With home cooking being one of life's pleasures, and everyone suddenly having more time and need to do it, owning a great non-stick pan has never been more essential. We all know the struggle is real when it comes to frying anything. Not only does food sticking to the bottom mean it tends to burn, but it can also make cleaning a living hell. However with the best non-stick pans, you can improve your meals and reduce the effort involved in cleaning up afterwards.
We've gathered the best non-stick frying and sauté pans for your convenience. You can thank us later when you're enjoying your scrambled eggs without having to leave the pan soaking in hot water and bicarbonate of soda.
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Buying the best non-stick frying pans: what you need to know
Our list of the best non-stick pans rounds up the top pans for all budgets and levels of expertise.
They're all robustly constructed, usually with the non-stick applied to aluminium or stainless steel, with comfortable, oven-safe handles.
You probably have questions about non-stick pans. Here, let us answer them...
Are non-stick pans dishwasher proof?
Most non-stick pans claim to be dishwasher proof, but then add that years of dishwasher cleaning will adversely effect them. So in other words, NO they are not, if you really want to ever take advantage of that 10-year, 20-year or lifetime guarantee that many come with. On the other hand, if you're happy with 5-10 years of use and prefer the convenience of dishwashing, go ahead.
Are non-stick pans oven safe?
Most are, so long as the handle isn't made of non-oven-proof plastic or wood. Each pan's packaging will usually detail what the maximum oven temperature you can get away with is. A better question might be, are they induction hob ready? If a magnet doesn't attach firmly to the base, the answer is 'no'.
How can I make non-stick pans last longer?
Simple: don't clean them in a dishwasher, and don't subject them to extreme heat – ie: above 180º in the oven, or on your hottest burner at full whack. That's true whether you're using induction, gas or ceramic.
Non-stick pans are really designed for use on low to moderate heat. The best ones conduct heat so well that this is all they need. You can turn the heat right up for short periods to sear meat, but for maximum longevity, don't do this for more than a minute or so. Use a cast iron pan instead if you're into ultra-manly, mega-heat-based cooking.
A happy side effect of cooking on a slightly lower heat is that cleaning is much easier, so you can do it by hand. With more expensive pans you can practically get away with a quick wipe with a tea towel after some meals.
Oh, and for god's sake, don't turn up the burner so flame (or the edges of a halogen hob) extend beyond the base of the pan. That's like farting in a lift. With an induction hob, you can't heat beyond the edge of a pan, so they're fully safe in that respect.
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Our pick of the best frying pans to buy today
Like most things Le Creuset, this shallow frying pan pays back its cost with years of delicious food and hassle-free clean-up. Made of hard-anodised steel and coated both inside and out with a new ultra durable three-layer reinforced non-stick surface, it heats up rapidly and evenly, and cooks up a storm at Le Creuset’s recommended medium temperatures. In fact, the manual drums home the message that it should rarely be used for long periods on a high heat because a) it isn’t necessary and b) it damages the non-stick coating.
The Le Creuset is compatible with all hobs, including induction – and it’s oven-proof too. Its riveted stainless steel handle, meanwhile, is well shaped for an easy grip and it stays surprisingly cool, although not if you put it in the oven, of course – use a glove. The pan is also well balanced and not too heavy for shuffling back and forth over the heat source, while the shallow, gently sloping edge makes it really easy to flip eggs and pancakes using a spatular, or turner as they’re more commonly known.
As usual with this type of pan, Le Creuset says it's dishwasher safe but then, er… advises you not to put it in the dishwasher. However, with its extra thick non-stick coating, it's a cinch to rinse and wipe clean. You could use this pan for years and, if looked after, it’ll remain almost as good as new. Top buy.
If you like the look of the Le Creuset at #1, but don’t want to pay that much for a frying pan, then the Tefal Expertise Frying Pan is a fantastic alternative that won’t break the bank. This is one of the best non stick frying pans for everyday use because it is extremely durable – thanks to 'Titanium Excellence’ technology, yet is also affordable and easy to look after.
Experienced chefs may poo-poo the Thermospot technology, which tells you when your pan is at the optimum temperature for cooking, but it is bloody handy. Unlike cheaper Tefal pans, the Expertise range is induction compatible. The pans are also easy to clean, and Tefal is so bullish about their longevity it even claims they are 'safe to use with metal utensils'. I would not do that, personally, but they are very well made for the price.
If you think that all non-stick frying pans look the same, then this one will brighten up your kitchen in an instant. Not all about colour though, this is a chemical-free, non-stick frying pan that is leading the way in more environmentally friendly cooking. So, if you’re an eco-warrior but can’t afford the ScanPan or GreenPan (both further down this list), this is the one to get. Its high-quality anodised aluminium construction reduces risk of hot spots, meaning you get a truly even cook, and while it's not going to trouble the Le Creusets of the world, or even the Tefals, the Green Earth is a very good pan.
If you’re in the market for a very decent non-stick pan that is just as happy in the oven as it is on any hob (gas or induction), then meet this contender from UK-based French-style kitchenware producer Jean-Patrique.
Measuring in at 27cm in diameter, the Whatever Pan is basically a griddle with deep ridges for frying, sautéing, grilling or stewing pretty much anything you put in it. The deep sides are excellent at keeping spills at bay and if it ever gets a bit too pear shaped on the spitting front or you’re making a sauce, simple pop on the supplied glass lid with breather hole. Just be mindful that the two carry handles get hot as hell even when on the hob, so wear some mitts as a precaution.
Constructed out of die cast aluminium with a bonded steel base that makes it acceptable for induction hobs, this pan can allegedly withstand heat up to 250˚C (180˚C for the lid). Bloody hot, in other words.
We tried it with a variety of foods. The hamburgers were a revelation – caramelised outer with stripes, succulent centre and mercifully devoid of fatty taste. Delicious, in other words. However, the lean fillet steaks didn’t fare so well – they were dry and pretty flavourless because all the juices were captured between the ridges. So, with that in mind, we would suggest using this for frying anything with a high-fat content – ribeye, sausages, bacon, mince etc – and avoid using it for leaner meats. Vegetables like aubergine, courgette are absolutely fine though. In fact vegetables are great in it and benefit visually too with nice black scorch lines across their surfaces.
For the price, this pan performs exceedingly well. Furthermore, it’s the only model on this page to come with a glass lid and that’s always handy to have to hand.
Some home chefs love every pan they use to be non-stick. That's not exactly a purist's point of view, but there's nothing wrong with embracing easy-clean convenience. While I would recommend a larger cast iron or enamelled grill pan for most hob grilling purposes, if you must have a non-stick one, this Stellar griddle is as good as it gets in the non-stick realm.
Large enough for steaks that aren't brontosaurus sized, this has well raised, sharp grill lines to sear, while the tough non-stick coating makes flipping food and cleaning afterwards easy. Comes with a lifetime guarantee and works with all hob types including induction.
A sauté pan like this excellent 24cm forged aluminium offering from US giant Circulon cooks and fries just like a shallow frying pan, but it's higher sides and lid mean you can shake it back and forth more vigorously without ingredients spilling over the edge.
Consequently, it’s perfect for everything from sauces and searing meats to sautéing (stir-frying) vegetables. It's also a a handy shape for scooping out small runaway ingredients like mini vine tomatoes and fried chorizo pieces.
Part of the Ultimum range, this one is constructed with three layers of premium non-stick coating while the reinforced steel base ensures even, speedy cooking. It’s dishwasher safe, oven safe up to a commendable 260ºC and induction hob compatible, too.
This eco-friendly fryer from GreenPan is a good all-rounder. Its Thermolon coating means that this pan is free from lead, cadmium and other chemicals that you may be concerned about. It still keeps its hard-anodised base and wipe-clean finish inside and out, and it’s suitable for all hob types.
Tefal Ideal is a cheaper range from Tefal that has pans to suit anyone who doesn't want to cook at very high temperatures, or on induction. The model pictured here is called the One Egg Wonder, so you can probably guess what it's for, but tefal has a cheap non-stick pan to suit most needs.
The egg-specific Ideal One Egg Wonder costs very little and whether you like them sunny side up or over easy, this non-stick miniature pan can make the perfect egg in minutes. It’s surprisingly versatile, too. You can start your cooking on the hob and finish in the oven, up to 180 degrees celsius, and if treated well, the non-stick coating is protected by a lifetime guarantee.
You can't really go wrong with Tefal non-stick pans, if you're on a tight budget.
If you have a very large gas or induction hob, and you like to sear at high temperatures but still require a non-stick lining, this could be the pan of your dreams. It looks at a glance like a grill pan, similar to the Stellar at #4, but this one is more lightly ribbed, for your pleasure.
The non-stick is a 'diamond cut titanium coating', which I must admit is not something I've encountered before. It's not as slippery as Teflon-type coatings but it does give very good results and feels like it will last for years. The pan as a whole is extremely robust, in fact.
Samuel Groves describes this, and the range it comes from, as a 'professional pan' and that refers not just to the build quality but also the handle, which is extremely long, almost to the point of being ridiculous if you have a standard size oven and 60cm hob.
This mid-priced 25cm French skillet (that's another word for 'deep frying pan') is just the right size for a pair of almond-crusted Gressingham duck breasts or a decent serving of sautéd veg.
It’s quite a looker too, with its dark bronze pigment and comfy SureGrip rubber wood-effect handle. The shell of the Advanced+ is made from hard-anodized aluminium coated in metal utensil-safe nonstick Teflon while the sturdy stainless steel base ensures suitability for all hobs, including induction. It’ll also happily handle oven temperatures of up to 200˚C.
This is an efficient, keenly priced option that heats quickly and is just the right size for smaller hobs. A bargain, no less.
Robert Welch produces some of the most elegant kitchen equipment on the market and this superb 24cm skillet is a case in point. Constructed entirely from high quality mirror-like stainless steel – the base is a three-ply mix of copper and stainless steel – the heavyweight Campden transfers and retains heat exceedingly well, which means you can fry stuff at much lower temperatures.
Its ceramic non stick coating is excellent, too, and guaranteed for 10 years. No question, this pan looks a million quid but be mindful that its outer surface is easily tarnished by too wide a flame, so keep it away from the wok burner. But then we already told you that in the intro…
If you’re a fan of flipping pancakes, then this is the frying pan for you. A clever combo of steel and aluminium means that the Scanpan feels impressively heavy duty, yet light as a feather to handle. Its special ‘stay cool’ stainless steel handle looks stylish, but won’t singe your hands and you can use any utensil with it, even those made of metal. It boasts a GreenTek coating, meaning this one is also free from chemicals.
Our final choice, the Tower Cerasure Colour Change Fry Pan, shares the Tefal Expertise’s colour-changing technology for optimum safety when cooking. So if you like the idea of the Thermospot Technology but the Tefal was just out of your price range, this one comes in at a more reasonable price and we highly recommend it. The largest pan is great for those man-sized portions whereas the smaller pan is perfect for students to practice foolproof frying.