10-Inch Stainless-Steel Skillet
How We Tested
For over a decade, the test kitchen’s favorite stainless-steel skillet has been the All-Clad D3 Stainless 12" Fry Pan with Lid, which costs about $120. This skillet has hidden technology; it’s built from a layer of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. Skillets constructed this way are called “fully clad,” and they combine the best features of both metals: the speedy heat conduction of aluminum and the heat retention, slower transmission, and nonreactivity of stainless steel. We use fully clad skillets for frying and sautéing foods on the stovetop and even baking, broiling, and roasting them in the oven.
Would the 10-inch version of our favorite model be as sturdy and useful? To find out, we tested the All-Clad D3 Stainless 10” Fry Pan with Lid, which costs about $100. We used the skillet to cook Shepherd’s Pie for Two, a recipe which calls for sautéing vegetables and ground beef on the stovetop and then transferring the skillet to the oven to brown the potato topping under the broiler. We also made pan-seared steak for two, using the skillet to put a deeply golden, crisp crust on the steak and create a mustard-cream pan sauce with the flavorful fond. We asked three testers of differing skill levels to give feedback as they prepared Pan-Roasted Broccoli, first browning the broccoli and then using the skillet’s lid to finish the cooking with steam. We hand-washed the skillet after each test, noting how easy it was to clean. We also checked whether the skillet bottom remained unwarped before and after our cooking tests (it did). We then heated the skillet to 500 degrees, plunged the hot skillet into ice water, and checked whether it had warped (it hadn’t). Last, we struck it three times on a concrete ledge to see whether it would dent (it barely did).
In every application we appreciated the skillet's wide cooking surface and low flaring sides that encouraged evaporation and uniform browning; its lightweight, balanced feel in hand; and the sturdy, secure grip afforded by its handle, which stayed cool on the stovetop and didn’t rotate in our hands when we were holding the skillet aloft to scrape out sauce or spoon out vegetables. The simple shape of the skillet made it easy to clean; when necessary, we used Bar Keepers Friend to make it shine like new. Its sturdy construction easily survived our abuse testing. As a result, we think this 10-inch version of our winning 12-inch stainless-steel skillet is a worthwhile addition to the kitchen—particularly for smaller portions and households.
We tested the All-Clad D3 Stainless 10” Fry Pan with Lid, which is fully clad (made of bonded layers of steel and aluminum). To evaluate cooking performance, we made steak and pan sauce, and then sautéed vegetables and ground beef for shepherd’s pie, finishing the pie under the broiler to brown the potato topping. We also asked three testers of varying skill levels to pan-roast broccoli. We evaluated the skillet’s weight, balance, and ease of handling (including the shape and comfort of the handle); whether the height and shape of the skillet sides made it easy to sweep a spatula around its curves; and how comfortable the skillet was to pour from and hold aloft with one hand while scooping out hot food with the other. We scrubbed the skillet by hand after each test, rating how easy it was to clean after cooking. We also conducted abuse testing to evaluate its construction and durability. We purchased the skillet online and the price listed is what we paid.
Performance: We gave high marks if the skillet evenly browned food, provided good fond for flavorful pan sauce, functioned well under the broiler, and if the lid fit tightly and securely while steaming vegetables.
Ease of Use: We awarded points if the handle was comfortable to grip firmly, didn't feel insecure or slippery, or stayed cool on the stovetop, allowing us to skip potholders.
Cleanup/Durability: We noted if the skillet was easy to clean, docking points if the handles and rivets trapped grime and if the skillet warped or was dented after normal cooking and after abuse testing.