All Clad non-stick vs. wok pan

meskauskasJuly 11, 2005

Hi everyone,

I recently got a nice big gift check for Macy's as a gift, and of course, I'm thinking of adding to my All-Clad collection.

Trouble is, I can't decide between a non-stick frying pan or the all stainless wok pan. I currently have the 5 piece starter set, plus the lasagne pan.

Any opinions on either one? Is the non-stick in All Clad worth the hefty price tag? Does anyone have the wok?

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks much

Clara

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sillywabbit

I have All Clad in both non stick and stainless. I find myself using the saute pans more so than the frying pans. You can get much more use out of a saute pan than a frying pan if that is your only one. It can do double duty. A frying pan just makes it easier to flip something over because of the sloped sides. I do love my non stick, but I treat all my good cookware like babies. They never ever go in the dishwasher. My cheaper stuff like my old Farberware does go in the dw. Nothing I really value though. A dw is harsh on things. I ramble though. A wok is a good investment if you already have the other basics or if you do a lot of stir-frys. Stir-frys require high heat and that doesn't mix with non-stick. I never heat my non-stick on high or empty. Think of what you're going to use it most for the most and get the most all-around type of pan. Frying pans have their place, but you can also fry in a saute pan, plus a lot of other types of cooking.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 11:44AM
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eandhl

Since you are just starting with your All Clad collection I would lean toward getting an all SS pan that will be a nice addition to what you have. A less expensive telfon will work for your eggs and cheese and can be easily replace if it gets scratched. Now that said, I do have the the AC teflon fry, it is really nice but I baby it. I do not have the wok but I too use my AC saute pan a lot and I stir fry in it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 12:51PM
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dastowers

I bought the All-Clad 14 (?) biggest available inch nonstick- with lid- last year. Junk! I have the other SS pots and pans plus a huge pasta pot. But I spent $184 on the fry pan and lid Never again!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 1:02PM
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michaelmaxp

I would recommend not getting either. the best woks are made of carbon steel or thin Chinese cast iron. Stainless is too heavy to be as heat responsive as the pan needs to be and non stick is just not good for similar reasons and flavor. You need a very hot stove for a wok to give great results.

michael

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 2:06PM
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spewey

I agree with Michael. For a wok, carbon steel is the best material. While I live my AC SS, it wouldn't be a good material for a wok, and since woks need to be capable of being used over extremely high heat, non-stick surfaces would be dangerous because they off-gas toxic fumes at those temps.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 11:15PM
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Lynne_SJO

I have both, plus LOTS of other AC SS. I rarely use their wok, as the old electric wok that my MIL bought me works ever so much better. I know, I know, the perfectionist/ foodies will say that you cannot do authentic wok cooking w/o a gas range (we have elect) and a carbon steel or cast iron wok. Ours is carbon steel, I belive. I just turn it on high, let it reach max temp. and it is great. I found that the AC SS wok did not really get hot up the sides like a real wok does, plus it is too small. Maybe it would on a gas range, but it does not on our smooth top electctric range. A plain old skillet works better.

If you are looking to add to your AC collection, I highly recommend getting the non-stick skillet. I have the larger one -- the biggest one I could find -- it is absolutely a must for your kitchen to be complete - essential for cooking eggs, and helpful for some other things that stick, though I mostly use mine for eggs.

We have had it for 3 years, use it daily and it goes in the dishwasher. No problems whatsoever w the finish inside and out. Still looks new. The other AC piece I use a lot is the saute pan - I also got the largest one I could find and it comes with a lid and besides the regular handle, has another thing to grip it on the opposite side. Mine is stainless - you don't want non-stick for a saute pan because things won't brown properly.

Have fun w your gift certificate!

Lynne

    Bookmark   July 30, 2005 at 3:20PM
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meskauskas

Thanks everyone, I think I will look into a small carbon steel wok, and take another look at what piece of AC I would like next. Thanks to those who reminded me that non-stick isn't recommended for high heat cooking - I had completely forgotten about that. I have a couple of non-stick pans from Macy's own line - think I'll stick with those for a while.
I'm thinking that since I already have a saute pan that I might consider a larger size saucier. I like the gentle curve of the saucier for sauces that won't get in the corners and stick.
Does anyone have a good source for an authentic wok?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 2:43AM
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velodoug

"Does anyone have a good source for an authentic wok?"

Mine came from The Wok Shop. Great people to deal with over the internet or by phone.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 8:01PM
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michaelmaxp

without a doubt,San Francisco's Wok Shop. The wonderful lady that owns the place is so helpful and responsive in her emails. I ordered a Chinese cast iron wok, so thin you'ld never think cast iron, and a carbon steel, 9.95 and 19.95 respectively for the 14 inch models. Take the time to season them. I used the Wok Shops method and they came out pretty enough for decoration.

Michael

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 10:01AM
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