The search for the best nonstick cookware is a challenge all home cooks face. Maybe you had one too many fried eggs stick to your stainless steel pan. Perhaps your roommate's pan had a big patch in it where too many metal spatulas had scraped. You might even be looking for your first nonstick pan to start your culinary hobby!
No matter what, nonstick cookware is indispensable. But, as with many kitchen supplies, price isn't a guarantee of quality. Beyond that, there are a number of different nonstick materials, some with potential for danger. Nonstick pans are the subject of a multitude of infomercials. There's always a new development; a new eco-friendly design; a new coating you just have to own. The reality is, the best nonstick cookware is a mere click away.
The primary reason for choosing nonstick cookware is in the name. Whatever you cook, you don't want it to stick to the pan. That makes for easier cooking and easier cleanup afterward. While not every dish cooks well in nonstick cookware, it is essential to any well-stocked kitchen. As with any cookware, it's important to know when to use your nonstick cookware and how to care for it properly.
The best nonstick cookware can be used easily with delicate dishes. They are ideal for eggs, pancakes, fish, or other dishes you want to keep in one piece. Nonstick pots and pans also require less oil to cook. Some dishes may not need any at all. That will allow you to cook dishes using less oil, cutting out fat from your diet. It will also make your cookware a breeze to clean - any burned food will easily slide off.
Nonstick Cookware Materials And Care
Nonstick cookware comes in numerous materials, and the benefits of these vary. Some are safer and easier to care for than others. In past years, there has been a lot of scrutiny over the use of Teflon in nonstick pans. The tendency of its coating to turn toxic at high heat gained it negative media attention. Aluminum also has been linked to health problems and may be something to consider when choosing the best nonstick cookware for you.
Many of the best nonstick cookware brands treat their pans with a ceramic-based coating. This type of surface is scratch-resistant, unlike a layer of Teflon, and still resistant to sticking. It can also be visually striking, as the ceramic pans can come in colors other than black. Also available are anodized metals such as titanium, as well as granite.
Caring for nonstick pans is relatively easy, but takes some awareness. Unlike stainless steel pans, scratching a nonstick coating can result in flaking and loss of its nonstick capabilities. In addition to simply being annoying and causing your food to cling to the pan, it can also introduce health hazards. In fact, Teflon's previously mentioned threats increase when you scratch the coating. To care for a nonstick pan, make sure to use silicone or wooden utensils that won't damage the surface. Make sure to dry and store your nonstick cookware separate from others, as the bottom of another pan could scratch the surface just as easily. The best nonstick cookware deserves the best care.
How We Reviewed
Our review is a compilation of cookware featured repeatedly on best nonstick cookware lists from sources such as Bon Appetit, Epicurious, and Wirecutter. Inclusion in this list requires a combination of versatility, nonstick material, and price. While the list in order of lowest to highest price, they are not ranked from best to worst. The best nonstick cookware is less expensive, easy to use and care for, and most importantly safe for both cooks and diners. Wherever possible, the price included is for one 12-inch nonstick frying pan.
The prices of the nonstick frying pans included in our list are all under $$$. They range from under $$ to around $$ with a variety of materials. All of the pans included here are available on Amazon. Those that are available via their brand websites are listed below. The least expensive pans come with more common nonstick materials, such as anodized titanium. Some of the most expensive pans consist of ceramic blends or other similar nonstick materials.
Our Best Nonstick Cookware
These are the pans that bring the best performance for their value, based on versatility and nonstick material. All are excellent choices, but only one may be right for you. They are organized here by order of lowest listed price.
- The unique T-fal Thermo-Spot heat indicator shows when the pan is perfectly preheated for cooking
- Prometal Pro nonstick interior is exceptionally durable and scratch resistant, safe for use with metal utensil
- Stainless steel disc for even heat distribution and anti-warp protection
- Dishwasher Safe; Oven safe to 400 degrees F
- Safe for all cooking methods including induction
The T-Fal Thermo-Spot is a favorite as the best budget option, and it holds its own even so. It features a proprietary nonstick coating which is safe with any utensil, even metal. The titular Thermo-Spot indicates when the pan is evenly heated, and the pan is both dishwasher safe and oven safe to 400 degrees. Reviewers noted its even heating and use with appliances as positive notes for the pan. The nonstick coating is not ultimately compatible with metal utensils, according to reviewers on Amazon.com. Using a silicone or wooden utensil would extend the Thermo-Spot pan's life. Even with this, the T-Fal Thermo-Spot 12-inch received 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
- Hard Anodized is harder than stainless steel and is dense, nonporous and highly wear-resistant for extra durability and professional performance
- Quantanium nonstick interior is reinforced with titanium and provides lasting food release, healthily nonfat cooking option, and easy clean up
- Cool Grip handles are solid stainless steel riveted stick handles that stay cool on the stove top and provide a safe a solid grip
- Oven safe to 500 degrees F, with tapered drip free rim
- Limited lifetime warranty
Cuisinart makes essential cookware that is at home in both the sparsest and best-stocked kitchens. The Chef's Classic 12-inch nonstick skillet is no different. Made with a titanium nonstick interior, the Chef's Classic is a solid pan without any extra features. It does, however, include a helper handle opposite the main grip. Since the pan is oven rated up to 500 degrees, the grips are handy for transferring from stove to oven. The Chef's Classic 12 inch received 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
- Durable, easy to clean granite sear and release 3-layer nonstick interior
- Healthy - use less oil with PFOA free nonstick surface
- Thick, even heat base for superior cooking results
- Oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Lifetime guarantee
The Bialetti Granito features a granite type nonstick surface which means chemicals such as those found in Teflon are not present. The Granito includes silicone handles, which stay cool even on the stovetop, and is oven safe to 400 degrees. The Granito provides a product similar to ceramic pans at a much lower price. It earned 4.5 stars out of five on Amazon.com. Although some reviewers say the nonstick coating started to wear down quickly, others have had no issue with this pan. One hangup may be the pan's incompatibility with induction cooktops.
- NSF-Certified commercial-grade 3004 heavy-gauge aluminum
- High-performance reinforced PFOA-free nonstick, dishwasher-safe
- Riveted handle with removable, soft-grip red silicone sleeve
- Works with gas, electric and ceramic glass, oven-safe (400 F / 204 C)
- Tramontina item # 80114/536DS - UPC 016017041325
Tramontina's Professional aluminum pan earned the best nonstick pan from the exacting editors at New York Times' Wirecutter. The pan's maneuverability and heat-resistant handle sheath earned it extra points. Reviewers on Amazon.com agreed, giving the pan 4.5 stars out of five. Both professional and consumer reviews admired its long-lasting nature. Make sure to hand wash and use the appropriate utensils. Some reviewers on Amazon warned against using the Tramontina Professional on high heat, as it could damage the pan.
- 12-Inch Covered Deep Skillet
- Oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, the heavy-duty construction promotes even, efficient heating; the bronze nonstick exterior offers timeless style
- Premium-quality nonstick is long lasting and metal utensil safe with superior food release and effortless cleanup
- The nonstick skillet's Anolon SureGrip handle is dual riveted for extra strength, color-coordinated, and designed for a comfortable grasp
- Break-resistant glass lid allows for monitoring of food while it cooks, locking in heat and moisture
The Anolon Advanced Bronze is the first pan on this list with an eye towards style as well as function. With a bronze outer finish, as suggested by the name, this Anolon pan offers an attractive option. The pan advertises metal utensils are useable on the coating, although there are no consumer reviews available. One Amazon reviewer offered that after 18 months of daily use, the pan had lost most of its nonstick qualities. For cooks who do not intend to use their pan every day, it is still a good option and received 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
- GreenPan is the pioneer of healthy ceramic non-stick: safe cookware that doesn't contain any toxic chemicals or persistent pollutants and is easy to use.
- Thermolon ceramic non-stick is manufactured without PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. The coating won't blister, peel or release any harmful fumes, even if you accidently overheat your pan.
- Coated with our most advanced grade of Thermolon, this ceramic non-stick is reinforced with minerals and is metal utensil safe.
- The durable hard anodized exterior is designed for maximum strength and scratch resistance and has excellent heat conduction for even cooking results.
- The riveted stainless steel handles are contoured for a relaxed and comfortable grip.
This is the first pan on our list to offer a nonstick ceramic coating. For GreenPan, this is a key selling point. The GreenPan Paris leaves out toxic chemicals with its Thermolon ceramic, a completely non-toxic alternative to Teflon. The pan also can resist heat up to above 600 degrees. Amazon customers wavered on the GreenPan Paris, giving it 3.5 stars out of 5. Many pointed to the nonstick coating's inability to actually prevent sticking the way other coatings can. For this pan, in particular, the tradeoff for safety may be a small degree of nonstick utility.
- 12-inch hard-anodized aluminum skillet with scratch-resistant nonstick ceramic-based surface
- Water-based ceramica nonstick surface won't peel off, free of ptfe and pfoa
- Superior heat conductivity resulting in less energy use; oven- and broiler-safe
- 70 percent recycled, riveted, stay-cool stainless-steel handle
- Limited lifetime warranty; hand wash only; oven safe up to 400 degrees
Kitchen staple Cuisinart offers an option for their more environmentally minded consumers with their GreenGourmet line. This pan, made with a ceramic coating and recycled steel in the handle, is non-toxic and chemical-free for a higher price. Much like the GreenPan Paris, the GreenGourmet trades a potentially toxic coating at the expense of its nonstick. Many reviewers claimed that it lost its nonstick abilities after about six months of use. Overall reviews gave this pan 3.5 out of 5 stars.
- 12-inch fry pan with wide flat base and versatile low-profile shape; Dimension: 30 cm; Oven compatibility:Yes; Heat source:INDUCTION - GAS - ELECTRIC - CERAMIC - HALOGEN
- Hard Anodized aluminum construction for fast, even heating and easy cleanup; stainless-steel bonded Anti-Warp base; optimized for induction
- PFOA-free nonstick scratch resistant coating for healthier cooking with less fat; secure-fitting lids trap in heat and moisture and allow for checking on food at a glance
- Stainless-steel handles contoured for a comfortable hold and permanently secured with stainless-steel rivets ; Dimension : 30 Centimeter
- Oven safe to 500 degrees F (without lids); dishwasher-safe, handwash recommended; limited lifetime warranty
All-Clad offers high-end cookware overall, and one of the best-engineered pans on this list. Their nonstick 12-inch pan is oven rated up to 500 degrees and features a helper handle to manage the pan more easily. Its nonstick coating is chemical free, and the pan consists of anodized aluminum. While this pan is dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended. Reviewers on Amazon criticized the pan mostly for its U-shaped grip, which was uncomfortable to use. Most said the pan was long-lasting with proper care and rated the All-Clad nonstick 4 out of 5 stars.
- Manufactured in Italy
- Forged aluminum construction provides excellent heat retention and distribution
- PFOA-free, multilayer Duraslide granite nonstick coating is 40 times more durable than traditional PTFE coatings
- Innovative plasma primer offers ultimate scratch and abrasion resistance
- Ergonomic, stay-cool handle is welded for durability - no rivets ensure easy cleaning
Zwilling's Madura Plus pan earned the honor of being named the best non-stick pan the editors of Bon Appetit magazine ever used. Its granite nonstick coating is chemical free, meaning you can avoid the health risks that come with Teflon coating. The pan also comes with a metal handle. However, it is only oven safe to 300 degrees. The majority of users found that it heated evenly and resisted scratches, and rated the pan 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
The Scanpan is a Danish frying pan which offers a superior nonstick pan at the highest price. The Scanpan Classic has a ceramic nonstick coating that is chemical free and, more importantly, actually nonstick. Safe up to 500 degrees, the Scanpan is also scratch resistant and incredibly durable according to Amazon reviewers. For the price, this pan brings decades of engineering and a reliable product. Amazon.com customers rate it approximately 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is available both on Amazon and on the Scanpan website.
The Final Word
In any kitchen, the best option is what the chef wants. Whatever works best for your kitchen is best for you. Some options are simply going to work for more chefs, and I have a few. For one, it's hard to go against the experts at Bon Appetit magazine in their praise of the Zwilling Madura Plus. While it cannot go above 300 degrees in the oven, it is still a safe and reliable nonstick pan for a slightly higher price.
On a budget, the Tramontina Professional offers superior performance at a bargain. Appropriate care -- hand-washing, using silicone or wooden utensils -- made this pan last as long, or longer, than several more expensive options on this list. Finally, an investment pays off with the Scanpan Classic. Though it pushes $$$ with its price tag, it is clearly a superior product and will serve your kitchen for many years if you care for it.
Whatever you decide is the best nonstick cookware for you, remember this. Always wash by hand, don't let other pans or metal touch the nonstick surface -- even if you're supposed to be able to -- and your pan will stay clean and useful for a long time.