Nonstick pans used to be considered disposable: toss when chipped. But that throw-it-away mentality has given way to a smarter, more eco-conscious way of thinking, and manufacturers are beginning to reformulate the way they make their nonsticks. The pans may cost a little more, but they’re meant to last longer.
That’s why, although you can get a large nonstick skillet for under $30, we chose to test pans priced between $50 and $80. In this range, we found four skillets that not only lived up to their nonstick claims but also delivered stellar performances. They’re keepers...
Top Choice: Cuisinart Green Gourmet Nonstick Skillet
Weight: 3 lb. 8 oz.
While this 12-inch pan was one of two “ecofriendly” pans in our review (along with the Scanpan), it was the performance and construction that made it our favorite. There was no sticking, and the aluminum core conducted heat in a controlled and even manner. Well balanced, the pan is classically shaped with gently sloping sides and a rolled edge for easy pouring. The riveted stay-cool handle is comfortable, and the opposing helper handle is a bonus. The exterior comes in hard anodized or stainless steel.
Most Comfortable: Scanpan Professional fry pan
Weight: 2 lb. 9 oz.
This 11-inch pan was a standout for its easy maneuverability. Substantial but lighter than most, it’s well balanced, with a handle that’s rounded and tapered in just the right places. The sloping sides are short, which made food feel readily accessible. The pressure-cast-aluminum disk base conducted heat evenly, and the ceramic titanium nonstick surface meant no sticking of fish fillets or fried eggs cooked without oil.