widely considered to be the most durable of the bunch, so you won’t have to treat it too delicately.
Stainless steel can withstand high temperatures without cracking, and distributes heat evenly, so no part of your food is ever left uncooked. Another perk of a stainless-steel skillet is that it’s nonreactive. That means that, unlike other pans, it’s safe to cook acidic foods like lemon juice, vinegar or tomatoes in it.
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The one thing to watch out for when it comes to stainless-steel skillets is that some food will stick to it. It’s best not to try cooking delicate foods like eggs or pancakes in a stainless-steel pan for this reason. That being said, it’s one of the best utensils out there for making crispy chicken, mac and cheese and steak. Here are four of the best to add to your kitchen’s arsenal.