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Best-in-Show Winners

Seventy percent of all skillets sold in this country are nonstick. In the test kitchen, we reach for our nonstick skillets when we’re cooking delicate foods that stick, such as eggs or fish. The ideal skillet is easy to handle, is durable, has great release, and cooks food evenly with appropriate browning. We (mercilessly) tested 8-inch and 12-inch nonstick skillets separately, and clear winners (or smooth operators?) emerged. No surprise: They’re from the same manufacturer. Your surprise: They’re 20% off for the next 24 hours. Save even more, 25%, when you buy both.


OXO-8-Inch

OXO Good Grips Hard Anodized Pro Nonstick 8-Inch Fry Pan

Winner - Highly Recommended

CAPACITY ★★★
DURABLILITY ★★★
EASE OF USE ★★★
NONSTICK ABILITY ★★★

Reviewed in Cook’s Country October 2018

This little OXO skillet bested the rest for three simple reasons: superior nonstick ability, a comfortable handle, and a nicely shaped body. It cruised through 50 eggs at the beginning and end of testing, indicating a slick, durable nonstick coating. Testers found its rounded brushed-steel handle “grippy” and liked that it gave “options for where to hold.” Construction-wise, it was “lightweight but sturdy” and perfectly balanced, which made it especially pleasing to cook with.


Weight: 1.21 lb Diameter: 8.3 in
Oven Safe to 430°F
Layers of Nonstick Coating 3
Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Works on all stovetops, except induction
OXO-12-Inch

OXO Good Grips Non-Stick 12-Inch Open Frypan

Winner - Highly Recommended

CAPACITY ★★★
DURABLILITY ★★★
FOOD QUALITY ★★★
MANEUVERABILITY ★★★
NONSTICK ABILITY ★★★

Reviewed in Cook’s Country September 2016

This pan came slick and stayed that way—we stopped both fried egg tests after 50 eggs. It cooked and released food perfectly, thanks to its darker finish and excellent nonstick coating. Its gently flared sides and lightweight design made it easy to load, unload, and move. Its grippy stay-cool handle was flawless and its cooking surface vast. It showed some slight knife marks but otherwise emerged from testing unscathed.


Weight: 2.35 lb Diameter: 12.25 in
Oven Safe to 390°F
Usable Surface Area 9.75 in
Layers of Nonstick Coating 3
Dishwasher Safe? No
Works on all stovetops, except induction

SAVE 32% ON TODAY'S FEATURED COOKBOOK

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Vegetables Book
Testing Skillets

How we tested 8-inch nonstick skillets

We studied the market and chose eight pans, priced from $16.99 to $109.95. Four of the pans were traditional nonstick, and the other four were ceramic nonstick, an alternative coating often marketed as “green” or “environmentally friendly.” All the pans were perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)-free.

THE TESTS

1. Fry consecutive eggs with no fat until they stick—up to 50 eggs   2. Make omelets, scalloped potatoes, and scrambled eggs in each pan, beating up pan along the way to simulate long-term use   3. Wash repeatedly   4. Bang on concrete ledge—abuse test   5. Heat and then shock in ice bath—abuse test   6. Fry consecutive eggs with no fat until they stick—up to 50 eggs—a second time to evaluate durability


THE RESULTS

Surface matters: Hands down the most important factor in determining a good pan was the kind of nonstick coating. There are two types used on cookware: traditional PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon is the most well-known brand name), and ceramic, which has exploded in popularity in recent years as a result of concerns about the safety and environmental impact of PTFE. Pans with ceramic coatings wore faster during our cooking tests, and the coatings on two of the pans flaked off in pieces as big as ⅛ inch wide after we subjected them to thermal shock. The process of making ceramic pans uses less energy than making PTFE pans, but the ceramic pans don’t last as long and need to be replaced sooner, rendering the “green” claim suspect.

Capacity, rivets, and handles: Pans held anywhere from 3.2 to 4.4 cups, a wide range that led to a few overflow mishaps during our scalloped potato tests. Six of the pans had uncoated rivets securing the handles to the pans, spots that the fried eggs clung to. Handle shape was the final factor: Testers preferred round edges (two handles had sharp edges that dug into our hands). A brushed-steel or grippy silicone sleeve was a nice bonus.

Steer Clear: Ceramic Pans

Durability fails = dented pans, chipped enamel, stuck-to-rivets foods

Vegetables Book

Testing Skillets

How we tested 12-inch nonstick skillets

We evaluated the market and purchased seven top skillets from major manufacturers, including our past winner from T-Fal. We set a $60 price limit because nonstick pans wear faster than other pans, so we don’t think they’re worth a major investment. All the skillets we tested are free of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical in nonstick coating that the Environmental Protection Agency expressed health concerns about in 2015.

THE TESTS

1. Fry consecutive eggs with no fat until they stick—up to 50 eggs   2. Brown layer of flour to observe heating patterns and evenness   3. Cook pork and broccoli stir-fry   4. Pan-fry sole fillets   5. Cook, slice, and serve frittata using metal utensils   6. Wash by hand 10 times; wash in dishwasher five times   7. Bang on concrete ledge—abuse test   8. Heat and then shock in water—abuse test   9. Fry consecutive eggs with no fat until they stick—up to 50 eggs—a second time to evaluate durability


THE RESULTS

Two pans we tested had raised patterns, ostensibly for durability and better heat transfer, but they weren’t very nonstick and mangled eggs. Only two pans (both with smooth surfaces) aced all our nonstick tests. One of the two top contenders was our old favorite, but it dented readily when we struck it on the concrete ledge, and its cooking surface was slightly domed, which meant oil ran to the edges, so fish browned irregularly and eggs were misshapen. We clearly had a winner.

Bottom Line: Shape and Color Matter

What makes one skillet better than another? Here are three common characteristics of our top-rated pans:

Vegetables Book

The OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Frypans were the only pans to earn our Highly Recommended rating

  PTFE nonstick surfaces

  Smooth, flat surfaces that cooked and released food perfectly

  Darker finish for better browning

  Light and maneuverable

  Comfortable, grippy stay-cool handles

  Flared sides to easily move food in and out of the pans




OXO 8-Inch Skillet

8" Pan
$23.95   $29.95

SAVE 20%

OXO 12-Inch Skillet

12" Pan
$31.95   $39.95

SAVE 20%

OXO Both Skillets

Two-Pan Set
$52.70   $69.90

SAVE 25%

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