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High end frying pan recommendation

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evilgawd

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Hey there,

Looking for recommendation for a good frying pan . Im using an electric range right now and been using all-clad for 15 years or so . Been doing a lot more cooking lately and would like to upgrade that piece of equipment. Im tempted to get something with copper as from what I am reading you get a bit more reactiveness with the heat ( maybe im wrong?) . Im willing to spend 400 CAD( 300USD) to get something nice. Low maintenance is a plus ;)

Falk signature or copper core fall into that range
All-clad from what im reading there is not enough copper to make a difference
Demeyere proline appears to be ranking pretty high

Any other recommendations ?

Much appreciated
 

Wahnamhong

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I have a gas stove, and for frying pans I use Mauviel copper (similar to the Falk copper), and a De Buyer carbon steel pan. Both are really excellent options, though different from each other.

In the past I used a Demeyere Proline, and a Paderno Grand Gourmet paella pan. I never warmed to the Demeyere, imho it’s overpriced. The Paderno is truly wonderful and relatively cheap.

Where do you live, USA? For an electric stove I might choose differently than for my gas range.
 

AT5760

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The Paderno is truly wonderful and relatively cheap.
I'll second that. My Paderno carbon steel pan is my favorite over several others costing much more money. It's not high-end, and looks pretty utilitarian, but that's ok with me. It works well on both glass/electric and gas.
 

DrEriksson

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I decided to go for a high quality frying pan, and bought the Fissler original pro. Its the only pot/pan in my kitchen where the bottom has not stayed flat, and it’s also the most expensive pot/pan I’ve got. Bad purchase, need to get a new steel pan.

For cast iron, I use a Skeppshult and for non stick I have a Satake with Honeycomb Whitford Xylan. Both works fine. Little drawback on the Satake for some lost space on the bottom, due to the edges curving early.
 

Wahnamhong

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I decided to go for a high quality frying pan, and bought the Fissler original pro. Its the only pot/pan in my kitchen where the bottom has not stayed flat, and it’s also the most expensive pot/pan I’ve got. Bad purchase, need to get a new steel pan.

For cast iron, I use a Skeppshult and for non stick I have a Satake with Honeycomb Whitford Xylan. Both works fine. Little drawback on the Satake for some lost space on the bottom, due to the edges curving early.
That's strange: I have several Fissler Original Profi pans and they are all top notch. What do you mean the bottom doesn't stay flat, even when the pan is hot? The bottom isn't flat when cold, precisely to help flatten it when it becomes hot.

The Fissler OP and the Paderno Grand Gourmet have the same construction: they are both aluminum disc bottom pans with around 6mm of aluminum. That's some of the thickest cookware bottoms you can find, much thicker than the Demeyere Proline's.
 

DrEriksson

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That's strange: I have several Fissler Original Profi pans and they are all top notch. What do you mean the bottom doesn't stay flat, even when the pan is hot? The bottom isn't flat when cold, precisely to help flatten it when it becomes hot.

The Fissler OP and the Paderno Grand Gourmet have the same construction: they are both aluminum disc bottom pans with around 6mm of aluminum. That's some of the thickest cookware bottoms you can find, much thicker than the Demeyere Proline's.
Bottom is convex, same regardless of temp. I’ve also been careful not cooling it off to fast, as I took extra care of this expensive one. Really sad. And as I said, it’s the only cookware in my kitchen that has not stayed flat.
 

spaceconvoy

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The Fissler OP and the Paderno Grand Gourmet have the same construction: they are both aluminum disc bottom pans with around 6mm of aluminum. That's some of the thickest cookware bottoms you can find, much thicker than the Demeyere Proline's.
FWIW, my relatively cheap Anolon stainless is 6mm thick. This is no help to OP, but I've generally found high end cookware to be disappointing. And you will not be able to tell the difference between aluminum and copper. If you just want something nice, what about a Staub skillet paired with a decent midrange aluminum-encapsulated stainless?
 

btbyrd

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I'm curious what uses make copper worth paying for. My regular All-Clad is plenty responsive over gas and induction, and I don't know that copper would provide much of a real-world advantage there even if it's technically superior. Regular All-Clad also heats evenly enough for my purposes. I do have a few clad copper pieces, but it's mostly because I got a good deal on a quality pan than because I thought they were especially great performers relative to non-copper. I just don't see the point. I can understand shelling out $300 for some enameled cast iron or for a high end donabe or something, but copper frying pans aren't something I can get my head around.
 

Wahnamhong

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Bottom is convex, same regardless of temp. I’ve also been careful not cooling it off to fast, as I took extra care of this expensive one. Really sad. And as I said, it’s the only cookware in my kitchen that has not stayed flat.
It’s strange, and warrants a phone call to your local Fissler dealer. Maybe you got a dud. I’m sure they can fix this issue for you.
 

Wahnamhong

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I'm curious what uses make copper worth paying for. My regular All-Clad is plenty responsive over gas and induction, and I don't know that copper would provide much of a real-world advantage there even if it's technically superior. Regular All-Clad also heats evenly enough for my purposes. I do have a few clad copper pieces, but it's mostly because I got a good deal on a quality pan than because I thought they were especially great performers relative to non-copper. I just don't see the point. I can understand shelling out $300 for some enameled cast iron or for a high end donabe or something, but copper frying pans aren't something I can get my head around.
A copper frying pan is just very versatile. It heats very evenly, more so than the Proline or enameled cast iron, but it’s also quick to react to temperature differences. And the crust you get on proteins is wonderful. Plus easy maintenance and life time durability.
 

Wahnamhong

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This is still one of the best texts ever written on cookware.

 

McMan

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If performance is a goal, +1 to carbon steel--whether DeBuyer or Paderno or even Mauviel, you're in there at ~$50-80. Buy a knife with the $200 you saved. Easy Peazy. Everybody should have a carbon steel pan.

If you don't have a good cast iron pan, then that's another way to plunk down some cash to one of the new spiffy makers (or, better still, to ebay to get an heirloom pan).

If you're after a saute pan, then I like Cuisinart French Classic more than All-Clad because they are slightly thicker. They're made in France and a great value (~$60); there was some discussion of these here a while ago--there's only a handful of pan factories in France, so the thinking was the Cusinart ones were made at the same place as 'better' (pricier) pans.

The spendy option--vintage copper that you send to get re-tinned. You'll often fined very thick old copper, but it ain't cheap...
 

Tristan

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My fave pans are all carbon steel. De Buyer Mineral B does the job, but Blu Skillet makes me happier and Blanc Creative heritage line is my fave.
Have not used my All Clad copper core for ages.
 

evilgawd

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Ah okay, I don't know that market well. What are some of the prices you see for e.g. the Proline, Fissler, and Falk? And are you able to buy from European amazon sites? (for example www.amazon.de)
proline 11" is 260$ USD
Falk signature or copper core is 300$ USD
mauviel mcook ( 5 ply SS) 155$ USD
 

Slim278

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Field Cast Iron makes some nice cast iron that is smoother and thinner than much of the new iron on the market. Not as low maintenance as stainless but I enjoy my cast iron.
 

btbyrd

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A copper frying pan is just very versatile. It heats very evenly, more so than the Proline or enameled cast iron, but it’s also quick to react to temperature differences. And the crust you get on proteins is wonderful. Plus easy maintenance and life time durability.
I get that it heats very evenly, but I'm questioning what advantage that has in real world applications over other good cookware. I also get that it reacts quickly to temperature differences, but so does my bottom-of-the-line All-Clad; if something looks like it's about to burn or boil over, turning the heat down results in an instant reaction when cooking over gas or with induction. I can't imagine copper is practically better in this respect either. The OP is cooking on electric, which is garbage for responsiveness regardless of the cookware being used. For crust on proteins, the main thing that matters is delivering a thermal-wallop, which can be easily achieved with thicker carbon steel, cast iron, or something like All-Clad D7. And I don't think that copper really qualifies as easy maintenance compared to stainless clad cookware. I remember someone asking culinary technologist Dave Arnold about copper cookware on an episode of Cooking Issues. He said that you should only buy it if you really like to clean things. That accords with my experience. They discolor very quickly, and that would drive me bonkers. The benefits, while there on paper, don't seem like they're worth the monetary or maintenance costs. And it's not especially more durable than All-Clad, carbon steel, or cast iron. I still don't know of an application where I'd strongly prefer a copper pan to an alternative. It may be marginally better than other cookware, but does that margin translate into something that's appreciably better in practice?

If performance is a goal, +1 to carbon steel-

If you don't have a good cast iron pan, then that's another way to plunk down some cash to one of the new spiffy makers (or, better still, to ebay to get an heirloom pan).

The spendy option--vintage copper that you send to get re-tinned. You'll often fined very thick old copper, but it ain't cheap...
My fave pans are all carbon steel. De Buyer Mineral B does the job, but Blu Skillet makes me happier and Blanc Creative heritage line is my fave.
Have not used my All Clad copper core for ages.
Tinned copper is right out, since tin melts at 450F. But +1 on carbon steel and cast iron, though I don't see the practical point in paying a bunch of money for either. I'm partial to Darto carbon steel pans, since they're rivetless and don't cost an arm and a leg. The artisan brands like Blu Skillet sure are pretty, but I don't think that they perform any better than their rivals. If I had infinity billion dollars, I'd buy plenty of them for aesthetic reasons (but those aren't culinary reasons). It's like buying hand-forged nails over factory-produced nails.

For cast iron, I like Lodge just fine. It's thicker than vintage, but mass is why I reach for cast iron in the first place. It's not polished smooth, but I have not noticed an empirical difference in nonstick capability. I think most of the "pebbly surface = sticky surface" gossip is based on intuition rather than experience. At least, my experience doesn't reveal a difference. Maybe I'm just lucky.

The reactivity of cast iron and carbon steel is a slight liability. I've ruined more than one dinner by introducing acidic ingredients into the equation. This also stripped the seasoning, which was annoying and time-consuming to repair. That's where very thick clad cookware like D7 comes in handy. Massive but non-reactive for those occasions where you need both. I seldom need both of those properties at the same time, which is why I cook with carbon steel so often.

Anyway, I'm still not sure exactly what the OP is looking for in an upgrade from his All-Clad frying pan. He mentions getting some more heat responsiveness, which copper has... but he's also using an electric range and that negates most of those benefits (which were marginal in the first place). He also mentions that low maintenance would be nice, but copper isn't especially great in that regard either. But like others have suggested, if the OP doesn't have a carbon steel fry pan, that might be a good first step.
 

rickbern

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I really loved having thick disk bottomed pans when I used an electric stove. I don’t think copper is great with coil electric, it’s almost too conductive

I have a Demeyere skillet and a Fissler Sauté pan now. I cook on gas but I’d think they’re both pretty good pans for an electric stove.

love carbon steel but it wasn’t brilliant on electric.

Neither was all clad, I understand why you want to switch. The base on the demeyere is way thicker than all clad, I think it would preform way better. That’s my vote.
 

DrEriksson

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It’s strange, and warrants a phone call to your local Fissler dealer. Maybe you got a dud. I’m sure they can fix this issue for you.
This summer i tried to get it changed, but it was a bit over five years, so they didn’t want anything to do with it. Maybe five years is ok, but the Ikea pasta pot that I’ve got has been in my home for about 18 years... (Yeah, they are not used the same way. I know.)
 

rmrf

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I've cooked on electric and right now I cook on induction. I have d5 all clad, tri-ply all clad, demeyere proline, lodge cast iron and Matfer bourgeat carbon steel. I'm a home chef so take my advice with a grain of salt.

In my opinion, there are two purposes for a fry pan: fast response to heat and heavy sear. Assuming the same stove, these are mutually exclusive attributes. You need a large thermal mass to get a good sear, but a large thermal mass by definition cannot react quickly to changes in heat. As such, you really are talking about two different fry pans. (There might be an exception here if you talk about woks. A high power burner will probably give you a good sear and have fast response times, but lets neglect that)

For fast response, I like thin carbon steel (like a wok) or all clad. My 12in all clad tri-ply is probably the pan I reach for most for this purpose. I can turn off the heat or put it on a cool burner and it cools fairly quickly. I can go from the oven to the stove and back again and it doesn't behave any differently than a half sheet pan. However, it sucks at searing. I can't get it hot enough to really put a dark hard sear on anything. If I'm making a pan sauce, sometimes I use it because I can turn off the heat and not burn the pan drippings.

For hard sear for like beef steaks or ahi or even searing meat for a beef stew, I like demeyere proline. On induction, demeyere proline gives a far superior sear to any of my enameled cast iron, lodge cast iron, or carbon steel pans. I suspect it is because my induction stove is far less even than a gas stove, but it might also be the thermal mass. If you cared, you can weigh your pans and remember that aluminum has roughly double the heat capacity per unit mass as iron. For the same thickness, iron will obviously be better as iron is roughly 3 times as dense as aluminum, but mass is what matters here.

I looked it up, a lodge cast iron 12 in weighs ~3730 g while the demeyere proline weighs 2730 g. Al has a heat capacity of .9 J/gC, while iron has a heat capacity of .45 J/gC. So, the lodge cast iron can impart 1678 J/C while the demeyere proline can impart 2457 J/C to your food. So, my empirical observation that my demeyere proline can sear better is backed up with this back of the envelope calculation. FYI, copper has a lower heat capacity than cast iron which is why copper pans react so quickly.

This was a lot of words to say that if you want to upgrade, I would think about exactly what you want your fry pan to do. If you want to sear and like to use barkeeper's friend, I would get a demeyere proline 12.6in. I love mine and I use mine all the time. If you want something that reacts faster than all-clad, you probably need copper. Or you can try a wok.


edit: If you want a discount option, I really like my vollrath 14 in aluminum pan I got from a restaurant supply store. I can't use it on my induction stove, but its amazing on my grill. Its made of really thick aluminum and it sears pretty well. It cost ~$40, verses ~$200 for a demeyere proline.
 

Michi

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To me, the quest for a single frying pan is a bit futile. I currently have a 12" Lodge cast iron, 12" Fissler stainless steel with a heavy base, and two non-stick pans (one high-quality 12" with a heavy base and a small and light el-cheapo from Ikea). I use all of them, but none of them is good at everything.

If I had to make do with only a single pan, I would go with stainless steel because that's the most versatile: no issues with acidic ingredients, and no issues with super-high heat. (But, of course, it has more issues with sticking than the others.)

Whatever you end up buying, make sure that it has an oven-proof handle and actually does fit into your oven cavity. It's really useful to be able to throw a pan into the oven instead of having to transfer the contents to some other dish first.
 

Wahnamhong

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I get that it heats very evenly, but I'm questioning what advantage that has in real world applications over other good cookware. I also get that it reacts quickly to temperature differences, but so does my bottom-of-the-line All-Clad; if something looks like it's about to burn or boil over, turning the heat down results in an instant reaction when cooking over gas or with induction. I can't imagine copper is practically better in this respect either. The OP is cooking on electric, which is garbage for responsiveness regardless of the cookware being used. For crust on proteins, the main thing that matters is delivering a thermal-wallop, which can be easily achieved with thicker carbon steel, cast iron, or something like All-Clad D7. And I don't think that copper really qualifies as easy maintenance compared to stainless clad cookware. I remember someone asking culinary technologist Dave Arnold about copper cookware on an episode of Cooking Issues. He said that you should only buy it if you really like to clean things. That accords with my experience. They discolor very quickly, and that would drive me bonkers. The benefits, while there on paper, don't seem like they're worth the monetary or maintenance costs. And it's not especially more durable than All-Clad, carbon steel, or cast iron. I still don't know of an application where I'd strongly prefer a copper pan to an alternative. It may be marginally better than other cookware, but does that margin translate into something that's appreciably better in practice?





Tinned copper is right out, since tin melts at 450F. But +1 on carbon steel and cast iron, though I don't see the practical point in paying a bunch of money for either. I'm partial to Darto carbon steel pans, since they're rivetless and don't cost an arm and a leg. The artisan brands like Blu Skillet sure are pretty, but I don't think that they perform any better than their rivals. If I had infinity billion dollars, I'd buy plenty of them for aesthetic reasons (but those aren't culinary reasons). It's like buying hand-forged nails over factory-produced nails.

For cast iron, I like Lodge just fine. It's thicker than vintage, but mass is why I reach for cast iron in the first place. It's not polished smooth, but I have not noticed an empirical difference in nonstick capability. I think most of the "pebbly surface = sticky surface" gossip is based on intuition rather than experience. At least, my experience doesn't reveal a difference. Maybe I'm just lucky.

The reactivity of cast iron and carbon steel is a slight liability. I've ruined more than one dinner by introducing acidic ingredients into the equation. This also stripped the seasoning, which was annoying and time-consuming to repair. That's where very thick clad cookware like D7 comes in handy. Massive but non-reactive for those occasions where you need both. I seldom need both of those properties at the same time, which is why I cook with carbon steel so often.

Anyway, I'm still not sure exactly what the OP is looking for in an upgrade from his All-Clad frying pan. He mentions getting some more heat responsiveness, which copper has... but he's also using an electric range and that negates most of those benefits (which were marginal in the first place). He also mentions that low maintenance would be nice, but copper isn't especially great in that regard either. But like others have suggested, if the OP doesn't have a carbon steel fry pan, that might be a good first step.
Lots of good points. Let's discuss copper. I have been using Mauviel stainless steel lined 2.3mm thick copper pans for over a decade now. I have never put in any maintenance at all. Just washing with soap after use. Typically clean in 2 minutes, only downside not being dishwasher safe. I dropped my sauce pan at one point from 1 meter to a hard wooden floor: not a single dent nor scratch. One time I dry cooked this sauce pan for over an hour: simple cleaning removed all blackness. Believe me, these (older) ss-lined copper pans are probably some of the most rugged cookware out there.

As for being an application where one would prefer copper, I'd say sauce pans given its responsiveness. For other applications there are typically other materials that work just as well, though copper will always for every application work good, just not the best sometimes.

I've never cooked with an All-Clad so I cannot compare in detail. What I do know is that the All-Clad probably has around 2mm aluminum. Being so thin I can see how it would be very responsive, but it won't be as even heating as a 2.3mm copper pan. You can make the case that that's not required for a frying pan.

By the way, I'm not advocating getting a copper frying pan for an electric stove, exactly for the reasons you mention. I'd probably go with something like the Paderno or Fissler paella pan, so thick aluminum disc bottom pans. Another option is the cookware line Accademia Lagofusion by Lagostina, that has both a thick aluminum bottom and clad sidewalls. With electric not being very responsive it helps for the heat to escape through the sidewalls, or you risk the bottom heating up continuously. On gas that's less of a problem.
 

evilgawd

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Wow did not expect to get so many responses on this thread and to be honest I kind of expected you guys to convince me of the opposite lol. The use case for this pan is to be my primary pan , my go to . This is not for searing, I have cast iron . Think, I want to fry some veggies quickly or maybe a small batch of shrimps . Again, the goal was to get me somewhat of a "treat" and "upgrade" from my all clad 3 ply.

Should I just look at somewhat of a similar model with 5 ply instead of copper ? Or are there better option then All-Clad for 3 ply ? Mauviel Mcook ?

Thinking out loud here, maybe I should keep my frying pan , its old but in good shape and replace my warped saute pan

Again , thanks to all that replied, very instructive !!!
 
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Rreidiii

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I've cooked on electric and right now I cook on induction. I have d5 all clad, tri-ply all clad, demeyere proline, lodge cast iron and Matfer bourgeat carbon steel. I'm a home chef so take my advice with a grain of salt.

In my opinion, there are two purposes for a fry pan: fast response to heat and heavy sear. Assuming the same stove, these are mutually exclusive attributes. You need a large thermal mass to get a good sear, but a large thermal mass by definition cannot react quickly to changes in heat. As such, you really are talking about two different fry pans. (There might be an exception here if you talk about woks. A high power burner will probably give you a good sear and have fast response times, but lets neglect that)

For fast response, I like thin carbon steel (like a wok) or all clad. My 12in all clad tri-ply is probably the pan I reach for most for this purpose. I can turn off the heat or put it on a cool burner and it cools fairly quickly. I can go from the oven to the stove and back again and it doesn't behave any differently than a half sheet pan. However, it sucks at searing. I can't get it hot enough to really put a dark hard sear on anything. If I'm making a pan sauce, sometimes I use it because I can turn off the heat and not burn the pan drippings.

For hard sear for like beef steaks or ahi or even searing meat for a beef stew, I like demeyere proline. On induction, demeyere proline gives a far superior sear to any of my enameled cast iron, lodge cast iron, or carbon steel pans. I suspect it is because my induction stove is far less even than a gas stove, but it might also be the thermal mass. If you cared, you can weigh your pans and remember that aluminum has roughly double the heat capacity per unit mass as iron. For the same thickness, iron will obviously be better as iron is roughly 3 times as dense as aluminum, but mass is what matters here.

I looked it up, a lodge cast iron 12 in weighs ~3730 g while the demeyere proline weighs 2730 g. Al has a heat capacity of .9 J/gC, while iron has a heat capacity of .45 J/gC. So, the lodge cast iron can impart 1678 J/C while the demeyere proline can impart 2457 J/C to your food. So, my empirical observation that my demeyere proline can sear better is backed up with this back of the envelope calculation. FYI, copper has a lower heat capacity than cast iron which is why copper pans react so quickly.

This was a lot of words to say that if you want to upgrade, I would think about exactly what you want your fry pan to do. If you want to sear and like to use barkeeper's friend, I would get a demeyere proline 12.6in. I love mine and I use mine all the time. If you want something that reacts faster than all-clad, you probably need copper. Or you can try a wok.


edit: If you want a discount option, I really like my vollrath 14 in aluminum pan I got from a restaurant supply store. I can't use it on my induction stove, but its amazing on my grill. Its made of really thick aluminum and it sears pretty well. It cost ~$40, verses ~$200 for a demeyere proline.
+1 I’ve been cooking professionally for 30+ years and I have never worked in a kitchen that had any high end or expensive cookware. Just buy an aluminum vollrath and get a lodge cast iron pan and cook like a pro.
 

rickbern

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+1 I’ve been cooking professionally for 30+ years and I have never worked in a kitchen that had any high end or expensive cookware. Just buy an aluminum vollrath and get a lodge cast iron pan and cook like a pro.
Home cooking is different. We've got all day to simmer tomatoes, both those pans would react like crazy. We have a tendency to use less fat too.
 

LostHighway

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Wow did not expect to get so many responses on this thread and to be honest I kind of expected you guys to convince me of the opposite lol. The use case for this pan is to be my primary pan , my go to . This is not for searing, I have cast iron . Think, I want to fry some veggies quickly or maybe a small batch of shrimps . Again, the goal was to get me somewhat of a "treat" and "upgrade" from my all clad 3 ply.

Should I just look at somewhat of a similar model with 5 ply instead of copper ? Or are there better option then All-Clad for 3 ply ? Mauviel Mcook ?

Thinking out loud here, maybe I should keep my frying pan , its old but in good shape and replace my warped saute pan

Again , thanks to all that replied, very instructive !!!
Per @btbyrd and @rmrf your 3 ply All-Clad frypan is just fine, especially since you have a heavier pan for searing. Your electric cooktop is really your greatest limitation.
What might you want in a saute' pan?
 

Rreidiii

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Home cooking is different. We've got all day to simmer tomatoes, both those pans would react like crazy. We have a tendency to use less fat too.
You’re going simmer tomatoes all day in a frying pan? I’d use a stock pot for something like that just get an anodized pot.
I’m just saying that expensive equipment is not going to make you cook better. Now if you’ve watched 1,000 hours of food network that might qualify you as a bona fide chef. Just kidding of course.
I always found it amusing to see my students get these expensive pieces of equipment and later to find out they don’t last in the industry.
 

rickbern

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Sorry, I'm more of a saute pan user than a skillet guy.

But I'm all excited because I just started cooking in clay. Just bought a 23cm cazuela, imported from Spain, cost me $13. Nonreactive!

edit-Still, I think all clad isn't all that great on coil electric. I cooked on that for 20 years, always used disk bottom pans, never reached for my all-clads. I think the Demeyere is "almost" a disk base pan because the base is so thick.
 
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