Frying pan
Overview
 
A frying pan, frypan, or skillet is a flat-bottomed pan
Cookware and bakeware
Cookware and bakeware are types of food preparation containers commonly found in the kitchen. Cookware comprises cooking vessels, such as saucepans and frying pans, intended for use on a stove or range cooktop. Bakeware comprises cooking vessels intended for use inside an oven...

 used for frying
Frying
Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat, a technique that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC. Chemically, oils and fats are the same, differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when needed. In commerce, many fats are called oils by custom, e.g...

, searing
Searing
Searing is a technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food is cooked at high temperature so a caramelized crust forms. Similar techniques, browning and blackening, are typically used to sear all sides of a particular piece of meat, fish,...

, and browning
Maillard reaction
The Maillard reaction is a form of nonenzymatic browning similar to caramelization. It results from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat....

 foods. It is typically 200 millimetre in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, a long handle, and no lid. Larger pans may have a small grab handle opposite the main handle. A pan of similar dimensions, but with vertical sides and often with a lid, is called a sauté pan or sauté.
Encyclopedia
A frying pan, frypan, or skillet is a flat-bottomed pan
Cookware and bakeware
Cookware and bakeware are types of food preparation containers commonly found in the kitchen. Cookware comprises cooking vessels, such as saucepans and frying pans, intended for use on a stove or range cooktop. Bakeware comprises cooking vessels intended for use inside an oven...

 used for frying
Frying
Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat, a technique that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC. Chemically, oils and fats are the same, differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when needed. In commerce, many fats are called oils by custom, e.g...

, searing
Searing
Searing is a technique used in grilling, baking, braising, roasting, sautéing, etc., in which the surface of the food is cooked at high temperature so a caramelized crust forms. Similar techniques, browning and blackening, are typically used to sear all sides of a particular piece of meat, fish,...

, and browning
Maillard reaction
The Maillard reaction is a form of nonenzymatic browning similar to caramelization. It results from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat....

 foods. It is typically 200 millimetre in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards, a long handle, and no lid. Larger pans may have a small grab handle opposite the main handle. A pan of similar dimensions, but with vertical sides and often with a lid, is called a sauté pan or sauté. While a sauté pan can be used like a frying pan, it is designed for lower heat cooking methods such as sautéing
Sautéing
Sautéing is a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking. The primary mode of heat transfer during sautéing is conduction between the pan and the food being...

.

History

Copper frying pans were used in ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

. Frying pans were also known in ancient Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 (where they were called téganon) and Rome
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 (where they were called patella or sartago). Pan derives from the Old English panna. Before the introduction of the kitchen stove
Kitchen stove
A kitchen stove, cooking stove, cookstove, or cooker is a kitchen appliance designed for the purpose of cooking food. Kitchen stoves rely on the application of direct heat for the cooking process and may also contain an oven, used for baking.In the industrialized world, as stoves replaced open...

 in the mid-19th century, a commonly used cast iron cooking pan called a spider had a handle and three legs used to stand up in the coals and ashes of the fire. Cooking pots and pans with legless, flat bottoms were designed when cooking stoves became popular; this period of the late 19th century saw the introduction of the flat cast iron skillet.

Frying pan relatives

A versatile pan that combines the best of both the sauté pan and the frying pan has higher, sloping sides that are often slightly curved. This pan is called a sauteuse (literally a sauté pan in the female gender), an evasée (denoting a pan with sloping sides), or a fait-tout (literally "does everything"). Most professional kitchens have several of these utensils in varying sizes.

A grill pan is a frying pan, usually with very low sides, with a series of parallel ridges in the cooking surface or a removable metal grid. A grill pan cooks food with radiant heat (like a grill) on a stovetop. It is referred to as a "griddle pan" in British English.

A "Rappie Pie pan" is a pan used to make rappie pie
Rappie pie
Rappie pie is a traditional Acadian meal, sometimes referred to as "rapure pie" or "rapûre". Its name is derived from the French "patates râpées" meaning "grated potatoes." It is a casserole-like dish formed by boiling and grating potatoes, adding hot broth made from chicken, pork or seafood along...

, an Acadian dish. The pan is made from Aluminum or Stainless Steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

.

Construction

Traditionally, frying pans were made of cast iron
Cast iron cookware
Cast iron is used for cookware because it has excellent heat retention properties and can be produced and formed with a relatively low level of technology. Seasoning is used to protect bare cast iron from rust and to create a non-stick surface.-History:...

. Although cast iron is still popular today, especially for outdoor cooking, most frying pans are now made from metals such as aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 or stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

. The materials and construction method used in modern frying pans vary greatly and some typical materials include:
  • Aluminium
    Aluminium
    Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

    /Anodized aluminium
  • Cast iron
  • Copper
    Copper
    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

  • Stainless steel
    Stainless steel
    In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

  • Clad stainless steel with an aluminium or copper core


A coating is sometimes applied to the surface of the pan to make it non-stick
Non-stick surface
A non-stick surface is a surface engineered to reduce the ability of other materials to stick to it. A non-stick coating may be applied to a substrate to produce such a surface. One common application of non-stick coatings is cookware. Until recently, Teflon has dominated this market. However,...

. Frying pans made from bare cast iron or carbon steel can also gain non-stick properties though seasoning and use.

Non-stick frying pans

Frying pans with non-stick
Non-stick surface
A non-stick surface is a surface engineered to reduce the ability of other materials to stick to it. A non-stick coating may be applied to a substrate to produce such a surface. One common application of non-stick coatings is cookware. Until recently, Teflon has dominated this market. However,...

 surfaces were introduced by DuPont
DuPont
E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company , commonly referred to as DuPont, is an American chemical company that was founded in July 1802 as a gunpowder mill by Eleuthère Irénée du Pont. DuPont was the world's third largest chemical company based on market capitalization and ninth based on revenue in 2009...

 in 1956 under the Teflon brand name. The durability of the early coatings was poor, but improvements in manufacturing have made these products a kitchen standard. Nevertheless, the surface is not as tough as metal and the use of metal utensils (e.g. spatulas) can permanently mar the coating and degrade its non-stick property.

For some cooking preparations a non-stick frying pan is inappropriate, especially for deglazing
Deglazing (cooking)
Deglazing is a cooking technique for removing and dissolving caramelized bits of food from a pan to make a pan sauce.When a piece of meat is roasted, pan fried or prepared in a pan with another form of dry heat, a deposit of caramelized sugars, carbohydrates, and/or proteins forms on the bottom of...

, where the residue of browning is to be incorporated in a later step such as a pan sauce. Since little or no residue can stick to the surface, the sauce will fail for lack of its primary flavoring agent.

Non-stick frying pans featuring teflon coatings must never be heated above about 240 °C (464 °F), a temperature that easily can be reached in minutes. At higher temperatures non-stick coatings decompose and give off toxic fumes.

Electric frying pans

An electric frying pan or electric skillet incorporates an electric heating element into the frying pan itself and so can function independently off of a cooking stove. Accordingly, it has heat-insulated legs for standing on a countertop. (The legs usually attach to handles.) Electric frying pans are common in shapes that are unusual for 'unpowered' frying pans, notably square and rectangular. Most are designed with straighter sides than their stovetop cousins and include a lid. In this way they are a cross between a frying pan and a sauté pan.

A modern electric skillet has an additional advantage over the stovetop version: heat regulation. The detachable power cord/unit incorporates a thermostatic control for maintaining the desired temperature.

With the perfection of the thermostatic control, the electric skillet became a popular kitchen appliance. Although it largely has been supplanted by the microwave oven
Microwave oven
A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance that heats food by dielectric heating, using microwave radiation to heat polarized molecules within the food...

, it is still in use in many kitchens.

Using a frying pan

The cooking surface of a frying pan is typically coated with a layer of oil or fat when the pan is in use (though greasy foods like bacon
Bacon
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon . Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating...

 do not need additional oil added). In pan-frying, a layer of oil has four functions: it lubricates the surface; increases contact between the food and the pan; acts as a thermal mass to reduce cooking time; and increases flavour and colour.

The depth of the oil will vary depending on the food being cooked. When frying battered fish or chicken, for example, the oil generously covers the inner pan surface, but when frying pancakes, the oil is but a thin film to keep the batter from sticking.

Some frying techniques do not require added oil. "Blackening" dredges the food itself in fat, and uses a layer of spices to keep the food from sticking to the pan. These recipes also call for an intensely heated pan, which quickly sears and seals the food being cooked.

Caring for a frying pan

Cast iron and carbon steel frying pans must be seasoned before use and periodically afterwards, and should be cleaned with care not to remove the seasoned coating.

Frying pans made from copper that are tinned to prevent toxic reactions between the copper and the food being cooked and may occasionally need re-tinning. Some cooks also polish the exterior to remove tarnish
Tarnish
Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over copper, brass, silver, aluminum, and other similar metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Tarnish does not always result from the sole effects of oxygen in the air. For example, silver needs hydrogen sulfide to tarnish; it...

.

Uncoated aluminium and stainless steel frying pans require very little maintenance.

Frying pans with non-stick coatings such as Teflon cannot safely be heated past the burning point of their coatings (about 260 °C (500 °F), though high-heat coatings are available). See Non-stick frying pans above.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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