A nonstick skillet is an under-appreciated kitchen hero. While neither as strong as a cast-iron workhorse nor as indestructible as stainless steel, the best nonstick pans are what we reach for when cooking eggs, crisping fish skin, or reheating leftovers. And you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a good one—in fact, we wouldn’t recommend it, because even the most expensive nonstick pans will need to be replaced eventually. We’ve gathered some of our favorites, the ones Bon Appétit editors use in the test kitchen and at home, for every kind of cook and every budget.
Buy the skillets, or jump ahead to read more:The best nonstick skillet overall: Zwilling Madura Plus, $80 at Target. Or jump ahead to read more about it.Another great option: All-Clad Hard Anodized Nonstick Frying Pans, $60 on Amazon. Or jump ahead to read more about it.Our budget pick: Tramontina 10-inch Skillet, $33 on Amazon. Or jump ahead to read more about it.A luxe pick: Made In Nonstick Frying Pan, $169 at Made In. Or jump ahead to read more about it.The best ceramic nonstick skillets: Great Jones Large Fry $90 at Great Jones. Or jump ahead to learn more about ceramic vs. Teflon, and for more favorites.Read about what you should cook in your nonstick frying pan.Read about nonstick cookware care.
Which nonstick pan is the best nonstick pan overall?
There are many great contenders, but the very best nonstick pan in our book is the Zwilling Madura Plus. We love that it’s high-quality, versatile, and super convenient to use. Associate food editor Zaynab Issa uses it more often than any other pan and actually considers it her favorite pan, period. It sports a type of PTFE coating called DuraSlide, which Zwilling says is up to 40 times more durable than your standard PTFE-coated pan. It has an aluminum core, which means it heats up and cools down quickly and provides even heat distribution. Unlike some nonsticks, this one can be used in the oven up to 300 degrees, though we don’t recommend using nonstick cookware in the oven (save that for your cast-iron cookware). The Zwilling also features a magnetic plate, making it compatible with induction stovetops. At around $70, it’s one of the best nonstick frying pans for the money.
PHOTO BY CHELSIE CRAIG
Zwilling Madura Plus Nonstick Pan
Another worthy option…
All-Clad may be most well known for their stainless steel pans, but the All-Clad hard anodized nonstick frying pans are another top pick among BA staffers. They’re made with a heavy-gauge aluminum core for impeccable heat distribution and feature a stainless steel base, which makes them a lot more durable than their counterparts (and also induction compatible). These pans are designed with sides that are less sloped than other nonsticks, which provides greater surface area—and the 12-incher is equipped with an ergonomic helper handle for easier maneuvering. Associate director of social media Urmila Ramakrishnan uses hers for everything from frying eggs to steaming broccoli. This set includes a 12-inch and a 10-inch fry pan for about $100. That’s a steal for one of the best cookware sets on the market.
All-Clad Nonstick 2 Piece Fry Pan Set
What’s the best budget pick?
This Tramontina nonstick 10-incher is our favorite inexpensive nonstick skillet. It’s made from thick, heavy-duty aluminum and features a stainless steel handle that is secured with multiple rivets and covered in a removable silicone grip sheath. Most importantly, though: It’s just $32. At that price point, you can afford to replace this pan at the first sign of a scratch (something we absolutely recommend if you’re going to use nonstick cookware). Note that if you have an induction cooktop, this is not the pan for you unless you also own an induction converter disc.
Tramontina Nonstick Fry Pan, 10-Inch
Should I ever spend more than $100 on a nonstick pan?
We’d never tell you how to live your life, so please do as you wish. That said, if you’re looking for a great gift or you’re simply in the mood to splurge, consider this lovely nonstick frying pan from Made In. Unlike the other pans we mentioned, this one’s made with 5-ply stainless steel (instead of aluminum) and has two layers of professional-grade nonstick coating. That means in terms of nonstick pans, this baby’s durability and longevity are unmatched. Recipe production assistant Carly Westerfield says it’s the type of pan that’ll perform well the first time you use it and for a long time afterward. Her favorite uses? Pancakes—the even cooking surface means her flapjacks get uniformly browned. And frittatas—they slip out of the pan so easily. Made In’s nonstick frying pan is optimized for induction and is oven safe up to 500 degrees. Plus, it’s available in two different colors—may we recommend the beautiful Harbour Blue option?
Made In Nonstick Frying Pan
Ceramic or Teflon?
Nonstick coatings come in two forms—polytetrafluoroethylene (also known as PTFE or by the brand name Teflon) and ceramic.
PTFE gets a bad rap because of its association with perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA), a man-made chemical that is a legitimate health concern. While PFOA was historically used in the manufacturing of PTFE, since 2015, all cookware sold or made in the USA must be PFOA-free. If you’re picking up an off-brand pan at a discount store, it is possible that it was manufactured using PFOA, so we recommend sticking with a reputable brand if you’re going all in on that nonstick cookware set.
But it gets more complicated. Both PFOA and PFTE are what’s know as polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PTFE has been identified as a safer alternative to PFOA, but the research really is still ongoing to understand the full health and environmental impact of these chemicals. It’s also potentially concerning that there are a whole lot of ways a company can obscure its use of particular unregulated PFAS. A piece of cookware or pan set that says it’s PFOA-free could use lesser-known PFAS chemicals currently unreviewed by regulators, and they are not obligated to disclose the PFAS that they use.