The Hunt for the Perfect Nonstick Pan

Like a free lunch, there's no such thing as a perfect nonstick pan, but that doesn't mean we can't have some fun figuring out which ones are at least worth owning.

Categories

aesthetic

How good will this pan look in your kitchen? Is it attractive enough for your food photos?

A 10 should probably be your new profile pic, while a 1 should be stored in the deepest part of your deepest cabinet.

care

Almost none of the pans actually recommended using a dishwasher, though many said they were dishwasher safe.

"Dishwasher recommended" gets a 10, but all of these are super easy to clean, so they're all above 5.

conduction

Not so much a ranking, but still useful information: each material transfers heat differently, but sometimes they can be hard to remember, so I called this out specifically.

Slow is good for really even heating. Fast is efficient but can cause scorching.

design

How thoughtful is the construction of this pan? What does it do to make using it easier?

From handle ergonomics to versatility to maximization of surface area — the more care a pan's designers put into making a cook's life easier the better.

durability

If a pan's finish came off within the first two weeks of testing, it gets a 1. If it will outlive me by over a century, it gets a 10.

All others are determined by the typical lifespan of their coatings and how much common types of usage will cause them to degrade.

eco

How bad is this pan for the environment? Is the chemical composition volatile? Will I need to replace it frequently?

A 10 is Captain Planet-approved, a 1 contains volatile chemicals and non-removable (and thus non-recyclable) plastics.

induction

Induction performance is all about the construction of the pan.

They all worked fine with induction stoves, but the higher the percentage of magnetic material, the better they worked.

unboxing

Unboxing is all about the initial setup experience and it's here only to point out how terrible the Mauviel M'steel's setup experience is.

The rest got 10s. That beeswax is so annoying to remove that I created a whole category to dunk on it.

Smithey No. 10 Cast Iron Chef Skillet

Stunner. This will be my indoor skillet that I take twee photos of food in.
finish
seasoning
materials
cast iron
weight
2198g
max temp
n/a
dishwasher?
no
$140
Smithey
  • unboxing
    10
  • aesthetic
    10
  • induction
    10
  • durability
    10
  • eco
    10
  • design
    8
  • care
    6
  • conduction
    slow

Field #8 Cast Iron Skillet

Absolute unit. LOVE the fine-milled finish. This will be my grilling skillet and it's about to get a ton of use and abuse.
finish
seasoning
materials
cast iron
weight
1953g
max temp
n/a
dishwasher?
no
$125
Field
  • unboxing
    10
  • induction
    10
  • durability
    10
  • eco
    10
  • aesthetic
    8
  • design
    7
  • care
    6
  • conduction
    slow

Mauviel M'steel Carbon Fry Pan (9.5")

A classic pro pick. The beeswax it comes in is a pain, but taking the time to remove it is well worth it.
finish
seasoning
materials
carbon steel
weight
2187g
max temp
n/a
dishwasher?
no
$70
Amazon
  • induction
    10
  • durability
    10
  • eco
    10
  • aesthetic
    7
  • care
    6
  • design
    4
  • unboxing
    1
  • conduction
    slow

Great Jones Large Fry

Such a stunner. Would love a riveted handle, but can't win 'em all.
finish
ceramic
materials
aluminum, stainless (3-ply)
weight
1245g
max temp
500°F
dishwasher?
no
$70
Great Jones
  • unboxing
    10
  • aesthetic
    10
  • care
    8
  • induction
    7
  • design
    5
  • eco
    3
  • durability
    2
  • conduction
    medium

Black Cube Hybrid Stainless Steel (9.5")

An almost exact clone of the HexClad (or vice-versa). Surprisingly comfy handle!
finish
PTFE hybrid
materials
aluminum, stainless (3-ply)
weight
854g
max temp
500°F
dishwasher?
yes
$70
Amazon
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    10
  • design
    8
  • induction
    7
  • durability
    4
  • aesthetic
    2
  • eco
    2
  • conduction
    medium

Made-In Nonstick Frying Pan (10")

Weirdly long handle is uncomfortable. Best branding glow-up of 2020 though. The blue finish is super unique.
finish
Made Slick (PTFE)
materials
aluminum, stainless steel (5-ply)
weight
1153g
max temp
500°F
dishwasher?
no
$99
Made-In
  • unboxing
    10
  • design
    8
  • care
    8
  • induction
    7
  • aesthetic
    4
  • durability
    4
  • eco
    2
  • conduction
    medium

HexClad Hybrid Nonstick Frying Pan (10")

Big infomercial energy and SUPER expensive for a PTFE pan of any kind. Hate the marketing, but we'll see how it goes.
finish
PTFE Hybrid
materials
aluminum, stainless steel (3-ply)
weight
1141g
max temp
500°F
dishwasher?
yes
$145
Amazon
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    10
  • design
    8
  • induction
    7
  • durability
    4
  • aesthetic
    2
  • eco
    2
  • conduction
    medium

Misen Nonstick Pan (10")

Lovely handle. Great construction. Love that they're very forthcoming with production and care details.
finish
Dupont Platinum (PTFE)
materials
aluminum, stainless, silicone
weight
1222g
max temp
450°F
dishwasher?
risky
$55
Misen
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    8
  • design
    7
  • durability
    6
  • aesthetic
    5
  • induction
    4
  • eco
    2
  • conduction
    fast

Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick PRO Fry Pan (11")

The marketing for this pan makes SOME CLAIMS. Excited to see how those pan out.
finish
PTFE
materials
aluminum
weight
1222g
max temp
500°F
dishwasher?
risky
$130
Amazon
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    10
  • design
    6
  • durability
    6
  • aesthetic
    4
  • induction
    4
  • eco
    2
  • conduction
    fast

Italic Zest Ceramic Frying Pan

Requires a membership to purchase ($10/mo), but $110 for a set of 7 ain't bad. The whole set being ceramic-coated gives it a pretty short lifespan though.
finish
ceramic
materials
aluminum, stainless steel (3-ply)
weight
1126g
max temp
not listed
dishwasher?
no
$100
Italic
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    8
  • induction
    7
  • aesthetic
    5
  • design
    4
  • eco
    4
  • durability
    2
  • conduction
    medium

Carote 10" Nonstick Frying Pan

Super lightweight, very slippery, and lowkey pretty. Seems like a pretty great deal.
finish
Granitec (ceramic)
materials
aluminum, bakelite
weight
933g
max temp
350°F
dishwasher?
no
$23
Amazon
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    8
  • aesthetic
    7
  • design
    5
  • induction
    3
  • eco
    3
  • durability
    2
  • conduction
    fast

GreenPan x Food52 10" Ceramic Frying Pan

Both pans scuffed around the rim within a day of arrival and there are rumors that olive oil completely ruins the finish?
finish
Thermolon (ceramic)
materials
aluminum
weight
958g
max temp
600°F
dishwasher?
yes
$99
Food52
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    10
  • design
    5
  • aesthetic
    4
  • induction
    4
  • eco
    3
  • durability
    1
  • conduction
    fast

T-fal Professional 10" Fry Pan

The traditional recommendation from the old guard. This is my 3rd and it's nearing the end of its lifespan. I hid some of the scuffs with cilantro.
finish
ProGlide (PTFE)
materials
aluminum, silicone
weight
1175g
max temp
450°F
dishwasher?
yes
$30
Amazon
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    10
  • design
    5
  • durability
    4
  • induction
    3
  • aesthetic
    1
  • eco
    1
  • conduction
    fast

Caraway Fry Pan (10.5")

My friends think this is prettier than I do. Just looks and feels super cheap to me.
finish
ceramic
materials
aluminum, stainless steel
weight
1271g
max temp
550°F
dishwasher?
no
$95
Caraway
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    8
  • induction
    4
  • eco
    4
  • aesthetic
    3
  • design
    2
  • durability
    2
  • conduction
    fast

Our Place Always Pan

Fuckin sucks, man. I wanted to like it so badly. Knew the "7-pans-in-1" marketing had to be false, but not like this... Not like this.
finish
ceramic
materials
aluminum, plastic
weight
1270g
max temp
"low-med"
dishwasher?
no
$145
Our Place
  • unboxing
    10
  • care
    8
  • aesthetic
    5
  • induction
    4
  • eco
    3
  • design
    2
  • durability
    1
  • conduction
    fast