Sure, you can pan-fry vegetables, fish and meat in a nonstick pan and have an easier time doing the dishes, but if you want caramelization—also known as the process that makes a piece of salmon a little crusty on the outside yet tender on the inside instead of cooked through but decidedly soft—a frypan (aka skillet) is a must. The surface also gives you those tasty browned bits that make for deeply flavored gravies and sauces. And its sloping sides simplify stirring, turning and flipping ingredients, whether you're making pork chops or pancakes.
Make sure to...
choose a frying pan made of a metal that conducts heat efficiently, such as anodized aluminum, cast iron, lined copper or stainless steel–wrapped aluminum.
cook with it using the highest heat. Keep the flame between low and medium-high; otherwise, you risk burning food and making cleanup a real chore (if you do find the pan has black spots you can't remove with dish soap, try Bar Keepers Friend
Try this recipe: Sautéed Spring Vegetables