The Best List

The Best Frying Pans You Can Buy for 2024 and Beyond

updated Nov 30, 2023
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Credit: Leela Cyd

The frying pan (aka fry pan or skillet, but not to be confused with a sauté pan) is probably the hardest-working piece of cookware in any kitchen. It’s what we reach for when it’s time to make a frittata, fry up some eggs, sear some steak, and so much more. But there are so many types of frying pans out there! There are cast-iron skillets, enameled cast-iron skillets, nonstick, ceramic nonstick, etc! Which kind you like is mostly just a personal preference, and the best tool usually depends on the task at hand (searing meat in a stainless-steel skillet tends to work better than searing meat in a nonstick skillet, for example). It’s just that, when it comes to each category, some pans are better than others. So, to help make things easier, we rounded up our favorite picks for each type of frying pan. Happy cooking!

Do you have a pan you swear by that we missed? We want to hear all about it. Tell us about your favorite finds in the comments below!

1 / 6
was $34.25

Best Cast Iron Skillet

Kitchn is Team Lodge all the way. These pre-seasoned pans are made in the U.S., very affordable, durable, and heat up evenly. And we think Lodge skillets build up the best patina over time, which means you’ll end up passing this pan down for generations. We’re not the only ones who like it either — it’s a favorite among professional chefs and it’s the bestselling cast iron skillet brand on Amazon. The 10.25-inch version, ideal for smaller kitchens and smaller households, has more than 86,000 five-star reviews. (If you have a larger family, get the 12-inch option.)

2 / 6
Williams Sonoma
was $200.00

Best Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

With an enameled cast iron skillet, you get the benefits of cast iron (hot, even cooking in a pan that retains heat) and fewer things to worry about. You can still brush the inside with a little bit of oil to maintain that matte black finish, but you can use dish soap and acidic ingredients with relative abandon. (You can use both with a well-seasoned cast iron pan — you just have to be careful!) Plus, the textured interior helps meat brown exceptionally well. This one is definitely higher on the price scale (you can find other options that are at least $100 cheaper), but it’s sure to last you a lifetime.

3 / 6
Williams Sonoma
was $220.00

Best Stainless Steel Skillet

Readers frequently ask us if All-Clad really is worth the money, and we can’t emphasize enough that it is. You don’t need to splurge for top-of-the-line All-Clad; You can go with the less expensive d3 pans and still end up with top-notch cookware. The d3 line features three layers (aluminum sandwiched between stainless steel), heats super evenly, has a sturdy handle with a lightweight body, and doesn’t discolor too easily. (Also, All-Clad frequently has factory sales on seconds — meaning, pieces with very minor imperfections — and we often write about them, so be sure to look out for those.)

4 / 6

Best Nonstick Skillet

When it comes to nonstick skillets, it’s hard to beat anything by Anolon. Our long-time favorite was recently phased out, so we’ve been testing out this similar option and love it. The company says it’ll last 16 times longer than traditional nonstick, and we’ve found that it releases pancakes, eggs, and burgers even better than our old pick.

5 / 6
was $95.00

Best Ceramic Nonstick Skillet

Lots of ceramic nonstick skillets start off very nonstick-y but lose that quality ... rather quickly. (See: Here’s What You Need to Know About Ceramic Nonstick Pans.) If you're looking for just a skillet, go with Caraway, a direct-to-consumer cookware brand that's extremely transparent about what does (and doesn't) go into its pots. Actually, go with this brand if you're looking for a full set, too. Several kitchen staffers have these pans and can't stop raving about how nonstick they are and how easy they are to clean.

6 / 6
Made In

Best Carbon Steel Frying Pan

If you want the conductivity of cast iron but need something lighter, you should look at a carbon steel frying pan — specifically this carbon steel pan. Food Editor, Meghan Splawn, was the first on the Kitchn team to try out this pan — and now so many of us are obsessed with it. It doesn’t come pre-seasoned like some other options out there, so you do have to prep it. We love the shape of the pan (the high sides help contain messes during stovetop frying sessions and make it easy to flip veggies), how it gets more and more nonstick the more you use it, and that it browns food faster than cast iron can. Honestly, we were shocked by the price, too. While it’s not the cheapest carbon steel skillet out there, it’s incredibly high-quality from a top new direct-to-consumer cookware brand, which gets the thumbs up from loads of celebrity and top chefs.