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

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.

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  1. 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. 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. 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

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

        2. 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

            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

              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

                "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

                  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. Thanks everyone for your input. I appreciate it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hmc0625

                  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.