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All Clad frying pan impossibly stained after frying something

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?

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  1. 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

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

      Thanks for the suggestion.

      1. re: forbiddenbeat

        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

        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.

      3. 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

            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. The original comment has been removed
            1. 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. 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.