Simplemost is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Skillet - 2020

Last updated on November 20, 2020

We looked at the top 16 Skillets and dug through the reviews from 49 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Skillets.

Best Skillet

Why Trust The Simplemost Score?

Simplemost is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.Learn more.

Look for the Simplemost seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Skillets

Show Contents
Our Take
  Best Overall

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 10.25-Inch

Lodge

Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Overall Take

Comes Pre-SeasonedWith this skillet, you'll receive a complimentary red silicone handle holder.

  Classic Cast Iron

Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 12-Inch

Utopia Kitchen

Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 12-Inch

Overall Take

Superior Heat RetentionSince this skillet is made out of cast iron, it's able to retain heat much longer than skillets made from other metals.

  Perfect for Home Cooks

Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized Skillet, 12-Inch

Cuisinart

Chef's Classic Hard-Anodized Skillet, 12-Inch

Overall Take

Professional PerformanceThis skillet is durable and wear-resistant and a great choice for both home and professional chefs.

  Best Set

Cuisinel Heat-Resistant 10-Inch & 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, 2-Piece

Cuisinel

Heat-Resistant Cast Iron Skillet, 2-Piece

Overall Take

Indoor and Outdoor UseConsumers can use this skillet indoors on an electric stove or outside on a grill.

  Choose Your Color

Rachael Ray 17642 Brights Nonstick Frying Skillet Set, 2-Piece

Rachael Ray

Brights Nonstick Frying Skillet Set, 2-Piece

Overall Take

Multiple Color OptionsYou'll be able to match these skillets to the color of your kitchen, as they come in gray, marine blue, red, orange, purple and sea salt.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, Simplemost analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
23

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the skillets available to purchase.
16

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

49

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources.

230,782

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

The Best Overall

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 10.25-Inch

Our Expert Score

9.5

Our Take

If you're searching for a pan that cooks ingredients evenly, this skillet is the answer. It also holds heat much better than other pans. Home chefs will appreciate the assist handle that makes transferring the pan from the stove to the table a breeze.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Rachael Ray 17642 Brights Nonstick Frying Skillet Set, 2-Piece

Our Total Score

9.5

Our Take

This set includes a 9.25-inch and an 11-inch pan, both of which are heat-safe to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The handles are dual-riveted and rubberized for an exceptional grip. In addition to being colorful, the pan's exterior is made from a porcelain enamel that is stain resistant.

Our Skillet Buying Guide

If your kitchen were a chessboard, the skillet would be your queen. A nice, deep skillet can do just about anything: sauté, stir-fry, braising, roasting. If it’s made of cast iron or similar materials, you can even add oven-roasting and baking to that list.

While any good skillet will be versatile, the material it’s made with is going to determine its specialties. Take the classic cast iron skillet. Everybody’s grandparents have one in their kitchen, for good reason. These weighty workhorses cook steak like nothing else, and — with a little TLC — are durable enough to handle thousands of meals on the stove or in the oven before getting passed on to the kids.

At the other end of the cooking spectrum, you have the nonstick pan. Lightweight and handy, these are typically made of quick-heating aluminum coated with a nonstick polymer that makes it a breeze to clean. They’re best for a nice plate of eggs or fish filet — soft foods that won’t abrade the surface.

In the sweet spot between the two is your stainless steel skillet. Steel is a great metal for retaining heat and distributing it evenly, making it the go-to choice for sauces, stir-fry, chicken, rice and a host of other everyday dishes. It’s also got natural nonstick properties, making it relatively easy to clean. In many cases, you’ll find skillets that are layered with an interior core of aluminum are ideal. The idea here is that aluminum heats up quicker, and then transfers that heat to the sturdier outer layer of steel.

In a nutshell, the meals you make are going to determine the skillet you need. That’s why most households have at least two options:  a nonstick for quick morning omelets and a cast iron or stainless steel pan for meats, veggies and other dinner staples.

Simplemost Fun Fact

While it’s hard to trace the origins of the frying pan or skillet, the earliest examples of the cookware could be found in old Mesopotamia. Most early versions of pans were made from copper — a capable enough conductor of heat if you don’t mind the low-level copper poisoning that came with it. While that was probably not the biggest problem on the mind of a 3rd-century chef, today’s copper cookware comes with a protective coating that takes that worry away.

The Skillet Tips and Advice

  • Using your skillet properly will not only result in better food in the short term, but a longer-lasting piece of cookware. Cast iron skillets can stand up to just about anything temperature-wise, but you’ll need to season it to get the most out of it. That involves coating it with a super-thin layer of oil and letting it bake in at high heat, a process that not only protects against rust but imparts a stick-resistant coating. Some cast-iron skillets come pre-seasoned, but a touch-up dab of oil every once in a while will help keep it protected.
  • Nonstick skillets require a lot less care, and that’s half the point. Just make sure you don’t put it through more than it was designed for. Most nonstick options aren’t safe for oven use, and even those that are have a max temperature that you’ll want to make sure not to exceed.
  • Cleaning your skillet also requires a little adjustment, depending on the material. Soap will actually wear away the seasoning on cast iron, but a decent one will actually clean off easier than you’d think with hot water and a brush. Just don’t put it in the dishwasher, or let it soak in water. Most nonstick skillets are dishwasher safe, but be sure to use a plastic brush that won’t abrade the polymer coating when washing by hand.
  • The weight of a skillet is something to consider long-term. Cast iron sounds heavy, and it usually is — especially with a pan full of steak. Older cooks might find it unwieldy enough to consider a stainless steel model instead.
  • The material of the handle is just as important as the base. Most skillets have a handle that’s made from a separate piece attached to the pan — ideally with rivets, which will hold longer than screws or bolts. A silicone-coated or wood handle will keep the coolest, no matter what’s cooking.
  • Check the base, especially if you’re cooking on an induction stovetop. Induction coils use an electromagnetic field that won’t work on sufficiently ferrous pans. Any pan with a metal base will do, and most will indicate if they’re induction-compatible.
  • Will you be whipping up a lot of sauces? Look for a skillet with a rolled lip that makes it easier to pour out the contents. Shaking up some stir-fry? Straight-edged lips are best at holding in the ingredients.

About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness is a professional writer and journalist for the past 20 years. Tod's years of experience writing a nightlife column for the Orlando Sentinel have cursed him with an affinity for cocktails he can't afford. He makes up for it with his cheap yet killer slow cooker cuisine. At least, his wife hasn't kicked him out for them yet.