Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: March 21, 2021
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In the modern world, the art of cooking has advanced tremendously, and this process isn’t what it used to be. Nowadays, people have found out new methods to cook without having any negative effect on the nutrients, which results in a healthier lifestyle and diet. In truth, this is a golden age as far as cuisine is concerned, and a stir fry pan is evidence. With the best stir fry pan and its outstanding heat distribution, you days of eating poorly cooked meals are behind you.
Apparently, like every other product, there’re too numerous options to pick from, so you’ll need some help to choose the best pan for stir fry. Knowing that, we’ve helped you do the dirty work and gathered the top five stir fry pans on the market. We took some key factors into account, which include the material, handle and coating features to determine how durable the pan will be, as well as the size to get the idea of the pan capacity.
For our research, we consulted a lot of sources. Not only did we read the specifications of the products, but we also went as far as reading customers feedback and even testing each model ourselves. Ultimately, everything we found out has helped shape this guide. First of all, we have included a comparison table, which with everything included will give you an idea of what each product is capable of. We’ve also reviewed each product individually, and have included an enlightening buying guide at the end of the article.
With its incredible functionality and unmatched durability, the Cuisinart 726-38H is our number one stir fry pan on the market. Produced using high-quality 18/10 stainless steel, it’s better than most fry pans in terms of material quality. In fact, it is capable of withstanding heating temperatures up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. And since it’s equipped with an aluminum core, it’s absolutely safe for cooking. In terms of size, it measures 14 inches, which makes it one of the biggest products on this list.
To provide you with maximum convenience, the loop handles are extremely handy. Besides, both the helper handle and riveted handle are designed to remain cool to touch. Apart from guaranteeing a convenient cooking experience, it also makes sure that your food remains in place. In terms of cleaning, this product is dishwasher safe. This allows you to easily clean it up after cooking. Besides, the rim is made from stainless steel, and there is a special glass lid that makes it perfect for simmering dishes and soups.
Without any doubt, you’ll surely enjoy healthy cooking with this stir fry pan. Additionally, there is no need to season it like cast iron fry pans. However, the only drawback customers mention is that the lid is quite heavy and inconvenient to use.
Another excellent product we felt compelled to include on this list is the COOKLOVER Chinese Wok and Stir Fry Pan. Apart from having a contemporary appearance, this stir fry pan is equipped with a die-casting aluminum construction that guarantees even heat distribution and is also scratch-resistant. The pan’s exterior and interior are coated with a non-stick coating, which makes it super easy to clean. Even more impressively, the material used to produce the pan makes it smokeless, durable, and eco-friendly.
Furthermore, it comes with a silicone handle that is soft to the touch. Besides, its woodgrain design means it also serves as a Wok stand. To make it easy to monitor the progress of your food, there is a transparent glass lid on the frying pan. The lid also has a steam vent that helps prevent the inside of the pan from becoming excessively hot. And this fry pan is also renowned for its even heat distribution, thanks to its anodized aluminum. The anodized aluminum also means it works best on medium heat.
The stir fry pan also comes with an induction bottom, which conducts heat evenly and quickly, retains heat longer, and saves time and energy. This pan is suitable for gas, electric, ceramic, and coal cooktops. The non-stick surface is also super-easy to clean, scratch-resistant, and completely free of PFOA. However, weighing 5.6 pounds, this pan may not be ideal for people with balance or wrist issues due to its heavy weight.
If you’re looking for a stir fry pan with a unique appearance, an obvious choice is the Rachael Ray Cucina Hard-Anodized Stir Fry Pan. With an espresso colored non-stick pan surface and soothing blue handle, you’d also agree with us that this pan looks unique. The lid and the handle’s blue tone make it a beautiful addition to the interior of any modern kitchen. The product is produced using hard-anodized aluminum, which is extremely sturdy and allows for speedy and even cooking without ever burning your food.
Furthermore, the bowl-like round shape of the fry pan is another thing we love, which provides a generous space and depth for making stir-fried dishes with many ingredients since the meal will remain inside the fry pan regardless of how much you stir it. Besides, the pan comes with a tempered glass lid that features a stainless-steel rim and a stay-cool silicone handle. This enables the fry pan to prevent the food’s moisture and flavors from escaping while enabling you to keep an eye on the process via the lid.
That’s not all – apart from being suitable to stove cooking, you can also use the fry pan in the oven, since it’s designed to resist heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides, the fry pan is dishwasher-friendly, which makes it easy to clean your pan after cooking. Probably the only shortcoming we found with this fry pan is the fact that it can’t be used on an induction cooktop.
If you want to be able to really relish stir-frying your food with the least amount of oil possible, the you must buy a stir-fry pan with really effective non-stick properties. With that said, one excellent example of such a pan is the TeChef Blooming Flower 11″ Wok/Stir-Fry Pan, which is designed to be suitable for low-fat stir-frying with six layers of powerful Teflon platinum coating. Even more reassuringly, the non-stick coating adopted on this fry pan is fully certified to be safe for your health. Therefore, you don’t need to be worried about health risks often caused by coatings on cookware.
Apart from that, the fry pan also features a special design in the middle, which indicates the amount of oil you need to cook your food. When it comes to the construction, the pan is produced using thick-gauge aluminum. This is known for its outstanding heat conduction and how it helps your pan to heat up quickly.
Certainly, this model will increase the elegance of the interior of your kitchen. As if that wasn’t enough, the handle of the pan is coated with a soft material that gives you a comfortable and firm grip throughout your cooking. According to users, however, this fry pan doesn’t seem to be durable. Reportedly, it loses its non-stick ability quickly, and requires much seasoning after that, which is really disappointing.
For people in search of a stir fry pan that they can use on different kinds of heat sources, the Cook N Home 12-Inch Nonstick Stir Fry Wok Pan may be the ideal option. It is probably the best 12-inch non-stick stir fry pan you’ll find on the market. This Cook N Home fry pan can be used on ceramic, halogen, electric, stoves, induction, and gas cooktops. This means that in places where the normal electric or gas stoves are unavailable, this product may be right perfect kitchenware.
Apart from its incredible versatility, it also comes with a thick-gauge aluminum build with a non-stick interior. This construction makes it ideal for stir-frying your rice, meat, vegetables, and more. The color of this stir fry pan is another thing we love about it. Coming in green color, nobody can argue about the uniqueness of this model. Obviously, a green stir-fry pan is not something you see every day, which adds to the aesthetics of your kitchen.
Furthermore, the fry pan is quite generous in terms of depth and space, allowing you to cook medium-sized meals without breaking a sweat. Another thing is that the handle of the pan has been designed to be very durable and has been coated with a soft material, giving you a firm grip while cooking with the stir pan. While the pan is heavier than most users would have loved, its affordable price means we can’t complain.
What we liked:
Generous depth and space
Unique and beautiful design
What could be better:
Things to Consider
Apparently, even though a stir fry pan is just the modern, westernized version of a wok, it’s a new product on the market. Therefore, you need to equip yourself with all the knowledge you can get your hands on before going on to shop for the best pan to use for stir fry.
Stir fry pan vs. traditional wok – which is better?
For starters, a wok is an old-fashioned Chinese pan utilized for cooking at high temperatures in a speedy manner, usually stir-fry. Traditionally, Chinese men also used large woks for boiling water and cooking soup or rice in traditional settings.
Stir fry pans, on the other hand, are modern westernized woks, usually smaller than the old-fashioned woks and usually have flat bottoms, which make them suitable for electric and gas stoves alike. While Stir fry pans may not be capable of being as hot as a traditional wok, they’re still excellent pans for many applications.
However, buyers are always stuck between choosing either the old-fashioned Chinese wok or going for the newer westernized model. While either option will be a great choice, stir fry pans are better in our opinion, primarily due to their incredible versatility and even heat distribution.
Features to consider while choosing a stir fry pan
If you are thinking that a stir fry pan is just a pan, you have to rethink as there are so many variations, designs, and sizes. Therefore, there is nearly a perfect model for everyone. The following are the key factors that you will have to take into consideration when making your choice.
Thanks to its superb speed and effectiveness, stir-frying is one of the most popular methods for cooking at modern home kitchens. In order to achieve this, you need an excellent stir fry pan that is capable of delivering heat quickly to the food. Because of this, you need to choose a stir fry pan that is produced using a material with excellent heat conducting abilities.
Apart from being a great heat conductor, it should be able to evenly distribute heat as well so that the food won’t be burned. While aluminum, cast iron, and steel are some of the most effective heat conductors for stir-frying, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you have to know all about their properties before choosing the right material for your needs.
Unlike numerous other methods that require you to stir food gently, stir-frying needs quick tossing movements using your utensil. Thus, it’s crucial to have a stir-fry pan with a deep interior and a wide rim that’ll prevent your food from escaping the pan while tossing it roughly.
Nevertheless, the pan’s bottom has to be flat, so that it can sit securely on the flat stovetops. Also, it is helpful if your stir fry pan comes with a lid, so that you can use the stir-fry pan for other many other purposes like making sauces and soup.
Stir-fry pans are usually made from numerous different materials, with each of them coming with different characteristics. For example, while aluminum distributes and responds to heat extremely well, stainless steel requires more time for heating up, but is known if its ability to hold the temperature for a longer period. Some stir-fry pans will have an aluminum core as aluminum usually reacts with food and usually changes its taste. However, a stainless steel pan does not require a non-stick coating.
As several people are starting to eat and cook with less oil, it’s best to find a stir-fry pan that comes with a non-stick coating like the TeChef Blooming Flower 11″ Wok/Stir-Fry Pan. Various stir-fry pans utilize a different non-stick coating for their interior and sometimes exterior, so the best thing is to choose a durable non-stick coating that wouldn’t be damaged or peeled off easily. It’s also vital to look for a non-stick coating that’s safe for your health.
One key advantage of a stir-fry pan is that they often feature a long handle, which makes moving the pan easier while cooking. Besides, the long handle needs to have ergonomic contouring, which prevents it from making your hands ache after every cooking session. We recommend you to choose stir-fry pans that have handles that are covered with a soft material like rubber (like the COOKLOVER Chinese Wok and Stir Fry Pan). This allows you to have a soft but firm grip.
And most significantly, it has to stay cool regardless of how hot the pan is, so that it doesn’t burn your hands. There are even models that feature an additional support handle at the pan’s other side, which is a great feature that enables you to safely carry the pan as a stir-fry can be relatively heavy, particularly when they’re full.
Size and weight
For optimum convenience, you will have to take the size and weight of every pan that you are about to purchase into consideration as these factors are likely to have a big impact on your cooking. While you will need to select a model that is between ten and twelve inches wide for daily cooking, you should choose a 13-inch or above model if you have to cook for a large group of family or friends.
The weight of the pan depends considerably on the material that it is made from. Cast iron, for instance, is heavier than stainless steel, which is, in turn, heavier than aluminum.
You also need to consider some extra features apart from the ones we have listed above. Some of them include a warranty, lids, and accessories included in the purchase. Obviously, a warranty is like the security on the product you’ve purchased, so it’s important. Models that come with a lid, like the Cuisinart 726-38H will allow you to not only stir-fry, but also simmer your dishes when necessary.
How to clean your stir fry pan
Properly cleaning and maintaining your stir-fry pan will give it a longer lifespan. It’s ideal to clean it after every cooking session, regardless of what you’re cooking. With this, the stir-fry pan will remain in optimum condition at all times.
Rinse the stir-fry pan in hot water.
Scrub away or lift off food particles gently with a non-metallic scrubber. In the event that the food is stuck on the pan, soak the pan in hot or warm water for about five minutes and attempt to scrub the food off afterward.
Rinse the stir-fry pan until all the particles have been removed.
Use paper towels to dry the exterior and interior of the stir-fry pan.
To speed up the drying, put the pan on the top of the stove and put it on medium to high heat.
Wipe the pan’s interior with a small volume of vegetable oil as it helps in the prevention of rusting. However, bear in mind that this step may be unnecessary if your pan is seasoned properly and is often used.
While you don’t necessarily have to season your stir fry pan, you’re advised to, especially if your pan is produced using porous metals like carbon steel and cast iron. Seasoning such pans help prevent rust.
If you know anything about kitchenware at all, then Cuisinart is a name that should sound familiar to you as it’s one of the biggest brands in the industry. While the Cuisinart 726-38H surprisingly doesn’t work with induction stoves, we can’t take away its other outstanding abilities. It is not only oven-safe, it is capable of withstanding up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven, which is outstanding. It came out on top in this round, but not without some completion.