What to Look For
Because of controversy surrounding the environmental and health effects of PFOA, a chemical used in the fabrication of many nonstick coatings, some companies have recently introduced ceramic- based and other PFOA-free versions. Producers claim that the latest nonstick coatings are also more solidly fused to the pans, so they’re less likely to chip and wear out—another issue with older coatings.
Heavier skillets cook more evenly than flimsier ones and are less likely to quickly overheat, which can harm the nonstick coating.
Nonstick pans with stainless steel or silicone-coated handles are more versatile than pans with plastic handles, which usually can’t go in the oven. But even most oven-safe skillets should not be used for broiling, which would expose the coating to a damagingly high temperature.