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Nonstick pans are a must-have for cooks of all levels—from fluffy scrambled eggs and golden pancakes to crispy fried rice, this kitchen essential does it all. With this type of pan, you can often reduce the amount of oil that you use (ideal for anyone watching their fat intake), and cleaning up is simple when food slides right off the surface. With so many options to wade through, choosing the perfect nonstick pan can be a challenge, but we’ve got you covered.
Read on to discover the best nonstick pans for every budget!
Durable construction and coating
Excellent nonstick performance
Easy to clean
No large-diameter pan
Steep sides limit flipping ability
More expensive than some
If one nonstick frying pan is good, two is better. This set includes both an 8-inch and a 10-inch frying pan, so you’ll always have the pan you need. They have a hard-anodized nonstick finish and are made from aluminum for even heating. After a few weeks of use, our reviewer found that the pans looked almost new, putting the nonstick surface "a cut above cheaper nonstick pans." A stainless steel base keeps the pans from warping and makes them suitable for use on induction cooktops.
The handles are stainless steel and designed for a comfortable grip and are riveted onto the pan for security. The pans are oven safe to 500 degrees. While they can be washed in a dishwasher, hand washing is recommended. Lids are not included.
"These pans aren’t the cheapest on the market, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find the same quality of construction and performance for less." — Justin Park, Product Tester
Heavy duty construction
Nice weighted feel
Easy to clean
Lids sold separately
Unable to use on induction cooktop
Calphalon is a trusted name in cookware, so it's no surprise these pans are a popular choice for home cooks who want an upgrade from cheaper, lightweight fry pans. This set includes both a 10-inch and 12-inch size, perfect for churning out omelets and delicate fish fillets without worrying about sticking. Made of heavy-gauge anodized aluminum, it conducts heat well and cooks evenly (very important for achieving Instagram-worthy pancakes). The handle is made from brushed stainless steel, which allows the pan to be placed directly into the oven (they're rated oven safe up to 450 degrees). These pans are great for gas and electric stoves, but cannot be used on induction cooktops.
Once you're finished cooking, the nonstick surface can be easily cleaned with mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush or placed into the dishwasher. Just as with most nonstick pans, you'll want to avoid using sharp metal tools in order to protect the non-PFOA coating from scratches, but these pans are very durable and will last for years if cared for correctly.
Effective nonstick coating
Large, versatile cooking surface
If you cook eggs often you know that cleanup can be a pain. For those who want to breeze through doing the dishes, this frying pan from Tramontina will cook restaurant-worthy eggs and can be cleaned with a quick swipe of the sponge. Our reviewer also found that adding thick sauces, which often stick or burn, was easy, even when using medium-high heat.
This pan comes in an 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, or 14-inch version so you can choose the model that works best for your household (or buy a few!). It's made of a heavy gauge aluminum and is PFOA free, plus it is also dishwasher safe. The handle has a red silicone sleeve which remains cool to the touch and this is oven safe up to 400 degrees. Did we mention it is made in the USA and has a lifetime guarantee? Score!
The manufacturer recommends not to use cooking spray or heat above high on this to preserve the nonstick coating. So for those who like to cook on high heat, this might not be the best choice for you.
"This pan delivers performance and durability in a professional-grade design—making the cost easier for passionate home cooks to justify." — Justin Park, Product Tester
Range of sizes
Passes the “egg test"
Unstable due to light weight
If you’re looking for budget nonstick cookware, this three-pack will ensure that you always have a pan on hand. It includes an 8-inch, a 9.5-inch, and an 11-inch skillet, so you’ll always have one to cook eggs and another for pancakes. Or send a pan or two to college with your kid. Since they’re so inexpensive, they’re ideal for a vacation home, but they’re sturdy enough for home cooking, too.
These skillets are made from a durable aluminum construction for fast and even heating, and the nonstick surface means your omelet will let go easily when you make breakfast. In fact, our reviewer was able to cook both eggs and pancakes with minimal sticking using very little oil. The handles stay cool while cooking and the pans are oven safe to 350 degrees. They’re not as heat resistant as higher-end cookware but can withstand the heat required to finish a steak or keep your side dishes warm.
For easy cleaning, you can put these in the dishwasher. They do not include lids but are available in several different colors to match your kitchen or add a pop of color.
Easy to use and clean
Great for omelets
May not last as long with regular use
This nonstick frying pan is built for success with an aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel, along with three layers of nonstick coating on the cooking surface for easy food release and simple cleanup. It also can be used at high heat to crisp foods in oil or to sear meats for the best flavor. It has a wide flat base and a low profile with flared sides, ideal for sautéing, flipping foods in the pan, or reducing sauces.
The contoured handle is comfortable to hold and is permanently riveted onto the pan with stainless steel rivets. The pan is oven safe to 500 degrees and can be used on any cooking surface, including induction.
Easy to clean
A truly nonstick surface
Does not include a lid
Cooks limited types of food
Regular frying pans are fine for cooking steaks, burgers, and vegetables, but a grill pan does it better, leaving attractive grill marks and allowing grease and juices to drain away so you won’t be simmering or steaming your food. You can use this for fish, vegetables, or for grilling fruit or pound cake for dessert, too.
The pan has a comfortable rubberized orange handle that’s riveted on for durability, and the exterior hard-anodized pewter finish will stay good-looking for years. The pan is oven safe to 350 degrees, so you can finish your chops in the oven or keep vegetables warm for serving. Our reviewer also said that the burgers and chicken she tested "all cooked evenly regardless of where they were on the pan."
This is made from aluminum, so it’s not compatible with induction cooktops. It is dishwasher safe, but the nonstick finish makes it simple to clean by hand as well.
"For those stuck with just a sponge and a sink, having pans that don’t require elbow grease to clean are a must." — Julie Hershman, Product Tester
Free of harmful chemicals
Nonstick quality fades over time
Not great for very high heat
GreenPan has made a name for itself as "healthy" cookware—meaning it's free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. Plus, this GreenPan frying pan is made of hard-anodized aluminum and coated with Thermolon ceramic nonstick material that won't release any toxic fumes even if you overheat it. It's also oven safe up to 600 degrees, metal utensil safe, and dishwasher safe. This set includes both a 10-inch and 12-inch version so you'll always have the right size on hand.
GreenPan's thoughtful design allows you to fry your food using less oil, and cleaning is still a breeze! They are not the most inexpensive pans on the list, but it's a brand you can feel good about using for years.
Sleek stainless steel appearance
Super durable nonstick surface
Compatible with all cooktops, including induction
Oven safe up to 500°F
Need to season pan in order to maintain nonstick properties
Hexclad is somewhat new to the cookware world, but this brand boasts a unique technology that gives its pans the durability of stainless steel with the ease of nonstick. This hybrid saute pan is constructed of magnetic stainless steel (making it ideal for induction cooktops) with an aluminum core (which acts as the heating element). Instead of a traditional nonstick coating, the inside of the pan has a black hexagonal pattern that creates "peaks and valleys". The "peaks" create heat and the "valleys" create a surface that somehow magically releases eggs but is also resistant to scratching with metal cooking utensils. This pan is also very heat-durable, able to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees.
One thing to note is that unlike traditional nonstick pans, this one has to be seasoned before first use. The company also recommends cooking on a lower heat than usual for best nonstick results, attributed to the pan's quick heating and distribution properties. The only real drawback to this piece is a hefty price, but if you can get over the initial investment, Hexclad offers a lifetime warranty on its cookware and will send you a new one should the pan fail to perform.
The All-Clad Nonstick Fry Pan Set is our top pick because of its exceptional nonstick performance and quality of construction. Its coating resisted major scratching even after weeks of testing. If you're looking for a cheaper option, try the T-fal B363S3 Specialty Nonstick Nonstick 3-Piece Set, which offers a wide range of sizes at a fraction of the price.
What To Look For When Buying a Nonstick Pan
What Is Nonstick Coating?
The first nonstick coating, polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, was created by mistake in 1938 at DuPont's New Jersey research lab. A slippery, water and heat-resistant material was born—trademarked as Teflon—and used primarily in military and industrial applications, then became a major part of the cookware industry in the 1960s. While PTFE is still used today to coat wires, fabrics, and much more, other nonstick coatings have emerged as alternatives, partially to ease concerns over possible exposure to chemicals as the coating breaks down. Such substitutes include PFOA- and PTFE-free ceramic coating and chemical-free hard-anodized aluminum.
Nonstick pans can be made out of many types of base material, which will help determine how well they conduct, maintain, and respond to heat. The lightest and most popular of these metals is aluminum, which conducts heat well and can be used on a variety of cooktops. Stainless steel is another popular choice: these pans tend to be heavier, with a more substantial thickness that makes them less susceptible to dings and dents. Copper is another great option because it has superior heat conductivity and is extremely responsive to changes in heat. As for the interior, there's polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), hard-anodized aluminum, and ceramic, which we'll cover later.
If you’re looking for a nonstick pan to cook breakfast for one or two, a small skillet or pot will save you storage space. A good starting point for a skillet is a 10-inch model: it’s roomy but not too bulky to store in a small kitchen. Another great essential nonstick pan is a 6-quart stockpot, ideal for cooking rice or thick stews and allowing for easy cleanup.
Most nonstick cookware functions just fine on gas, electric, and halogen cooktops—but always check with the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure. The most common material used to make nonstick cookware is aluminum, which is not induction-friendly on its own. If you have an induction cooktop, look for one that has a stainless steel base that specifies it is compatible for use with this type of stove.
Nonstick cookware is generally safe for low and medium temperatures, though some of the more modern versions can stand higher heat. Traditional PTFE coatings are generally safe to about 400 degrees; ceramic coatings can typically withstand higher temperatures (over 500 degrees with some models); hard-anodized cookware can fall somewhere between 400 to 500 degrees, depending on the manufacturer. If you often start foods on the stove and finish them in the oven, make sure to check what temperatures the cookware can withstand, so you won’t have to transfer from one pan to another to finish your cooking.
Nonstick cookware is available at a wide variety of price points, starting at around $20 (or even less) for lightweight aluminum pans with PTFE or ceramic coating. Since medium and heavyweight pans require more material to construct, they will naturally be a little more expensive. Keep in mind that nonstick cookware generally wears out more quickly than stainless steel, copper, or enameled cast iron pieces and will need to be replaced at some point.
Many manufacturers offer some type of limited warranty against defects in material, construction, or workmanship. This warranty typically will not cover damage from thermal shock, improper use, nonstick deterioration, damage from metal/sharp utensils, or damage caused by abrasive cleaners and scouring pads. Be sure to double-check the warranty provided by the vendor to ensure it is to your satisfaction.
Types of Nonstick Cookware
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), also known as Teflon, is the most popular coating for traditional nonstick cookware. Pans coated with PTFE are easy to use and clean, but the coatings eventually wear away with use. The primary issue with PTFE is the deterioration of the coating, which starts to happen at 450 degrees. At high temperatures, PTFE releases toxic fumes, which can potentially cause respiratory health problems, so it is not recommended to use traditional nonstick pans for high-heat cooking.
Perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was used in the manufacturing process of PTFE, and some concerns remain about the safety of these chemicals in the long term and their effect on the environment. Since 2015, all cookware sold in the U.S. and Canada is PFOA-free.
The coating for ceramic nonstick cookware is made from silica, a component of beach sand. The pan's interior is either sprayed or dip-coated, then cured by high-firing in an oven. While traditional nonstick pans need at least three coatings, ceramic coatings can require as little as just one layer, saving time and energy during the manufacturing process. Ceramic cookware sold in the U.S. and Europe are must also adhere to regulations that prohibit lead or cadmium. The smooth, glass-like finish poses no risk of giving off toxic fumes, which is why ceramic cookware is popular with those who seek out non-toxic household options. The biggest drawback of ceramic is more susceptible to developing surface cracks and losing its nonstick property faster due to its brittleness in comparison to PTFE.
The nonstick surface of hard-anodized aluminum cookware differs from PTFE and ceramic surfaces in that it is actually part of the pan, not layered on as a coating. It is made by an electrochemical process that hardens soft aluminum, making it stronger than stainless steel, and giving it an oxidized top layer. This top layer is nonstick and tougher than applied nonstick coatings. Hard anodized aluminum can stand up to higher temperatures and resists scratches from metal utensils, and won’t react with acidic foods. It is the most durable type of nonstick surface since it is not prone to chipping or flaking.
Founded in the 1950s, this popular French cookware brand—sometimes known as Tefal—takes its name from the combination of "Teflon" and "aluminum." It is known best for making high-quality, budget-friendly nonstick cookware that can be used for many years. Their lines include full sets of cookware, single pans, and specialty pieces such as woks and grill pans.
This Ohio-based brand is a leading producer of premium-quality cookware since 1963. It's known best for the invention of hard-anodized aluminum cookware using a process adapted from the aerospace industry. Calphalon’s mid-range price points make it a popular and attainable brand for avid home cooks.
Created by two school friends from Belgium, the GreenPan brand was born out of a need for a non-toxic alternative to traditional nonstick pans. It created a ceramic coating called Thermolon that posed no risk of releasing toxic fumes and did not use PFOA in its manufacturing process. Today, GreenPan is a worldwide leader in ceramic nonstick cookware.
Based in Pennsylvania, All-Clad is a brand whose name is revered by professional chefs and amateur cooks alike. It is a premium cookware manufacturer that is known best for its cladded stainless steel lines, but it also offers hard-anodized nonstick and stainless steel nonstick options as well.
Treating your nonstick pans correctly will help you extend the life of your cookware. You will want to avoid overheating your pans, as excessive heat can start to break down your nonstick coating. Ghee, butter, and oil can be used for cooking to boost the nonstick properties of your pan, but cooking sprays can cause buildup that can actually cause your food to start sticking. To protect your pans against scratches, avoid using sharp or metal utensils on the interior; should you see any cracking or flaking, it’s time for a replacement. Though many nonstick pans are said to be dishwasher safe, it is almost always a better idea to stick to handwashing. Cleaning nonstick is generally easy—using a non-abrasive scrubber to remove any debris along with gentle dishwashing soap should do the trick.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a cookbook author who writes roundups and reviews products for The Spruce Eats. She has tested more than 90 kitchen products for the brand, about 20 of which were pieces of cookware.
This piece was edited by Bernadette Machard de Gramont, a writer who specializes in global food and wine content and an avid cook who has personally owned the Calphalon and GreenPan options mentioned in this piece. She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.