The Best Skillet

One thing I adapted decently as of late is that you truly can’t completely depend on whatever comes in the cookware set you purchase. You can get by, obviously, yet it’s justified, despite all the trouble to put resources into great skillets that don’t come in your full set. For instance, I purchased a pleasant arrangement of pure cookware a couple of years back. The skillets that it accompanied are certainly usable (and are the sizes I need), however, I required a decent nonstick skillet. I at long last spent the cash and got one a couple of months back and it transformed me.

I may be overstating a bit, however, I am genuinely asking why I didn’t do this sooner. Truth be told, in case you’re still at a spot where you’re assembling your kitchen weapons store, I would suggest planning for single bits of the items (like skillets) you’ll utilize regularly. It’s well justified, despite all the trouble to spend somewhat more to purchase singles of the key cookware things you need. 

In this guide, we’ll investigate the best skillets and frying pans out there in every single distinctive material. Then, I’ll talk somewhat about the various sorts of pans you may require for your kitchen.

Best Skillets and Frying Pans

Best Nonstick

Note: For this category, we stuck with 12-inch pans. Most of these will have other size options if you want something smaller.

Top Pick: Kitchara Hard-Anodized Nonstick Pan

This is another top pick for us, and a spic and span skillet and friends. In my kitchen, I’ve moved from the All-Clad (recorded as our next in line) to this one principally in light of the handle. The U-molded handle of the All-Clad isn’t all-around engaging.

A few cooks believe it’s fine, yet others have issues with the handle cutting into their hands. In the wake of utilizing the All-Clad for a long time, I’ve wound up baffled by the handle, so I love the solace of the Kitahara. In general, this is an incredible worth and a great frying container that is solid, cooks flawlessly and is under $100.

Runner Up: All-Clad 12-Inch Hard-Anodized Nonstick Pan

The All-Clad is hardcore, broiler-safe to 500 degrees, without PFOA, and it works wonderfully. A 12-inch is genuinely huge, yet I needed something that could do every one of the employments I required it to. The drawback to the size and rock solidness of it is that it is precarious to place in the dishwasher (it is dishwasher safe).

I can, it just fits clumsily — I’ve taken to hand washing it at any rate thus and to save the search for gold long as could be allowed. It is a little spendy for a solitary skillet, however, I believe it’s justified, despite all the trouble given the development and flexibility. Do take note that the U-formed handle presents issues for certain cooks.

Budget Pick: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

For a more affordable (under $40!) choice that still has a portion of similar highlights our other picks examined (stove protected, hard-anodized, sturdy), this Cuisinart is a superb choice at a fabulous cost. It has great warmth conveyance and a cool hold handle, so it’s a dish that you can use for about everything.

It isn’t enlistment prepared, so avoid this one in the event that you have an acceptance cooktop. There are additionally a couple of Amazon surveys that guarantee the cover broke while being used, which is unsettling. I couldn’t locate anything else about that potential issue in any of my other research, however, it’s unquestionably something to remember.

Best Stainless

Stainless can be tricky to cook with and to clean, and it takes time to get to know the proper methods for both. However, buying the right pan can get you off to the best possible start in stainless cooking. The right pan will have the right amount of chromium to avoid rust and it will have a base that heats quickly and evenly. Here are our picks.

Top Pick: Kitchara 5-Ply Stainless Frying Pan

Kitchara’s 5-ply stainless lineup offers beauty, excellent functionality, and a price that’s better than the typical reigning brand, All-Clad. We prefer the handle on the Kitchara pan versus some of the other options, and the brushed stainless helps it look beautiful and resist fingerprints. The frying pan is newly available after only being offered in the brand’s full stainless set. It’s available in 12 and 10-inch sizes.

Runner Up: All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Fry Pan

Every Clad take a top spot in this class, as well, however it additionally accompanies a much more significant expense tag. In any case, it’s a wise interest in a strong, well-created skillet that will a year ago to come — with appropriate use and cleaning, obviously. It includes an aluminum center and sturdy form, making it cook flawlessly and rise up to utilize. Protests about this (and ANY treated steel container) are reliably about nourishment staying. It’s disappointing to have nourishment adhere to your skillet, yet pure pans are NOT nonstick. It requires some investment and experimentation to figure out how to cook with spotless! (One quick tip: heat the pan, then add the oil.) This model has 12″ and 10″ options available.

Budget Pick: Cuisinart Professional Stainless Steel Skillet

For an induction-ready, oven-safe skillet for less money, this Cuisinart pan is the way to go. The design is smart and made for easy pouring and cleaning, which is helpful when you’re trying to transfer foods. The PowerBond base heats fast and evenly. Plus, Cuisinart offers a lifetime warranty. Size options include 8″, 10″, and 12″.

Best Cast Iron

Top Pick: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

A good cast iron skillet has a few characteristics: It’s inexpensive, comes pre-seasoned, and will last a lifetime (if not many lifetimes — cast iron is a common heirloom). Lodge is THE name in cast iron, and I and basically everyone I know with a cast-iron skillet uses this one. Made in the U.S.A. and marked by a rich history of manufacturing, Lodge is the go-to brand for cast iron. The skillet comes pre-seasoned and is a beast of a thing, so it’ll last a long, long time. This particular model comes with a silicone cover for the handle, which is an excellent addition. It’s available in 8″, 10.25″, 12″, and 13 1/4″.

Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet

If you have a bit (okay, a lot) more to spend and you want an enameled cast iron skillet, Le Creuset is your best bet. Known best for their outstanding dutch ovens, Le Creuset also offers this skillet in a variety of color options. Many reviewers have noted that this pan does a better job of being truly nonstick right out of the box, and it’s easier to care for than bare cast iron.

Skillets and Frying Pans 101

In case you’re not sure about what size or type to buy, I wanted to talk a little about the basics of skillets and frying pans. First of all, those two terms are used interchangeably — there is no difference between a skillet and a frying pan. A sauté pan, on the other hand, is different: it has higher sides and a larger bottom surface, as well as a tighter-fitting lid.

When stocking your kitchen with the skillets you need to whip up all your favorite dishes, you’ll have a few considerations, such as size, material, and features (dishwasher safe, construction, and so forth).

Pan Size

At minimum, your kitchen should have the following skillsets:

  • A nonstick skillet (we recommend 12″)
  • A stainless skillet (10″ or 12″)
  • A cast-iron skillet (recommend 12″)

Some cooks like to have a smaller pan for frying eggs, so something like a 6″ is good if you fry eggs frequently (it’s easier to clean, too).

In general, 12″ is the way to go because having more room than you need is better than having not enough. However, for singles or couples, 10″ sometimes makes more sense (especially if you don’t often cook for other people). 10″ pans tend to be easier to throw into the dishwasher and take up less space if you’re short on cupboard space.


As I mentioned, having at least one of each in nonstick, stainless, and cast iron is a good way to have most of your bases covered, especially if you’re just starting out. You’ll be able to figure out pretty quickly what (if any) other sizes or types of skillets make sense for you. Plus, keep in mind that you’ll likely need other cookware that can do double duty for some things (a wok or saute pan, for example).

Also if you’re just starting out, I’d suggest buying nonstick first. This will be the one you’ll use most often early on, and you don’t want to figure out stainless cooking when you just need to fry yourself some eggs for breakfast. But do be sure to learn how to treat your nonstick skillet right so you avoid damaging it (for best results, even if the manufacturer claims otherwise, handwash it and don’t use metal utensils).

I also strongly encourage you to buy a cast-iron skillet as soon as possible. They can radically change your cooking, and they are inexpensive and versatile. Nonstick pans aren’t great for high heat, so the cast iron can handle the hot jobs and go in and out of the oven.

Stainless is great to have, especially as you become a better cook. As I talked about above, it takes time and dedication to learn the tricks and tips for cooking with stainless, but it’s well worth it when you’re ready.

Other Features & Construction

How the pan is constructed matters, at least for stainless and nonstick. And, additional features might be important to you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Thickness, ply, and material (inside and outside)
  • Handle construction — whether it gets hot to the touch and whether it’s comfortable or awkward to hold
  • Rivets
  • Nonstick material and chemicals
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Warranty