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Monday, September 19, 2005 

The beginning of a beautiful friendship

The beginning of a beautiful friendship

YOU can flirt with a silly pepper grinder or have a brief fling with an amusing but impractical cake pan, but a cook's relationship with a 12-inch skillet is no casual affair — it's a long-term commitment. This pan is your significant other in the kitchen: Day in, day out, it sears, sautés and deglazes for you. It stays with you step by step from browning to braising as you work on a multi-step recipe.

If it's not a great match, you notice every time you cook how it's too heavy or a pain to clean. If it's an ideal partner, the honeymoon can go on for years. It can make or break a dinner party. And you can fry eggs in it too.

Whether you're an active home cook or just starting out, the large skillet is the single most important piece of cookware you can purchase for your kitchen. We know. At The Times Test Kitchen, we test 700 to 800 recipes each year, and this is the pan we reach for most often. When preparing dishes for four to six people, it's a real stove top mainstay.

Full reviews of several skillets are included in the article...