If you’re just looking to make sure that you’ve got the best non-stick pan around, then we think the T-fal E93808 Professional Total Nonstick Fry Pan is the way to go. Whether you’re suffering from tired Teflon or just plain sick of your old cookware, there’s a lot to be said for non-stick pans.
When you’re making the investment, however, it makes sense to ensure that you end up with only the best non-stick pans rather than just snagging one at random. On the other hand, you may want a set, or just something a little bit different. Just for you we’ve done our usual round-up of five of the best, with each being best for a certain type of person, and then we’ll delve into the finer points of non-stick pans.
We’d officially dub this one the king of the non-stick pans for the most part. If you’re looking for something else… well, we still recommend that you get a good and close look at this pan to ensure it doesn’t meet your needs.
Top 5 Non-Stick Pans
|T-fal E93808||Teflon||5||Check Price|
|Calphalon Contemporary||Teflon||4.5||Check Price|
|Ozeri 12″ Stone Earth||Stoneware||4||Check Price|
|T-fal E91898 Ultimate||Teflon||4||Check Price|
|Cuisinart 66-17N||Teflon||4||Check Price|
1. Best Overall Non-Stick Pan
T-fal E93808 Professional
It takes something a little bit special to make sure that you get just a little bit extra utility out of your non-stick pan, and this pan from T-fal has it. In addition to being just about the perfect size, it has a heat indicator which will let you know when your pan has been preheated to just the right temperature to get things going.
The unique coating is also safe to use with metal utensils, making this option stand out just a little bit more than most of the competition. On top of that, it’s oven safe to 400°F and is compatible with induction cooking surfaces.
That’s quite a bit of extra utility, and it’s available at a great price.
Pros and Cons
- Unique non-stick surface
- Heat indicator
- Oven safe up to 400°F
- 10 ½” cooking surface
- Still toxic if overheated
- Slight raise in the center of the pan
2. Best Non-Stick Omelet Pan
With durable aluminum construction to ensure an even spread of heat and one of the flattest bottoms we’ve seen anywhere, this omelet pan set is definitely among our favorites. The high sides of the construction also allow for you to easily flip things over at the end of the cooking process, and make sure that your breakfast is picture perfect every time.
Even better, these pans are dishwasher safe for those who don’t like to get their extra scrub on immediately after they’re done cooking. Give them a shot, they’re great breakfast pans and the extra flat bottom will come in handy.
They are a little bit expensive, but if your dedication to breakfast food is second to none then you’ll definitely be in good hands with this investment.
Omelet pans in a class of their own. To the right person, this might just be one of the best additions to the kitchen they’ve ever seen. For the rest of us, they’re still a solid set of pans with a little bit of extra longevity over their cheaper counterparts.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent design for breakfast foods
- Highly durable coating
- Long lasting for non-stick pans
- Stainless steel handles
- Lifetime replacement is… really slow
3. Best Non-Stick Frying Pan
Ozeri 12" Stone Earth
When it comes to frying pans, we all know that we have a tendency to expose them to too much heat. That’s where stoneware non-stick pans come in handy, since they’re much more resistant to heat than their Teflon counterparts as well as being just right for getting an even heating over the whole surface.
Of the options currently on the market, we feel like Ozeri has covered this niche the best and their frying pan is absolutely superior to any comparable product. On top of the excellent coating, it also has a magnetized bottom for those with fancy induction stove tops.
One thing we want to point out: stoneware coatings are still pretty nasty if they get overheated. If you aren’t regularly pushing 560°F on your stove, however, the chances of fumes remains lower due to even heat dissipation with the stone reinforcement. Add in the 12” cooking surface and you’ve got exactly what you need to make each breakfast an experience instead of just a meal.
If a frying pan is what you’re in the market for… then pick up this stoneware frying pan from Ozeri for some great results. Just be aware you’ll be paying a bit for the extra quality.
Pros and Cons
- 12” cooking surface
- Superior heat retention
- Super even heating surface
- Lasts much longer than traditional Teflon pans
- Rather expensive
- Not enough curve to the sides for all people
4. Best Non-Stick Covered Pan
T-fal E91898 Ultimate
T-fal’s heat indicators make for some great pans, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give this covered variant a shot. Just like the rest of their pans, you’ll also be able to use metal utensils without worrying about damage.
This is a great little covered pan, and the glass top bears a bit of thought. It has a nice and high handle which will let you safely remove the top without any trouble. The entire thing is held together with a couple of thick rivets which will easily outlast the rest of the pan as well.
The handle for this pan has a thick, silicone coating to keep things cool for when you need to maneuver the pan as well. It really is the complete package.
If you’re looking for a covered, non-stick pan then you’re not going to do any better than this baby. It’s one of the best around, no matter what your final needs.
Pros and Cons
- Heat indicator on the bottom
- Usable for induction cooking
- Long-lasting finish can withstand metal
- Silicone covered handle
- No hole in glass cover
- Rather expensive
5. Best Non-Stick Cookware
Cuisinart 66-17N Chef's
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this excellent set of non-stick cookware with you. If you’re looking to replace everything in your cabinets then this set is precisely what you’re looking for.
This 17-piece set is exactly the thing for those with an underequipped kitchen. Add in a high-quality Teflon coating and the ability to cook just about anything as soon as you’ve got the box open and… well, it really doesn’t get any better than this.
The main problem is that there’s nothing really special about this set. They’re just awesome quality non-stick cookware, and the price really does get pretty high up there by the time you’re done.
On the other hand, not sometimes you do need to just replace everything or get everything in the first place, and you have to start somewhere.
If you’re in the market for an entire cookware set that’ll make your life in the kitchen easier, then take a closer look at this Cuisinart set. It’s a bit simple, but it’s one of the best around.
Pros and Cons
- 17 piece cookware set
- High-quality construction
- Oven safe to 500°F
- Glass tops so you can keep an eye on your food
- Expensive overall
- No specialty qualities
Who Needs a Non-Stick Pan?
Pretty much every kitchen is going to be better off with non-stick pans. From sauces to pasta to frying, there’s a whole lot that can be made a lot easier for those who are in the kitchen.
The biggest advantage is right there in the name, of course, but you can’t trust all coatings equally and it’s still a good idea to lay down some oil regardless of what you’re cooking.
On top of that, you’re going to be looking at a much lighter weight than with the previous options like cast iron. Not to knock the venerable stuff in your grandma’s cupboards, but cast iron is heavy.
Teflon and other coatings are also much lower maintenance than cast-iron. While you still have to follow some general guidelines, they don’t require a whole lot of extra work either.
One word of advice however: go cast iron if you have any type of pet bird. You can also go with ceramic options, but they lack the longevity of older options which makes them unattractive unless you really can’t handle the weight and maintenance time that goes into using cast iron pans.
Stainless steel is an acceptable option for larger pots as well, just do not use any cookware which contains TPFE(unbranded Teflon) or other non-stick coatings.
Seriously, Teflon kills birds.
Everyone else should consider adding at least a few non-stick pots and pans to their cupboards.
Things to Consider
For our money, we’d like to recommend a set for the average kitchen. In addition to maintaining a unified aesthetic look, the right cookware will often let you fill in any holes which you might have.
Depending on your cooking style, however, you’ll want to decide what is best for you if you’re on a tighter budget:
- For those who do a lot of pasta and sauces, focus on making sure you have an acceptable number of pots and a sauce pan. The pots are the big thing, however, as most sauces do fine in pans without coating.
- If you’re a big fan of frying then you may want to see if you can find a good frying pan with non-stick properties. Ceramic is sometimes desirable, since Teflon can get pretty nasty if you accidentally overheat things, but keep in mind its shorter lifespan.
- It’s never a bad thing to have an extra of a pot or pan around. Don’t pass up a good set just because you already have one or two of the pieces in it.
It really is pretty easy to figure out what you need, if you’re unsure crack the cabinet and check. A complete cookware set should have, at least, the following:
- 1 frying pan
- 1 ½ or 2 quart sauce pan
- 3 or 4 quart sauce pan
- 1 ½ quart saute pan
- 8 quart covered stock pot
Of course, the exact sizes may vary in your set but that should give you enough to cover most of the items cooked for a normal sized family. Others may need things bigger or smaller, depending on their exact taste.
On the other hand, you may just need a frying pan, which is the most common piece of cookware around.
The ergonomics of a pan can make a huge difference when you’re cooking with it. Most of us will need to, at least occasionally, move the pan around and some engage in much more vigorous cooking methods.
If you fall into the latter category, then you want to pay special attention to the handle. Grips for the fingers and rubberized handles make things much easier on the cook after all.
On the other hand, the old-school, straight and round handles have a certain visual appeal. It really depends on how you cook.
Type of Coating
As a general rule, non-stick cookware comes with two different types of coating.
Teflon is the original, and still the most common. It’s extremely slick, and treated well will last for a long time. The only problem with it is the unfortunate tendency to give off some rather nasty fumes when heat reaches over a certain point.
Even at lower temperatures this build-up can seriously harm or kill some pets, so it’s a no-no when birds are involved. That’s about the only downfall, however, and the majority of us aren’t keeping birds so it’s definitely a viable material.
Ceramic coatings are fairly new to the market, and whether or not you like them kind of depends on your usage. They tend to have a decreased lifespan compared to Teflon coated cookware, especially in kitchens where they see heavy usage.
Many “stoneware” elements are non-stick, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. Since the stone is combined with traditional non-stick coatings in many cases, however it can prevent metals from getting into your food. We don’t really recommend them for the average home, but they do have some niche uses.
Unfortunately, non-stick pans don’t have a super long lifespan. Chances are you’ll be replacing them every few years, which means that spending an obscene amount of money isn’t a great idea.
Sticking in the middling price range is the best bet for most people, since these pans aren’t going to suffer a mechanical failure in normal use and they’re not going to break your arm for their shorter lifespan. Somewhere in the range of $30-$50 per pan is about the sweet spot from our research.
The Thing No One Talks About
One of our reviewers noticed something about the pans that not everyone thinks about: while a pan is a single piece of metal… there’s a little bit that goes into the construction of them.
There’s a lot of pans which start to fall apart pretty quickly.
There’s a dirty secret: both the best and the worst pans have similar construction to the untrained eye. In this case, they’re usually pinned instead of screwed to their handles.
If it’s a low-quality pan, this is terrible since you can’t feasibly tighten a pin at home. On the other hand, a pin is much less likely to work less than a screw.
If you go with a budget set, then look for screws. It will let you tighten things back up if they work loose.
You really won’t have any problems with a higher grade of cookware, but not everyone can afford it.
Do’s and Don’ts With Non-Stick Pans
If you’re looking to ensure that you get the longest life out of your Teflon pots and pans. You should definitely avoid engaging in any of the following behaviors with your new cookware:
- Don’t use metal utensils on your non-stick pots and pans. You’ll create small tears which is the start of the dreaded peeling which afflicts Teflon pans.
- Don’t change the temperature suddenly. While most steel cookware is fine to “shock” by running under water right off the bat, the warping of the material will mess up your coating.
- Don’t turn the burner all the way up. You shouldn’t be doing this anyway if you’re looking to ensure you’ve got a good meal, but it can be downright toxic when you’re working with Teflon.
- Don’t use aerosol cooking sprays on your pans. They tend to form a grimy build-up. In all honesty, they’re best to avoid no matter what type of cookware you’re using, the convenience generally isn’t worth the smell.
- Don’t store food in your pans. Especially acidic foods, as it can harm the coating. They’re made for cooking, invest in some Tupperware if you’re looking to save food for later.
- Avoid using your dishwasher with this kind of cookware, it’s a great way to completely ruin the coating in a hurry.
As long as you avoid the above you’re probably on the right track.
You’ll definitely want to do the following however:
- Use scratch-free abrasives when you’re cleaning up afterwards. Those thick “wool” pads are great for this, but don’t use stainless steel wool or other heavy abrasives.
- Opt for a softer detergent than normal to preserve the coating. Standard dish soap is fine, and you really shouldn’t need super heavy agents to clean them as long as you didn’t let things overheat.
- Store things properly when they’re in the cabinets. They’re best singly, but if you do need to stack them then you’re going to want to avoid sharp corners and be careful.
Treat your pans well and you’ll have them for a long time to come.
Abuse them and you’ll be back to square one in just a moment.
There’s really not much more to it.
One Handy Technique: Deglazing
Because you want to be gentler when cleaning up these pots and pans, there’s one technique which you’ll want to know:
Deglazing is a great way to make gravies… and to get scraps off your non-stick pans.
Since we’re talking about cleaning here, you don’t need to use stock or something else although you can easily switch out the plain hot water with something tastier for gravy purposes.
Basically, you’ll need to add water to the pan and then heat it on medium-high. Get things boiling, but keep an eye on it. Move the heat down to a simmer as soon as it hits a high boil.
Snatch up a wooden or plastic spatula, and begin to move the browned and blackened bits which are in the bottom of the pan, after a bit they’ll easily scrape off while the amount of liquid in the pan reduces.
Afterwards, just pour it out and clean the pan as normal and you’ll have things shining like new.
On the other hand, if you want to make gravy… then you’ll just want to pour it off into a bowl so you can get it on your biscuits, chicken, or other food. You’ll also want to try using chicken or beef stock for the best results.
Non-stick pans are a complete essential for most kitchens, and if you’re willing to take the time to make sure you’ve got things in order. Take the time to add the best non-stick pans to your home, you’ll thank us later when clean-up is easier than ever and your next cooking job comes off without a hitch.