We Cooked 68 Omelets to Test the Best Nonstick Pans—These Are Our Favorites
Not all frying pans are created equally, and that fact is never more apparent than when you're making eggs. They're super slippery when raw, but they become the world's stickiest food when cooked—especially if you use the wrong type of pan. We love a good omelet, but nothing turns us off more than when silky eggs begin to coat the bottom of the pan, leaving that thin, crusty, flakey layer that's impossible to scrape off. That's where a quality nonstick pan comes in—it's an indispensable tool that every home cook needs, and there is no substitute.
Though multifunctional frying pans have their benefits, some tasks—like scrambling eggs and searing flakey fish—require a dedicated nonstick pan, and having one that you can rely on is essential. But with so many different brands to choose from, it can be hard to know where to find the best nonstick cookware.
To help you find the best nonstick pan, we put some of the leading models to the test. Overall, the Zwilling Madura Plus impressed us with its super-slick surface, and we love that its deep sides make it extra durable and versatile. Read on for more of our top picks.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Zwilling Madura Plus 11-inch Nonstick Deep Fry Pan
- Best Value: Nordic Ware 10-inch Fry Pan
- Best Set: All-Clad Hard Anodized 2-Piece Nonstick Cookware Set, 10-inch and 12-inch
Best Oven-Safe: Caraway 10.5-Inch Fry
- Best Splurge: Le Creuset 11-inch Toughened Nonstick Pro Pan
Best Overall: Zwilling Madura Plus 11-inch Nonstick Deep Fry Pan
Best Value: Nordic Ware 10-inch Sauté Pan
Best Set: All-Clad Hard Anodized 2-piece Nonstick Cookware Set, 10-inch and 12-inch
Best Oven-Safe: Caraway 10.5-Inch Fry Pan
Best Splurge: Le Creuset 11-inch Toughened Nonstick Pro Pan
Though we tested a ton of great pans, none matched the overall versatility and functionality of the Zwilling Madura Plus. This pan easily exceeded our expectations—the surface is super slick, the handle is balanced, slip-free, and easy to hold, and the deep sides mean it can be used to braise and deep fry.
Factors to Consider
We're firm believers that cookware is subjective, and the best for you might not be the best for us, so it's important to evaluate a few things before diving into a purchase. Before selecting the best nonstick pan for your needs, you'll want to assess what type of material it's made of, how often you'll use it, and how you intend to clean and care for it. If you plan to flip pancakes every Sunday morning, you'll want a pan that's lightweight and easy to handle with gently sloped sides. If you plan to sear and braise short ribs, you'll want something that has deeper sides and is safe to transfer from the stovetop to the oven. No matter what you use it for, a good nonstick pan should be durable and easy to maneuver, and most importantly, it should conduct and transfer heat evenly without causing any food to stick to the pan.
Use and Care
Before purchasing a nonstick pan, be mindful that cleaning and caring for it might be different than some of your other cookware. For example, many nonstick pans shouldn't be put in the dishwasher, and perform best when washed by hand with mild soap and water. Certain pans are oven-safe, while others can only be used on the stovetop. These pans can work wonders in the kitchen if you treat them correctly, but it's important to keep in mind that they're a bit sensitive, and preserving their nonstick surface means treating them with extra TLC.
After far too much time spent unsuccessfully scraping stainless steel pans, we did what any normal people would do: we cooked 68 omelets, 51 pancakes, and 48 ounces of salmon in 13 different pans to find the best nonstick pan. Then, we decided to make things even stickier and melted marshmallows in each pan.
We put the pans to work over the course of a month, where we assessed everything from weight to price to care and clean up. We're happy to report that we found a lot of great options. Most importantly, our quest reaffirmed what we already knew: if you treat it right, a nonstick pan is a culinary game-changer.
We tested each pan to assess nonstick functionality by cooking the stickiest foods we could think of: French omelets, pancakes, salmon, and marshmallows. We used silicone tools for most, and used metal tools only if the brand designated its pan as "scratch-proof."
Look and Feel
For each pan, we noted the ease of handling and maneuverability. We also wanted to make sure that the handle and base of the pan felt balanced, so you don't strain your wrist when lifting it. Lastly, we assessed whether or not the handle stayed cool when using high heat, and if the grip felt sturdy or slippery.
Durability and Brand Promises
Each pan came with brand promises. For those that claimed to be dishwasher-safe, we ran it through a cycle and noted any changes in functionality. If a brand promised that the pan was scratch resistant, we made sure to test that claim by using metal spatulas and tongs.
What Didn't Make the List
Made In 10-Inch Fry Pan
OXO Good Grips Nonstick Pro Open Fry Pan
Great Jones Small Fry
Misen 10-inch Nonstick
Sardel 10-inch Nonstick Skillet
Our Place Always Pan
Anolon 10-inch Nonstick Frying Pan
Calphalon Classic 2-piece Nonstick Fry Pan
Every pan in this piece was fully tested by Product Reviews Food Writer Laura Denby. Laura is a writer and former professional chef, who has a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and experience cooking in kitchens in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Hamptons. For this piece, Laura performed competitive research to develop a comprehensive product set of the best nonstick pans available. She utilized her culinary experience to test each pan and assess functionality over the course of many months. You can find more of Laura's work in Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, FoodNetwork.com, Delish, and more.