disenchanted with new All Clad pans

paul_maApril 15, 2012

This is my first post in this forum, so sorry if this is a dumb question. (I used to frequent the kitchen forum, but not since my kitchen was finished.) I did search for discussions of this but found nothing at all recent.

After coveting All Clad pans for some time, I finally got a really good deal on a couple of fry pans a few months ago. ($70 for both a 10" and 12" fry pan at Williams Sonoma, on close out sale.)

Previously I was using a big disk-base saute pan (Cuisinarte) for most frying and sauteeing. That works pretty well, but I find that I get scorch marks on the side sometimes. I was expecting that the All Clad pans would eliminate that problem.

What I find instead is that every time I use the All Clad pans to fry, I get a lot of brown burned on oil all around the sides (inside) of the pan. It takes a lot of bar keepers friend and elbow grease to get that off.

It seems to me that this is an unexpected consequence of the design of the pans. The main feature - uniform conductivity - means that the sides get hot, so that any oil that gets up there will start to burn. Note that I don't see this on the flat bottom of the pan where most of the cooking, and most of the oil, are.

Is this just a fact of life? Am I just cooking at too high a temperature?

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Disc bottomed pans have a thicker bottom and work well if used with electric cooktops or smaller gas burners. As soon as the flames get higher, the thin stainless sides will get hot and unevenly so.

I would try lowering the heat some on the All Clad. For saute I do prefer the heat on the side of the pan.

Stock pots I prefer a disc bottom. Seems silly to pay the money for an all clad for heating soup or pasta water.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:10AM
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I am not enthused with my All Clad copper core fry pans. The only "fry" pan I like in the line is a chefs pan with sloped sides. I can saute veggies in there without the oil problem you describe, but do have the issue you are having with the regular fry pans.I've pretty much stopped using the All Clad fry pans with the exception of my small one I think that one is around 8 inches.

I also have a collection of the All Clad sauce pans in the copper core lin,e and do use them at times for boiling and simmering veggies.

Over all I much prefer my Lodge cast iron fry pans and have found I'm using the Le Creuset small dutch ovens for simmering veggies now. Just not liking the expensive stainless for most of my cooking now. The metal seems softer and not as nice as the older All Clad that I passed on to my daughter.

I do like the All Clad stock pots, though there may be better less expensive USA stockpots to be had.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:59AM
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It sounds to me as if you are using to much heat ... These pans work great on med even for frying ... just a thought..

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:10PM
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I've never gone any higher in temp than medium heat with mine.Usually I don't even go any higher than low since I have a Bluestar range and my burners are very effective. The All Clad work well for scrambled eggs, but seasoned cast iron does wonderful for that as well. For anything else I'll take a good cast iron skillet any day.

The oil does stick like splattered glue on the sides if using the newer All Clads for actual frying...and medium heat is usually needed to actually fry, although once the food gets going the heat can quite often be lowered from that. I've never used high heat with them. I think there would be a good chance of ruining the pans.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 10:13PM
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