If a recipe calls to saute, brown, sear, or stir-fry, the heat must go up. Some pots and pans are not compatible with high heat, just like oils cannot be used at high temperatures.
High heat cooking can make the difference between a well-seared steak and one that is burnt.
This article reviews which materials are best for high temperatures and identifies the best high-heat cookware.
What is High Heat Cooking? And When Should You Use It?
High heat cooking refers to preparing food at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time.
This will depend on the type of food and how it is prepared. To searing steaks, for example, use a high heat setting to quickly cook the outside and leave the inside tender, cooked, and moist.
Low heat means waiting for the perfect sear, and most likely ending up with a overcooked interior.
But don’t forget to turn the heat on your stove up to extreme levels if you want your food to cook faster!
While you can cook on the stovetop at high heat, most cookware manufacturers recommend a safe oven temperature.
Nonstick cookware and cookware with silicone handles will usually have an oven-safe temp below 230degC (450degF). It is best to keep the oven temperature above 500 degrees F.
Cast iron and carbon-steel cookware are great choices, since it is unlikely that they will be damaged in a home oven.
You don’t stir-fry in the oven, of course! What about the stovetop? Usually, anything that is oven-safe will also be safe for stovetop use at the same temperature. It is not the handles that are hotter, but the cooking surface.
The whole pan may need to be heated. Professionals will heat the entire wok before you use it.
High heat cooking is more for chefs than a cook. Most foods will cook well at medium heat or medium-high temperatures. However, some foods and cooking methods can be prepared at extremely high temperatures to achieve that “restaurant-quality” effect.
However, your stovetop might not have the ability to produce this heat. You may need an outdoor wok station.
Types of cookware that can withstand high heat cooking
High heat cooking is not for everyone. Some cookware can withstand high heat, while others will cause food to burn or even start flaking.
These are the top cookware materials for high-heat cooking.
Cast iron is a great choice for high heat cooking because of its durability and heat retention.
Cast iron and carbon-steel cookware will not usually advertise an oven-safe temperature. Cast iron can withstand almost any heat that a home oven can throw at them. Cast iron’s melting temperature is 1125degC-1200degC (2060degF-2200degF). This temperature is not possible to reach when you cook at home.
However, seasonings can’t take as much heat. Seasoning should withstand most normal cooking temperatures. It is easy to replace seasoning if it has been damaged by heat.
Cast iron, although heavy and requires maintenance is an excellent material to cook high heat.
Cast iron pots and pans are a great option if you have never tried them. The process and the end result are quite different.
Stainless steel cookware is popular for high heat cooking due to its high heat capability. It’s also durable and light-weight. You can even season it with the right strategy as shown in the video.
Stainless steel is difficult to clean because food can stick to it.
It’s also not very heat conductive. This is why stainless-steel cookware often has layers of copper and aluminum.
This combination of cookware materials makes it possible to cook at high heat and even temperatures.
Cast iron and stainless-steel pans are great options for your kitchen.
Both literally and metaphorically, carbon steel is lighter than cast-iron. Although it is almost the same material as cast iron, carbon steel heats up a lot faster and retains less heat than cast Iron.
Carbon steel pans need seasoning. They will rust after a few use without proper maintenance. Carbon steel, unlike stainless steel is not dishwasher-safe.
Cast iron has a higher heat retention than carbon steel, so I prefer a cast iron skillet.
Carbon steel is the best cookware material for woks. Carbon steel can withstand the heat needed to stir-fry, and it retains heat well. It is also light enough to allow you to toss your veggies.
Cast iron with an enameled finish
Cast iron bases are coated with porcelain enamel to make enamel cast iron pans. Cast iron cookware is less cumbersome because it doesn’t require any prior seasoning. It also makes it easy to clean. It can withstand high temperatures, and it provides even heat distribution.
Enemed cast iron can be more expensive than cast iron and is heavier. It also has a higher chance of chipping.
Ceramic Nonstick Coating
Conventional nonstick coatings can be destroyed by high heats. Ceramic-coated cookware, however, can withstand 425degC (800degF) Teflon (or similar nonstick coatings) will begin to deteriorate after 260°C (500°F). In some cases, it may be less. If you want to keep the nonstick properties intact, avoid the dishwasher.
Why is it that many cookware sets have separate oven safe temperatures for their lids?
Lids are often made from glass and have a lower heat than the cookware. It’s usually around 175degC (350degF). The lid is not necessary when you cook at high heat. The lid will not get as much heat if you cook on the stovetop.
The Best High Heat Cooking Cookware
All Clad Brushed D5 Stainless Cookware set (10pcs).
The 10-piece set of cookware includes a mix of aluminum and stainless steel. It has superior heat distribution and heat capacity. This set is ideal for high heat, safe cooking thanks to its durability and aluminum heat capacity.
The whole set can be baked at 315°C (600°F) without the lids. This makes it perfect for sauteing and searing. The bottom of stainless steel pans may discolor with high heat. This is not a problem .
These pots and pans can be a bit messy to clean but are great additions to any kitchen. Their attractive, brushed exterior is a great addition to any kitchen.
They are also safe for use on any cooktop, even induction.
Tips – Don’t heat the oil in the frying pan until it is hot. Avoid using abrasive materials when cleaning. Use stainless steel barkeepers.
- Oven safe to 315°C (600°F)
- Induction compatible
- This set includes enough pieces to make everyday meals.
- Includes lids
- Long handles keep cool
- Dishwasher safe
- Cooking with small handles can cause them to become hot.
- High heat can cause bottom discoloration
- It can be hard to clean
All-Clad offers a copper core set of cookware that looks great and has the same performance as the D5. It’s 5-ply, has excellent cooking performance, and I have detailed in my review. This set is very similar to the D5 set but is a little more attractive and a bit more costly. It’s worth looking at!
WearEver Ceramic Coating Cookware Set, 10 Pieces, Gold
This set of nonstick ceramic cookware includes five,3.5, and three-quart cooking pots; one- and two-inch frying pans; three universal covers; and two nylon cooking tools.
These nonstick pots and pans are lightweight but strong and have some of the strongest handles I’ve seen on pans.
But there are many unhappy customers.
One, manufacturers offer a very limited warranty. They do not cover heat discoloration, flaking, or coating chipping.
The set is fantastic right out of the box. However, many people have reported that the set has lost its nonstick properties after just a few uses.
- Oven safe to 400degC 750degF, lids only to 175degC / 350degF
- Non-stick Teflon-free coating
- Amazing price
- Attractive and sleek
- Interchangeable lids
- There have been reports of sticky fingers after multiple uses
- High heat can cause discoloration
- Refusal to honor the warranty by the manufacturer
- According to reports, it is not dishwasher safe
GreenPan Chatham ceramic non-stick 10Pc cookware set, grey
This set includes two frying pans and one casserole dish. There are also two saucepans. Except for the fry pans and casserole dishes, everything comes with lids.
GreenPan claims that the non-stick lids are safe for oven use at 315°C (600°F) and 220°C (425°F) respectively. This covers most home cooking situations.
Some reports claim that the set becomes more sticky and is harder to clean.
If you’re looking for nonstick cookware that can withstand high heat, this set may be a good option. However, if you expose it to high heat repeatedly, nonstick cookware can easily become brittle.
- Oven safe to 315degC (625degF), and 220degC (425degF), for lids
- Ceramic coatings that are healthy
- A ceramic 10-piece at a great price
- Dishwasher safe
- There are reports of non-stick property being lost
- Induction cooking is not recommended
Lodge Preseasoned Cast Iron Combo Cooker, 2-Piece, 10.25”, in Black
Lodge cookware is well-known for its cast iron pans. This combo cooker is perfect for every day use, from searing to Dutch oven cooking.
The set’s versatility is amazing to me. You can use it as a Dutch oven or a fryer and also as a deep skillet. The lid doubles as a cast iron skillet.
The Dutch oven and cast-iron pan are perfect for cooking at home.
This set is guaranteed to provide even heating, natural, easy release finish, durability, versatility, and proper seasoning. Cast iron is also a great choice for creating some of the best dishes.
Lodge pre-seasoned the cookware set. However, it is always a good idea for you to season the items yourself. Wash, dry, coat with vegetable oils, and heat to smoke. You can also check out my guide for seasoning cast iron.
This set will last a long time if you use care.
- Oven safe to more than 1000°C (2000°F).
- All cooktops work
- High heat cooking safe
- When properly seasoned, it is truly nonstick.
- Amazing price
- Doubles as a fry pan
- It takes more effort to clean up and maintain.
Bruntmoor enameled 2-In-1 cast iron cookware
The enameled cast-iron set includes a 3-quart skillet and a lid which can double up as a shallow fry pan or griddle. This multi-cooker comes with a striking red-white contrast which will add color to any kitchen.
This cookware is as good at performing as it looks. This cookware doesn’t require any prior seasoning. Cleanup is easy and it can withstand high heat abuse.
Cast iron enameled with a non-stick coating is safe for use at all home cooking temperatures. Problems often arise with handles that are made of plastic or other metals.
It’s wonderful to see that this multi-cooker has enameled cast-iron handles, which means it is oven-safe at high temperatures.
The enamel layer on the ceramic enamel cook surface protects the cast iron and doesn’t require seasoning.
Avoid the dishwasher and use handwashing for lasting durability.
The enamel interior should not stick. However, this is what the enamel interior should look like. There have been some reports from customers that it does stick. To minimize sticking, I recommend preheating the food and applying vegetable oil before you add it to your dish.
- Amazing price
- It is easy to clean
- High heat cooking
- Handles made of cast iron with enameled handles
- Doubles as a frying pan
- Reports of sticking
Craft Wok Hand Hammered Carbon Steel
A carbon steel wok is necessary to properly stir-fry. Carbon steel does not cool down when food is touched it, which helps to maintain high temperatures. It can also be heated to a higher temperature that other cookware materials.
This craft wok can be used to stir-fry on a burner or gas stove. Because of its round bottom, it won’t work on an electric stove or induction stove.
This pot is suitable for high heat cooking. You can also make traditional stir-fries with it. Its “hammered” appearance makes it attractive for stir-frying in front guests.
The wooden handle is not as good as the rest of my pan. However, the high-quality, metal helper handle makes up for it.
Tip: Turn the pan while stirring-frying with the wooden handle Use the metal helper handle to lift the pan (and make sure you have oven mitts!
Pro Tip 2 – If you wish to wok at very high heat, get a dedicated wok stove.
This is only for gas stoves and burners, not electric or Induction stoves.
- Well built and sturdy
- High heat can be handled with a metal helper handle
- Hanging woks to store is made easier by the helper handle
- High heat conductivity
- Sometimes the wooden handle can become a little loose.
- Woks laden with food are too heavy to hold on to by their wooden handles
This is only suitable for gas stoves, as I said. If you need other cookware, check out my gas stove pans and pots guide.
The Best High Heat Cookware
The Lodge Presealed Cast Iron Combo Cooker has been my favorite high-heat cookware. This set can be used on any stovetop and oven. It produces delicious, flavorful meals when properly seasoned.
The cooker can be used on any cooking surface, including stoves and grills. However, it is not recommended for glass top stoves as it could scratch them.
The 2 in 1 feature, where the lid doubles up as a cast iron skillet, is a great idea.
This combo set will last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
Cast iron is well-suited for high heat cooking. If you don’t find the Lodge combo cooker that you need, check out my cast-iron cookware roundup.
Are you still not convinced? You have other options.
- High heat pans made of carbon steel are always suitable. If you are looking for a pan that is heat-resistant, you can choose any one of them.
- Cast Iron Griddles can also be used for high heat. It will take some time for them to reach the desired temperature. The two-burner ones are my favorite because you can cook multiple steaks simultaneously.