Selecting the right kind of cookware as per the type of cooking and level of expertise is the key to create a plethora of dishes. Whether in a restaurant or home, a cook should be aware of the various types of pans. There are many types of pans available in the market suited for various cooking tasks.
Saute pans are designed for sauteing, braising, deglazing, stir-frying, and poaching. The sides of the pans are high and straight to preserve heat inside and also prevent evaporation of liquid during cooking. The bottom part is wide to enable maximum heat conduction and can be round or flat in shape. Such pans come with lids.
Fry pans are suited for frying, sauteing, scrambling, and searing. The sides of such pans are rounded, which enable easy stirring of food for fast cooking. The rounded sides also help in sliding out food from the pan easily. The bottom part of a frying pan is flat in shape. Frypans have large handles. Many types of materials are used to construct fry pans such as stainless steel, ceramic, cast iron pan, etc.
Paella pans are designed to cook paella. These pans are wide in size, round in shape, and shallow in depth. This design enables rice to be cooked in flat layers. The sides of such pans are sloped, which help in cooking paella evenly. Paella pans made of light carbon steel are considered the best because they heat up and cool down swiftly.
Roasting pans are rectangular in shape and are designed for roasting chicken, turkey, hams, and many other dishes requiring roasting. The sides of the roasting pans are low in height to enable more amount of heat to reach the food contained in it. Roasting pans are capable of withstanding high temperatures in ovens. Such pans have handles for easy loading and unloading to and from the ovens.
Braiser pans are wide pans having flat bottoms. The wide cooking area enables the cooking of vegetables and meat in a small amount of liquid. Such pans are well suited for slow cooking over a long period of time. Braiser pans have moisture locking lids. They are made of stainless steel.
Griddle pans are flat and large pans devoid of edges and sides. The surface can be smooth or ridged to create grill marks. Such pans are used for cooking breakfast dishes such as eggs and pancakes. They are also suitable for high-temperature cooking. The griddle pans are usually large enough to be mounted on two burners. The griddles can be flat or round in shape.
Wok pans are round or flat shaped to maximize heat concentration. The sloping sides are curved, which enables easy food movement. Such pans are ideal for stir-frying, deep-frying, and steaming. The diameter of the woke pans is usually 14 inches. They are usually constructed of carbon steel. The number of handles depends upon the design. Cantonese design woks have two handles while Mandarin woks come with a single handle.