Nonstick pans are a must-have for cooks of all levels—from fluffy scrambled eggs and golden homemade 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, 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.
All-Clad Hard Anodized E785S264/E785S263 Set of 2 Fry Pans
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.
Our home tester thought these felt incredibly sturdy, and also found that they actually retain their nonstick capabilities for the long haul better than other similar models and manage to look brand new even after weeks of use.
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.
Price at time of publish: $70
Finish: Hard anodized nonstick | Oven Safe: 500 degrees | Sizes: 8 and 10 inches (included in the set)
Tramontina 12 Inch Professional Fry Pans
Effective nonstick coating
Large, versatile cooking surface
For those who need a nonstick pan that will stand up to the rigors of everyday use, then this model from Tramontina is right up your alley. Made of heavy-gauge aluminum, it's thicker and heavier than most similarly sized nonstick frying pans, and is designed to heat evenly and stay put on your cooktop.
We found that this pan was indeed very nonstick, regardless of what was being cooked—eggs and sausages released without worry, and adding thick sauces (like a classic tomate sauce), which often stick or burn, was easy, even when using medium-high heat. It 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!). This pan is PFOA-free, plus it is also dishwasher safe. The handle has a red silicone sleeve that remains cool to the touch and this is oven safe up to 400 degrees.
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.
Price at time of publish: $42
Finish: Non-PFOA nonstick | Oven Safe: 400 degrees | Sizes Available: 8, 10, 12, and 14 inches
HexClad 12-Inch Hybrid Pan
Stands up to metal utensils
Comes with a lifetime warranty
This nonstick frying pan by Hexclad has a unique cooking surface, boasting a grid of laser-etched stainless steel and nonstick that easily releases food and allows quick 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 sauce.
We use this pan regularly for tasks like searing steaks and cooking omelets, like the classic French, and enjoys how easy it is to maneuver. We should note that it heats up quicker than traditional nonstick skillets—so much so that you will need to be careful that the pan is not too hot when cooking eggs so they don't stick.
This piece of cookware is built to last, which is evident by its solid construction. The stay-cool handle is comfortable to hold and is securely riveted onto the pan. The pan is oven and broiler safe to 600 degrees and can be used on any cooking surface, including induction. Due to its surface, it's also incredibly easy to clean, either by hand or in the dishwasher.
Price at time of publish: $230
Material: Aluminum | Finish: Stainless steel, ceramic | Oven Safe: 600 degrees | Sizes Available: 8, 10, and 12 inches
T-fal Specialty 3-Piece Fry Pan
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. They're ideal for beginner cooks just learning to make dishes like pan-seared salmon—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.
Price at time of publish: $38
Finish: Traditional nonstick | Oven Safe: 350 degrees | Sizes: 8, 9.5, and 11 inches (included in the set)
Caraway Fry Pan
Comes in a variety of stylish colors
Chemical-free nonstick coating
Oven safe to 550 degrees Fahrenheit
Can be used on all cooktops, including induction
Currently only available in one size
On the pricier side
Hand wash only
Previously only sold as a set, Caraway Home's sleek cookware can now be purchased individually. This 10.5-inch frying pan is one of the must-have pieces of the collection, perfect for cooking eggs, sauteing vegetables, and more. Like the rest of the Caraway cookware set, this pan features a ceramic nonstick layer (no PTFE, PFOA, PFAS, or heavy metals). Since this pan conducts heat evenly and very efficiently, the manufacturer suggests cooking over low and medium heat and avoiding super high temperatures that can wear away the nonstick coating.
One of the few qualms we've had with this pan is that the stainless steel handles do tend to get hot while in use, but it is not a dealbreaker. Just make sure to have potholders on standby if you need to grab the pan's handle.
Caraway's frypan stands up to 550 degrees in the oven, which is higher than most traditional nonstick pans—perfect for sliding filet mignon under the broiler. It is also compatible with just about every cooktop, including induction. The company recommends hand washing its cookware in order to prolong the life of the nonstick coating.
Price at time of publish: $95
Finish: Ceramic nonstick | Oven Safe: 550 degrees | Sizes Available: 10.5 inches
Anolon AnolonX Nonstick Frying Pan
Compatible with induction
Able to sear at high heat
Oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
Resistant to metal utensils
Hand wash recommended
This innovative pan from Anolon is made from aluminum with a proprietary surface, an embedded stainless steel grid, and a stainless steel base, marrying a nonstick surface with the capability to cook at high heat for searing. This pan is also designed to keep oil in the center of the pan instead of running to the edges, keeping it underneath food and over the heat source to achieve a beautiful golden-brown sear.
We found that the pan lived up to its promises, allowing us to sear scallops and brown vegetables easily, and with no sticking. The helper handle also proved to be a useful feature of this pan, making it easier to transport on and off the stove or from the oven, even with oven mitts on.
It's truly a workhorse of a pan; it heats quickly, is very responsive to temperature changes, and also retains heat well—the trifecta of being a stellar pan to cook with. On top of that, it's safe to use with metal utensils, can be used on any cooktop, and can also go into the oven (safe to 500 degrees). It's ideal for dishes that require finishing in the oven, like pork tenderloin with dijon and rosemary. Cleaning is very easy—it's dishwasher safe, but hand-washing is recommended to preserve its surface. All in all, the only real drawback is the hefty price tag, but the price seems reasonable when compared with its sturdy build and versatility in the kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $140
Finish: Anolon proprietary nonstick | Oven Safe: 500 degrees | Sizes Available: 8.25 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches
Best Grill Pan
Rachael Ray 11-Inch Aluminum Nonstick Grill Pan
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. Grilled polenta slices will be crispy and beautifully marked. 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 400 degrees, so you can finish your chops in the oven or keep vegetables warm for serving.
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.
Price at time of publish: $42.50
Finish: Hard-anodized nonstick | Oven Safe: 400 degrees | Sizes Available: 11 inches
Zavor Noir Nonstick 6 qt. Cast Aluminum Covered Saute Pan
Generous capacity suitable for large families
Oven safe up to 550 degrees
Nonstick surface is easy to clean
Bulky to store
Takes up too much space in dishwasher
For the times you need a pot that can do just about everything, this 6-quart saute pan from Zavor's Noir collection is outstanding. "I love how versatile this pan is—I used it to make pancakes, brown meats, fry crab cakes, and roast a whole branzino," says Bernadette Machard de Gramont, our cookware expert. Made from durable cast aluminum, it features a high-quality ceramic interior that makes the surface incredibly nonstick. The handles have removable silicone grips that keep cool while the pan is being used on the stove; also included is a flat tempered glass lid. The pan itself is oven safe up to 550 degrees without its lid.
The large 14.5-inch surface can be used as a griddle, the high walls are conducive to shallow and deep-frying, and the silicone grips can be removed so you can place the entire pan in the oven—use it to roast a chicken on top of a bed of root vegetables, or make a pan of easy cheesy baked ziti.
While many will consider its large capacity a plus, those who are limited on space might find it challenging to store as it is quite wide. It is dishwasher safe, but it takes up a lot of room in the dishwasher so it's easier to just wash it by hand. Luckily, that's easy—stuck-on food like melted cheese or browned bits slide right off.
Price at time of publish: $75
Finish: Whitford Fusion Ti Ceramic Coating | Oven Safe: 550 degrees | Sizes Available: 6-quart
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.
How We Tested
Our editors are always on the lookout for the best-performing cookware, making note of what pieces get rave reviews from consumers or come highly recommended by professional and home cooks. We research the features and feedback of these popular pans, then compiled a list of products we wanted to know more about. We sent some of these pieces to our Lab for testing, while others were sent to our home testers to see how they perform in a real-life setting.
In both the Lab and home tests, the pans were subjected to a few rounds of cooking, from searing meats to cooking rice pilaf and turning out omelets. From there we evaluated each pan's construction, finish, features, and ease of cleaning to determine its placement on this list.
What To Look for in a Nonstick Pan
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 (though look for one with a stainless steel base if you have an induction cooktop). 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.
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 fumes, so it is not recommended to use traditional nonstick pans for high-heat cooking.
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 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.
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. Such substitutes include PFOA- and PTFE-free ceramic coating and hard-anodized aluminum.
How do you season a nonstick pan?
Usually, nonstick pans don't require seasoning before first use, though there are some exceptions. Over time, you may need to re-season your pan to restore its nonstick properties. To do so, heat some canola oil up in the pan on the stovetop. After a minute or so, turn it off, let the pan cool, and then wipe out the excess oil with a paper towel. Ghee and butter can also be used to re-season your pan, but cooking sprays can cause buildup that can actually cause your food to start sticking.
Can you put a nonstick pan in the oven?
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.
Can you use nonstick pans on a gas stove or induction stove?
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.
Can you put nonstick pans in the dishwasher?
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.
How long do nonstick pans last?
Nonstick pans generally last up to five years, but the actual lifespan will depend on the type of coating and how well the pans are cared for. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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 Zavor Noir options mentioned in this piece. She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Technical Fact Sheet - Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA).
Polytetrafluoroethylene - an overview | sciencedirect topics.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Basic information on PFAS.