Updated: June 8, 2015

Skillet Reviews:

When you think of a cooking skillet, many of us think of the older cast iron skillets used in outdoor situations. These cast iron frying pans were heavy and food stuck to them so cleaning was a real headache. The current kitchen skillets are made from stainless steel or aluminum and their nonstick surfaces make them great for cooking up omeletes or vegetables. They typically come in 8 inch, 10 inch, or 12 inch sizes and made from materials like anodized aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, and copper. You want a skillet that is designed properly and one that distributes heat evenly when you are cooking. The top brands are All-Clad, Lodge Logic, Staub, Calphalon, WearEver, Heuck, Cuisinart, Precise Heat, Le Creuset, and Rachel Ray. The more expensive All-Clad stainless steel skillets will run you $150+ for the 12" models while the same size skillet from Calphalon will cost closer to $50. We found a great selection of cooking skillets on Amazon.com and Cooking.com.


Buying Guide - Things to look for when buying a skillet for your kitchen: Purchase a material that will conduct heat evenly and properly. Cast iron is perhaps the best type of skillet to own for even heat distribution and the ability to retain heat. Stainless steel does look great but it is not as good at conducting heat as the cast iron variety. However, the newer tri-ply layered stainless steel skillets do a good job of heating evenly and cooking consistently. Anodized aluminum is probably the most popular choice in skillet materials, like the Calphalon NonStick Skillet that sells on Amazon and Cooking.com. Owners say it heats up evenly, cooks up perfect omeletes and cleans quite easily. The Calphalon skillet is a best seller on several websites because the price matches the performance. If you are heading to the great outdoors and want a rugged skillet that will last a long time, consider the Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet ($16) which is a best seller on Amazon. The heavy cast iron skillet from Lodge weighs about 8 pounds and comes pre-seasoned so you don't have to deal with that part of it. Owners say this makes a great camping skillet that will last for generations. Another type of skillet are those that are powered by electricity like the Cuisinart CSK-150 1500-Watt Nonstick Oval Electric Skillet and the Precise Heat 3-1/2-Quart Surgical Stainless-Steel Oil Core Skillet. Both sell for over $100 and their are cheaper options on the market, but reviews point buyers to these 2 models. Simply plug them into the wall and the skillet will heat up evenly and retain heat extremely well. The electric skillets tend to have 2 shapes - square or round. They should have temperature controls on the side of the unit and look for those that are dishwasher safe with nonstick surfaces. Electric skillets will almost always be made of aluminum versus the stainless steel offerings you see with the models that for stove use only. The electric skillets also tend to have glass lids unlike the stove models. Some people ask "Why use an electric skillet?" One of the big advantages is that an electric skillet will give you a more evenly heated surface which in turn relates to consistent frying. Also, some owners say that the french skillets (electric models) are great for frying oil when you are trying to make fried chicken. When it comes to sizes, most cooking experts say the 8 inch skillet is best for omelettes and burgers, the 10" skillet is good for chicken breasts or eggs, and the 12 to 14 inch skillets are best for sauteing, heating up soups, and steaming vegetables. For the best skillet reviews we suggest going online to cooking forums where actual users make comments on various brands and models they own. Places like Chowhound.chow.com, Amazon.com, and Cooking.com. We found the top listings on Amazon and Cooking.com and cross referenced them with comments from users in the cooking forums to verify that users across all skill levels agree on what really works. We did not find any listings from Consumer Reports, but perhaps they will include skillet testing in one of their issues in the future. Keep reading to find out which models rated best and delivered performance to owners. You can browse the top selling cooking skillets online here.

Best Skillet:

The top selling cooking skillet on Amazon is the Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet ($16) and reviews are very favorable on this cast iron skillet. It comes pre-seasoned so owners can use it immediately. Cast iron is notorious for being the best at heat distribution and heat retention amongst all types of skillets. Although it is marketed as having 2 handles, the main handle is fine but the 2nd handle is too small to get a grip on and almost nonusable. The Lodge skillet is 2 inches deep meaning you can cook up oils or sauces as well as incredible tasting omeletes and pancakes. For the price it's hard to beat the Lodge Logic series - their 10 1/4 inch skillet is only $11 and the 8-inch model is below $10. Another highly sought after skillet is the 2-pc. Nonstick Skillet Set by Calphalon ($49.99) sold on Cooking.com and Amazon. You get 2 hard anodized aluminum skillets - one is 12" and the other 10". They are durable and made with non-stick cooking surfaces for quick cleaning and easy cooking. Both are oven safe up to 450 degrees. The only complaint we could find were form a few owners that use their Calphalon skillets all the time and said that after about 1 year the cooking surface started flaking off which meant they had to get rid of them. All in all, though, the reviews for skillet were positive and the vast majority would buy the Calphalon again.

Top Rated Cooking Skillet:

All Clad is a leading maker of kitchen cookware and the All-Clad Stainless Nonstick Skillet ($110) is a leading product. The 12-inch skillet from All-Clad is great for making omeletes or frittatas as well as sauteing vegetables. Other sizes are available as well - 14 inch, 10 inch, 8", and 7-inch in the same nonstick surface. You get a lifetime warranty on this product and trust me All-Clad is well worth it. My wife has an entire collection of All-Clad cookware and the skillet is what I wanted for weekend omeletes. My complaint with this skillet (and others noted the same issue) is that the handle could be a big wider/thicker for a better grip. Otherwise, the nonstick surface does wonders, especially when it comes to cleaning this thing. They recommend that you handwash the All-Clad skillet with a mild cleanser and don't put it in your dishwasher. Look for this item on Cooking.com or Amazon.com for the best prices.


Electric Skillets:

Electric skillets are superior to stove models in that they retain heat better and provide a much more evenly heated cooking surface. The best sellers come from Precise Heat and Cuisinart in this category. The Cuisinart CSK-150 1500-Watt Nonstick Oval Electric Skillet ($110) is top rated on many sites and in cooking forums home chefs back up the reviews with even more positive comments and feedback. The Cuisinart electric skillet is 12 by 15 inches giving you plenty of cooking surface and the temperature control dial will keep food warm or heat it up to 450 degrees. Comes with a glass cover that has a handle. The CSK-150 is dishwasher safe and includes a 3 year warranty. It's a very versatile cooking appliance and well worth the money say most users. Another excellent buy is the Precise Heat Electric Skillet ($57) is another clear winner that is made with 5 ply stainless steel for even heat distribution. Some people mentioned that the listed dimensions on Amazon were different than what they got in the mail. Be sure to double check any electric skillet dimensions before ordering online. Lastly, the Farberware Electric Skillet ($45) gets above average reviews compared to the competition. On electric skillets, the one thing that can go wrong is that the heating units go out after a while, but Farberware has a solid reputation with this product. You can find it online HERE. Includes a heat resistant dome glass lid, an open/close steam vent in the lid, and an adjustable temperature control that goes from warm to 450 degrees.