Best Nonstick Pans
Top 3 nonstick cookware:
- 12" ETERNA Non-Stick Frying Pan & Skillet - The Oberon Series: A generously-sized, stainless steel nonstick skillet with slanted sides, perfect for actively cooking dishes with sticky ingredients.
- 12" ETERNA Non-Stick Sauté Frypan - The Oberon Series: A large, straight-sided stainless steel frypan with plenty of surface area, ideal for larger, slower-cooking items.
- 3 Quart ETERNA Non-Stick Stock Pot - The Oberon Series: Complete your kitchen with a large nonstick stockpot, great for for stickier meals like rice and one-pot pasta. stocks.
What You’ll Learn
- Which nonstick cookware is best
- How to test your nonstick pan
- Origins of nonstick coatings
- Nonstick pots and pans worth investing in:
- Is nonstick cookware safe?
- What is the healthiest/safest non stick pan?
- Benefits of nonstick pans
- Frequently asked questions about nonstick pans
1. Which nonstick cookware is best?
A good non stick pan is an integral part of every chef’s cookware set, from professionals to total beginners. It's nearly impossible to cook eggs properly without one, they’re indispensable to pan sear fish with their delicate skin, and they keep pancakes from falling apart while flipping.
The best nonstick cookware is durable, long-lasting, and nontoxic. Dalstrong nonstick cookware is constructed with a 3-Ply Aluminum-Core base, fused with additional, thick layers of non-reactive 18/10 stainless steel. This dramatically prolongs the life of the cookware, made even stronger with 2.5mm heavy gauge thickness — ensured to never dent or warp under prolonged heat for consistent cooking results, every time you use them.
Using ETERNA nonstick coating, these pots and stainless steel pans maintain their non-stick properties 26X longer than the leading competitor, and 10x longer than other premium non-stick brands. Try giving your cast iron pan a break and opt for something easier to clean.
2. How to test your nonstick pan
We recommend a couple of different tests to determine the best nonstick pan:
- Try cooking eggs: Fried eggs should move freely around a nonstick fry pan, even without any cooking oil. Omelettes should stick or leave any residue in the pan after cooking, and should be “presentable,” aka restaurant-ready.
- Heat-time: The pan should heat quickly, and quickly heat room-temperature water (ideally within one minute). Another great test for heat recovery is making pancakes that are light and fluffy with even browning on both sides.
There are tons of nonstick cookware options available on the market today, with the most common either using Teflon or ceramic pan coatings. But how did these two popular nonstick coatings get their start?
3. Origins of nonstick coatings
The original nonstick coating, Teflon was invested by accident in April 1938 by chemist Dr Roy J. Plunkett and his assistant, Jack Rebok. The surprised chemists were working on alternative refrigerant gases, storing the gases they were experimenting with in small cylinders where they were frozen and compressed.
One such gas, tetrafluoroethylene, didn’t emerge from the cylinder after being frozen. Instead, they discovered that the freezing and compression had turned it into a white, solidified liquid, which was later named Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
Running tests on their newfound substance to discover its properties and potential, they discovered that it was the most slippery substance yet discovered by mankind. This made the substance extremely valuable, especially when coupled with its non-corrosive, chemically stable properties and extremely high melting point.
Teflon was introduced into the culinary world in the middle of the century by French Engineer Marc Grogoir. Grogoir had been using the substance to detangle his fishing tackles. His wife, noticing its slick properties, encouraged him to try applying it to their cooking pans. Noticing the incredible difference it made in her cooking, he began selling millions of the non-stick pots every year under the brand name Tefal.
Ceramic cookware has been used and utilized for cooking since nearly the dawn of civilization. But their use as a nonstick cooking surface in household kitchens is a more recent development. But as silicon dioxide ceramic coating is naturally hydrophobic and oleophobic — both water and oil resistant — it’s a naturally effective nonstick surface. And ceramic cookware retains heat better than most, allowing you to continue cooking ingredients after the skillet, pot or frying pan has been removed from the stove.
However, the first ceramic pans on the market were met with doubt — many were too weak to be used regularly in cooking, with the ceramic nonstick coating peeling off after just a few uses. Manufacturers had to add several layers of ceramic coating to nonstick fry pans to make them more durable. However, many of the newer ceramic pans and pots released in recent years are still not dishwasher safe, despite what some brands may claim. Be sure to handwash yours to prevent any premature damage.
4. Nonstick pots and pans worth investing in
Do you consider yourself an active chef? Do you find yourself cooking dishes that require a lot of movement? If the answer to either question was yes, a generously sized nonstick skillet can be the ideal kitchen ally. Its large slanted sides and large cooking surface make it ideal for stir-frying or other rapid cooking techniques in which ingredients are moved around inside the nonstick fry pan quickly and frequently. The nonstick coating is perfect for sticky, egg-based foods that you serve straight from the pan, such as omelettes, and it is magnificent for heat distribution. So grab your
Due to its straight-sided design, a sauté pan has a greater usable surface area than a nonstick skillet of the same dimensions, making it particularly well-suited to slower cooking tasks with larger items. When you’re going to be cooking large items over low-mid heat, a nonstick version of a large sauté pan can be your best bet to evenly distribute heat. Opt for the highest quality nonstick coating you can afford — it’ll last longer — and bypass a lot of the scrubbing and scraping after cooking. It should go without saying, but it's always important to make sure you get pans with lids. This item is a dream addition to any cookware set, making it ideal for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
No kitchen is complete without a decently large stock pot. From making soups, stocks, broths and stews to cooking beans and boiling vegetables, the humble stock pot is perhaps the most versatile and useful pot in your kitchen. If you decide to purchase this pot, (even if you don't) - check out this handy recipe for making hot sauce.
5. Is nonstick cookware safe?
All nonstick cookware made in recent years should be safe. Traditionally, the nonstick coating on cookware was made with the chemical polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE, commonly known as Teflon.
One of the compounds used to make Teflon is known as PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid. In the mid 2000s, health agencies raised concerns about the safety of PFOA, linking it to environmental concerns as well as health issues such as kidney and liver disease. In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with eight major companies to phase out the use of PFOA in nonstick cookware completely by 2015.
Dalstrong nonstick pans are completely PFOA-free, giving you complete peace of mind when you purchase any of our non toxic cookware.
Additionally, the fact that they are easy to clean is of benefit for getting rid of germs and bacteria after or before cooking.
6. What is the healthiest/safest non stick pan?
As covered above, any non stick pan that is PFOA-free is considered healthy and safe to use. However, even PFOA-free pans should not be overheated. At temperatures above 570 degrees fahrenheit, the nonstick coatings can begin to break down. Many of these include fluorine-containing compounds, which are considered to be generally toxic. But fluoropolymers, the chemicals from which these toxic compounds come, are a big part of the coating formula — and the very reason that foods don't stick to nonstick coatings.
Accidentally inhaling these fumes can cause a condition known as polymer fume fever.
To avoid this risk, make sure to take the following precautions:
- Never preheat an empty pan: Empty pans can quickly reach extreme temperatures, resulting in the release of toxic fumes as described above.
- Never use maximum heat: Keep your electric or gas burners on low to medium temperatures to avoid overheating your pan to dangerous levels
- Don’t broil or sear meat: Your nonstick pan should never be used to broil or sear meat, as this requires the kind of high temperatures that affect the chemical composition of your pan.
- Ventilate your kitchen: Turn on the exhaust fan while cooking to help dissipate any possible fumes.
- Go heavy: Lightweight nonstick pans tend to heat up quickly. Invest your money in heavier nonstick pans — it’s worth it.
- Avoid chipping or damage: Damaged or chipped pans are far more likely to release toxic compounds from the nonstick coating To prevent any scratching or chipping, never use metal utensils on nonstick pans and opt for a wooden spoon instead. When cleaning and storing, don’t use steel wool or other abrasive sponges, and don’t stack your nonstick pans - make sure to put a paper towel between pans when stacking.
7. Benefits of nonstick pans
- No oil needed: With a good nonstick pan, you can make delicious dishes without a single drop of oil, both enhancing your health and saving money.
- Easier to clean: Cast iron and stainless steel pans can absorb quite a bit of oil while cooking, making them difficult to clean when food gets stuck to the bottom. The slippery surface of non-stick cookware makes these pots and pans easier to clean and maintain over time.
- Uniform heat distribution: Cook faster and use less gas on the stove with nonstick cookware. The best nonstick cookware evenly distributes heat so that food is cooked faster.
8. Frequently asked questionsWhat is the best way to clean nonstick pots and pans?
To prolong the life of your pan, the best method is handwashing with a non-abrasive sponge. While Dalstrong cookware is dishwasher safe, we recommend using gentle liquid or powder detergents, as harsher tablets may cause damage long-term. When handwashing, cleaning the inside and outside of your pan with hot water, dish soap, and a sponge (preferably nylon). Make sure to clean after each use to remove any traces of grease that can stay on the surface.Why is food sticking to my non-stick pan?
There are a couple different reasons food might stick to the pan:
- A buildup of food deposits/residue may have formed on the pan due to overcooking or failing to wash thoroughly.
- The pot or pan may have been overheated, causing damage and discoloring. Regular overheating will eventually lead to the weakening of the non-stick coating and can possibly make it unsafe.
If the lack of stick is due to not cleaning the cookware thoroughly, it can normally be rectified by filling the pan with hot water and dish soap and liquid and leaving it overnight. If rinsing the pan after soaking doesn’t result in the food traces being removed, make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water and rub it gently over the pan with a non-abrasive sponge.
The non-stick coating should then be reconditioned with a little cooking oil wiped over the surface with a paper towel. If the nonstick surface failing is due to repeated overheating, it must be replaced to avoid any risks of toxic fumes.
Why are some cookware hard anodized?
The method ensures that the metal doesn't react with the acidic foods by providing a strong, smooth surface that is very durable.
You can also check in with our Expert Knife Finder Quiz and get specific recommendations based on your needs.
Born in Ohio and based in Buenos Aires, Evelyn loves sharing her grandmother’s midwestern recipes with unsuspecting Argentines.