We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Anolon AnolonX 12-Inch Frying Pan With Helper Handle
Great nonstick capabilities
Able to sear at high heats
Oven safe to 500 degrees
Hand washing preferred
A little pricey
No lid included
Our reviewer was sent a sample of the Anolon AnolonX 12-Inch Frying Pan With Helper Handle to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Fry pans are a versatile pan to cook with. From fluffy omelets to crispy French toast to searing steaks, they can whip up an assortment of foods. Needless to say, I’ve used, reviewed, and tested plenty of cookware, so I was more than ready to put the Anolon AnolonX 12-Inch Frying Pan With Helper Handle on the stove to see what it could do. I used it every day for almost every meal, washing and inspecting in between to see how it would handle everyday cooking in a normal kitchen.
Read on for the results!
Design: Built for success
When it comes to frying pans, certain things are expected, like sloped sides, a flat bottom, and a long handle. This pan delivers on all of those, of course. But then there are extras, like the flush rivets that make cleaning easy, the long handle that’s comfortable to hold, and the helper handle that makes lifting easy.
The big difference, though, is the stainless-steel grid embedded in the cooking surface. Running a finger over the cooking surface, I could feel the metal grid. It wasn’t sticking up high enough to interfere, and it wasn’t sharp or obnoxious. It was raised just enough to feel it. That grid is where the magic happens.
While this frying pan doesn’t feel overly large, it has a helper handle which is great when moving a pan full of hot food or when emptying it. It was easy to grab, even when I used mitts after the pan was in the oven.
One thing some folks might miss is a lid since this didn’t include one, but that’s not unusual for a frying pan. For the few times, I might need a lid, I have spares from other cookware as well as silicone ones. Still, it would be nice if one was offered for buyers who are picking out their first pieces. When purchased as a complete set, plenty of lids are included.
Material: It’s a combo platter
The pan is made from aluminum with a proprietary nonstick surface, an embedded stainless steel grid, and a stainless steel base. Not only does that base provide even heat distribution, but it also means the pan can be used on induction burners. The handle is hollow-core stainless steel that stays cool on the stove.
Performance: It really does sear
It doesn’t matter what a pan looks like or what promises are made if the pan doesn’t perform well in normal use. So I used this pan for everything from scrambled eggs to gently browned vegetables to hard sears.
Before I used the pan, I expected the searing to leave grid marks on the meat, much like a grill pan does, but that wasn’t the case. Meat seared evenly across the surface with no hint of the stainless steel grid.
Running a finger over the cooking surface, I could feel the metal grid.
Another side effect of the grid is the way it handles cooking oils. In most nonstick pans, oil won’t stick where it’s placed, so it runs to the lowest spot and usually pools along the edges of the pan. But with this pan, the oil stays where it’s put. From olive oil to ghee to high heat oils, the oil didn’t run or pool.
That was particularly useful when I cooked scallops since the oil was even across the pan, and I could place the scallops anywhere. When I turned them over to sear the second side, another spot was waiting, with enough oil for a happy sear.
Heating Capacity: Hot hot hot
The combination of aluminum and stainless steel makes this pan a kitchen workhorse. It heats faster than cast iron or solid stainless steel, thanks to the aluminum, and responds quickly when the heat is turned up or down. Because of the stainless steel in the base, the pan heats evenly and retains heat well enough to maintain temperature when food is added to the pan.
Speaking of heat, the pan is oven safe to 500 degrees. While there may not be many times when I need the pan to go into the oven at that temperature, it’s great to know it has that versatility. And of course, it’s perfect for lower temperatures, like for finishing a steak in the oven or cooking a frittata.
Cleaning: Suds it up, swipe with a sponge
This pan is dishwasher safe, but hand washing is preferred to maintain the nonstick surface. Fortunately, cleaning by hand is simple. Of course, I expected the nonstick surface to release food easily, but I was a bit worried about the stainless-steel grid—how was I going to scrub that without damaging the nonstick?
Turns out, it wasn’t a problem. The stainless steel came clean with a scrubbie sponge most of the time, even when the pan looked a bit blackened from a sauce burning onto the pan. I found that the pan was even easier to clean if I finished my cooking by “deglazing” the pan with a little water after cooking and doing a little scraping to get the few crunchy bits off the pan.
No matter what I cooked (or charred), after cleaning the stainless steel grid was shiny and the nonstick was clean.
Price: Justifiable, but a bit expensive
This pan retails for around $130. This is expensive if we’re comparing it to average nonstick cookware that’s cheap and disposable. However, given previous experience with AnolonX nonstick—one of which has been in the kitchen for a half-dozen years—I expect that the nonstick will last. With this pan, the stainless steel grid actually protects the nonstick somewhat. If a spatula is run across the surface of the pan, it’s going to make contact with the grid rather than the nonstick.
There are, of course, more expensive nonstick pans that are in this range or higher. And stainless steel pans can cost a whole lot more. Given the versatility of this pan and its excellent searing performance, the price seems reasonable.
From olive oil to ghee to high heat oils, the oil stayed where I put it.
Competition: AnolonX 12-Inch Frying Pan vs. OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Frypan
I’m a big fan of OXO gadgets, and the OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 12-Inch Frypan is certainly an affordable option. For someone who needs a pan for eggs, it would be a great choice. However, the AnolonX pan’s searing prowess and its handling of oil put it over the top. It’s one pan that’s actually excellent for two completely different uses—nonstick for delicate foods and aggressive for searing.
A total yes.
I liked the Anolon AnolonX 12-Inch Frying Pan With Helper Handle a lot, which surprised me. It seared steak well, cooked amazing eggs, cleans well, and still looks good even after a lot of use.
- Product Name AnolonX 12-Inch Frying Pan with Helper Handle
- Product Brand Anolon
- UPC 14332
- Price $130.00
- Material Nonstick coated aluminum, stainless steel
- Warranty Lifetime