Safety Features: Is the handle comfortable to the hand when the pan is hot? Adam's testing is complete, and we believe we've found the best nonstick cookware for home cooks.
The nonstick coating on traditional nonstick cookware is made from a chemical known as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), commonly known as Teflon. However, health agencies raised concerns regarding the safety of a compound used to make Teflon known as FOA (perfluorooctanoic acid).
FOA has been linked to health issues, including kidney and liver disease, as well as environmental concerns. In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency reach an agreement with eight major companies to phase out FOA completely by 2015.
Although, some newer nonstick cookware can withstand higher temperatures, so refer to your product's manual. In fact, some nonstick cookware we tested are safe to heat at higher temperatures.
Nonstick coating can be applied to a variety of cookware, but skillets tend to be some of the most popular. While a cast iron skillet does have a place in every kitchen, some jobs are best saved for a nonstick pan.
Seafood : If you've ever tried to flip fish fillets, scallops, or shrimp on any other pan besides nonstick, you've experienced the frustration of trying to achieve a nice sear without the whole thing sticking to the pan. You'll no longer spend time bent over the sink scrubbing away at burnt-on food residue.
Avoid using cooking spray, as some can have additives that can damage nonstick coating. Using a little oil before heating it will help the nonstick coating to last longer.
While some manufacturers claim their pans are safe for metal utensils, why risk it? A jagged utensil can easily lead to an unsightly scratch in the nonstick coating.
“The general shape of the pan was what you want in a skillet, not so deep that it traps steam, but high enough edges to be able to make a quick sauce in it without spilling,” says Adam. The only downside to this pan is it won't work with induction burners and it's not dishwasher safe.
Adam found it to have a durable and high-quality feel, making it a great, pro-consumer pick that will last for years. Both are safe up to 500 degrees F, induction ready, and right sized for everyday cooking,” says Adam.
Keep reading to hear what Adam has to say about the rest of the nonstick cookware we tested. Adam liked the easy grip handle on this skillet, however he found the metal to feel fairly thin and cheap.
Buy It: Ox Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Open Fry pan, $40; Amazon The premium Teflon (Scot-free) on this pan is marketed as long-lasting, however when scratched with a metal utensil there was significant loss of the nonstick coating.
Buy It: All-Clad HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Frying Pan, $80; Amazon A quality nonstick pan is a true kitchen essential; from stir-fries to burgers to omelets, the stove top staple basically does it all.
Not all pans are created equal, however, and with thousands available in every possible price range, it can be tough to cull through marketing jargon to find the very best one. So, to determine which nonstick pans were truly the best, we sorted through dozens of published reviews and perused user feedback to settle on 12 to put to the test.
We cooked four different meals on every single contender, assessing nonstickiness (as in, could an egg really be flipped without oil or butter and leave no trace? After a lot of pancakes and too many eggs to count (yes, we know our job is tough), we were able to narrow our picks down to the three winners below.
This pan’s depth gives it multipurpose functionality: It cooks standard frying-pan foods like eggs and meats, and its 2½-inch sides are tall enough to prepare recipes you’d usually reserve for pots, like rices and stews. Unlike many nonstick pans, this one is free of materials that may pose long-term health risks, including Pas, FOA, lead and cadmium.
The nonstick coating is, instead, made from sand, so it won’t release any toxic fumes in the case of overheating. The Held 10-Inch Hybrid Pan feels fancy (and yes, it’s pricey as well), but it’s also a sturdy piece of cookware that blew the competition out of the kitchen during every one of our tests: Food slid off easily, it was a breeze to clean, and heat was evenly distributed while cooking.
Why we love it in a sentence: Whether you’re looking to steam a mountain of veggies or sear a steak, this affordable option can handle it all with ease. At just under $45 (with lid included), it can cook way more than the average frying pan, with the ability to boil and stew.
Rather than strengthening the pan’s surface layer like a coating would, aluminum that is anodized is integrated, so it can’t peel off or chip. The handle is made of silicone and is comfortable, light to grip and, most importantly, stays relatively cool when heated.
The material is nontoxic, so even if you were to overheat or scratch the pan, you wouldn’t have to worry about it leaching into your food. Why we love it in a sentence: True to its name, the Greenspan is a healthier, environmentally friendly nonstick pan that actually works.
Ceramic cookware has become popular in the wellness world; it has a reputation of being “healthier” than those made from Teflon or copper. Greenspan didn’t win our vote just for these reasons (though they are a bonus); it’s simply a really great pan.
Eggs, pancakes and even a sticky peanut sauce glided across the surface like they were Kristi Yamaguchi. After cooking, close to zero residue remained on the pan, which led to a very speedy cleanup consisting of wiping, rinsing and going on with our business.
Like the Total, this pan boasts an anodized aluminum body, which can be credited for the even cooking and temperature distribution. The Thermal ceramic nonstick surface, which is derived from sand rather than any kind of toxic materials, thrives at lower heat settings but won’t release chemical fumes if you cook it on high.
Even Gwyneth Paltrow is on board with this pick; she’s partnered with Greenspan and sells a bevy of ceramic, more Instagrammable offerings through her wellness brand. Why we love it in a sentence: While you’re paying a premium, you’re getting a tough-as-nails pan you’d find in professional kitchens: Nothing your cook will stick, it wards off scratches, it can withstand the highest oven temps out of the bunch we tested, and it looks stunning.
While significantly more expensive than the other pans on our list, the Held stands out from the rest for its build quality. It has a black hexagon top layer pattern, designed to create a series of “peaks and valleys.” According to the manufacturers, the valleys are what give the pan its nonstick properties, while the stainless steel peaks provide the even heating while protecting the pan from flaking or peeling.
(The company CEO even made a very convincing video in which he runs a metal pizza cutter and a motorized hand mixer across the pan without any damage.) Those nooks and crannies also seemed to distribute heat well, as food cooked evenly no matter which side of the pan it was on.
The makers suggest seasoning the pan first, which we did: As directed, we heated up a bit of oil for a couple of minutes and then washed it away. And then, we made a cheesy omelette and devoured every last remnant, since not a single strand of cheese or egg was left behind stuck on the pan.
It’s dubbed a hybrid for its stainless steel and nonstick combination, which provides it with a high-quality appearance and will make the piece last. Unlike many of the other stainless pans we tried, the bottom of the Held didn’t burn or change colors when it was overheated, thanks to the black nonstick design that appears here, too.
Stick to soft-to-mild scrubbers; if food is really stuck or burnt onto the pan, you can fill it with a quarter cup of baking soda and about three inches of water, then simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. While you may commit to only using wood or plastic on your cookware, this can be a tough rule to enforce when there are other people using your pans.
Every pan cooked four separate dishes: pancakes, an omelette, fish and a sticky sauce. Functionality: We ranked the ease of making an omelette, pancake, sticky sauce and fish dish.
We also tested how evenly the pan distributed heat by cooking food on different parts of the surface. Aesthetic: A bit more subjective in review, we scored the style of the pans as well as the handles’ comfort and ability to remain cool to touch, and the quality of materials used.
Its handle is almost entirely covered in silicone to protect the cook from heat, but it’s a little too easy to get close to the unprotected section and risk burning yourself. This doesn’t impact the pan’s ability to cook something successfully without sticking, but for people who care about appearances, this isn’t the pick.
The one downside: Its little rivets where the handle meets the pan created a vulnerable place for food to get stuck, which made it a little annoying to clean. A metal fork overpowered Willing’s nonstick surface, leaving scratches all over, and its handle lacked adequate cushioning.