Photo by Stevie Stewart
What To Know About Nonstick Pans
- Never use nonstick cooking spray. These sprays are not compatible with non-stick pans and create a buildup on the surface of the pan that, over time, is impossible to remove. If you need to use fat, use a minimal amount of butter or oil.
- Skip the dishwasher. Even if a brand says its pan is dishwasher-safe, stick to hand-washing. The harsh soaps and high temperature and pressure of dishwashers can dull and damage the coating of the pan that is essential to maintaining its nonstick magic.
- Don’t use over high heat on the stove. There are a few pans that you can use over high heat, but, in general, low to medium low heat is recommended for nonstick pans. This is not only to keep them functioning properly, but also to keep them from releasing any harmful odors or chemicals.
- Never heat an empty pan. This can release that awful odor that can be dangerous, and the high heat may be damaging to the pan.
Photo by Stevie Stewart
How We Tested
Photo by Stevie Stewart
The Made In pan outperformed all pans we previously tested when it came to consistent cooking and nonstick slickness. It not only cooked perfect, evenly brown pancakes; fish and frittatas came out of the pan without any added effort and left barely a crumb behind to clean. The pan is PFOA-free, oven safe up to 500 degrees and, unlike our original top choice, is suitable for all stove tops including induction. The company also works with top chefs to help design their pans for both form and function. Overall, a beautiful pan that performs like a dream!
Another Top Pick: Anolon Advanced Nonstick 10-Inch Skillet
The Anolon pan is our original best overall and is still a top pick, considering it cooks well and has a bit of a lower price tag than the Made In pan. This pan cooked perfectly golden-brown pancakes, fluffy frittatas and fish without leaving any skin behind. Plus, it’s also a cinch to clean — sometimes even with just a dry towel.
The pan is PFOA-free, metal utensil safe, ovensafe and suitable for all stovetops (except induction). With a rubber handle that feels secure in-hand and sloped sides just like the expensive brands, flipping and turning food is effortless. Finally, the sleek, clean design would complement any kitchen collection.
This skillet is available as part of a set, making it a serious value.
Best for Beginners: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 10-Inch Fry Pan
Want a super reliable pan that won’t let you fail, but also won’t break the bank? This pan won’t be ruined if you use it over high heat, allowing the beginner cook a bit more room for error. The handle has a safety net, too, with a gap near the pan to make sure your hands remain burn-free. And this made-in-the-USA pan not only cooks like pans twice its price, but it looks that way as well. No need to sacrifice form over function while you hone your skills in the kitchen.
Best Value: Tramontina Professional Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan
The Tramontina Professional series are utilitarian style pans that look like those you would find in a professional kitchen. With a heavier weight and a heavy-duty, long handle, this pan feels like it could handle the rigors of a restaurant without being out of place in your home.
Even with the super low price, this pan is PFOA-free, dishwasher safe and ovensafe, and it’s compatible with gas, electric and ceramic glass cooktops. As an extra bonus, it is made in the USA and comes with a silicone handle guard that allows you a burn-free, secure grip.
Best Ceramic: GreenPan Paris 10″ Fry Pan
If you have a serious concern when it comes to chemicals, have no fear, the GreenPan is here. Its surface contains a ceramic nonstick coating called Thermolon, which is made from a sand derivative that requires no toxic chemicals to produce. The uniqueness of the coating is also reflected in the design with the option of a slate blue or white interior.
Best Splurge: Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick Fry Pan
Consistent with Le Creuset’s famous aesthetics, this pan is our favorite to look at. It has a smooth, all-black pan with a shiny, stainless steel handle complete with Le Creuset’s insignia at the base. The handle is ergonomic and hollow to keep it from taking on too much heat. It’s PFOA-free and dishwasher safe, broiler safe and ovensafe (up to 500 degrees F). It provides consistent and even cooking and has a smooth and easy-to-clean surface; the only thing you might think twice about is the price.
Best Professional Pan: All-Clad Stainless Steel Non-Stick Fry Pan
This pan has it all: the most even heat distribution, the ability to cook over high heat and induction-compatibility. Plus, it’s ovensafe, dishwasher safe and metal utensil safe. Not too shabby — but it comes at a price. The most-expensive of the lot, this pan is made for those that want to cook like the pros.
The pan doesn’t skimp on looks either; it has a super sleek design with a shiny silver outside and handle with a smooth black, inner surface. As an added bonus, this pan is also made in the USA.