The 6 Best Pans For Oil-Free Cooking

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Whatever your reasons for wanting to cook without oil, your choice of cookware will have a big impact on how your favorite recipes turn out. Thanks to nonstick coating and materials like ceramic, the best pans for oil-free cooking allow you to whip up recipes with little or no cooking fat — without the risk of sticking or having to sacrifice browning and flavor.

What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Pans For Oil-Free Cooking

You’ll have a range of cooking surface choices when it comes to shopping. Here’s what to know about each:


Effective for oil-free cooking, this surface is designed to prevent sticking — but it can only be used at low or medium temperatures, as high heat will cause the coating to degrade. In other words, it’s not great if you’re looking to sear or stir fry. You’ll also want to avoid metal utensils since they can damage the surface.


Ceramic coating gives cooking surfaces a slick and glossy finish while providing excellent nonstick performance. However, consistent high-heat cooking and metal utensil use can degrade the finish over time. To improve the longevity of ceramic pans, try not to use high temperatures and stick with wooden or silicone utensils.

Hybrid Ceramic And Stainless Steel

Somewhat counterintuitively, pans that are entirely smooth don’t always do the best job of keeping food from sticking. Enter a slightly more recent cookware innovation: pans with textured dual ceramic and stainless steel cooking surfaces that keep ingredients from settling and getting stuck during cooking. They yield great nonstick results — plus, they can be used with metal utensils and at high heat, so they’re perfect for searing and browning.

Cast Iron

Cast iron pans have a naturally textured cooking surface that helps food attain a flavorful crust, and food release is easy compared to polished surfaces like pure stainless steel. Some cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned with a neutral, flavorless oil to further aid the nonstick performance, but if your pan doesn’t, this can easily be achieved at home (yes, a little oil is required). With proper care, cast iron will develop a nonstick patina over time, and due to its heavy construction, it heats evenly and can withstand high temperatures for searing and browning.

Other Things To Consider

You’ll also want to think about the base of the pan. Pans made from aluminum heat up quickly, but can be prone to hot spots, while a stainless steel core or base tend to do the best job of distributing heat evenly across the cooking surface, and can usually withstand higher temperatures for searing, stir frying, and finishing recipes in a hot oven.

As far as size goes, the best nonstick pans for oil-free cooking will be large enough to sear a head of cauliflower or a couple of servings of protein — anything from 8 to 12 inches in diameter — which will offer a lot of versatility. Lastly, remember that no nonstick pan is totally perfect, and in some cases, you may end up with some crusty bits left in your pan. If this happens, you can transform a sticky situation into a flavorful pan sauce by splashing in a little wine, broth, or even water to pick up the flavors, and reduce to a liquid you can drizzle over your finished dish.

Is Nonstick Cookware Safe?

Nonstick cookware has been a hot topic for some time, mainly due to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical that was once used to make the coating in Teflon-branded pans but was phased out in 2015. Now, Teflon cookware is PFOA free — although PFOA may make its way into products not manufactured in the U.S. However, the American Cancer Society has stated that there have been “no proven risks to humans from using cookware coated with Teflon or other non-stick surfaces.” That being said, when heated to high temperatures, there’s a chance that Teflon can emit gases that may cause some people to experience flu-like symptoms.

With all that in mind, here are the best pans for oil-free cooking that will help you turn out delicious recipes.

In a hurry? These are the best pans for oil-free cooking:

  1. The Overall Best: HexClad 10-Inch Frying Pan
  2. The Runner-Up: ScanPan HaptIQ 8-Inch Frying Pan
  3. The Best Budget Pan: Sensarte 9.5-Inch Nonstick Frying Pan
  4. The Best Mid-Range Pan: OXO Good Grips 10-Inch Nonstick Frying Pan
  5. The Best Cast Iron Pan: Lodge Pre-Seasoned 10.25-Inch Skillet
  6. The Best Wok: GreenPan Lima 12.5-Inch Ceramic Nonstick Wok

1. The Overall Best


  • Oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Suitable for high-heat cooking
  • Safe for use with metal cooking utensils
  • Compatible with induction stoves


  • Higher price point

The cooking surface of this 10-inch HexClad pan is made of PFOA-free ceramic with a laser-etched stainless steel pattern that prevents sticking and helps food release easily. Due to the raised stainless steel material, metal utensils can be used without fear of scratching or damage, and the highly durable pan is dishwasher-safe.

Reviewers were enthused by how the pan’s tri-ply layer of stainless steel and aluminum conducts heat evenly. Plus, since the pan is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, you can start recipes on the stove (including induction ranges) and finish them in the oven.

The pan comes with optional seasoning instructions for enhanced nonstick performance, and it’s sold as a standalone item or with a glass lid for steaming and keeping recipes warm.

A reviewer wrote: “I love this pan! I’ve used what Is considered good cookware in the past but this exceeds everything I’ve used previously. It cooks far better than your traditional non-stick pan (more similar to a stainless steel) but it’s super easy to clean! Bonus - nothing sticks!!! It feels like a premium product and is clearly made using high quality materials. Be sure to follow the instructions on seasoning and cleaning. I highly recommend this product! 5 stars across the board. My next purchase is the set!”

Material: Ceramic and stainless steel | Weight: 2.5 pounds | Dishwasher-safe: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

Available sizes: 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches

2. The Runner-Up


  • Oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Suitable for high-heat cooking
  • Safe for use with metal utensils
  • Compatible with induction cooktops


  • Aluminum core may be more prone to hot spots
  • Higher price point

ScanPan’s 8-inch HaptIQ fry pan is coated in the company’s patented PFOA-free nonstick material that is textured to prevent sticking, but it’s durable enough that metal utensils will not damage it. Functional on induction cooktops, the body of the pan has a stainless steel exterior and is made from five-layer clad-aluminum — but reviewers have reported that heat distribution is “impeccable” and “even.”

While lighter in weight than a tri-clad stainless steel pan, this option heats up quickly, is dishwasher-safe, and is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. ScanPan’s HaptIQ line is offered in four sizes up to 12.5 inches, as well as a two-piece bundle that includes an 8- and 10.5-inch pan.

A reviewer wrote: “I eat plant-based diet without any oil. I have eaten this way for 4 years and use veggie broth in lieu of oil to cook. Today was a make it/break it test: hash browns & a veggie patty. Wow! I keep waiting for something to stick. Never happened. Crispy food. I cleaned the pan immediately because I want to honor this absolute blessing.”

Material: Nonstick-coated stainless steel and aluminum | Weight: 1.9 pound | Dishwasher-safe: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit

Available sizes: 8 inches, 11 inches, 12.5 inches

3. The Best Budget Pan


  • Wallet-friendly price tag
  • Oven-safe up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Compatible with induction cooktops


  • Not suitable for high-heat cooking
  • Not safe for use with metal utensils
  • Aluminum body may be slightly more prone to hot spots

Easily one of the best cheap nonstick pans, this 9.5-inch option from SENSARTE is highly rated and has a PFOA-free ceramic coating that’s resistant to scratches and abrasion. And, while it can be wiped clean, it’s also safe for use in the dishwasher. The pan’s cast aluminum body has a conductive stainless steel base that helps distribute heat evenly and enables it to be used on all cooktop surfaces, including induction.

This pan is safe for use in ovens up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit, and therefore is best for cooking on low to medium heat (in other words, it’s not suitable for very high-heat cooking, such as searing or stir fries). It comes in a range of sizes from 8 to 12.5 inches, including a three-piece set that costs well below the top two pans on this list.

A reviewer wrote: “This frying pan is perfect! Everything represented by the seller is true and I absolutely use it to cook almost everything! No oils needed [...] I purchased this pan to reduce the use of excessive oil! Love it!”

Material: Ceramic-coated aluminum | Weight: 2.9 pounds | Dishwasher-safe: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 302 degrees Fahrenheit

Available sizes: 8 inches, 9.5 inches, 10 inches, 11 inches, 12.5 inches

4. The Best Mid-Range Pan


  • High ratings
  • Hard anodized body improves heat distribution of aluminum
  • Oven-safe up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit


  • Not suitable for use with high-heat cooking
  • Not safe for use with metal utensils
  • Not compatible with induction cooktops

Boasting a 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon after 13,000 reviews, OXO’s nonstick frying pan comes in three sizes ranging from 8 inches to 12 inches, and it has a triple-layer PFOA-free coating that prevents sticking and makes it easy to clean. The pan has a hard anodized aluminum body that heats up quickly and evenly. While the cooking surface is scratch-resistant, metal utensils should be avoided to maintain the nonstick coating.

The pan’s stainless steel handle is curved for easy gripping while using or carrying the pan, and the lip is rolled to allow for drip-free pouring of pan juices. The OXO is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, but due to its aluminum base, it’s not compatible with induction stovetops.

A reviewer wrote: “Pan is solid quality. Not too heavy to handle easily, and beefy (and hollow for heat dissipation) handle makes maneuvering the pot a breeze. You can avoid most oils when cooking because of how great the nonstick coating works. Best part - throw it in the dishwasher and don't give it a second thought. Would definitely buy again.”

Material: Nonstick-coated aluminum | Weight: 2 pounds | Dishwasher-safe: Yes | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit

Available sizes: 8 inches, 10 inches, 11 inches (griddle), 12 inches

5. The Most Versatile Pan


  • Oven- and grill-safe (maximum temperature not listed)
  • Suitable for high-heat cooking
  • Safe for use with metal utensils
  • Highly durable
  • Budget-friendly


  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • A small amount of oil is used to season the pan

Lodge’s 10-inch cast iron pan comes pre-seasoned, however, it can be seasoned further with a neutral oil before your first use to create a more substantial nonstick surface. (Excess oil can be wiped away for oil-free cooking, but note that cast iron always needs at least a thin layer of oil to fill in the pores to ensure a nonstick surface.) The pan’s heavyweight construction maintains a consistent, even temperature whether you’re cooking over high or low heat, and its versatile design can move seamlessly between the stovetop (including induction), the oven, and even an open frame or grill.

Metal, silicone, and wooden utensils can be used without damaging the pan, and while it is highly durable and built to last for years, cast iron should be washed by hand and dried immediately to prevent rust — or simply wiped clean with a paper towel.

A reviewer wrote: “I absolutely love this skillet. It's a great alternative for nonstick and cooks everything a lot better. I make the best pancakes and french toast on this.. we practically use it for EVERYTHING. Mainly because it is SO easy to clean. Once we finish using it we rinse it off with water and dry it. The only time I ever reach for those darn expensive pots and pans I bought is when I make soup. This literally could be the only skillet I ever need.”

Material: Cast iron | Weight: 5 pounds | Dishwasher-safe: No | Oven-safe: Yes | Available sizes: 3.5 inches, 6.5 inches, 8 inches, 9 inches, 10.25 inches, 12 inches, 13.25 inches, 15 inches

6. The Best Wok


  • Suitable for high-heat cooking
  • Oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Curved stainless steel handle for ergonomic use
  • High sides for containing ingredients


  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Not safe for use with metal utensils
  • Not compatible with induction cooktops

If you like making stir fries, GreenPan’s wok has a nontoxic PFOA- and PFAS-free ceramic surface that’s oven safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can prepare recipes at high heat to achieve flavorful browning. The pan’s curved stainless steel handle provides an ergonomic place for hands when tossing or stirring food, which is contained by the pan’s high, curved sides.

Though the pan isn’t compatible with induction cooktops, it has a flat base that allows it to double as a frying pan for searing meat, tofu, and other proteins. Last but not least, reviewers were pleased with the even heat distribution.

A reviewer wrote: “I cook whole food plant based, which means no oil. This is the best pan I've ever had. I use it multiple times per day. Amazing non stick cooking again and again. Also the perfect size for family cooking. I have two silicone wok spatulas and one standard silicone spatula.”

Material: Ceramic-coated aluminum | Weight: 3.8 pounds | Dishwasher-safe: No | Oven-safe: Yes, up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit | Available sizes: 12.5 inches

About The Recommender

Vanessa Spilios has been writing about cookware and kitchen appliances for Bustle since 2019. She previously worked in culinary product development and marketing at SharkNinja and consulted for Cuisinart Grilling, and she has extensive experience testing and evaluating housewares. Vanessa has reviewed products and created content for publishers including Bustle, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Forbes Vetted, and America’s Test Kitchen. She received her culinary training at Boston University, and enjoys developing original recipes, which she incorporates into private cooking classes for kids and families.