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The 4 best nonstick cookware sets, tested and reviewed

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An image collage of nonstick cookware pieces on a gradient orange background.We tested 13 nonstick cookware sets to find the best for your kitchen.

Amazon; Williams Sonoma; Our Place; Hexclad; Lily Alig/Business Insider

Nonstick cookware is great for beginners who may be intimidated by cast iron or stainless steel, and it even has fans among more experienced chefs who like easy clean-up with minimal elbow grease. The best nonstick cookware sets provide a low-hassle way to fry and simmer without needing a ton of oil or leaving half your meal stuck to the pan. 

We boiled water, fried eggs, and browned pancakes in pieces from 15 sets to find the best nonstick cookware sets. The Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick PRO 13-Piece Cookware Set was our top pick because the nonstick surface is outstanding, heating quickly and evenly. The Blue Diamond Diamond-Infused Ceramic Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set is our top pick for under $100. It’s PFAS-free and lightweight, though its nonstick properties were less impressive.

Our top picks for the best nonstick cookware sets

Best overall: Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick PRO 13-Piece Cookware Set — See at Le Creuset

Best value: Blue Diamond Diamond-Infused Ceramic Nonstick 11 Piece Cookware Set — See at Amazon

Most durable: HexClad Hybrid Perfect Pots & Pans Set — See at HexClad

Best ceramic: Our Place Cookware Set — See at Our Place

Best overall

Le Creuset makes the best nonstick pan in our guide, so it’s no surprise that the full cookware set also comes out on top. The skillet had the best nonstick surface in our frying pan tests. Without oil, sunnyside-up eggs came loose with a gentle shake and slid onto the plate with the yoke undisturbed, thanks to the perfectly flared sides of the frying pan. 

The hard-anodized aluminum construction heats evenly and quickly, retaining that heat while cooking pancakes or simmering sauces. During our skillet testing, the Toughened Pro material was also among the fastest heating up. If you’re looking for efficiency, this is a prime example.

We’ve come to expect the thoughtful details present in Le Creuset cookware. For example, the inclusion of three skillets in this set: 8, 10, and 12 inches. This maximizes the versatility of the set and means you’ll always have a clean frying pan ready to go. We also love the helper handles on the saute pan and larger saucepan. The Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick PRO cookware set contains PFAS. See our pick for the best ceramic nonstick set as a PFA-free alternative.

Best value

For under $100, the Blue Diamond Diamond-Infused Ceramic Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set is a value add for a starter kitchen, particularly thanks to the inclusion of a steamer, ladle, and turner. Like in our guide to the best hard-anodized cookware, we like budget sets to come with small, useful extras. Though we wish the set came with a larger fry pan, it’s an excellent selection for the price. 

Despite being the lightest nonstick pan I tested, the Blue Diamond skillet did an outstanding job cooking. It brought a cup of water to boiling in under two minutes, the fastest result from our testing. The aluminum material has hot spots (pancakes cooked near the handle were unevenly browned), but the heat retention is good. The slight flare on the frying pans is conducive to sliding food onto a plate.

The cookware set features a PFAS-free ceramic coating that isn’t as slick out of the box as other nonstick cookware we tested. We also noted some wear around the rim of the frying pan after use and a trip through the dishwasher.

Most durable

In our research into cookware sets, we’ve found that brands tend to go small on the number and size of pieces to save on materials. HexClad is different. Of the cookware sets we considered, the HexClad Hybrid Perfect Pots and Pans Set was the only one that included a 12-inch frying pan and 8-quart stock pot, along with other essential pieces.

Yet, what makes the hybrid HexClad stand out is its construction. The cooking surface is made up of nonstick hexagons with stainless steel borders to create a more durable and heat-retaining nonstick surface. Yet, we found it was more like using cast iron than traditional nonstick. The plus side is that HexClad cookware retains heat extremely well, cooks evenly, and is durable, even with the use of metal utensils. However, the cookware does require seasoning, and delicate items like eggs or fish are more likely to stick without liberal amounts of oil. 

The fry pan has good heft and flares well to make transferring items to a plate easier. The ergonomic handle stays cool. The pieces are dishwasher safe, and I found they cleaned up easily in the washer and by hand. However, the nonstick surface is made with PTFE.

Read our HexClad Fry Pan review.

Best ceramic

The Our Place Always Pan is advertised as the only pan you’ll ever need, so we initially questioned the existence of a branded cookware set. However, after review, we admire the Our Place Cookware Set for its unparalleled nonstick properties and nod to modern aesthetics.

The PFAS-free ceramic coating is as slick as other nonstick coatings. In the Always Pan, we saw sunnyside eggs skating across the pan’s surface with just a little shake. The aluminum construction is excellent for quick and even heating, but if you’re looking for premium heat retention, stick with the best cast iron skillets. Also, the Always Pan is more evocative of a saute pan than a classic fry pan, so we recommend purchasing a separate, budget frying pan for when you need that traditional shape. 

Each piece comes with a Beechwood spatula or spoon that is designed to nest on top of the pan’s handle. We’ve used the Beechwood spatula to break up ground turkey, maneuver bread dough, and more. It’s sturdy and versatile, but after months of use, it has developed a rough texture.

Still, the excellent nonstick surface and color selection, including Lavender, Char, and Sage, make the Our Place Cookware Set a smart buy.

Read our full Our Place Cookware review.

What to look for in a nonstick cookware set

Several pans are displayed in four piles on a stove.The nonstick cookware we tested have either a ceramic or PFAS coating, so if you’re concerned about PFAS, turn to ceramic cookware.

James Brains/Business Insider

Pieces: Manufacturers love to cram small or specialty pieces into their cookware sets to boost the piece count. Look at the different pieces in the set and gauge how likely you are to use them. We came up with a list of the five most useful pieces: 10-inch fry pan, 12-inch fry pan, 2-quart covered saucepan, 3 or 4-quart covered saucepan, and 8-quart covered stock pot. 

Dishwasher-safe: If you hate washing dishes by hand, look for dishwasher-safe sets. Remember that all nonstick surfaces eventually wear down, and the dishwasher shortens this lifespan. We recommend handwashing all pots and pans.

PFAS: If you’re concerned about PFAS, look for PFAS-free labeling or consider ceramic cookware, which is still nonstick, but uses different materials.

Oven-safe: Many recipes start on the stove before moving to the oven, so look for oven-safe sets. Some are oven-safe up to 600 degrees F, though 450 degrees is enough for most purposes.

Stovetop compatibility: Whether you have a gas, electric, or induction range, you want your new cookware set to work on the stove you have. Fortunately, all the sets in our guide are compatible with all the most popular types, and we highlight the ones that are induction-safe.

How we test nonstick cookware

Pancakes are show in a fry pan on a stove.I made mountains of pancakes to test the heat retention and even browning of the cookware sets.

James Brains/Business Insider

We gauged the most important properties of a good nonstick set by testing 10-inch fry pans through several tests. Our testers look for heat retention, heating efficiency, and a slick nonstick surface. We will continue to use our top picks to see how they stand the test of time and update this guide with our observations.

  How we test

What we look for

Nonstick surface

Cook one sunny-side-up egg without oil

Egg slides off the pan smoothly and with a whole yolk

Heating efficiency

Boil 8 ounces of water

How long the center takes to reach boiling

Heat retention Make three pancakes

Hot surface without high heat and evenly browned pancakes and 

Cleaning: We cleaned the pans by hand, and if they were dishwasher-safe, we put them through the dishwasher as well. We noted how easy they were to clean.

Durability: After using the pans several times, we looked for wear and tear. For the most part, the nonstick surfaces remained in excellent condition. However, some had minor nicks around the rim.

Nonstick cookware FAQs

Is nonstick cookware safe?

To answer this question, I contacted Yunlong Luo, a researcher at Macquarie University School of Natural Sciences and author of several articles examining the impact of microplastics in nonstick cookware.

“Nonstick cookware may be safe when used properly,” Luo said. “However, concerns arise regarding the potential release of microplastics and nanoplastics, particularly from scratched surfaces of Teflon-coated cookware.” Luo warned against overheating or preheating empty Teflon (PFTE) coated cookware, as it can emit harmful fumes into the air.

How long does nonstick coating last?

Quality and type of coating, proper maintenance, and how you use your nonstick cookware will determine how long the coating lasts. “With proper care, nonstick coatings can last for several years, but they may wear off over time, especially if scratched or exposed to high heat,” Luo added.

Is nonstick cookware dishwasher safe?

Usually yes, though this varies from brand to brand. Your best bet is to read your cookware’s care instructions. Even if your cookware is dishwasher safe, Luo warned, “Frequent dishwashing may contribute to the deterioration of the nonstick coating due to water pressure and harsh chemicals in detergent.”

When should I replace my nonstick cookware?

“When it’s not shiny,” said Jeremy Houghton, Associate Professor at Johnson & Wales University College of Food Innovation & Technology. “Once it starts to get very gray and dull in color, that’s probably when a lot of the coating has come off.” He added that when you see chipping, it’s time for a new set.

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