Heavyweight for even heating
Handle can get hot near pan
We received the All-Clad Fusiontec Skillet as a free sample, so we had our reviewer put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
There are fewer pans more versatile in the kitchen than a skillet. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, making them perfect for cooking eggs, pancakes, burgers, caramelized onions, and other veggies, as well as for reducing sauces. When it comes to cookware, few brands are as highly regarded as All-Clad. This is why I was delighted to be able to review their Fusiontec Skillet. Their Fusiontec cookware combines a thick steel core with a ceramic interior and exterior to make durable pots and pans that will last a long time.
To put the All-Clad Fusiontec Skillet to the test, I readied eggs for French toast, over-easy, and scrambled breakfasts, and planned on plenty of other cooking tasks to test its effectiveness. After much cooking, cleaning, and cooking again, I've made my decision. Read on for my honest review.
Design: So pretty
Dang, this skillet is pretty. From a distance, the pan was black inside and out, but up close, the exterior has depth to it that makes it look upscale and trendy. The nonstick surface is slick and shiny, and the stainless steel handle is long enough to keep it cool at the far end. The handle has a gentle arc that looks good and helps with the pan’s balance.
The pan is heavy for a nonstick, thanks to the steel core that retains heat. Despite that heaviness, I was able to hold the pan and flip foods, and I had no problem pouring food from the pan. All of the other pans in the line have two handles for easy handling.
The pan doesn’t come with a lid, which is common with smaller skillets. I didn’t mind; I have plenty of lids from other cookware, as well as silicone lids for the few times I may want to cover the pan.
Material: Ceramic-coated steel
The pan is mostly steel, coated inside and out with ceramic, while the handle is made from stainless steel that stays fairly cool during cooking. The pan is very versatile because it’s oven- and broiler-safe up to 500 degrees, and it’s induction-compatible, so it can be used on any cooktop. It’s even dishwasher-safe, but I'd be more likely to wash it by hand—which is easy thanks to the nonstick coating. There’s no doubt this pan will get a lot of use.
My French toast and grilled cheese sandwich both browned perfectly, as did my sausages.
While the pan is durable, the ceramic is not indestructible. All-Clad claims that it’s cut and chip-resistant, but since the pan is so expensive, I'd suggest treating it gently, using wood, nylon, and silicone tools rather than potentially scratchy metal tools.
Setup: Simple and easy
The pan needs just a little pre-cleaning before the first use, but it’s not difficult. It just needs a wash, and then water and a little vinegar are added and boiled for a short time. I'm not sure what this accomplishes, but I followed the instructions. The pan didn’t look any different.
Performance: Fairly quick heating
The pan heats reasonably fast—not as fast as thin aluminum pans, but fast enough to get food cooking quickly. A little oil or butter, along with the nonstick surface, ensured that my food released easily from the pan.
When nonstick was new in the market, it was terrible for browning any kind of food. The ceramic coating in this pan didn’t have that problem. My French toast and grilled cheese sandwich both browned perfectly, as did my sausages. On the other hand, at a lower heat, I was able to sweat onions gently without toasting or burning them.
The pan also retained heat for a while, so my food didn’t immediately grow cold as I was serving. By the time I needed to clean up, the pan was cool enough to handle.
Cleaning: Easy, even if something burns
When it’s time to clean up after cooking, abrasives should be avoided. Bleach is also on the no-fly list, so if it’s going in the dishwasher, it should be with a detergent that’s bleach-free. I'm not likely to remember to read detergent labels every time I buy, so I'll be hand-washing the pan. Most of the time, all I needed was a rinse and a swipe with a soapy sponge.
The pan is heavy for a nonstick, thanks to the steel core that retains heat. Despite that heaviness, I was able to hold the pan and flip foods, and I had no problem pouring food from the pan.
While the coating is nonstick, that doesn’t mean foods can’t sometimes stick, like if they’re burned on or left to dry in the pan. I reheated some baked beans in the pan and left them unwashed for several hours. The bean residue didn’t rinse out immediately, but all it took was a little soak for it to loosen.
The pan should be hand-dried after washing, but that’s not about pan damage. The shiny black surface can show water spots if the water is dried in the pan, but they’ll disappear with the next cleaning.
If there’s stubborn, burned-on food, All-Clad suggests heating the pan with baking soda and water to loosen the bits that remain after a short soak. When I browned sausages in the pan, I did get some burned bits on the bottom, so I followed the instructions. It worked like a charm, with the charred bits loosening themselves from the pan so I could nudge them off with a silicone spatula. I finished cleaning with a soapy sponge, and the pan was as good as new.
The All-Clad Fusiontec Skillet retails around $180. Compared to almost every other nonstick cookware, this pan is expensive. Very expensive. It’s not going to be worth it for someone who doesn't take care of their nonstick cookware and disposes of it every six months. But for those who treat their cookware gently, this should have a long life in the kitchen. If the pan does fail with normal use, there’s a lifetime warranty.
All-Clad Fusiontec Skillet vs. OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 8-Inch Open Frypan
OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 8-Inch Open Frypan: While I loved using the All-Clad pan, I realize that not everyone will be willing to spend a lot of money on a nonstick pan, even when it has a lifetime warranty. That’s where the OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 8-inch Open Frypan comes in. Retailing at around $30, it’s got great reviews from users, and it’s inexpensive enough that it can be replaced every year or two if the nonstick coating begins to fail. For those who can afford it, I still recommend the All-Clad, while we’d point to the OXO for a budget buy.
Two nonsticky thumbs up.
The All-Clad Fusiontec Skillet will be my go-to nonstick cooking pan from now on. I love that it's great for cooking French toast and a few eggs at a time, and it's great for sautéing when you're not feeding a crowd. It's the perfect small pan for many uses.
- Product Name Fusiontec Skillet Fry Pan
- Product Brand All-Clad
- Price $180
- Weight 4 lbs.
- Color Onyx Black, Platinum, Rose Quartz
- Material Steel core, stainless steel handle, nonstick ceramic coating
- Warranty Lifetime