We tested these nonstick frying pans of every budget to see how well they perform.
Our Picks for Each Budget
- Best for Professional: HexClad Hybrid Pan 30 cm £134.99
- Best Mid Range Pan: Ninja Foodie ZEROSTICK 30cm Frying Pan £54.99
- Best for Value: ProCook Professional Ceramic Frying Pan 28cm £42
- Best for Beginner: Argos Blue Diamond nonstick Pan 30 cm £30
- Best for Student: Student Essentials nonstick Frying Pan 24 cm £13
What you need to know before buying your nonstick frying pan
Nonstick frying pans have come a long way from their reputation as a one-trick tool for cooking eggs. They are now oven safe and offer a variety of options that make them versatile in the kitchen. However, before purchasing a nonstick pan, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, there are two types of non-stick coatings available in the market, PTFE and ceramic. Both work well to prevent food from sticking to the pan, but PTFE-coated pans tend to last longer than ceramic ones. Secondly, it's important to follow specific guidelines to ensure the longevity of the pan, such as never using nonstick cooking spray and avoiding the dishwasher.
To make a nonstick pan last a lifetime, it's essential to follow certain rules. For instance, it's advisable to use minimal amounts of butter or oil instead of nonstick cooking spray, which can cause a buildup on the surface of the pan. Also, dishwashers can dull and damage the coating of the pan, so it's best to stick to hand-washing. You should avoid heating the pan over high heat on the stove, as it can release harmful chemicals and odors. Lastly, never heat an empty nonstick pan, as the high heat can damage the pan and create an unpleasant odor.
Nonstick pans are a great tool to have in the kitchen, but it's essential to understand the dos and don'ts of using them. With proper care, a nonstick pan can last a long time and be a valuable investment for any home cook.
Now we’ve come to the hard part, deciding which nonstick pan to buy after knowing all the basic guidelines. To make your life easier, our team at Student Essentials has tested several nonstick pans based on a specific price range: super expensive to super budget.
Our Method of Testing
So we decided to test each pan by making pancakes. Why pancakes? Because we think it’s the perfect test for a nonstick pan! We judge the performance based on how evenly the pancakes cook (heat distribution), how easy it is to flip and move the pancakes (nonstick), whether it is easy to clean the frying pan afterwards (maintenance), how comfortable the handle is, and more. Overall, we consider all aspects from price, performance, to design.
Let’s get down to business then!
HexClad Hybrid Pan 30 cm £134.99
Oprah’s and Gordon Ramsay’s swear by this pan, so out of curiosity, we put it to the test. The HexClad Hybrid Pan offers a unique combination of PFOA-free nonstick coating with stainless steel. Its interwoven honeycomb pattern ensures that the nonstick surface is protected from metal utensils while the raised stainless steel lines allow for high surface heat. While the pan is heavier than other nonstick skillets, it is more durable and able to withstand metal utensils. The pan heats the pancakes evenly and is easy to clean afterwards. Although it doesn't sear as well as stainless steel, it still outperforms traditional nonstick pans. The pan is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 500 degrees F. The HexClad is an excellent choice if you want a nonstick pan that is more durable and long-lasting than traditional nonstick cookware, but it does come with a hefty price tag.
Pros: super durable, multifunction,easy to clean, heats evenly, sleek design
Cons: expensive, a little bit on the heavy compared to other nonstick pans
Ninja Foodie ZEROSTICK 30cm Frying Pan £54.99
We tried the Ninja Foodie Zerostick frying pan and was impressed with its high-quality non-stick surface and responsive heating abilities. The long, slim handle was also a standout feature, making it comfortable to hold while cooking. The pan is suitable for all hob types and can be used in the oven up to 260C. However, one downside is that the handle can get quite warm towards the pan-side. The pan was easy to clean and versatile enough for use in both hob and oven cooking. The non-stick coating worked well frying the sunny side up egg, although we did notice some spreading when cooking thick pancake batter. Overall, this frying pan is a great addition to any kitchen.
Pros: responsive to heat, functional design, suitable for all hob types
Cons: handle can get quite warm after sometime near the heat
ProCook Professional Ceramic Frying Pan 28cm £42
The ease of use and non-stick capabilities of the ProCook Ceramic Frying Pan were great. The light-coloured background makes it easy to see how the pancake is progressing. The pans' PFOA-free ceramic lining is treated at a lower temperature in the manufacturing process, making it a more environmentally friendly option. The thick aluminum base sandwiched between stainless steel ensures even heat distribution. The “Stainless steel CoolTouch®” handle on this pan gets hot after some time though, so we recommend you wear gloves when removing the pan from the oven (yes it is oven safe). Although the slight doming on the base of the frying pan can gather small amounts of added fat or liquid, the super-smooth base means that you only need minimal oil or fat, making this ceramic pan a great choice for healthy cooks.
Pros: 25 years guarantee, easy to clean, made of environmentally friendly materials
Cons: surface easily scratched, make sure to use silicone or wooden spatula
Argos Blue Diamond nonstick Pan 30 cm £30
The Blue Diamond Diamond-Infused Ceramic Frypan offers an incredible value for its price, as well as a non-toxic nonstick coating that is scratch-resistant and lightweight. It performs excellently in terms of cooking evenness and food release, and the handle stays cool while on the stovetop. However, we found that it takes a while to heat up using only moderate heat, as recommended. It is a great pan for delicate, moderate-heat tasks like softening onions. The surface may not be bulletproof, but we'd still call it a worthy partner in the kitchen.
Pros: handle stays cool, non-toxic coating, nonstick performs really well, easy to handwash
Cons: a little bit slower to heat up on moderate heat
Student Essentials Nonstick Frying Pan 24 cm £13
Not to toot our own horn, but we want to see how well our nonstick frying pan from the Essentials Kitchen Pack performs, and we have to say, it does the job pretty neatly. The pancake cooks well and evenly on the pan, although the heat distribution is of course not comparable to HexClad per se. It is suitable for use on various types of stovetops, including induction, and it's dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The PFOA and PTFE-free coating allows for healthy cooking with little to no oil needed, and the cool-touch handles ensure a comfortable grip during use. The pan is not metal utensil safe, so make sure to avoid scratches to prolong the lifespan of the product. This pan is stackable for easy storage in small kitchens, which is a definite win if you stay in student hall. Overall, the Student Essentials non-stick frying pan is a great option for anyone looking for an affordable and easy-to-use frying pan.
Pros: affordable price, stackable, nonstick performs well, easy to clean
Cons: easily scratched, not metal utensil safe. Use wood or silicone spatula. Not oven safe, please don’t heat it up inside an oven.