Ditch the dull pans and upgrade to the sizzling skillets on our 2023 toplist!
A good skillet is the cornerstone of any well-equipped kitchen. It’s the trusty cooking vessel you turn to time and time again for perfectly seared steaks, evenly cooked omelets, and all your favorite dishes. But with so many options out there, it can be tough to know which one is the best fit for you.
Don’t let the overwhelming amount of choice leave you stuck! We’ve done the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on the cooking. To create this toplist, we’ve scoured the market, rounded up a lot of skillets, and picked out the very best on the market right now.
From non-stick to stainless steel — and everything in between — there’s a skillet in our list for every lifestyle and preference. Say goodbye to stuck-on food and hello to perfectly cooked meals every time. Read on to see our top picks for the best skillets.
The Best Skillets
Cast iron skillet that holds heat like a champ. Great for searing, sautéing, frying, baking, roasting, and broiling. Pre-seasoned.
The Lodge 10¼-Inch Cast Iron Skillet is our cast iron pick, and the best option for those looking for a high-quality skillet that won’t break the bank.
This single-piece cast iron skillet is made in the town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, ensuring that you’re getting a product that’s been crafted with care and attention to detail in the US of A.
One of the standout features of this skillet is its excellent heat retention and even heating. Whether you’re looking for the perfect sear on a steak or that golden crust on pan pizza, you can count on the Lodge 10¼-Inch Cast Iron Skillet to deliver, with a diameter that’s just right for your daily cooking needs.
And the best part? It comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil at the Lodge factory, which means all you have to do after unpacking it is give it a quick rinse, pat it dry, and get cooking. The pre-seasoning is a real boon, but the seasoning does need to be looked after and reapplied every now and then. Don’t let that deter you! The benefits of a cast iron skillet far outweigh the care and maintenance involved.
Whether you’re searing, sautéing, frying, baking, roasting, or broiling, this skillet can handle it all. Just be sure to avoid using it for acidic foods, as the acid will strip the seasoning and cause the pan to leach dietary metal into your dish.
Overall, the Lodge 10¼-Inch Cast Iron Skillet is a versatile and reliable choice for anyone looking to add a high-quality skillet to their kitchen arsenal.
Tri-ply skillet with an aluminum core wrapped in a stainless steel body. Heats up quickly and evenly, and has a highly polished surface that sticks less and is easier to clean. Made in the USA.
The All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Skillet is our stainless steel pick, and for good reason.
This tri-ply skillet is made with an aluminum core wrapped in a stainless steel body, which means it heats up quickly and evenly. The stainless steel exterior also makes it a durable and dishwasher-friendly, although hand washing is always best. With a diameter of 12 inches, you’ll have all the searing, sautéing, and frying space you need.
One of the standout features of the All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Skillet compared to other pans of its type is its highly polished surface. It doesn’t stick as much as other stainless steel pans do and it’s easier to clean, making it a cinch to use and maintain.
This skillet can also go from the stove to the oven to the grill, and can be used at temperatures as high as 600°F (315°C). Its sloped sides allow for easy flipping and tossing, and the included lid helps you keep the moisture and heat in the pan when you need it.
Made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, the All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Skillet is a high-quality choice that supports a great American business and that’s built to last you a lifetime. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, this skillet is sure to become a go-to in your kitchen.
Thick aluminum nonstick pan that heats up quickly and evenly, without hot spots. Has a layer of primer and three layers of PTFE coating for durability. Misen claims that its coating lasts 2.5 times longer than conventional nonstick coatings.
The Misen Non-Stick 12-Inch Skillet is a top choice for anyone looking for a high-performance, long-lasting nonstick frying pan.
This skillet is made with a thick aluminum body that heats up quickly and evenly, without any hot spots. It takes no more than 60 seconds to preheat, so you can get cooking in a flash. Don’t heat the pan empty too long — the body can overheat, which can damage the coating.
Although the Misen Non-Stick 12-Inch Skillet is oven-safe, it can only be used at temperatures of up to 450°F (230°C). This is due to its layer of primer and 3 layers of non-stick (PTFE) coating, which is designed for durability. Misen claims that the coating lasts 2.5 times longer than conventional non-stick coatings based on their own tests.
One of the standout features of this skillet is its sturdy stay-cool metal handle, which, unlike other products in its category, doesn’t get damaged on gas stoves. The skillet is also induction-compatible and dishwasher friendly, though washing it by hand is the best way to ensure its longevity.
Overall, the Misen Non-Stick 12-Inch Skillet is a reliable choice for all your non-stick cooking needs from a brand we’ve reviewed and tested many times, and that’s done exceptionally well.
Sturdy cast iron skillet coated with ceramic for easy slide-off-the-pan eggs, sauteing veggies, and flipping pancakes. Works with all cooktops, including induction, gas, and electric coil or radiant, and is oven-safe up to 550ºF (287°C).
If you’re looking for a ceramic-coated skillet that can handle all your home cooking needs, the Caraway Nonstick Ceramic 10¼-Inch Skillet is a great choice.
Made with a sturdy cast iron body and coated with a ceramic surface, this skillet is perfect for slide-off-the-pan eggs, sautéing veggies, and flipping pancakes. It works with all cooktops, including induction, gas, and electric coil or radiant, and is oven-safe up to 550ºF (287°C).
One of the standout features of the Caraway Nonstick Ceramic Skillet is its durability. It’s dishwasher friendly, but hand washing is recommended for longevity. However, it should only be used on medium to low heat to ensure the ceramic coating stays in good condition.
Not only is this pan practical, but it’s also quite beautiful. It comes in a range of colors to match your kitchen decor, and its sleek design will look great on any stovetop.
All in all, the Caraway Nonstick Ceramic 10¼-Inch Skillet is a stylish choice for a ceramic-coated skillet.
This black carbon steel skillet heats quickly, transfers heat evenly, slides easily from stovetop to oven to grill, and is built to withstand the test of time. Made in France.
The Matfer Bourgeat 11⅞-Inch Carbon Steel Skillet is made of black carbon steel and, once seasoned, becomes an exceptionally non-stick pan.
Its welded steel handle provides extra strength and security, and is free of rivets, which means bacteria don’t get trapped on the interior of the pan during and after cooking.
This carbon steel skillet sears and sautées foods remarkably well, just like a cast iron pan, but is lighter, heats up much quicker, and seasons more easily. It can also withstand and maintain very high temperatures, making it suitable for use on all hob and stove types, including induction.
Made in France by Matfer Bourgeat, a well known and highly respected cookware manufacturer since 1814, the Matfer Bourgeat 11⅞-Inch Carbon Steel Skillet is a high-quality choice for any kitchen.
How to Choose
When it comes to choosing the right skillet for your kitchen, it’s important to consider the material and coating that best fit your needs and lifestyle. There’s no perfect material and coating, and deciding what’s best for you requires you to make informed trade-offs.
Cast iron, carbon steel: Uncoated cast iron and carbon steel skillets are great for searing steaks, making burgers, cooking chicken, and baking because they hold on to heat and transfer it to your food exceptionally well.
These types of skillets need to be seasoned, and the seasoning has to be looked after; should only be washed by hand and can’t go in the dishwasher; and cannot be used for cooking acidic foods, as the acid can cause the iron to leach into the food.
Stainless steel: A stainless steel skillet is durable and can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but it tends to stick, making it difficult to prepare tender and delicate foods such as eggs, pancakes, and fish fillets. Clean your stainless steel pans in the dishwasher only as a last resort; it may cause discoloration or damage.
Nonstick: Pans with nonstick coatings provide a smooth, slippery surface that releases foods with ease, but they can’t be used over high heat and are only oven-safe up to a certain temperature, or the coating may become damaged.
Ceramic: Ceramic skillets promise the best of both worlds — a pan with a slick surface that can handle high heat — but they tend to lose their slickness after 50 to 100 uses and require the use of cooking oil.
Size is also another factor to consider. As a rule, a skillet with a diameter between 10 and 12 inches will suit most home cooks’ daily cooking needs. If you have a large family, a bigger pan may be necessary, but it may have hotspots. Smaller, 8-inch pans are good for preparing breakfast sausage or one fried egg, but even single cooks may find them too small for a proper dinner.
When it comes to handles, look for all metal. Bakelite or silicone handles may provide a better grip, but they don’t work well with the hot flames of a gas oven’s burners or the continuous heat of the oven. Avoid pans with bolted-on handles, as they are a sign of cheap construction that will become flimsy over time. Rivets are fine, but welded handles are even better, as there are no rivets inside the cooking surface, making it easier to scoop up sauces and clean the pan.
Last but not least, buy your pans from reputable brands and to remember the motto “buy it nice or buy it twice.” Cheap cookware that heats unevenly and under or overcooks your food no matter how hard you try is simply not worth it.