Moving away from Black Friday deals for a while, we all know that it’s the season for frying and toasting and everything food. That’s why we’re bringing you the best nonstick frying pans for your cooking this season. What’s more? These frying pans have been tested by the experts at the Food Network Kitchen. They seared, flipped and scrambled to find their favorite nonstick pans. So, whether you’re making pancakes for the kids or whipping up a weeknight dinner, they found a pan for you.
Their Top Nonstick Pan Picks
- Best Overall: Anolon Advanced Nonstick 10-Inch Skillet
- Best for Beginners: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 10-Inch Fry Pan
- Best Value: Tramontina Professional Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan
- Best for the Wannabe Professional: All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Nonstick Fry Pan
- Best for a Splurge: Le Creuset Non-Stick Fry Pan, 10-Inch
- Most Eco-Friendly: Green Pan Paris 10-Inch Fry Pan
“When most people think of nonstick pans, their thoughts are not usually positive: chemicals, one-trick pony (read: eggs) and a throwaway tool. But did you know that most nonstick pans are oven-safe? Some can even go under the broiler!“
And for those afraid of chemicals, the Food Network Kitchen experts are here to tell you that most nonstick pans no longer contain Polytetrafluoroethylene (PFOA), better known as “Teflon.”
First, a Nonstick Pan Rules
If you follow a few specific rules, your pan just might last a lifetime!
Never use nonstick cooking spray. These sprays are not compatible with non-stick pans and create a buildup on the surface of the pan that, over time, is impossible to remove. If you need to use fat, use a minimal amount of butter or oil.
Skip the dishwasher. Even if a brand says its pan is dishwasher-safe, stick to hand-washing. The harsh soaps and high temperature and pressure of dishwashers can dull and damage the coating of the pan that is essential to maintaining its nonstick magic.
Don’t use over high heat on the stove. There are a few pans that you can use over high heat, but, in general, low to medium low heat is recommended for nonstick pans. This is not only to keep them functioning properly, but also to keep them from releasing any harmful odors or chemicals.
Never heat an empty pan. This can release that awful odor that can be dangerous, and the high heat may be damaging to the pan.
Best Overall: Anolon Advanced Nonstick 10-Inch Skillet
Special Features: PFOA-free, metal utensil safe, ovensafe and suitable for all stovetops
According to theFood Network Kitchen, the Anolon pan is the best on the list. And not just because of the great price! This pan cooks perfectly golden-brown pancakes, fluffy frittatas and fish without leaving any skin behind. Plus, it’s also a cinch to clean — sometimes even with just a dry towel.
The pan is PFOA-free, metal utensil safe, ovensafe and suitable for all stovetops (except induction). With a rubber handle that feels secure in-hand and sloped sides just like the expensive brands, flipping and turning food is effortless. Finally, the sleek, clean design would complement any kitchen collection.
Best for Beginners: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 10-Inch Fry Pan
Special Features: Cooks over high heat
Want a super reliable pan that won’t let you fail, but also won’t break the bank? This pan won’t be ruined if you use it over high heat, allowing the beginner cook a bit more room for error. The handle has a safety net, too, with a gap near the pan to make sure your hands remain burn-free. And this made-in-the-USA pan not only cooks like pans twice its price, but it looks that way as well. No need to sacrifice form over function while you hone your skills in the kitchen.
Best Value: Tramontina Professional Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan
Special Features: PFOA-free, dishwasher and ovensafe, and compatible with gas, electric and ceramic glass cooktops
The Tramontina Professional series are utilitarian style pans that look like those you would find in a professional kitchen. With a heavier weight and a heavy-duty, long handle, this pan feels like it could handle the rigors of a restaurant without being out of place in your home.
Even with the super low price, this pan is PFOA-free, dishwasher safe and ovensafe, and it’s compatible with gas, electric and ceramic glass cooktops. As an extra bonus, it is made in the USA and comes with a silicone handle guard that allows you a burn-free, secure grip.
Best for the Wannabe Professional: All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Nonstick Fry Pan
Special Features: ovensafe, dishwasher safe; metal utensil safe even heat distribution, cooks over high heat, and induction-compatible
This pan has it all: the most even heat distribution, the ability to cook over high heat and induction-compatibility. Plus, it’s ovensafe, dishwasher safe and metal utensil safe. Not too shabby — but it comes at a price. The most-expensive of the lot, this pan is made for those that want to cook like the pros.
The pan doesn’t skimp on looks either; it has a super sleek design with a shiny silver outside and handle with a smooth black, inner surface.
Best Splurge: Le Creuset Nonstick Fry Pan
Special Features: PFOA-free and dishwasher safe, broiler safe and ovensafe (up to 500 degrees F)
Consistent with Le Creuset’s famous aesthetics, this pan is the best to look at. It has a smooth, all-black pan with a shiny, stainless steel handle complete with Le Creuset’s insignia at the base. The handle is ergonomic and hollow to keep it from taking on too much heat. It’s PFOA-free and dishwasher safe, broiler safe and ovensafe (up to 500 degrees F). It provides consistent and even cooking and has a smooth and easy-to-clean surface; the only thing you might think twice about is the price tag.
Most Eco-Friendly: GreenPan Paris 10-Inch Fry Pan
Special Features: Chemical free surface – Thermolon coating
If you have a serious concern when it comes to chemicals, have no fear, the Green Pan is here. Its surface contains a ceramic nonstick coating called Thermolon, which is made from a sand derivative that requires no toxic chemicals to produce. The uniqueness of the coating is also reflected in the design with the option of a slate blue or white interior.
How The Pans Were Tested
Apart from considering pricing and design of these pans, the Food Network Kitchen experts also tested the performance before selecting these 6 as their favorites.
They first did a careful research from reputable consumer buying guides, then purchased 13 10-inch non-stick frying pans and put them through rigorous tests. To get started, they noted how each was packaged and what kind of literature was included, and then they took down general information like weight and dimensions. Then they used an infrared thermometer to test the heat distribution of each pan. From there they cooked a variety of items to check the form and function.
They seared skin-on fish fillets to test the slickness of the surface and how well it crisped. For pancakes, they tested how evenly the pans cooked, how smoothly the food moved in the pan, and how easy it was to flip and maneuver within the pan. In pans that were ovensafe, they baked frittatas to record how evenly the pans cooked in the oven, how comfortable the pans felt while handling and how smoothly the frittatas slid out of the pans.
Throughout this process, they recorded how much food stuck to the pan (if any) and how easily it was to clean the pan with just a dry towel or with soap and water.