pans skillets

The Best Frying Pans to Buy Online, From Chef-Approved Options to Budget-Friendly Picks

These top-rated frying pans have all your cooking needs covered.
By Adria Greenhauff
Updated December 01, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Today's home cooks are always eager to feel more at home in our kitchens, whether that's experimenting with different ingredients, cooking methods, or new cookware. 

If you've found yourself thinking about upgrading your arsenal of kitchen tools, a quality frying pan is a good place to start. This essential piece of cookware opens up possibilities for a wide range of dishes, from juicy steaks to mouth-watering frittatas and everything in between.

But with so many options available at different price points, shopping for a frying pan can be overwhelming and bring many questions: Should you go cast iron or nonstick? Who makes the best frying pan? And, of course, how much should you spend? 

When deciding what type of frying pan is right for you, consider what types of dishes you'll be cooking most often and how frequently you'll be using the pan. From there, you should be able to better decide what material suits your needs, as well as what size would be most functional.

If your cooking tends to get a bit sticky (think: scrambled eggs and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches) you can't go wrong with a ceramic or nonstick frying pan. But keep in mind, these materials don't typically react well to high heat, so if you're a fan of stir-fried veggies or grilled steak, you might consider one made with heavy-duty cast iron or stainless steel.

You'll also want to consider the size of the pan. Meal prepping or cooking for a crowd? Go bigger. Cooking one-dish portions? Go smaller. And while certain types of frying pans cost upwards of $100, there are also many budget-friendly and mid-priced options that are just as high quality as their pricier counterparts. 

With all of these factors in mind, you may have a better idea of what to look for, but there are still tons of options on the market. That's why we sifted through dozens of websites and thousands of shopper reviews to find you the best frying pans to buy online right now. 

Here are the 9 best frying pans in 2021, according to customer reviews: 

These options cover a wide range of brands, materials, and price points, so you'll have no trouble finding the right one for your needs. Keep scrolling to learn more about each of these top-rated frying pans and see why so many customers recommend them. 

Best Frying Pans in 2021

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Credit: Amazon

Best Nonstick Frying Pan: Tramontina Professional Aluminum Nonstick Fry Pan

Have you ever found yourself scraping up a would-be delicious meal from the bottom of your frying pan? It's frustrating, but thankfully completely avoidable with the help of a good quality nonstick frying pan — like this affordable one from Tramontina.

Sporting a low-profile shape and wide, flat base, the 10-inch nonstick frying pan is perfect for more delicate, low-heat tasks, like scrambling eggs or searing flaky fish such as halibut, trout, or branzino. This pan is bonded with 3-ply stainless steel and an aluminum core for even heating (no burnt spots), and it's even oven-safe up to 500 degrees F. 

This pan has received high marks from buyers, particularly because of its superb heat distribution and top-quality, durable material. One happy customer said, "Have been through too many nonstick pans. They all get sticky after moderate use. This one is a champ." Another said, "Best skillet I have ever owned. Professional quality. No stick. Easy cleanup. Joy to use."

Buy it: $30 (was $45); Amazon, Walmart, or Macy's

pans skillets
Credit: Amazon

Best Rated: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge is known for its high-quality and moderately-priced cookware, and this pre-seasoned cast iron skillet is no exception. With nearly 95,000 perfect five-star reviews on Amazon, this 10.25-inch pan is one of the best-rated options out there. It's designed with everyday use in mind, sporting sloped sides (similar to a wok), and shaped spouts that make it easy to pour oil or transfer sauces. The thick, super durable cast iron also ensures excellent heat retention, so you won't have to worry about your dishes cooking unevenly. 

One customer wrote, "This Lodge Chef's Skillet was what I was looking for. The sloped sides let me sauté just like with the stainless steel pan, plus I can judge whether it's too hot just by putting my hand near it. I sauté veggies, make grilled cheese sandwiches, fry eggs, reheat tortillas, make omelets, sear steaks, and make sausage gravy to go over biscuits. This is a real workhorse of my kitchen. You can see why it never leaves my stovetop." Another reviewer said, "I love this skillet! I've used it on the stove: gas and electric, as well as over fire outdoors. I've owned it for 8 months now and it still looks as new as it did 8 months ago." 

Buy it: $36.95; Amazon, Walmart, or Target

Related: The Best Cast Iron Skillets and Pans You Can Buy, According to Thousands of Reviews

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Credit: Amazon

Best Ceramic: GreenPan Rio Nonstick Ceramic Frying Pan

For those who prefer cookware that's free of Teflon or other potentially toxic materials, a high-quality ceramic frying pan like this one from GreenPan is your best choice. Ceramic pans are non-reactive and do not contain any chemicals, meaning there's no chance of anything sneaking its way into your food. And since ceramic is nonstick and doesn't require much (if any) oil or sprays, it's a popular choice among health-conscious cooks.

Another thing to love about this frying pan is the stay-cool handle with an ergonomic grip and the fact that it's dishwasher-safe, which will make cleanup a breeze. Thousands of Amazon shoppers left great reviews for this pan, with many raving that the non-stick surface is superior to other pans they've tried. 

To buy: $14.99; Amazon, Target, or Macy's

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Credit: Amazon

Best Cast Iron: Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

There are plenty of benefits to cooking with cast iron, starting with its extremely high heat capability and long lifespan. And a heavy-duty cast iron frying pan, like this one from Amazon Basics, is a perfect option. It features a round shape and flat, sturdy base with flared sides that work well for cooking up anything from buttermilk biscuits to braised chicken thighs.

While many cast iron pans require a long process of seasoning before use, customers love that this pan comes pre-seasoned so they can get to cooking on it right away and without having to sacrifice the natural flavor release that cast iron is known for). The 12-inch pan is also compatible with all heat sources, meaning you can use it on a stovetop, in the oven up to 500 degrees F, and even over a campfire. Not to mention, cast iron is one of the most durable materials out there. With the right care, a good cast iron pan can even last you a lifetime. 

Buy it: $26.99; Amazon

Cuisinart Contour Stainless 8-Inch Open Skillet
Credit: Amazon

Best Stainless Steel: Cuisinart Contour Stainless Steel Open Skillet

When it comes to cookware, stainless steel is typically the choice for restaurants and professional chefs for a few good reasons. Besides being beautiful to look at (a bonus if you have your pans out on display), stainless steel is typically affordable and pretty indestructible. This means you can use different oils and cook up just about anything on these pans without risk of damage.

Like cast iron, stainless steel offers fantastic heat distribution, so you can fry up delicious, evenly cooked dishes with ease. And when used properly, these pans do a great job of keeping food from sticking.   

More than 2,000 Amazon shoppers left a perfect five-star review for this 8-inch, contoured skillet from Cuisinart, with many calling it "well-made" and "attractive." Another said it's "super nice for the price." 

Buy it: $22.95; Amazon or Walmart

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Credit: Amazon

Best Affordable: Utopia Kitchen Nonstick Frying Pan

Speaking of budget-friendly, if you're looking for an everyday frying pan that won't break the bank, nearly 5,000 Amazon reviewers recommend this dishwasher-safe nonstick skillet by Utopia Kitchen.

It features a high-quality nonstick interior made of aluminum alloy, which allows for easy cooking and cleanup. Customers also appreciate the sturdy, wobble-free handle and induction bottom that allows for use on both electric and ceramic cooktops. And at just about $20 for the 11-inch pan, the price really can't be beat. 

Buy it: $16.99 (was $20.99); Amazon or Walmart

Related: Our Test Kitchen Found the Best Nonstick Cookware

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Credit: Amazon

Best Quality: All-Clad Stainless Steel Nonstick Fry Pan

All-Clad is a favorite cookware brand that's known for making durable, high-performing products. That's why it comes as no surprise that this stainless steel 10-inch skillet features a wide, flat base and aluminum core for even heating throughout.

Perfect for dishes like sautéed chicken and stir-fried vegetables, it has a nonstick interior and is oven-safe for up to 500 degrees F. It even comes with a lifetime warranty, and shoppers say it's well worth the price tag.

One Amazon reviewer wrote: "I've owned several different brands of pans, but All-Clad is by far the best! Even heat throughout the pan, cool handle, and it keeps the heat for a long time, even after it's off the flame. I just love using this pan! Worth every penny." Another said that compared to other options they've tried, "All-Clad still reigns supreme." 

Buy it: $169.95; Amazon

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Credit: Sur la Table

Best Value: Sur La Table Marque Stainless Steel Fry Pan

What's better than one high-quality frying pan? How about a set of two?

We're fans of this pair of stainless steel pans by beloved cookware brand Sur La Table. Constructed with an array of chef-inspired details like curved sides, smooth round edges, and aluminum and copper cores with maximum heat conductivity, these pans — which come in 8- and 10-inch sizes —are a perfect addition to any collection of cooking tools. One customer said they're "Great quality, easy to use and clean."

Buy it: $89.99 (was $170); Sur La Table

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Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Best Splurge: Hestan Nanobond Stainless Steel Skillet Fry Pan

Hestan is known for its high-quality cookware pieces, which use the brand's patented technology called NanoBond. This multilayer bond of titanium-based alloys is built into the stainless steel through an environmentally friendly and chemical-free process for optimal performance.

Apart from its beautiful design, customers love that this stainless steel frying pan is extremely resistant to scratches, staining, and salt pitting. One reviewer called it, "My desert island cookware," and said, "If I only had one piece of cookware, it would be the Nanobond skillet. It heats quickly, cooks like other stainless steel products but is near nonstick and pretty much indestructible."  

Buy it: $149.95; Williams Sonoma or Amazon