Q: I recently decided to upgrade from an ailing frying pan to a 9" All-Clad French skillet, and felt really excited about making a purchase that made me feel both grown-up and self-indulgent at the same time. As someone who has never been fond of "no-stick" pans I opted for the regular finish.
While there are things that I love about this pan (handle really does stay cool, well-weighted pan, etc), I have hit a point of dread and hatred when using it because everything sticks to it like nobody's business.
I'm not shy with oil or butter, and I'm using twice as much as I used to. Someone told me that one problem could be an overly heated pan so I cook on a lower heat; now cooking takes forever but everything sticks anyway.
I'd love to find a way to make crepes that doesn't involve a half a stick of butter per crepe or "scrambled crepe". Any further tips to try before I just go for the non-stick one?
Sent by Sonja
Editor: Sonja, we were with you up until you started talking about crepes! Crepes are going to be difficult to make in anything but a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron pan. So leaving them aside for the moment, since they will indeed probably stick to just about anything, we are curious about what else you are cooking in this pan.
Overall, if you are cooking other skillet staples like eggs, pancakes, chicken, and sauteéd vegetables, we'll mention the basics again, although it sounds like you have them down already. Make sure the pan is fully heated before adding any butter or oil. And make sure the oil or butter is hot before adding the food.
Also, a good skillet like this one won't ever be as perfectly nonstick as a true nonstick finish pan. You will get little bits of food and scraps left over in the pan after cooking. If you're cooking meat, that's a wonderful fond that you can deglaze with wine or stock and use to make a sauce.
Overall, we love our own All-Clad skillets for their weight and ability to conduct heat evenly. But they aren't nonstick pans, and if you want a pan principally for crepes, then it might be best to get a nonstick skillet too.
Readers, what do you think? Do you have additional tips for Sonja and her troublesome skillet?
Related: All Clad's New French Skillets
(Image: Sur La Table)