Ninja C62200 Foodi NeverStick Stainless 10 1/4-Inch and 12-Inch Fry Pan Set, stainless nonstick, durable, oven safe to 500°F, Stainless SteelView on Amazon
Paderno Canadian Signature Frying Pan | Stainless-Steel PFOA-Free Non-Stick Cookware with Riveted Stay Cool Handles | 12.5-InchView on Amazon
All-Clad E785S264/E785S263 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free 8 and 10-Inch Fry Pan Cookware Set, 2-Piece, BlackView on Amazon
Miusco Nonstick Frying Pan Set with Lids, Premium Granite Coating Skillets Set, 10" & 12", Natural Stone Cookware, Heats Evenly, PFOA Free, Ergonomic Bakelite Cool Touch Handle, All Stoves CompatibleView on Amazon
All-Clad E7853364 HA1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Dishwasher Safe PFOA Free Saute Pan Cookware, 4-Quart, BlackView on Amazon
All-Clad 4110 NS R2 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe PFOA-free Non-Stick Fry Pan / Cookware, 10-Inch, Silver -View on Amazon
Last update on 2022-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Frying pans (or sauté pans) are a staple in any kitchen, be it at our homes or restaurants. Nonstick skillets are essential tools when cooking food that tends to stick to the surfaces. Whether you are making an omelet or fluffy pancakes, seafood, or any food that requires a light touch, they won't turn out perfectly without the best non-stick pan. Knowing that there’s a lot to consider, here’s your go-to nonstick pan buying guide:
What factors do you consider when seeking the best non-stick pan?
Nonstick wares made of plain aluminum are lightweight, which makes them easier to use when shaking and flipping delicate foods. They are excellent heat conductors which tend to get heated up fast, so your food will need extra attention while cooking. This means food will take less time to cook and energy. The material is also corrosion-resistant and rust-resistant.
They are mostly dark grey or black. Their outstanding characteristic is; the surface of the ware is electrochemically treated to produce a hard finish that does not chip, crack, peel or react to acidic foods. Their surfaces are stick-resistant so there's no need to use harsh chemicals when cleaning them or much scrubbing. Although they are expensive, they should last you many years.
Their cons; they are not dishwasher safe, and when using metal utensils, they may leave marks on the surface and they are not cheap. They can be used with all types of stovetops except induction.
It is one of the most common cookware materials. They are heavier and tend to be more expensive. Food tends to stick to the bottom too, so more oil is required while cooking. You are best advised to cook on low heat as overheating can cause a 'rainbow' effect or use water with minerals. Although for better heat distribution, aluminum is incorporated into the base of the pan. It is safe to say you can use it in your dishwasher; it’s induction-friendly and resists rust and corrosion.
Pans made of copper have excellent heat conductivity. They may be expensive but they’ll last you a lifetime. Although copper can react with acidic foods like fish and meat, it has to be lined with tin or stainless steel to act as a barrier.
Unlined copper pans must not be used. You will also need to invest in copper polish to clean them and keep them looking their best. Warning: don't use them on a glass-topped hob unless they have a sandwich-base construction (a layer of metal- usually aluminum). This will also help in heat retention.
Polytetrafluoroethylene, also called (Teflon), is a synthetic coating that is used by many manufacturers to coat pans and it’s confirmed as safe for cooking and food use. It is also water-repellant. You are guaranteed easy cooking when frying and making sauce with your nonstick pan when it’s coated with Teflon. It stops food from sticking, no need for additional fat, and makes cleaning the pan easy-peasy.
The coating is not ceramic but a silica-based gel. The pans are smooth and have a hard surface. They are highly recommended as they can withstand a bit of high heat which makes cooking faster due to their heat distribution properties.
The main aim of using the nonstick material on pans is to prevent food from sticking at the bottom of the pan and either coating work well. However, Teflon coatings are reported to last longer than ceramic coatings.
This coating is usually applied to aluminum and steel pans. These pans don’t spit, scratch easily or react with food. Their downside is they chip off easily if not properly handled. If the coating is too thin, food may stick and burn. So you are cautioned from buying pans that are extra light in weight.
Frying pan thickness
This is an important consideration when you are investing in a nonstick pan. Most of us don’t know how to measure the thickness of an item, so here’s how: The thickness of cookware is measured in either mils or gauge. So 1mil=1/1000, hence the higher the mil, the thicker the metal.
On the other hand, the higher the gauge, the thinner the metal. Most of the cookware fall between 10 -22 gauge constructions. Preferably always go for thicker metals.
Frying panhandle types
The materials the handles are made of should be carefully considered. Stainless steel handles don't conduct heat as much as aluminum ones and they remain cooler than the pan. You might as well look for handles that are hollowed in some way for a cooling effect.
Silicone or cool handles are great options as they are comfortable to grip and can be removed easily for cleaning. Their negative effect is that some of these silicone handles cannot withstand high-temperature use. Be careful to avoid burns, and you can use a pot handle holder for better safety.
The shape of the pan and ease of use
Pans that have a wide shape make stirring food easier using a spatula. Even when flipping delicate food, you can accurately do it without spilling the food on your cooker or the floor.
Skillets which are perfectly balanced between the handle and the body are most stable and are flat especially while being used to cook on electric cookers as they cover the entire base and don't waste any heat. This is important when you’re using induction or ceramic cooktops for evenly heat distribution.
If you wish to spend more money for a better nonstick pan, make sure it has greater longevity. However, with time the coating will eventually wear off. Though many pans come with a limited lifetime warranty, these guarantees won’t cover wear and tear. One model that meets this criterion is the Cuisinart 622-20 Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 8-Inch Open Skillet, Black.
Size and weight
The size of these pans is measured using diameter the smallest being 14cm. Depending on what you will be using your pans for, the size should matter. For instance, Milk saucepans can be 14cm which will hold about a liter of milk, while a bigger skillet can even be 18cm which holds about 2liters to hold more. Although, you can imagine how heavy a 14cm pan will be hard to lift when full.
Is it oven-safe?
It will be good for you if you can get a multi-purpose pan which you can use both in the oven or on the hob. This will save you much time and storage space. You should also check if the handle is oven-proof and how much temperature it can withstand.
Related Post: 15 Best Induction Pans
How do I clean my nonstick pans?
The best way of washing nonstick pans is by using your hands instead of a dishwasher. You should also avoid using scouring pads, steel wool, or abrasives. Always wash in the direction of the material grain.
How do I remove burnt-on food from the nonstick pan?
You need to fill your pan with water halfway and add a tablespoon of washing powder or a dishwasher tablet. Boil for 10minutes then rinses thoroughly.
Is it okay to use metal spoons to stir food in the nonstick pan?
Metal utensils are highly discouraged as they leave marks on the surface of the pan. The most recommended spatulas are made of silicone or wood.
Riveted or rivetless frying pans?
Riveted handles are permanently attached and fit tightly. However, they require thorough cleaning care to prevent bacteria from building up around the rivets.
As for the rivetless ones, they are easier to cook with and have less interference from rivet heads. This also enhances the pan's strength and durability. You can be sure that there's no bacteria collection either.
Can nonstick pans cause cancer?
There have been fears in the past about the chances the material used in coating these pans causes cancer. But fear not, manufacturers no longer use perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) to coat pans and pots. Be sure to look for “PFOA Free” on your nonstick pans before buying.
Having put all things listed above into consideration, it shouldn't be rocket science to find yourself the best non-stick pan there is in the market. It is a piece of cookware that should miss in your kitchen as you can cook just about anything with it and use less time too. In addition, cleaning nonstick cookware is just as quick and easy as pie. So let's get shopping!