It's almost a requirement of living in the UK to be partial to a good fry up. But as most of us endeavour to live a healthy lifestyle, overindulging in too much fried food is a no-no. The solution? Finding a good non-stick frying pan! Using a copper, ceramic, cast iron, or coated pan will allow you to prepare your favourite fried dishes, most of the time with no oil needed at all.
Heavy and durable, a non-toxic eco pick, a cheap mini pan for the perfect fried egg, or a versatile ovenproof option with a lid, we have something for everyone. With our 10 favourite top quality non-stick pans suitable for induction, electric, Aga and gas stoves, from budget and professional brands like Tefal, Russell Hobbs and Le Creuset. We've even got tips on how to care for your pan, so there's no excuse not to get in the kitchen this year!
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When it comes to choosing the right non-stick pan for your kitchen, there are a few different options to choose from. Before you start searching online, take a look at our buying guide for handy tips on how to find the best non-stick cookware.
You should consider whether you would prefer to cook on a synthetic non-stick surface, or one made from ceramic or cast iron. Each type has a few pros and cons, so it's important to read up on the key points before making your final decision.
The majority of frying pans gain their non-stick properties not from the material they consist of, but rather the synthetic coating they are treated with. These pans are usually made with a mixture of metals, so are inexpensive, fairly easy to maintain, and most importantly, do a great job at preventing food from embedding itself onto the pan.
The most commonly used is Teflon, which is simply the brand name of a particular type of coating – other brands may coin their own. There have been some concerns over the potential health risks associated with a chemical found in Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE/PFOA), but as this is no longer used in any non-stick coatings, you needn't worry when buying modern coated pans.
However, it may be worth considering that without mindful use and careful cleaning (no metal utensils, and no harsh scourers!), synthetic coatings can easily become damaged and will degrade over time.
If you would prefer to avoid pans with Teflon coatings, there are several other varieties available, one of which is considered the godfather of frying pans – the cast iron skillet. Heavy and strong, cast iron conducts heat very well, and can handle hotter temperatures than other materials.
Another pro of choosing a cast iron pan is that it can always be used on both the hob and in the oven, providing even more culinary scope. Although a little more expensive, when properly cared for, cast iron is a great investment that will last you a lifetime.
The only downside to these traditional pans is that they'll need to be properly seasoned in order for food not to stick.
Ceramic pans are a fairly new addition to the range of non-stick cookware available to home chefs. They're actually very rarely made entirely of ceramic, but instead, feature a ceramic coating which is bonded to the surface of the pan. The science behind it? Microscopic ceramic particles provide a rough and uneven surface, which produces gaps that prevent food from sticking.
Ceramic pans are lightweight and look rather stylish, plus they don't need to be seasoned and are very easy to clean. However, the uneven surface texture can render cheaper designs less efficient when it comes to heat distribution, so it's worth seeking out a quality pan from a trusted brand if you go for this material.
When it comes to non-stick pans, size matters! A small frying pan of around 20 cm is a good option if you're only cooking for one to two people, or have limited kitchen space. 'Mini' frying pans of 12-15 cm can also be a practical choice for small households, or if you're after a supplementary pan to fry an egg, sauté vegetables, or prepare side dishes in.
A larger pan with a diameter of 26-28 cm or above is a better choice when cooking for multiple people, or for frying a variety of foods at the same time. Large pans are also more suited for dishes that require a broader surface area to cook, such as crêpes or scrambled eggs.
When it comes to shape, the main choices will be square or round. One may be a better fit for your hob, or better suit your storage options, so pick accordingly. Round pans can also act as a shaping guide when cooking dishes such as crêpes or omelettes, great for culinary perfectionists!
When looking at the pan’s specifications, don't forget to note the material the body is made from, as it can have a big impact on its comfort and usability, and whether it's suitable for your stovetop.
Although heavy-bottomed steel and cast iron pans have better heat retention, a model that’s too heavy can be difficult and unwieldy to use, especially for those with limited mobility or strength. On the other hand, a lightweight aluminium or titanium pan will make flipping and tossing food a breeze, so if you're seeking a pan for your signature stir fry, make sure you pick one that won’t weigh you, and your recipe, down.
The materials used will also determine which hob type each pan is compatible with; only gas and electric, or induction and ceramic, and whether or not it's oven-safe. Don't forget to check before you fire up the stove!
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Eco-Ceramic Non-Stick Frying Pan｜RH00079G
Best General Use Non-Stick Frying Pan for Families
Signature Enamelled Cast Iron Skillet
A High Quality Cast Iron Pan That Will Last a Lifetime
Excel All-in-One Frying Pan｜G119S444
The Non-Stick Frying Pan That Does Everything
Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick Frying Pan
A Non-Toxic Ceramic Pan That Stays Safe at Any Temperature
Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Square Grill Pan
An Affordable Cast Iron That's Perfect for Steak
Everest Frying Pan
A Robust Lightweight Pan Made with Non-Stick Coated Titanium
Comfort Max Induction Frying Pan
Best Non-Stick Pan for Induction Hobs
Ultra Long-Lasting Synthetic Coated Pan
Divided Frying Pan
Top Choice for a Cooked Breakfast
Mini Frying Pan
Perfecting Your Scotch Pancakes or Fried Eggs
Our top pick for the best everyday non-stick frying pan goes to the Eco-Ceramic Non-Stick Frying Pan from Russell Hobbs. It's affordable, durable yet lightweight, and the ceramic coating is non-toxic and easy to clean, no seasoning required.
A good choice for families, this pan has a nice large surface area so is handy for preparing a variety of dishes, and the aluminium base makes it suitable for all hob types. A possible downside for some of you may be that it's not oven-safe, so if this is a requirement we suggest considering one of the other fantastic options on the list!
Le Creuset has become a name synonymous with high quality, good-looking cookware. There’s a good chance you’ve seen their signature cast iron cookware hanging up in your grandmother’s kitchen and for good reason – these pans are built to last!
Perfect for both frying and baking, you can use the Signature skillet on all hob types, and in the oven. And if you like to make sauces, the side spouts allow for easy-drip free pouring. Make sure to season properly after purchase to avoid food sticking, but in the long run, it really will make your food taste even better!
Tefal’s All-in-One is a fantastic choice for those looking to buy one do-all pan. The most versatile on the list, the extra-deep sides, plus the addition of a vented lid and metal steamer makes it suitable for not just shallow or stir-frying, but boiling, steaming, baking, and even roasting!
Part of the Titanium Excel range, these pans are built to withstand heavy, regular use so are also a good pick for families. Tefal claims that their scratch-resistance will even hold up against metal utensils, though we don’t recommend it unless you’re in a pinch!
This ceramic pan from GreenPan is a good pick for those who'd prefer to avoid synthetic coatings but would like something a little easier than cast iron. Their ceramic 'Thermolon Infinity Pro' coating is enhanced with diamond for increased durability and remains non-toxic at any temperature, even when accidentally overheated.
Safe to clean in the dishwasher, oven-safe up to high temperatures and available in four sizes from 20-30 cm in diameter, you’ll certainly be able to find the best fit for your needs.
If you're a fan of steak or fried meats like sausages or bacon, this traditional pan from AmazonBasics is the one for you! Possibly one of the most affordable cast iron pans out there, it even comes pre-seasoned so you can use it straight out the box.
Cleverly, the pan’s raised ridges allow fats from the meat to be channelled away for a healthier meal. They also leave sear marks on the outside of your food, should you be missing your summer BBQ grill! Just be sure to follow the cleaning and usage instructions carefully.
Tefal’s Everest Frying Pan is a great option if you’re looking for a robust yet lightweight pan. Made from non-stick coated titanium, this frying pan is expertly made to resist scratches and is incredibly durable.
It's reassuringly suitable for use on all hobs, including induction, and features Tefal's signature thermospot to ensure an optimum frying temperature every time. Best of all, if you fancy a frittata this pan is oven-safe up to 175°C!
In need of a non-stick frying pan for your induction hob? Look no further than Tefal’s Comfort Max Induction Frying Pan! An aluminium disk is encapsulated within the stainless steel base for improved conductivity, resistance to deformation and optimum heat diffusion, ensuring excellent performance every time.
If you accidentally leave this pan soaking in the sink all night, don’t worry! The stainless steel used contains a higher percentage of chromium in its alloy to stave off rust. This also means it should last you for years to come.
Eaziglide’s Neverstick2 non-stick coating has been designed to last much longer than other traditional non-stick surfaces. They are so confident in this claim that they have generously included a lifetime guarantee with every pan – not bad!
The aluminium body of the pan ensures it's lightweight and comfortable to handle, plus it's been combined with a stainless steel base to amp up the heat distribution. Overall, it’s a pretty solid frying pan for general daily use, suitable for all hobs including induction.
Sometimes nothing hits the spot better than a good old-fashioned fry up come Saturday morning! But with so many of us lacking the luxury of a fully equipped multi-hob kitchen, getting the timing right can be impossible.
Luckily, this aluminium all-in-one frying pan provides 5 separate segments so you can fry your sausage, beans and scramble in one go. It's quite bulky and not really your everyday pan, but if you think you'll get good use from it, it's a savvy buy!
This mini frying pan from Uarter has a tiny diameter of only 12 cm, with a shallow rim for increased surface area. We'd say it's the ideal size, and depth, for frying an egg or for whipping up a uniform stack of Scotch pancakes!
Uarter has decided to double up on the non-stick potential by adding a synthetic coating to a cast iron pan – perhaps a bit of an overkill, but the result is a sturdy long-lasting pan that’s ready to use right away. Do be aware, though, that this pan will probably be a bit heavier than expected.
Once you've decided on which non-stick frying pan to buy, you'll need to learn how to properly maintain it to ensure it stays in good nick. The first rule is to avoid using metal utensils when cooking, as these will scratch the surface of the pan and chip away any non-stick coating. Instead, opt for soft silicone, plastic or wood.
With the exception of cast iron or oven-specific pans that state otherwise, exposing your non-stick pan to high cooking temperatures of over 300°C is also bad news, as excessive heat can cause it to warp or bubble.
When it comes to washing up, don't soak your pan overnight or use harsh detergents, and resist the urge to scrub with metal scourers – all of these will affect the non-stick coating or surface. While some frying pans are dishwasher-safe, washing by hand will prolong service life and prevent unnecessary damage. And to finish, dry your pan thoroughly with a soft cloth or tea towel before storing away.
Once seasoned, cast iron pans are a fantastic non-stick option. While there are various methods you can use to season this type of non-stick pan, the main ingredients you will require are heat and fat.
When heated to high temperatures, long chains of fat molecules break down into short-chain polymers. These bond onto the surface of the pan with carbon to form a glaze. Each time this process is repeated, the glaze becomes thicker and more even, providing your pan with a protective non-stick coating.
The easiest way to season a pan is by cooking with it a few times on a high heat, using oil. Or, if you prefer, you can coat the surface of the pan with oil and place in the oven for an hour. Allow the pan to cool, before repeating the process one or two more times, and reap the rewards!
No. 1: Russell Hobbs ｜Eco-Ceramic Non-Stick Frying Pan｜RH00079G
No. 2: Le Creuset ｜Signature Enamelled Cast Iron Skillet
No. 3: Tefal ｜Excel All-in-One Frying Pan｜G119S444
No. 4: GreenPan ｜Venice Pro Ceramic Non-Stick Frying Pan
No. 5: AmazonBasics ｜Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Square Grill Pan
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