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The best nonstick pans of 2024, tested and reviewed

Tramontina, HexClad and Le Creuset top our list of the best nonstick frying pans.

I fried eggs, seared salmon and flipped pancakes with every single pan we tested. (Lisa Schweitzer/Yahoo)
I fried eggs, seared salmon and flipped pancakes with every single pan we tested. (Lisa Schweitzer/Yahoo)

If you feel like a short-order cook on most mornings, you probably own, or at the very least need, the best nonstick frying pan you can find. Even though I have a degree from the French Culinary Institute, I do not use a stainless steel or cast iron pan for breakfast cooking. Ever. I crave the ease of nonstick cookware and how food slides right out onto the plate. I love them for all different types of egg preparation, as well as for searing fish and flipping pancakes or french toast. What I have learned over the past 15 years from my culinary training, working in restaurants and writing about food and cooking, is that a good nonstick pan will make your life in the kitchen so much easier, while allowing you to use less cooking fat than you would with stainless steel or cast iron, and cut down on cleanup time and effort tremendously.

We sifted through scads of options and tested the top six traditional nonstick pans from the high-end to the everyday. Keep scrolling for a look at our picks for 2024, plus tips on the best way to care for them.

Sizes available: 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch | Weight: 2 lbs | Material: Aluminum with removable silicone grip | Oven safe: Yes, up to 400°F with silicone grip; up to 500°F without | Dishwasher safe: yes | Induction: Compatible | Warranty: Lifetime

Full disclosure: I've been using a Tramontina nonstick pan for years. Cooking with this pan is a dream! With only a slick of oil, eggs slide right off the surface and over the flared edge onto the plate. It's lightweight and for me (at just 5 feet tall) that's a huge plus when it comes to maneuverability. I had no problems searing skin-on salmon filets or releasing chicken breasts from the surface. It performed as well or better than all the other pans I tested, crisping salmon skin to brown ASMR perfection and cooking golden pancakes without hot spots.

As long as you opt out of using cooking spray (but that's recommended with all nonstick pans), cleanup is a breeze and only requires a few swipes with a soapy sponge, even around the rivets that secure the handle. 

About that handle — the removable silicone grip is a real plus, as it obviously keeps the handle cool on the stovetop. It also gives it added grip and makes it extra comfortable to hold — both are bonuses when you're taking it from stovetop to table to sink. I have used the Tramontina in the oven, but haven't yet had a reason to remove the grip, as I have not broiled anything in it, which the brand says you can do without issue. 

  • Highly slick surface
  • Lightweight, easy to maneuver
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Silicone handle cover gives added grip
  • Cannot be used under the broiler
$28 at Amazon
Pancakes with paper labels on a half sheet pan
Pancakes are notoriously challenging to release cleanly off the bottom of a pan. (Lisa Schweitzer/Yahoo)

First and foremost, I tested by cooking on these pans daily. I made dozens of sunny-side up eggs, flipped lots of pancakes and seared skin-on salmon in all of them, testing how well each pan handled the tasks. In order to rank on our list, we took the following into account:

Handles: You can't be expected to cook with a pan made with a handle that gets hot. We made sure the handles remained cool to the touch when cooking on the stovetop.

Surface slickness: We tested the same trifecta of challenging foods on each pan: All released eggs, salmon and pancakes with ease. I used a teaspoon of avocado oil when preheating the pans, though most oils or butter would work, too. Because the brands all recommend keeping the heat to medium or low, there's no major concern about smoke point.

Ability to sear: The instructions for all the pans clearly stated not to preheat them on a cooktop for more than 90 seconds and never on a setting higher than medium heat, so achieving a good sear was not a guarantee. I tested the searing potential with skin-on salmon filets, which my daughter always asks for crispy. The Tramontina had the best sear on the salmon, creating the crunchy topper we love.

Heat distribution: The pans all displayed even heat distribution when I made pancakes with the Trader Joe's Buttermilk Pancake Mix.

Ease of cleaning: As expected, these pans either wiped clean with a paper towel or washed easily with a sponge and soapy warm water.

Overhead image of a stack of 6 nonstick pans
I tested these six pans to find out what sets them apart from the pack. (Lisa Schweitzer/Yahoo)

All this time spent testing the best nonstick skillets yielded some top factors to keep in mind when you're shopping for this essential cookware.

Size: I tested only 10-inch pans for this article, but many of these pans come in 8-inch, 12-inch and even 14-inch sizes. If you cook for two, I'd recommend having an 8-inch (the two-egg workhorse) and a 10-inch pan on hand. If you cook for four or more, a 12-inch pan is a must. I'd only recommend buying a 14-inch pan if you have a larger stove top with six or more burners, as it takes up a lot of cooking real estate.

Weight: This is obviously a personal choice. I am on the shorter side and value a lightweight (2 lbs max), high-quality pan that's easy to maneuver. Others may enjoy the feel of a heavier piece of cookware as it may feel more substantial to them. Either way, endless options abound.

Material: Each of the pans tested is made from some combination of stainless steel and aluminum.

Oven-safe: Nonstick pan oven-safe temperatures vary from 400°F to 500°F, so be sure to check the fine print if a 500°F threshold is important to you.

Dishwasher-safe: Yes, most of these pans are dishwasher-safe ... but please don't put them in the dishwasher. The harsh cleaners, hot water and the force of the water can all do a number on the coating of your pan, leaving them susceptible to damage during the wash cycle. Handwashing them is easy peasy and extends their life.

Cooktop compatibility: Most nonstick pans are compatible with gas, electric and induction stoves, but if you have an induction cooktop, you likely already know you need magnetic cookware that works with the electromagnetic coil. The compatibility is generally clearly noted on websites and packaging.

Warranty: Yes, a lifetime warranty is ideal and some brands offer it. However, nonstick pans are not built to last forever. Even with vigilant care and following heating instructions, they all eventually degrade. I would consider any pan that lasts more than two to three years to be a solid win. Once there's a scratch or cooking spray build-up, it's time to toss the pan (please see our note on dishwasher safety).

Cooking oil/fat: Never, ever use aerosol cooking sprays on a nonstick pan. These sprays burn at lower temperatures, causing damage to the nonstick surface and leaving stubborn buildup. Use oil or butter and you shouldn't have any problems.

Stovetop heat level: If you like to cook over high heat on the stovetop, then nonstick pans are not for you. Their coating can degrade rapidly under high temperatures, potentially releasing toxic fumes. Instead, opt for cast iron, stainless steel, or carbon steel cookware, which are better suited for high-heat stovetop cooking. Always use low to medium heat when cooking with nonstick pans.

Preferred utensils: With the exception of one pan (Hexclad), every brand strongly advised against using metal utensils. Instead, choose silicone, bamboo, wood and nylon utensils so as to preserve the integrity of the nonstick coating.

Bottom line: The good news is that all of the traditional nonstick pans I tested performed well. The differences between them are not enormous and generally relate to the weight of the pan, the cost and the temperature up to which each is oven-safe. Meaning ... you really can't go wrong with the ones we tested. Choosing the right one for you is simply a matter of budget, your individual needs and grip/arm strength.

Nonstick pan on stove with seared salmon filet
Many would argue that the most important part of cooking salmon is crisping the skin! (Lisa Schweitzer/Yahoo)

The Hexclad Hybrid Fry Pan, from the Gordon Ramsay-endorsed brand, was a close contender for first place, but the weight (it comes in at 3 pounds) and price ($100 more than out top pick) prevented it from taking top honors. The pans in this brand boast an unusual laser-etched hexagonal surface that combines the best of stainless and nonstick pans so you can sear fish and meat and ensure eggs and pancakes release easily. While it did sear beautifully, it was simply too heavy for me to feel comfortable with and the surface required more oil than others. It's oven-safe up to 500°F and can be used on gas, electric and induction cooktops. Of note: According to the brand, metal spatulas, whisks, spoons and other metal utensils (not sharp ones) are all fine to use, which is the opposite of the instructions for all the other pans I tested.

The Oxo Good Grips Pro Nonstick Frying Pan, 10-inch was a close second to the Tramontina — however, allowing for an oven-safe temperature of only 430°F (as opposed to the Tramontina's 500°F) and its slightly less-slick surface prevented it from taking top honors. That said, it's still fun to cook on and if you’re a brunch enthusiast, this is one of the best nonstick frying pans for eggs. Despite being constructed of hard-anodized aluminum (like Le Creuset), it felt light, at just under two pounds, and performed well on all three meals I tested — it gave salmon a nice, crispy sear and eggs and pancakes slid off the pan easily.

Let me start by saying that I am a huge Le Creuset Dutch Oven fan, so I was pumped to try something completely different from this trusted brand. Made from hard-anodized aluminum, the Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick Pro Fry Pan is certainly built to last. The pan a classic nonstick surface, but felt a bit tough to maneuver and not quite as slick as some others. The instructions say you can use this pan on a grill which I haven't gotten around to yet, but I look forward to trying, come summer. The brand says, "gentle use of metal utensils is fine," but why risk it? It's oven-safe up to 500°F and can be used on gas, electric and induction cooktops.

The Made In Nonstick Frying Pan has a slick cooking surface and flared edges that make sliding eggs out of the pan nice and easy. I enjoyed the feel of it but wished it had been lighter and a bit easier to maneuver. At 2.5 pounds, I had a tough time with it. Eggs and pancakes cooked evenly and released easily. However, the sear I got on the salmon skin was not as good as it was with some of the other pans tested. I do value its ability to be used in a 500°F oven for when a quick blast from the broiler is called for. It can be used on gas, electric and induction cooktops. Made In is the only brand I tried that does not classify its nonstick pans as dishwasher-safe, but as I mentioned, you will prolong the life of any nonstick pan by handwashing and drying it.

The Misen Nonstick Pan was easy to like based on its looks alone — sleek and chic — though for my petite frame, it was a bit heavy. I had a tough time getting this pan to the right temperature for cooking pancakes. It was either too cool or too hot, rendering either no golden crust or almost-burned crust. What really compelled me about he pan was the abrasion testing mentioned on their website — the rigorous process was convincing and none of the other brands highlighted a credential like this. Otherwise, I found this pan to be the middleweight contender of all the pans I tested. It performed well on all three foods and was fairly easy to maneuver, though not as lightweight as the Oxo or Tramontina. It's oven-safe up to 450° F and can be used on gas, electric and induction cooktops.

There is a lot of information about nonstick pans and safety out in the world and it appears that if you use them and care for them properly, the risk factor remains low. As you may know, Teflon is one of the most common versions of nonstick coating. Nonstick coatings like Teflon are made with chemicals called PTFE (short for polytetrafluoroethylene) which are produced using PFAS (short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals), also known as forever chemicals.

According to National Resources Defense Council scientist Katie Pelch, "Safety concerns arose because at least in the past these PFAS chemicals have lasted so long that they received the nickname of forever chemicals as they can accumulate in our bodies and our environment. The communities surrounding the factories that use these chemicals have been linked to various health issues such as cancer, liver disease, thyroid disruption and more."

The bottom line is, always use nonstick pans on the stovetop at moderate temperatures, below 400° F (low to medium heat). Do not sear anything over high heat on the range, since it can degrade the PTFE, releasing toxic fumes. And do not use metal utensils, which may scratch or chip the coating and then find its way into your food.

Many brands say that their pans are dishwasher-safe, but I have learned the hard way that handwashing with warm soapy water and a sponge and hand-drying nonstick pans is preferable as it prolongs their lifespan. Some pans may come clean with just a damp paper towel. If you’re dealing with burnt grease or other food residue that won’t come off with a quick scrub, you could try boiling a mixture of baking soda and vinegar in the pan.

Many nonstick pans CAN go in the dishwasher, but trust me, you will preserve your pans by handwashing and drying them.

Before using a nonstick pan for the first time, handwash it with warm, soapy water. Rinse and dry it thoroughly, then season by lightly rubbing cooking oil (any vegetable oil will do) onto the cooking surface and heating over medium heat for two to three minutes. When cool, handwash it again with warm, soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly.

Nonstick pan oven-safe temperatures vary from about 350°F to 500°F, so long as they are equipped with a metal handle. Avoid putting pans with a silicone or wooden handle into the oven. Some nonstick pans can withstand temperatures up to 500°F, which is important if you want to brown the skin on chicken or blast the broiler for two minutes for golden and bubbly cheese, for anything longer than that use a stainless steel, carbon steel or cast-iron pan.

Though it's counterintuitive, you should never use aerosol cooking spray on a nonstick pan. These sprays leave a sticky buildup that's hard to wash off and will eventually render your pan the opposite of nonstick. For best results, use a nominal amount of oil or butter.