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best frying pans

The best non-stick frying pans

A hard-wearing non-stick frying pan is a kitchen must-have. We tested a wide range of frying pans at a variety of different price points to find the best non-stick frying pan for every type of cook.

A well-engineered, non-stick frying pan is a kitchen essential, allowing you to cook with flair and confidence. They’re versatile bits of kit, too. Whether you want to make crispy-skinned sea bass for this white fish with sesame noodles dish, caramelise a rib-eye steak, crisp duck fat for our  seared duck with ginger mash or make simple, easy crêpes, the right frying pan will make all of these tasks (and more) an absolute breeze.

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Choose one that works on all hobs (including induction), or at least the hob in your own kitchen. If you like to cook dishes that need to be finished in the oven, choose one that’s oven-safe to a high temperature. Pick out those with a hard-wearing, eco-friendly and chemical-free non-stick coating. The majority of the pans we’ve tested are dishwasher-safe, though, for a pan with a good-quality non-stick, dishwashing will seem excessive. Look for solid, forged metals – aluminium (often recyclable) and stainless steel – that feel robust and well-built, whether it’s an affordable model, or a high-end pan.

We tested a sample of the latest non-stick contenders against criteria that included temperature control, handle comfort and eco-credentials. We used the pans to make American pancakes and omelettes, as well as shimmying dry ingredients to test the shape. Read on to discover our best non-stick frying pans.

How to choose the best non-stick frying pan

Whether you’re cooking up an indulgent pan-fried rib eye steak or a showstopping dish, like Barney Desmazery’s pan-fried scallops with parsnip purée & pancetta crumbs, a good frying pan can help you to achieve an intense sear and flavoursome crust. You can also use your frying pan as a mould and serving dish, like Anna Glover did for this frying pan filo tart.

A generously sized frying pan is a great way to reheat leftovers quickly. Take any leftover pasta sauce, like our pasta arrabbiata with aubergine, heat it through, then add your pasta, tossing the two together.

What’s the best material for a non-stick frying pan?

Choosing the right pan can be a bit of a minefield. To start with, you need to pick what materials you want your pan to be made of. All of the frying pans we’ve tested are made from aluminium or stainless steel.

Aluminium
Pros: lightweight, budget-friendly, good heat conductivity
Cons: can warp, scratches easily, can react to acidic food

Stainless steel
Pros: durable, produces weighty pans, does not react to any type of food
Cons: some cheap pans can transfer heat poorly and unevenly

What to look out for when choosing a non-stick frying pan?

  • Suitable for all hobs/your hob
  • Ovenproof to a high temperature
  • Easy to clean or dishwasher-safe
  • Comfortable handle that’s a good length and stays cool

Best non-stick frying pans at a glance

  • Best non-stick frying pan: Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK frying pan, from £34.99
  • Best non-stick frying pan for long handles: Smeg frying pan, from £99
  • Best non-stick frying pan for ergonomic design: Stellar Rocktanium frying pan, from £24.25
  • Best ceramic non-stick frying pan: GreenPan Venice Pro Extra frying pan, from £45
  • Best non-stick frying pan for large surface area: Judge Vista frying pan, from £33.99
  • Best non-stick frying pan to splurge on: Samuel Groves Tri-Ply frying pan, from £145
  • Best versatile non-stick frying pan: Circulon Steel Shield C-Series frying pan, from £65
  • Best budget non-stick frying pan: AmazonBasics Titanium Plasma frying pan, from £19.99
  • Best non-stick frying pan for eco credentials: Kuhn Rikon New Life frying pan, from £79.95
  • Best frying pan for stay-cool handles: KitchenAid Classic frying pan, from £29.33

Best non-stick frying pans to buy in 2021

Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK frying pan

Ninja Foodie ZEROSTICK frying pan

Best non-stick frying pan

  • Pros: high-quality non-stick, slim and comfortable handle, suitable for all hob types, oven-safe to high temperature, responsive to changes in temperature
  • Cons: handle gets warm

Star rating: 5/5

You’ll be familiar with the brand Ninja because of their high-powered blenders and air fryers. Ninja have kept the momentum going with their cookware. This non-stick frying pan is robust and hardwearing. It’s also oven-safe up to 260C.

This frying pan is a joy to cook with. Not only is it comfortable thanks to the slim, ergonomically designed handle, but it produced light and fluffy American pancakes and an evenly cooked omelette. Nothing stuck to this pan. The Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK comes at a fantastic price too.

Read our full Ninja Foodi ZEROSTICK frying pan review.

Smeg frying pan

Smeg frying pan in red

Best non-stick frying pan for long handles

  • Pros: available in a range of colours and sizes, great looking, can be used at high oven temperature, robust
  • Cons: expensive

Star rating: 4.5/5

From another brand well-known for their fantastic kitchenware comes Smeg’s first foray into the world of cookware. This non-stick frying pan is a more high-end offering, but it showcases some fantastic finishing details, as well as a long, sturdy and comfortable handle.

It cooks fantastically and nothing sticks to it at all. It’s dishwasher-safe, but that would be rarely necessary. Like the rest of the items in the Smeg cookware range, this non-stick frying pan is available in red, black and cream.

Read our full Smeg frying pan review

Stellar Rocktanium frying pan

SP20 Stellar Rocktanium 20cm Frying Pan

Best non-stick frying pan for an ergonomic design

  • Pros: comfortable and lightweight, nicely shaped handle, oven-safe to high temperature
  • Cons: some resistance when trying to remove omelette, pancake was a little patchy

Star rating 4.5/5

Featuring a speckled non-stick coating, the Stellar Rocktanium frying pan is available in a good range of sizes (20-30cm) and has an ergonomically shaped handle that comfortably fits the contours of the hand.

This frying pan has a brilliant non-stick surface; neither our American pancakes or omelette stuck to the pan. It didn’t brown quite as evenly as we’d hoped, but both foods were very well cooked.

For ease and added versatility, this pan is both dishwasher-safe and ovenproof up to 210C.

Read our full Stellar Rocktanium frying pan review

GreenPan Venice Pro Extra frying pan

GreenPan Venice Pro Extra frying pan

Best ceramic non-stick frying pan

  • Pros: suitable for all hob types, oven-safe to high temperature, available in a good range of sizes
  • Cons: short handle that gets hot

Star rating: 4.5/5

This non-stick frying pan is part of GreenPan’s upgraded Venice Pro range. This slightly weighty ceramic pan is suitable for all hob types, is dishwasher-safe and is ovenproof up to an impressive 260C.

We loved cooking with this pan. It was responsive to changes in temperature and cooked both our American pancakes and omelette brilliantly. We did notice some patchiness on the surface of the pancakes, but flavour-wise we couldn’t fault either of them. Do be careful of the base of the handle as it gets hot.

Read our full GreenPan Venice Pro Extra frying pan review

Judge Vista frying pan

Judge Vista frying pan

Best non-stick frying pan for large surface area

  • Pros: comfortable handle, nicely balanced, sides are nice and tall
  • Cons: not ovenproof to a high temperature

Star rating: 4.5/5

Equipped with tall walls and a large flat surface area, this pan is ideal for those dishes that require a hard sear, like a rump steak. This stainless steel pan is dishwasher-safe and available in four different sizes. The Vista is only ovenproof up to 150C and we found the handle a little short, so tossing ingredients in the pan wasn’t the easiest.

This Judge frying pan is responsive to changes in temperature and we were able to cook a soft omelette and evenly browned American pancakes.

Read our full Judge Vista frying pan review

Samuel Groves Tri-Ply frying pan

Samuel Groves, non stick fry pan

Best non-stick frying pan to splurge on

  • Pros: fantastic non-stick coating, well balanced, comfy handle, recyclable packaging, ‘pan for life’ non-stick refurbishment scheme
  • Cons: not dishwasher-safe

Star rating: 4.5/5

This professional looking frying pan is beautifully designed and is intended to last a lifetime. It’s available for an expensive upfront cost, but we believe it’s worth the investment.

This Samuel Groves pan is perfectly balanced. Although it’s thin, it’s reassuringly weighty and sits comfortably on the hob. It’s also oven-safe up to 260C – extra points for versatility.

Cooking with it is a joy. Both our omelette and American pancakes were evenly browned and easy to remove from the pan.

Read our full Samuel Groves Tri-Ply frying pan review

Circulon Steel Shield C-Series frying pan

Circulon Frying Pan

Best versatile non-stick frying pan

  • Pros: unique non-stick design, comfortable stay-cool handle, recyclable packaging, metal utensil safe
  • Cons: some sticking, some may not like the design

Star rating: 4.5/5

Designed to cook like steel and clean like non-stick, this frying pan is ideal for searing meat and veggies. It’s notable for its design, featuring a series of ridged circles inside the pan. For ease and versatility, its dishwasher-safe and ovenproof up to 260C.

We loved the slim ergonomic handle; it’s comfortable and doesn’t get too hot in use. Although this pan cooked very well, we noticed that the circular pattern imprinted onto our American pancakes and omelette. This didn’t affect the flavour, but may be off putting for some.

Read our full Circulon Steel Shield C-Series frying pan review

AmazonBasics Titanium Plasma frying pan

AmazonBasics Titanium Plasma frying pan

Best budget non-stick frying pan

  • Pros: budget-friendly, comfortable handle, handle can be tightened
  • Cons: very light, feels a little cheap

Star rating: 4.5/5

This simple looking frying pan from AmazonBasics is lightweight and easy to hold. It’s available in two different sizes and is suitable for all hob types. The non-stick coating is very effective and happily we were able to produce some pretty perfect looking (and tasting) American pancakes. Our omelette was smooth and custardy too.

This is a basic frying pan that produced some great results. It’s dishwasher-safe for easy clean up but only oven-safe up to 175C. For many of us, 180C is our default cooking temperature, so we found this a frustrating restriction.

Kuhn Rikon New Life frying pan

Kuhn Rikon New Life frying pan

Best non-stick frying pan for eco credentials

  • Pros: made from recycled aluminium, comfortable handle, dishwasher-safe
  • Cons: browning was a little uneven

Star rating: 4.5/5

Made from recycled tin cans, the Kuhn Rikon New Life frying pan wins big eco points! A pan for everyone, this model comes in three different sizes and is suitable for all hob types.

This pan is brilliantly shaped, its wide with gently sloping curves making tossing and flipping foods a breeze. Although both our American pancakes and omelette were well cooked, we noticed they weren’t as evenly browned as some of the others we’ve produced. But flavour and texture-wise, we couldn’t fault them.

Read our full Kuhn Rikon New Life frying pan review

KitchenAid Classic frying pan

KitchenAid Classic frying pan

Best frying pan for stay-cool handles

  • Pros: comfortable handle, able to tighten handle, dishwasher-safe
  • Cons: can’t go in the oven to high temps, browning a little uneven

Star rating: 4.5/5

This design of this simple-looking non-stick frying pan from KitchenAid seems a departure from their usually brightly coloured kitchen appliances, but on closer inspection it’s clear to see this pan has a high-quality finish.

It features an impressive non-stick coating that neither our omelette or American pancakes stuck to. Both foods cooked very well, though we did notice some distinct cool spots on the pancakes.

This frying pan is dishwasher safe, but only ovenproof to 160C.

Read our full KitchenAid Classic frying pan review

How we tested non-stick frying pans

What was our test criteria?

Supreme temperature control

The ability to accurately adjust the temperature with subtle precision, even after cooking over high heat, will provide you with the greatest overall control, transforming your everyday cooking. It’ll mean that you can save food that you forgot about for a moment, cook every type of egg dish imaginable with precision, or perfectly simmer a midweek risotto or pasta sauce.

Design with cooking in mind

A large surface area for cooking with elegantly curved sides that are neither too shallow or too tall, alongside a balance between weight and size, and a comfortable, stay-cool ergonomic handle, are ideal. This will let you toss food – often the best way to mix ingredients – with ease.

Reliable, eco-friendly non-stick

An effortlessly slick non-stick coating with just a touch of grip will prevent spread when cooking pancakes or frying eggs. Look for scratch-resistant non-stick (often with a specific warranty for the coating) that’ll hold up to long-term wear and tear. Further, to avoid any health issues or chemical aftertaste, look for eco-friendly materials, particularly ones that are PFOA-free.

Recipe results

We cooked BBC Good Food’s basic omelette in each pan, making a note of how long the pan took to pre-heat. We then monitored how quickly the eggs cooked, how easy it was to lower and control the temperature, as well as checking how effective the non-stick was. Once cooked, we tasted each batch to check how evenly the eggs cooked, whether they held well – i.e. didn’t overcook when left to sit in the pan – and if the pan added any chemical notes to the flavour.

Finally, we made a batch of American pancakes, this allowed us to check how evenly the pan heated up, how efficiently it transferred to the food and whether the non-stick had the necessary subtle grip. For example, did the pancakes spread too much initially or were they nicely puffed? Was the surface of the pancakes evenly browned, or was it patchy?

After extensive testing, we also rated the pans on how easy they were to clean.

BBC Good Food best non-stick frying pans

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Non-stick frying pan recipes
Frying pan filo tart
Pan-fried salmon
Pan-fried rib-eye steak
Pan-fried sprouts and crunchy chorizo crumbs
Pan-fried potato gnocchi
Paneer and chickpea fry
Pan-fried sea bass with ratatouille and basil
One-pan egg and veg brunch