Skip to main content
Menu
Search
Menu
Close

8-Inch Stainless-Steel Skillet

We love the 10- and 12-inch All-Clad stainless-steel skillets, so is the smaller 8-inch version also worth buying?
More on the Best Stainless-Steel Skillets
We also love the 10-inch version and 12-inch version of this skillet, which won both our regular and inexpensive stainless-skillet testings.

How We Tested

The All-Clad D3 Stainless 12" Fry Pan with Lid, about $120, has been the test kitchen’s winning large stainless-steel skillet for more than a decade. We recently reviewed the 10-inch version and found it just as capable. Both pans are fully clad, or made from three metal layers—aluminum sandwiched between layers of stainless steel, which gives them the speedy heat conduction of aluminum and the heat retention; slower, more adjustable heat transmission; and nonreactivity of stainless steel. We use these fully clad skillets for searing and sautéing on the stovetop and baking, broiling, and roasting in the oven. An 8-inch version—the All-Clad Stainless 8" Fry Pan, which costs about $100—is also available, and we wondered if it would be equally capable and worth adding to our cookware recommendations. 

To find out, we used it to make a frittata, starting on the stove and finishing in the oven under the broiler; to toast nuts in the oven; and to sear steak, brown onions, and make browned butter on the stovetop. We scrubbed the skillet by hand after each test. To evaluate the pan’s durability, we banged it against a concrete ledge three times, and then heated it to 500 degrees on the stove before plunging it into an ice bath, checking afterward for denting, warping, and any general damage.

The petite pan cooked all the food perfectly. It browned the steak and onions deeply and evenly, and it cleaned up beautifully. When we had a little trouble with staining on the pan’s interior, a spot of Bar Keepers Friend returned its luster handily. The pan was light, balanced, and maneuverable. Its handle stayed cool and felt secure in our hands. It also survived our abuse tests, looking almost brand-new at the end of testing. This pan would be an excellent addition to any kitchen. 


Methodology

  • We tested the All-Clad Stainless 8" Fry Pan, about $100, the small version of our winning 10- and 12-inch stainless-steel skillets

  • Make a mini frittata starting on the stove and finishing in the oven under the broiler

  • Toast nuts in the oven

  • Sear steak on the stovetop

  • Brown onions on the stovetop

  • Make browned butter on the stovetop

  • Scrub the skillet by hand after each test

  • Bang the skillet against a concrete ledge three times 

  • Heat to 500°F on the stove and then plunge into a bucket filled with ice 


RATING CRITERIA

Performance: We evaluated how evenly the skillet seared steaks, toasted nuts, browned onions and butter, and cooked a mini frittata. 

Ease of Use: We noted if the handle was comfortable to grip firmly; didn't feel insecure or slippery; and stayed cool on the stovetop, allowing us to skip using pot holders.

Cleanup/Durability: We evaluated how easy the skillet was to clean, noting whether the handles and rivets trapped grime and if the skillet warped or was dented after normal cooking and after abuse testing.


Just for You: Try All of Our Sites

2 Months for Just $1

Get instant access to summer’s best recipes—smart, streamlined, foolproof:

  • 25 years of Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, and America's Test Kitchen foolproof recipes
  • NEW! Over 1,500 recipes from our award-winning cookbooks
  • In-depth videos of recipes and cooking techniques
  • SAVE all your Favorites for easy access
  • Up-to-Date reviews and product buying guides

The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

$33.31*

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.