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Aug 1, 2013 01:52 PM

Lids for frying pans, useful or a waste of money?

I was wondering if anyone had strong opinions about the usefulness of lids for skillets or frying pans. I'm finding myself wishing I could cook some covered things in my nicer fry pans, but I'm hesitant to dish out 50 bucks for a lid especially considering how shallow my fry pans are.

Would it just be better to save that money and put it towards a deeper saute pan (where pieces tend to come with their lids included)?

Alternatively, have people had positive experiences using third party lids? Or is it hard to get the right "fit".

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts,

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  1. I'm a fan of lids for certain dishes. I wouldn't buy one for each pan, however, especially at $50 per. I have a large, heavy lid that came with a 14" SLT saucepan and I use that on top of other pans, including my cast iron skillets. It works fine.

    1. Very useful, I feel.. I have even bought some of those silicone grippy lids for pans that didn't come with lids. And there's always improv- I.e. pizza pans, flat plates, etc. Whenever I simmer a dish a bit or it waits on the stove, I prefer a lid .

      1. I have a large (14 inch) cast iron pan that didn't have a lid, and I bought a "universal" lid that is big enough for it. And I can also use it on smaller pans, so I have gotten a lot of use out of it.

        It doesn't make a tight seal on any size, though, so if you need that, it wouldn't work. But it is fine for my purposes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dkenworthy

          I also have a universal lid, an inexpensive aluminum one. You're right that it's not a tight fit on my various skillets and fry pans, but it comes in handy quite often. Considering how little I paid for it, it was a very good investment.

        2. I use the cookie sheet as the lid for larger fry pans, an odd approach for a cookware devotee with a kitchen full of special purpose (dare I say unitasker) items.

          1. Hi, sancor:

            Strong feelings, no, but I find them very useful. For finishing fried eggs they're marvelous. And they retain heat and moisture when you need to "park" the prep to bring everything together.

            Having said that, I *don't* have any frypans or skillets with OEM covers--I just know which lid from another pan works with mine. Luckily, other than my square cast iron skillet, every one I have has a match.

            IIWY and wanted new, I'd take your frypans into a resto supply store, and buy the cheapest aluminum covers I could find. If you spend more than $10, I'd be surprised.

            Another option... One of my hobbies is high grade copperware. About 75% of the time, a really good pan will have lost its cover. Until I find one that looks like an original match (this can take months), I go to Goodwill and buy a $2 cover.

            Yes, third-party lids are hit-and-miss frustrations. The only solutions are to buy returnable, or to physically take your pans to a brick and mortar store.

            Good Luck,

            1 Reply
            1. re: kaleokahu

              As Kaleo says with old copper, many if not all come without covers. The French devised a copper top with a long iron handle that can fit many pans. Thus if one gets a small, medium, and enormous you can have tops for everything.
              l have two sets of three of these, one for show hung on wall, and one for use hung on pot rack. Works great.