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You’d think it’d be a simple thing to identify the world’s largest frying pan, but there are six in the United States alone that make that audacious claim.
1. Brandon, Iowa This pan stands up outside town next to a Kwik Mart that sells World’s Largest Frying Pan souvenirs. It was erected in 2004 by some guys who wanted to promote the town’s Cowboy Breakfast Festival and measures 14 feet, 3 inches from the end of the handle to the opposite rim, weighing 1,020 pounds. The skillet would hold 528 eggs or 88 pounds of bacon. Sometimes Brandon hedges on its boast, and only calls it Iowa’s Largest Frying Pan. Nevertheless, it is the World’s Largest Frying Pan that is most frequently photographed.
2. Long Beach, Washington This resort city’s chamber of commerce constructed this particular World’s Largest Frying Pan in 1941, and it has been a wildly popular backdrop for tourist snapshots ever since. The pan measures 9 feet, 6 inches in diameter, and was at one time actually used in the Peninsula Clam Festival. Long Beach also refers to itself as “the World’s Longest Driving Beach,” and its other tourist attraction is the Alligator Man.
3. Rose Hill, North Carolina Located in the southeastern corner of North Carolina, Rose Hill is a tiny hamlet of 1,330 people, but it also claims to possess the World’s Largest Frying Pan. It is actually a working appliance, used several times a year to fry chicken for festivals. According to Roadside America, the thing also smells bad when you approach it, like rancid grease. It holds 200 gallons of cooking oil, uses 40 gas burners, and can hold 365 chickens at one time.
4. Wilmington, Delaware Bolted to the wall of the Historical Society of Delaware County, the World’s Largest Chicken Frying Pan is perhaps the least picturesque. Yet it is responsible for having cooked in excess of 100 tons of chicken during a 48-year span of the Delmarva Chicken Festival, which began in 1948 and is still going strong today. The pan was made by the Mumford Sheet Metal Company in Selbyville, Delaware, weighed 650 pounds and could fry 800 quarter-chickens at one time.
5. Pittsfield, Maine This pan, billing itself as the World’s Largest Nonstick Frying Pan, was built fairy recently — in 1973 for the annual Central Maine Egg Festival, held in July under a tent in Manson Park (change that name!). The pan is five feet in diameter, weighs over 300 pounds, is shallow, and was made by ALCOA and coated with Teflon by DuPont.
6. London, Kentucky The four-day World Chicken Festival has been staged in downtown London for 21 years, and its so-claimed World’s Largest Frying Pan was created to cook birds for the festival, which is a tribute to Colonel Sanders, who founded his first fried chicken restaurant in the vicinity. Hmmm, it looks more like a deep fryer.