All Clad skillets

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by tundragirl, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. tundragirl

    tundragirl

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    Good Evening, Fellow Cooks!

    I have a question about the All Clad skillet that I recently purchased.  I like the way it cooks things--nicely browned etc., but the thing that "bugs" me is the shape and angle of the handle! I have a terrible time maneuvering the pan. The angle is too great and the top of the handle seems upside down. Perhaps professional chefs like that type of handle, but I find it very awkward. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried to "customize" or change the angle of the handle at a machine shop or somewhere they do metal work? I would reduce the angle and it would be much easier to manipulate. I know that would void the warranty, but perhaps I should check with All Clad first to see if there is any kind of satisfaction guarantee? Thank you for any ideas, comments or experience that someone may have had!
     
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Welcome to Cheftalk, Tundragirl.

    to see if there is any kind of satisfaction guarantee?

    You're kidding, right? In my experience, All-Clad doesn't even honor it's basic warranty.

    What about returning it to the store where you bought it? Some, like Bed Bath & Beyond, accept returns even if you've used the product if your dissatisfied with it.
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    All Clad is the worst of all of them.As KY says return it if possible.
     
  4. tundragirl

    tundragirl

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    Hello, chefedb,

    Thank you for your reply. Did you mean that All Clad is the worst of them in relation to the handles, or just in general? Also,  I could not see a "KY" comment--where was it? Thanks for your advice.
     
  5. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Worst for service, worst for standing behind their product. Go to a rest. supply buy a pro pan. It will last you 110 years
     
  6. tundragirl

    tundragirl

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    OK, thanks, chefedb!
     
  7. capsaicin

    capsaicin

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    I bought a Cuisinart stainless pan a while back.  The first time I cooked with it (regular beef stock, not even any red wine in it) it showed several small spots of -- get this -- all different colors.  Some red, some yellow, some blue.  It was a regular freaking Mardi Gras bead festival in there.

    Must be some kind of imperfections in the steel.  I threw it out because for all I knew it was leeching lead and cobalt into my food.  And I bought an All-clad because it's made in America, and from their own steel.

    While I am generally very happy with it, when I braised a beef stew with red wine, it also discolored in a few places.  Not nearly as bad, just a couple of gray spots that won't go away.  But still -- it's a lot of money for supposedly completely non-reactive stainless.

    Now I use cast iron for frying and Corning Visions glass for braising, and a Le Creuset for stuff I need to deglaze.  I still have my All Clad stuff but it's mostly just for boiling pasta, and I don't think I will be accumulating any more pieces.
     
  8. halmstad

    halmstad

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    If you decide to return it, I believe Cooks Illustrated gave the Calphalon stainless series very good reviews.

    or as chefedb says, go get yourself a regular restaurant saute pan. He's right. For a home cook they will last forever. I have an 8.5" pan from a rest. supply store that I've had for about 5 years. They're built for abuse.
     
  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    In a rest. supply you may pay more but look at this math.  $49.95 in retail store  last  8 years  == about $6..24 per year under good enviorment of use.  Commercial  $ 75.00 lats for  20 years in rough, bad enviorment=$3.75 per year you figure it out.
     
  10. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I could not see a "KY" comment--where was it?

    Ed was referring to my post above his, Tundragirl.

    Lot's of members, here, when referring to me, use KYH or KY as an abreviation of my screen name. Sure beats typing out the whole thing.
     
  11. carvingtool

    carvingtool

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    I have one 10" all-clad pan that I've had for about 15 years and it's still going strong. My least favorite part of it is the handle - I don't like that it's straight and has no curve to it. Tundragirl - my advise to you is either use the pan and get used to it, or try and return  it and get something else. Don't bother trying to mod the handle. Bang for the buck, all-clad is hard to beat, but far from my favorite. ATK has picked all-clad as their favorite 12" skillet for years. I like Viking a lot - much much better handles.

    If you do go the rest pro route, keep in mind there are many options in pan construction. All-Clad are solid wall construction, whereas some lower end, rest pro stuff included, is disk bottom only. There was another thread on this recently. IMHO, disk bottom pans are fine for stock pots where they only boil, but not good for fry/saute/skillet pans because the edges above the disk get too hot and burn/scorch food and the pan.
     
  12. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    because the edges above the disk get too hot and burn/scorch food and the pan.

    Are you talking from experience, Carvingtool? Or just passing on conventional wisdom?

    I have both solid wall and disc bottom skillets and pans and have never had that happen; not even with the cheap WearEver models. I've concluded that this is more a theoretical problem than a real one.
     
  13. carvingtool

    carvingtool

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    I have two 12" skillets I got from Target years ago - I think they are ChefMate - w/ thin SS sides and copper disk bottoms. They are a great size, have no helper handle (I can't stand helper handles because they upset the balance of the pan when flipping, add unnecessary weight, and take up more room on the range top) and a great value @ $20 each. I've beat the snot out of them over the years, and they keep going and going.

    Every time I use them I get scorching on the sides, the hotter the flame the more scorching. I have to pay special attention to making sure the pan is directly center over the flame, or the scorching gets really bad where the flame will lick up the side of the pan. When I cook for clients and use the pans in the house (usually a rental house that has cheap disk bottom pans) I have the same problem. I speak from experience and for me it's a very real problem/concern.

    I've been looking for a replacement for them for years, but haven't been able to find the same features and size that I like, so I keep using them and deal w/ the scorching... don't like all-clad enough to spend the money on them; love Viking, but they only do 11" and 13" - the 11" is a little small for many things, and the 13" has a helper handle and is bit too big to put two on a 30" range at the same time; most every other 12" skillet has a helper handle and/or some other cheap gimmick which turns me off from spending the $$ on them at all. Recently got a 12 1/2" ScanPan CTX which is very nice. But the round handles suck because if you put it in a hot oven and take it out using a towel/pot holder the handle will twist in your hand and spill everything out. YIKES!!!! Open to replacement suggestions on that note... Cheers! mpp
     
     
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    KY  I think everyone should take into consideration that years ago the pans were heavier and I believe made better. Just look at sheet pans and other tools even in restaurant supply stores, they are half the weight and a reduced gauge. Its like the food manufacturers not raising price, but cutting contents of package from 16 ounces to 14 1/2 and Ice cream from a Gallon to 3/4 gallon.
     
  15. phreon

    phreon

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    That discoloration is perfectly normal. It's not evidence the steel was reacting with anything chemically; it's caused by heating the steel to a high temp.  All steels behave this way to some extent. Think of the color change a carbon steel wok or fry pan undergoes when you heat/temper it. The gray spots are normal too. You *can* stain stainless, but it still is non-reactive.  In stainless steel cookware, you can easily remove both with a green scrubby if you find them bothersome, but the effect is purely cosmetic.

    You'd think that you could never get a pot full of liquid hot enough to "heat tint" it, but I have on occasion seen it happen even when boiling water for pasta. It usually happens right after I pour the water out. Best I can figure, there's enough energy stored up in the copper clad/disk to raise the stainless's temp enough to tint it after dumping the water out.

    If you have any other stainless you don't use or feel like throwing out, by all means, drop me an e-mail first. I'll pay for shipping!

    BTW, I have an odd mix of Vollrath, Lincoln Optio, Adcraft and Revere (they briefly made true copper disk cookware)  disk bottom stainless cookware and have never had problems with scorching on the sides so long as I control the flame (and a complete non-issue cooking with induction). Yes, I can force it to happen if I use my 2 qt disk bottom sauce on my range's 16k "boost" burner at full blast with flames licking half way up the sides, but I've never found a compelling reason to operate that way. I was taught to avoid letting flames come up the sides of any cookware and have never been able to cause it to happen on my large skillets, stockpots, etc.  Perhaps on a more powerful professional range it's more of an issue.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  16. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Carvingtool, just as a separate issue, sounds to me as if you're working on too high a flame to begin with. Stainless and cast iron have one thing in common: they require much lower heat than other materials. Try dropping the heat source to no more than medium and see what happens.

    Alternatively, switch to carbon steel.

    Ed, there's no question you're right about cookware being lighter in weight and gauge. But I don't think that affects the basic issue. I have never had a disc-bottomed pot of pan scorch because of edge heating. But I don't work at blowtorch levels either.
     
  17. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Sure you are cooking at to high a temp and if its gas heat its actually hotter. I do not recommend stainless steel  interior pots and pans , sure they are shiny and pretty but they do not conduct an even heat and form hot spots.. Stainless steel on the other hand is great for storage of foods  or water bath type heating  because it  in most cases won't have a severe reaction with acidic foods like aluminum will . Any pot or pan used incorrectly will discolor. Stainless when cooked in at high temps. often forms a rainbow of color on the pot
     
  18. tundragirl

    tundragirl

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    Good Evening, Everyone,

    Thanks for all the input and comments about All Clad skillets and pans vs restaurant supply stock. This is a great resource for anyone who is interested in cooking and doing it well!  I am out of town quite a bit and am an infrequent visitor to forums and blogs, but will "tune in" whenever I am able. Keep up the good work!
     
  19. oldsubman

    oldsubman

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    Capsaicin is right about the discoloration of the stainless. I have have been using the All clad d5 stainless for the last 14 months and they look like the day I purchased them. I have occasionally experienced the discoloration that concern some of you.  I have also experienced it on other stainless. Any food stains on stainless are easily removed with "Barkeepers Friend" cleanser. It won't scratch polished surfaces and does an excellent job of removing stains. I love my All Clad and treat it with respect. I never put it in a dishwasher. Always hand wash and dry immediately. I expect to pass it on  to the kids when I can no longer cook.
     
  20. durangojo

    durangojo

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    to chime in,to me, the only pans worse than all clad are emeril lagasse's ridiculous line....heavy, bad handle design which get hot, hot, hot, bad pan design as the pans burn as soon as they are heated, and are a real bear to clean...as for all clad, too heavy, bad handle design, and no 'cool touch' handles...what's up with that?

    joey
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011