Best Nonstick Frying Pans From Consumer Reports' Tests

Making perfect eggs and golden pancakes has never been easier with these must-have pans

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Tester frying egg on non-stick pan Photo: Stephen Yang

When it comes to cookware, there’s nothing as essential as a good nonstick frying pan. This type of cookware garners the biggest market share by far, says CR market analyst Marion Spencer-Wilson.

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 order. These pans excel at cooking beautiful pancakes and fried eggs that don’t stick. And they’re tough: All of them withstood 2,000 strokes with steel wool in our durability test. (At home, though, make sure you’re treating your nonstick pan right.)

These nonstick picks come in a range of prices, and you’ll notice that some of the least expensive rival the most expensive in terms of 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, carbon steel, and copper.

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 stands up to our steel-wool durability test, and the handle on the pan stays cool to the touch. It’s oven-safe up to 500° F and can be used on an induction cooktop.

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 oven-safe up to 400° F.

CR’s take: This pricey 10-inch pan from HexClad is considered a hybrid because it’s made of stainless steel and has an aluminum core. (Many nonstick pans are just aluminum.) Cooking pancakes was practically foolproof, but it took a slight nudge to get the eggs out of the pan, earning a Very Good rating on that test. It aced our durability test. The handle stays cool to the touch but wasn’t that sturdy, which isn’t typical for pans in this high price range. You can use it on an induction cooktop.

CR’s take: This set from Kenmore, a newcomer to our tests, comes with two frying pans—a 9-inch and an 11-inch. Our test pancakes came out nicely browned, earning this pan an Excellent rating in cooking evenness, and eggs easily slid out of the pan one after another. It held up well in our durability test. The handles stay cool to the touch when you’re cooking, but like many in this price range, they’re not that sturdy. These pans can be used on an induction cooktop.

CR’s take: Cooking evenness in this 10-inch pan from the Martha Stewart Collection was top-notch, earning it an Excellent rating on our pancake test. But it took more than a gentle nudge to release the eggs we fried. It held up pretty well in the durability test. The handle stays cool to the touch but could become wobbly over time. It can’t be used on an induction cooktop.

CR’s take: You might know Ninja for its blenders or the Ninja Foodi multi-cooker. Now the brand has made a foray into other kitchen gear, like this Ninja Foodi frying pan. The pancakes we cooked were uniformly browned, earning the pan an Excellent rating on the cooking evenness test. But our fried eggs had to be nudged out of the pan. It held up well in our durability test, though some pans do better. The handle stays cool to the touch but was only so-so in the sturdiness test. This pan is compatible with an induction cooktop.

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 slid out of the pan. But the handle became a little loose in our sturdiness test. The pan is oven-safe up to 500° F.

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, an Excellent, 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 oven-safe up to 400° F.

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 held up well in our durability test. It can withstand an oven temperature of only 350° F or less.

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. The handles stay cool and are sturdy. The pans are oven-safe up to 400° F and can be used on an induction cooktop.


Mary H.J. Farrell

Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.