I've never had a nice pan in my life. As a college graduate, I had a few of those cheap, $10 nonstick pans that gets flaky within a year or two. Even heating? I didn't even know what that meant. Furthermore, I abused my pans, sometimes heating up those nonstick pans to high heat in order to properly stir-fry Chinese food that I was making (note: not safe!).
You would have thought that when I got married, which, not coincidentally, was also when we bought our first property together, I would have finally decided to buy some nice pans for myself. After all, I finally had own kitchen! And I was going to be in a place for more than one year at a time.
Oddly enough, I told Bryan, "I already have pots and pans and most kitchen supplies. We don't need to register for any." Clearly, this sent some sort of unintended message.
I should not have been surprised when we started getting things like an XBOX as a wedding gift. Or when we returned the brand new toaster oven that we had received in exchange for a brand new Tivo.
So it wasn't until this year (yes, it's been how many years since we got married?), that I finally got my hands on my first nice pan ever. The kind folks at Cookware.com were kind enough to send me an All-Clad pan for review.
This particular pan has gotten some stellar reviews from various well known and respected sites. More recently, the pan has been offered all over the internet for a really attractive promotional price ($89.99 instead of the normal $180 retail price). It got to the point that some people got suspicious, alleging that these new "promotional pans" were made in China, not made in the USA like most All-Clad pans. After all, why is it that when you buy the 12-inch pan with lid, it only costs $89.99, whereas when you buy the pan and the lid separately, it costs over $160?
If you look at the specification of both sets of pans, they appear to be identical. Unfortunately, I do not have the same "purchased separately" set to conduct a full comparison.*
Is this pan made in China?
Mostly no. The pan itself is still made in the USA. The lid, which All-Clad says is not instrumental in the performance of the pan, is made in China.
Tri-ply construction seems crucial, and allows for even heating and excellent heat retention. This pan is particularly light, most likely due to the aluminum core. That makes it much easier to pick up with one hand, which is sometimes crucial when you are busy doing 3 things at once in the kitchen!
How does this baby perform?
The nice thing about pan (and probably the reason it's still All-Clad's most popular line), is that not only does it perform beautifully, it's dishwasher safe and oven-safe. Accordingly to Cookware.com's really nice All-Clad comparison chart, Most of All-Clad's lines are not dishwasher-safe or not induction compatible. This more affordable, less-high-maintenance pan is great for the typical home cook who does not really need super finicky temperature control. Best yet, it's got a lifetime warranty. It's built to last you a lifetime!
I've tried stir-frying vegetables, pan frying gnocchi, sautéing other farm share vegetables. So far, I have been very pleased with the pan. I love the flexibility of being able to heat it to high without concern and use metal utensils to my heart's content. Granted, newer nonstick pans can actually withstand metal utensils these days. Nevertheless, I really like the ruggedness, versatility, and quality of this pan. I've run it through the dishwasher multiple times and it's totally fine.
Thanks again to the folks at Cookware.com (CSN) for giving me the opportunity to finally have a high quality pan that will last me a lifetime.
*I did stop by a Williams Sonoma Outlet store the other day just to pick up the normal stainless steel pan to see what it felt like. Unfortunately, they did not have the 12-inch stainless, but they did have the 10-inch stainless. The 10-inch felt reasonably heavy, possibly heavier even than my 12-inch one I had been testing. Of course, I did not have my 12-inch one around to compare, so this is really just an initial impression.
Disclaimer: Time to time I receive free products from vendors to review. I do not receive any payment for these posts/reviews. The views expressed in the posts are completely my own. For this post, I received an All-Clad 12-inch plan with lid for reviewing.
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