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Buying 1st piece of All-Clad, what should I get to replace a 12 inch covered fry pan?

h
Hmc0625 Dec 15, 2011 04:36 AM

We are having to replace our Calphalon® Unison™ Nonstick 12" Covered Fry Pan because the Non- stick coating is coming off. I purchased a Calphalon 12" Tri ply Everday Pan as a replacement but when we opened it there were bumps in the pan.(kind of like a build up of metal if that makes sense). Anyways, I am returning it and am now looking at All-Clad. I am a bit overwhelmed by my options in both style and stainless steel choices.

We will be using this pan for practically everything from sautéing chicken to cooking spinach.

I have narrowed it down to the following options:
1)All-Clad d5 Stainless Steel Covered French Skillet, 11" $139.95+extra 25%off
2)All-Clad Classic Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Fry Pan, Set 10" & 12" $139.95+extra25% (hoping that lid from Calphalon would work for the few times it's needed)
3)All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel Sauté/Simmer Pan, 4-Qt $179+ 25%
4)All-Clad® Stainless Steel 11" Covered French Skillet $119.99 +20%

Any thoughts on which product would meet our needs the best? It will be the pan that will be used the most so I want one that will last and offer the most function. Also, if you have any suggestions on where to find better prices please let me know. These prices are from Williams Sonoma and Bed Bath and Beyond.

One last thing, should I strongly consider the Tramontina brand instead? Thanks.

  1. r
    rasputina Dec 15, 2011 07:01 AM

    I have the d5 covered 12 inch fry pan with lid. I wanted a pan with a lid, and I wanted the d5. How odd that I don't see it currently on their website though.

    Of the choices currently offered I don't know. Which is more important to you, diameter or height of the sides? The d5 sauté simmer is only a 10 1/2 in pan and it's 3 1/2 inches high. I'd be seriously tempted to just by the 12 inch d5 or tri-ply fry pan without the lid and and makeshift one for when I need it.

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

    1. c
      cleobeach Dec 15, 2011 07:36 AM

      Not on your list but I use my regular All-Clad 4qt saute every day. (or is it a 6qt?) I don't have a large fry pan and never missed it.

      1. g
        GH1618 Dec 15, 2011 09:14 AM

        If you don't have a sauté pan already, that would be a good choice. I have a 3-qt sauté pan and use it often. The 4-qt is the same diameter as the 3-qt, with higher sides. The 6-qt has a larger diameter, but unless you have large burners you will get uneven heating. A tri-ply can only partially compensate for uneven heating of a pan which is much larger than the heat source.

        Update: The D5 series comes in 2, 3, and 6-qt sizes, each a different diameter.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618
          c
          cleobeach Dec 15, 2011 09:58 AM

          I have the 4qt. Now I remember selecting it for the higher sides.

        2. m
          monopod Dec 15, 2011 10:17 AM

          You're probably already aware of this, but just in case: be prepared, cooking in a stainless fry pan is not like cooking in a nonstick. You'll have to alter your cooking techniques, especially with delicate items (like eggs and fish). Personally, I don't cook these items in stainless; it's too much hassle and they inevitably stick unless you use ungodly amounts of butter/oil. But stainless is great for browning meats and sturdier proteins, as well as simmering and more liquidy dishes that won't stick anyway.

          I guess my point is that a stainless pan isn't really a replacement for nonstick - more of a different creature.

          4 Replies
          1. re: monopod
            h
            Hmc0625 Dec 15, 2011 12:53 PM

            I have used stainless steel fry pans before and still do occassionally. It's my husband who wanted non stick so that is how we ended up with it in the first place. Am I correct in my understanding that it's not worth paying All-Clad prices for a non stick pan?

            1. re: Hmc0625
              g
              GH1618 Dec 15, 2011 01:13 PM

              I wouldn't but then I don't pay for the more expensive stainless All-Clad lines, either. I use MC2, which has no exterior cladding.

              What you are paying for with All-Clad, and any tri-ply, is the technology to bond stainless steel to aluminum. If you don't get the stainless interior cladding, then all you have over any other nonstick pan is a matching exterior.

              1. re: Hmc0625
                Chemicalkinetics Dec 15, 2011 01:24 PM

                "Am I correct in my understanding that it's not worth paying All-Clad prices for a non stick pan?"

                Agree. If you are going to buy a nonstick pan, then buy a relatively inexpensive one.

                1. re: Hmc0625
                  m
                  monopod Dec 15, 2011 02:27 PM

                  Yep, that's my approach. Kitchen Aid makes some very heavy-duty nonstick pans that are cheap and work well, if you want a nonstick. I buy new ones every couple of years, once the coating starts to show signs of wear.

              2. h
                Hmc0625 Dec 15, 2011 12:57 PM

                Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hmc0625
                  tanuki soup Dec 15, 2011 03:25 PM

                  Well, maybe one more suggestion?

                  I recently ordered an All-Clad 13" paella pan (tri-ply stainless, two loop handles, slightly domed lid), which I plan to use as an all-around pan for things like frying porkchops and sauteing chicken.

                  What attracted me to this particular model is the fact that it has two loop handles rather than a long, thin handle (maybe with a helper handle). Like you, this is my first piece of All-Clad, and I've read so many comments about the uncomfortable handles that I felt it might be safer going with the loop handles, especially for such a big pan.

                   
                2. m
                  mpalmer6c Dec 16, 2011 12:58 AM

                  You appear to be considering two different types
                  of pans. A fairly tall pan such as the "French skillet"
                  is not designed for use with a typical spatula, so that
                  may make your choice for you right there.
                  Unless williams Sonoma has an amazing sale, it's
                  not the place to buy cookware. Just go through
                  the web -- you'll find much better prices.

                  And you're right about non-stick. A coated pan
                  from Wear-Ever or Vollrath will do just as well
                  (probably better) at far less cost.

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