Any home chef will go on and on about their favorite cookware, and a good-quality fry pan is pretty much indispensable if you want to turn out perfectly cooked fish.
But how do you choose a good fry pan for fish which will give you consistent results every time?
So, what makes the best fry pans for fish? The best fish fry pans are those that can withstand hot temperatures and have excellent heat distribution. A top priority when frying fish is a non-stick surface, and the pan should also be easy to clean. A good quality fry pan will have multiple uses in the kitchen, so is a worthwhile investment.
In the mood for cooking a succulent fish supper for the family? Read on to learn what makes the best fry pan for fish, and we’ll reveal our top 11 best fry pans for fish to help you choose!
How To Choose The Best Fry Pan For Fish
One of the finest things in life is a succulent, juicy fish, sizzling away in the frying pan. Whether you like a fan of a whole fried mackerel or prefer a plump tuna steak, picking the right fry pan is the key to cooking your fish to perfection.
It can be so frustrating to buy what you think is a good fry pan for fish, only for your steak to turn out badly or, even worse, stuck to the pan.
Sadly, many fish frying pans just don’t live up to the hype, and we end up disappointed when our fish or seafood doesn’t turn out as good as we’d hoped.
So, if you’re on the lookout for a new fry pan for fish, how do you know what to look for?
Let’s find out!
What Are The Best Fry Pans For Fish?
Many kitchens have just one fry pan, that fulfills every job. This is absolutely fine, but when it comes to fish certain qualities make a frying pan just that bit better!
The aim when cooking fish is to sear it perfectly on the outside, without it falling apart or sticking to the pan.
To cook fish, you need a pan that heats and cools quickly, to give you flexibility in your cooking temperatures. The fry pan should have even heat distribution, and enough room to turn your fish easily without it falling apart.
The good thing is that once you have a good fry pan for fish, you’ll be using it for everything else as well! This is a quality piece of cookware that will transform your home cooking.
Let’s take a look at the factors involved in choosing a good fish frying pan.
Now, we don’t want to state the obvious, but you need to buy the right size fry pan for fish to suit you and your kitchen! Frying pans come in many shapes and sizes, and which one you choose depends on how you plan on using it.
The thing is with fish is that they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. A whole trout can be up to 12 inches long—you’ll need a substantial pan to fit this into!
If you are cooking fish steaks or fillets, this gives you a bit more flexibility as they can be cut to size to suit your pan.
Choosing the correct cooking surface is crucial when choosing a frying pan for cooking fish.
You need a pan that can retain heat well, and that will distribute the heat evenly through your steak. A frying pan that goes cold as soon as your fish hits the pan will not give you good results!
You will also need to decide if you want a flat pan or a ridged griddle pan. Many people prefer a ridged pan for cooking fish, to give those distinctive caramelized lines of seared skin.
However, a flat cooking surface will give more even heat distribution, and crisp up the whole of the skin surface.
The other hugely important factor to consider when frying fish is that you need a durable non-stick surface.
Fish falls apart very easily during the cooking process, and if it gets stuck to the pan it will inevitably end up in pieces. This is especially tricky if you are cooking delicate fish such as mackerel and snapper.
The problem we have here is that when cooking fish, we are normally aiming for a beautifully seared surface. And when it comes to non-stick pans, they are not the best at this!
Luckily, there are ways around this. Fish does not need very high temperatures to create a seared surface, and non-stick pans can work well to give a crispy, golden skin. A light covering of oil will also help to sear your fish to perfection.
But can we use a pan that is not non-stick to cook fish? Yes, you can! This method will need oil, and you will need to take a little more care to prevent the fish from falling apart.
Also, to stop fish sticking to your pan, heat the pan first before adding the oil. When your fish is cooking, don’t attempt to move the fish until it is seared and naturally releases from the pan.
This means we can, with care, use a normal pan to cook fish to perfection!
So, what options do we have for fry pans for fish?
Fans of cast iron fry pans rave about them, but for an inexperienced chef, they can take a bit of getting used to. There is no doubt that nothing beats a cast iron pan for perfectly searing food, but the surface will definitely not be non-stick!
Cast iron also has a bad reputation for being high maintenance and difficult to care for. If you are considering purchasing a cast iron pan, it is important to learn how to look after it properly.
However, don’t rule out cast iron pans as an option for frying fish.
You will need to use oil to help prevent the fish from sticking, and the cooking technique is slightly more technical. But with practice, a cast iron pan can be used to fry fish to perfection!
If you’re quite feeling up to the daunting prospect of a cast iron pan, then carbon steel is a great alternative. These pans are lighter in weight than cast iron, and also respond much faster to changes in temperatures.
Carbon steel pans also have natural non-stick properties, but you will need to season them periodically to maintain this surface.
This is not as daunting as it sounds, and it is quite a rewarding task when your pan comes out as good as new!
The main disadvantage to carbon steel pans is that they can become discolored and rusty over time, and they cannot be washed in the dishwasher.
When it comes to cooking fish, carbon steel pans will give great results.
The only thing to bear in mind is that acidic substances will damage the surface of your carbon steel pan, so avoid marinades and sauces that include ingredients such as lemon juice, wine, and tomatoes.
Here’s a helpful video on seasoning carbon steel pans if you decide to go with this particular option!
There is no doubt that non-stick pans have transformed modern-day cooking techniques, enabling us to fry foods in very little oil and removing the laborious task of soaking off burnt-on food. But are non-stick pans suitable for frying fish?
The best non-stick pans to use for frying fish are those with a ceramic or stone-derived coating, such as copper stone pans.
These will be able to withstand high temperatures, helping to sear the skin of the fish and cook the flesh through evenly.
Non-stick pans coated with Teflon or other similar coatings can be used to cook fish, but bear in mind that some are not designed to withstand high temperatures.
If you are frequently frying hot food, the surface may start to degrade and break down.
This not only damages your cooking surface but may also release potentially harmful chemicals into the food.
Hard Adonized Pans
The term hard adonized relates to a process that uses aluminum to create a hard, durable cooking surface on the pan.
To achieve this, the aluminum coating is immersed in a chemical bath, where it has an electrical current applied to it. This causes the metal to oxidize, making it resistant to corrosion.
The end result is a cooking surface that has relatively good non-stick properties, but that will not be damaged or scratched by utensils.
Maintenance And Ease Of Cleaning
If you’ve cooked up a delicious dinner of fried fish for all the family, the last thing you want to do afterward is spend hours washing up. Burnt-on fish is notoriously tricky to remove, and should be avoided at all costs!
The best types of pans are those with a non-stick surface that wipes clean easily in seconds.
Pans that do not have a non-stick surface can also be easy to clean, as long as you have managed to cook your fish without it sticking to the pan!
Some frying pans are suitable for the dishwasher, whilst others are hand-wash only. However, some of those that are marketed as dishwasher-safe should still be washed by hand, to keep the cooking surface in the best possible condition.
Watch out for fiddly bits where food could get trapped. The area where the handle joins the pan is a big problem in some frying pans, as well as ridges around the edge of the pan.
If you’re considering purchasing a cast iron or carbon steel pan, they will need regular maintenance in the form of seasoning. This is a simple process and is worth doing to prolong the useful life of your pan.
Who doesn’t love a frying pan which can do many things?! There is no point taking up valuable cupboard space with pans that only do one thing each.
Luckily, many frying pans can be used for other cooking techniques, such as braising, sautéing, and even oven roasting.
So, if you are tight on space in your kitchen, it makes sense to opt for a multifunctional frying pan that can do more than one job.
The 11 Best Fry Pans For Fish
From a multifunction copper stone pan to a traditional cast iron frying pan, the key to frying fish is an easily adjustable temperature and high-quality non-stick surface. Here are our top picks for the 11 best fry pans for fish!
|Michelangelo 12 Inch Non-stick Copper Frying Pan With Lid
|Best overall fry pan for fish
|Neoflam MyPan 11'' Ceramic Non-stick Frying Fish Pan With Detachable Handle
|Coated in naturally-sourced Ecolon non-stick coating
|T-fal Hard Anodized Titanium Fry Pan With Lid
|Hard-anodized aluminum base
|Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 16" Skillet
|Rachael Ray Brights Hard Anodized Non-stick Frying Pan
|Oven-safe to 350°F
|Moss & Stone Copper 5 Piece Set Chef Cookware
|Comes with a fryer basket
|De Buyer Nonstick Fish Frying Pan
|Over 12 inches in diameter
|Granite Stone Diamond Nonstick Family Frying Pan
|MasterPan Non-Stick Stovetop Oven Grill Pan With Lid
|Innovative lid that retains heat while allowing steam to escape
|GreenPan Venice Pro Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick 10" Frying Pan
|Oven and broiler safe up to 600°F
|Ecowin Nonstick Grill Frying Pan
|Can be used on all types of stovetops
1. Michelangelo 12 Inch Non-stick Copper Frying Pan With Lid
For our top frying pan for fish, this is one that really does tick all the boxes!
High-performing, easy to use, durable, and gives great results—what more could you want?!
The ceramic-titanium coating of this fry pan for fish has exceptional non-stick properties and is also scratch-resistant.
The aluminum alloy base conducts heat quickly and evenly, without any hot spots. It has a long stainless-steel handle for ease of use, and even comes with a hanging loop for easy storage.
Another great advantage to this pan is that it is oven safe up to 450°F. It is also suitable for all stove types, including induction.
2. Neoflam MyPan 11” Ceramic Non-stick Frying Fish Pan With Detachable Handle
Well, this isn’t just a fry pan for fish, it is an award-winning fry pan for fish!
This pan comes with an innovative detachable handle, meaning you can take it from the stovetop and pop it into the oven, or even use it to serve food at the table.
It is perfectly shaped to hold two reasonable-sized fish or four smaller fish. The pan itself is coated in naturally-sourced Ecolon non-stick coating, over a cast aluminum body.
This gives excellent heat distribution, without the risk of your fish becoming stuck and falling apart.
3. T-fal Hard Anodized Titanium Fry Pan With Lid
If you’re looking for a durable pan to perform multiple roles, then this may well be the pan for you!
It has a durable hard titanium reinforced non-stick surface, that is scratch resistant and durable.
The hard-anodized aluminum base retains heat well, ensuring it is evenly distributed across the pan.
The great thing about this pan is it comes with a Thermo spot indicator, taking the guesswork out of cooking fish.
You can ensure the pan is perfectly preheated before putting the fish on to cook. This pan also comes with a lid, making it perfect for adding sauces and marinades to your fried fish.
4. Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 16″ Skillet
Although cast iron pans are not everyone’s cup of tea, with practice they can become a home chef’s best friend.
They give the perfect heat distribution to give great results when frying fish, particularly if you want crisp, seared skin.
The great thing about this cast iron pan is that it comes pre-seasoned, so you can start to use it right away. This makes it easier to maintain, and with the right care, it should last for a lifetime.
5. Rachael Ray Brights Hard Anodized Non-stick Frying Pan
The oval shape of this large pan makes it perfect for frying fish, whether you’re cooking a whole fish to share, or a batch of fillets or steaks for a family dinner.
It comes with a lid, turning it instantly from a frying pan to a saute pan. It is also oven-safe to 350°F and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
The non-stick coating on this oval pan is aided by hard adonized construction, making it very hard-wearing and giving excellent heat distribution properties.
The helper handle makes moving this pan from the stovetop to the oven or table easy, even when it is full of sizzling hot fish.
6. Moss & Stone Copper 5 Piece Set Chef Cookware
Who doesn’t love a pan that can do everything?!
This versatile cookware set will not only give great results when frying fish but also has no less than 8 different functions!
It comes with a fryer basket that sits snugly inside for deep frying, as well as a steamer tray if you are looking for a healthier option.
So, this pan can be used to broil, sauté, fry, steam, braise, deep fry, and, as it is oven-safe, it can even be used to roast and bake foods!
The high-performance non-stick coating makes it a doddle to clean after use, no matter what you have been cooking.
The only downside to this pan is that at 9.5” square, it is smaller than most of the other fish fry pans on our list.
7. De Buyer Nonstick Fish Frying Pan
This fry pan for fish is carefully crafted and has a cast iron base coated with an eco-friendly non-stick surface.
This is finished by pre-seasoning the pan with beeswax, giving a durable and resilient cooking surface from which food slides off easily.
At over 12 inches in diameter, this pan is a great size for frying fish, as well as many other foods.
It has all the advantages of a cast iron pan, without the fear of your food sticking to the cooking surface. It will also withstand oven temperatures of up to 350°F.
8. Granite Stone Diamond Nonstick Family Frying Pan
This is the frying pan for fish to buy if you have many hungry mouths to feed!
When it comes to non-stick surfaces, we think that the durable Granite Stone Diamond technology is pretty hard to beat.
The cooking surface of this pan is made from a rough granite coating, proven to be more durable and superior to smooth non-stick surfaces.
It is scratch-resistant, even when metal utensils are used.
This giant 14” fry pan is compatible with most cooktops, including gas and electric hobs. It is also oven safe up to 550°F.
The manufacturers assure us that it is also dishwasher safe, but, as with all non-stick pans, we would advise that you wash it by hand to preserve its useful life.
9. MasterPan Non-Stick Stovetop Oven Grill Pan With Lid
If you’re a fan of the griddled effect on your fried fish, this is a great choice of pan.
The griddle bars are low and wide, ensuring the fish cooks through evenly while also creating perfectly even chargrilled stripes.
This pan also has an innovative lid that retains heat while allowing steam to escape. The cooking surface consists of a multilayer, ceramic reinforced, non-stick coating, able to withstand the demands of a busy home kitchen.
10. GreenPan Venice Pro Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Ceramic Nonstick 10″ Frying Pan
Not content with titanium and granite, GreenPan have gone one step further and created a diamond-infused ceramic non-stick coating!
Safe for use with metal utensils, this innovative technology means it is not only highly durable but also free from any potentially toxic chemicals.
Suitable for all stovetops, including induction, and oven and broiler safe up to 600°F, this pan will fulfill many of your kitchen needs.
The even heat distribution will cook your fried fish to perfection, and the pan will wipe clean easily after use.
11. Ecowin Nonstick Grill Frying Pan
The final pan in our top 11 best fry pans for fish is this stylish non-stick ridged pan by Ecowin.
Made with 4mm thick forged aluminum covered with a durable Whitford non-stick coating, this pan can withstand high temperatures and will cook your fish to perfection.
This pan comes with an ergonomic Bakelite handle, which is comfortable to hold and stays cool during use.
It can be used on all types of stovetops, including induction stovetops. However, it is not suitable for use in ovens or under broilers.
The non-stick surface of the Ecowin frying pan is durable, but it will be damaged if metal utensils or harsh scourers are used. It is lighter than many other pans in our review, so would be perfect for anyone who struggles to lift heavy pans.
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