Every kitchen needs a reliable non-stick frying pan, but swerving metal utensils during cooking can be annoying. Luckily, Ninja has delivered a non-stick pan that not only doesn’t need any oil to cook, but is also strong enough to withstand any utensil.
Frying pans are among the hardest working items in the kitchen. They can be used for just about anything, from perfectly seared salmon to a humble batch of pancakes. If you purchase the right one, you’ll continue to use it time and again.
Some pans are aimed at specific types of foods or cooking methods but, essentially, there are three different types of frying pans: non-stick, cast iron and stainless stee.
Cast iron pans will last you a lifetime and are almost impossible to damage but are extremely heavy to use. Meanwhile, stainless steel options are popular with chefs but amateur cooks may struggle to stop food sticking to them. Non-stick pans, however, are the most common and the easiest to cook with – and clean afterwards.
Should you be drawn to the latter type, bear in mind that metal utensils are traditionally a no-go with non-stick pans. Some with tougher coatings do now promise to withstand any utensil so be sure to choose one that does, though we’d still recommend proceeding with caution. It can also be a good idea to avoid putting the pan in the dishwasher even if it says you can, as this can wear away the non-stick coating.
A decent frying pan should have a flat base and a hard-wearing surface, and beware of very cheap options, which will have a thin surface that will quickly wear away and need replacing. You’ll also want to consider the size of the pan you buy, too, with most coming in a range of sizes between 20cm and 30cm.
Finally, make sure the frying pan you choose will suit your hob. If you have an induction hob, it must specify it can be used on one or it won’t work at all. You might also prefer to choose a pan that can be put in the oven, under the grill or even on the barbecue for maximum versatility.
How we tested
We used all these pans in our kitchen to find the one we’d turn to for every meal. For each one, we cooked a variety of dishes, including steak, pancakes and, of course, the quintessential fry-up. We judged how evenly each pan cooked our food, how well any non-stick surfaces were cleaned and how good the food tasted at the end. We also considered how heavy the pan was, how much oil we needed to use when cooking with it and how easy it was to clean afterwards, to determine which one was truly the perfect pan.
The best non-stick frying pans for 2023 are:
- Best non-stick frying pan overall – Ninja zerostick stainless steel 30cm frying pan: £64.99, Ninjakitchen.co.uk
- Best budget frying pan – Progress shimmer frying pan: £16.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best griddle pan – Samuel Groves 26cm Britannia cast iron square griddle: £115, Samuelgroves.com
- Best lightweight pan – Salter megastone collection non-stick forged aluminium frying pan: £21.99, Salter.com