Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Dec 29, 2010 08:11 AM

Sur La Table Stainless Steel Pans?

I am looking to purchase my first nice quality stainless steel skillet. Since this kind of thing really is an investment, I'm willing to spend a little more to get something that is really high quality and will last a long time. That being said, although my initial research seemed to show that the All-Clad stainless steel skillets were the way to go, I was just on the Sur La Table website and I noticed that they have their own line of stainless steel skillets that are much cheaper (the All-Clad 12" is about $140, and the Sur La Table one is about $60). They seem similar in specs -- tri ply with a center aluminum layer covered by stainless on either side. Does anyone have experience with these pans, and if so, do you think they are comparable to the All Clad? I'm new to this market so I'm not sure what other criteria I should be paying attention to.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have two of the SLT stainless saute pans, straight sides, 12" and about 8". I love them and use them for everything from latkes to soups to braised meats.

    I don't have any All Clad, though. Don't really see a need with my SLT pans doing just fine.

    1. The Sur La Table tri-ply stainless steel pans are a terrific value especially with their end of the year sale. I have the 10 and 12 inch non-stick tri-ply pans from SLT and love them. IMHO the tri-ply non-stick is actually SLT's best deal. I also have the All-Clad 12 inch regular stainless steel.

      The SLT pans are quite a bit heavier than the All Clad pans, and thus take a bit longer to heat, and at times can be more difficult to manuver on the stove top. For some cooks, the significant weight might be a concern. However, they heat very evenly as expected with any try ply pan. Thus try them out and if the weight isn't a concern, then I would recommend them without reservation.

      1. You may already know this, but if not, here is a link explaining what makes (18/10) stainless, stainless.

        All things being equal on the mfg, it then becomes a matter of personal preference of how lids fit, the feel of the handle in your hand, if the rim is "rolled" to allow an easy pour off of liquid, etc....

        I bought All-Clad probably 15 years ago - before there were many SS choices. I love it and am perfectly happy with it, but if I had it to do now, I'd certainly shop the competition. You may also want to check Emerilware - it's a collaboration between All-Clad and Emeril. See FAQ#15 at link:

        1. The other thing is, I was looking at the AC standard 12" fry pan vs. the 13" (or 11") french skillet. As far as I have read so far, the major difference, other than the shape, is that the french skillet has a different handle and does not have a lip. It is cheaper than the fry pan, though, and I was thinking it might be more useful since it has higher sides. Input on this would also be helpful. Thanks!

          7 Replies
          1. re: arielleeve

            I have the french pans and the regular.. both cook nicely.
            The french, as you noticed don't have the more sloping sides .. one perk of the french is that they do have more floor space. I like that.
            To me they are somewhere between a traditional fry pan and a saute pan.
            So, if you don't mind the straight non curved lip.. they are a good deal.

            1. re: grnidkjun

              You can get both AC french skillets for $150 at Williams Sonoma (; you can probably find them for even less at the outlets. If lids are important to you, note that the AC french skillets don't come w/lids.

              I'm a big fan of the Sur la Table tri-ply, though. I have both AC and SLT cookware, and don't notice much of a difference. I love the shape of the SLT saute pan (3qt) and saucier (2qt) and I find the handles on both much more comfortable than the AC. I think they're a great buy, especially on sale.

              1. re: herring

                Thanks, all! I am going on my shopping trip today (v. excited), and definitely going to check out the SLT pans, which I am leaning towards (although seeing them in person could change things). They have a 12.5" SS w/a glass lid (which I love so you can see your food cooking without having to lift the lid off) for only $69.95. The money I would save if I go with the SLT line could then be used for the million and other kitchen supplies I have my heart set on... :)

                1. re: arielleeve

                  Have fun.. here are the WS Outlets.. if one is near you.. it may be worth putting on your trip list.. they have great sales.. be sure to get on their email list if you're not already:

                  * Cedarhurst
                  * Cedarhurst
                  * 419 Central Avenue
                  * Cedarhurst, NY, 11516
                  * (516) 295-9484

                  * Central Valley
                  * Woodbury Common Premium Outlets
                  * 974 Grapevine Court
                  * Central Valley, NY, 10917
                  * Phone: (845) 928-4956

                  * Riverhead
                  * Riverhead Tanger Outlets
                  * 1770 West Main St., Suite 1603
                  * Riverhead, NY, 11901
                  * Phone: (631) 369-7699

                  1. re: grnidkjun

                    I have been to the Cedarhurst one before. Me in that store is dangerous.

                    1. re: arielleeve

                      I can relate! And one thing I found out.. the mailing list for the outlet stores is separate from the standard stores.. if you're not on an outlet email list.. call them.. they email out additional coupons sometimes.

                      I like the saute simmer pan as well!

                    2. re: grnidkjun

                      I got the email telling me that the WS outlet at woodbury common will be closed by Jan 16. I am so sad!!! Now I am traveling and cannot even seek for deals before closing! I know maybe now all decent ACs are gone. Too bad!

            2. I went with the All Clad. I really didn't like how much heavier the SLT pans were. And when I asked the guy who worked at the store, he said the All Clads conduct heat better. I was hemming and hawing for a while but just decided to invest slightly more and get something slightly better. Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

              2 Replies
              1. re: arielleeve

                Congrats! Enjoy your new cookware.. everyone says cookware doesn't make the cook.. and it doesn't.. but it sure does make it more enjoyable to do the cooking in my opinion.

                On another plus side.. the pieces you purchased are made stateside. So that is good. The lids and non-clad pieces are made overseas, but the pots/pans themselves are made here.

                1. re: grnidkjun

                  After all that, I ended up taking the initial AC 12" fry pan back to SLT, and going to Williams Sonoma to get the AC D5 4 qt. Simmer / Saute pan, which I only learned about after having purchased the initial fry pan. It got amazing reviews, was $10 cheaper than the 12" fry pan, and had the advantage of high walls to hold in sauce, while still having the sloping sides. When I went to WS, the guy at the store told me there was nothing the fry pan could do that the simmer/saute pan couldn't, but the simmer/saute pan could do a lot that the fry pan couldn't (sauces, braising, mussels, risotto, the list is endless). Plus that one came with a lid, which the fry pan didn't. Couldn't be happier with the end result -- seems a lot more practical than the fry pan and I've been using it nonstop since I got it -- for caramelizing onions, cooking mussels, braising eggplant, stir-frying veggies, etc. It's even seemed to replace our wok since it is of a similar shape and size but a much higher quality.

                  But anyway, yes, it DEFINITELY makes cooking more enjoyable -- not to mention it's just so darn beautiful to look at. Some of my non-cook friends were shocked when I told them that I spent $130 on a pan, but they just don't get it :)