9 Best Nonstick Frying Pans | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Yes, we know that the top professional chefs favor cast-iron skillets, but they've got a kitchen full of staff to clean up after them. For the rest of us who have to wash our own pans, life's a lot easier with one of these nonstick frying pans. Skip to the best nonstick frying pan on Amazon.
9 Best Nonstick Frying Pans | March 2017


Overall Rank: 9
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
★★★
9
This Calphalon Contemporary set is a great value that can be bought in two to twelve-piece configurations to match your kitchen's needs. The three layers of nonstick coating should extend the life of these pans, but regardless, they each come with a lifetime warranty.
8
For even cleaning and even heat distribution, the Ozeri Stainless Steel features the best of both worlds; it's tri-ply steel body and PFOA-free coating combine for simple, quality cooking. If you like a heavy sear on your meat, this is a good choice.
7
The T-fal Professional has a brilliant built-in feature: a Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator that glows red when the pan is perfectly, evenly preheated, taking some of the guesswork out of cooking. Unlike many other options, it is also dishwasher safe.
6
The seriously large Anolon Advanced Mega is the ideal addition to any kitchen that needs to make big meals for a big family. It is safe to use even in the busiest kitchen, thanks to its heat resistant and easy-to-grip silicone handle.
  • crafted from heavy gauge aluminum
  • oven-safe at high temperatures
  • very few lid options for this size
Brand Anolon
Model 81958
Weight 4.9 pounds
5
The Cusinart Classic has been meticulously designed for optimal cooking and longevity with details such as a titanium reinforcement and a curved lip for spill resistance. This is a choice of many professionals for easy cleanup at home.
  • completely pfoa free
  • simple and timeless design
  • the lid doesn't have a vent
Brand Cuisinart
Model 622-30G
Weight 5.9 pounds
4
The Farberware Millennium is a heavily constructed skillet that will last for years, though its weight will justify the use of either two hands or a spatula when it is time to flip your gourmet pancakes. Stainless steel wraps to a thick aluminum base for perfect even heat.
  • silicone complemented handle
  • highly durable and dishwasher safe
  • does not come with a lid
Brand Farberware
Model 71786
Weight 4.2 pounds
3
This Ozeri Stone Earth is a unique option that uses a coating developed from stone materials instead of the traditional polymer based coatings, which some perceive as unsafe. While more expensive, many prefer the chemical-free option.
  • comfortable and hangable handle
  • premium die-cast aluminum build
  • highest quality scratch-resistance
Brand Ozeri
Model ZP6-30
Weight 3.4 pounds
2
The Le Creuset Shallow is a great hard-anodized pan for those who want a metal-safe utensil option. Easy cleaning should always match easy cooking, and this pan is compatible with any type of oven, broiler, or range, making it the most diverse option available.
  • reinforced coating for longevity
  • hollow handle guaranteed to be cool
  • washing by hand recommended
Brand Le Creuset
Model HA2200-24
Weight 3 pounds
1
If you want the best, you need the NuWave Everyday Pan that comes with a tempered glass lid and safe ceramic coating. Even burned on cheese can slide off this pan with a little soapy water and a wipe, making it the easiest to clean option on our list.
  • silicone rim with built-in strainer
  • side handle and easy pour lip
  • shape optimized for cooking area
Brand NuWave
Model pending
Weight pending

A Sticky Situation

If you've ever had the terrible misfortune of using cookware that didn't have any non-stick technology applied to its construction, you know that horrible feeling you get when you realize your food has stuck itself to the pan. You can tell just by looking at it; you don't need to poke it, or prod it, or slide a spatula beneath it. It's as though the food takes on a new attitude, a bratty kind of posture that says, "I dare you to try to get me off this pan."

Few moments in the kitchen are as deflating as this one, but avoiding it is as easy as investing in a decent set of non-stick cookware.

A good pan all comes down to its metal composition or its coating. Metal surfaces have pores and grooves in them, like your skin does, and like a sponge does. When you get a sponge wet, the sponge and its openings expand. The same happens to your pan when you get it hot: the metal expands along with its pores and grooves. The tendency for those grooves to catch on material is called the coefficient of friction, and it determines everything from how well your food slides out of a pan to how dangerous a freshly waxed floor would be to a person walking around in his or her socks.

When your food gets stuck in those little openings, very small changes in temperature trap food particles and cause your meal to stick. When you add oil to a pan, it fills these pores in, so you won't see that happen as readily. The problem there is that your food will absorb the oil, sucking it right up from those pores, and what you're left with is a less healthy piece of food that's stuck anyway.

A non-stick surface either has a material coating the metal surface and filling in those pores, or it's made with a certain kind of metal and stone combination, like titanium and ceramic, that is virtually without pores.

To Teflon, Or Not To Teflon

Pan manufacturers often utilize combined means to imbue their pans with non-stick properties. One of the most common coatings for a pan–due to its low cost and high efficiency–is Teflon, a chemical less commonly known as Polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE.

DuPont, the company responsible for making Teflon, claims that the product is completely safe, although consumers have long noticed a connection between heating Teflon pans beyond a certain temperature and the acute death of pet birds in the vicinity.

The theory, which has been tested to certain degrees of scientific accuracy, states that an empty Teflon-coated pan will reach a temperature of about 721˚F in five minutes. DuPont claims that decomposition of the non-stick coating begins at approximately 660˚F, well below the temperature you can reach in that short time.

When that decomposition begins, particles and gasses toxic to birds enter the air, and, when inhaled by the birds, cause death within 12 hours, though sometimes death is practically immediate.

Fortunately, the pans on our list claim to use coatings that do not use the same chemical compounds found in the Teflon manufacturing process, specifically PFOA, a certain type of acid that's most closely associated with any and all negative effects of Teflon.

The challenge here, however, is that, while the use of a PFOA-free non-stick coating sounds swell, manufacturers aren't completely forthcoming about what they're using in its place from material to material.

The safest bet, if you're concerned about chemical particles and toxic gasses, would be to choose a pan that combines metal and stoneware materials, the latter of which naturally fills in the pores and grooves occurring in the former. They are more expensive than their coated cousins, but it might be worth it in the long run to keep your medical bills–and your bird replacement costs–at a minimum.

Naturally Non-Stick

While chefs and home cooks have used oils and water to prevent their foods from sticking for many centuries, chemical non-stick coatings have only been around since the late 1930s.

In 1938, specifically, and engineer for DuPont experimenting with tetrafluoroethylene stumbled upon PTFE, which the military quickly applied to everything from parts inside atom bombs to the tips of their missiles. A French fisherman used it to lubricate his lines, and one day in the early 40s, his wife asked him to throw it on the bottom of one of her pots. From there, the culinary application was inevitable.

It's only been in recent years that the potential dangers of Teflon and its chemical components have caused consumers to seek out new methods of non-stick cooking. Some companies have responded with pans that use stoneware with a naturally low coefficient of friction to fill in the gaps, pores, and grooves present in their metals, as well as metals with naturally smaller pores.

Other methods, like salting or seasoning, are much older, but they've become popular among consumers who don't want to spend an arm and a leg on high-quality, chemical-free non-stick, but who still want a safe way to make their cooking easier.



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Last updated: 03/26/2017 | Authorship Information

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