Best Skillet Reviews 2017

(Updated )
Whether you’re just starting out in your first apartment or are adding to an existing set of cookware, a good skillet is a must-have. To help you pick the right one for your situation and budget, we’ve done extensive research and pulled together a list of 5 excellent brands, featuring one skillet from each. In case you’re looking for a cast iron skillet, there are so many great options we put them in a review all of their own!
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Coating
Maintenance
Handle
Size(s)
Our Top Choice
Rachael Ray Cucina Twin Pack of Skillets
These colorful skillets from Rachael Ray offer even cooking and an easy-to-clean nonstick surface. The set of two is great if you’re just starting out, or need extra pans.
Hard enamel porcelain facilitates even cooking. Available in 5 different colors. Affordable. Coordinates with the rest of the Cucina collection.
Not dishwasher safe. Aluminum exterior may dent if dropped.
Aluminum, Hard-Enamel Porcelain
PFOA-Free Nonstick
Hand Wash Only
Rubberized Stainless Steel
Set of Two Skillets - 9.25” and 11”
Best Value
Calphalon Select Nonstick Fry Pan Set
The skillets in this sturdy, durable 2-piece set from Calphalon come with 2 different nonstick coatings for different types of cooking.
Handles stay cool even when exposed to high heat. Flat wide bottoms for a large cooking surface and even cooking.
May stain (stains can be removed with an abrasive cleaner). Sear surface not as easy to clean as slide surface. No covers.
Hard Anodized Aluminum
Slide Coating, Sear Coating
Dishwasher Safe
Quadruple-Riveted Stainless Steel
Set of Two Skillets - 8” and 10”
All-Clad Stainless Covered Fry Pan
This made-in-the-U.S.A. stainless steel lidded fry pan from All-Clad offers tri-ply construction for durability and perfectly distributed heat.
Rapid and even heat distribution. Safe for all cooking surfaces, including induction. Oven- and broiler-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Variety of sizes for different uses.
Fairly pricey – ideal for serious amateur cooks.
Stainless Steel, Aluminum
Starburst Finishing
Dishwasher Safe
Contoured Stainless Steel
12” Skillet, More Sizes Available
Cuisinart Stainless Skillet with Helper Handle
Cuisinart’s stainless steel skillet is an all-around winner for cooking just about anything. The helper handle makes it easy to pick up and move, even when it's full of hot food.
Strong, rust-resistant construction. Relatively easy to clean (at least as easy, if not more so, than many other stainless options). Oven safe.
May warp (but unlikely with normal use). Avoid putting hot pan directly in cold water to help prevent warping.
18/10 Stainless Steel, Aluminum
Stainless
Dishwasher Safe
Stainless Steel + Helper Handle
12” Skillet, More Sizes Available
T-fal Nonstick Thermo-Spot Fry Pan
This nonstick skillet from T-fal is a safe bet for those who like an easy cooking and clean-up experience. The heat indicator dot shows when it’s pre-heated.
Amazon Best Seller. Thermo-spot heat indicator dot shows when the pan is preheated to the right temperature. Nonstick coated and dishwasher safe for easiest cleanup.
Bottom is not totally flat – slightly convex design can let oil and other liquid flow to the edge.
Stainless Steel, Aluminum
Prometal Nonstick
Dishwasher Safe
Riveted Silicone
12.5” Skillet, More Sizes Available

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What is the Best Skillet?

When choosing a skillet, you’ll want to think about the size you need as well as the type of material that it is made from. You’ll also need to think about how often you plan to use it, what you want to cook in it, and how much you’re willing to spend. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve gathered 5 of the best brands for skillets and selected one great product from each. From college students who just like a good grilled cheese to serious amateur chefs, a skillet is an essential piece of cookware. Since college students and serious cooks don’t have the same needs, we made sure that our list included skillets with a range of features at different price points.
Our Top Choice
Celebrity chef Rachael Ray puts her name behind the colorful and functional Cucina cookware collection. This 2-piece skillet set features nonstick surfaces and rubberized handles for comfortable cleaning and easy cleanup. For a larger skillet, have a look at the 14-inch Cucina Hard-Anodized Nonstick Skillet with Helper Handle.
Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Skillet Set – Hard Porcelain Enamel 9.25-inch and 11-inch Pans, 5 Color Choices

Rachel Ray Skillet Set 16347 – Agave Blue


Features
Rachael Ray is most famous for offering engaging cooking and entertaining tips onscreen. She also has a line of home and kitchen goods, including dinnerware, cookware, and textiles. Most of the items come in bright, eye-catching colors to add visual interest to your kitchen.

Our featured product is a 2-piece set that comes with a 9.25-inch and an 11-inch skillet. This is the perfect set if you want to be able to sear a piece of meat in one while sautéing a side of vegetables in the other, and they clean up easily. You’ll have to hand wash them though, as they are not dishwasher safe. This set from the Cucina collection is available in 5 striking colors: agave blue, cranberry red, lavender, mushroom brown, and pumpkin orange. They coordinate with other Rachael Ray cookware, bakeware, and dinnerware, so you can have an effortlessly matched kitchen.

The performance is great too. The aluminum and hard enamel porcelain construction make for durability and even cooking. Other features include:
  • PFOA-free nonstick coating for easy cleaning
  • Oven-safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Safe for all cooktops except for induction
  • Dual-riveted, rubberized stainless steel handles
These skillets are a great choice to add to your existing cookware collection or begin a new one. They also come with a limited lifetime warranty!
Best Value
Calphalon’s cookware products have a reputation for performance and durability. This 2-piece skillet set is easy to take care of and has handles that stay cool to the touch. If you want a set of larger pans in hard-anodized aluminum, you may want to choose the Calphalon Contemporary Omelette Fry Pan set, which comes with 10- and 12-inch pans.
Calphalon Unison Nonstick 8- and 10-inch Omelette Pan Set – Slide and Sear Nonstick Surfaces

Calphalon Skillet Set 1788581 - Black


Features
Calphalon is all about helping home cooks to have the best and easiest cooking experience. The Unison line of cookware offers two different nonstick surfaces. The Slide surface is slick for virtually zero sticking, no matter what you’re cooking. The Sear surface is textured to give you even browning on your protein.

The 2-piece Omelette Pan Set offers 2 useful skillet sizes, one with the Slide nonstick and the other with the Sear nonstick surface. If you like to cook with little to no oil or grease, the Slide surface is ideal. The bottoms are flat, wide, and heavy, so there’s plenty of cooking surface and your pans shouldn’t slide around on the cooktop.

You’ll also find the following features in this 2-pan set:
  • Quadruple-riveted stainless steel handles
  • Constructed of hard-anodized aluminum
  • Dishwasher safe, and oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
This is a great mid-range set and we just love the two different nonstick surfaces. These Calphalon skillets also come with a lifetime warranty.
All-Clad is known for premium cookware, such as the featured Triple-ply Bonded Fry Pan with a stainless steel cooking surface. For a first-class skillet with high-end features, including triple-layer PFOA-free nonstick coating, check out All-Clad’s 12-inch Tri-Ply Bonded Non-Stick Fry Pan.
All-Clad Stainless Steel Fry Pan with Lid – Tri-ply Bonded, Dishwasher-Safe, Available in 4 Sizes, Also Sold without Lid

All-Clad Skillet 41126 – 12” Silver


Features
If you’re looking for top-of-the-line cookware, All-Clad is definitely a brand to check out. The tri-ply construction of its stainless cookware means that your cookware will last a long time. It also ensures ideal heat distribution and retention.

This 12-inch fry pan is great for cooking everything from steak to stir-fries, and it comes with a lid to seal in heat and moisture. The handle is long and a bit on the narrow side, but it does stay cool (just remember to use a pot holder when removing from an oven or broiler). While there’s no nonstick coating, the finish prevents excessive sticking and makes the skillet easy to wash. It can go in the dishwasher too.

Here are some notable features of the All-Clad Tri-ply Covered Fry Pan:
  • Low profile and wide, flat base
  • Starburst finish is stick-resistant and won’t react with food
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Includes stainless-handled glass lid
  • Oven safe and compatible with all cooktops
Overall, this is a great pick if you love to cook and are willing to invest in long-term cookware that will give you even cooking and great heat retention. In addition to a 12-inch size, you can get this high quality skillet in your choice of 8, 10 or 14 inches and if you don’t need a lid, the 10” and 12” can be purchased without a cover.
Cuisinart makes all kinds of products to make cooking easy and enjoyable. This stainless steel 12-inch skillet distributes heat well and is relatively easy to keep clean. If you prefer a nonstick surface, you may like the Chef’s Classic Hard Anodized 12-inch Skillet. It’s also very durable and comes with a glass cover.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Skillet with Helper Handle – Triple-ply Construction with Tapered Rim for Drip-free Pouring, Available in 3 Sizes

Cuisinart Skillet MCP22-30HN – 12 inch


Features
Cuisinart first impressed people with the innovative food processor in the 1970s. Since then, the company has introduced all kinds of cooking products, from slow cookers to blenders to bakeware. Cuisinart cookware is designed as a great mid-range option that delivers near-professional results for home cooks.

We’ve chosen to feature this 12-inch skillet because it offers triple-ply construction, like some of the more expensive options. Like its pricier competitors, it gives excellent heat distribution for even cooking of just about any food. The helper handle is also useful, because it makes picking up a skillet full of hot food less dangerous and less of a chore.

It's nice that this skillet can go in the dishwasher (though it may take up a fair amount of room). Other significant features include:
  • Stainless steel handle that stays cool
  • Tapered rims make it easy to pour sauces, gravies, etc.
  • Comes with limited lifetime warranty
  • Oven safe to 550 degrees Fahrenheit
This skillet is really a very good value. It’s not nonstick, but it is easy to clean, and the stainless triple-ply construction is excellent if you’ve grown frustrated with hot and cold spots on your cookware. It’s also available in either 8 or 10 inch versions.
T-fal, a leading manufacturer of nonstick cookware, makes this nonstick skillet with Thermo-Spot heat indicator to let you know when the pan is hot and ready for cooking. If you need a 2-piece set of smaller skillets, you may want to have a look at T-fal’s Excite Nonstick Thermo-Spot Fry Pans in 8-inch and 10.25-inch sizes.
T-fal Professional Nonstick Thermo-spot Heat Indicator Frying Pan – Scratch-resistant Prometal Interior, Available in 3 Sizes

T-fal Skillet E93808 – 12.5 Inch


Features
T-fal makes functional, durable, and value-packed home cooking appliances and nonstick cookware. Pans with T-fal’s unique Thermo-Spot indicator show you when the pan is preheated, so there’s no guesswork involved.

The Professional Nonstick Fry Pan has the Thermo-Spot indicator, and its stainless-steel disk promotes even heating. The Prometal nonstick coating is very durable, and resists scratching or wearing off.

Features include:
  • Superior nonstick properties, and dishwasher safe
  • Safe for all cooktops, and oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Riveted silicone handle for a comfortable grip
This pan offers a great combination of performance and value for a 12-inch skillet. It is also available in 8-inch and 10.5 inch sizes, as well as in a bundle with a roasting pan, on Amazon

Get the Best Skillet Today!

We hope this review has helped you pick out a great skillet. Even if you didn’t find exactly what you were looking for, our featured brands all offer other options in different sizes and with different features. So find the one that’s right for you, and get to cooking!

Our Top Choice
Rachael Ray Cucina Twin Pack of Skillets
Best Value
Calphalon Select Nonstick Fry Pan Set
All-Clad Stainless Covered Fry Pan
Cuisinart Stainless Skillet with Helper Handle
T-fal Nonstick Thermo-Spot Fry Pan