When it comes to cooking techniques like searing, stir-frying, or pan-frying, high heat is essential.
However, not all cookware is designed to withstand the intense heat required for these methods.
Using the wrong cookware can lead to warping, scorching, or even dangerous chemical leaching.
To avoid these problems, it’s crucial to invest in the best cookware for high heat cooking.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the features and benefits of the top cookware options for high heat cooking, so you can make an informed decision and cook your favorite dishes to perfection.
1. Best Overall – Amazon Basics 5pc Cookware Set
- Extremely durable and long-lasting
- Value for money
- Works great for every heat source
- Mid-size cast iron cookware choice
- Heavy maintenance is required
- Not a nonreactive cookware
The Amazon Basics 5pc Cookware Set and the KitchenAid 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Cookware are leading choices in the culinary world, but cater to different audiences.
Amazon Basics offers a 5-piece cast iron set, perfect for chefs aiming to utilize high heat and retain flavor. Priced at US $89.67, it presents an attractive option for those looking for durability and performance. Notably, it’s pre-seasoned, but users have emphasized the need to keep seasoning it for optimal non-stick performance. With pieces such as the 10.25” Dutch oven, this set promises versatility. However, the cast iron material makes it heavy, and it’s crucial to handle with hot-pads, oven mitts, or potholders. The cookware is oven safe up to 500°F, but requires hand-washing, adding to its maintenance.
On the other hand, KitchenAid’s cookware boasts stainless steel construction with five-ply heat conduction. Crafted with precision, its heavy-duty clad design ensures long-lasting durability. The set also comes with etched measuring marks for precise cooking, paired with unique black stainless steel handles. Most compelling, it’s dishwasher safe, oven safe to 500°F, and showcases excellent heat retention. Although users have praised its sturdiness, there are mixed reviews about its heat distribution and cleaning ease.
In terms of appearance, both sets exhibit their unique aesthetics with Amazon Basics offering a rustic feel and KitchenAid leaning towards a more contemporary look.
|Feature||Amazon Basics (out of 10)||KitchenAid (out of 10)|
|Size and Shape||9||9|
|Environmental & Health||8||9|
|Warranty & Brand Reputation||8||9|
|Accessories & Features||8||10|
|Reviews & Recommendations||8.5||8|
2. Best Runner-up – Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet
- Rugged finish
- Durable than cast iron cookware
- Comfortable and long handle
- Lightweight skillet
- A good skillet for seniors
- More expensive than a cast-iron skillet
- Not for starters
Best Runner-up – Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet
Crafted by Lodge, an American-based brand that has been refining its expertise in rugged, cast-iron cookware for over a century, this carbon steel skillet seamlessly blends tradition with innovation. Their introduction of seasoned steel skillets is a testament to this, and this 10-inch skillet stands out as the only pre-seasoned and ready-to-use steel pan available in the marketplace. Each skillet undergoes a unique seasoning process with natural soybean oil, ensuring a natural and easy-release finish that only gets better with each use.
Made from 14 gauge carbon steel, this skillet is adept at heating quickly and maintaining both low and high temperatures, offering unmatched versatility. With compatibility spanning across gas, electric, induction stovetops, outdoor grills, and even open fires, its versatility is undeniable. Another feather in its cap is the non-toxic PFOA & PTFE free material ensuring safe cooking.
One of the defining features is its weight. Significantly lighter than traditional cast-iron skillets, it boasts quicker heat-up times and rapid cooling, which can be crucial for tasks like flash frying or sautéing. Despite this, its heat retention and distribution are commendable, rivaling its heavier cast iron counterparts. It features a 12″ diameter rim-to-rim and a 9.875″ bottom, making it sizable enough for various culinary endeavors. The long handle, made of carbon steel, ensures easy maneuverability.
However, no product is without its flaws. Users should be cautious while using it on high heat, especially with delicate foods, to prevent sticking or burning. Regular maintenance is paramount to avoid rusting and ensure durability. The cookware is also not dishwasher safe, but it compensates by being relatively easier to clean than cast iron skillets.
For those conscious about the environment and their health, this skillet’s iron-leaching properties might be a concern, especially for individuals with dietary iron restrictions. Yet, when used right, it’s a valuable addition to any kitchen, amateur or professional.
Lastly, priced at US$44.90, and backed by numerous positive user reviews, its value proposition becomes even more attractive.
|Specification||Rating (out of 10)|
Overall Rating: 8.6/10
3. Best Enameled - Lodge Dutch Oven
- Aesthetic design
- No seasoning is required
- Multi-functional cookware for cooking, serving, and storing food
- Available in different colors to match a kitchen’s interior
- Works with every heat source
- Not metal utensil safe
The Lodge Dutch Oven stands out as a stellar piece of kitchenware, tailored for chefs and home cooks alike. Boasting a robust cast iron construction and finished in a chip-resistant porcelain-enameled coating, it guarantees both longevity and a touch of elegance in your culinary endeavors. This pot boasts a 6-quart capacity, making it ideal for larger meals or hosting. Its dual loop handles ensure safe transportation, and it’s oven-safe up to a whopping 500-degree F. However, this is not a piece for the dishwasher; it requires the care of hand washing to maintain its pristine condition.
The Lodge Dutch Oven is not just about function; it’s about form too. The blue enameled finish makes it an eye-catcher, adding a splash of color to your kitchen. Its enamel, a fusion of glass and the underlying cast iron at high temperatures, is both heat tolerant and resistant to consumables. Not only does this make it ideal for cooking, but also for marinating and storing food in cold conditions. The pot offers unparalleled heat retention, distributing warmth evenly throughout, and its tight-fitting lid ensures that moisture and flavors remain locked in.
Its reputation precedes it. Garnering a global rating of over 25,000 and an impressive 4.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon, it’s evident that this piece is well-received. But every product has its downsides. Some users have voiced concerns over the authenticity of its “Made in USA” claim, pointing out that it’s actually made in China. There have also been isolated cases of the enamel coating flaking off. Its weight can also be a concern; being cast iron, it’s inherently heavy, and the enamel adds to that, making it a tad cumbersome.
Considering Lodge’s deep-rooted history, dating back to 1896, and their commitment to quality, it’s safe to say that this oven is rooted in excellence. For those conscious about their health and the environment, it’s worth noting that the Lodge products are made with non-toxic, PFOA & PTFE free material. Priced at US $79.90, it’s a worthy investment for both its functionality and aesthetic appeal.
- Material: Cast Iron – 10/10
- Brand: Lodge – 10/10
- Capacity: 5.6 Liters – 9/10
- Color: Blue – 10/10
- Finish Type: Enameled – 9/10
- Heat Tolerance: 500-degree F – 9/10
- Price: US $79.90 – 8/10
- Rating on Amazon: 4.8 stars – 9.5/10
- Origin: China – 7/10
Overall Rating: 9.2/10.
4. Best Hand Hammered Cookware – Craft Wok
- Amazing performance
- Provides a nice grip on handling
- Can’t be used with induction stovetops
- Becomes rusty very quickly if not handled with care
Handcrafted by Chinese professionals in Guangzhou, the Craft Wok stands as an epitome of authenticity and tradition. Constructed from robust carbon steel, it features a round bottom, specifically tailored for high-temperature stir-frying. While its 14-inch diameter and 15 gauge (1.8mm) thickness contribute to its considerable heft of 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg), this weight ensures durability and resilience in the kitchen.
The wooden handle is masterfully designed, with hygroscopic qualities ensuring a firm grip even during intense stir-frying. Additionally, the steel helper handle not only prevents burns but also proves handy for storage purposes. However, those with flat electric or induction stovetops should note its incompatibility. Carbon steel, while efficient in heat distribution and conductivity, can rust if not seasoned and maintained properly. Thankfully, seasoning instructions are provided, and seasoned chefs would advocate for its essential role in enhancing a wok’s performance.
The Craft Wok brand has cultivated its reputation over eight years, ensuring 100% traditional carbon steel woks. With a passion matching that of professional chefs across China, they aim to bring the joy of stir-frying into every kitchen. It’s worth noting the impressive customer ratings – 4.4 for material quality, 4.3 for heat distribution, and 4.3 for durability. Value for money stands at 4.2, aligning with its pricing of US $59.75.
Users have consistently praised its sturdy build and the durability it promises. The wooden handles, aside from their aesthetic appeal, provide an exceptional grip. However, some feedback has highlighted the tendency for the wok to rust over time, but with proper care and maintenance, this can be averted.
The Craft Wok, with its rich tradition and robust design, promises an unmatched stir-frying experience. While it demands attention in seasoning and care, its performance and longevity make it a worthwhile addition to any kitchen.
- Brand: Craft Wok – 10/10
- Material: Carbon Steel – 9/10
- Special Feature: Gas Stovetop Compatible – 9/10
- Color: Steel – 8/10
- Handle Material: Wood – 9/10
- Weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg) – 8/10
- Price: US $59.75 – 8.5/10
- Customer Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars (10,703 ratings) – 9/10
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,188 in Kitchen & Dining, #19 in Woks & Stir-Fry Pans – 8/10
Overall Rating: 8.7/10
5. Best Budget – Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Fry Pan
- Stain resistant
- Scratch resistant
- Convenient maintenance
- Not non-stick
- Becomes rusty with use
The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Fry Pan in a stunning Cardinal Red color blends aesthetics and functionality into a budget-friendly kitchen marvel priced at US $39.99. Made of robust cast iron, this 10-inch fry pan promises durability and exceptional heat retention. The porcelain enameled interior ensures that your food remains uncontaminated by any metallic tastes, while also being a champion at resisting odors. This quality is further enhanced by its capability to distribute heat evenly, which is vital for achieving those perfect searing or simmering results.
Furthermore, it is suitable for a plethora of cooking environments, from induction stovetops to ovens, and even broilers, adding versatility to its list of merits. The wide cast iron handles, complemented by an oven-safe knob, ensure comfort, a secure grip, and expand the horizons of your cooking endeavors. Its strong, durable finish not only complements any kitchen décor but also ensures that this pan can double up as an elegant serving piece, straight from the oven to your dining table.
On the maintenance front, the pan scores high as it’s dishwasher safe, ensuring easy cleanup and hassle-free care. Although some users reported differences between the porcelain interiors and exteriors and occasional enamel coating issues, most have been delighted by both its aesthetic appeal and commendable performance.
However, there’s a small caveat. Some have found certain food items prone to sticking, making manual cleaning a bit challenging. Nevertheless, this fry pan, measuring 10.31 x 17.01 x 3.1 inches and weighing in at a light 1 pound, hailing from the trusted brand of Cuisinart with an impressive customer rating of 4.7 out of 5, has secured its spot amongst top kitchen essentials.
|Feature||Rating (out of 10)|
|Material (Cast Iron)||9|
|Maintenance (Dishwasher Safe)||8.8|
|Aesthetics (Cardinal Red)||9.2|
|Size (10 Inch)||8.6|
|Weight (1 Pound)||9.5|
|Brand Reputation (Cuisinart)||9.7|
|Price (US $39.99)||9.3|
6. Best Pre-Seasoned Cookware – Cuisinel Cast Iron Set
- Provides safe and healthy cooking
- Oven safe
- Can be used on outdoor grills
- No dangerous chemical coating
- Seasoning becomes a little smoky
- Not non-stick
The Cuisinel Cast Iron Set, a top contender in the realm of pre-seasoned cookware. Priced at a competitive US $199.99, this set isn’t just for the household kitchen, it’s also apt for outdoor use, providing even heat distribution, essential for flawless cooking. Made entirely of cast iron, these utensils are revered for their inherent non-stick finish, an ideal choice for high-temperature cooking. Whether it’s an induction stovetop or a traditional one, they promise consistent heat across the surface. To add a touch of sophistication, the set includes tempered glass lids, locking in moisture and flavor at their peak.
But it’s not just about cooking; it’s also about style and safety. The set boasts of silicon handles, ensuring a firm grip and protection from burns. Users praise the range of items included for the given price, acknowledging the set’s versatility in cooking. However, a few voiced concerns about the required extra effort in cleaning and occasional rusting issues. Contrary to the general nature of cast irons, which naturally offer a non-stick surface, there’s a consensus that these particular utensils don’t completely live up to that promise.
Now, for the specifics: This Cuisinel Cast Iron Set encompasses a broad range of items: 6″, 8″, 10″, and 12″ skillets, along with a grill pan, griddle, pizza pan, Dutch oven, and even a panrack for organization. Not to forget the essential accessories, which include silicone hot handle holders, a pan scraper for cleaning ease, and a panrack organizer to keep your kitchen orderly. However, it’s worth noting that despite their sturdy construction, these cast iron pieces are not dishwasher-safe and require hand washing.
If you’re looking for reliability in your cookware, the set scores a commendable 4.6 out of 5 based on 3,989 customer reviews, with individual high scores in durability, value for money, heat distribution, and versatility.
|Specification||Rating (out of 10)|
|Value for Money||9.2|
|Overall Customer Reviews||9.2|
Overall Rating: 9.2/10.
7. Best Open Fire Cookware – Stansport Cast Iron Kit
- Universal lid
- Great for camping
- Offers great variety
- Quality fades away with use
The Cuisinel Stansport Cast Iron Kit is the pinnacle of craftsmanship and versatility. Crafted using a mix of Porcelain, Aluminum, and Cast Iron, this 18-piece set showcases the robustness of the Cuisinel brand. The all-cast iron color gives it a rustic and timeless appearance. Each item in this extensive kit is designed for even heat distribution, ensuring every dish is cooked to perfection. This feature, combined with unrivaled heat retention, means whether you’re cooking on a modern stove or an open fire, you’ll achieve a seamless, delectable result every time. Priced at US $ 209.99
Apart from its foundational benefits, the kit boasts of an array of utensils tailored for diverse cooking needs, from a 10″ + 12″ skillet with glass lids to a 13.5″ pizza pan and a 15″ pan rack. This extensive lineup reinforces its suitability for both outdoor adventures and home culinary exploits. Safety and ease of use are addressed with silicone handle grips, ensuring a confident, burn-free grip, a feature that often sets Cuisinel apart. The added pan scraper aids in effortless cleaning, although, remember, it’s essential to keep this kit away from the dishwasher. Each purchase comes with a care guide, ensuring longevity. Cuisinel’s commitment to its users is further showcased with a lifetime warranty, adding a layer of trust and security to your investment.
Despite its multitude of features, users have occasionally pointed out the need for regular seasoning. But given its durability rating of 4.8/5 and an overall customer rating of 4.6/5 from 3,989 reviews, this seems a minor trade-off.
|Feature||Rating (Out of 10)|
|Material (Porcelain, Aluminum, Cast Iron)||9|
|Size (18-Piece Set)||9|
|Handle Material (Silicone)||8|
|Weight (66.9 pounds)||7|
|Value for Money||9.2|
|Overall Customer Reviews (4.6 out of 5 stars from 3,989 ratings)||9.2|
Overall Rating: 9.1/10
What cookware material is best for high heat cooking?
In the terminology of cooking, high heat cooking is the process that involves stir-frying, sauteing, searing and browning food. Nonetheless, cooking is just not merely restricted to these practices, you certainly need the best pots and pans to level up things.
Although high heat cooking is not a much-cherished idea from the health point of view, nothing can beat the flavor you feel when chomping a savory browned-crust steak.
With various cooking options and multiple heat sources, it becomes quite confusing to decide which cookware material works best for your high heat cooking needs.
Cast iron, copper-clad, hard-anodized, Teflon, ceramic-coated nonstick, stainless steel, carbon steel, enameled cast iron cookware are the common cookware choices with their specific limitations.
This being the reason, we’ve compiled some relevant information for your ease to decide which cookware is the best for high heat cooking and why.
Cast iron cookware:
Most of the chefs use cast iron cookware to give a perfect and beautiful sear to meat. It is heavier and capable to retain heat for longer, therefore, is a perfect cookware material for high heat cooking.
The good news is it doesn’t warp under high heat temperature constraints. Coat it with a thin layer of oil after each use for seasoning. It’s washing also comes with a cinch.
Stainless steel cookware:
Stainless steel itself is a poor heat conductor and to enhance its thermal conductivity, aluminum or copper sheet are laid between the inner and outer layer of stainless steel. Related: Best Stainless Steel Cookware
When combined with an aluminum or copper core base, stainless steel can stand high heat temperatures. But it still lacks the performance you’re getting with a cast iron cookware. The food either gets overcook or burn. The food burning is followed by vigorous washing.
There are also chances of disengaging of copper/aluminum core when you’re cooking in this kind of cookware on high heat. So relatively less durable since it tends to warp under high heat cooking.
This combines the conductivity of cast iron and the insulation of stainless steel while maintaining its lightweight footprint. Harder and durable than stainless steel, this kind of cookware is great for high heat cooking since it instantly adapts itself to the temperature setting of your stove.
Being less in weight, this has an edge over heavy-duty cast iron cookware. Nevertheless, it also requires proper seasoning for performing well and maintenance to prevent rust.
Hard-anodized nonstick cookware:
Regarding the nonstick abilities, no cookware can beat the performance of hard-anodized cookware. It is durable and tough and features excellent thermal conductivity. Related: Best Hard Anodized Cookware
But exposing the nonstick coating to high heat weakens the nonstick surface, making it relatively less durable against daily wears.
Enameled cast iron cookware:
This is a superior version to cast iron cookware with a ceramic coating that requires no seasoning to keep the cookware in the best working order.
The enamel-coated cast-iron cookware has a significantly higher price and works best when you use only silicone or wooden spoon or a spatula for cooking.
Already heavy cast iron cookware becomes much heavier than before when an enamel coat adds to it. Besides, during high heat cooking, the coating might start coming off and leaching into food.
Anyhow, if you don’t opt for seasoning your cast iron cookware, an enameled cast iron cookware can be the best bet.
Can stainless steel cookware good for high heat cooking temperatures?
Stainless steel cookware sets are one of the best ones out there that can absolutely withstand high heat cooking temperatures because of the following facts!
They don’t get discolored: Most of the stainless steel utensils feature an aluminum or a copper base that are great heat conductors perfect to withstand any high heat cooking temperature without causing any damage to the utensil. With aluminum or copper, stainless steel utensils are able to bring even heat distribution at high temperatures as well.
They have good strength: Stainless steel utensils have good strength to them which makes them able to prevent any damage at high temperatures. They are strong and durable and hence work for long periods of time.
Their structure: Another reason why stainless steel cookware sets can withstand high heat temperatures is because of their composition and structure. They have certain elements that are able to resist corrosion and hence be able to not get distorted at high temperatures.
Can non-stick pans good for high heat cooking temperatures?
Non-stick pans bring many advantages on the table but these pans cannot handle high heat cooking temperatures because of the following reasons!
They release harmful toxins:
When exposing non-stick pans at high temperatures their coating starts to wear off which causes the coating to release harmful toxins. These harmful toxins when mixed with your food can cause some serious threats to your health.
Can cause discoloration to the utensil:
Non-stick pans when subjected to high heat cooking temperatures can cause discoloration to the utensil damaging it completely.
They lose their non-stick properties:
When using non-stick pans at high temperatures, their durability becomes at risk as well as they lose their properties when their coating wears off at high heat temperatures.
Which stainless steel is good for high heat cooking?
When it comes to cooking at temperatures over 1000°F, there are no stainless steel options that are suitable.
Stainless steel has a melting point of around 2750°F, but at temperatures over 1000°F it can begin to warp and deform, which can compromise the integrity of the cookware and potentially cause safety hazards.
In this case, other materials such as cast iron or carbon steel are better options for high-temperature cooking.
These materials have a higher heat capacity and can handle temperatures well above 1000°F without warping or deteriorating.
While stainless steel is a great option for many types of cooking, it’s important to use the right material for the job when cooking at extremely high temperatures.
With the right gear, you can give the food a taste and look you crave the most. Only an enthusiastic chef knows the tractability of a cast iron cookware set for high heat cooking. It retains heat longer, gives the beautiful sear to your steak, and makes the perfect browned crust on the meat. With easy washing and a pocket-friendly price tag, no chef would ever think to not try this cookware choice when it comes to braising, stir-frying, and searing food. would you?