Straight to the Level
We appreciated the HexClad 12-Inch Hybrid Pan, and it appears sturdy—one in every of our editors has used hers since 2016 with none harm. That mentioned, it’s costly and you might purchase separate nonstick and chrome steel skillets for the value of the one 12-inch Hexclad pan.
Right here at Severe Eats, we’ve lengthy held the opinion that you just shouldn’t spend a ton of cash on a nonstick skillet; they only don’t final lengthy sufficient to justify an enormous price ticket. As an alternative, in case you’re seeking to spend money on cookware, we frequently level you towards a sturdy chrome steel, carbon steel, or cast iron skillet, all of that are versatile, sturdy, and may get a pleasant sear on meats (and cauliflower steaks, in case you’re into that). However the fact is, so many people love a nonstick skillet for its ease of use, together with many people editors (it’s true!).
That is why we’ve been tremendous interested by HexClad, a model that peddles “hybrid” cookware that “brings collectively the efficiency of chrome steel, the sturdiness of forged iron, and the comfort of nonstick”—or so they are saying. It additionally comes with a hefty price ticket, with the 12-inch skillet costing $200.
Might this costly, hybrid skillet that supposedly combines one of the best of nonstick and chrome steel show that you could actually have all of it? We got down to discover out through the use of the 12-inch frying pan for round a month, pitting it towards fried eggs, crepes, seared steak, pan sauce, sauteed mushrooms, and rather more.
- Seasoning: Previous to utilizing the skillet, we seasoned it per HexClad’s directions. This concerned heating the pan over medium, spreading one teaspoon of oil across the inside, then leaving the pan on medium warmth for 2 to 4 minutes. Whereas we aren’t certain seasoning is basically crucial for one of these pan, it is easy sufficient to do, and we do not suppose the corporate has something to realize from individuals doing it.
- Water Boiling Take a look at: We boiled one cup of water within the skillet with out a lid, timing how lengthy this took.
- Fried Egg Take a look at: We cooked two over-easy fried eggs within the skillet, one with oil and one with out oil. We used a metal fish spatula to flip the eggs and take away them from the skillet.
- Crepe Take a look at: We made a batch of crepes within the skillet, inspecting how the pan was capable of elevate and unfold the batter, in addition to how straightforward it was to flip the crepes.
- Steak au Poivre Take a look at Take a look at: We made steak au poivre to check the pan’s searing capacity and use over excessive warmth. We additionally examined the pan’s sturdiness through the use of a whisk to make the pan sauce.
- Sauteed Mushroom Take a look at: We made our recipe for sauteed mushrooms, inspecting how the skillet fared when tossing and stirring the fungi.
- Cleansing Checks: We hand-washed the skillet and ran it by way of the dishwasher.
What We Realized
What Is HexClad Anyway?
While you have a look at a HexClad pan, the very first thing you would possibly discover is, nicely, the hexagons overlaying the floor. (Senior culinary director Daniel Gritzer says they appear like they had been made in the identical manufacturing facility because the Tie fighters that whiz by way of area in Star Wars—and we concur. They’d in all probability be what Darth Vader would use if he cooked). These hexagons are manufactured from etched, raised chrome steel. Paired with an aluminum core and tri-ply layers of chrome steel cladding, you get a pan that’ll warmth up quick (it boiled water on our electrical range in lower than two minutes).
Between the raised metal hexagons are what HexClad calls “nonstick valleys,” which, based on the corporate, are constructed from “high-grade non-toxic Japanese coating infused with diamond mud for additional toughness.” Whereas they beat across the bush slightly bit, in their FAQs you’ll discover that this coating is manufactured from polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a subgroup of PFAS. They briefly state, “Our nonstick coating accommodates PTFE, which is listed within the Biomonitoring California Precedence Chemical compounds Listing.” So in case you’re searching for a pan that doesn’t comprise PTFEs (which is what you’ll discover coating just about each nonstick skillet nowadays), this isn’t the pan for you.
In essence, with HexClad, you get a pan with the heating talents of chrome steel, in addition to a considerably nonstick floor, for a reasonably excessive worth. The query is, is it price it?
The Nonstick Means Was (Principally) Good
Daniel, who has owned a Hexclad pan for years at this level, says that whereas the pan is sturdy, it’s not fairly as nonstick as is claimed. “The Hexclad provides one of the best sturdiness I’ve ever seen in a nonstick pan, I am going to enable it that,” he says. “However the place it falls brief is in its declare that it is simply as nonstick as some other nonstick pan. In my expertise, it isn’t.”
It’s because this pan isn’t the identical form of nonstick pan as a, nicely, explicitly nonstick pan; the nonstick “valleys” are damaged up by the chrome steel webbing, in order that’s the place the “hybrid” adjective comes from. The chrome steel hexagons imply that it’s essential warmth your pan correctly and use oil with it, or else you’re vulnerable to, say, your over-easy eggs sticking, as occurred to us throughout our checks. Nonetheless, as soon as we added a fast squirt of canola to the pan, we had been simply capable of flip and take away the fried eggs. We had no points with delicate crepes sticking, although, and that was with none butter or different grease lubricating the floor (although you should use a stainless steel skillet to make crepes, in order that’s not tremendous stunning).
Its Sturdiness Has Held Up—So Far
As a part of our testing, we made pan sauce for steak au poivre, which requires a great quantity of whisking, in addition to setting the pan over pretty excessive warmth to cut back the sauce. Even after whisking the sauce, we didn’t discover any scratches or scrapes alongside the inside floor, and the excessive warmth of searing steak and simmering sauce didn’t have any impact both; there was no discoloration or darkening.
The draw back is, as talked about above, the pan is coated with PTFEs, which suggests its longevity is proscribed to some capability, particularly in case you’re utilizing the pan over greater warmth. Whereas HexClad discourages customers from doing this, saying, “Our patented HexClad design permits warmth to distribute sooner and extra evenly, which suggests you possibly can prepare dinner at decrease temperatures. We advocate that our prospects begin cooking at decrease temperatures and enhance if wanted. You not often have to prepare dinner on excessive warmth with HexClad,” we discover that considerably disappointing; why have the chrome steel in case you can’t set it over a barely greater warmth? In an effort to get a pleasant sear and stop meals from sticking in a stainless-steel skillet, it’s a must to warmth the pan up considerably excessive (however not TOO excessive) earlier than inserting oil within the pan. This helps shut the metal’s pores, lowering the chance of the oil seeping into them and meals sticking to the pan. Alternatively, in case you’re heating up the HexClad to a shimmering oil kinda of warmth, you might be damaging the PTFE floor. You’ll be able to’t actually win, until you’re simply leisurely sauteeing some mushrooms or gently scrambling eggs.
That each one mentioned, senior commerce editor Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm has owned a Hexclad skillet since 2016 and the coating continues to be completely intact. Daniel agrees, saying, “I certain do respect their sturdiness; they’re higher than some other nonstick pan I’ve ever utilized in that regard.”
We Preferred the Pan’s Ergonomics and Form
We had been slightly skeptical at first of the reasonably straight, tubular deal with on the skillet. However whereas sauteeing mushrooms and swirling crepe batter, we discovered the deal with fairly snug to carry and maneuver. We additionally appreciated the gently curved sides which let steam vent readily, important when searing steaks or sauteeing mushrooms. Whereas the pan was a tad heavy, weighing two kilos, 15.6 ounces with out the lid, our favourite stainless steel skillet from Made In weighs the same three kilos.
We actually appreciated cooking with the HexClad 12-inch skillet by way of kind issue, outcomes, and ease of use; the curved corners helped steaks get a pleasant sear (with out steaming) and contained mushrooms while sauteeing. And whereas our editors have seen the sturdiness of the pans IRL, we nonetheless query their total longevity and, in some methods, the pan’s objective; it’s like a Frankenstein mashup of nonstick and chrome steel, however every of those elements weakens the opposite (as in, the chrome steel retains it from being actually nonstick, whereas the nonstick coating means it’s not as sturdy as a purely chrome steel skillet). We expect you is perhaps higher off investing in a sturdy stainless steel skillet and a cheaper nonstick skillet; mixed, they’d in all probability be the identical worth as a single Hexclad pan. That mentioned, in case you’ve had your coronary heart set on a HexClad, it doubtless will not disappoint—however you higher be ready to (actually) pay for it.
We appreciated the deal with, which stayed cool and felt balanced with the skillet itself. The edges of the skillet had been properly sloped, too, permitting us to saute and stir fry with out flinging substances in every single place. The shallow, curved sides additionally allowed steam to flee, so we bought a great sear on steaks. The pan additionally heated up fairly rapidly, bringing water to a boil in below two minutes on our electrical vary. Bonus: It’s induction-friendly.
We query the pan’s sturdiness and objective: chrome steel brings fast and even heating, however prevents it from being actually nonstick, whereas the PTFE coating offers the pan some nonstick talents (although not fully, due to the chrome steel webbing), however isn’t as sturdy as chrome steel. That mentioned, Hexclad does have a lifetime warranty, which is heartening (although it comes with strings hooked up; the web site says, “Our guarantee doesn’t cowl harm occurred because of failure to comply with correct care and use tips as outlined within the product inserts and on our web site.”).
- Supplies: Stainless-steel, aluminum, nonstick coating
- Weight: 2 lbs, 15.6 ounces
- Cleansing: Dishwasher-safe
- Guarantee: Lifetime guarantee (although we advocate studying by way of the superb print)
Does HexClad have Teflon in it?
Teflon is a proprietary model of PTFE made by Chemours. Whereas HexClad doesn’t use Teflon per se, it does use a PTFE nonstick coating (a subgroup of PFAS) on its cookware.
Why is meals sticking to my HexClad pan?
As a result of HexClad makes use of chrome steel along with a PTFE nonstick coating, you will get some sticking until you oil the pan or warmth it up earlier than including meals.
Do HexClad pans final lengthy?
HexClad pans have a lifetime guarantee, supplied you utilize the pan correctly. You’ll be able to learn extra about their warranty coverage here. We are going to proceed to make use of the pans now we have from HexClad to guage their longevity over time.
Why We’re the Consultants
- Grace Kelly is the affiliate commerce editor at Severe Eats.
- Previous to this, she examined gear and substances for America’s Take a look at Kitchen, and he or she’s additionally labored as a bartender and prepare dinner in varied eating places.
- She has written dozens of critiques for Severe Eats, together with petty knives, tinned fish, fish spatulas, and tortilla presses, amongst others.
- To check the HexClad 12-inch frying pan, we made over-easy eggs, crepes, sauteed mushrooms, and steak au poivre with pan sauce. We additionally requested two of our editors who’ve used the pans for years about their expertise cooking with them.