Is a $100 Nonstick Pan Really Worth It?

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Your everyday frying pan goes through a lot: that mid-afternoon, oozing grilled cheese craving, those chunky Sunday morning chocolate chip pancakes, endless attempts at making the perfect French omelette. But armed with the right nonstick pan, all of those can be done with relative ease.

In order to find out what makes for a really good nonstick pan, The Kitchen Gadget Test Show host Esther Choi tried out three different versions, at three very different price points:

To give each pan a fair chance, each undergoes three tests: eggs on low heat; pancakes on medium heat; and seared fish on high heat. And to really test the quality, all are being tested without using any butter, oil, or fat.

The least expensive option is a nonstick fry pan from T-fal, which is confident that users can use a metal utensil — which is definitely not suggested when using any nonstick pan. The cookware crew at Calphalon sells their nonstick for $40, which feels comfortably mid-range… but is it worth spending more than the cheapest price, if you’re not getting the best? A version from the makers at All-Clad — often considered the best cookware money can buy — might just be that best…

Watch the full test in the video, but for a spoiler-y hint: Maybe don’t spend too much money on a nonstick pan.

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