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
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.
- 100-Percent Natural and 99-Percent Pure Iron
- Bee Wax was discovered by deBuyer as a by-product in nature to help protect these pans against oxidation and assist in seasoning
- Without PTFE or PFOA and no chemicals added; naturally non-stick after seasoning
- Made in France
- Product has two handles
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.
- TIMELESS PROFESSIONAL APPEAL: All-Clad D3 Stainless is the perfect choice for anyone who loves to cook. Beyond the classic stainless-steel style, you will find a well-constructed, high-performance, easy to use skillet for all, from beginner to culinary artist.
- VERSATILE FOR ALL YOUR COOKING NEEDS: This 12-inch fry pan features low, sloped sides for easy flipping and turning, and a wide flat surface for searing and browning, fitting 3-4 chicken breasts at once. Each piece is crafted with quality materials to hold and distribute heat evenly throughout the pan, so only medium heat is needed for most searing, sautéing, and simmering
- MADE IN THE USA TO LAST A LIFETIME: The D3 Stainless collection features three alternating layers of American-made stainless-steel and aluminum, bonded together all the way to the rim. The classic stainless-steel handles stay cool on the stovetop and are permanently secured with stainless-steel rivets. Products are rigorously tested to ensure that every item with the All-Clad logo offers a lifetime of beauty and performance.
- CONVENIENT AND LOW MAINTENANCE: All items included are dishwasher safe. For anything stuck on, use a mixture of white vinegar and water, or a stainless-steel powder cleanser, such as Bar Keepers Friend.
- LIFETIME WARRANTY: D3 Stainless cookware pieces are crafted in our factory in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Each piece is compatible with all cooktops, including induction, is oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and is covered by our limited lifetime warranty.
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!