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The Best 12-Inch Nonstick Skillets

Step 1: Buy the best skillet. Step 2: Treat it right.

By , , and

Last Updated Nov. 2, 2022. Appears in Cook's Country TV Season 14: Regional Sandwich Roundup

Update, November 2022

We recently tested the 12" Hexclad Hybrid Pan. We do not recommend it, as it was heavy and not truly nonstick.

We also tested and recommend the 8-inch and 10-inch versions of our winning nonstick skillet. You can also read what we think about a nearly identical skillet made by AmazonBasics here.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

There’s nothing like a good nonstick skillet. You can crack an egg into it and count on a perfect fried egg sliding out a few minutes later, even if you get distracted for a minute or are a little clumsy with your spatula. Sautéed vegetables and stir-fries move around the pan with ease and don’t stick or leave behind cooked-on bits that can burn. It’s our go-to for all sorts of other delicate and fast-cooking foods, from omelets and pancakes to pan-seared salmon and quesadillas.

We’ve spent hundreds of hours evaluating nonstick skillets over the years. We know what we like: A slick and durable coating, a wide cooking surface, and a comfortable handle. Several intriguing new models have hit the market recently. Two direct-to-consumer companies, Misen and Made In, launched to much fanfare. Meanwhile, OXO, the manufacturer of our favorite nonstick skillet, launched a new model with a metal handle that can go in hotter ovens than its original model. We surveyed the market, selected our lineup, and all the skillets through the wringer. We made Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry, pepper and onion frittata, and pan-fried sole—recipes selected to test the pans’ capacity, browning ability, and maneuverability—and recruited three additional testers to use the pans. To zero in on the pans’ nonstick coatings, we conducted a test that’s standard in the cookware industry: cooking eggs in a dry skillet back-to-back, stopping either when they began to stick or when we had made 50 consecutive eggs. We did this at the beginning and end of testing so we could see if the coatings deteriorated with use. 

The Nonstick Coatings Were Really Good

All of the pans’ nonstick coatings were made with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a compound best known by the brand name Teflon. The exact names and formulations of the coatings varied, and manufacturers told us that they applied between two and five layers of those coatings. Despite these differences, most performed similarly. Every skillet was ovensafe to at least 400 degrees. None of the coatings flaked or wore off. All but one of the skillets aced our egg tests, both when the pans were brand-new and when we repeated the test at the end of user testing. We also used a paring knife to see if making cuts in the skillets’ cooking surfaces would result in scratching. All of the pans were marred by scratches, proving that you should follow manufacturers’ instructions and not use knives in nonstick cookware. We also recommend avoiding metal utensils.

What Matters: Size, Shape, and Weight 

We also considered how easy the pans were to use. When we cook in a nonstick skillet, we often move food around...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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