The 10 Best Nonstick Frying Pans

Updated April 23, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. No matter how well-seasoned your cast iron is, some foods will always get stuck to it. When it's time to scramble eggs without spending too long cleaning up, the technology of nonstick frying pans comes to the rescue. But these skillets aren't all created equally; you'll find a variety of compounds applied to the insides. So find the one with the characteristics that best suit your cooking needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best nonstick frying pan on Amazon.

10. Ozeri Stainless Steel

The Ozeri Stainless Steel features a heavy-duty, three-ply bottom and nontoxic materials for easy and safe cooking. Its tall sides give it more volume than other models, making it great for an integral sauce or a high-heat, veggie stir-fry.
  • beautiful mirror-polished exterior
  • black or bronze finishes
  • won't last much more than a year
Brand Ozeri
Model ZP4-30
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Anolon Advanced Mega

The 14-inch Anolon Advanced Mega is the ideal addition to any kitchen that needs to make big meals for a big family. It has a second silicone-gripped handle opposing the main one, making it easy and safe to move large quantities of food across the room.
  • uses heavy-gauge aluminum
  • oven-safe at high temperatures
  • very few lid options for this size
Brand Anolon
Model 81958
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Ozeri Stone Earth

The Ozeri Stone Earth adds a measure of safety and durability to the standard PTFE coating by incorporating a small amount of ceramic. If you treat this pan carefully, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful cooking implement that resists corrosion and helps prevent scorching.
  • comfortable soft-grip handle
  • excellent scratch resistance
  • not quite as effective as teflon
Brand Ozeri
Model ZP6-30
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Farberware Millennium

The heavyweight Farberware Millennium is a skillet that will last for years. It's heavy enough that you may need two hands to successfully flip a pan-full of chopped vegetables. The thick metal base and walls ensure consistent heat delivery using a stove or an oven.
  • handle is safe to 400 degrees
  • highly durable and dishwasher safe
  • does not come with a lid
Brand Farberware
Model 71785
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. T-fal Professional

The T-fal Professional has a built-in heat indicator that tells you when the pan has reached roughly 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This takes the guesswork out of perfectly charring tomatoes or searing steak. Unlike many other options, it's dishwasher safe.
  • durable enough for metal utensils
  • compatible with induction cooktops
  • dimpled cooking surface
Brand T-fal
Model 2100080897
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Cuisinart Classic

The Cuisinart Classic is meticulously designed for optimal cooking and a long life, with details like a titanium-reinforced nonstick compound and a flared rim that prevents spills. Food even lifts easily off the outside of this one, making it simple to clean.
  • completely pfoa-free
  • thick electroplated aluminum
  • matching lid isn't vented
Brand Cuisinart
Model 622-30G
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Scanpan Pro IQ

The solid aluminum that makes up the Scanpan Pro IQ delivers and holds heat perfectly when searing foods and finishing them in an oven. There are four sizes to choose from between 8 and 12-1/2 inches, and fitted lids are available separately.
  • crafted from post-consumer material
  • ceramic and titanium-infused coating
  • shallower than most other pans
Brand Scanpan
Model 68002600
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Le Creuset Toughened

From a 500-degree oven to the dishwashing machine, Le Creuset Toughened goes with confidence where some skillets would discolor or scratch. It consists of a steel-wrapped aluminum core, triple-coated with a PTFE compound that keeps food from burning onto the surface.
  • very durable outer layer
  • handle stays cool on stovetops
  • designed to mimic rustic cast iron
Brand Le Creuset
Model TNS2200-24
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Tramontina Professional

The Tramontina Professional has cooked more brunch than possibly any other pan on the market. It's so successful because of its simple design, perfect balance, and reliable nonstick surface. With the proper care, this one will last at least a few years.
  • one-piece aluminum body
  • able to withstand heavy use
  • removable high-temp handle cover
Brand Tramontina
Model 80114/536DS
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. All-Clad Tri-Ply

The All-Clad Tri-Ply is a highly refined version of a classic design. An aluminum core sandwiched between two sheets of stainless steel transfers heat evenly to the PFOA-free cooking face. You can be certain that food won't stick for the life of this pan.
  • used by many culinary experts
  • safe in high-temp ovens and broilers
  • four sizes from 8 to 14 inches
Brand All-Clad
Model 8701004455
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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 on April 23, 2018 by Christopher Thomas

A traveling chef, musician, and student of the English language, Chris can be found promoting facts and perfect copy around the globe, from dense urban centers to remote mountaintops. In his free time he revels in dispelling pseudoscience, while at night he dreams of modern technology, world peace, and the Oxford comma.

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