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The Best Skillet

Last updated on July 18, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Skillets and dug through the reviews from 32 of the most popular review sites including Consumer Reports, Rishika's Mommy's Blog, Cookstr, Good Housekeeping, The Cookware Advisor, The Spruce Eats and more. The result is a ranking of the best Skillets.

Best Skillet

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Our Picks For The Top Skillets

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

All-Clad

Stainless Steel Skillet With Lid

Overall Take

Even Heat DistributionEven heat distribution and a sturdy handle make this an all-around solid skillet.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Good Housekeeping. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Aluminum/stainless steel combination is great for cooking."
Cons
"The most common complaint against the All-Clad is its price. And that’s a fair grievance: Similar offerings from Calphalon and Tramontina cost a fraction of what the All-Clad does."

Lodge

13-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

Overall Take

Durable and Pre-SeasonedThis durable and pre-seasoning skillet is easy to use and maneuver.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, The Spruce Eats. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
" A solid cast iron skillet with traditional construction by a top manufacturer."
Cons
"At 8¼ pounds, the Lodge 12-inch skillet is the heaviest we tested."

All-Clad

Tri-Ply Nonstick Frying Pan

Overall Take

Heats Up FastThe triple bonding around the aluminum core makes this nonstick skillet heat up fast.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus The Spruce Eats, Cook Taste Eat and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" This 14-inch nonstick frying pan is built for success with an aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel, along with three layers of nonstick coating on the cooking surface for easy food release and simple cleanup."
Cons
"It is not oven safe."
  The Best Value

T-fal

Professional Nonstick Fry Skillet

Overall Take

Useful Design ElementsThe scratch-resistant coating and secure handle, as well as a pre-heating indicator, make this a winner in the kitchen.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus BestReviews, The Kitchen Advisor, Top Best 10 Reviews, Homethods, Kitchen Rated. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
" Stainless steel surface supports induction cooking."
Cons
"Its outer color fades after some year of usage."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the skillets available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

32

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Consumer Reports, Rishika's Mommy's Blog, Cookstr, Good Housekeeping, The Cookware Advisor.

74,890

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart and 3 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Skillets and also dug through the reviews from 32 of the most popular review sites including Consumer Reports, Rishika's Mommy's Blog, Cookstr, Good Housekeeping, The Cookware Advisor, The Spruce Eats and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Skillets.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

All-Clad Stainless Steel Skillet With Lid

Our Expert Score
9.3
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.7
731 user reviews
Our Take

The All-Clad Stainless Steel Skillet is a solid choice for stir-fry, thanks to the angle on its sturdy, riveted handle. Its triple-ply material makes for even heat distribution when cooking even the thickest steaks. This model makes for a good all-around option that will last.

What other experts liked
Aluminum/stainless steel combination is great for cooking.
- BestReviews
Its well-angled handle and comfortable weight allow you to toss ingredients with ease.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Browns steak evenly.
- Good Housekeeping
October 25, 2012 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Overheating could lead to discoloration/scorch marks.
- BestReviews
The most common complaint against the All-Clad is its price. And that’s a fair grievance: Similar offerings from Calphalon and Tramontina cost a fraction of what the All-Clad does.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Rivets are tricky to clean around.
- Good Housekeeping
October 25, 2012 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

T-fal Professional Nonstick Fry Skillet

Expert Summarized Score
9.5
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.2
5,832 user reviews
Our Take

Healthy cooks will appreciate the lead, cadmium and PFOA construction on the T-fal Professional Nonstick Fry Skillet. Equally suited to induction or regular stovetop cooking, it features both a scratch-resistant coating and a secure handle. A "Thermo-Spot" that glows to indicate pre-heating is a great extra touch.

What other experts liked
Stainless steel surface supports induction cooking.
- BestReviews
The Thermo-Spot Technology is one of its most distinct features. The spot will show if the pan is already perfectly hot. This is going to be an indication that you are ready to put the egg in the pan and have it cooked.
- The Kitchen Advisor
It has a riveted handle made of silicone that offers a comfortable and a secure grip.
- Top Best 10 Reviews
The unique coating is also safe to use with metal utensils, making this option stand out just a little bit more than most of the competition.
- Homethods
December 19, 2018 | Full review
The nonstick interior of this cookware provides an exceptional strength & scratch resistance surface. It also features Lead, PFOA and Cadmium-free construction which allows for healthier cooking.
- Kitchen Rated
May 21, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Doesn’t allow high heat when cooking.
- BestReviews
Its outer color fades after some year of usage.
- Top Best 10 Reviews
Still toxic if overheated.
- Homethods
December 19, 2018 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. All-Clad Stainless Steel Skillet With Lid

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 6

2. Lodge 13-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 6

3. All-Clad Tri-Ply Nonstick Frying Pan

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 6

4. T-fal Professional Nonstick Fry Skillet

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 8

5. Anolon Advanced Hard-Anodized Nonstick Skillets

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 5

6. Calphalon Unison Nonstick Skillet, 8in. & 10in.

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 7

7. Ayesha Home Collection Stainless Steel Skillet

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 5

8. Matfer Bourgeat Frying Pan

Overall Score: 8.0
Reviews Included: 5

9. Ayesha Home Collection Porcelain Enamel Nonstick

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 6

10. Tramontina Gourmet Stainless Steel Fry Pan

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 6

Our Findings

All-Clad Stainless Steel Skillet With Lid

Best Overall

All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware, 12-Inch Fry Pan with Lid, Tri-Ply Stainless Steel, Professional Grade (Kitchen)


List Price: $199.99 USD
New From: $99.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $99.95 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The All-Clad Stainless Steel Skillet is a solid choice for stir-fry, thanks to the angle on its sturdy, riveted handle. Its triple-ply material makes for even heat distribution when cooking even the thickest steaks. This model makes for a good all-around option that will last.

T-fal Professional Nonstick Fry Skillet

What We Liked: Healthy cooks will appreciate the lead, cadmium and PFOA construction on the T-fal Professional Nonstick Fry Skillet. Equally suited to induction or regular stovetop cooking, it features both a scratch-resistant coating and a secure handle. A “Thermo-Spot” that glows to indicate pre-heating is a great extra touch.

Lodge 13-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

Also Consider

What We Liked: Lodge’s 13-Inch Cast Iron Skillet doesn’t stray from the basics that make this style a staple. Durability is its main hallmark, and it’s pre-seasoned, which means you can start cooking out of the box. A well-designed handle also lets you maneuver with ease, along with a “helper handle” on the opposite side.

Our Skillet Buying Guide

If your kitchen were a chessboard, the skillet would be your queen. A nice, deep skillet can do just about anything: sauté, stir-fry, braising, roasting. If it’s made of cast iron or similar materials, you can even add oven-roasting and baking to that list.

While any good skillet will be versatile, the material it’s made with is going to determine its specialties. Take the classic cast iron skillet. Everybody’s grandparents have one in their kitchen, for good reason. These weighty workhorses cook steak like nothing else, and — with a little TLC — are durable enough to handle thousands of meals on the stove or in the oven before getting passed on to the kids.

At the other end of the cooking spectrum, you have the nonstick pan. Lightweight and handy, these are typically made of quick-heating aluminum coated with a nonstick polymer that makes it a breeze to clean. They’re best for a nice plate of eggs or fish filet — soft foods that won’t abrade the surface.

In the sweet spot between the two is your stainless steel skillet. Steel is a great metal for retaining heat and distributing it evenly, making it the go-to choice for sauces, stir-fry, chicken, rice and a host of other everyday dishes. It’s also got natural nonstick properties, making it relatively easy to clean. In many cases, you’ll find skillets that are layered with an interior core of aluminum, like the All-Clad Stainless Steel models. The idea here is that aluminum heats up quicker, and then transfers that heat to the sturdier outer layer of steel.

In a nutshell, the meals you make are going to determine the skillet you need. That’s why most households have at least two options:  a nonstick for quick morning omelets and a cast iron or stainless steel pan for meats, veggies and other dinner staples.

DWYM Fun Fact

While it’s hard to trace the origins of the frying pan or skillet, the earliest examples of the cookware could be found in old Mesopotamia. Most early versions of pans were made from copper — a capable enough conductor of heat if you don’t mind the low-level copper poisoning that came with it. While that was probably not the biggest problem on the mind of a 3rd-century chef, today’s copper cookware comes with a protective coating that takes that worry away.

The Skillet Tips and Advice

  • Using your skillet properly will not only result in better food in the short term, but a longer-lasting piece of cookware. Cast iron skillets can stand up to just about anything temperature-wise, but you’ll need to season it to get the most out of it. That involves coating it with a super-thin layer of oil and letting it bake in at high heat, a process that not only protects against rust but imparts a stick-resistant coating. Some cast-iron skillets, like the Lodge 13-Inch, come pre-seasoned, but a touch-up dab of oil every once in a while will help keep it protected.
  • Nonstick skillets require a lot less care, and that’s half the point. Just make sure you don’t put it through more than it was designed for. Most nonstick options aren’t safe for oven use, and even those that are (like the T-fal Professional) have a max temperature that you’ll want to make sure not to exceed.
  • Cleaning your skillet also requires a little adjustment, depending on the material. Soap will actually wear away the seasoning on cast iron, but a decent one will actually clean off easier than you’d think with hot water and a brush. Just don’t put it in the dishwasher, or let it soak in water. Most nonstick skillets are dishwasher safe, but be sure to use a plastic brush that won’t abrade the polymer coating when washing by hand.
  • The weight of a skillet is something to consider long-term. Cast iron sounds heavy, and it usually is — especially with a pan full of steak. Older cooks might find it unwieldy enough to consider a stainless steel model instead.
  • The material of the handle is just as important as the base. Most skillets have a handle that’s made from a separate piece attached to the pan — ideally with rivets, which will hold longer than screws or bolts. A silicone-coated or wood handle will keep the coolest, no matter what’s cooking.
  • Check the base, especially if you’re cooking on an induction stovetop. Induction coils use an electromagnetic field that won’t work on sufficiently ferrous pans. Any pan with a metal base will do, and most will indicate if they’re induction-compatible.
  • Will you be whipping up a lot of sauces? Look for a skillet with a rolled lip that makes it easier to pour out the contents. Shaking up some stir-fry? Straight-edged lips are best at holding in the ingredients.

About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness is a professional writer and journalist for the past 20 years. Tod's years of experience writing a nightlife column for the Orlando Sentinel have cursed him with an affinity for cocktails he can't afford. He makes up for it with his cheap yet killer slow cooker cuisine. At least, his wife hasn't kicked him out for them yet.