In our tests, the Tramontina 10-Inch Professional Restaurant Fry Pan distributed heat more evenly than other nonstick pans, thanks to its thick cast-aluminum construction. The flared edge let us easily scrape the corners with a spatula, flip fried eggs, and slide omelets onto a plate. This lightweight pan is easy to maneuver, and we appreciate its comfortable handle, with a removable silicone sheath for heat protection. With proper care, the Tramontina’s nonstick coating should stay slick and scratch-free for at least four years (based on our experience so far). If you have an induction cooktop, however, go with one of our other picks, because this Tramontina pan isn’t induction-compatible. Note that you can find variants of the 10-inch Tramontina pan sold specifically by retailers such as Sam’s Club and Walmart. A Tramontina representative told us these variants are the same pan aside from aesthetic differences (such as the color of the handle and the number of rivets), but we’ve tested only the 10-Inch Professional Restaurant Fry Pan in person.
If for some reason our top pick is sold out, the Nordic Ware Restaurant Cookware 10.5-Inch Nonstick Fry Pan is a solid second choice. It’s made from cast aluminum and has flared sides, a bent lip, and a silicone handle—just like our top pick. (Also like our top pick, it won’t work on induction cooktops.) The Nordic Ware pan’s coating isn’t as smooth to the touch, but that didn’t impact its nonstick qualities. Eggs and crepes released from the pan just as easily as from our other picks. The Nordic Ware’s nonstick coated inner rivets (which some folks find easier to clean than uncoated ones) are an added perk (and the Tramontina pan doesn’t have these). The Nordic Ware pan is a solid choice, but it’s not our top pick because we want to see firsthand how well the nonstick coating holds up to real-world use over time.
If you cook on an induction cooktop, you’ll want a nonstick skillet with an encapsulated disk—a thick, tri-ply steel and aluminum plate—welded to the bottom of the pan. Induction burners generate heat with a magnetic field, so the base of the pan needs to contain ferrous metals, like iron and steel, in order to work on induction. Of the encapsulated-bottomed nonstick skillets we looked at, the Ozeri 10-Inch Stainless Steel Pan with Nonstick Coating is our pick for people who cook on induction ranges. It has a good weight, nice balance, and a comfortable rounded handle. The Ozeri pan also heats up quickly and evenly (which wasn’t the case for all of the induction-compatible skillets we tested), and the slippery coating allows food to slide around with zero resistance. You can find two different versions of this Ozeri pan: one with black nonstick coating and one with bronze nonstick coating. We tested and solely recommend the black version, as we’ve seen some evidence that the lighter-colored coating may not be as durable.
If you want to have more than one pan, the All-Clad B1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan Set 8″ & 10″ is a great deal. These thick-gauge hard-anodized aluminum pans heat evenly (albeit slowly) and cook delicate foods just as well as a $130 tri-ply nonstick skillet. They also work on all cooktops, including induction (although their bonded steel base doesn’t heat as evenly as the multi-layer encapsulated bottom on the Ozeri pan). The 10-inch B1 pan is heftier than our top pick (it’s almost 3 pounds, whereas the Tramontina weighs about 2 pounds). But the comfortable rounded handles and excellent balance make both All-Clad B1 pans easy to maneuver. This set isn’t our top pick because we think most folks can get by with one nonstick skillet.