Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Dec 9, 2009 08:29 AM

Save me from another purchase?

I'm very tempted by the All Clad 12" skillet with a cover that's selling at a promo price of $90. But I need some feedback ... I know there are many AC fans on this site, and this would be my first piece, but I'm afraid it's overkill. I already have a 10" Calphalon stainless steel (though it's old and I don't know if it's tri-ply) a 10" nonstick (both have glass lids) and a 11" Lodge enameled cast iron skillet (no lid). I'm sure I'd find use for the AC pan, but given space is at a premium in my tiny kitchen, I'm curious to get your thoughts on whether this additional pan is REALLY worth it ... or if my money and cabinet space is better applied elsewhere. I'm in your hands, Chowhounds!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Does All Clad make a 12" French skillet? I don't think they do. 11" then 13"

    I don't own a French skillet, but I have the All Clad 12" Fry Pan and it's my favorite pan. Even just for 2 people, it's perfect for frying a steak or 2 or 3 pork chops.

    For my next All Clad, I'm leaning towards buying a saute pan. After the 12" fry pan, the second most used piece in my house is a 3 QT saute pan. It's in some ways similar to a french skillet, I suppose, but has higher sides and holds more.

    My All Clad 12" was my first SS pan, and my first expensive pan. I can't help with whether or not you *need* it; I can just say that's it's great and I don't know how I got by w/o it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: philly888

      Whoops -- you're right, philly, I'm sorry: It's not a french skillet, just ... a covered skillet. This is what I'm talking about:

      Does that change your opinion? I think a saute pan might be slightly more useful, but I'm wondering how much of a difference it would really make. I don't cook meat, but have often wanted something bigger than my 10". Thought my enameled CI would do the trick, but this is such an attractive price ...

      (And I just edited out the "french" from my original post to avoid further confusion.)

      1. re: herring

        herring, I was waiting to see if there'd be a reply from a cast iron fan; I don't own any cast iron myself, although I very much want to buy a Le Creuset enameled cast iron French Oven for making soups and stews.

        Only you can decide if you'll use the fry pan enough, be aware that the sides are low, but from my point of view, a 12" All Clad frying pan is a marvelous first piece of All Clad to buy (better than 10" or 8", even for just 2 people), and that's an outstanding deal. I waited a long time to get mine for $80 on sale, and that's w/o a lid. (A lid by itself sells for $47). I considered getting a Lodge seasoned cast iron fry pan, and I may still get one (very inexpensive), but the weight is too daunting for the second cook in my house.

        Everybody is different, but for me it came down to choosing between a fry pan or saute pan for my first All Clad. And I didn't want to spend too much on my first piece. (I generally limit myself to $100-$200 a year on cookware/small appliances) Whatever you do, good luck!

    2. Why don't you tell us what else you have

      If it was me, I would not go for another skillet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cutipie721

        Hi cutipie -- I ran down what else I had in the way of skillets/frying pans in my original post, but if you're asking about my other cookware, here goes: three LC french ovens (2.75, 4.5, 7.25), a 1 qt Calphalon nonstick saucepan and a 3.5 Anolon saucepan. I was originally looking at All Clad thinking about the 2 qt saucier when I saw this great deal and started reconsidering.

      2. Hi, herring

        I bought the AC frypan with a lid at $89 last year at Amazon and absolutely love it. At the time, I actually had a 12" tri-ply calphalon but gave it to my sister as my new stove is an induction stove.

        IMO, AC pan is easier to manuver as I feel it lighter than Calphalon Tri-ply even though not everyone is comfortable with the famouns "AC hand". I remember that the diameter of the bottom of AC is rather smaller than Calphalon but it is wide enough to accomodate two large checken breasts or steaks.

        However, for you, having 11"lodge skillet, I am not so sure. Sounds like redundent?
        Depending on what you cook most often, I guess.

        1. It may not matter to you now but the Calphalon tri=ply is not induction ready and AC is. I would think anyone buying cookware now should keep in mind that induction is likely in all of our futures one day.
          I have several pieces of All-Clad including two French Skillets and a saute pan and they are always where I go first. It is a great price and I'd snapit up if it was available in my area!
          I have cast iron - two skillets and a LC French Oven which are all great but only for certain applications and definitely not for saute.

          Non stick has its place but in my world it gets no further than eggs and delicate fish. It has limitations that the AC doesn't and I think you'd never come to regret it if you pick up the AC. On the other hand, you may come to regret it if you pass up the deal!

          3 Replies
          1. re: knet

            Thanks hobbybaker and knet! I resisted temptation tonight, though I have until Dec. 31 to reconsider. I think I'm going to pass ... there's not much I can do in the AC skillet that I can't do in my other pieces. Knet, you make a good point about induction generally speaking, but I live in a rent-stabilized Manhattan apt and I think I'm probably years (decades?) away from having an induction stove. Right now I'm just hoping I can someday upgrade to a kitchen with more than three inches of counter space!

            1. re: knet

              Also, knet -- this is an AC promotion -- not limited to my area! Order it from Sur la Table or Bloomingdales. I know both stores have it at that price and I think are offering free shipping. You may find it elsewhere as well. So if you're serious about snapping it up ... go for it!

              1. re: herring

                I am in Canada - no sur la table, no bloomingdale's! And I am also years away from induction BUT if I am going to invest in anything now it's going to be induction ready.
                I share your tiny kitchen pain!

            2. Let me preface: I LOVE All-Clad and already have 4,3,2, 1.5 qt. sauce pans, 3and 2 qt. sauciers, a 3 qt. saute pan, 6 qt. stock pot, 10 qt. rondeau, large roasting pan, and steamer inserts. And a 13" French skillet with lid.

              So, you know I'm not a AC hater. <g> That said, let me make it perfectly clear: I have the 7" and 10" skillets and I NEVER USE THEM!

              Ever. I hate them, in fact. I only got the French skillet because the sides are much higher, and it's so damned big...but for an average, ordinary skillet size, I've switched over to cast iron all the way--vintage Griswold, in fact.

              The stainless steel frying pans are just hopeless food magnets. EVERYTHING sticks to them; a lot burns. Unless I'm sauteing in lots of oil (why not use my high-sided sautee pan, then?) or braising (why not use my Le Creuset braiser, then?) the stainless interior just cruds up with maddening frequency.

              Where All-Clad truly shines, imho, is in the sauce pan department. If you want to fry skillet, get cast iron. If you want to braise, get enameled cast iron. If you want to make sauces and soups, THEN get All-Clad.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Beckyleach

                That's very helpful, Becky -- especially since it was a saucepan I was first eyeing when I started looking at AC. I also have the LC braiser, plus a Lodge enameled skillet, so now I'm definitely thinking the AC, while a great price, just isn't necessary. Back to the saucepan search! Thanks so much!