HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Suspicious All-Clad Fry Pan

I have a couple of pieces of All-Clad cookware and have generally been pleased with their performance (no, I don't have a problem with the handles!!).

Recently, I bought an 8" All-Clad fry pan and had problems from the get-go. Food tended to stick, even though I used some olive oil and brought the temperature up slowly before starting to cook. I also had a problem getting the pan clean, despite the fact that I used only warm water and a recommended cleaner. Although I've used the pan only three or four times, it looks like I've had it for years. My other All-Clad items are in excellent shape.

Now the interesting part.....shortly after purchasing my pan, I noticed the same pan in Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19.95. I had paid $50 for mine at Williams Sonoma. I was told by a BB&B person that the pan MIGHT have been a "second" that was put on sale. She didn't seem to know why the pan in question might have been a second. There was no noticeable defect.

If inferior quality All-Clad stuff is out there at lower prices, what are the chances that I got a defective pan at the regular, high price? Anyone else have a similar experience?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. no idea, but i think most all-clad stuff has a good warranty. contact them and see if they will give you a new one, maybe it will be nicer.

    1. I was told by a gentleman that owns a local cooking store that since the aquisition by Group Seb, All-Clad is now being made in Mexico to cut costs. If that is true - it looks like we need to find exactly which All-Clad is which. Very unfortunate news...

      7 Replies
      1. re: digitalchef

        If All-Clad has started manufacturing in Mexico - and I'm not sure they have - this must be a very recent development. My pan came in a box stating that the pan was made in the USA. And All-Clad's website states that all their cookware is made here.

        The more I look into this, the more I think I just got a lemon or, as I previously mentioned, a second.

        1. re: ambrose

          I picked up a small All Clad saucepan at Williams Sonoma in Toronto a couple of years ago. It was a promotional deal and (though I can't remember the exact price) very reasonable. The pan itself has been fine. But it was marked very clearly "made in China".

          1. re: ambrose

            All-Clad is not manufacturing in Mexico. Fully clad All-Clad pieces are manufactured in Cannonsburg, PA. Non-clad items, including disc bottom stockpots, and electrics are made in China.

            I know that the 7-1/2 pan is made in China, also. The 8" pans and larger are fully clad and made in the US.

            1. re: ambrose

              I have bought many All-Clad seconds through their outlet, Cookware and More, and found no real difference between them and their non-second pieces that I have. The stamp an "S" on the bottom of the handle so seconds are clearly marked as such. I don't have any other suggestions for you other than to take it back to Williams-Sonoma and get your money back.

              1. re: Leepa

                Almost all my 17 year old All Clad were seconds from Cookware and More. Still cooks perfectly and lovely to behold.

                The one and only pot that cracked was replaced promptly and without question.

                I couldn't recommend them more.

            2. re: digitalchef

              All Clad is manufactured in Canonsburg, PA. I was once tole that at holiday time and sometimes through the year they have "specials" usually for $99.95 ie: 3 qt saute pan and sometimes the 3.5 qt saucepan. The specials are made in China for the promotion. They are lighter than weight and could be the reason your having trouble with sticking. Contact All Clad. I think it's 1-800-all-clad.

              1. re: kit5k2

                Not true. These special cookwares are cheaper because of the unpopular sizes and available only through certain stores: Macy's, Bloomingdale's, but they are definitely not made in China. I got a set of 2 3-ply stainless steel skillets (9", 11") with lids for $169 in Sur La Tablet and they're made in USA even with the lids. I got another 12" fry pan with lid from Bloomingdale's for $99 and it clearly said that only the lid was made in China.
                Bottom line, all full clad cookwares are still made in the States regardless "special" or not, only lids are made in China sometimes and it's usually $20 cheaper than those are made in USA.

            3. Williams Sonoma has EXCELLENT customer service...just return it!
              head over to BB&B and get the bargain one and see how it works for you!

              1. As I've recommended in other threads, why not give Cuisinox cookware (Elite line) a try? It's an All-Clad look-alike that perfoms better than my old (non-Mexican made) All-Clad. Nothing sticks, and it's a breeze to clean.


                1. All clad made their name in stainless in and out over aluminum core, I have a set and they are very durable. I have to ask if it is non stick, none of mine are and of course stainless is one of the stickiest cooking surfaces, I would imagine you would have to use a lot of oil to cook eggs in a stainless interior skillet. I have calphalon non stick for my skillets and they are all very good, even the Target ones. Also I find a 7 or 8" skillet too small for just about anything.

                  1. "Second" usually just means slightly damaged or imperfect. This sounds more like a counterfeit using inferior steel or something.

                    1. The $19.99 pan is the All-Clad 7" pan. Yours is the larger 8" which costs more. The 7" size is a promotional item to get people to try the line. There are several other pieces that are also well priced, such as the 1 qt. saucepan. That's the only reason why it's so cheap. They aren't seconds. All All-Clad seconds have a little "s" under the handle, and Williams Sonoma DEFINITELY would never sell a second, and neither would BB&B.!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: blondelle

                        Great information! When I saw the small pan at BB&B, I just assumed it was identical to the 8" one I had bought at Williams Sonoma. It was hanging over a display area so I couldn't pick it up and handle it. Live and learn.

                        Yes, I do find it hard to believe that WS would try to get away with selling seconds. I checked my pan and there is no "s" under the handle so I've pretty well come to the conclusion that I got a pan that somehow slipped through All-Clad's QC procedures. It's a bit of a trek for me to go back to the WS where I bought this pan but I will.

                        By the way, have you any comment on the post above about someone who purchased an All-Clad pan "made in China" at a Toronto Williams Sonoma?

                        Thanks again. These boards are great!

                        1. re: ambrose

                          Still interested if the skillet in question is non stick or not.

                          1. re: dijon

                            Oops, sorry. I meant to respond a couple of days ago but it just slipped my mind. I failed to mention in my original post that the pan is stainless steel (the regular line). Regarding your other question about pan size, I live alone and find that an 8" pan is perfect for me. I do have larger pans, both SS and non-stick, but I use the smaller one a lot. Also have a small Lodge cast iron pan.

                            1. re: ambrose

                              ok, some 8" are ok size for a one egg omelet etc so i understand. Get a non stick skillet, heavy aluminum if you don't want your food to stick. I like my allclad sauce pots, except the lids allow a lot of boil over and steam escape, don't seal well. Have their 12" 3 qt straight side all stainless "chicken Fryer" that is fine for browning hamburger, use a metal spatula and other long slow stove top skillet meals, goes in the oven fine. The omelet skillets need to be non stick for me.

                              1. re: dijon

                                Funny you should mention it but when I return my All-Clad 8" pan to Williams Sonoma I will probably buy a small non-stick Calphalon. I have no issues with my All-Clad pots which still look like new (well, sort of).

                      2. If you wish to keep the interior of a stainless fry pan looking like new, it's hopeless. Grease spattered on the sides quickly hardens and (in my experience) can be removed only with sandpaper. I threw out my All Clad fry pan. But All Clad sauce pans work fine.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: mpalmer6c

                          Have to disagree here. I have a lot of All Clad and my 8" pans and larger saute pans are work horses in my kitchen. The key is to clean them as soon after use as possible. I have a Swiss paste cleaner for polishing and removing the 'film' that develops from high temp cooking. I have used Barkeeper's Friend powder and a soft sponge to remove the oil and grease. The cookware has retained a nice luster and clean look. I don't want my cookware to look like new (i.e. like they've never been used). I prefer that they are clean and free of food particles, film and residues. So far so good!

                          That being said, I have friends who have some very expensive cookware that they complain is difficult to keep clean and grease-free (that sticky gunk that hardens and adheres forever). I've cleaned their pans for them twice and showed them how to do it. It's their choice to maintain them. Ounce of prevention/pound of cure concept of maintaining and caring for tools.

                          1. re: SanseiDesigns

                            Is Barkeeper's Friend any better than Bon Ami?

                            1. re: ambrose

                              I find Barkeeper's friend a superior product, especially when it comes to cleaning my All Clad stainless. That said, my Dad uses Bon Ami for his All Clad stainless...and he's about as picky as I am, so who knows what to make of that. Water differences in San Francisco vs. DC perhaps.

                              I actually have the 7 inch promo pan and its one of my favorites. I also got the 1qt promo with the super long and slightly unwieldy handle and I like it quite a lot too. Its a great extra pot to have around for reducing a sauce. I haven't had nor have I used one of the 8 inch pans. If its performing so differently from your others, I wonder if All Clad would replace it for you. It sounds like perhaps there's something wrong with it.

                              1. re: ccbweb

                                I just got a free used 7 quart All Clad Copper Core stock pot, it was in rough shape. I ended up using baking soda and water it I was very happy with the results.

                        2. Deglazing pans with water while the pan is still hot helps to dislodge stuck bits - don't worry, All-Clad won't warp. I soak pans and most of my good pans never see a dishwasher.
                          I also have bought a few good used pans on eBay that arrived quite dirty (?!) and have had success with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and a toothbrush for getting the crud out from around handle mountings.

                          1. Also one of the best little cleaning tools I have is one of the little teflon scrapers from Pampered Chef that comes with their unglazed stoneware. It has 4 different radius corners and can get into the nooks and crannies. Doesn't damage anything.
                            They sell them for a dollar or so - probably Pampered Chef's best little gadget.

                            1. Sounds interesting. What is the name of this cleaner?

                              << I have a Swiss paste cleaner for polishing and removing the 'film' that develops from high temp cooking. >>

                              1. i'm taking advantage of these promo pans for building my cookware. My fiance found the 7" All Clad Promo fry pan for $15 at Bed Bath and Beyond this weekend on clearance. They had it in Stainless and Ltd. They also had the 1 qt Saucepan for $15. Unfortunately they only had any left in Ltd. She bought the Stainelss Fry Pan and the Ltd. Saucepan. we also picked up the Calphalon Contemporary Skillet set which has an 8 inch and 10 inch pan for $32 ($39.99 minus 20% BB&B coupon).

                                Last week I picked up 4 All Clad Stainless items on sale at Cookware & More. They are seconds, but really they look great.

                                1. I just bought the above mentioned 7" frypan and 1 Qt. saucepan at BB&B for $20/each and the boxes say 'Made In China' - I bought the 9 pc (?) set originally from WS and love it, except for the sticking part on the frypans, esp when I was making potstickers!!
                                  I found what works great is PAM - spray it on before you heat it up and the potstickers don't stick and break anymore; I get golden brown ones!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: sandrachang

                                    I just noticed the Made in China part when i went over to her place last night. It says "Made in China for All Clad Metalcrafters". I wish they didn't do this but still for the money I'm not going to worry about it. They are both very useful pans.

                                    There are a few other made in china all clad items like the 12 quart multicooker.

                                    1. re: sandrachang

                                      Did you purchase the Emeril line of All-Clad? That line is made in China.

                                    2. I doubt that there is anything wrong with the skillet. Your pan might have been too cold when you added the food. But if you do think it's defective, then absolutely take it back to WS. They are very good with returns.

                                      I use my All Clad SS skillets all the time. I have 2 of the baby promo skillets, 2 10 inchers and I just bought a 12 inch. Never had a sticking problem (but I am not cooking eggs or pancakes in them) and definitely have not had a problem cleaning them. Barkeeper's Friend keeps them looking pretty new, too.

                                      I have not heard of AC being made in Mexico, but they are making some pieces in China. I am lucky enough to have a big heavy AC SS roasting pan which was made in the US -- now they are all made in China and you really can tell the difference. AC is kind enough to label their boxes, however, so you know where it has been manufactured.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                        I just pulled every piece of my All-Clad Copper Core collection (maybe 12 pieces), and each one has "Made in the USA" on the bottom. One Cop-r-Chef piece has no bottom marking. All of these were bought in the last year.

                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                          Hi, C. Hamster: "AC is kind enough to label their boxes..."

                                          You mean kind enough to obey the law, right?


                                        2. All-Clad is no longer the quality cookware it used to be. I have an All-Clad pot that I bought about 10 years ago that is premium quality -- no stick problem at all. A friend has an even older fry pan that is a real honey. However, my sister bought a 12" fry pan (unfortunately at my suggestion), from Williams of Sonoma, returned it twice for sticking problems, and finally just gave up.

                                          1. Regarding nonstick ltd, Does anybody know if
                                            LTD nonstick pans can go in the oven?
                                            How hot can you heat the grill pan?
                                            Mine turned brown.
                                            Soooo many questions and no answers from All Clad

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Foodfestival

                                              I happened to stop by Williams Sonoma (Toronto) today. After weeks of 'sale' and empty All Clad shelves they are now displaying All Clad ( amazingly, with some kind of bright paper stuck to the inside of the pans) one now saying All Clad Stainless Steel Three Ply and on the other side of the store, same set up with a pan /paper label saying All Clad Stainless Steel Five Ply. I was there to pick something else up and I didn't have time to check where it is now made or prices but it looks pretty definite that there is a major change in manufacture and marketing.

                                              1. re: knet

                                                My understanding is that they have changed the design of the handle due to many complaints (not from me, btw) about the handle being uncomfortable. May be some other changes, but I believe the changes are not in who makes them.

                                                1. re: knet

                                                  Teflon will out gas about 600*F

                                                2. re: Foodfestival

                                                  Non-stick(Teflon) pans should never go into the oven.

                                                  You can heat a non-Teflon pan as hot as you want. Any oil you put on it might flash-over and burn, but you wont hurt the pan.

                                                3. In fact I have an old 7" which I love. Decided to buy a 10" but halfway out of the box could see it is different. It has definite concentric groves inside the pan. It got sent back ASAP. My old pan is a smooth tri-clad and works perfectly. I actually thought it could be a fake given the high prices.

                                                  Now I see a lot of comments from 2007 here, when the company changed. That might supply the answer.

                                                  1. All Clad sells their mistakes as "Seconds" and "Irregulars" which they mark on the underside of the handle or on one of the handles. Typically there will be an "S" stamped under the handle to denote this. Many many of the "S" marked pots are absolutely beautiful pots or pans, maybe only having a small scratch on the bottom due to being on a shelf, but they are marked "S" for second because of this and of course, these pots or pans do not have the same value as a new in the store pot or pan.

                                                    The Emeril line of All-Clad cookware is made in China. I don't know what is stamped on the underside of these pots and pans...

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: tntmcgovern

                                                      All Clad doesn't put the "S" on their handles any more so watch out for pieces you get at Marshalls and those stores.

                                                      1. re: kit5k2

                                                        Some of the pans I've found at discount stores look like they were display pieces. They'll be perfect, except perhaps for some scratches in the base.

                                                    2. Even though this is a very old thread, I think it is important to emphasize how important it is, if you have a suspicious pan (especially All-Clad), to take things slowly. As this thread proves, it can take years to build the requisite trust for a pan to get over its suspicion.

                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                        Years? Trust? I recently bought another All-Clad saucepan. I use it. It's just a pan. I don't understand your drift.

                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                          Pans have a long memory. If they once become suspicious of you, it takes a lot of hard work to put their minds at ease. I once had a Descoware who would break plates when she was suspicious.

                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            They can bite too, if you're not careful.

                                                            1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                              That sounds Tantric, but pan bites are more dangerous than cat bites, I've heard...

                                                            2. re: kaleokahu

                                                              I had a wife who would do that, but not a pan.

                                                              1. re: GH1618

                                                                Even money the pan put her up to it.

                                                        2. Clearly, you are not happy with the performance of the pan.

                                                          Return it for a full refund, based on the the fact it does not cook properly, and that it may have been sold as a second.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                            That's exactly what I did - over seven years ago. :D