A skillet serves a specific purpose in the kitchen. As opposed to a saute pan, which generally has tall, vertical sides, a skillet has sloped sides. This makes it a practical choice for making food where ingredients are frequently moved around in the pan, such as frittatas and cornbread. Due to its angled edges, however, the skillet is a less practical choice for making sauce or searing meat.
Keep in mind that the sloped edges of a skillet slightly reduce its overall cooking surface. Some of the most common sizes include 8-inch and 10-inch pans, although you can find larger ones up to 16 inches and bigger. Another consideration is the cooking surface. Many cast iron skillets come pre-seasoned and are generally heavier, yet can withstand higher heat than their ceramic counterparts. Some skillets feature a specific nonstick coating that ensures rapid food release. Many of these surfaces are made without potentially harmful materials such as PFOA and lead.
If you’re still not sure which skillet to get, consider features such as the type of handle and whether the skillet is safe for use in the oven. Some handles are indented for a more comfortable grip. Additionally, you can find handles that are designed to stay cool even when the skillet heats up.
1. Anolon 82525 Nouvelle Copper Skillets, 8-Inch and 10-Inch
This set of skillets stands out for its durable hard-anodized aluminum construction for optimal heat distribution along with a nonstick interior that keeps food from sticking as you cook your meals. A five-layer metal construction, including layers of aluminum and a copper base, makes each pan durable and efficient. They’re safe to use in the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Each pan features a cast stainless steel handle attached with a nonstick rivet technology for added durability. The skillets are suitable for all cook tops.
- Durable hard-anodized aluminum construction
- Oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Suitable for all cook tops
- Can take awhile to warm up
- Some find that the nonstick coating wears off over time
2. Scanpan CTQ Nonstick Skillet
The Scanpan CTQ Nonstick Skillet stands out for its PFOA-free construction along with a durable ceramic titanium nonstick interior that won’t scratch or warp. You can use the skillet for browning, searing, and deglazing. A sturdy stainless steel and aluminum body quickly heats up and ensures optimal heat retention. The stay-cool handle keeps hands safe and is securely riveted in place. It’s also curved for a comfortable and secure grip. You can use this skillet on all cooking surfaces. It’s also oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This skillet is available in several sizes.
Price: $99.96 (41 percent off MSRP)
- PFOA-free construction
- Can be used for browning, searing, and deglazing
- Oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- A few mention the surface tends to scratch
- Some find the exterior gets dirty quickly and can be tough to clean
3. MasterPan Non-Stick 3 Section Meal Skillet
This skillet is conveniently divided into three sections so that you can cook an entire meal at once. The handle is riveted and features a comfortable silicone grip for safe handling. Another highlight is the PFOA-free nonstick coating. To clean the skillet, place it in the dishwasher or run it under hot water. It’s safe for use in the oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Divided into three sections
- Handle has a comfortable silicone grip
- PFOA-free nonstick coating
- Doesn’t come with a lid
- Some wish the portion sections were larger
- Ridges can be tough to clean
4. Lodge L8SK3 Cast Iron Skillet
This 10.25-inch Lodge skillet comes pre-seasoned and is conveniently ready for use. You can use it to saute, fry, bake, sear, stir fry, and more. A helper handle on the opposite side gives you more support for safe handling. The handle is large enough to accommodate oven mitts and gloves. A hole in the handle makes it easy to hang up the pan for storage when it’s not in use. The skillet is available in several sizes.
Price: $13.66 (14 percent off MSRP)
- Handle has a hole for hanging
- Comes pre-seasoned
- Available in many sizes
- Can take awhile to heat up
- Lid must be purchased separately
5. Cuisinart 622-36H Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 14-Inch Open Skillet
If you’re looking for a skillet with a larger surface area, consider this 14-inch Cuisinart skillet. You can use it to cook on the stove top or in the oven up to 500 degrees. Highlights include tapered rims to prevent drips when pouring along with a hard-anodized construction that promotes even and quick heating. The heat is also distributed evenly so that there aren’t any hot spots. The nonstick interior is reinforced with titanium for rapid food release. You can also cook using less oil. Smaller sizes are available.
Price: $35.99 (10 percent off MSRP)
- Ideal for cooking larger amounts of food
- Tapered rims prevent drips when pouring
- Even heat distribution eliminates hot spots
- Comes without a lid
- Some find the nonstick material wears off quickly
- Surface isn’t scratch-resistant
Find more Cuisinart 622-36H Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 14-Inch Open Skillet information and reviews here.
6. Circulon Symmetry Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Inch and 12-Inch Skillets
This twin pack includes one 10-inch and one 12-inch skillet. Each pan features a hard-anodized construction for enhanced durability along with a nonstick cooking surface. The nonstick material is also PFOA-free and can handle use with metal utensils. Rubberized stainless steel handles provide a safe yet comfortable grip for easy handling even when the skillet is hot. The skillets are oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and are safe for the dishwasher.
Price: $44.50 (63 percent off MSRP)
- Rubberized stainless steel handles
- Oven safe up to 400 degrees
- PFOA-free nonstick material
- Hollow handle section can collect water when washing
- A few mention that food can stick when using higher heat
- Nonstick coating can wear off over time
Find more Circulon Symmetry Hard Anodized Nonstick 10-Inch and 12-Inch Skillets information and reviews here.
7. All-Clad 41135 Stainless Steel French Skillet
A French skillet is typically deeper and has a wider cooking surface compared to a traditional skillet. However, it retains the same flared sides. Features of this 13-inch All-Clad skillet include a tri-ply bonded construction with stainless steel and an aluminum core, which ensures even heating throughout the pan, along with a domed lid. The capacity is etched onto the base for added convenience. You can use this skillet in the oven and broiler up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also induction compatible and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
- Contoured stainless steel handle
- Handle can get hot
- Some find the handle uncomfortable
8. Bayou Classic Cast Iron Skillet
This 16-inch cast iron skillet features plenty of cooking space. You can use it to saute, bake, fry, and even make your favorite breakfast foods. Highlights include a durable cast iron material that smoothly transfers and retains heat along with a pre-seasoned finish for added convenience. Hand wash this skillet for optimal results.
Price: $41.97 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Useful for frying, sauteing, and making breakfast
- Surface is pre-seasoned
- Ideal for cooking large quantities of food
- Not available in other sizes
- Quite large and heavy
- Should be washed by hand
9. GreenPan Rio 5QT Ceramic Non-Stick Covered Skillet
A Thermolon ceramic nonstick coating keeps food from sticking and allows optimal results on low to medium heat settings. This material is also scratch-resistant and is designed to hold up to thermal shocks. It’s also made without lead and other potentially harmful materials such as cadmium and PFOA. The skillet also features a thick aluminum base that allows it to heat up faster and distribute heat evenly. A stay-cool handle stands out for its safe and secure grip. The exterior of this skillet is easy to clean.
Price: $45.69 (9 percent off MSRP)
- Unique Thermolon ceramic nonstick coating
- Scratch-resistant material
- Thick aluminum base ensures even heat distribution
- Not compatible with extra virgin olive oil or cooking sprays, according to manufacturer
- Nonstick coating can begin to chip if used on high heat
- A few mention it’s quite heavy
10. Home-Complete Cast Iron Skillet
Small spouts on either side of this skillet let you easily get rid of excess liquid as needed during the cooking process. This affordable cast iron skillet features a 12-inch cooking surface and features a pre-seasoned coating. It’s also 2 inches deep, providing ample space for meal preparation. You can use it to cook your favorite meats and vegetables. The skillet heats up evenly and can withstand high temperatures. Use it to grill, sear, bake, broil, fry, and braise your favorite foods. A helper handle allows you to safely pick up the skillet and move it around as needed.
Price: $29.99 (67 percent off MSRP)
- Spouts on either side help get rid of liquid
- Includes a helper handle
- Surface is a bit rough
- Needs to be hand-washed
- Short handle