Browning meat can really bring all the meat dishes you make to the next level. Nothing really compares to the distinctive, irresistible taste of browned meat, but, in order to do this properly, you really need to have the right frying pan.
But what kind of pan is good for browning, you may wonder. In order to brown meat successfully, you need to add the meat to a hot pan and maintain a high temperature for some time.
Not every pan is able to do this, and non-stick pans are automatically disqualified because they are not usually made to withstand high temperatures, especially not for longer periods of time.
Instead, many chefs recommend going with a cast iron skillet. However, there are some other decent options too, in case cast iron is not your thing. Today, we review the four best skillets for browning meat.
So let’s take a look!
Table of Contents
Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
As we have already hinted, many people will tell you that a cast iron skillet is the ultimate pan for browning meat and this might as well be true – the Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet really does an amazing job at browning meat.
This is not just a random coincidence, though, there are good reasons why this pan works so well for this specific purpose. Namely, cast iron is not the best conductor of heat, but it retains heat better than any other metal.
What this means is that the pan heats up slowly, but once it heats up, it remains hot and maintains a stable temperature which is exactly what you need when browning meat.
Uncoated cast iron does require a specific maintenance routine, but it’s not too hard once you get used to it. It’s just that these pans should never go in the dishwasher and you need to season them on a regular basis.
This Lodge pan arrives pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, though, so you can use it right out of the box!
- Pre-seasoned for a natural, easy-release
- Self-basting tips continually baste food
- Integral oven proof handle
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillet With Iron Handle
Le Creuset is a French cookware manufacturer with a long history. What they are known for is cast iron cookware covered with a colorful enamel coating.
When it comes to enameled cast iron, Le Creuset is really the best of the best. While their pans are a bit on the pricier side, they do last literally forever which makes them a good investment.
The Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillet With Iron Handle works perfectly for browning meat. Enameled cast iron works just as well as uncoated cast iron for this purpose, but you get some additional benefits – you don’t need to season your enameled cast iron skillet, and it’s easier to clean.
The only issue you might have with this pan is the fact that the handle does get hot. However, this is easily solved by adding the silicone handle sleeve made by Le Creuset.
- 11-3/4-inch enameled cast-iron skillet with dual pour spouts
- Chip- and crack-resistant enamel won't react to foods
- Integral iron handle and opposite helper handle for secure transport
- Hand washing recommended; oven- and broiler-safe to any oven temperature
- Measures approximately 18-4/5 by 13-1/2 by 2 inches; limited lifetime warranty
De Buyer MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan
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Carbon steel is the less-known cousin of cast iron. Although it’s called “carbon” steel, this material actually contains more iron than cast iron, which actually makes carbon steel pans a bit lighter than cast iron pans. If the weight of cast iron is an issue for you, a carbon steel pan might be a good alternative.
The De Buyer MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel Fry Pan measures 12.5 inches in diameter, which means it’s quite large.
However, it has a long handle on one side and a helper handle on the other so handling the size of this pan shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and you do get all the extra space.
The long handle is tightly secured with three rivets and slightly raised near the side of the pan which is a characteristic of traditional French design. The pan itself is made of 99% pure iron, so it works with induction cooktops too.
Finally, De Buyer covers their carbon steel pans with beeswax before shipping in order to protect the pans from oxidation and ensure they are in a perfect condition when they get to you.
All-Clad 41126 Stainless Steel Fry Pan with Lid
When it comes to browning meat, a good stainless steel skillet is another great option. When it comes to stainless steel skillets, All-Clad is one of the best manufacturers out there.
This pan offers a highly polished stainless steel cooking surface. What this means is that you get the perfect surface not only for browning meat but also for cooking the sauce in the same pan if you want to do so.
What makes it so great is that fact that stainless steel is completely non-reactive – no reactions, no harmful chemicals released.
Moreover, this pan has a layer of aluminum sandwiched between the inner and outer layers made of stainless steel. Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, so it allows this pan to heat up more quickly and distribute the heat more evenly.
- 12-Inch covered fry pan with wide flat base and versatile low-profile shape
- 3-ply bonded construction consists of durable stainless steel encapsulating an aluminum core for even heating throughout
- Highly polished cooking surface with starburst finish offers stick resistance and easy maintenance, plus won't react with food
- Contoured stainless-steel handles permanently secured with stainless-steel rivets; capacity etched on base
Finally, what is the best pan for browning meat? Well, it’s a pan that can stand high temperatures, and that is able to maintain those temperatures for extended periods of time.
Whether you choose cast iron, carbon steel, or a stainless steel skillet with an aluminum core is a matter of personal choice. Nevertheless, all of the pans on our list are high-quality pans that don’t work only for browning meat.
In fact, they are quite versatile, and all of them work both on the stovetop and in the oven.
Whichever you decide to get, we are sure you won’t be disappointed!