I Tried the Gordon Ramsay-Approved HexClad Pan—Here’s Why It’s a Cooking Superstar
HexClad cookware claims it rolls the best elements of cast iron, stainless steel and nonstick into one pan. We put it to the test to find out.
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My cast-iron skillet, which I use to cook pretty much everything, has been my ride-or-die for a long while. A well-seasoned skillet is nonstick, oven-safe and—with the proper amount of preheating—reaches surface-of-the-sun temperatures. For reactive foods that can’t be cooked in cast iron (like tomatoes and other acidic foods), I use a sturdy stainless-steel pan. And finally, for ultra-sticky foods like eggs, I keep a nonstick frying pan on hand.
When I heard that HexClad created a pan that combines the best elements of cast iron, stainless steel and nonstick into a single miraculous pan, I knew I had to check it out. Bonus: It’s available on Amazon. Here’s my honest review of the HexClad Hybrid Pan.
What is HexClad cookware?
According to Gordon Ramsay, HexClad cookware is “the Rolls Royce of pans,” which is one heck of an endorsement. Lest you worry those words are nothing but a paid celebrity endorsement, know that other Michelin-starred chefs have buzzed about the HexClad pan too. And HexClad’s wok, knife set, pots and pans all have 100 plus five-star Amazon reviews.
HexClad cookware is designed to feature all the positives of cast-iron, stainless-steel and nonstick pans with none of the negatives. Like cast iron, it’s sturdy, resilient and retains a tremendous amount of heat. Like stainless steel, it distributes heat evenly across the surface of the pan and is not reactive. And, like nonstick pans, it’s, well, nonstick.
Learn more about the different types of cookware and the difference between HexClad and All-Clad.
HexClad Hybrid Nonstick Frying Pan
HexClad Skillet Product Features
HexClad’s patented design relies on a laser-etching process to create a hexagonal pattern on the bottom of a stainless-steel pan. It features a high-grade nonstick coating that’s infused with diamond dust (!!!) for extra strength. The steel hexagons allow the heat to diffuse across the pan evenly, while the PFOA-free nonstick coating prevents foods from sticking.
Because of its magnetic steel base, the HexClad Hybrid Pan rapidly conducts heat and is suitable for induction cooktops. Also, it is oven-safe up to 500 degrees. HexClad is sturdy enough to last a lifetime, and as such, the company backs up its cookware with a lifetime warranty.
How We Tested It
Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home
I tested the 12-inch HexClad Hybrid Pan. Straight out of the box, the HexClad pan’s similarities to cast iron were immediately evident. This is one beast of a skillet! It’s so heavy, it might just last forever, like how a good cast-iron pan passes down from generation to generation. Unlike cast iron, however, the HexClad’s handle makes it easy to lift and hold without much strain on the wrist.
Most of the dishes I make for dinner start by sauteing a little garlic or onion (or both!) in olive oil until golden before adding additional ingredients. So, the first thing I cooked in my HexClad Hybrid pan was just that, along with a big mess of greens.
The HexClad pan heated up in about a minute—far less time than it normally takes my cast-iron skillet to reach sauteing temp. Both the garlic and onion cooked evenly to a beautiful golden brown without sticking to the pan. Once I added the greens alongside a big pinch of salt, I confidently tossed everything together using tongs without worrying about scraping or nicking the pan, as I would have with a traditional nonstick pan. The greens cooked down in a flash, with all the liquid quickly evaporating as I swirled the pan.
It was obvious HexClad cookware could handle simple everyday cooking tasks with ease, so I decided to test it with something that’s easy to foul up if you have the wrong pan. Slowly cooking chicken thighs, skin down, in a skillet should yield shatteringly crisp skin with tender dark meat beneath—but every skillet has its pitfalls.
I’ve found that cast iron does the best job overall with this task, but because skillets tend to heat up unevenly, some thighs brown (or burn) more than others. Stainless steel can produce uniform browning, but the chicken can stubbornly stick to the bottom of the pan. Nonstick pans don’t have this problem, but they are not suitable for the super-hot temperatures necessary for browning meat. Could the HexClad pan offer a solution?
I preheated my pan over medium-low heat for one minute, generously seasoned four chicken thighs with kosher salt, arranged them, skin down, in the HexClad pan, then left them completely undisturbed for 15 minutes. When I flipped them over with metal tongs, they were perfect: evenly brown with no signs of hot spots, impossibly crisp and utterly delicious. Nothing stuck, nothing burned. Not only was that good for the chicken but it also made cleanup easy! The HexClad cookware washed clean quickly with soap and water—no scrubbing needed.
- Truly nonstick
- Non-toxic cooking surface
- Heats evenly
- Oven- and dishwasher-safe
- Replaces three popular pans
- Safe for use with metal utensils
- Lifetime warranty
- Some users may find it a bit heavy
Allison Robicelli for Taste of Home
Is HexClad cookware dishwasher-safe?
The HexClad pan is dishwasher-safe but is so easy to clean by hand that you might not want to bother! The scratch-resistant surface is safe for use with abrasive cleaners, scouring pads and steel wool. Although odds are, all you’ll need to clean up most messes is a soapy sponge and running water.
Is HexClad cookware heavy?
HexClad cookware is somewhat heavy, but its ergonomic handles make it much easier to lift and maneuver than cast-iron cookware. The 12-inch Hybrid pan is just over three pounds.
What Other Reviewers Had to Say
There’s a reason reviewers rate HexClad as “the best pan ever.” Here’s why other shoppers are hooked:
“I have 30 years of experience in high-end restaurants, and this is the best pan ever!” writes Corey, a verified Amazon reviewer. “I use it every day from cooking eggs to searing steaks. It’s easy to clean and gives the best results.”
“I have used many different pans of different constructions over the years,” adds Nick Fiaschetti, another verified Amazon reviewer. “I was skeptical of the claims made about these pans. After a couple of weeks, I’m convinced. Eggs do not stick. Meat gets a nice seared crust. It’s easy to clean. It’s everything you want in a pan. As my other pans wear out, I’m considering replacing them with HexClad.”
We’ve talked at length about how HexClad measures up to other cookware materials, but what about other brands? Just like Caraway cookware, the Our Place Always Pan and Green Pan, HexClad has been making waves on social media. All four brands are suitable for healthy cooking—and they look good doing it.
The HexClad Hybrid Pan stands out from the pack thanks to its multi-functionality. There’s no need to worry about cooking on too high of a heat, scratching the pan with a metal utensil or accidentally running it through the dishwasher. HexClad cookware tackles even the toughest cooking tasks.
HexClad cookware might be pricey, but it’s most definitely worth the money and will pay for itself ten times over. Not only does the HexClad Hybrid Pan do the work of three other pans but it’s also built to last. It might very well be the last pan you ever buy. Now, I have my eyes on the HexClad Dutch oven and HexClad wok!
Where to Buy HexClad Cookware
Pick up the 12-inch HexClad Hybrid Pan on Amazon, the brand’s website or Walmart. It retails for $200, but you can often find it on sale. Once it arrives, all that’s left to do is pick your favorite recipe and start cooking like Gordon Ramsay!