When it comes to the most-used kitchen tools, there are few items more essential for a home chef than a good nonstick pan. From fried eggs to fish, you can prepare almost any meal in this piece of hardware. And unlike cast-irons, which require special care, nonstick pans are easy to clean.
Of course, you've probably heard about the health concerns associated with nonstick pans. Many of the most popular options on the market are made with Teflon, the brand name for the coating that gives the pans their nonstick properties. The substance is made with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which has been linked to various health issues.
Thankfully though, most of the PFOAs are burned off during the manufacturing process and most modern options have phased out the use of the chemicals in production altogether. The bottom line is, with proper use, nonstick pans are safe.
To care for your pan, Tracy Wilk, a chef at the Institute of Culinary Education said you want to use non-metal utensils when cooking, as harder materials can scratch the coating. "I usually hand wash my pans, as they are easy to clean and it helps protect the pan in the long term," she added.
Below, we rounded up the best options on the market, from Teflon-free pans to one that's been labeled the "internet's favorite," here are expert-approved and top-rated pans to shop right now.
Best nonstick pans to shop
Not only are Great Jones's pans beautiful, but they're a great nonstick option, Wilk said. The pans are made with a German ceramic coating instead of Teflon, so you don't have to worry about any chemicals. They're scratch-resistant and are even oven-safe (up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit), so you'll be able to prepare almost anything. The "Small Fry" is perfect for personal meals, while the "Large Fry" is better for preparing multiple portions.
Wilk hasn't used the Always Pan herself, but she said the popular option is one she wants to try, because it's great for multiple purposes and easy to clean up. It's been dubbed "the internet's favorite pan," and is constantly sold out on the site. It's pretty and comes in a range of colors, but it's also really functional, too. You can use it to fry, steam, sauté, sear or boil — the pan even comes with a lid, steamer basket and wooden spatula.
"You can’t go wrong with All-Clad," Wilk said. The classic kitchen brand is known for its high-quality cookware and the pans are no different. You can get this two-piece set, which comes with an 8.5- and 10-inch pan, to suit all your cooking needs or grab one of their single skillets. Either way, you'll have no problem prepping food in their nonstick pans, which are made with a triple coating so your food will slide right off.
Making golden pancakes and crispy fried eggs just got easier, thanks to this bestselling option. The copper pan heats through quickly and evenly, so your food will be perfectly cooked every time. The see-through glass lid allows you to check up on your meal throughout the cooking process while keeping the heat sealed in.
Made from a stone-derived coating, this pan is free from PFOS, PFOAs and other harmful chemicals. Reviewers say it's a high-quality nonstick option, especially considering its affordable price point. You can choose between seven different color options and three sizes, to suit your needs and kitchen aesthetic.
This restaurant-quality pan will make you feel like a true pro in the kitchen. You can easily whip up perfect scrambles and omelets or make a piece of crispy fish that slides right onto the plate, thanks to this option's easy-release nonstick surface. The silicone grip prevents the handle from ever feeling too hot on your hand, and it's securely attached for extra support.
This popular pan checks all the boxes. It has a durable nonstick coating, is scratch-resistant, dishwasher-safe and has a comfortable silicone handle. But the coolest feature is the T-fal Thermo-Spot Technology. When placed on the stove, the ring in the middle of the pan turns bright red to let you know when it's perfectly pre-heated and time to add your food.
This pan has an average 4.6-star rating on Amazon from more than 15,000 reviews, and it's easy to see why. Not only does the sleek design look great in any kitchen, but the price can't be beat. One verified reviewer who has been using the pan for two months called it "the best nonstick frying pan (they) have ever had." It features a cool-touch handle and an eco-friendly granite nonstick coating.
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