On the hunt for the best cookware for your ceramic cooktop? Look no further than our picks below.
No time to read it all? Check out our top picks:
- Best non-stick: Tramontina Professional Non-Stick Pan
- Best ceramic: GreenPan Venice Pro Frying Frying Pan Set
- Best stainless steel: Misen Stainless Steel Skillet
- Best enameled cast iron: Le Creuset Signature Skillet
With their sleek surface made of glass ceramic—a tough, translucent, and thermally resistant material created by the crystallization of glass—ceramic cooktops are considered by many to be the cream of the crop in their category.
And for good reason. Whether you own a radiant or an induction cooktop, preparing dinner has never been easier and clean-up is nothing but a cinch. Add to that the fact that these cooktops are child-safe and energy-saving, and it isn’t hard to understand the rising demand for them in recent years.
Then again, you’re here. And you’re reading a roundup of the best skillets for ceramic cooktops. Which tells us you know all this, and you just finished equipping (or remodeling) your kitchen with a brand new ceramic cooktop.
Now that you did, you’re looking for a
good skillet… scratch that, you’re looking for a great skillet to prepare food for yourself and your family with. (In case you’re wondering, we use the terms “skillet” and “frying pan” interchangeably.)
Well, let’s just say you came to the right place. As usual, we at Home Cook World have got you covered: having looked high and low for the best skillets for ceramic cooktops, for shoppers of all cooking styles and wallets, we rounded our top picks below.
What to Look For
Ceramic, non-stick, stainless steel, and enameled cast iron cookware works best on a ceramic cooktop. Don’t use cast iron or carbon steel cookware, as its rough underside can scratch your cooktop’s glass-ceramic surface.
A Metal and Coating That Suits Your Needs
Go for one of these types of pans:
- Stainless steel;
- Enameled cast iron.
Ceramic and non-stick pans make cooking and clean-up easier; their slick surfaces prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides. However, their coatings wear out over time—ceramic within 1-2 years, and non-stick within 2-3 years—and the pans eventually need to be replaced.
Non-stick pans should never be used over high heat. Depending on the make and model, non-stick pans are generally oven safe up to 400-450°F. Ceramic pans can safely be used over high heat. Most ceramic pans are broiler-safe and oven-friendly, and can withstand temperatures of up to 600°F.
Stainless steel and enameled cast iron skillets are expensive, but they’re sturdy, versatile, and built to last a lifetime. These skillets move freely from cooktop to oven and are particularly useful for the seasoned cook who sears, sautés, and braises.
Avoid the types of frying pans below:
- Carbon steel;
- Uncoated cast iron;
- Copper cookware.
Carbon steel pans and uncoated cast iron skillets are not necessarily suitable for use on ceramic cooktops. Their rough and porous underside will scratch the glass ceramic surface beyond repair, especially with daily use.
Copper pans, widely considered the best cooking vessels around (and correspondingly expensive), are not compatible with induction cooktops. While you could always get a heat diffuser, the only way to make the most of an induction cooktop is to use ferromagnetic cookware.
A Sturdy Skillet That Fits Your Cooktop
Whether you choose ceramic, non-stick, stainless steel or enameled cast iron, make sure you buy a well-built skillet from a reputable brand. This way, you maximize the chance of getting your money’s worth, and if you’re unlucky and come across manufacturing defects, you can rely on the warranty.
What’s a well-built skillet? Look for a heavy-bottomed, thick-walled cooking vessel that feels heavy to hold. The thicker the body, the more even the heating and the better the heat retention. The handle should feel sturdy and durable, ideally made out of metal or with few plastic parts.
The size of the pan should match the diameter of the cooking zone you plan to use it on. When in doubt, take a tape measure (or open the “Measure” app on your iPhone) to determine the zone’s diameter. A pan that’s too small or too large won’t heat evenly and, in some cases, will warp.
If you own an induction cooktop, all cookware you buy must be labeled as induction-compatible. Induction cooktops create an electromagnetic field that heats up your skillet from the inside-out. For the same reasons, they only work with ferromagnetic skillets (containing enough iron to be attracted to magnets).
Best Non-Stick Fry Pan
Tramontina Professional Non-Stick Fry Pan
A non-stick pan is a great choice for beginner cooks, as well as for seasoned cooks on the hunt for a hassle-free cooking experience.
Made of an aluminum body with a high-quality non-stick coating, the Tramontina Professional Non-Stick Frying Pan has a classic shape, durable coating, and sturdy stainless steel handle featuring a removable silicone holder.
This frying pan heats up quickly and evenly; turn on the heat, and, in as little as 20-30 seconds, it will get hot enough to cook in. The flared edges make pouring out sauces and maneuvering foods with your spatula easy. (Since this is a non-stick pan, a silicone or wooden spatula is a non-negotiable.)
Eggs, scallops, and salmon fillets glide effortlessly over Tramontina’s slick surface, and you can finally make pancakes for the kids on a Sunday morning without having to worry about tearing them up at the flip.
This frying pan’s non-stick coating is generally dishwasher safe, making it ideal for the busy cook. That said, washing it by hand is as simple as giving it a good wipe with a paper towel and a quick soap down in the kitchen sink.Check latest price →
Also Worth It
- The Misen Non-Stick Frying Pan is a great oven-friendly, dishwasher-safe alternative at a similar price point;
- Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick is the ultimate non-stick frying pan to go for if you own an induction cooktop.
Best Ceramic Fry Pan
GreenPan Venice Pro Frying Pan Set
The GreenPan Venice Pro is a pair of fully-clad stainless steel cooking vessels with an aluminum core and a durable ceramic sol-gel coating on the bottom and sides. The vessels are magnetized and compatible with induction cooktops.
We chose this set because it offers the best value among ceramic cookware. The 10-inch pan is ideal for everyday cooking, and its 12-inch counterpart is handy when you need to prepare thick steaks or hefty salmon fillets for a hungry crowd.
But don’t just take our word for it. “We LOVE these pans,” a customer at Amazon who came back to drop a review says. “One of us cooks pretty much every day—whether breakfast, dinner, or both—and these pans are the best ceramic cookware we’ve used.”
As is to be expected with ceramic cookware, almost all customers emphasize how easy the GreenPan Venice Pro frying pans are to use and clean. Many see the ceramic coating as a “healthier” alternative to non-stick skillets, although many studies on their safety have yet to be conducted.Check latest price →
Also Worth It
- The Ozeri Stone Earth is a good and budget-friendly alternative in case our top pick isn’t in stock.
Best Stainless Steel Skillet
Misen Stainless Skillet
The Misen Stainless Skillet has a flared shape, heavy bottom, and thick walls. This skillet heats slowly, but evenly. What makes it a good cooking vessel, and a favorite in the Home Cook World test kitchen, is the fact that it is as reluctant to give up heat as it is to absorb it.
This lack of responsiveness is precisely what you want when you’re slapping a thick-cut steak or a juicy burger on your skillet. Instead of losing temperature, the skillet stays hot and gets the meat sizzling almost immediately, creating a crispy crust and a good browning on the exterior.
The Misen Stainless Skillet offers just that. Made of five alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum, this cooking vessel pulls its weight in terms of performance.
Compared to most other cooking vessels in its category, some of which retail at twice the price, the Misen Stainless Skillet is also affordable and offers excellent value for money.
Use it for searing steak, sautéing mushrooms, and caramelizing onions. Oh, and that residue that builds up on the bottom of the pan during cooking? You could always leave the mess to the dishwasher (I clean my Misen Skillet in it daily), you can instead add a generous gulp of wine or beer to the pan and let it boil down to make the tastiest, MasterChef-worthy pan sauce.
Misen is so confident in this pan that you can try it for 60 days and return it for a full refund if, for some reason, you don’t like it. If you decide to keep it, a limited lifetime warranty applies.
Check latest price at Amazon or at Misen.com
Also Worth It
- The Tramontina Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Skillet is a good alternative in case our best pick isn’t in stock (or, for one reason or another, you don’t agree with it);
- If you’re willing to pay the price, get the All-Clad D5 Five-Ply Frying Pan. This skillet is made in the USA by the company that practically invented clad cookware.
Best Enameled Cast Iron Pan
Le Creuset Signature Skillet
Ceramic cooktops don’t get along with cast iron. The rough, porous underside of a cast iron skillet can scratch the glass-ceramic surface of your cooktop badly. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it ain’t pretty (nor it is recoverable).
You don’t have this problem if the cast iron is coated with porcelain enamel. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of cooking with cast iron, even on a glass-ceramic cooktop, with none of the damage. (As long as you’re willing to invest some money in enameled cast iron.)
Enameled cast iron skillets are expensive. And, as you will see, our choice is definitely on the higher end. Still, we think a good enameled skillet is worth the splurge. Not only does it slide easily from the cooktop to the oven to cook the most delicious of steaks and braises, but it will last you a lifetime.
These pieces of cookware as so good, they tend to turn into family heirlooms. And speaking of heirlooms…
You can’t talk of enameled cast iron cookware without mentioning French cookware maker Le Creuset. No other brand deserves a place in a “Best Of” more than this nearly century-old company and its iconic line of products.
Our favorite, the Le Creuset Signature Skillet, comes in 18 colors and 4 sizes, the most versatile size of them all being 10.25 inches. It will quickly become your favorite cooking vessel for preparing all kinds of red meat, poultry and seafood, as well as for frying up cutlets, fries, and latkes.
The cast iron core retains heat like no other, while the porcelain enamel protects your ceramic cooktop from scratches. Thanks to the enamel, this skillet is also dishwasher safe, which means clean-up no longer has to be a chore.Check latest price →
Also Worth It
- Cuisinart Chef's Classic Cast Iron Skillet is a more affordable, and almost as good, enameled skillet for the cookware shopper on a budget;
- The Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Casserole isn’t a skillet per se, but it is a worthy alternative to the Le Creuset that adds versatility to your cookware collection.
General Tips for Cooking on a Ceramic Cooktop
Cooking at high heat—a common mistake made by us home cooks—is the easiest way to burn your food and ruin your skillet, especially if it’s coated in ceramic or non-stick.
Use high heat only to thicken sauces and braises by evaporating the excess water or cooking liquid. For searing steaks and sautéing thin cuts of meat or sliced vegetables, use medium-high heat. For shallow-frying chops, cutlets, and battered foods, use medium heat.
Grease your skillet with 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil before cooking with it; an empty cooking vessel will overheat quickly and dry out your food. It’s best to drizzle some oil into the pan and spread it over the bottom and sides of the cooking surface with a paper towel.
For the same reasons as above, you shouldn’t preheat your skillets empty. The correct thing to do is to grease them, preheat them, and start cooking as soon as they’re hot enough. You can tell when your skillet is hot enough when the oil in it begins to glisten and shimmer, or when you hold your hand close to the cooking surface and it radiates heat.