Best Non Stick Frying Pans, Skillets & Sauté Pans – (Updated for 2018)
Maybe like so many other people you love the ease of using your favorite nonstick pan? You might be looking to replace some of your old worn out cookware and are not too sure what to get.
Well, no worries, we have gone ahead and some of the legwork for you.
After doing some research we have made a list of the best nonstick skillets and frying pans on the market for 2017.
Today’s best nonstick pans present an array of non-toxic and aesthetically pleasing options that can handle everything from frying sausages to simmering gravy.
Most of the best nonstick pans now are made from ceramic and are sturdier than their Teflon cousins.
Read on to find out which one of our choices are going to best suit you.
- Do I need a non stick pan?
- The bad news about non stick pans
- The good news about non stick pans
- The health advantage of cooking with non stick
- Outdated Apprehensions of non stick pans
- What can I cook with my non-stick frying pan?
- what should you look for in a frying pan?
- Should I get a non stick Skillet, frying pan or a saute pan?
- #1 Best non stick frying pan 2018 – Our Choice
- Our top contenders for best pan 2018
- Quantanium nonstick Pans
- Oven safe non stick pans
- best saute pan
- High end pans
- Nonstick on a budget
What types of nonstick cookware are there?
Teflon based cookware (PFOA and PTFE)
This is the original nonstick cookware coating and has come under a lot of fire recently because of the dangers of Teflon. Teflon cookware tends to be at the lower end of the market price wise which makes it very attractive to some. The thing to remember about Teflon is that it is really only good for a limited range of uses. If you often cook within that range then you are going to be ok. Read our guide to the dangers of Teflon to get a better understanding of you can best use this type of cookware for.
Ceramic nonstick cookware
There are a number of advantages that you get with ceramic cookware, the main one being that ceramic coating tend to last a lot longer than Teflon. You should be aware there are differences within this group of cookware and so you should know what you are getting before you buy. We have a number of guides and articles that you can read to help you along with this.
Ceramic vs Teflon
Ceramic and other types of nonstick cookware
Sol-Gel “Ceramic” Coatings
One of the most notable brands using this tech is the Greenpan with their Thermalon coating. This type of coating has small inorganic (mineral) particles suspended in Solution or gel. One of the big selling points for this is there are no organic compounds in it. PFOA and PTFE are examples of organic compounds. Why is this important? Glad you asked! Organic compounds that are harmless to us tend to break down when heated above certain points and then the resulting chemicals and newly formed compounds are often toxic to organic based life forms(that is us and other animals etc around us).
Titanium nonstick cookware
Most titanium cookware is actually a fusion of ceramic and titanium. Because of the nature of titanium, you end up with a product that is nonstick and really long lasting. we have reviewed some of the best on the market and you can read about our ScanPan review here
If you are unsure about what you think might be best for you then you should have a look at our guide on healthy cookware. This covers a range of different types of cookware on the market
What should you look for in a nonstick frying pan?
The right size – Is the pan the right size for what I want to cook with it? You will want to make sure that you are getting something that will accommodate your needs.
Think about how many people will you typically be cooking for
what sort of foods will you be cooking. If you are cooking stews or sauces have a look to see if the lip is deep enough for the job
If you are using this pan to make omelettes is the lip of the pan designed for your omelette to slip off easily.
Does this frying pan have the right type of non-stick coating for what I want to use it for? – If you are going to be cooking foods that require higher temperatures does the pan you are looking at have the right coating. We have written an article on the dangers of Teflon here.
Does the coating on the frying pan suite my style of cooking? If you are a gentle cook then you can maybe get away with some of the less scratch resistant coatings. you should also look into what type of utensils you are using, if these are going to scratch your pans they will need to be replaced
A good frying pan should be well looked after and as scratch- free as possible. This will give you the best results when you cook.
Dont just look at the price, always make sure that it will fit the use you have in mind. What it the best non-stick frying pan for others may not be the best one for you.
While most professional chefs use nonstick pans like a novelty item rather than a mainstay, every kitchen requires at least one nonstick skillet or pan. Some home chefs prefer nonstick and opt for this type of cookware for everyday use.
It should be noted that for home cooking using nonstick pans or skillets are the best option for fragile foods like eggs and fish that are cooked at lower temperatures.
The bad news about non-stick Cookware
It is important that you understand that while we will be talking about the benefits of nonstick cookware in your kitchen, there is one drawback: Nonstick pots, pans and skillets do not have a long life span. If you look after then you are looking at 3-5 years of use.
The upside of course that generally they are not so expensive that this is not so much of a problem. We just like to to have this in mind when reading the reviews.
There are a number of things to consider when looking at nonstick Cookware.
The type of cookware you are looking at will make a difference, for example frying pans and skillets are likely to not last as long as saute pans and pots as they tend to get used more often.
What type of coating the pan has will make a huge difference, we will go into this more a little later
The good news about nonstick pans
While non-stick pans may not last as long as others, they are by far the easiest to maintain. You don’t have to worry about rust or dirt sticking to the pan, they are easy to clean and light to lift making it a breeze to use them in the kitchen.
I am not sure about you, but the pan is one of the things that I use the most in the kitchen and while I know that the ones that I buy will not last so long, I get good easy time-saving use out of them and if you are a busy person then I am sure that you will agree that this is gold.
If there ever is an occasion where you burn food while you are cooking, don’t worry, we have you covered check out:
In addition to working well for fragile foods, nonstick skillets present a definite health advantage in terms of what you are cooking with. Unlike stainless steel or cast iron cooking vessels, nonstick pots and pans don’t require a lot of oil, butter or lard to keep food from sticking.
The pan’s coating keeps food from sticking, flaking and breaking, which means healthier cooking and eating habits for you and your family.
There is some controversy over the use of nonstick materials as they have been linked to potential hazards if this is something that concerns you then you might want to read our guide to choosing healthy cookware.
In the past, people have shied away from using nonstick pans because of the worry about toxins in Teflon, PFOA and PTFE .
While avoidance of these materials is a legitimate response on many levels, it doesn’t mean nonstick cookware is out of the question.
Accommodating the properties of your nonstick pans will mitigate certain health risks. Namely:
- Avoid sharp or abrasive utensils on nonstick surfaces and
- Maintain low or medium heat when cooking.
Moreover, there are nonstick options on the market today that do not contain Teflon, PFOA or PTFE. Some of them will even allow you to ramp up the heat or pop your nonstick pan in the oven
What can I cook with my non-stick frying pan?
Foods that Non stick frying pans are good for:
- Any eggs
- Pasta sauces
Foods that Non stick frying pans are good for:
- Pork chops
- Lamb chops
- Frying meats that require hot temperatures to sear or brown the meat
- Any food where you have to preheat an empty pan
you should always be aware of the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to nonstick cookware. No matter how good the cookware is if you are using it outside of these recommendations then you are potentially going to run into problems
Should I get a nonstick Skillet, frying pan or a saute pan?
While all of these are essentially similar there are some differences that you should be aware of. Below aresome suggestions as to what each type of pan is good for.
What are non-stick skillets good for?
These are typically used for searing or browning foods such as meat. If you are looking for something like this then yu should be making sure that you buy something that has a high tolerance to heat.Your typical Teflon pans are not going to be suited for this type of cooking. You might want to look at something like scan pan as they have a range that is very heat tolerant
What are non-stick frying pans good for?
These are very similar to skillets, you will use them for frying primarily. these will generally be used in cooking foods that require a lower temperature such as omelettes or types of eggs. These typically don’t come with lids as frying is all about getting cooking at a higher temperature than boiling water. You want to get rid of the steam as fast as possible.
What are non-stick saute pans good for?
These are ideal for making sauces. They often come with a lid so that you can keep the moisture in and as a result are cooking at temperatures around boiling point. Cooking with these usually means longer cooking times where the idea is to let something simmer away and cook like that. They are great for making sauces where you have meat that is tender and moist when cooked
Things you should not be doing with a nonstick pan
Nonstick cookware compared to other types of cookware has a limited lifespan because of the nature of the coating. Yes, some will last a lot longer than others such as ceramic cookware, this process of losing the “nonstickiness” will happen.
We found this video that will help you actually increase the lifespan of your nonstick cookware. It is only about a min long and is well worth a watch
How is nonstick cookware made?
While each brand and even type of nonstick cookware will have its own particular process this video clip will give you a better idea of what it is you are getting when you buy your nonstick pan. The process is quite fascinating
What types of frying pan are you looking for?
Different frying pans have different uses and, in fact, the material it is made from will also affect this. If you have an understanding of these then you can be better prepared to make the right choice.
Copper frying pans
These have risen in popularity recently as they have an alternative type of nonstick coating that is supposedly more durable than the traditional Teflon pans. I have seen some of these in action before and they are quite good and can be very reasonably priced.
Stainless steel frying pans
I am a big fan of stainless steel, I find them to be far more versatile and robust than many of others on the market. there are actually some that have a nonstick coating on them and they are pretty decent. I have a whole article on the best stainless steel cookware here. these types of pans are perfect for cooking food at high temps. You can do things searing meat and stir-frys and not worry about making the pan too hot to damage it. Of course you can burn your food and make the oil smoke but nothing that cant be cleaned off
ceramic frying pans
Ceramic frying pans are also a solid option, the coating is also a little more robust than the traditional nonstick cookware. You would use these in the same way but they have a much higher tolerance to heat but are not as “nonstick”. We have an article here covering ceramic cookware
Deep frying pans
I thought that I might add this in as there it is important to understand what you can do here. Shallow pans are better for things like omelettes while deep pans are better suited for things like making sauces for pasta etc. They are all interchangeable but making sure you have thought about what you will be using the pan for the most will affect what you buy. Check out my article on the difference between skillets and other types of pans
square frying pans
These are often cast iron and what I would call a griddle, they are more speciality pans and are not really for everyday use. Most have a smooth base that you can use to cook things like pancakes etc. They are nice to have but not what I would call essential cookware.
Induction frying pans
All of the above can fall into this type of pan. You can use them any cooktop but unlike other non-ferrous based cookware, you cannot use them on induction cooktops. If you are looking to change to induction technology it would be a good idea to make sure you have the cookware for this before you change over as this could end up being quite expensive.
There has been a lot of negative press about these types of cookware, I have written extensively about this here in this article titles the dangers of teflon. This type of nonstick cookware is good for cooking at low temperatures and you need to be careful as the coating is not as robust as the others. Overheating these pans can have implications for you and your pets.
Cast iron pans
I love cast iron, this is by far the most robust of the cookware that I have tried. With good seasoning, you can make them fairly nonstick but they do require some maintenance compared to other cookware They are susceptible to rusting but this can be removed. it is quite likely that if you invest in this type of pan it will outlive you. You can read all about the best cast iron cookware here
Frying pans with lids – should you have one?
some of the pans online will have the option have of coming with a lid. I have some with lids and the lids are great, I like to cook my sauces with a lid on in the beginning as this make a difference to the taste and texture I find. If you have the option and can afford it, then I would suggest that you get it
Caring for your nonstick cookware
Avoid cooking over a high heat
Most nonstick cookware actually cooks better over lower heats, there are times when you are looking to cook steaks or brown meat and these will do fine for that. There are however better options, Stainless steel cookware and cast iron cookware are far better for this than nonstick.
You should never really preheat nonstick pans and skillets
This really applies more to Teflon based cookware although you should be using it on all nonstick cookware. They are not designed for high temperatures and preheating a pan with nothing in it can quickly overheat. read our article on the dangers of Teflon here for more
Don’t use nonstick spray on pans and skillets
Nonstick sprays really are not a great thing to have in your kitchen, they were a fad with people dieting some time back. Just don’t use them on nonstick cookware as these tend to leave a sticky residue on the pans over time negating the nonstick properties.
Use healthy oils for cooking with
using the right type of oil or fat when you are cooking will make a big difference. adding a little oil in the pan when you first start cooking and while the pan is cold will boost the nonstick properties.
If you are cooking at higher temperatures is helpful to know the best oils to use in terms of smoke point as this can cause problems. we have written a guide to healthy oils here
Seasoning and reseasoning your nonstick cookware
Every now and then, once you have finished cooking and cleaned the pan, get a paper towel and rub in a little oil onto the coating. this will help maintain and protect the coating.
Using sharp abrasive products on your pans
If you clean your nonstick pots and pans with something abrasive you are just going to remove the coating. Abrasive products are designed to remove a layer every time they clean, that is what makes them effective.
Only use wooden or plastic utensils
There are some coatings that are more robust than others, but there should never be a reason to be using metal utensils in your nonstick pans, even if they say you can. Metal utensils are good for cast iron cookware that has no coating and will outlast you
Don’t put them in the dishwasher
While many products will tell you that they are dishwasher safe, we strongly suggest that you just wash them by hand, Dishwashers use hot water at high pressures to clean… you do the maths. We have more on using a dishwasher for nonstick cookware here
Hand clean your nonstick cookware
This is surprisingly easy to do, there are no magic tricks just a little time and you are good to go. Here is an article that goes into this a little bit more to help you Clean ceramic cookware
Storing your cookware correctly
We have left this one till last so that it has a lasting impression on you. We have seen so much damage done to nonstick cookware because they are simply not stored properly. Here are some tips:
- Never put nonstick pans on top of each other without putting a sheet of something soft like kitchen paper in between them, not doing this will certainly result in scratching.
- Try not storing your pots and pans all in one place, for the same reason as above, they will scratch on the outside and this will speed up the process of the coat breaking down or coming off.
- The lid can scratch the lip of the pan, try using a paper towel to stop this.
The best nonstick Skillet 2018 -Tramontina nonstick ceramic cookware
Tramontina ceramic cookware
Tramontina ceramic cookware is described as a Professional restaurant frying pan.This has been designed to for the rigors of a commercial kitchen while being just as useful at home in your kitchen.
We like this nonstick pan a lot as it is robust, practical and long lasting. It is really ideal for frying, scrambling, sautéing, and searing and so is one of the better “one pan fits all” for your kitchen
We also like the construction of the handle, it is Stainless steel and comes with a silicon sleeve for easy handling. It has also been riveted on for extra strength.
This cookware is NSF certified, and is perfect for use on gas, electric and ceramic glass cooktops,
Tramontina Professional Nonstick 10-Inch Skillet
This is a great skillet to have in your arsenal of pans. It comes in at a very reasonable price and has been built with lots of use in mind. It has been designed to be used in commercial kitchens so is tougher than normal ones.
What we really like about this pan:
- It is made with Commercial-Grade 3004 aluminum and has a thick base for even heat transfer making it great for gas stoves.
- PFOA-free eclipse nonstick for easy cooking and cleaning.
- It has a stainless steel handle that comes with a removable sleeve making this perfect for using in the oven when needed (up to 400 degree Fahrenheit or 204 degree Celsius).
- Has a hang hole in the handle for easy storage
What we don’t like about this pan:
- There is not a lot to not like about this nonstick pan, just remember it is nonstick and while robust must be treated as such using the correct spatulas etc.
Cuisinart 6422-24 Contour Hard Anodized 10-Inch Open Skillet
This is a sturdy mid-range pan that you will do well with. While the base is thinner then you might expect, the hard anodised aluminum makes sure that the heat transfer is both quick and even.
The shape of the pan makes transferring cooked delicate items easy to keep in one piece.
What we like about this pan:
- You can use this on the stove top as well as in the oven(Oven Safe up to 500 deg F)
- Good quality non stick coating that will help this pan to last longer.
- Good solid handle making it easier to use and keeps cool
What we don’t like about this pan:
- Be aware that this one does not come with a glass lid – there has been some confusion about this
#1 Quantanium nonstick Pan
QuanTanium nonstick Cookware
This is a very robust coating that is actually made up of a number of very important compounds. One of them is Titanium, we have discussed this in other types of cookware but for this type, they have blended in Titanium particles into the coating to give it a more robust and scratch resistant coating. Thit type of coating is also a lot better at dealing with higher temperatures and would be suitable for anything from frying eggs to searing meats and cooking steaks.
While Quantanium coating is robust we don’t recommend that you wash it in the dishwasher as this may shorten the life span of the cookware. Remember, at the end of the day these are all just coatings and so can and will wear out. Some will just take longer than others.
Cuisinart nonstick skillet 722-30HNS Chef’s Classic Stainless Non stick 12-Inch skillet
Fitted with helper handle
Designed by Cuisinart means you are getting something that is stylish and practical. They range in price from $14 for the smaller ones to $49 for the larger ones. We like that there is a selection of sizes so that you can choose the one best suited to your needs.
What we like about the Cuisinart nonstick skillet:
- The thick Aluminum encapsulated base makes for fast and evenly spread heating
- Has a Titanium reinforced Quantanium nonstick interior.
- Comes with a helper handle for easy lifting for those who dont have the strongest wrists.
- Nice solid stainless steel handle.
What we don’t like about the Cuisinart nonstick skillet:
This is another great pan with very little not to like about it.
- Be aware that the bigger ones are a little heavy
- This pan is not induction ready
Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover
This is another great pan from Cuisinart. This is a hard anodized not stick skillet that is good for frying or sauteing. Its finish is what you would expect from Cuisinart. It has a Quantanium nonstick interior that provides a longer lasting nonstick cover
According to the manufacturer, the nonstick coating is the result of hard anodization and the pan is made without the use of any PFOA.
Materials: Anodized Aluminum, Titanium, Stainless Steel
Size: 12 inches
Oven Safe: 500 degrees
What we like about this pan:
- Hard Anodized making it a tough contender in the kitchen that looks good and is durable
- Quantanium nonstick interior that is reinforced with titanium making sure that the finish lasts as long as possible
- Oven safe to 500 degrees F
- solid stainless steel handle that is riveted onto the pan making it sturdy and usable in the oven
- Has a lid (so many don’t!!)
What we don’t like about this pan:
There really is not much to not like about this pan
Best nonstick Saute pan – Oven Safe Jumbo Cooker 5-Quart Saute Pan with Glass Lid
T-fal professional nonstick – This jumbo saute pan will handle your one pan meals and promises the ease of nonstick cleanup after you’re finished cooking and eating. The vessel’s higher walls give it a 5-quart capacity, and the handles make it perfect for stir-frying.
Additionally, it is oven safe up to 350 degrees since the handles are made with bakelite. Finally, though the pan features a nonstick coating as opposed to anodized aluminum or ceramic, it is 100 percent PFOA, lead and cadmium free.
Materials: Nonstick Coating, Aluminum, Bakelite
Size: 12 inches
Oven Safe: 350 degrees
What We Like:
- Extra large for more cooking
- Glass lid so you can see your food
- PFOA, lead, and cadmium free
What We Don’t Like:
- May not handle high heats well
Le Creuset Toughened Non stick 12-Inch shallow Frying Pan
This frying pan comes highly recommended
This everyday fry pan is far from the ordinary, considering it combines all the best elements of a nonstick piece with Le Creuset’s sought-after design. You can cook using most oils as the temperature range on this is great
In addition to being oven safe to 500 degrees, the pan is induction ready and dishwasher safe.
Materials: Anodized Aluminum, Cast Stainless Steel
Size: 12 inches
Oven Safe: 500 degrees
What We Like:
- High-end design
- Oven safe to 500 degrees
- Handles designed to stay cool on the stovetop
What We Don’t Like:
- The luxury pricetag isn’t for everyone
All-Clad non stick Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded PFOA-free frying pan
This is a high-end pan and so you should be expecting a lot from this. While it is likely that the people interested in this will be those that are passionate and advanced cooks, this is good for everyone. It is a well-crafted, practical and I might say good looking kitchen tool.
What we like about All-Clad non-stick:
- You can choose from 8 inches all the way up to 14 inches
- You can can use this on any type of cooktop including induction cooktops
- Three ply bonded using 18 10 stainless steel
What we don’t like about this pan:
- While the quality of pan is great, the nonstick surface may not be as robust as some of the others on the market
- My research on All clad customer service has brought back mixed results
What if these are not what you are looking for?
We have said earlier that you should be looking for something that suits the job you have in hand. After looking through this you might be wondering if actually, non stick cookware is the way to go.
Don’t worry, there is always the right pan for the job, we have also written about other pans that we think are good
Check out our article on the best stainless steel pans here
check out our article on the best cast iron pans here
There are a lot of choices for those that are looking for something that is nonstick. The real trick with non-stick pans is to make sure that you have a good idea as to what you might be cooking with it as this will help you choose the right one for your needs.
- Always read the technical spec for the cookware that you are planning to buy
- Always remember that the responsibility lies on your shoulders to get the right thing
- How you use and look after your cookware is up to you and will always have a direct impact on the life of your cookware
Some further reading
About the author
Understanding the science behind cooking helps me to understand what are the best tools for a particular job.
I like to help people better understand exactly what it is that they need when it comes to buying for the kitchen.
Making the right choice is a lot easier when you know what you need to get.