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In this report

Skillets: Ratings of Sources

Total of 15 Sources
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Dec. 1, 2012
Moderately Priced 12-Inch Skillets
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentEditors test seven 12-inch stainless-steel skillets priced at $100 or less. Most of the pans are fully clad, with an aluminum core extending all the way up the sides of the pan, but one pan has a disk bottom made of stainless-sheathed copper. They run the pans through weeks of testing: searing steaks, pan-roasting, chicken, sautéing onions and making pan sauces. They also test durability by putting hot pans into ice-cold water and banging them on a sidewalk. None of the bargain-priced pans can match the performance of the editors' favorite, pricey stainless skillet, but some come close.
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Sept. 1, 2010
Nonstick Skillets
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentEditors put seven low-cost (under $50) nonstick skillets through their paces: cooking eggs without oil, stir-frying beef with vegetables and preparing crepes. They also test durability by using metal utensils on the pans, plunging them into ice water and banging them repeatedly on a countertop. Two more expensive pans are put through the same tests to see if higher price adds up to better performance. The result: one modestly priced pan aces most of the tests, beating out its pricier rivals. Three other pans are also recommended, but with reservations.
3. Good Housekeeping
November 2012
Best Skillets
by Editors of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute
Our AssessmentIn this slideshow, Good Housekeeping presents a roundup of eight "standout" pans in its tests of stainless-steel and nonstick skillets. However, it doesn't describe testing methodology or identify skillets that didn't make the grade. It isn't clear how many skillets were tested, making it hard to tell whether these eight winners really "stand out" against the competition. Each pan in the slideshow gets a brief paragraph discussing its performance. There are also links to the full reviews for each skillet, with letter grades and a list of pros and cons.
4. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Sept. 1, 2009
Green Skillets
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentEditors test eight alternative nonstick skillets in this review but don't give any glowing recommendations. Pans are rated for nonstick performance, design and durability. The editors cook eggs, fish, steak and vegetables in each pan to assess its nonstick performance. They also test scratch resistance by cutting a frittata in the pan with a chef's knife and removing slices with a metal pie server. Overall, editors find that the pans can't match the quality and durability of traditional nonstick skillets. Pans with silicone coatings do better than those with ceramic coatings, but no skillet is recommended without reservations.
5. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Jan. 1, 2009
Traditional Skillets
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentEditors compare six 12-inch stainless-steel skillets with gently sloping sides. Most of the pans have one or more layers of aluminum sandwiched between layers of stainless steel. Two less expensive pans have disk bottoms, with the aluminum plates confined to the bottom of the pan. Each pan is evaluated on several cooking tasks. Testers also melt lead solder in the pans to see how quickly they come up to temperature. To gauge durability, heated skillets are plunged into ice water and banged against concrete. Editors recommend four pans, but three of them are discontinued.
6. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Sept. 1, 2007
Cast-Iron Skillets
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
Our AssessmentEditors test eight cast-iron skillets to see whether they offer a viable alternative to nonstick cookware. They sear steaks, scramble eggs, pan-fry chicken and bake cornbread, and they also evaluate the pans' weight and features. They find that pre-seasoned skillets, which have had a coating of oil baked into the surface, perform better than those they seasoned themselves. However, all the pans perform acceptably. The article also discusses the pros and cons of cast-iron cookware. Advantages include price, versatility and durability, while the downsides include weight and special care required.
7. Fine Cooking
February/March 2009
Test Drive: Nonstick Skillets
by Maryellen Driscoll
Our AssessmentWriter Maryellen Driscoll tests 10 nonstick skillets by cooking pancakes to check heat evenness, pork chops to evaluate browning and eggs (without oil) to see if they stick. She names four pans as "keepers," with top honors going to the Cuisinart GreenGourmet. This pan, Driscoll says, "conducted heat in a controlled and even manner" with no sticking. (This finding contrasts with other professional tests, where this pan didn't have the same good results.)
8. The Wall Street Journal
March 30, 2012
Nonstick Frying Pans
by Katherine Cancila
Our AssessmentWriter Katherine Cancila takes on more than a dozen nonstick pans for The Wall Street Journal. She names her top five picks "based on performance, design and durability." There's a brief list of pros and cons for each winner, but she provides no information about testing methods. Also, the skillets that didn't make the cut aren't named. One of the five winners is the Cuisinart GreenGourmet, which performed poorly in another comparison test. However, winning skillets from Swiss Diamond and T-Fal performed well elsewhere.
9. Amazon.com
As of March 2013
12-inch Skillets
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentAbout 400 large skillets are sold at Amazon.com, and some of them have hundreds or thousands of user reviews. The overwhelming favorite of users is the Lodge Logic 12-Inch Skillet, which has accumulated more than 1,600 reviews averaging 4.6 stars out of 5. We also found high ratings for the Ozeri Green Earth Pan ZP2-30, a PTFE-free nonstick skillet that hasn't been included in any professional comparison tests. It gets 4.3 stars overall from more than 700 users. Pans from Cuisinart, Calphalon and Anolon also get high overall ratings from 100 owners or more.
10. Walmart.com
As of March 2013
Pans: Frying Pans & Skillets
by Contributors to Walmart.com
Our AssessmentMore than 150 skillets are sold at Walmart.com, but most of them receive few user reviews. We found only one skillet with a significant number of positive reviews: the Lodge Logic 12-Inch Skillet in cast iron. This pan receives more than 100 reviews, with a rating of 4.8 stars overall, and 96 percent of owners say they would recommend it. Owners praise its versatility and value, but they also warn that it must be properly cared for to maintain top performance.
11. Macys.com
As of March 2013
Fry/Omelette Pan
by Contributors to Macys.com
Our AssessmentMacy's sells about 150 skillets on its website, but most of them have only a handful of reviews. However, we did find more than 115 reviews, with near-perfect ratings, for the Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Omelette Pan Set. This set of two nonstick skillets (10 inches and 12 inches) also earns high ratings on other retail sites. Two offerings from Emeril -- a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and a two-piece nonstick set -- also earn high ratings, but from fewer owners.
12. Food & Wine Magazine
November 2008
Testing Skillets to Find the Best
by Kristin Donnelly
Our AssessmentFood & Wine magazine editor Kristin Donnelly tests cast-iron, nonstick and stainless-steel skillets and makes three recommendations in each category. Donnelly details what to look for in each type of skillet but doesn't describe her testing methodology beyond saying that she "tried out" all of the pans. She also doesn't discuss her recommendations beyond listing them. Three of her nine picks -- two stainless-steel skillets and one nonstick -- are discontinued.
13. Cooking.com
As of March 2013
Top Rated Skillets & Fry Pans
by Contributors to Cooking.com
Our AssessmentCooking.com sells hundreds of skillets, and the site helpfully gathers all its top rated pans onto a single page. These pans all have at least 20 reviews with a minimum overall rating of 4 stars out of 5. The standout product here is the Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Omelette Pan Set (10-inch and 12-inch skillets), which receives an overall rating of 4.5 stars from more than 2,200 owners. (A similar set with lids also receives more than 2,200 reviews and a high star rating.) Other products earn high ratings, but from fewer than 50 users.
14. Williams-Sonoma.com
As of March 2013
Fry Pans
by Contributors to Williams-Sonoma.com
Our AssessmentWilliams-Sonoma sells more than 50 skillets, leaning heavily toward the high end of the price spectrum. A few of these earn high overall ratings from 50 or more owners. However, three of the four skillets recommended at this site are Williams-Sonoma exclusives that aren't covered by any other sources. The fourth is the Nordic Ware Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan, which earns 4.8 stars from about 55 users.
15. Bon Appetit
Skillets (Also Called Frying Pans)
by Editors of Bon Appétit magazine
Our AssessmentBon Appétit magazine has several brief but descriptive online articles about cookware. Each article is followed by a short list of picks, but they aren't backed by any test results or discussion, so we really aren't sure why these products are recommended over others. The All-Clad MC2 (no longer available in the 14-inch size), Scanpan Professional and Viking Professional are the favorites.
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