No matter how carefully you treat your nonstick frying pan, the day will come when it loses its slickness and your once beautiful omelets turn into a mess. After the pan becomes scratched and damaged, replacing it is the best option. If you're doing that every two or three years, you probably don't want to pay top dollar for a new skillet. In Consumer Reports new tests of 10-inch frying pans we found three nonstick top picks including a Calphalon for $40 that's a Best Buy. We also tested four uncoated frying pans but none rose to the level of recommended.
The Calphalon Simply Nonstick Omelette Pan, $40, was excellent at evenly heating food, and when new, superb at releasing food. The handle stays cool to the touch, but wasn't as sturdy as others in our tests. The Calphalon Simply Nonstick was excellent at withstanding our nonstick durability test in which steel wool is rubbed over a pan for up to 2,000 strokes. It's also easy to clean, made of aluminum, and comes with a 10-year warranty.
The two other top nonstick picks, at $90 each, were the Swiss Diamond Classic and the Scanpan Classic, which is a quarter-inch larger. The Swiss Diamond Classic was very good overall. Food cooked evenly and when the pan was new, released easily. It was very good on our durability test and the sturdy handle stayed cool to the touch. Cleanup was a snap. The aluminum pan comes with a lifetime warranty. The Scanpan Classic was very good overall, superb at evenly heating food and when new, did a very good job releasing food. The handle is sturdy and stayed cool to the touch. It was very good at withstanding our durability test and, like most nonstick cookware, it's easy to clean. This aluminum pan is dishwasher-safe and comes with a lifetime warranty.
None of the uncoated frying pans in our frying pan tests were easy to clean and cooking evenness was mediocre at best. Of the group, the Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad Saute Pan, $40, scored slightly above the rest. It's stainless steel. The cast iron Lodge Pro-Logic, $30, had its issues but some cooks swear by these classic frying pans because they withstand high heat and if cared for properly can be handed down for generations.
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2007-2013 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.