Best Pans for Cooking Fish: Sear, Fry, & Grill

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I’ve rounded up seven of the best pans for cooking fish. My top pick? The GreenPan Valencia Pro Pan.

Cooking fish can be tricky. It’s delicate, requires precise heating control, and notoriously sticks to pans. Having the right pan is essential to getting perfectly cooked fish.

That’s why I like the GreenPan Valencia Pro Non-stick Pan. It’s versatile, allowing you to use it for multiple cooking methods. It can work as a fry pan or searing pan, and it’s one of the best pans for cooking fish.

But you may prefer a different material for your fry pans. Or you may want to get those classic grilling marks on your fish. Whatever your preference, there’s a pan for you.

Ready to cook healthy, delicious fish? Let’s get started.

Best Pans for Cooking Fish: Reviews

GreenPan Valencia Pro Non-Stick Pan: Best Pan for Cooking Fish

GreenPan is known for manufacturing non-toxic ceramic non-stick pots and pans. This Valencia Pro Non-Stick Pan has a diameter of 10 inches (25.4 cm) and packs a lot of value in a single piece. Sauté, stir-fry, braise, sear, fry, and bake healthy meals with ease.

This frying pan is made with double hard-anodized aluminum. It’s broiler-safe and oven-safe up to 600°F (315°C) and won’t warp or wobble.

GreenPan uses a proprietary Thermolon coating that’s non-stick, and scratch-resistant. And since it doesn’t contain any Teflon or other harsh chemicals, this pan is also non-toxic.

Just be sure to use nylon or wooden cooking utensils. Metal tools can scratch the cooking surface.

As for induction stove tops? No problem. The GreenPan Valencia Pro frying pan is induction compatible due to the magnetic base.

The stainless steel riveted handle stays cool on the cooktop, and the drip-free pouring rim makes it easy to transition this pan from the stove to the table, mess-free.

I like that the GreenPan fry pan includes a lid. The see-through, tempered glass lid allows you to trap heat and moisture while still being able to monitor food.

When you’re done cooking, cleanup is simple. Wash by hand with warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft sponge.

The pan is advertised as dishwasher-safe, but I would recommend hand washing to protect the pan. Besides, customers confirmed that this frying pan is so easy to wipe clean that hand washing is quick and painless.

User reviews were overwhelmingly positive for the GreenPan Valencia Pro frying pan. They confirmed that this pan has excellent food release and works on induction cooktops.

It’s important to note, though, that ceramic coatings will break down just like their Teflon counterparts. This GreenPan, although a high performer, like will most likely need replacing after a few years.

But if you want a non-toxic frying pan that can produce excellent fish without sticking? This pan is your go-to for that.

Pros

  • Hard-anodized aluminum construction
  • Non-stick
  • Non-toxic
  • Oven & broiler-safe to 600°F (315°C)
  • Easy to clean
  • Includes lid

Cons

  • Like all non-stick, eventually needs replacing
  • A little pricey

Nordic Ware Multicooker: Best for Baking Fish

Nordic Ware is a U.S.-based company founded in 1946. They’ve been making Scandinavian-inspired bakeware and cookware for decades.

This Nordic Ware Multicooker is the perfect pan for grilling, baking, or steaming fish. It features aluminized steel with a non-stick coating. It measures 15×6 inches (38×15 cm) and accommodates a 14-inch (36 cm) fish or rack of ribs.

The ability to use this cookware indoors and outdoors makes it versatile and convenient. It’s oven-safe to 400°F (204°C), and it’s easy to clean.

Users loved this Nordic Ware piece as an oven grill pan. They were able to achieve perfectly flaky fish on the outdoor grill. The non-stick surface is easy to clean and releases fish easily.

Even though the non-stick properties are impressive, this pan does scratch easily. Several users had problems with scratching and flaking. Avoid metal utensils and wash the pan by hand to help preserve the coating.

You may not be able to use the Nordic Ware cooker on the stove, but it’s affordable and one of the best pans for cooking fish on the grill.

Pros

  • For indoor/outdoor use
  • Great for grilling
  • Oven-safe to 400°F (204°C)
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Cons

  • Not for stovetop use
  • Scratches easily

Eglaf Fish Steamer: Best for Steaming Fish

If you like cooking fish without oil, you might enjoy this Eglaf Stainless Steel Fish Steamer. Designed for steaming fish, seafood, cornbread, veggies, eggs, and more, this steamer is versatile.

With 304 stainless steel construction, the cooking surface heats evenly. But the handle is heat-proof and stays cool during stovetop use.

The pan comes with a glass cover, ceramic plate, stainless steel rack, and chuck. Use the chuck to clip the plate up. The fish goes on the ceramic plate, which rests on the rack.

This Eglaf steamer can cook enough fish to feed multiple people. With a capacity of 8 quarts (7.6 liters), it’s made to accommodate large pieces of fish.

The stainless steel pan is oven-safe to 500°F (260°C), while the glass cover is safe for temperatures up to 350°F (177°C). This steamer can work on all cooktops, as well.

The user reviews for the Eglaf steamer were mixed. On one hand, they liked the large size. You can easily put an entire fish in the pan, which is great.

On the other hand, many customers pointed out how thin the stainless steel is. Such a thin construction won’t hold up well over time. Expect to replace this piece in significantly less time than a thicker, more expensive pan.

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Safe for temps up to 500°F (260°C)
  • Includes glass lid
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Very thin
  • Lacks durability

Lodge Grill Pan: Best Cast Iron Fish Pan

Lodge has been making cast iron cookware for over 120 years. This Lodge Grill Pan is square, with a diameter of 10.5 inches (27 cm). It’s large enough to cook two fish filets at one time.

Cast iron pans hold heat for a long time, and this pan is no different. It has superior heat retention, so you can use lower temperatures to get the same results.

The Lodge Grill Pan includes one long handle and a helper handle for lifting. And since cast iron is heavy, that helper handle will get plenty of use. The skillet also includes a red silicone hot handle holder for safe handling.

You can use this cast iron pan on all cooktops, including induction. It’s also safe for the grill and oven at any normal cooking temperature.

When seasoned properly, cast iron forms a natural non-stick surface. But getting fish to release is trickier than with a non-stick pan.

However, customers were able to sear fish with success. They liked the raised grill ridges for getting perfect grill marks and draining fat. Several did use butter or oil to help release food.

But like all cast iron, this Lodge Grill Pan needs occasional seasoning. It does come pre-seasoned, but several users recommend applying your layer before first use.

If you want something cast iron that can work for cooking fish? This Lodge Pan is your best pick.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Able to withstand high temperatures
  • Achieve grill marks
  • Induction-ready
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Requires seasoning
  • Heavy

All-Clad Grill Pan: Best Non-stick Grill Pan

When most people think of All-Clad, they think of stainless steel cookware. But All-Clad also makes cookware in other materials, like this All-Clad Grill Pan, which features hard-anodized aluminum construction and a non-stick surface.

This griddle pan features raised ridges to help you sear fish and release fat while getting those perfect grilling marks. It has 11-inch (28 cm) sides with a square shape, the perfect pan size for two pieces of cut fish.

The stainless steel stay-cool handle is riveted for a secure and safe grip. And the pan is safe for oven use up to a maximum temperature of 500°F (260°C).

This All-Clad pan is supposed to be compatible with all cooktops, but several buyers had problems getting the pan to work on their induction stoves. If you have an induction cooktop, I’d go with another option.

This All-Clad pan is technically safe for the dishwasher, although the manufacturer recommends washing it by hand to protect the non-stick coating.

Customers were pleased with the shape, the raised grill ridges, and the even heating. They said it was lightweight and easy to clean.

The only downside is the handle. Many users said the handle was uncomfortable and awkward. That was the biggest complaint among customers.

But overall? This is an excellent pan that is surprisingly affordable for something with the All-Clad label.

Pros

  • Non-stick surface
  • Hard-anodized aluminum construction
  • Even heating
  • Dishwasher-safe (hand wash recommended)

Cons

  • Poor performance on induction
  • Uncomfortable handle

Lodge Carbon Steel Pan: Best Carbon Steel Pan

Lodge is practically synonymous with cast iron pans, but this Lodge Carbon Steel Pan is great for searing fish. It has a diameter of 12 inches (30 cm), but there are multiple sizes available.

This Lodge pan is made with 14-gauge carbon steel that heats quickly and retains heat for even cooking. This pan is great for browning.

You can use this skillet on all cooktops, outdoor grills, or an open fire. It’s lightweight and features a long, comfortable handle for easy and safe maneuvering.

When you’re done cooking, wash the pan by hand. Dry immediately and rub with cooking oil for the best performance.

This Lodge pan comes pre-seasoned with oil but will require reapplication after each use.

It’s important to realize that carbon steel pans are not non-stick pans. Carbon steel pans heat evenly and is great for temperature control, but you will need to use oil or butter to release food.

Despite that, customers were delighted with the performance of this pan. They were able to get delicious results and crispy seared fish skin.

A few people had issues with sticking, whereas others had no problems at all. This Lodge skillet got great reviews as the best pan for searing fish.

Pros

  • Lighter than cast iron
  • Great for frying or searing fish
  • Heats quickly and cools quickly
  • Compatible with all cooktops
  • Safe for oven

Cons

  • Not non-stick
  • Requires seasoning
  • Hand wash only

Staub Covered Fish Pan: Best Enameled Cast Iron Pan

This Staub Covered Fish Pan gives you all the advantages of a cast iron pan without having to season it.

Specifically designed for fish, this Staub pan oozes elegance with a shiny brass knob and black enamel finish. Buyers loved the beautiful appearance of this pan.

The cast iron construction can withstand high oven temperatures and holds heat. But the entire surface is covered in porcelain enamel.

This smooth cooking surface is non-toxic, requires no seasoning, and has non-stick properties. Customers confirmed that this non-stick pan required less oil while producing flavorful results.

You can use this Staub fish pan on all stovetops, and it’s also safe for oven use for temperatures up to 500°F (260°C).

The only downside is the size. Several people said it was too small for their needs. If you’re cooking for one, or if you don’t mind cooking one piece of fish at a time, this shouldn’t be an issue.

But if you need a large pan for cooking fish? This isn’t it. And like all Staub pieces, this fish pan is quite expensive. This splurge is for those who want an absolutely beautiful, small pan for frying fish.

Pros

  • Beautiful aesthetics
  • Stick-resistant
  • Oven-safe to 500°F (260°C)
  • Includes tight-fitting lid
  • Exceptional browning
  • Made in France

Cons

  • Too small for multiple pieces of fish
  • Expensive

Best Frying Pan for Fish: What You Need to Know

How to Stop Fish From Sticking to a Pan

Fish is notorious for sticking. It can cause a sense of dread in even more experienced cooks. But never fear. You can cook fish without leaving most of it on the frying pan.

It’s all about the technique.

First, before searing fish, it’s important to pat it dry. Moisture can make sticking worse and lessen the effect of the oil or cooking fat.

Second, you should preheat your pan for several minutes before frying fish. A non-stick pan should only be used at low to medium, but a stainless steel pan can handle high heat.

Once the pan is hot, add oil or butter (for safety reasons, add the oil straight away to Teflon pans). Make sure there’s enough to thinly coat the cooking surface. Let the fat heat for a minute. Then add the fish.

It’s tempting to move the fish around, but you should let it cook undisturbed for a few minutes. The fish will form a crispy skin and should release naturally from the pan. Once the fish forms a thick crust, it’s ready to flip.

Cook the fish a few minutes longer on the other side, until done. You can use a thermometer to check for doneness or wait until the flesh is flaky.  

Try not to turn the fish more than once. This can cause the fish to break apart.

You can deglaze any food residue with water or stock. Add seasoning, butter, and a squeeze of lemon to make a fabulous sauce to accompany your fish filet.

This process is best suited for cast iron, carbon steel, or stainless steel pans. For non-stick pans, you should never heat the pan empty to avoid overheating. Add cooking fat when preheating the pan.

Otherwise, the rest of the steps can remain the same. Just be sure to stick to avoid high temperatures.

Do You Need a Special Pan for Cooking Fish?

While having a special pan might sound nice, you don’t need a special pan for cooking fish. Just focus on getting a highly durable pan that heats quickly and evenly.

Do you regularly cook whole fish for guests or parties? Okay, you might want a specialty pan. But otherwise, a good quality all-purpose skillet, grill pan, or baking pan should suffice.

What to Consider When Buying a Fish Frying Pan

I wish I could say there’s one perfect pan for searing, frying, deep frying, and steaming. But it depends on your preferences and cooking habits.

There are different factors, but the cookware material is one of the biggest factors in how the pan performs when cooking fish. I’ve broken down the pros and cons of different pan materials:

Non-stick pans most often have aluminum or hard-anodized aluminum bodies. These pans are typically lightweight and heat quickly. Non-stick cooking surfaces also have unmatched food release, which is important when cooking fish.

However, a non-stick coating can get easily scratched and/or damaged. They also aren’t as durable as other materials.

Copper pans are also quite popular for fish. They have precise heat control, which is helpful for delicate foods like fish. However, a copper pan will cost significantly more. Copper is also high maintenance.

A cast iron skillet or griddle pan is great because it’s durable, affordable, and able to withstand high heat. They can also get close to non-stick surfaces in their food release if seasoned properly. But cast iron requires more maintenance, and it’s heavy.

A stainless steel pan is durable, holds in heat, and works especially as a searing pan. But these pans won’t react like non-stick surfaces. They’re known for sticking, and they’re generally more expensive.

Best Pan to Cook Fish: Final Word

What’s the best pan for cooking fish? The GreenPan Valencia Pro Pan has a non-toxic, non-stick coating and is versatile enough to fry, sear, or bake fish.

But if you prefer a different type of pan, there’s something to fit your needs.