Top Product: Always Pan
Which non-stick frying pans deliver the best performance for a price you’re willing to pay? The debate has hardly ceased, but the good news is that there are great options for nearly any budget.
As a seasoned home cook, I can prepare a meal in just about any pot or pan. But after cooking duck breasts in my worn, years-old, off-brand pans, I figured it was about time to make the upgrade. Here ‘s what I found while researching the best options: picks straight from experts and cooking aficionados and ensure that you get effective, long-lasting, and budget-friendly pans.
Best Overall: Always Pan
Whether you even use half of them on a regular basis, there’s a fair chance that you have a cupboard stashed full of pans. Look, it’s hard to give or throw away things that are still potentially useful, but at some point, all of that clutter is going to weigh you down.
Consider investing in an Always Pan instead. This widely-celebrated non-stick ceramic pan serves eight different roles, letting you fry, boil, braise, saute, strain, sear, steam, and even store. The modular lid and nesting basket help enable some of those capabilities, plus it’s a pretty nice-looking pan that you won’t want to stash away out of sight all the time.
Gizmodo staff writer Victoria Song shared her thoughts about ditching a stack of old pans in favor of the Always Pan:
“This thing is super easy to clean, cute on the stovetop, and finally, I have a goddamn place to rest my spatula. This thing is super easy to clean, cute on the stovetop, and finally, I have a goddamn place to rest my spatula. Also, I am super excited to trash, like, 5 pans that are roughly the same size that I have absolutely destroyed. Do you know how much cabinet space we’re going to reclaim?? Do you????”
Best Non-Stick Frying Pan: Circulon Radiance
According to our very own Chaya M. Milchtein, the long-lasting Circulon non-stick frying pans are life-changers and can last upwards of 10 years so long as you take precaution while using them. And she’s not alone in loving the staying power and cooking capabilities of Circulon pans.
“I have loved using my Circulon non-stick to make almost every meal I make on my stovetop. I make eggs, grilled cheese, burgers, tacos, chicken, and broccoli, says Janell Poulette, mom of three, and blogger from Saving You Dinero. “If I make it on the stovetop—it’s in my Circulon non-stick frying pan.”
Food Network’s Best Non-Stick Pan: Anolon Advanced Skillet (8")
This pan was rated the best overall frying pan over at Food Network for a reason. It can heat super fast, but EVENLY, so no matter where you place the meat on the pan, it’ll get the same amount of brown, which is super important for stir-frys or whatever else. Plus, it’s only $23, which is a great beginning price for the budget-conscious.
Best Non-Stick Pots and Pans Set: Anolon Advanced
If you use an array of pots and pans from different brands, all of varying quality and wear, then we can assure you that you’re not alone on that front. But if you have the money to invest and want to kick ‘em all the curb in favor of an excellent, uniform non-stick pots and pans set, then consider Anolon’s Advanced Hard Anodized Non-stick Pots and Pans Set.
It’s not cheap, but it ranks as Delish’s top nonstick cookware pick and The Spruce lists it as its best overall runner-up. “After successfully using other Anolon pans for many years and taking this new set through its paces, we wholeheartedly endorse this cookware. It looks good and performs well, and the price matches the quality,” writes The Spruce reviewer Donna Currie.
Budget Pick: Faberware Neat Nest Frying Pan Set
So, here’s a personal recommendation, but is also backed by Consumer Reports. Apparently I DO know what I’m talking about. I’ve had this duo for about eight years, and honestly, the main reason for the purchase was for the color (red matched with the rest of my kitchen). Home decor aside, the pan heats evenly, and things like eggs will easily slide off the pan. Cleanup is simpler—give it a rinse with a sponge and you should be ready to go. But if you’re lazy like me, you can also pop it in the dishwasher.
It says it can withstand oven temperatures of 350 degrees or less, but I’ve made duck breasts in this bad boy on 450 and it was fine. Plus, this duo, which includes 10.5- and 12-inch pans at a low $29 is a deal in and of itself.
Wirecutter’s Best Non-Stick Pan: Tramontina Professional Aluminum Restaurant Pan
Got a pro mindset but a more modest budget? Worry not: Tramontina’s non-stick restaurant pan finds the sweet spot between those extremes. It’s weightier than the skillets above and can take over heat up to 400 degrees. It even has a sweet silicone grip to keep your hands safe.
It’s the Wirecutter’s pick for the best overall non-stick pan around, with the review citing its “durable coating” and “excellent maneuverability,” not to mention the good heat distribution and long-lasting build. It’s also just $30 right now at Amazon.
Best Non-Stick Pan for Eggs: Green Pan Ceramic Fry Pan
Ceramic pans are known for losing their slick sheen over the years, but we’ve found that Green Pan’s frying pan holds true over the long haul, making it well worth the $40 price tag. On top of that, it lacks PFAS, PFOA, lead, and cadmium, making it a sensible choice for the environment as well. Nice.
Best Non-Stick Induction Pan: Le Creuset Fry Pan (10")
This final pick is for the legit professionals... or at least those who aspire to cook at a pro level. Le Creuset is a well-known brand that makes incredible stuff at sometimes-steep prices. This particular pan can take up to 500 degrees in the oven, is PFOA-free, and is safe in both dishwashers and broilers. Get creative!
Obviously, as mentioned, it’s not cheap: a 9.5-inch pan will run you about $90, but that’s an investment in years and years ahead of effortless cooking. It’ll be worth it, if you can manage the initial spend.