2 Best Pans for Shallow Frying and for Deep Frying

Whether you’re shallow frying or deep frying, you need the right pan for the job!

Read below for my recommendation on the best pan for shallow frying and the best pan for deep frying on the stove top, and why.

There Are 3 Main Reasons Why You Want a Cast Iron Skillet to Shallow Fry on the Stovetop

Shallow frying, or pan frying as it is commonly known, involves filling up a pan with just enough oil to cover your food. You then fry it on your stovetop.

This is advantageous, because you use les oil than deep frying, and you can control your cooking speed much better than with deep frying.

There are 3 main reasons why you want a cast iron skillet to pan fry your food on a stove top.

  1. Cast iron skillets hold heat well.
  2. Hot oil won’t damage cast iron skillets.
  3. You can cover cast iron skillets to prevent splashing.

First, cast iron skillets are well known for their heat retention properties.

Cast iron is simply more efficient than other materials.

Moreover, if you buy a quality cast Iron skillet from a reputable manufacturer, like Lodge, you’ll have a thick bottomed skillet.

The thicker the bottom, the longer the pan maintains its heat, and the more stable your temperatures will be!

Second, cast iron is tough as nails. Quite literally. In fact, I believe that it is tougher than nails.

There are plenty of videos online of people refurbishing 100+ year old cast iron skillets to brand new quality. They’re simply indestructible.

Watch this video if you don’t believe me!

So believe me when I say that pan frying in your cast iron skillet will not harm it one bit.

In fact, it will only increase the lifespan of your pan since cast iron is porous, which allows it to absorb oil, which fights rusting!

Third, you can buy a cast iron pan lid to go along with your cast iron skillet!

One of the harsh realities of shallow frying your food on a stove top is the grease that spits up.

This can scald you, make your floor slick and dangerous, and dirty up your stove top.

However, there is an easy fix to all of this!

You can buy cast iron skillet lids, which are also made out of cast iron, that can block this oil spitting from happening!

Voila, your kitchen is now clean. Just be sure to set a kitchen timer so you don’t overcook your food!

3 Main Reasons To Deep Fry with a Cast Iron Deep Skillet, Not an Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Deep frying involves submerging your food in oil to fry it.

The advantage of deep frying is that you can cook larger objects in a reasonable amount of time. Also, you can cook a larger quantity of smaller objects!

There are 3 main reasons why deep frying with a cast iron deep skillet is miles better than deep frying with an enameled cast iron dutch oven.

  1. Heat retention capabilities
  2. Porous nature of Cast Iron
  3. Post-Cooking Cleaning

First, in my experience, enameled cast iron dutch ovens do not exhibit the same hear retention capabilities than a standalone cast iron deep skillet does.

If I use my cast iron dutch oven to fry, then I’m constantly checking the temperature with my ThermaPro TP03 Instant Read Thermometer.

However, cast iron deep skillets have a thicker bottom and thicker sides, which help keep a steady temperature as your fry!

So, I highly recommend reserving your cast iron dutch oven for what it does best; oven roasting!

Second, as we covered earlier, the porous nature of cast iron deep skillets work synergistically with the oil you use to fry your food in.

This oil seeps into the hot cast iron and creates a protective barrier of oil that resists rusting over time.

The enameled cast iron dutch oven is intentionally coated in enamel, which is a non-reactive material.

So, when you use the enameled dutch oven for its intended purpose (to bake things inside an oven for a long time), you don’t end up with a metallic taste in your food.

So, to finish up my point, cast iron deep skillets will absorb oil, assisting in fighting rust!

Third, and I think most importantly, is that cleaning cast iron deep skillets is way easier than cleaning enameled cast iron dutch ovens.

I can tell you from experience that cleaning cast iron deep skillets is as simple as running hot water and pulling out steel wool to scrape off the excess food material stuck to it.

Just let it dry and seal it with oil and you’re good!

Conversely, enameled cast iron dutch ovens are meticulous to clean.

Oil seems to cling to them, no matter how many times you clean them. Plus, they never seem to return to their original state after frying in them.

Not to mention that the underside will never be spotless after frying in it once.

So, I propose that deep skillets are far easier to maintain that enameled cast iron dutch ovens after frying.

Final Comments

In conclusion, we learned that a cast iron skillet is what you need for pan frying, also known as shallow frying.

We also learned that a cast iron deep skillet is better than an enameled cast iron dutch oven for deep frying!

I propose you buy one of each, because they have a multitude of uses beyond frying.

I use cast iron for just about every meal, and it lasts forever if you treat it right!

So, I thank you for reading, and if you aren’t already, please subscribe for more great, free, content to your email weekly.

Best, C.J.

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