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All Clad frying pan impossibly stained after frying something

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forbiddenbeat Nov 20, 2009 03:37 PM

We have a brand new All Clad stainless set, and tonight I used the frying pan for the second time to fry some tortillas lightly before making enchiladas. I fried the tortillas in a thin layer of vegetable oil over medium to medium-high heat (not high), during which time the oil turned a little brown on the upper edges of the pan. Not to worry, I thought, I have Barkeepers Friend handy and it will come right off.

Well, after letting the pan sit for an hour before getting around to clean it, Barkeepers Friend barely did anything. It had nasty brown stains from the oil almost everywhere. I literally just scrubbed it for 10 minutes, and it's finally presentable, but definitely not 100% clean. The bottom is scratched from moving around on the stainless sink surface while scrubbing, and the cooking surface has micro-scratches.

Seriously, is All Clad supposed to be this high maintenance? Am I only supposed to cook low heat things in this crap? I thought the whole point of stainless was that it was great for searing things. I'd hesitate to sear anything in these if I had to clean it afterward.

Did I do something wrong?

  1. Eiron Nov 24, 2009 11:08 AM

    ScotchBrite pad? I burned a light coating of oil onto my Calphalon Tri-ply. I let it soak for over an hour in soapy water but even then couldn't muscle it off. With the ScotchBrite, it took less than two minutes to buff it off. Of course, the Calphalon has more of a "brushed" inner surface than the All-Clad has, so there are no obvious marks afterwards.

    For my All-Clad pan, I kinda like seeing the "previous use" marks on the interior. I let water soak off the junk, then wash it with a soapy sponge. As long as all the bits come out, I know I'm not starting out with spoiled food the next time.

    1. OCAnn Nov 23, 2009 11:59 AM

      I've used Easy Off oven cleaner when BKF doesn't work. I find my AC SS to be easy maintenance and often heat things on high w/no problem.

      1 Reply
      1. re: OCAnn
        t
        Taralli Nov 25, 2009 08:42 AM

        That's what I always use too & it works beautifully.

      2. Sam Fujisaka Nov 23, 2009 06:12 AM

        A sincere question: why do the stains bother you? I have stained and blackened and bent once expensive cookware that works perfectly.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka
          c
          Clarkafella Nov 23, 2009 06:19 AM

          That is how I see it too- all of my stainless pieces look used. Clean, but used- doesn't bother me a bit!

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            The Professor Nov 23, 2009 06:25 AM

            I have to agree with Sam...the stains don't affect the performance of the pan in the least.
            Seems like needless worry.
            I guess it's kind of like getting that first little scratch on a new car. LOL.

            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              c oliver Nov 23, 2009 06:31 AM

              I'm so glad to see that others have brought this up. I'd wondered the same. I have an ovenproof saute' pan that's stained out the wazoo (that's a technical term!) but it doesn't effect the food. I don't watch a lot of cooking shows but take a look at THEIR skillets. I think more about what's IN the pan.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                alanbarnes Nov 23, 2009 08:26 AM

                Just say "patina" instead of "stain." Much classier that way.

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  c oliver Nov 23, 2009 09:00 AM

                  Ooh, perfect.

              2. c
                cratecook Nov 22, 2009 12:35 PM

                When you cook with All-Clad Stainless, start with a cool pan and then add the oil. Then turn up the heat. It will not seize on to the pan then.

                1. s
                  Satiated Nov 21, 2009 07:37 PM

                  I suggest getting some cast iron and carbon steel fry pans, where that brown stain will be welcomed as another layer on the non-stick patina.

                  I like stainless, but for frying applications, it just doesn't work.

                  Just my opinion.

                  1. Uncle Bob Nov 20, 2009 04:33 PM

                    I fried the tortillas in a thin layer of vegetable oil over medium to medium-high heat (not high)

                    IMO "Thin layer" was the problem..Even with medium to medium high heat the oil got to hot and burned on to the surface...As if you were trying to "season" it...I know you weren't...but you get the idea. ~~~~ The pan is fine...With more BKF and elbow grease it will be fine ~~ Next time use more oil.... and keep the heat down...HTH

                    Enjoy!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Uncle Bob
                      f
                      forbiddenbeat Nov 21, 2009 05:26 PM

                      Good point, thanks!

                      1. re: Uncle Bob
                        MikeG Nov 23, 2009 06:07 AM

                        re keeping the heat down - it's worth pointing out that flame height/heat strength has to be adjusted to the size of the pan. A "high" flame for a 12" skillet would be much too high for a 9" pan, for example.

                        Unless you're using a wok or something designed for the purpose, the flame should never reach up around the sides of any pot/pan. It doesn't heat the pan efficiently, and tends to burn stuff around the sides (or on the sides themselves, as in this case.) Not to mention the potential fire hazard of flame licking up around the sides of a pan holding a decent amount of very hot oil.

                      2. lynnlato Nov 20, 2009 03:46 PM

                        Try a Magic Eraser. I have a lovely stainless tea pot that had grease stains on the exterior for years. One day it dawned on me to try a Magic Eraser (after reading a thread on here about the ME's) and it worked beautifully.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: lynnlato
                          f
                          forbiddenbeat Nov 20, 2009 03:48 PM

                          I hadn't thought of that, I love Magic Erasers. Will it damage it in any way?

                          Thanks for the suggestion.

                          1. re: forbiddenbeat
                            lynnlato Nov 22, 2009 04:36 AM

                            I don't notice any marring or scratching on my teapot. I suppose it depends on the gauge of steel, etc. Rub a small area in a inconspicuous spot. The worst that will happen, I believe, is very fine rubbing marks. But again, I don't see that on my stainless teapot.

                          2. re: lynnlato
                            c oliver Nov 20, 2009 03:53 PM

                            Great idea. I have a SS kettle that could use some help.

                            Re the fry pan, could it be that OP should have started it out at a lower temp? I have no idea where that idea comes from.

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