The 10 Best Frying Pans of 2023

The All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Fry Pan is our top pick for its durability, even heating, and easy cleanup.

In This Article

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Best Frying Pans

Real Simple / David Hattan

Arguably the most versatile piece of cookware in your culinary arsenal, frying pans can handle steaming, sautéing, and searing with equal precision. To determine the best frying pans, we looked at material, temperature thresholds, and ease of cleaning. We also enlisted the advice of Dan Pelosi, Food52 contributor and the mind behind GrossyPelosi.

“I think the best thing any frying pan can do is make anyone feel like a great cook. Bells and whistles are nice, but a pan just needs to work properly,” says Pelosi. “My boyfriend and I take turns at the stove, but no matter who is doing the cooking, the eggs always turn out the same. We give the pan all the credit.”

Overall, our top choice is the All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Fry Pan, thanks to its oven- and broiler-safe stainless steel construction that offers fast and even heat distribution.

Best Overall Frying Pan

All-Clad D3 Stainless-Steel 12-Inch Fry Pan

All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Fry Pan

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a durable frying pan that’s oven- and broiler-safe and compatible with all cooktops. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a nonstick frying pan.

From the grill to the oven and right over to the cooktop, the All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Fry Pan is our pick for the best overall frying pan due to its versatility. Crafted with an aluminum core and two layers of stainless steel, the pan (and accompanying lid) is heat-resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Not to mention, the durable stainless steel construction offers fast and even heat distribution. 

Although it is not nonstick, the highly polished stainless steel aids in stick-resistance. And when you’re done cooking up a storm, the All-Clad frying pan can simply be placed in the dishwasher for an easy clean. Another feature we love are the flared sides, which make for easy pancake flipping and sauce tossing. 

Price at time of publish: $130

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel with aluminum core
  • Size: 12 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes, to 600 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Care: Dishwasher safe (hand wash recommended)

Best Budget Frying Pan

GreenPan Lima Ceramic Nonstick 12-Inch Fry Pan

GreenPan Lima Ceramic Nonstick Fry Pan

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a long-lasting and affordable nonstick frying pan. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a dishwasher- or induction-safe frying pan. 

Made from hard-anodized aluminum coated in a ceramic nonstick coating, the GreenPan Lima fry pan is designed to withstand everyday use. The thick forged body can hold up to daily wear, while the nonstick coating allows for easy release of even the most delicate foods, not to mention easy cleanup. Additionally, it is oven safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit and comes with a durable glass lid (which is oven-safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit). The ergonomic handle makes the transition from the stovetop to the oven seamless, too. 

Keep in mind that because this skillet has a ceramic nonstick coating, you’ll need to take extra care to hand wash it and avoid using metal utensils (instead, opt for bamboo or silicone). And it’s not safe for induction stovetops, either. But otherwise, this makes for an effective and affordable nonstick skillet for everyday cooking, especially for those wary of traditional nonstick coatings

 Price at time of publish: From $40

Product Details:

  • Material: Hard anodized aluminum with Thermolon ceramic nonstick coating, stainless steel handles
  • Size: 8, 10, and 12 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes, up to 600 degrees
  • Care: Hand wash only 

Best Splurge Frying Pan

Smithey Carbon Steel Farmhouse Skillet

Smithey Carbon Steel Farmhouse Skillet

Food52

Who it’s for: People who are willing to splurge on hand-forged cookware and people who want a lightweight alternative to cast iron cookware. 

Who it isn’t for: People who are not in a position to spend a lot on a frying pan and people who don’t want to have to season their cookware.

Hand-forged from durable carbon steel, Smithey’s Farmhouse Skillet is a special piece of cookware that performs as well as it looks. It performs similar to cast iron (and requires similar care), but it’s much more lightweight. The pre-seasoned, 12-inch pan cooks evenly across stovetops and grills alike. Just be sure to wash with soap before use to remove the protective coating. 

While not inherently nonstick, the more you cook with it, the more nonstick it becomes—plus, the pan will also darken in color over time. To keep the pan top notch for years to come, never soak in water and always rub down lightly with vegetable oil after each use. 

Price at time of publish: $295

Product Details:

  • Material: Carbon Steel
  • Size: 12 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes 
  • Care: Hand wash only

Best Nonstick Frying Pan

Caraway Nonstick Ceramic Frying Pan

Caraway Nonstick Ceramic Frying Pan

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an easy cooking and cleaning experience.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a dishwasher-safe frying pan. 

A cult-favorite amongst editors and home chefs alike, Caraway’s Fry Pan (available in six gorgeous shades), is our pick for the best nonstick frying pan. Thanks to the PTFE-free ceramic coating, eggs will slide around like butter—without the need for fat. It's suitable for all stovetops, and can be matched with other Caraway cookware, like the sauté pan and sauce pan.

Cleaning the pan involves minimal scrubbing, which is especially important because it is hand wash only. What’s more, Caraway claims their pans release 60 percent less carbon dioxide when produced, as compared to other nonstick frying pans. 

Price at time of publish: $95

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum with nonstick ceramic coating, stainless steel handles
  • Size: 10.5 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes, up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Care: Hand wash only

Best Cast Iron Frying Pan

Le Creuset Classic Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

Le Creuset Classic Skillet

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want the heat retention and durability of cast iron without the upkeep. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a lightweight frying pan. 

Le Creuset is known for their quality craftsmanship and impressive number of color options, so it’s no surprise their classic skillet made our list. Unlike your traditional cast iron pan that requires regular seasoning and a strict cleaning regime, Le Creuset's version is finished with a black, satin enamel, which eliminates the need for the same level of maintenance. 

Both dishwasher- and metal utensil-safe, the pan isn’t for cast iron devotees, but it’s perfect for those looking to dip their toe in. We also love the front handle for easy transportation from the oven to the stovetop and back. 

Price at time of publish: $120

Product Details:

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Size: 9 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Care: Dishwasher safe

Best Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Misen Stainless Skillet

Misen Stainless Steel Frying Pan

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a workhorse frying pan that can withstand heavy use. 

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a pre-seasoned or nonstick frying pan. 

While the Misen Stainless Steel Frying Pan may not be nonstick, we love the durability and even-heating this pan offers. The pan is made with a thick, five-ply construction that ensures better heating: the three-layer aluminum and alloy core heats quickly, while the stainless steel layers help to retain that heat. 

A stay-cool handle ensures flipping and sautéing whatever you’re whipping up doesn’t need an oven mitt to be accomplished. And given the affordable price point and various size options, the Misen frying pan is ideal for those looking to build their kitchen inventory without sacrificing quality. And it's dishwasher-safe, to boot. 

Price at time of publish: From $65

Product Details:

  • Material: Stainless steel with aluminum and alloy core 
  • Size: 8,10, and 12 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Care: Dishwasher safe

Best Carbon Steel Frying Pan

Made In Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan

4.8
Made In Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan

Made In

Who it’s for: People who want a naturally nonstick frying pan that can handle high-heat cooking. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a dishwasher-safe frying pan. 

Similar to cast iron, but at half the weight and without the strict maintenance, the Made In Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan is a pre-seasoned pan that can withstand up to 1,200 degrees of heat. Because of the high heat threshold, the pan transitions easily from oven to grill and even induction cooktop. 

Carbon steel is a chef-favorite, as it’s naturally nonstick (read: no coatings needed), gets better with age, and combines the characteristics of both stainless steel and cast iron. If you’d rather season it yourself, you can opt for the unseasoned version. Choose between three different size options, or better yet, stock your kitchen with all three. 

Price at time of publish: From $69

Product Details:

  • Material: Carbon Steel
  • Size: 8, 10, and 12 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes, up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Care: Hand wash only

Best Ceramic Frying Pan

Our Place Always Pan

4.9
Always Pan in Blue Salt

Courtesy of Our Place

Who it’s for: People who want a multifunctional frying pan with a ceramic nonstick coating.  

Who it isn’t for: People who want a frying pan that’s guaranteed to withstand years of frequent use. 


Said to replace eight highly used cooking tools, the Our Place Always Pan is a workhorse of a ceramic frying pan. Available in a slew of candy-colored finishes, this is also a pan you won’t mind serving out of, either. 

While there is a ceramic nonstick coating, it can lose its nonstick qualities overtime if not cared for correctly, so hand washing is recommended. The pan also comes with a bamboo spatula and matching lid to ensure you have everything you need, whether you plan on sautéing, steaming, or even boiling (yes, it’s deep enough).

Price at time of publish: $145

Product Details:

  • Material: Aluminum with nonstick ceramic coating
  • Size: 10 inches
  • Oven Safe: No
  • Care: Hand wash recommended

Best Copper Frying Pan

Mauviel M’Heritage 150b Round Frying Pan

Mauviel Copper M'150 B Fry Pan

Williams Sonoma

Who it’s for: People who want a heat-sensitive pan that allows for ultra-precise cooking. 

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want the upkeep of copper cookware. 

For those who love cooking to precise temperatures with ultra-even heating, this pan has the best of both worlds—a copper exterior for easy temperature control and timing and a stainless steel interior that’s food-safe, nonreactive, and easy to clean. 

Made in France, the Mauviel pan is ideal for gas and electric cooktops as well as oven use, but it’s important to note that this pan isn’t induction safe. Copper will patina over time, which doesn’t affect cooking ability, but a simple copper polish will keep it looking new. 

Price at time of publish: From $210

Product Details:

  • Material: Copper with stainless steel interior
  • Size: 8, 10, and 12 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes
  • Care: Hand wash only

Best Frying Pan Set

Crate & Barrel EvenCook Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pans

Who it’s for: People who want matching frying pans in various sizes and color choices. 

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer the durability of stainless steel or cast iron. 

This set includes two ceramic nonstick frying pans—one 8-inch and one 10-inch inch. Available in a handful of colors, the ceramic pans are not only durable, but dishwasher-safe (even though hand washing is recommended). 

Ideal for frying and searing, the pans heat up quickly and clean easily without the need for harsh scrubbers and chemical cleaners. The set is great for new homeowners or anyone looking to stock their kitchen with a few versatile pans at an affordable price. We also love that this set is suitable for all cooktops (even induction). 

Price at time of publish: $100

Product Details:

  • Material: Hard-anodized aluminum frame with nonstick ceramic coating, stainless steel handles
  • Size: 8 and 10 inches
  • Oven Safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Care: Dishwasher safe, hand-washing recommended

Final Verdict

Topping our list as the best overall frying pan is the All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Fry Pan. It’s safe for nearly every cooktop, oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and handles searing and sautéing like a champ. Not to mention, it’s dishwasher-safe. For a cost-friendly alternative, the GreenPan Lima Ceramic Nonstick Fry Pan has a durable construction with a ceramic nonstick coating that allows for easy release of even the most delicate foods.

How to Shop for Frying Pans Like a Pro

Material

While material is largely a matter of personal preference, there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a frying pan. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty pan that can withstand high temperatures, it’s best to go with carbon steel or cast iron. For easy cleaning, nonstick is the way to go. For avid cooks who want to cook with extra precision, copper cookware is an excellent choice. And for everyday cooking, stainless steel can handle just about anything. 

Size 

The size of the frying pan is dependent on what you plan on cooking. For a few eggs in the morning, an 8-inch pan is suitable. But it’s far too small for a few chicken breasts or a large selection of vegetables. A 12-inch pan is best suited there. Again, it’s largely personal preference, but a smaller pan for smaller items ensures even heating and cooking throughout.

Ease of Cleaning

Nonstick pans are overwhelmingly the easiest to clean, especially because there’s no scrubbing needed. However, they’re not often dishwasher-safe. Cleaning cast iron is easy thanks to its naturally nonstick surface that develops over time, just keep in mind it will require regular maintenance and seasoning (unless it’s enameled cast iron). Stainless steel isn’t typically very nonstick, but it’s often dishwasher-safe. Finally, copper requires the most maintenance, as it needs to be polished to maintain its shine and cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher.

Questions You Might Ask

What is the best type of frying pan for everyday use?

Like our best overall frying pan, stainless steel is tough and durable for cooking day-in and day-out. Its high heat threshold and versatile nature (great for any type of stovetop and oven-safe), allows for even cooking whether you’re frying, searing, or sauteing. 

But for Pelosi, a nonstick frying pan tops his list. He says, “It's the most versatile pan for almost everything you need to do, and certainly all everyday meals. Plus, it's the easiest to clean, which we all want as part of our everyday routine, don't we?”

What kind of frying pan do most chefs use?

Most restaurant kitchens and professional chefs opt for carbon steel, copper, or stainless steel cookware. Professional kitchens usually avoid nonstick, as it doesn’t hold up against the metals for extremely heavy and frequent usage. Pro tip: Seasoning nonstick cookware before use can make it last longer.

Can stainless pans be made nonstick? 

Stainless steel pans do not start out nonstick. The nature of stainless steel pans is that they are entirely metal with no coatings, which means they cannot be naturally nonstick. However, Pelosi insists that with enough patience (and fat), stainless steel pans can eventually become nonstick.

“Most things cooked on any surface will self-release if you let them cook long enough,” he says. “They will form a nice crispy crust that eventually slides off the pan with little effort. The other option is to cook in a big puddle of oil or butter—how bad can that be? The layer of fat will help everything slide off the pan and into your mouth with ease.” 

Take Our Word For It

This article was written by Kate McGregor,  freelance design writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She has written about the best in cookware and home goods for publications such as ELLE Decor, Architectural Digest, The Expert, and Domino. To come up with this list, Kate spent hours researching the best frying pans, evaluating them on material, temperature thresholds, and ease of cleaning. She also consulted Dan Pelosi, known for his Food52 video series and GrossyPelosi Instagram account

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