French skillets?

marys1000January 26, 2008

I've been looking, sort of randomly as time allows, for a new skillet.

I see some other there called "french" skillets. They apparently have more of a squared up side vs. the normal rounded one.

Just curious mainly, anyone have one? Why the two different styles? Pros and Cons? Comments?

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well I guess I'm going to sink this

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Wait! I'm here!

I recently purchased two A-C Fr skillets: an 11" and a 13". I love them both and I might consider adding another (smaller, or another 11") if I often find myself wanting to cook more than one thing at a time in the same pan.

As it was explained to me, the FR skillet can be used for most anything that a fry pan can (the flared lip of the fry pans might be better suited to some uses, narrower bottom relative to the top might allow for somewhat quicker sauce reductions?). To me, the Fr skillet seemed more versatile--they have a larger cooking surface than the fry pan for a similar size pan.

It's almost a hybrid of sorts, in-between A-C's fry pans, and their sauté pans (which have the straighter sides, vs the FR skillet's rounded sides). They don't come with lids, but some of the sauté pan lids and/or stock pot lids do fit the Fr skillets. The lids don't provide as tight a seal on the FR skillet as they do on the flared/rolled edges of sauté pans and stockpots, but they still do a decent job.

The Fr skillets are not as deep as the sauté pans either, BTW. I have the two Fr skillets I mentioned, as well as two sizes of the sauté pans. I use the Fr skillet much as one would a fry pan, and have the sauté pans for dishes that would require something deeper. I've only recently gotten all of these pans, so am still playing around to see which one or ones suit my needs on any given day!

FWIW, the A-C Fr skillets are being offered all over at great "introductory" prices, and some places allow you to use coupons, too. In addition to the "special" pricing, I got mine using a 20% off coupon, so it was a cheaper way for me to try A-C (since I'd never used any before) than buying one of their fry pans or sauté pans. I really, really like their pans, more than I'd even imagined I would.

PS I hate to admit it, but all the raves about using BKF to keep the pans looking great are right! I'm starting to sprinkle a little in the pan or on the sponge for cleaning automatically, because it does such a nice job keeping the pans sparkling clean. I'll stop now before I start sounding like a Stepford Wife...!! LOL!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 5:04PM
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I hadn't heard of these before. I hate having a lip on my saute pan & if I hadn't just bought a used Magnalite pan on ebay, I'd be giving these some serious consideration.

Here is a link that might be useful: AllClad French skillets

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:52PM
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If I can find a good price on the AC french skillet this sounds like a good experiment. Any tips on what constitutes a good price and where to get a coupon?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 6:06PM
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If you're in NY/NJ, Chef Central usually has 20% coupons or will accept current ones from L&T and BB&B I think. I also think Bloomingdale's will allow you to use their own coupons on A-C but I don't believe Macy's does. I'm not sure about BB&B (don't think they carry the Fr skillets anyway).

I've been seeing the following prices for the FR skillets:

9" $79.99
11" $89.99
13" $99.99

W-S carries them, but no coupons. They also mentioned a 7" (7.5"?) Fr skillet in their recent catalog. I don't know if this is a W-S exclusive piece (made just for them), or if they are just the first place to advertise/carry it.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 6:34PM
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No joy there, I'm in Ohio so no Bloomies. Never heard of Chef Central either.
I was hoping to hear BB&B or LNT. JCP? Online?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Try any of the BB&B's or LT's near you. See if they carry the Fr skillets. If not, try online and see who offers the best prices, no S/H, accepts coupons.... If there are any cooking gourmet stores in your area, perhaps they have special offers? Chef Central is online as well, but I don't know what their S/H charges would be. Metro Kitchens carries A-C, and some other online stores do, too. Maybe try They often offer free shipping on purchases $25 and over (indiv. or in combination).

I know W-S is selling them at the prices I'd mentioned in the above post, but as I'd also mentioned, they don't accept/offer any coupons as far as I know.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 7:46PM
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CatMom, I saw one of these today at Sur la Table. I'm not sure I would care for the angle of the handle; I guess I'm used to the usual 90+ angle. How does it work for you?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 10:29PM
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Please ignore the underline on the above post; I hit the 'submit' button by accident!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 10:39PM
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I think it's okay for me. The 11" Fr skillet was my first experience with any A-C pan (and I've only had it a few months at that!), so I don't know if the fry pan handle's angle would be any easier for me to use or not. I did notice the diff in the handle angle while looking at both pans together in a store very recently, and pointed it out to DH, but again, couldn't say if either one is any better or easier to use than the other.

For me, the larger cooking surface and the bigger bang for the buck was the deciding factor and I'm very happy with my purchase(s).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 11:59PM
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I'm glad someone mentioned the angle of handle as I hadn't really noticed. Not sure I'd like that.
More importantly, when reading a review on Amazon I saw where a guy mentioned that he had better luck with his all-clad with copper core bottoms on his electric stove than the non-copper core with his french skillet though he did still seem to like it.
I went from like to cook on gas but hating the complicated cleaning to a electric smooth top an will never go back. I really hate cleaning.
So now I'm wondering about the whole bottom copper thing as I've never had any ss before. Off to ask more questions and research.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Copper transmits heat faster, and thus more evenly. The thicker the copper the better. Sometimes the copper is very thin over aluminum. Sometimes the copper is hidden in the pan bottom.

Here is a link that might be useful: cookware information

    Bookmark   February 4, 2008 at 7:42PM
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