Expert Review: KitchenAid 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Induction Frying Pan, 10-Inch, Polished Stainless Steel
This review is my honest opinion of the frying pan, which I was given by KitchenAid to test in September of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the frying pan, which I was given by KitchenAid to test in September of 2022.
The KitchenAid 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Induction Frying Pan is a high-performance, lightweight, affordable, and minimally styled stainless-clad pan. It worked great for searing meat, and I had plenty of room to cook veggies on the side.
About the pan I tested
- Model: Kitchenaid 12.25” 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Induction Frying Pan
- Product Type: Saute Pan
- Type of Cooking Surface: Stainless Steel
- Handle Material: Black Stainless Steel
- Oven-Proof Handle: Yes
- Experience: I grew up with Calphalon and All-Clad multi-layered stainless steel cookware that could take all the hard work we could throw at it. For more than 20 years in professional kitchens, I’ve loved stainless steel for its consistency and durability despite how tricky it can be when working with delicate and sticky foods. I will always default to cast-iron for my primary cookware, but nothing beats the approachable weight, heat distribution and durability of well-made stainless.
- When I tested it: September 2022
- Days tested: Two weeks
- What I’ve used it for: Searing meats and sautéing vegetables
- Foods I’ve found it best for: Meats and vegetables that will be grilled or browned in the process of cooking. Not so good with eggs.
- Cooktops I’ve used it on: Gas and induction
- Cleaning routine: Handwashing with soap, warm water, and a chainmail scrubber.
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a simple saute pan that would give me more cooking surface and heat distribution than my 10-inch cast-iron skillet. The look of my cookware is important to me because I find that beautiful cookware can inspire a deeper love for cooking. I am attracted to the aesthetics of this cookware and the handle. It has a minimal look.
Why I chose this cookware
When I was given the choice for a sample, it was between this stainless saute pan or nonstick options. While I love the easy cleaning and no-fuss performance of nonsticks, I prefer durable cookware that I don’t have to worry about damaging. Initially, what caught my eye, other than the pan being full-stainless, is the simple, black handle. I love minimalism, and this style won me over. I was not looking at other comparable stainless models, but if I were, I would have considered the Anolon Nouvelle Copper-Bottom Saute Pan.
What I love about it
- Durability: Overall, the durability of this pan is about as much as anyone could expect from a reasonably priced saute pan. I love the rolled edges that enclose the layered core of the cookware, protecting it from corrosion.
- Features: This pan is subtle with its features. Perhaps the most important feature is the five-ply core that makes this stainless pan so responsive to heat. The rolled-edge of the pan makes it great for pouring contents and is something that is often missing from similarly-priced options. Otherwise, there’s not much about this pan that stands out.
- Look: The minimal black handle makes the pan appear to be serious about cooking. The polished lip is attractive and inviting, albeit slightly unrefined along the bottom side of the rolled edge. I find the pan to be quite easy to look at and would be just fine for bringing to the dinner table.
- Weight and Size: The weight of this pan is on-par or slightly lighter than similarly sized options. I find this to be a nice change as most of my cookware is cast iron and at least 1–2 pounds heavier. The size is perfect for large meals and would have no issue with providing 5–8 servings.
- Performance on Cooking Surfaces: The pan responds really well to heat and does a great job of getting universally hot all the way to its edge. The cooking surface is flat and sufficient at keeping oil in the center of the pan but not perfect. I don’t expect my cookware to keep oil in the center unless it’s specially designed to do so, like a wok or grill pan.
- Ease of Cleaning: While stainless steel does require more work to clean than nonstick or even cast-iron, I find this pan responds really well to a good chainmail scrubber and warm, soapy water. If food gets really stuck to the cooking surface, like burned rice or eggs, a sponge might not be sturdy enough to do the job. It’s dishwasher-safe, but I would recommend only handwashing cookware of any kind.
- Applications: It’s great for high-heat searing of beef, peppers and mushrooms. Also wonderful at pan-frying potatoes. I tried using this with eggs just to be certain and, indeed, I had to use a lot of oil to get a result that wasn’t too fussy.
- Handling: The stainless-steel handle is joined to the vessel with a wishbone design that can be commonly found across the entire industry. This design is amazing for dissipating heat between the handle and the cooking surface. So, the handle stays cool even with high-heat cooking. The handling overall is pretty good. I might prefer a more ergonomic handle, like the Anolon pans. But this handle is still long enough to pick up the vessel with both hands. If I were to want anything else, it would be a helper handle on the opposite side to secure safe transportation of hot and precious meals.
- Quality of Materials: I have only good things to say about the quality of this pan. Although I did see a video of one person online who appeared to have overheated the pan and then immediately put the pan under water, which seems to have caused it to warp the entire vessel enough that it no longer sat completely flat. But that one example is more to the point that one should not put hot cookware underneath cold water.
- Warranty: There is a lifetime warranty for all manufacturer defects and failure.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Versatility: This pan is great for any task that involves higher-heat cooking with the intention to sear or saute. While it’s definitely possible to cook eggs on stainless steel, it’s not my first choice because I have to use so much oil to keep the egg from sticking. This could be great for a lot of things in the oven as well, but the shape of the vessel will never be the most ideal for boiling pasta. It will be most ideal for reducing sauces.
Favorite moment with this cookware
I was alone one night after a long day of work and didn’t feel like eating out, nor doing the dishes. I wanted to make myself dinner in one pan. So I started by cooking a potato by par-boiling it in a couple inches of water until the liquid had cooked-off and was beginning to crisp. While those were finishing, I added the peppers and mushrooms to another corner of the cooking surface to let those saute and get some searing. At the same time, I used the remaining space in the pan to add a small steak. I’m sure a lot of cooks would shame me for this maneuver—as I was not exactly prioritizing the nuances of cooking the steak—but I got it cooked without a fuss and enjoyed my meal in silence, only having to wash a plate and the saute pan. As I sat there, enjoying my perfect potatoes and the mix of flavors from the vegetables, I wished that I was sitting at a table with my family sharing the same meal.
Value for the money vs. other options
I love this pan and I plan to keep it in my lineup for as long as it’s willing to hold shape. It’s a great value for the money and has since become one of my most recommended options for value-cookware. Of course, there’s fancier, more comfortable, and higher-performing options out there, but none of them match the performance and practicality of this value-centric option. If I were to suggest an alternative, it would be the Anolon Nouvelle 12-inch Frying Pan.
This is a no-complaints frying pan at the best match of value and performance. I think it's totally worth investing in the whole set, actually. This is one of my top recommendations and it’s great for home cooks and professionals on a budget