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Of All-Clad & Steaks

eight_inch_pestle Jun 15, 2011 04:53 PM

I've always more or less adhered to All-Clad's rec that you don't use anything above medium heat with their SS cookware. I do go a notch or notch-and-a-half above when browning meat. Always worked brilliantly. However, I like a deeply browned yet rare steak---the kind you get from a truly hot pan smoking up the house. Is this feasible with All-Clad? If I don't mind using a bunch of Bar Keeper's Friend and some elbow grease to deal with the aftermath, will I actually do any damage to the pan by "overheating" it?

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  1. Chemicalkinetics RE: eight_inch_pestle Jun 15, 2011 05:03 PM

    "will I actually do any damage to the pan by "overheating" it?"

    You could if you really overheat it. Just use any inexpensive cast iron or carbon steel pan.... they do a much better job than All Clad.

    1. breadchick RE: eight_inch_pestle Jun 15, 2011 05:03 PM

      I would save the AC for basic searing and de-glazing, and go with a heavy carbon steel for real action. It's not as heavy as cast iron, and can do the job quite well. Oven ready too - esp if you want an oven finish. Takes a good seasoning fairly quickly and washes up easily with a paper towel or green meanie for any bits that stick. I use several versions of deBuyer, not the mineral line that seems to be popping up everywhere, but the Carbonne Plus line. Not sure there's much difference, but I've had mine for quite a while before the mineral debuted.

      You can getting them smokin' hot and they can almost smoke you out of your kitchen. Get the vent going and open your windows!

      Perfect for anything a diner flat top can do: eggs, bacon, home fries, etc. etc.

      7 Replies
      1. re: breadchick
        eight_inch_pestle RE: breadchick Jun 15, 2011 05:29 PM

        Thanks, breadchick. That's kind of what I was thinking, but it just strikes me as so odd that such expensive pans with such a large market presence aren't all-purpose.

        I've been eyeballing that DeBuyer stuff for awhile. I think your rec might be the final nudge to get me to pick up a piece. Since you don't use soap, do you have any problems with lingering odors? My cast iron is pretty much reserved for cornbread.

        1. re: eight_inch_pestle
          breadchick RE: eight_inch_pestle Jun 15, 2011 05:39 PM

          Marketing is very pervasive. AC is a strong leader in high end cookware, and does have its place. I have a huge AC collection. However, when I wanted to replace my non-stick, I just happened to be watching (of all things ) Diner Drive ins and Dives on Foodtv. I noticed how no matter what was dumped on their flat tops, it was as non-stick as it gets. Thought about cooking on our grill and the same thing. Light bulb moment.

          I've cooked fish in mine, and I haven't noticed any lingering odors. Once the pan is heated dry (and I crank it up to smoking) it seems to lift any odors. That's just my experience, though.

          Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

          1. re: breadchick
            eight_inch_pestle RE: breadchick Jun 16, 2011 12:42 AM

            Love that your light bulb moment came from good old Triple-D, breadchick. "Best revelation/tip from most unlikely source" has lots of potential as a stellar CH thread.

          2. re: eight_inch_pestle
            Chemicalkinetics RE: eight_inch_pestle Jun 15, 2011 05:50 PM

            "it just strikes me as so odd that such expensive pans with such a large market presence aren't all-purpose."

            Expensive + Large Volume Sale = All Purpose?!?!

            Sorry, that is bad logic. Le Creuset cookware are expensive and have a really good market share, but it is far from all purpose.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              Rick RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 15, 2011 06:20 PM

              +1, expensive doesn't mean all purpose, a Ferrari is far from all purpose . . .

              Just pick up a $12 Lodge Cast Iron skillet at Walmart and have at it. Check out Alton Browns steak recipe using a cast iron skillet, should give you exactly the type of steak you like.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                eight_inch_pestle RE: Chemicalkinetics Jun 15, 2011 06:43 PM

                I'm not interested in a logic debate, ck. I'd bet (and win) a good deal of money that many, many people walk out of Williams & Sonoma loaded down with All-Clad without realizing (or being told) that they need to buy additional pans for high-heat cooking. On the other hand, no one would mistake a Ferrari for a family vehicle or an enameled cast-iron Le Creuset casserole for an all-purpose vessel. To the average person, an All-Clad skillet looks and feels like an everyday, all-purpose skillet.

                My intent wasn't to start a whole thing about All-Clad. I've had some for years and love it. And I know how to cook a steak beautifully. I was merely looking for some good advice on whether I could cook steaks in All-Clad when my usual steak pan is otherwise occupied. Breadchick kindly provided that advice.

                1. re: eight_inch_pestle
                  khuzdul RE: eight_inch_pestle Sep 7, 2011 05:57 AM

                  I have cooked a number of steaks black and blue (or black and bloody) in an AC copper core saute pan and a Mauviel 7 layer M'Cook stainless saute pan and a Winco Apollo fry pan and de-glaze all the hot pans with wine. I have not had heat discoloration or warping in any of the pans.

                  The thermal mass of a heavy cast iron pan combined with it's durability to withstand high heat does have advantages for searing and braising, but I would not be afraid of using AC pans in general for high heat searing.

          3. s
            subal RE: eight_inch_pestle Jun 15, 2011 08:01 PM

            watch this:

            2 Replies
            1. re: subal
              eight_inch_pestle RE: subal Jun 15, 2011 08:17 PM

              Gotta love rouxbe. As mentioned, I brown and cook meat and poultry in All-Clad all the time with great results. My favorite pans for the job, actually.

              1. re: subal
                stvls RE: subal Jun 16, 2011 12:12 AM

                Agreed! The Rouxbe panfrying video lesson is well worth the effort. Thanks subal

              2. b
                brooktroutchaser RE: eight_inch_pestle Sep 5, 2011 08:58 PM

                For high heat searing I use a Staub 10 inch enameled cast iron skillet. It is a pain to clean, but it sears steak so well. I would not subject my A-C to that punishment. My advice would be to use cast iron or a DeBuyer pan.

                1. d
                  Dave5440 RE: eight_inch_pestle Sep 5, 2011 10:02 PM

                  Why not grill steak steaks? As in an outdoor grill

                  1. m
                    mateo21 RE: eight_inch_pestle Sep 5, 2011 10:15 PM

                    Well.. I don't have an AC skillet, but my copper pans say something similar about low-med heat for best results... but my favorite method for indoor steaks (I'm with ya, Dave5440) is to heat them slowly wrapped in foil in an oven until they hit about 95-100*, then drop them into a HOT copper skillet. Beautiful crust, awesome pan control (for those pan sauces)... and never an issue with hurting the pan. I'd imagine if I can do this in copper, then AC should be fine -- it'll probably turn your pan interior a funny color (blue-ish) but hey, it's a pan!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mateo21
                      Dave5440 RE: mateo21 Sep 6, 2011 02:21 PM

                      That sounds like the best method if you have to do it indoors

                    2. n
                      nikkib99 RE: eight_inch_pestle Nov 7, 2011 08:37 AM

                      I use a $20 cast iron skillet for that. You can probably get one for a lot less at a garage sale or whatever, but you can also pick up a preseasoned CI skillet from Amazon.

                      I don't have AC cookware - calphalon non stick and stainless steel sets - and I would not risk them.

                      Besides, a cheap CI skillet is all you need for a delicious steak.

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