Nothing beats a perfectly fried egg that slides easily off of the pan onto a plate -- preferably one filled with bacon. The best pan to fry eggs in has a durable nonstick surface and enough room to easily flip your eggs.
The Shape and Size
Select a shallow pan with somewhat flared sides and a nonstick surface to fry your eggs in. Shallow pans encourage moisture to evaporate during the cooking process to prevent your eggs from steaming rather than frying. The flared sides, meanwhile, allow you to easily flip the eggs in the pan and slide them right off onto your breakfast plate. The pan should accommodate all of your eggs at once, while still allowing you to properly flip them while cooking. Frying pans that are 10 to 12 inches in diameter give you plenty of space to fry and flip several eggs, while 8-inch pans are better for cooking one to two eggs at a time.
Avoiding a Sticky Situation
A good nonstick pan has a surface that is perfectly smooth to the touch and that's free from potentially harmful chemicals, such as perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. High quality frying pans have at least three coats of polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, the chemical that is used by most manufacturers to form a nonstick coating, according to the Cookware Manufacturers Association. More layers result in longer-lasting coating, because PTFE eventually breaks down and can flake off with repeated use. Read the manufacturer's label; it should state that multiple coats were sprayed onto the pan to create the nonstick surface and that the pan is free from PFOA.
Even Cooking and Fast Heating
Choose a pan that will cook your eggs evenly. The best pans provide even heat distribution across a level cooking surface. Look for pans made with multiple layers of aluminum and copper encased in stainless steel, which conduct heat more quickly and evenly than those made with stainless steel alone. These metals are also light, meaning that pans made with them are easy to lift and manipulate.
Handles and Durability
Purchase a pan with a handle that stays cool and a surface that can handle a lot of cooking. Choose a pan with a silicone or wood handle, because these materials don't conduct heat. Look for pans with a titanium coating or embedded diamond dust, which help to preserve the nonstick surface from scratches. Pans with a tough nonstick surface are usually also dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean.
- The Independent: The 10 Best Frying Pans
- Cook's Illustrated: Nonstick Skillets
- The Telegraph: Frying Pans Tried and Tested
- The Huffington Post: What's the Best Pan to Cook With?
- The Science of Cooking; Peter Barham
- Good Housekeeping: Nervous About Nonstick?
- The Kitchn: Basic Techniques: How to Fry an Egg
- Cookware Manufacturers Association: Two Major Types of Nonstick Coatings
- Real Simple: The Only Pots and Pans You’ll Need
- Good Housekeeping: Pots and Pans Every Cook Needs
- Photo Credit Shaiith/iStock/Getty Images