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May 27, 2009 06:59 PM

Anyone else hate All-Clad handles?

I have amassed a pretty eclectic selection of cookware; sautes, sauce pans, fry pans from makers such as Demeyre, Sitram, Borgeat, Mauviel, Volrath, (ok and All-Clad MC2), etc., and what really got me started was my absolute distaste of All-Clad handles. I think they are the most uncomfortable handle on the planet. I do not understand how they can be so popular yet never feel the need to improve that painful handle design. Anyone else feel the same way, just curious. ok, end of rant, I feel better.


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  1. I share your feelings. The uncomfortable handles and the lack of pouring lips on All-Clad saucepans drive me batty and into the open arms of Sitram and--if I can pick up a piece every few years--Falk. I have an All-Clad stainless 10" fry pan that I certainly won't part with and a 1 qt. saucepan that I am attached to for sentimental reasons but I can't see myself buying any more All-Clad in the future.

    1 Reply
    1. re: danwalk

      Strange coincidence. I was in Crate and Barrel yesterday. I picked up a heavy All Clad frying pan and thought to myself what a piss poor design the handle was. It was flat and sharp edged. I wondered what all the fuss was about.

    2. They do look uncomfortable.

      Just got a small set of Anolon Pro, and They're really comfortable. And they look boss.

      1. I have several All-Clad pots and pans that I do not use because of the very uncomfortable handles. The soup pots with the 2 handles are okay. I also have the stainless Petite Roti Pan that looks great but is not usable because the handles get very hot in the oven. I was going to drop off this pan in the metals bin of my local landfill but I never got around to it. Cooks Illustrated highly recommended the Roti. I commented on this pan back in 2007. It took two sets of potholders to lift the pan out of the oven and even then I could still feel the heat. I stopped purchasing All-Clad a few years ago.

        7 Replies
        1. re: barb2007

          Keep in mind that absolutely any pan that you put in the oven for roasting will end up with hot handles. There is no way around this. I will be more than happy to take the Petite Roti off your hands if you don't want it. : )

          1. re: danwalk

            Accurate statement. For me, the real test is whether the handles (once past the comfort test) get hot when cooking on top of the stove. Some of my most expensive copper Falk and Mauviel have this problem, regardless of whether the handles are cast iron or brass. I find myself not using these as much as I could because of it.

            1. re: RGC1982

              Had the hot handle discussion once on another board with a bunch of pro chefs. Their comment was basically they never pick up a pan without a towel in their hand which is always on their waist. My issue is with the shear discomfort of the all clad handle when you pick it up. I really like the MC2 stuff but stay away because of the handles.

              1. re: jeffreyem

                Yeah, those aluminum pans you see in most restaurant kitchens have thin handles that get really hot. They just pick them up with a linen napkin, towel, or a silicone handle sleeve.

                1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                  Maybe so in a professional kitchen with aluminum cookware or when using copper, but I have tell you that I am truly spoiled by the stay cool handles on most good stainless steel cookware. I rarely reach for a pot holder when cooking on the stovetop. That is why I have to think about using a towel when picking up a lid to a copper or aluminum pot.

                  1. re: RGC1982

                    This is true. I find my Sitram stainless handles stay pretty cool. But still, they eventually heat up if they're on the stove long enough, so I try to keep the pot holders close at hand, even as I constantly misplace them and end up using a towel.

                    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                      Now that you mention it, I very rarely find my Sitram handles so hot that I can't pick them up.

        2. they are fairly uncomfortable but really isn't that bad, you almost have to fit your finger and palm in a certain way. I think there is more grip to it if you can get past the slight uncomfort, but then I have heavily calloused hand so my idea of comfort might be different.

          1. The uncomfortable handle is the number one reason I don't own any...

            4 Replies
            1. re: legourmettv

              I wonder if the OP finds all of their handles uncomfortable. Sometimes manufacturers have different lines and the handles are quite different. For example, (because I know these better), there are several Demeyere lines, and the one I absolutely hate is the Sirocco line, which is a highly-stylized line with funky handles that feel awful to me. In fact, they accidently shipped a wrong lid to me, and I had plenty of time to try that sucker on for size before my Atlantis lid arrived, and it was awful no matter how much time passed. All Clad may have a line that is a little easier to hold in the OP's opinion.

              1. re: RGC1982

                Their copper core line has a slightly different handle, the other three lines, LTD, Stainless and MC2 all use the same (painful) handle. Most of the other mainstream manufacturers Caphlon, Viking (ok not really mainstream, but great handles), Analon, Even the All-Clad line that Emeril has his name on has better handles.

                1. re: jeffreyem

                  I actually like the handles on my All Clad (stainless) pieces, and HATE the handles on Calphalon. I have long, narrowish fingers and long thumbs, so maybe they were made for people with hands like mine? That said, the handles for the 12" & 14" frying pans are way too long--I'd have to grip it with both hands to flip anything, and prefer the short handles on my ancient cast iron for that use (with an oven mitt).

                  I could complain about their lids not being tight-fitting enough, but the handles are comfortable for me. Sorry to be the dissenter on the this post.

                  1. re: jeffreyem

                    I was going to comment as well, that I noticed the copper line and the Emeril line shared the same style handle. I wonder how the Emeril line rates the handle with what I call the thumb divet and the Stainless, MC2 lines do not.