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In order to help you find the best nonstick pan for your kitchen, we tested out dozens of products, looking for pans that, if taken care of correctly, could last you decades. During our testing, we ruled out pans that contain Polytetrafluoroethylene (PFOA), otherwise known as Teflon, and other potentially unsafe chemicals, favoring newer products that meet regulations for being free of toxins. We also wanted to make sure the pans we tested were true to their name, using them to cook a large variety of items to see if they would remain nonstick. Finally, we looked for pans that offered versatility in the kitchen, ones that were just as comfortable on the stovetop as they were in the oven. To find other kitchen cooking items, explore our best cookware guide.
Of the five best nonstick pans on this list, the aptly named Radical Pan really sizzled the loudest, with an innovative high-rise lip design that takes the guesswork out of souffleing and flipping dishes, making it the best overall nonstick fry pan. The Radical Pan also comes with a lifetime guarantee and can be placed in an ultra-hot oven, up to 500 degrees, making it safe for broiling. Keep reading to find out more about the Radical Pan and the four other nonstick cookware products on this list.
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Radical Pan is, well, one radical pan, with a super neat high-rise lip design, intended to make flipping easier, featuring a triple-layer nonstick coating and a hard-anodized aluminum bottom, making for consistent temperature disbursement. This is not only the best pan on this list but, considering the design, also the most unique.
The Radical Pan is, first and foremost, one heck of a nonstick frying pan. The aluminum base maintains the same heat throughout the cooking area and the triple-layer coating ensures that foods will not stick, no matter how hard you try. On top of all that, it is rated for temperatures up to 500 degrees, meaning you can easily slip it under the broiler for finishing steaks or getting some extra color onto baked dishes. The unique high-rise lip design was just icing on the cake, allowing us to flip pancakes and eggs with ease.
The price is on the higher side, compared to some products on this list, but this is a high-quality pan that will last for years to come. On that note, the company throws in a lifetime guarantee, so you can be sure it will continue to be a mainstay of your kitchen. Read our Radical Pan review to learn more.
Award: Honorable Mention / Best Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: The T-fal 2100086427 E93805 Professional Fry Pan is a fantastic product that suits the needs of most home chefs, featuring a stainless steel base that is ideal for all stovetops and a patented Thermo Spot indicator which shows when the pan is preheated and ready for ingredients. This is just a great all-around pan at an extremely low price point.
The T-fal 2100086427 E93805 Professional Fry Pan is a nearly perfect, and simple, product. The stainless steel base ensures even heat distribution and the nonstick interior is scratch-resistant, meaning it is rated for use with metal utensils. The patented Thermo Spot indicator does a good job of letting you know when the pan is preheated, taking the guesswork out of the equation. It can also be used on just about every stovetop in existence, including ones that use magnetic induction to heat. T-fal is known for being the best stainless steel cookware.
The pan can be used in the oven, but has a maximum temperature load of 400 degrees (100 F less than our #1 pick), meaning it is not safe for the broiler. Although T-fal, says you can use metal utensils on its nonstick skillets, the warranty states that damage by the same isn’t covered. We also noticed that the pan isn’t entirely flat, with some minor bumps on the nonstick surface that may cause foods, particularly eggs, to slide around. Speaking of the cooking surface, another 10-inch pan that was similar to this is the Tramontina Professional Nonstick Fry Pan, which has a thick aluminum nonstick surface but is not so easy to clean and needlessly pricier than T-fal frying pans. If you require a pan with compartments to cook different food varieties at the same time, check out our best-divided frying pan guide.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 10-inch Fry Pan is an ultra-durable product made with high-quality materials, including heavy-gauge aluminum, with three layers of nonstick coating and sloped sides, which are ideal for tossing and rolling ingredients. The company also throws in a lifetime warranty, making this a fantastic pan to whip up gourmet dishes on.
The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 10-inch Fry Pan features three layers of nonstick coating, which really helps to ensure that your ingredients will never stick, even with very little oil or butter. The stainless steel handle is designed to minimize heat, with a thick gap that separates it from the rest of the pan, meaning you can use a bare hand to grab it even in the middle of cooking. The sloped sides are also a nice design choice, helping us to reduce splatter as we used it to prepare several dishes. A good pan like this will do anything that the best slow cooker can do.
While the heavy-gauge bottom helps with even heat distribution, we found that the pan took longer than other items on this list to preheat, though it seemed like an even tradeoff, considering the product’s high durability.
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: The T-fal E76507 Ultimate Frying Pan offers high-end features, like a titanium-reinforced interior and hard anodized aluminum base, at a fairly low price point. The package also comes with an extremely useful vented lid, easily making this product the best value on the list.
The T-fal E76507 Ultimate Frying Pan is one heck of a product, with a titanium-reinforced nonstick interior that can easily be manipulated using metal utensils. The hard-anodized aluminum base ensures even heat distribution and the 12-inch design boasts plenty of real estate for cooking large dishes. The package also comes shipped with a high-quality vented lid, further increasing its value.
The pan is recommended only for medium and low heat settings, as the aluminum base conducts heat quickly, though we experienced a little issue when we turned the burner up to high. It is safe for ovens, though not for temperatures exceeding 350 degrees, which means it will be a no-go for many recipes. You may also want to read about hard anodized cookware vs stainless steel to learn more.
Award: Best for Breakfast
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8” Omelette Pan features three layers of nonstick coating, a hard-anodized aluminum base that ensures even heat distribution, and a stainless steel handle design that minimizes injury, staying cool while on the stovetop. Its small size makes it perfect for whipping up breakfast favorites.
The Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 8” Omelette Pan is a masterwork of contemporary kitchenware design, with three layers of the nonstick coating and the same hard-anodized aluminum base that is so beloved with the company’s other offerings. The handle is stainless steel and designed to stay cool on the stovetop, no matter the temperature. It also comes with a lifetime warranty and is packed with an oven-safe lid.
The pan is oven-safe, but only up to 450 degrees, so keep it away from the broiler. While the product’s eight-inch size is absolutely perfect for cooking breakfast, its relatively small stature may not make it ideal for preparing large family meals. To complete your kitchen, check out this list of some of the best cookware.
There are almost as many nonstick pans out there as there are recipes to cook in them and we wanted to make sure this list contained only the best-of-the-best. To that end, we tested these products to make sure they delivered on their promise of reliable everyday performance, running them through their paces to make sure they could cook a large variety of ingredients with minimal oil or butter. We were also hyper-focused on barring any pans that used unsafe chemicals to create the nonstick coating, a threshold that every product on the above list passed with flying colors.
We also favored products with additional features, like indicators to let you know when the pan was thoroughly preheated and those that came attached to handles that would remain cool to the touch while resting on a hot stovetop. Additionally, every pan on the above list can be placed in the oven, with some allowed to be used underneath the broiler.
Finally, we went for ultra-durable pans that could take a licking, lasting you for years to come. Speaking of durability, we noticed that nonstick properties on ceramic nonstick fry pans do not last long, which means you have to replace them often. On that note, many of the above products come with lifetime warranties, just in case you run into some trouble down the line.
Stay with Gadget Review for the Best Cookware Set in 2020.
It is recommended that you never use cooking spray with a nonstick pan. Aerosol cooking spray leaves a gummy residue that is difficult to remove, and that residue could cause food to stick. Use regular oils or butter instead.
Many nonstick pans are deemed to be safe to use in the dishwasher, but if you are looking to really maximize the life of your product, we’d recommend you to hand wash it, whenever possible. On that note, make sure to rinse it after every use, so as to avoid food buildup, which can get in the way of the nonstick coating.
Companies have phased out the use of Polytetrafluoroethylene, otherwise known as Teflon, in the manufacture of nonstick pans. Modern pans use a variety of safe, non-toxic, materials in order to achieve a nonstick coating.