Shop for a Cause: 15% of Bakeware Proceeds Benefit Southern SmokeShop NowCyber Week Sale - Up to 30% OffShop NowGriddle Added to SaleShop NowFree Shipping over $49 | 45 Day Trial | Limited Lifetime Warranty

The 5 Best Pans for High-Heat Cooking

How to get fired up—the right way.

By Rachel Baron
Sep 12, 2023
carbon steel in wood fire oven
Share This

While we love slow, low-heat recipes like braised oxtails or garlic confit, some dishes—like stir-fries or pan-seared steaks—benefit from the smoke and drama of high-heat cooking. And while we do admittedly get a small dopamine rush from cranking the heat up on our stove or grill, it’s important to make sure you’re reaching for the safest, best-quality cookware for the job.

To help you avoid ruining your pan—and incinerating your dinner—we rounded up some of the most durable, heat-resistant pans, from our Carbon Steel Griddle to our trusty Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. Below, we’re sharing the pans we reach for when we want charred pizza crust, the best Maillard reaction on our proteins, or the crispiest fried rice imaginable.

Best for (Really) High Heat: Carbon Steel Frying Pan

When it comes to high-heat cooking, it’s hard to compete with carbon steel. Not only is our Carbon Steel Frying Pan designed to withstand temperatures of up to 1200F, but it also has all the searing power and natural non stick properties of cast iron. That, plus the fact that our Carbon Steel Collection is designed to be nearly as lightweight and maneuverable as our Award-Winning Stainless Clad Cookware, makes the maintenance more than worth it in our book.

Most Versatile: Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Stainless steel cookware is incredibly durable, responsive, and offers excellent heat distribution. All of this, combined with the fact that it can handle roaring hot temperatures (our Stainless Clad Frying Pan is heat safe up to 800F) makes it a worthy competitor to carbon steel when it comes to high-heat cooking. In fact, many of our chef partners have declared it their tool of choice—for this task and others.

Most Surface Space: Carbon Steel Griddle

With several times the amount of cooking space as our Carbon Steel Frying Pan, our Carbon Steel Griddle is what you reach for when you want to cook a party’s worth of burgers, an entire breakfast spread, or several steaks at the same time.

Because carbon steel heats evenly and responds so quickly to temperature changes, using the Griddle gives you better control over cooking speed and heat levels than cast iron. And since our Carbon Steel Griddle can handle temperatures up to 1200F, it’s also versatile enough to use on the stove, grill, or over an open fire.

Best for the Grill: Carbon Steel Grill Frying Pan

62 perforations across the Pan’s bottom sets our Carbon Steel Grill Frying Pan apart from our regular Carbon Steel Frying Pan. This design feature encourages plenty of direct contact between the flames and your food, without risking the loss of any ingredients between the grill grates.

With a maximum temperature of up to 1200F, you can feel free to really crank up the heat, while its seasoned exterior prevents delicate ingredients from sticking. Because the Grill Frying Pan is made of the same durable, responsive material as all of our Carbon Steel Cookware, it can sear your chicken wings, vegetables, or steaks to perfection.

Longest Lasting: Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

As durable as it is elegant, our Enameled Cast Iron Skillet gets our vote for the longest-lasting pan on this list. The cast iron core makes for an heirloom-quality pan that’s much less prone to warping and cracking than other materials, even at temperatures of up to 580F.

While an unfinished and unseasoned cast iron skillet can develop rust if it’s not properly maintained, the Skillet’s enameled surface resists rust and other deterioration.

Be advised to not heat an empty pan and heat the pan up slowly—the cast iron core means it takes time for the pan to heat and cool down.

Ready to Shop?

Having the right cookware doesn’t just make high-heat cooking safer: it also helps you harness and control that heat, turning it into perfectly cooked, beautifully charred proteins and vegetables. And with all the grilling, searing, and stir-frying we like to do, having durable, high-heat resistant options is essential.

Shop Cyber Week