Courtesy of Hexclad
Finding the best cookware for your needs can be a daunting task. Big stores like Amazon, Williams Sonoma, and Sur la Table are brimming with all kinds of pots and pans from well-known and under-the-radar brands alike. And don't even get us started on all of the direct-to-consumer cookware brands that seemingly pop up overnight with Instagramable color palettes and eye-catching advertisements.
Online research and advice from friends and family about the best pans will likely introduce you to two popular styles of cookware: nonstick and stainless steel. And if you're torn between these options—the former offering an ideal canvas for cooking delicate foods with the promise of an easy cleanup, the latter offering powerful, even heat for a covetable sear on heartier ingredients—fear not. You can have the best of both worlds thanks to Hexclad's hybrid pan.
It has an aluminum middle layer for consistent heating and a top layer that features a laser-etched hexagonal grid of nonstick and stainless steel elements in what the brand describes as "peaks" and "valleys." Essentially, the nonstick base (the "valley") allows you to cook without using a lot of butter or oil and makes for an easy cleanup afterwards, and the slightly raised stainless steel bumps (the "peaks") create a texture that protects the pan from peeling or flaking while delivering a superior cook.
Like all nonstick pans made in recent years, this one is free of PFOA (a potentially harmful compound previously used to make nonstick coating). It's also dishwasher-safe and can go in the oven at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. And whether you have an induction, gas, ceramic, or electric stovetop, you can use Hexclad's hybrid pan without hesitation.
Buy It: $137; hexclad.com
After testing the pan in my own kitchen, I found it was also surprisingly lightweight. And true to the brand's word, its handle remains cool to the touch even when the pan is over high heat. Most importantly, it's a breeze to clean even when I've made a real mess of the pan. Overcooked food scraps practically fall off with just a little soap and hot water. Lastly, its promise to remain scratch-resistant also proved accurate—so much so that I feel free to slice into a cut of meat with a sharp knife right in the pan when I want to check how cooked through it is. It's a real novelty for me, considering I grew up with my mother reminding me never to use metal utensils on our cookware. (Sorry, Mom!)
Truly a do-it-all pan, this piece of cookware can prepare everything from scrambled eggs and scallops to steak and vegetables. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. Nearly 300 customers give the pan a five-star review, and many note that it's lightweight, easy to clean, safe to use with metal utensils, and efficient at evenly distributing heat.
"I've been in the food business for much of my adult life and have used many top brands. This pan beats them all!" one buyer wrote.
Another called the pan a "workhorse" and said, "I threw my All-Clad copper core away in favor of this amazing pan."
Hexclad's hybrid pans come in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch sizes, but they're known to sell out quickly, so take advantage of the fact that all three of the popular options are currently in stock. They're sure to sell out again soon.