We are testing nonstick skillets in the kitchen this week—all under $50, because you have to dispose of them when they the coating wears off and they stop working.
Our Senior Equipment Editor, Lisa McManus, has already made 312 eggs and counting. The process is so tedious that she said it makes her root for a pan to fail just to make it more interesting.
After the egg test comes the crepe test. A good nonstick skillet will show evenness of browning and have a comfortable handle. The weight of the pan is also a consideration. (How easy is it to swirl the pan as you pour the batter? Is it too heavy, off balance, awkward? Does the handle hurt your hand?)
This crepe looks good: it’s evenly golden brown across the pan surface, showing no hot spots or cold spots in the pan.
So far, we have not had one skillet that has distinguished itself as a clear winner or loser, but based on our battery of extensive tests ahead, this may change. Look for the final results in the September issue of Cooks Illustrated.