Why HexClad Is the Nonstick-Stainless-Steel Hybrid Pan I Now Use Every Single Day

published Jan 23, 2020
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Credit: Hexclad

As a food writer living in a New York City studio apartment, I have one major (recurring) problem — finding space for my beloved collection of cookware. From my Le Creuset Dutch oven to my stainless steel cookware to my heavy-duty Lodge cast iron skillet, each piece has a purpose, but not necessarily a spot in my small cabinets.

That’s why I was so excited when I learned about HexClad, a line of hybrid cookware that functions as both nonstick and stainless steel pans. A double duty, two-for-one situation!

I attended a demo with the CEO of HexClad, Daniel Winer, where I got to witness, first-hand, how versatile these pans truly are. The same pan can cook a creamy batch of scrambled eggs and create a golden, crispy sear on a salmon fillet. Want to make sautéed vegetables for a cheesy quesadilla? No need to hang onto two different pans — one HexClad pan can do both jobs.

How Do HexClad Hybrid Pans Work?

HexClad is tri-ply, meaning it has three layers (you probably hear about this a lot with, say, All-Clad). First, there’s a layer of magnetic stainless steel (so it works on gas, electric, and induction cooktops). Then, a middle layer of aluminum, which acts as the heating element, and one more layer of steel. What makes HexClad unique is their patented laser etching design, which creates a series of peaks and valleys. The company says these peaks are the stainless steel and the valleys are the nonstick. The etching also helps prevent hot spots, so that everything cooks evenly in the pan. The nonstick technology allows for easy clean-up and helps food slide right out of the pan, while the stainless-steel etching helps with sautéing and searing.

Unlike with traditional nonstick pans, you can safely use a metal spatula or tongs on HexClad pans without the risk of scratching the coating. And like traditional stainless-steel pans (but unlike most nonstick pans), HexClad pans can go in the oven up to 500 degrees and are dishwasher-safe.

That’s all what the company says, anyway. What matters most is how these pans stand up in real home kitchens. So let’s take a look.

Credit: Kelly Vaughan

What I Love About HexClad Pans

I am many months into owning my HexClad pans and I have been using at least one every single day since I got them (instead of reaching for my nonstick or stainless steel pans.) In fact, I gave away most of my older pans! I’m over the moon to report that they are as capable of searing and as nonstick-y now as they were on day one. And I get the same impressive results that Daniel demo-ed that first time I saw these pans.

I have used the occasional stainless steel spatula on these pans and, while it feels so wrong, nothing even remotely bad or catastrophic has happened. I don’t have a dishwasher (remember that whole teeny tiny studio apartment thing?), but washing these pots up by hand could not be easier — I can safely scrub them with the abrasive side of a sponge to get rid of any burnt bits.

Credit: Kelly Vaughan

While performance matters far more than looks, these pans are also gorgeous! The laser-etched hexagon-shaped design (hence the name, HexClad) is purposeful and pretty. The finishing touch? Diamond dust, which is layered in some magical, technological way to increase the pans’ durability and adds a dazzling blue shimmer.

Plus, I should also talk about the price: Compared to other high-end stainless steel or nonstick pans on the market, HexClad is fairly priced. A 10-inch pan retails for $110 and their full seven-piece set, which includes three pans with lids and a 12-inch wok, retails on Amazon for $450. And all HexClad pans include a lifetime warranty.

Whether you need to cut back on the amount of stuff in your kitchen, are just starting to build your collection, or just want to try something new, I can’t recommend HexClad enough. Clearly. I just wrote almost 700 words about skillets.

Have you tried HexClad yet? What’d you’d think?