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.
To help figure out what the top nonstick pans are, we decided to put a few of our picks to the test. We took them into our kitchens to make eggs over easy, whip up batches of pancakes, warm up leftovers, and then clean it all up. We then reported back on whether dripped cheese burned into the surface or if stewed tomatoes stained the ceramic enamel during the at-home testing.
Based on our testing, the Made In Nonstick Frying Pan is the clear winner.
Here are the best nonstick pans to seek out, broken into helpful categories.
Made In Nonstick Frying Pan
What We Love: Extra durable, multiple layers of nonstick coating, easy cleanup, 45-day trial period
What We Don’t Love: A little pricey
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.
"A number of the Simply Recipes editors have Made In skillets and we love them. If I need a new pan, I basically always go to Made In first. They're as good or better as All-Clad, in my opinion, while costing a lot less." — Cambria Bold, Senior Editor, Cooking Education
Price at time of publish: $100-130
Finish: Stainless steel with PFOA-free PTFE coating | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees | Sizes: 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch
T-fal 12-inch Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic Fry Pan
What We Love: Affordable, no hot spots
What We Don’t Love: Not ideal for induction stovetops
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.
The ceramic coating is free of PTFE, PFOA, and cadmium, and durable aluminum provides even heating with no hot spots. That coating was extremely nonstick in our tests. The tester was able to easily move them around without the yolks breaking or sticking. It also didn't stain when cooking up a tomato sauce, and sautéed vegetables cooked up perfectly every time. While cleaning up after rounds of testing, even the crusted-on edges were washed off with a rinse and a gentle swipe.
The surface can handle temperatures up to 570 degrees for when you want to sear meat. 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 it by hand to avoid damaging the surface.
"I'm very happy with this pan. It's already in heavy rotation in our house and still looks brand new." — Taysha Murtaugh, Editorial Director
Price at time of publish: $25
Finish: Aluminum with ceramic coating | Maximum Temperature: 570 degrees | Size: 12-inch
Ozeri ZP1-3P 3-Piece Green Earth Pan Set
What We Love: Eco-friendly, works on all stovetops, scratch-resistant
What We Don’t Love: Lids aren’t included
It's a good rule of thumb to only use nonstick pans over medium or low heat. If you’re still concerned about nonstick coating or its 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, with a honeycomb ceramic interior for increased heat distribution. While testing with fried eggs, the yolks never stuck and they were easy to flip without any bits spilling over onto the stove. A little bit of cheese fell off a burger and that didn't stick either.
The only time that honeycomb pattern became an issue was when making pancakes. "That design imprinted on my pancakes," said our tester. "It's not a big deal to me, but you are warned that you won't get perfectly even brown pancakes."
The pans performed well otherwise, with a great depth for more intense dishes, and are easy to clean. This set comes complete with a 5, 8, and 12-inch skillet. There’s even a magnetized bottom for use on induction stovetops.
"I thought this set was great. I've searched for a Teflon-free nonstick set for a while, but I've never come across pans as good as these." — Julia Warren, VP of Commerce
Price at time of publish: $47
Finish: Aluminum with ceramic coating | Maximum Temperature: 350 degrees | Sizes: 5-inch, 8-inch, 12-inch
Related: The Best Frying Pans
Best Set of Two
Scanpan Classic 2-Piece Fry Pan Set
What We Love: Lifetime warranty, safe for metal utensils, can be used to sear/brown meat
What We Don't Love: No color options, not induction stovetop safe
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. Its 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.
The pans feature a thick base that allows for even heating with no hot spots, but our tester found that heating does take a few beats longer than thinner pans. When frying eggs over hard, the eggs slipped out of the pan with every test. When warming up leftover kimchi fried rice, not a single grain burned or ended up sticking, and that test was done without any oil or fat added to the pan.
That surface also lives up to the "metal utensil safe" claim. Our tester ran a fork all around the pan and while it hurt the ears, it didn't damage the finish at all. The only downside appears to be that the sides of these pans are on the short side. If you are making a significant amount of food, you'll have to always reach for the bigger one. While you should treat these with care, they are safe to put in the dishwasher. This set's convenient 8-inch and 10.25-inch sizes will be versatile tools in any home chef’s arsenal.
"I'm so happy with them. I love that they heat up evenly and not too fast—I get annoyed when I have to restart breakfast because the butter burned. Everything slides right out of the pan, no food sticking at all. Plus, they're a cinch to clean." — Siobhan Wallace, Commerce Editor
Price at time of publish: $245
Finish: Recycled aluminum with ceramic-titanium coating | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees | Sizes: 8-inch, 10.25-inch
Food52 x GreenPan Nonstick Skillet Set
What We Love: Great for everyday use, higher heat tolerance, aesthetically pleasing
What We Don’t Love: No neutral color options
Ceramic surfaces can withstand heat of up to 600 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.
Price at time of publish: $92-99
Finish: Hard anodized aluminum with Thermolon ceramic coating | Maximum Temperature: 600 degrees | Sizes: 8-inch, 11-inch
Related: The Best Nonstick Cookware
All-Clad NS1 Nonstick Induction 13-Piece Cookware Set
What We Love: Everything you need in one set, dishwasher safe
What We Don’t Love: Not safe for use with aerosol cooking spray, expensive
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, each with a PFOA-free nonstick coating. 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.
Price at time of publish: $900
Finish: Hard-anodized aluminum with PFOA-free coating | Maximum Temperature: 500 degrees | What's Included: 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 12-inch fry pan, 2-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 4-quart sauté pan with lid, 4-quart soup pot with lid, 8-quart stockpot with lid
Our Place Always Pan
What We Love: Lightweight, comes with spatula and steamer basket, has a pour spout
What We Don’t Love: Only comes in one size, not dishwasher safe, not oven safe
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 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. That said, if you put the spatula in the dishwasher, it will never fit perfectly on the pan again, so it's best to handwash everything.
Price at time of publish: $145
Finish: Aluminum with ceramic coating | Size: 10-inch
Best Grill Pan
Pampered Chef Nonstick Grill Pan and Press Set
What We Love: Lifetime guarantee, grill marks without going outside
What We Don’t Love: Expensive
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 and take off the detachable handle before it goes in.
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.
Price at time of publish: $230
Finish: Cast iron with titanium-reinforced nonstick coating | Maximum Temperature: 480 degrees | Size: 11.5 x 11.5 inches
If you're in the market for a durable pan beloved by the Simply Recipes team, try the Made In Nonstick Frying Pan (view at Made In). For those on a budget who want a pan that will last more than a few months, the T-fal 12-inch Initiatives Nonstick Ceramic Fry Pan (view at Amazon) should fit the bill.
What to Look for When Buying a Nonstick Pan
There’s much to consider when purchasing nonstick cookware. In terms of coatings, we are referring to the inside of the pan, as the coating is what gives it nonstick properties. The most common coating and the oldest is called PTFE (aka Teflon), which is a synthetic coating. Another common coating is ceramic. Based on personal preferences, home chefs can pick between these two main options, though Teflon is purported to last longer. Other common coatings include silicone (just be sure to get pure silicone without plastic fillers) and enameled cast iron.
Another key thing to look for is the material of your nonstick pan. Many nonstick pans are crafted from either aluminum or stainless steel. Both of these have their benefits and detractions. Aluminum pans heat up more quickly but aren’t ideal for the most even distribution of heat and can’t be used on induction surfaces. Nonstick pans that are stainless steel can be heavier and generally cost more. Keep materials in mind when making your nonstick pan purchasing decisions.
Can you put a nonstick pan in the dishwasher?
It’s best not to, even if the manufacturer says you can. Hand washing can help increase the longevity of your pan, so just use warm water and a little dish soap, and be sure to avoid any abrasive scrubbing item as that can damage the nonstick coating. Additionally, remember to wait until the pan is cooled to wash it, as you can warp the shape if you don’t.
Can you use nonstick cooking spray with a nonstick pan?
No, don’t do this. The ingredients in nonstick spray, particularly lecithin, can build up on the surface of your pan, making the nonstick coating obsolete.
What utensils should you use on nonstick pans?
In order to avoid scratching your nonstick cookware, consider using wooden or silicone utensils rather than metal. This can also increase the longevity of your pans.
When should you replace a nonstick pan?
Generally speaking, nonstick pans last about five years, though they can last much longer in optimal conditions (as listed above). Some warning signs that may let you know it’s time to replace a nonstick pan include dark discoloration and lots of scratches in the nonstick coating.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Katy Spratte Joyce has been a prolific home cook and un-fussy foodie for over a decade, and now she’s writing about it. She has far too many nonstick pans in her tiny kitchen and wants to spare you the same dilemma.
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United States Environmental Protection Agency. Technical Fact Sheet - Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA).
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Basic Information on PFAS.