Cooking fish is a delicate matter— literally. Use the wrong pan, and your beautiful filet can easily break apart when it's time to flip. Bake your fish in the wrong dish, and you'll be spending the evening scrubbing away a stuck-on mess.
So if you're sick of your fish sticking, it's time to upgrade to one of these ten pans for cooking fish. These non-stick pans and oven-safe baking dishes are specially designed to create a tender, flaky filets. Not only can they cook fish to perfection, but they can also sear, fry, and roast vegetables and other meats. Consider yourself a seafood connoisseur!
10 Best Pans for Cooking Fish
Below, we've rounded up 10 of the best cookware for cooking fish. Then, we're offering helpful cooking tips to help you nail your next seafood night. We've got you covered for every cooking method, from searing and frying to roasting and baking.
Best Carbon Steel Skillet
Cast iron pans are great at frying fish. So if you don't already own one of these time-tested cooking tools, now's the time to finally get one! It's guaranteed to be your new favorite cooking gadget.
This versatile Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet offers a modern alternative to a classic cast iron skillet. It's lighter weight and more responsive to temperature changes. The naturally stick-resistant cooking surface is ideal for sauteing, browning, frying, and searing fish on any type of cooktop, including induction. At 12 inches in diameter, it's large enough to fit any filet.
Best Fish Plate
Cooking a whole fish or large filet? This Enameled Cast Iron Fish Plate from Staub is up for the task. The covered cast-iron fish plate was designed to cook whole fish or large fillets. Transport your meal straight from the oven to the table for an impressive presentation at your next dinner party.
It's crafted in France from heavyweight cast iron with a specially-formulated enamel coating with traces of quartz for excellent heat distribution and retention. A lid included boasts a large black knob that's easy to grab with bulky oven mitts. The dishwasher-safe pan can be used on any cooktop, and its oven and broiler are safe up to 500 degrees.
Best Frying Pan
If you're new to the world of frying fish (or frying anything for that matter), this Caraway Fry Pan is for you. While its non-stick coating surface is perfect for pan-frying fish, it works great for eggs, pancakes, vegetables, and other healthy cooking. The stylish coordinating lid (sold separately) makes steaming and poaching easy too!
The eco-friendly pan features a non-toxic mineral-based coating that won't leach harmful chemicals into your food as it cooks and riveted stainless steel handle. It's free of PFOA, PTFE (such as Teflon), heavy metals, and other PFAs. Plus, it releases 60% less CO2 during production than most non-stick pans.
Budding chefs can choose from six aesthetically-pleasing color options, ranging from sage green to marigold yellow. The versatile non-stick frying pan can be used on any induction, gas, or electric stove, and it's oven-safe up to 550 degrees.
Best For Baking
This Stoneware Oval Fish Baker from Le Creuset makes an excellent gift for the Instagram chef in your life. Cast from high-fired stoneware with a decorative lid, it comes in two colorful glazes that look great on your tabletop—and your feed.
The long, ovular pan is the perfect shape and size for fish. Roast a whole fish for a dinner party, a large filet for date night, or several smaller cuts at once for a quick weeknight dinner. Its porcelain enamel exterior resists chips, scratches, and stains while offering even heat distribution and easy clean-up. The tight-fitting lid locks in steam for moist, tender fish that's impossible to achieve any other way.
This Cast Iron Skillet from Lodge makes a great addition to any kitchen, no matter what you're cooking. Crafted by America's oldest family-owned cookware foundry, it's designed to withstand a lifetime of frying, searing, and sizzling. The versatile pan is available in a range of sizes to accommodate any chef's needs.
It's made from heavyweight cast iron that's pre-seasoned to resist sticking, prevent rust, and distribute heat evenly. While all the pans boast one long handle, the larger sizes have a loop helper handle for improved safety while maneuvering hot pans. Cooking fry fish doesn't have to be messy. The pan's high sides contain splatters while frying fish and sloshes while lifting into and out of the oven, making this one of the best frying pans. The adaptable material can be used on any cooktop (including induction), and it's oven and broiler safe. This is also the best pan if you want to get that crispy-skinned fish.
There's a good chance you've already seen the Our Place Always Pan on your Tik-Tok feed. The patent-pending multi-functional system replaces eight pieces of cookware: your fry pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, nonstick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. Available in an array of color options, it looks incredibly stylish left out on the stove. It's the perfect fish frying pan for apartment dwellers, recent grads, and small kitchens.
The non-stick pan is made with a sturdy aluminum body for a lightweight feel and fast, even heating. Its proprietary non-stick ceramic coating is made without potentially toxic materials like PFOAs, PTFEs, heavy metals, nanoparticles, and other PFAs. A modular lid makes for easy steaming and a side spout for drip-free pours. The best-selling pan comes complete with a custom stainless steel steamer basket and a nesting beechwood spatula with an integrated spoon rest.
Best For Grill Marks
Cooking for one or two? Expand your culinary possibilities with this Cast Iron Grizzler Pan from Ooni. The ridged surface allows you to grill meat, seafood, vegetables, and more without the hassle of a real grill. It's suitable for use on all cooktops, including induction. Plus, it's safe to use in the oven, under the broiler, or even on your outdoor grill. A removable handle brings even more versatility to the practical piece, making this a great pan in your kitchen.
The cast iron grill pan will last through countless meals with handwashing and regular seasoning. It comes complete with a beechwood serving board for an impressive tabletop display at a dinner party or an intimate date night-in. Check out the rest of Ooni's Cast Iron collection for even more fish-friendly cookware styles.
Best Stainless Steel Pan For Fish
One of many's favorite ways to prepare fish is through a pan-searing method, as pan-searing fish gives it a bit of color, a crisp texture, and draws out the flavor. With this Demeyere Industry 10-inch Searing Pan, you will get that crispy texture that is harder to achieve with a non-stick surface. While a stainless steel pan is more likely to stick, it is possible to keep fish from sticking to the pan with the right amount of oil and heating your pan properly.
This Demeyere Industry 10 Inch Searing pan is crafted from 5-ply construction that ensures outstanding heat conduction and retention. With the patented Silvinox surface treatment, your pan will maintain its silvery finish, resists fingerprints, and be easy to clean. Made in Belgium, this pan features a stay-cool 18/10 stainless steel handle that is securely welded and extremely hygienic.
Best Ceramic Nonstick
There is Valencia Pro Ceramic Nonstick Surface with a glass lid for a tough and resilient pan. Perfect for searing fish, braising vegetables, or cooking a tender pot roast. The saute pan is crafted from hard-anodized aluminum for maximum strength and scratch resistance with a Magneto base that ensures induction efficiency and top-notch performance.
Unlike the other non-stick, this pan uses a healthy ceramic non-stick coating free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. Also, metal utensils are safe, so you can use your favorite utensils while cooking.
Best For Saute
Whether it is cooking the catch of the day or from the store, this versatile saute pan is perfect for cooking fish. This Reserve Ceramic Nonstick Oval Fish Saute Pan from GreenPan has the perfect minimalist style and limitless possibilities. Designed to make your oven experience effortless and finished with striking matte gold finish handles for added styles to every meal.
This pan is crafted from hard-anodized aluminum that is perfect for distributing heat evenly and scratch-resistant. Coated with Thermolon Mineral Pro non-stick coating, this pan is ultra-durable and heat-responsive. It is also free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium.
Tips for Cooking Fish
Now that you're equipped with the right pan for fish, it's time to start cooking. Here are a few helpful tips for cooking your best seafood ever:
- Stick to high-quality, sustainably-sourced cuts— No cooking method can turn a cheap strore brought cut into a freshly-caught filet. For the best flavor and texture, stick to fresh cuts of wild-caught seafood, and steer clear of anything frozen and farm-raised.
- Pat seafood dry before cooking— Remove excess moisture that leads to mushiness and overcooking by gently patting the outside of the filet with paper towels before it hits the pan.
- Preheat the pan— Adding your fish to the pan before it's reached full temperature can easily lead to overcooking. Waiting until it's good and hot helps your fish cook evenly all the way through.
- Start skin-side down— Pan-frying, grilling, or searing fish skin-side first helps ensure a nice, even crisp without overcooking. While the skin may stick at first, it'll release as it cooks. Leave the skin-side down for 3/4 of the total cooking time. Once your spatula can slide underneath, it's time to flip. Only cook the other side for a few minutes to get a crisp, flaky finish.
- Only flip once— Overhandling fish can quickly cause it to fall apart. You should only cook the filet once on each side. Multiple flips can lead to broken filets that don't get fully brown.
- Don't overcrowd your frying pan— Only cooking a few filets at a time leads to a crispy exterior and a flaky interior that's evenly cooked all the way through. Overcrowding drops the temperature of the cooking oil, causing your fish to absorb more than it usually would. As a result, it'll be greasy and overcooked. Not to mention, it'll be a pain to flip.
- Cook similar filet sizes at once— Streamline your cooking process and achieve more uniform results by frying the same size filets at once. Otherwise, you'll need to flip and remove smaller pieces first to keep them from overcooking.
- Coat with flour before cooking— Coating your fish in a light layer of flour helps create a crispy golden-brown crust while locking flavor and moisture inside. Be sure to pat the fish fry dry before dipping it in the flour.
- Use oil with a high smoke point— High cooking temperatures (between 350 and 375 degrees) equal crispy, flaky fish. The best oils for frying fish are sunflower oil, canola oil, and safflower oil. Their neutral flavor won't overpower the delicate flavor profile of your favorite filets.
- Cook filets until they're just barely done— Your fish will continue cooking until it cools down. Remove your fish from the oven or stove as soon as it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees and loses its translucent appearance in the middle.
What Is The Best Material For Searing Fish?
Different cooking surfaces will give you different results. Look for a cast iron, carbon steel frying pan, or a stainless steel pan with a heavy base to get the best searing result.
What Is The Best Material For Frying Fish?
The best frying pan material is stainless steel and copper, and they are strong, durable, and able to withstand extremely high heat.
What Is The Best Pan For Crispier Fish?
If you are looking for that crispy fish result, you must check out stainless steel pans, a skillet, cast iron pan, or a classic fry pan.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Fish Without Sticking?
If you are using stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel pan, make sure it is properly seasoned and coated with cooking oil. Be sure to pat dry the fish before cooking as the moisture will stick to the pan surface and cause it to stick.
Also, make you properly warm up the pan before placing the fish in. Warm up the pan on medium heat for a few minutes before adding oil. Then let it sit for about three minutes before placing the fish in.