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The perfect nonstick pans are hardy, easy to clean, and as the name implies, actually nonstick. They come in handy when you need to fry an egg for breakfast or whip up a side of mushrooms for dinner. But with so many on the market from a variety of sources, it can be tough to decide what to purchase. There are a number of variables to consider, from what material it should be made of to the size you really need. Luckily, we’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you.
Here are the best nonstick pans to seek out, broken into helpful categories.
Best Overall: Made In Nonstick Frying Pan
Made In is a direct-to-consumer cookware startup that was founded in 2017. Its premise is to bring professional-grade pots and pans to your kitchen. And they’ve succeeded. The pans regularly sell out, but once you score one, you won’t go back.
Available in 8-, 10-, and 12-inch sizes, this nonstick frying pan is a best seller for Made In. Comparable in quality to All-Clad pans but less expensive, this particular pick is available in traditional graphite or a more bold take in harbor blue tone. They’re extra durable from multiple layers of PFOA-free nonstick coating, safe in the oven up to 500 degrees, and come with a 45-day trial period.
Made In pans should be washed by hand to protect the coating.
Best Budget: T-fal 12-inch Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic Fry Pan
This heritage European brand provides a lot of bang for your buck with its nonstick pans. This 12-inch fry pan has a ceramic coating surrounding heavy-gauge aluminum.
That durable aluminum provides even heating with no hot spots, and the surface can handle temperatures up to 570 degrees for when you want to sear meat. The ceramic coating is free of PTFE, PFOA, and cadmium, so you don’t have to worry about it giving off bad fumes. The heat-resistant handle provides an extra safety measure in the kitchen, but is only oven safe to 350 degrees.
While this is safe to clean in the dishwasher, it’s best to wash by hand to avoid damaging the surface.
Best Eco-Friendly: Ozeri ZP1-3P 3-Piece Green Earth Pan Set
One common issue with nonstick coatings is the history of the chemicals decomposing at high temperatures. It’s why you should only use nonstick pans over medium or low heat. If you’re still concerned about the chemicals or their environmental effects, these durable nonstick pans don’t include any PTFE, PFOA, APEO, GenX, NMP, NEP, or Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs).
The Ozeri Green Earth collection comes in a bright green hue, inspired by nature. Extra durable, these aluminum pans heat evenly and are easy to clean. This set comes complete with a honeycomb ceramic interior for increased heat distribution and includes a 5-, 8-, and 12-inch skillet. There’s even a magnetized bottom for use on induction stovetops.
Related: The Best Frying Pans
Best Set of Two: Scanpan Classic 2 Piece Fry Pan Set
If you’re just starting to outfit your kitchen or need to upgrade a few old nonstick pans, you’ll get a better bang for your buck by buying a set. Scanpan is a Danish company known for its PFOA-free nonstick finish.
Scanpan's professional-grade recycled aluminum skillets include a ceramic-titanium nonstick coating, a stay-cool handle with ergonomic grip, and are free of PFOS in addition to PFOA. You should expect even heating with no hot spots thanks to their thick bases. This set's convenient 8-inch and 10.25-inch sizes will be versatile tools in any home chef’s arsenal.
As an added bonus, little to no oil is needed when cooking with this fry pan set. While you should treat them with care, these are safe to put in the dishwasher.
Best Ceramic: Food52 x GreenPan Nonstick Skillet Set
Ceramic surfaces can withstand heat of up to 800 degrees, which is a lot higher than the traditional 500 degrees of normal nonstick pans. And this chic set packs a punch in terms of aesthetics as well.
According to Food 52’s cofounder Amanda Hesser, the partnership with GreenPan comes from a desire to have affordable yet chic, nonstick pans. In colors such as navy, plum, and sage, all with attractive brass hardware to boot, the Food 52 x GreenPan Nonstick Skillet is both pleasing to the eye and versatile in the kitchen! The set of two comes with an 8-inch and an 11-inch skillet with GreenPan’s ceramic coating that’s free of PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium. They’re also safe for every type of stovetop, including induction.
For longevity, be sure to wash by hand even though these jewel-toned skillets are considered dishwasher safe.
Related: The Best Nonstick Cookware
Best Set: All-Clad NS1 Nonstick Induction 13-Piece Cookware Set
All-Clad has a stellar reputation as a cookware titan, and its version of a nonstick set is no exception. It has a tri-ply construction with a stainless-steel base, and all the pans can be used on all types of stoves.
This set contains almost every pan you’ll ever need, with three size fry pans (8-, 10-, and 12-inch), two saucepans with lids (2-quart and 3-quart), a 4-quart soup pot with lid, 8-quart soup pot with lid, and a 4-quart saute pan with lid. The pots and pans are oven safe up to 500 degrees which is higher than other options, and even though the handles have a stay-cool design, you should handle them with caution when taking them out of the oven.
Best Splurge: Our Place The Always Pan
This Insta-famous pan is designed to replace eight pieces of traditional cookware, and while we don’t think it quite manages that, the Our Place Always Pan remains an excellent pick.
At 10 inches in diameter with a 2.6-quart capacity, the Always Pan is a bit deeper than most options, making it perfect for one-pot stovetop dishes. It’s made from aluminum for fast, but even, heating, and has nontoxic, nonstick ceramic coating. Since it’s well over $100, it does fall into the splurge category, but it’s so attractive you don’t need to worry about storing it and can just leave it on the stovetop after cleaning. It comes with a steamer basket and a spatula, which rests perfectly in the pan’s design. Somehow the simple addition of a spatula rest makes cooking just that much more convenient.
As for that cleaning, I may have forgotten about brown rice in my Always Pan for over an hour, and when I came back, it wasn’t burnt; it slid right out with zero issues. In fact, I barely had to use any dish soap to wash it.
Best Grill Pan: Pampered Chef Nonstick Grill Pan and Press Set
This unique nonstick pan is great to get grill marks on your steaks, chicken, and veggies any time of the year. It’s large enough, at nearly 12 inches by 12 inches, to grill four steaks, chicken breasts, or pieces of fish at one time.
The grill pan’s designed without rivets, so there’s no chance of rusting, while its four layers of nonstick coating ensure even heating and are free of PFOA. It’s safe in the oven up to 480 degrees should you need to pop it in there, just don’t stick it under the broiler.
The set includes an enamel-coated cast-iron grill press, perfect for easy stovetop paninis without an additional appliance taking up valuable storage space in your kitchen. Clean-up is also a snap as both pieces are designed for washing in the dishwasher.