Just about every household has at least one frying pan. This is a traditional cooking item that has helped many families create any number of meals throughout recent history. This accessible necessity of the culinary world has been around for quite some time. Even people who claim that they can’t boil water have delved into creating interesting dishes by using a frying pan.

However, the cooking item is not quite as simple as it may seem. There are different types of this frying pan and they each require different care when in use and when it is being cleaned. Many cooks have received hard-earned lessons by unwittingly mistreating the instrument.

Mistreating your frying pan can wreak havoc on the meal and on the cooking instrument itself but the mistreatment is often done out of lack of knowledge rather than lack of caring. I speak of this with seemingly unrealistic passion but I was a cook who learned a hard lesson. I thought that I was doing something very nice.

The frying pan can be made out of a number of different materials. Each material requires different care and maintenance. What works for one kind of frying pan will not work for another. It is very important to follow some general rules for the various types of frying pans that you own.

One of the most attractive materials that can be found in cookware is copper. A copper frying pan is able to withstand some punishment and it is an excellent conductor of heat. Many people like to display their copper cookware by hanging them on a rack. However, the copper tends to tarnish so be prepared to polish them every so often.

Aluminum and stainless steel are durable metals that also conduct heat very well. A frying pan made out of either of these metals will require little maintenance. I love these metals for cookware but I have noticed that food tends to stick to the surface quite easily if not properly greased.

Manufacturers created a non-stick coating known as Teflon to address sticking problems. While this coating does wonders for the sticking situation, it can peel after extended use. Peeling often occurs as a result of overheating. This is not a favorite of mine.

I do have a particular favorite and that is the traditional cast iron frying pan. What I love about my cast iron frying pan is that it gets better with age. I learned that this material will rust if washed too much by ruining an antique one owned by my wife. I simply wipe mine with a paper towel after each use. This classic frying pan is a favorite among seasoned cooks.

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