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A good nonstick pan is an essential tool for cooking delicate dishes like omelets and thin fish fillets, and it makes flipping pancakes infinitely easier. Plus, nonstick coating is easy to clean, and, if you’re trying to cook with less fat, it virtually eliminates the need to add oil or butter to your skillet.
We should mention that while cooking with nonstick pans is not dangerous, there are concerns about the possible negative health effects of certain chemicals used in their production — it’s still unclear how the buildup of those chemicals in the environment affects humans (you can read ongoing studies here). If you want to avoid traditional nonstick coating altogether, our top pick for the best ceramic nonstick pan offers the same performance.
To help you find the best nonstick pan for your cooking needs, we spoke with Lisa Chernick, author of Your Starter Kitchen. We also tested nine pans for this guide — making sunny-side-up eggs and pancakes to determine the quality of their nonstick surfaces and heating capabilities — and evaluated them based on their construction and design.
The 3 best nonstick pans in 2021
Best overall nonstick pan: Tramontina Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan, $30 on Amazon
The Tramontina Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan is easy to use and manuever in the kitchen, thanks to its slick surface, even heating, and flared rim.
Best high-end nonstick pan: Made In Nonstick Fry Pan, $109 on Amazon
The thoughtfully constructed Made In Nonstick Fry Pan stands out for its design, efficiency, and heat retention.
Best ceramic nonstick pan: GreenPan Paris Pro Fry Pan, $55 on Amazon
The ceramic GreenPan Paris Pro Fry Pan performed as well as traditional nonstick pans, with a smooth surface and comfortable handle.