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When it comes to cookware, there’s nothing as essential as a good nonstick frying pan. This type garners the biggest market share by far of any cookware, says CR's Marion Spencer-Wilson, who tracks the cookware market.
It's easy to see why. Eggs and anything else you cook simply glide off nonstick surfaces, and cleanup is a cinch. “Nonstick pans are much easier to clean than stainless and other types of frying pans,” says Cindy Fisher, who oversees CR’s cookware tests. “All you need is a little soap and water.”
Below are the best nonstick frying pans from our tests, listed in alphabetical, not rank order. These pans excel at cooking beautiful pancakes and fried eggs that don’t stick. And they're tough: All nine of them withstood 2,000 strokes using steel wool in our durability test.
Our nonstick picks come in a range of prices, and you’ll notice that some of the least expensive rival the most expensive in performance. For more choices, see our full frying pan ratings. You can also consult our cookware buying guide for details on other pans, including stainless steel, cast iron, and copper.
All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Nonstick
CR’s take: Made of stainless steel with a nonstick coating, this All-Clad Tri-Ply pan is a standout in CR’s egg-release test—the eggs easily slide out of the pan every time. It earns a Very Good rating for cooking evenness, too, turning out nicely browned pancakes. The nonstick coating stood up to our steel-wool durability test, and the handle on the pan stays cool to the touch. It’s dishwasher-safe, oven-safe up to 500° F, and can be used on an induction cooktop.
Anolon SmartStack Hard Anodized
CR’s take: This frying pan is part of the space-saving Anolon Smartstack set, in which all 10 pieces nest together for storing in two neat piles—one for the pots and one for the frying pans. But you can buy it on its own. Pancakes cook evenly and fried eggs slide out easily. Though the handle stays cool to the touch, it did become a little loose in our sturdiness test, where we apply pressure to the handle with an instrument in our labs. This pan is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 400° F, and can be used on an induction cooktop.
Farberware NeatNest Stacking
CR's take: The Farberware Neat Nest frying pan aces our cooking evenness test, earning an Excellent rating. It’s also impressive in our food-release test, so you don't have to worry about food sticking. But while the handle stays cool to the touch when you’re cooking, it isn't as sturdy as the handles of many of the frying pans in our tests. This pan is included as part of a stacking nonstick set, but you can also buy it in open stock. It’s dishwasher-safe but can withstand an oven temperature of only 350° F or less.
GreenPan Levels Hard Anodized Stackable
CR’s take: This frying pan earns Excellent ratings on both our cooking evenness and food-release tests, so making pancakes and eggs for breakfast is a breeze. It comes as part of the six-piece GreenPan Stackable set, but you can buy it in open stock as well. It has a durable nonstick surface, earning a Very Good rating on that test. The handle stays cool to the touch during cooking, but it's not the sturdiest handle of the pans we tested. It’s dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 400° F.
Member's Mark Nonstick (Sam's Club)
CR’s take: A Sam’s Club exclusive, the 10-inch Member’s Mark nonstick aluminum pan turns out evenly cooked food that easily slides out of the pan. The nonstick coating withstood all 2,000 steel-wool strokes in CR's durability test. The handle gets a little warm to the touch, though, and isn’t very sturdy, which is true for most nonstick frying pans in this price range. It’s dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 400° F.
Red Copper Nonstick
CR’s take: Although it has copper in its name, the 10-inch nonstick Red Copper pan is made of aluminum; the nonstick coating is copper-colored. Red Copper earns an Excellent rating for evenly cooking food, and our eggs and pancakes easily slide out of the pan. This pan earns a Very Good rating in our durability test. However, the handle became a little loose in our sturdiness test. The pan is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500° F.
Swiss Diamond Nonstick #6424
CR’s take: The nonstick cast-aluminum Swiss Diamond frying pan earns a Very Good rating for cooking evenness, and our fried eggs didn’t stick. It earns our top rating for durability, withstanding the punishment of our steel-wool abrasion test. Construction is sturdy, and the handle stays cool to the touch during cooking. The pan is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 400° F.
The Rock by Starfrit Nonstick
CR's take: Is it a frying pan or an action hero? Joking, of course, but The Rock by Starfrit is a star in our cooking evenness test—our pancakes come out nicely browned every time. It earns a Very Good rating in our food-release test, too. The handle stays cool but didn’t hold up as well as some others in our pressure test. That said, this pan’s nonstick surface withstood our durability test. It’s dishwasher-safe but can withstand an oven temperature of only 350° F or less.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Energy Nonstick
CR’s take: This two-piece set from Zwilling J.A. Henckels includes 10- and 8-inch frying pans. They’re stainless steel with a nonstick surface and an aluminum core. These versatile pans earn an Excellent rating in CR’s tests for cooking evenness and are almost as good at frying eggs that easily slide out of the pan. They earn a Very Good rating in our durability test, too. The handles stay cool and are sturdy. They’re dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 400° F, and can be used on an induction cooktop.
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