Best Skillet Reviews 2018

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 on the best skillet brands and pulled together a list of five excellent brands, featuring one skillet from each. In case you’re looking for a cast-iron skillet, there are so many great options that we put them in a review all of their own!
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
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

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Skillet?

Skillets are an essential addition to your cooking utensil arsenal for several reasons, most notably because you never know when they will come in handy! For example, you may want to sear salmon fillets in your skillet and then finish cooking them over medium heat in your gas oven. Or if you’ve got a frozen steak sitting in your freezer, you can simply thaw it on defrosting mode in your microwave oven, then season and pan-sear in the skillet for a delightfully crisp, golden brown crust and smoky flavor to top it off.

However, before you set out to buy the best skillet, whether cast iron pan or non-stick, it’s best to determine what you will be cooking the most and how often, because some food cooks faster and others are easier to clean in the dishwasher. Read on to learn a few tips, so that you can bring home the best non-cast-iron skillet from our top five options.
Skillets can be had in a myriad of sizes and features, hence the price will vary as such. But it’s best to avoid cheap skillets as these often showcase poor craftsmanship, and don’t offer great service life.

High-quality skillets at lower price points such as those with price tags of $30 and under generally offer a rich set of features, and just enough to work your magic in the kitchen with (such as a robust exterior and oven compatibility). If you want to step up your game and buy a skillet that’s literally a showstopper both in terms of performance and design, skillets on the higher end of the price spectrum won’t disappoint with dishwasher-safe, all stainless-steel bodies, and high heat resistance of up to an astounding 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Further, a few skillets can be ordered in packs of two sizes such as 9-inch and 11-inch, which may be a little higher in price, but more cost-efficient compared to buying them separately. To give you a rough idea, prices of skillets can rage anywhere between $25 and $50+ for skillets that offer superior durability.
Skillets are a staple in any home kitchen, and it’s no surprise why! They can be ordered in an assortment of sizes, and with cooking surfaces made from several different types of metals, each conducting heat differently.

Having said that, here are a few factors to consider when shopping for the best non-cast-iron skillet:
  • Size – This is the diameter of the cooking surface.
  • Standard vs. Non-stick – The former doesn’t have a non-stick surface to prevent foods from sticking, but rather releases lubricants needed to prevent sticking.
  • Material – Common materials used in the construction of skillets are aluminum, stainless steel, or a mix of both.
  • Handle – These can be made from either stainless steel, plastic, or metal with rubberized grips.
  • Skillet Sets – Sets include several different sizes of skillets, an ideal choice if you’re cooking up a variety of different dishes.
  • Maintenance – Some frying pans are dishwasher-safe, while others are to be washed by hand only.
  • Lids – You will have to buy one separately for most skillets, but some manufacturers do include an appropriate lid, mostly to prevent sloshing liquids.
  • Thickness – The thicker the skillet (measured in either gauge or mils), the higher the price because they are less likely to get warped and promote a more even heating.
  • Warranty – Some skillet manufacturers provide a limited warranty against factory defects.
Construction and Design
People often assume that the bigger the skillet, the better it is! While this is true to a certain extent, it is important to note that the larger the skillet, the more time it will take to reach the desired temperature. So, if you just need to sauté onions, these will not be an ideal choice. Further, although most skillets are round in shape, there are a few where other shapes may be a better fit, such as oval for cooking long and narrow foods.

One of the biggest questions that comes to mind when shopping for the best skillet is whether to purchase non-stick or standard surfaces based on your needs. Ultimately, this answer depends on your personal preferences, where non-stick skillets are easy to clean and require less oil for frying and sautéing; but on the flipside, they don’t brown food as well as metal surface skillets do.

When it comes to materials, it’s easy to get confused in this department simply because there is a myriad to choose between. Aluminum-clad stainless-steel skillets are one of the more popular options owing to their durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. Aluminum-made skillets, on the other hand, are generally lightweight, and are also rust- and corrosion-resistant.
Performance and Ease of Use
The handles of skillets must offer a comfortable grip and should ideally remain cool to the touch. Stainless-steel handles generally do not conduct heat as well as aluminum handles, so they usually remain cooler than the pan. Some skillets are fitted with rubberized, stainless-steel handles with rubber grips or silicone grips which, though cool to touch, may not be designed for high temperature use.

Speaking of handles, some are riveted to the side of the pan for top-notch durability, but may not be such a joy to clean, and can loosen after heavy use. But it’s also the quality of the riveting process that can make a world of a difference; quadruple-riveted handles usually never fail just as is the case with permanently bonded or forged handles. When all is said and done, you want to buy a skillet that heats evenly on the bottom and is easy to clean with either a gentle hand wash or in the dishwasher.

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’s 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 five of the best brands for non-cast-iron skillets and selected one great product from each. And now that you’ve read our skillet buying guide, you should be able to pick the best one right out of the hat, so without further ado, let’s get right to them.
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

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

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

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

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

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 of 2018!

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 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