Best Pan for Eggs: A Matching Guide for How You Cook Eggs
by HexClad Cookware
There’s nothing like sautéing eggs in the morning. Versatile and delicious, this protein-rich breakfast can go over-easy on a sandwich, in a hash, transformed into a meat-or-veggie-filled omelet, or enjoyed on its own.
But, many of us know trying to scramble or flip an egg in the wrong pan can cause a mess, from broken yolk centers to more egg getting caked onto the pan than making it to your plate. Luckily, the right cookware can help you cook your eggs to mess-free perfection every time.
What’s the Best Pan for Frying Eggs?
Flipping an egg is like balancing on a high beam. It takes patience, practice, and determination. We all know what it’s like trying to maneuver the fragile egg on the spatula, holding our breath as we wait to see if it will survive the big flip.
We know the devastation when it breaks, watching that precious yolk leak from the center and mourning the loss of a perfect breakfast sammie. But, we also know the joys of seeing that underdog egg stick the landing and sizzle happily away on the other side. One big factor will make or break your egg’s flipping action: the right pan.
When frying an egg, you want a nonstick pan with sides sloped at a slight angle to help guide you as you flip your egg.
A nonstick pan will help keep the egg’s exterior from sticking to the pan, allowing you to better wedge your spatula of choice underneath the bottom without breakage. The sloped sides can provide more support in maneuvering the egg and pushing it up off the bottom of the pan so you have room to flip it over. That way, it won’t fall off the spatula too soon and splatter on the surface of the pan.
With the right pan set, frying an egg on both sides and perfecting the flip in between will become second nature. Gone will be the days of mourning the breakfast that could have been.
What’s the Best Pan for Scrambling Eggs?
When scrambling eggs, it is essential to use nonstick pans. Eggs are slick and sticky and love leaving a crusty residue on your pans as they cook if you aren’t careful about the pan you use. Luckily, the right pan can hold its own against this messy food.
An egg pan that is at least eight inches will provide enough room to cook an omelet to perfection or scramble a couple of eggs at once without overcrowding the pan.
You also want a pan with a stay-cool stainless steel handle like all of ours here at HexClad. This is especially important when scrambling an egg, as you may want to use the long handle to toss the pan a bit to help redistribute ingredients as they scramble and cook.
What Should You Use To Poach Eggs?
Poaching is a unique method of cooking, so the pan requirement for this one will be a bit different. While a nonstick frying pan is a must for frying or scrambling an egg, you want something a bit taller when poaching your eggs.
Your eggs will simmer just below the boiling point. This gentle form of cooking can incorporate the flavor of your poaching liquid into your food and limit the fat needed when making your egg. No cooking oil or butter is required.
Instead, you’ll place a cracked egg in about an inch of simmering water with a bit of salt and white vinegar (if desired) over medium heat. For the ultimate poached egg, grab a narrow lidded pot that can hold just enough water to fully submerge the egg.
Our HexClad Hybrid 2-Quart Pot is perfect for this task. It will heat evenly, thanks to its tri-ply stainless steel design. Small but mighty, this pot will heat up quickly for a fast, healthy, stress-free breakfast.
The nonstick design of our pot will also reduce the risk of the egg sticking to the bottom of the pot as it poaches — which is especially important since this form of cooking doesn’t include any oils to further reduce sticking.
To poach, wait until the water is just beginning to boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. Use your spatula or spoon of choice to stir the water, forming a mini whirlpool, and drop your egg into the whirlpool’s center. Then, turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and let your egg cook uninterrupted for five minutes.
In its final form, a poached egg will have a soft texture with a delectably warm yolk and a slightly runny texture. This is a perfect way to whip up a quick, healthy egg for an open-faced sandwich or eggs Benedict. Serve this egg on top of pizzas, salads, or ramen. With the right pot, what can’t you and your eggs do?
What’s the Best Pan for Omelets?
A nonstick frying pan will be your friend when making an omelet. Omelets are fun and practical, serving as an edible pocket you can stuff with your favorite ingredients (also known as leftovers and veggies you bought with high hopes that have been sitting in your crisper drawer for a week).
After whisking your eggs in a separate bowl, you’ll pour the whisked eggs into an eight-inch pan over medium heat. For this method, you want the eggs to spread until they are in one uniform layer along the surface of the pan, reaching all edges of the pan.
Then, as the eggs cook, use your spatula to gently push the cooked parts of the egg towards the center. Tilt and rotate your pan so the uncooked eggs can pour into the remaining empty spots in the pan.
After your eggs have begun to set, you’ll add your fillings and use a spatula to fold the unfilled side over onto the filled half. In the end, both sides of your omelet should be evenly cooked, creating a soft and fluffy breakfast dish.
With a combination of flipping and tossing required, you’ll need a lightweight nonstick pan for easy maneuvering while you cook. An eight-inch HexClad skillet will fulfill all of your omelet requirements.
The lightweight, high-quality aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel makes this pan easy to hold, toss, and turn. The stay-cool handle allows you to do all this and more one-handed — without any risk of burning your palm as you go.
Avoid overcrowding the pan, as this can lower the temperature, leading to a longer cook time and uneven cooking. However, too big a pan will force the eggs to spread out too thin to cover the entire surface of the pan, leaving you with a too-fragile omelet base that won’t hold filling well.
An eight-inch pan is just the right size to cook the omelet well without being too big or too small. Goldilocks would consider it “just right.”
Which Is Better for Eggs: Cast-Iron, Steel, or Hybrid?
Cast-iron pans are nonstick but require a fair amount of effort to stay that way. These pans are heavy and cumbersome to move around on the stovetop. When you’re making eggs and need to scoot around melting butter, a cast-iron skillet is heavy and unwieldy. It’s not the most comfortable option for making a simple breakfast.
The handle of a cast iron skillet can get extremely hot, which can be a major safety concern when you need to use the handle to toss and turn the skillet.
Steel is lightweight and super durable, but it’s not nonstick on its own. It won’t heat evenly without a layer of material that conducts heat well, such as aluminum, at its core. Trying to cook an egg in a steel pan is a surefire way to have a layer of the egg stay stuck to the pan, even when using a decent amount of oil.
So, what’s a cook to do? Enter: HexClad. With hybrid technology, HexClad cookware offers the benefits of nonstick cookware while remaining lightweight and easy to care for. HexClad cookware is lightweight and offers superior heat retention thanks to a layer of aluminum sandwiched between layers of high-quality stainless steel. It’s simple to clean, easy to handle, and lets you use all your favorite metal spatulas. The heat retention is a happy bonus.
Is there anything more eggcellent than this? We certainly don’t think so.
Tips for Cooking Eggs in a HexClad Pan
Grab Your Oil or Butter
HexClad pans are nonstick but perform best with a slight bit of butter or oil. Also, adding a bit of fat adds extra flavor for a better egg. A win-win.
Start Cooking on Low Heat
It is best to start your egg frying pan on low heat when cooking eggs. Egg whites cook faster than egg yolk. Using too high a heat off the bat may dry out your exterior egg white, even while the yolk is still runny.
Use Your Favorite Spatula
Here’s a secret: With HexClad, you don’t need to stress about using metal utensils on your cookware. Unlike other nonstick or ceramic cookware whose delicate outer layer can start to chip or flake if you aren’t easy on them, HexClad’s non-toxic and quality-tested nonstick layer rests underneath the raised ridges of our patented hexagonal layers, providing added protection.
Each of our pots and pans is laser-etched with a series of hexagon designs. The peaks of these hexagons are made with high-quality stainless steel, while the valleys are formed from ceramic nonstick valleys.
While your eggs and other ingredients will cook against this nonstick surface for mess-free flipping and hassle-free cleanness, your spatulas and utensils will make contact with the raised stainless steel ridges. It keeps them from scraping against the nonstick layer directly and provides an added layer of scratch-resistant protection.
Metal utensils are often thin and sturdy, able to easily wedge beneath your eggs as you fry them and provide extra stability as you flip. You’ve had to let those strong utensils go unused for too long, but not anymore. With HexClad, you can bring any of your favorite spatulas to the table — worry-free.
Consider Your Pans
The type of pan you’re using plays a role in how you want to cook your egg. For instance, cast iron skillets take a long time to heat up, meaning you’ll want to give it some time to warm up before adding your eggs.
Aluminum, however, heats up quickly and provides even heat distribution, so you want to keep an eye on it as the pan preheats to avoid the pan getting too hot, which can lead to burnt eggs or overly crispy exteriors.
Cast iron skillets also require consistent and careful care. You must reseason them regularly to keep the surface nonstick, whereas hybrid pans require less work before you can get cooking.
With HexClad pans, an occasional reseasoning can help keep them performing their best. After gently hand-washing a HexClad pan, you can get cooking without worrying about needing to season it.
If you gave your pans a more thorough clean in the dishwasher, you might want to reseason the pan just to be safe.
How To Cook the Best Eggs You’ve Ever Had
If scrambling or making an omelet, whisk your eggs with a little milk and salt and pepper before adding them to the pan. The milk will up their fluff factor. Whisking in salt and pepper will help evenly distribute the seasoning and flavor.
Whisking your eggs before adding them to the pan can keep the eggs from starting to cook before spreading and separating.
Preheat your nonstick skillet over low heat before adding your whisked egg, and add a little oil or butter to help lubricate the surface of the pan. You don’t need to be heavy-handed here.
If frying an egg, crack it directly into the pan, then add salt and pepper as it begins to sizzle. Let your egg cook slowly over lower heat, letting the bottom set before flipping.
With a HexClad pan, you can use the stay-cool handle to toss and turn the ingredients and a sturdy metal spatula to carefully lift and flip the egg with the support of the pan’s sloping walls — all without fear of getting burned by a too-hot handle.
Once your eggs are finished cooking in a HexClad nonstick pan, they’ll easily slide out of the pan and onto your plate, leaving no crusty or sticky bits behind. Add a final fancy touch with a garnish of oregano, chives, green pepper, or whatever you’re feeling.
Do you want to take your egg-cooking skills a step further and cook up a hash, quiche, or frittata in the oven? All our pots and pans are oven safe to 500 degrees, so transferring from the stovetop to the oven couldn’t be easier.
HexClad cookware is also dishwasher safe, so once you’ve finished savoring every bite of your eggs, you can simply place your durable hybrid HexClad cookware in the dishwasher for a thorough clean.
The Bottom Line
HexClad cookware sets can help you go far beyond perfect eggs. No matter what type of egg you’re making or whatever else you throw its way, the right HexClad pan can help any home cook make it perfectly every time.