Item: Cristel "L" 8.7-inch Brushed Stainless Steel Fry Pan
Price: $179.99; lids and handles sold separately
Overall Impression: A multi-functional, premium-quality pan that elegantly moves from storage to cooktop (or oven) to table.
Cristel cookware has long been available in France, and the company is finally entering the American market with its "L" line of pots and pans featuring removable handles. The collection includes stewpots, skillets, stockpots, and sauté pans, and we recently tested the 8.7-inch pan.
Characteristics and Specs: Stainless steel pan has a 3-layer base of 18/10 stainless steel, aluminum, and 18/10 stainless steel. Suitable for all heat sources including gas, electric, ceramic, induction, halogen, and oven. Dishwasher safe. Handles come in over a dozen colors. Made in France.
Favorite details: Detachable handles easily take the pan from the kitchen to the table. The high-performance base promotes even heat distribution and retention.
Potential problems: None encountered; handles seem strong and secure.
Splurge-worthy? A great choice if you can afford it, and there's a lifetime warranty.
Good for small kitchens? Yes, the detachable handles are useful for small space storage, dishwashing, and serving. Multiple Cristel pans can be stacked for compact storage and a single set of handles can be used on all of them.
Our first impression of 8.7-inch "L" series pan was quality. The pan has sturdy construction, a good weight, and it simply looks beautiful. Any worries about potentially dangerous handles dissipated as we discovered that they really are easy to move on and off yet quite secure.
These handles are what make the Cristel pan so versatile: Cooking on the stovetop? Clip on the long handle. Sliding the pan into the oven? Unhook the handle with one hand. Taking the pan to the table? Attach the side handles and it becomes a serving dish. Then, for compact storage, remove all the handles and stack the pans in a cupboard or drawer. (Cristel also makes pan lids that are compatible with the handle, but we did not receive one for testing.)
This is an expensive pan, to be sure, but the quality and performance are notable. In fact, we now prefer it to our All Clad pan. It has excellent heat distribution and cleans up well. Cristel touts that water or fat are not needed for cooking in its pans. We generally prefer to cook with fat, but in the interest of testing we gave it a spin without oil or water and it performed very well.
Want to see the removable handles in action? Click here to watch a video we shot a few years ago at the International Home and Housewares Show.
→ Find it: CRISTEL "L" Brushed Stainless Steel Fry Pan, $169.99-259.99 at Amazon; handles sold separately
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emily Ho)