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I’ve never been much of a cook, usually sticking with some tried-and-true recipes passed down from family members with little experimentation on my own. But, this nonstick skillet, recommended by America's Test Kitchen, makes cooking a breeze.
Earlier this year, my dad introduced me to the idea of meal kits. He and his wife used them to cook at home several times a week and he raved about the ease of cooking, as well as variety and quality of the food. So, I decided to try one of those meal kit services, HelloFresh. After week one, I was hooked.
The service gave me an opportunity to try new foods I’d never have made on my own and told me exactly how to cook them. But, to effectively use these meal kit services, you need to have some cooking tools in your arsenal — like a large frying pan.
My poor pans were as old as my marriage (we’re almost at our 20-year anniversary). They did not perform well. After researching the safety of nonstick pans, I realized the value of having a good-quality, nonstick frying pan to improve my cooking efforts.
OXO Good Grips Nonstick 12-Inch Open Frying Pan, $60, Amazon
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Also available at Walmart.
While nonstick frying pans aren’t made for cooking everything, they are perfect for items that are delicate and that would tear if they got stuck to the pan like eggs, fish or crepes. Lisa McManus, executive testing and tasting editor for America’s Test Kitchen, also recommended them for stir frys, as they keep the brown bits of meat called “fond” from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
I’ve cooked chicken, sauces, pancakes and more in the pan, and the only thing I wouldn’t recommend is ground beef. It’s so slippery that it’s difficult to separate the ground beef into small pieces with a spatula, but everything else worked great.
The pan comes with a contoured non-slip handle that stays cool to reduce the chances that you will drop it, as well as rolled edges to help prevent sauces and grease from dripping. It’s also designed to go safely from the stove directly to the oven.
While it’s billed as dishwasher safe, McManus does not recommend doing so for any non-stick pan, as she said it accelerates the wear and tear, with most nonstick pans only keeping their coating for about a year to a year and a half at most. One Amazon commenter, however, said theirs lasted five years!
Nonstick pans are safe up to 600 degrees, McManus told TODAY Food. She said if you add oil to the pan, it will smoke at 400 degrees, alerting you that the pan is getting too hot. However, even if that were to happen, the American Cancer Society says the only risk is experiencing flu-like symptoms from inhaling the fumes.
OXO Good Grips Nonstick 11-inch Square Griddle, $50, Amazon
If you like the OXO nonstick collection, another handy item is this square version, which is an Amazon’s Choice product. The pan comes with the same comfy handle and nonstick surface, but can be used more like a griddle.
I like to use square pans for cooking pancakes, grilled cheese and other sandwiches. This item is also dishwasher safe.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick 8-inch Open Skillet, $20, Amazon
Also available at Walmart.
The best-selling nonstick item on Amazon is this 8-inch pan from Cuisinart. It’s considerably cheaper and also smaller than the OXO pan. It provides less cooking space, but works perfectly fine for an egg or two or a grilled cheese.
It has nearly 5,000 reviews with more than 80 percent of them four or five-star reviews.
Add a quality nonstick pan to your collection, and I’m sure you’ll find, like me, that cooking gets a lot easier and more enjoyable!