The Best Nonstick Pans for Every Budget | BuzzFeed Reviews
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The Best Nonstick Pans

We hope you love the products we recommend! We do a lot of research and testing before making our picks for the best thing to buy in each price-point. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For more info on how we choose products and make money, go here.

Cook N Home Nonstick Pan

$16

  • Easy to clean
  • Induction compatible
  • Available in three colors
Buying Options

OXO Good Grips Open FyPan

$25

  • Excellent nonstick surface
  • Stay-cool handle with great grip
  • Incredibly durable
Buying Options

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Skillet

$74

  • Beautiful and professional-grade
  • Can withstand super-high heat
  • Induction compatible
Buying Options

Every omelet aficionado and pan-fried-fish fanatic knows that the best way to cook eggs or delicate fillets like flounder is in a nonstick pan. (Try it in a regular skillet and you’ll see what we mean.) After testing an array of these essential kitchen tools, we’ve picked the pans that perform best across three price ranges, so you’ll never accidentally break another yolk again. Let’s get crackin’.

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Cook N Home Nonstick Pan

Starting from $16

The Details

Thick-Gauge Aluminum

Dishwasher-safe

Oven-safe up to 375ºF for most models

Induction Compatible

What / Who It's Best For

  • College students and young aspiring cooks
  • People with induction burners and cooktops
  • People who cook for larger families

Why We Love It

The sheer number of nonstick pan choices on the market can make the purchasing process overwhelming. There are a multitude of sizes, grip styles, and materials, not to mention a wide range of performance differences when it comes to evenness of heating, maneuverability, and, of course, non-stickability. Because people are prone to ruin the nonstick coating by using these pans incorrectly — such as by using metal utensils instead of rubber or silicone, cooking over high heat, or using overly aggressive cleaning techniques — it may not make sense to shell out serious cash for one.

Still, at the lower end of the price spectrum, many pans are light and flimsy, with poor grips and handles that get hot. Since you probably want to enjoy the process of cooking — and keep your fingertips intact — it’s vital to find a pan with a grip that feels comfortable in your hand (and that doesn’t make you hate using it). Thankfully, Cook N Home has nailed affordable nonstick pan construction in these key areas, creating a line of pans in a mix of colors and sizes (with the option of adding induction compatibility into the equation) that can fit into almost any budget.

If induction cooking and lime green are your thing, the Cook N Home 12-inch induction-compatible nonstick frying pan will be your pan-acea for any kitchen woes. It’s massive enough that you can easily fry multiple large fish fillets and scramble a dozen eggs to feed a family, with slightly better nonstick performance and equivalent evenness of heating compared to our $$ choice from OXO, which costs around 60% more. While we only tested it on a gas stove, there are plenty of enthusiastic five-star reviews of this pan on Amazon from people who use it solely on induction burners.

If you don’t need something that’s induction compatible (or if you’re not into lime green), we also  recommend the Cook N Home 12-inch heavy-gauge nonstick skillet in black, as well as the lighter-weight pan in blue, available in a 12-inch size or in a set with an 8-inch and a 9.5-inch pan. These work just as well as the green on a regular stovetop: electric, gas, ceramic, glass, or halogen. (Only the lime-green version is induction compatible.)

During testing, the 12-inch induction-compatible nonstick pan browned our wild flounder fillet nicely. That’s something you don’t always find with nonstick cookware, since browning typically requires high heat — and you’re never supposed to use high heat with nonstick cookware, unless you want to destroy it fast. Nonstick pans are also not as good at conducting heat as their uncoated counterparts, so you shouldn’t expect them as good a golden brown as you’d get from regular stainless-steel, cast-iron, or aluminum pans.

Another winning feature of the Cook N Home pans is that they’re relatively easy to clean. Sure, they’re all dishwasher-safe, but because substances slide off their surfaces so easily, you’ll probably never need to waste dishwasher space. In most cases, some hot running water and a wipedown with a single paper towel will have your Cook N Home pans ready for their next use. The only time ours needed extra work was after we cooked peanut sauce, which left a thin coating of oil in the pan.

College students and others who can’t splurge on lots of cookware or don’t have a ton of kitchen space can use this pan for virtually everything. We read reviews from people who use it for searing meat, caramelizing onions, and making sticky sauces with honey. It also has super-high sides, useful if you decide to use it for nontraditional purposes, like making chili or stew.

If you’re counting every dollar and can’t afford dropping another $15 for our $$ pick, this pan is a great investment. It’s also the clear choice if you’re looking for something that works with an induction cooktop — or if you just love that lime-green sheen.

User Reviews

“I LOVE THIS PAN. It's amazing! I love it so much that I also bought myself the wok version, and I bought a second 12-inch pan for my mom. If I could afford to, I would buy one for every person I know who cooks. Highly recommend it to anyone who's looking to buy a new nonstick pan. You will not regret doing so. Especially when it's priced so reasonably.”
— Amazonoholic From Amazon
“After 14 months, this is still a five-star pan! I use it to cook EVERYTHING. I cook meat and sauces in it, brown onions and potatoes, scrambled eggs and omelettes. EVERYTHING just slides out, and the pan wipes clean with a soft sponge. I also bought Cook-N-Home's 8-inch and 10-inch pans for making crêpes, plus the 12-inch wok. They all work great on my induction cooktop, and nothing ever sticks at all. But this 12-inch frying pan is my favorite, and it still spends more time on the cooktop than on the shelf. I'm seriously thinking of buying another just to keep for that far-off day when this pan finally needs to be replaced — but that day is not yet!”
— Claudia K From Amazon
“The Cook N Home frying pan is the best pan we have ever owned. We use this one 95% of the time and the rest stay in the pantry. Any residue wipes away easily with just a paper towel. We do not have to use any cooking oil at all, and that is great for healthy cooking. You can't go wrong with this frying pan, and the 12-inch seems perfect for all of our needs. Another plus is that you can use medium heat since the pan heats up so evenly.”
— Mind Traveler From Amazon
“I think this pan is awesome. It makes me want to cook again because cleanup is such a breeze. There is a nice thick base, which makes everything cook evenly, and the pan doesn't warp under high heat. Definitely spend the time and read all the directions. Pan should not be used with super-high-heat applications, as this can cause damage to the coating. You should also avoid heavy-duty detergents and such. I just wipe it clean with a paper towel. It also says to let the pan cool down naturally instead of putting it under cold water after cooking. So, like I said, read the directions.”
— D. Casey From Amazon

OXO Good Grips Open FyPan

Starting from $25

The Details

Hard-anodized aluminum

Oven-safe up to 390ºF

Non-Slip Silicone Handles

PFOA-free

What / Who It's Best For

  • Experienced home cooks
  • People who cook eggs and/or fish often
  • People with glass stovetops

Why We Love It

The OXO Good Grips 12-inch nonstick open frying pan easily beat the other pans we tested in the $$ price range, thanks to a near-perfect score of 34 out of 35 points in our secondary evaluation considerations. These include top grades in ease of cleaning, pan capacity, handle sturdiness, grip feel, and heat resistance, nonstick material and number of layers, and appearance.

The OXO is as large as the Cook N Home, our $ pick, with much better maneuverability due to its lighter weight. It also has a much more durable coating, one that can seemingly take a beating if ever someone in your family, say, scraped a metal spatula across its nonstick patina. Simply put, the OXO feels great in your hand, with a handle that feels solid and connected to the pan as tightly as possible. Where cheaper pans can have shaky, dangerous handles that get hot fast, the OXO handle is silicone, so it stays cool and has a soft grip that feels comfortable when you pick the pan up and shake it.

The OXO earned higher overall ratings than all but our original top pick in the $$$ category, a ~$90 set of 10-inch and 12-inch pans from Calphalon Unison, which, unfortunately, we found to be discontinued after it earned the best score in our testing. The most significant area where the OXO lost points was its nonstick coating, which didn’t perform quite as well with eggs as our $ and $$$ picks. We had to unstick our omelet with a spatula, as it simply would not budge even after some violent shaking of the pan.

It’s important to note that with any nonstick pan, you should use a small amount of oil or butter on the surface if you’re going to preheat it, and you should never cook at a temperature higher than medium heat. This is more important in the case of pans coated with Teflon, a chemical coating used in some nonstick cooking equipment, because it may release fumes that are potentially harmful to your health when there’s nothing else in the pan. The OXO happens to be nonstick without Teflon: It’s made with three layers of hard-anodized aluminum. This makes it durable, resistant to acidity (so feel free to finish your fried fish with some lemon juice or tomatoes right in the pan), and free of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Still, adding a small amount of fat to your nonstick pan will increase the effectiveness of its nonstick coating, so always remember to do so if you want to increase the lifespan of your pan.

While this pan fell short with eggs, it shined bright when cooking fried fish and preparing sticky sauces. It gave our fish a lovely brown crust and allowed it to slide right out of the pan. Same withthe peanut sauce, which left absolutely no residue in the pan, unlike with the Cook N Home. 

All in all, this ~$40 pan from OXO provided the best overall experience out of all the pans we tested (except the discontinued Calphalon Unison). It’s the perfect pan for people who don’t mind dropping a little extra loot to upgrade from our $ pick for something that looks cooler and feels great to grip — and with better durability to boot. If you love to cook and you’re looking to upgrade from crappy cookware, having this pan in your possession will positively change the way you feel whenever you step into your kitchen.

User Reviews

“Purchased this item after recommendation from America's Test Kitchen as the best nonstick skillet. I use nonstick skillets primarily for cooking eggs and other sticky foods. This pan is plenty large for cooking four or more eggs, has a comfortable silicone handle, and sits stably on my gas stovetop. I have found that the pan heats evenly, it’s easy to control the temperature, and it requires minimal addition of fats for nonstick (although I do add my butter and oil for the flavor). Overall, I've been very happy with this pan and would purchase it again. I had purchased the other longtime ATK-recommended skillet by T-Fal, and was disappointed with the crowning of the pan — save yourself the trouble and just buy the OXO.”
— Travis From Amazon
“The 12-inch version of this pan is the winner in Cook's Illustrated's most recent nonstick pan test. I tend to trust their tests, as they are thorough and mimic real-life circumstances. They actually cooked eggs 50 times, with no oil and no sticking. I did my own egg test and sure enough, without any oil, the egg did not stick. I did get some egg bits around the pan, but they came off either with a soft spatula or with a quick wipe with a dry paper towel. This pan seems big enough to cook a decent-sized omelet and would fit three fried eggs comfortably. It is not ceramic, but the chemical coating only becomes unstable above 600 degrees, and that's not going to happen on your stovetop. The handle is nice; it stays cool and has a good grip (as you'd expect from OXO). The pan heats evenly thanks to its anodized aluminum. It will not, however, work on induction. I have yet to encounter a nonstick pan that retains this property for more than two years.”
— Frank V From Amazon
“I use this pan almost every day. I usually cook a fried egg (and the pan's size restricts it to a single egg or a small omelette) using a light coating of avocado oil. To extend the life of the nonstick coating, I cook it at medium/low heat. If I continue using it this way, it should last a good long time. I've used it for months and it still appears new.”
— Draquul From Amazon
“I used this for about a week now. Fantastic nonstick pan and well worth the $40 (12-inch model). I use it to complement my two All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel pans. I use OXO for making eggs and anything that doesn't require high heat. Pan surface is flat (unlike many of the T-Fal models!) so the food doesn't bunch up near the edge. Handle is typical OXO: really good, comfortable and great to hold. The outer surface feels very smooth and the pan is not too heavy (but definitely feels solid). For cleaning I just wipe the pan with a paper towel. The attached photos show how the pan looks like after frying about 10 eggs and wiping it with a paper towel. In case you're on a budget I would still recommend this pan. I’ve used many cheap pans as well (Ikea brand and basic T-Fal) and there is just no comparison. It's a night-and-day difference that you'll get for a little more money.”
— Cookie Monster From Amazon

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Skillet

Starting from $74

The Details

QuanTanium nonstick interior; stainless-steel exterior

Oven-safe up to 550ºF

Dishwasher-safe

Broiler-safe

Induction compatible

Stay-cool handles

What / Who It's Best For

  • Professional cooks and chefs
  • People looking to invest in higher-quality cookware
  • People with induction stoves

Why We Love It

The Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Nonstick Stainless Steel 12-Inch Skillet was the winner in three out of four of our most heavily weighted evaluation categories. It outperformed the OXO, our pick for the $$ price range, in both nonstick performance and evenness of heating and seemed slightly more durable. Due to its heavier weight, though, it’s slightly less maneuverable than the OXO.

In the secondary categories we evaluated, the OXO was far superior to the pricier Cuisinart, scoring higher or tying it in every area we tested; this perhaps makes it seem difficult to justify paying twice the price at most retailers, but some features of the Cuisinart 12-inch MultiClad Pro may swing certain shoppers with more disposable income in the direction of our $$$ choice.

For starters, it’s the only pan we tested that has an additional handle on the front of the pan, so you can hold it on each side when transporting it. This is especially helpful if you cook a big one-pan meal in your Cuisinart nonstick pan and want to carry it to your dinner table for serving.

The Cuisinart can also withstand the highest temperature inside an oven it’s oven-safe at up to 550ºF so if you make lots of recipes that call for tossing a pan into the oven, consider this a great option. As mentioned, the Cuisinart also had the best nonstick performance and evenness of heating of all the picks across three price points, despite losing to the OXO in comfort categories like handle grip, how hot the handle gets, ease of cleaning, and general appearance (the OXO just looks sleeker, in our opinion). Since these are the two most important characteristics of a nonstick pan, you can certainly argue that you get what you’re paying for in the most crucial areas when you invest in this model from Cuisinart, although you may not find the handle/grip as ideal as the OXO’s and you may have to put a little more effort into cleaning it.

You already know our original $$$ pick was the Calphalon Unison set, which included both 10-inch and 12-inch nonstick pans. Sadly, we discovered that this set was discontinued after our testing concluded, which bumped the Cuisinart 12-inch MultiClad Pro up into the top of our $$$ picks.

Prior to testing, our pony in the $$$ price range was the Zwilling Energy two-piece ceramic-coated stainless-steel pan set. These pans held up under extraordinary durability testing from Cook’s Illustrated and they look really awesome, which made them our initial favorites. In actual use, however, they wound up significantly underperforming both the Cuisinart and OXO in all three cooking tests and at just under $135 for the set, it felt like way too much to pay for two smaller pans (an 8-inch and a 10-inch).

The bottom line is that nonstick pans experience wear and tear even under the most careful ownership, so it doesn’t make sense to shell out a ton of money on them. Assume that you’ll have to replace your pans after a year or so on average, and weigh any purchase decision against that estimate. If you plan on cooking some form of eggs, pancakes, French toast, fried fish, or sticky sauce almost every day, the Cuisinart might be the right choice for you. If not, you should probably opt for our $$ pick or $ pick and call it a day. If you’re okay with paying a premium for slightly superior cooking qualities (specifically nonstick performance and heating evenness) or you’re a loyal Cuisinart customer, the MultiClad Pro is a nonstick pan you’d be more than happy calling your own. Just don’t scratch the damn thing!

 

User Reviews

“Love! Works great and even held up perfectly in the dishwasher without discoloration. I love that it’s a smooth nonstick surface, too, as many now come with the ridges, but this heats up much faster and cooks very consistently.”
— Cherilee From Amazon
“We love our Cuisinart MultiClad Pro pots and pans. We have an induction range and these work perfectly with it. The nonstick pans (we have the 8", 10" and 12" sizes) are great for cooking up eggs or whatever without the fuss of the other non-nonstick (stick?) stainless-steel pans in the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro line. The pans all look beautiful and work perfectly, heating up quickly and evenly. Cleanup is super-easy on the nonstick pans as well.”
— David R. From Amazon
“I have several pieces of high-end cookware with stainless-steel interiors. They are fantastic to cook with, but there are a few items, like eggs, that are far easier to cook in a nonstick pan, so I keep a single 12-inch pan around just for that. Nonstick pans won't last, even if you are careful to use silicone tools in them, hand-wash them, and most importantly, never overheat them. If you do all of these things, they will last about a year, then start sticking. A little at first, then more as time goes on. I push mine to two years, then replace it with a new one, same size and model. I chose this one because it is multi-layered. It has stainless on the outside, with enough carbon in it to work with an induction stovetop. Induction stoves use a strong magnetic field to heat up the pan itself, rather than the burner underneath it. They are still relatively rare and expensive, but they work very well and are gaining in popularity. They also require a magnetic pan to work, so this one fits the bill. It will also work very well on all other stove types, of course. The inside layer is thicker and aluminum, which conducts heat much better and more evenly than steel. This makes the pan respond quickly to the burner temperature and helps eliminate hot spots. Recommended, even though it is on the pricey side.”
— Sean Logue From Amazon
“I like the weight. Released eggs well (I really only use nonstick for cooking eggs, everything else is cast iron or solid stainless for me). The rivets connecting the handle to the pan catch egg refuse and can be hard(er) to clean, but this is true of all pans that are connected like this.”
— Richard G. From Amazon

Cuisinart

Serious nonstick for serious cooks

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