After you’ve been cooking on cheap pans for a while, there comes a time when investing in quality cookware begins to sound appealing. Solid, long-lasting cookware is not cheap, but when you have the extra money to put to towards this investment, you’ll find that what you get is long-lasting and dramatically changes your cooking abilities.
All-Clad is one of the best-known names in high-quality cookware, and it’s a go-to brand for those looking to elevate their cooking and revamp their cabinets. This review will cover the popular All-Clad E7859664 HA1 Hard Andonized Nonstick Skillet.
My All-Clad Story
I have the 12″ All-Clad frying pan and I use it several times a week. This pan was an upgrade (along with a new set of stainless steel cookware) from 10+ year old, cheap cookware that came from… I don’t even remember where. After much research, I decided on the All-Clad HA1 fry pan because of the positive reviews and the quality behind the name, and picked the 12″ because I have a family of four.
The All-Clad hard anodized frying pan is very heavy and very sturdy. It comes with a thick glass lid, and has stainless rivets and handle.
The pan is hard anodized, which means it has gone through a process of anodizing the aluminum in order to build up a natural coating. Ultimately, anodized aluminum is nonstick, scratch resistant, and incredibly easy to clean. Anodization reduces leaching of aluminum from cookware into acidic foods.
Because of the nonstick qualities that naturally occur with that process, this cookware offers an excellent non-reactive, nonstick surface that’s PFOA-free. Additionally, the build of the pan facilitates fast, even heating no matter what you’re cooking.
It is a large pan, especially the 12″, with a long handle and helper handle adding additional girth. The pan measures 19.7″W x 12.8″D x 8.7″H.
All-Clad’s hard anodized frying pan is compatible with all cooktops, including induction. I have a flat-top glass cooktop and it works perfectly. It is dishwasher safe, though hand-washing is strongly recommended. I hand wash mine not only to preserve the pan, but also because it is too unwieldy to put into the dishwasher — it’s much too awkward and takes up nearly the entire bottom rack.
The stainless steel handle is heavy-duty, so I expect that it will last for the lifetime of the pan with no problem. However, the shape of the handle can give some cooks trouble. It is u-shaped, with a sharp divot on the sides. It stays cool to the touch, so I’ve tried to grab it with one hand and struggled. If you have the ability to grab it and the helper handle, it’s not really an issue.
All-Clad states that this pan (not the lid) is oven-safe to 500°. I haven’t used it at that high of a temp in the oven, but have had good success with lower temps (up to 400°).
Cooking & Cleanup
I have never experienced any issue with cooking anything in this pan. Last night I made fish; we make hash browns with minimal oil all the time; eggs are a breeze. Nothing sticks, ever. And, cleanup is an absolute breeze (which is why I don’t mind hand-washing it at all). The pan always heats evenly and it heats fast.
I do try to always use wooden or nylon utensils, but I have had to use metal before (I lost my nylon whisk and had to resort to the metal one). Though I’ve been very careful in those instances, the pan hasn’t given any indication that the metal is causing any problems. I wouldn’t recommend frequently using metal, but I do think the pan’s interior is solid enough to handle the occasional scrape of metal.
I fell in love with this frying pan right away, and would’ve given it 5 stars early on. I’ve had it for several months now, and at this point I would rate it a bit lower (we’ll say 4 stars). My lower rating is because of the overall size of it and the design of the handle. After the initial love-at-first-bite feeling wore off, I’ve found myself a bit disgruntled about the size (it’s awkward in my cabinets and too big to go in the dishwasher if I wanted to do that). The handle is also pretty problematic. If you have arthritis or limited motor skills, you may struggle handling this pan.
Even so, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again. I love the construction and the quality, and I’m happy with how perfectly this pan cooks whatever I throw in there. I like the lid that it comes with (and I haven’t seen any reviewers with exploding lids, something many other cookware brands have issues with) and I appreciate the fact that it’s PFOA-free.
Hopefully all these details will help you decide whether the All-Clad Hard Anodized Nonstick Pan is right for you! Still have questions? Let me know in the comments below.