Best Nonstick Frying Pan: Blackbeard

Finally, a nonstick skillet that can hang with cast iron

There's a lot of commandments for proper nonstick cookware usage: Thou shalt not use sharp metal tools. Thou shalt not blast it on too high a heat. Thou shalt not try to cook eggs in anything other than a nonstick pan. But Netherlands-based start-up Crowd Cookware is looking to throw out that holy rulebook with Blackbeard, a new product that combines the best of nonstick and stainless steel cookware into a single pan.

Imagine Blackbeard as the first thing that would come out of Tony Stark's lab if he decided to trade Iron Man suits for high-tech skillets. The pan's secret weapon lies in its surface: Protruding ever so slightly above the nonstick layer is a stainless steel honeycomb pattern that prevents chipping and scratching, which the company says "extends the life span of the current nonstick layers to at least five years." An aluminum core also helps to evenly distribute heat, while making Blackbeard friendly for all cooktops, including induction burners.

Crowd Cookware's team also consulted with various Michelin chefs and home cooks for the pan's design: Thoughtful touches include a riveted handle that's connected via a minimal amount of steel (reducing heat transfer and keeping it cool to the touch), plus a Goldilocks thickness of 2.6 millimeters (two millimeters ended up being too flimsy and three millimeters too heavy for everyday use). So while Blackbeard can keep up with your cast iron in durability, you won't need to strength-train your forearms for a one-handed omelet flip.

And similar to other new-wave cookware like Made In and Misen, Crowd Cookware is going the direct-to-consumer route to keep its price semi-reasonable. A nine-and-a-half-inch skillet can be backed for $45 now on Kickstarter, with the eventual retail price being closer to around $65 when the pan ships at the end of the year.