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HexClad Cookware Review

What is HexClad?

HexClad is a form of triply cookware with an inner layer of aluminum, sandwiched between an outer layer of stainless steel. What makes HexClad unique is it’s hybrid design. In the form of hexagonal peaks and valleys, it combines the strengths of stainless steel and nonstick. Peaks of stainless steel give you the golden-brown sear and also protect the pan against peeling and flaking. Valleys of the nonstick surface provides your pan with the easy cleanup and the ability to cook with less oil.

Seeing that HexClad is neither stainless steel, nor nonstick, it also inherits some of the weaknesses of each type of cookware making it a minutely worse version of each type of cookware. We’ll find out exactly how much in the tests we conducted below.

Hexclad Construction Diagram

Price

HexClad cookware is expensive, there’s no way getting around it. The standard 12″ HexClad pan goes for $130 and the largest set with 7 pieces goes for $700. What makes them willing to charge this price? There are 3 major strengths about HexClad: Performance, Durability, and Design. Additionally, HexClad is marketing these products as an investment. The CEO claims the products are able to last 20 years and boasts a lifetime warrantee. But do these strengths make up for the sky-high price tag? Let’s find out below.

HexClad 7-Piece Cookware Set

Performance

Quick and Even Heating

The aluminum interior is a high-quality heat conductor. The result is fast even heating of the entire cooking surface, there are no cold spots. From our tests boiling water with several other types of premium cookware, HexClad was first to boil signalling very quick conductivity.

Decent Nonstick

To be fair, I’ll say that this is not the most nonstick pan you’ll use. It’s coating is overlaid by a stainless steel lattice meaning some of the nonstick attributes are weakened. But that small sacrifice is countered by other benefits we’ll talk about later on. At the very least, the pots and pans are nonstick for most foods – eggs need a little help from an oil or butter to release. But at the same time, for the absolute best nonstick surface, for cooking eggs on high with no oil, you’re better off using a standard nonstick and replacing every few years.

Pretty Good Searing

For the most part, you want to avoid searing food in a nonstick, because generally searing requires high heat and a pan that sticks somewhat (stainless steel, cast iron) actually helps in building the crust. Nonstick pans aren’t meant for getting to high heats because it can damage the nonstick interior coating shortening the pan’s lifespan. But once again, HexClad is meant to be a slightly worse version of each type of pan, to gain some of the benefits of each. HexClad will sear far better than a standard nonstick pan, and comes close to being as good as the kings of searing: stainless steel and nonstick. Little bit of advice, protect your nonstick pans and avoid exceeding high heat, and never preheat your skillet with nothing in it and you should be fine regarding the longevity of your pan.

Easy Cleaning

Like any nonstick cooking surface, HexClad cleans up easily. Even with the stainless steel hybrid exterior, you will notice a difference in the ease of cleaning. Food comes off easily and quickly. HexClad is dishwasher safe (though we don’t recommend it), scouring pad safe, and the only small concern for cleaning is possible discolouration.

Discolouration can happens when stainless steel is used over time. In no way does this affect the performance of the pan but it can make it less visually appealing. To remove the discolouration all you need is some dish soap, an abrasive sponge and some elbow grease. Despite HexClad’s claims, we recommend against cleaning with barkeeper’s friend as it’s harmful to nonstick. Fortunately, discolouration only requires maintnenance on the monthly, or even less depending on use.

Durability

HexClad’s durability is one of it’s stand out features. I can confidently say, it is the most durable nonstick on the market. It is metal utensil safe, and built to last. HexClad is so confident in the potential of this pan that they offer a lifetime warranty, so this could be the last nonstick pan you buy. Having tested with metal spatulas, whisks, and even an electric mixer I am thoroughly impressed with the scratch resistance of this pan. In fact, HexClad claims that their pans will last 20 years! The only flaw with the durability of this pan is limited time to verify these claims, as the company HexClad has only been around since 2016. Time will tell how they hold up, but for now, this is just one of the risks of being an early adopter.

Design

HexClad cookware is beautifully designed, there’s no way around it. The pan features a beautiful recessed black nonstick surface with a laser-etched stainless steel honeycomb lattice layered over it. These peaks of stainless steel are what offer its superior durability and searing. The contrast is beautiful, the dark and the lustrous stainless steel contrasts in a very appealing way with the dark nonstick. The pan features a round stainless steel handle and flared stainless steel rims around the pan. This pan feels very premium and it’s design shows it.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Heats Quickly and Evenly
  • Metal Utensil Safe
  • Beautiful Design
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Induction Ready

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Weaker nonstick
  • Not ideal for searing
  • Discolouration
  • Unproven track record (founded in 2016, there’s been insufficient time to verify if the durability claims hold up)

Bottom Line

Overall, HexClad is one of the most versatile nonstick pans you can buy. But given the price, it’s not worth it for everyone. HexClad is slightly worse at nonstick, searing, and oven-safeness compared to the single materials it combines. But no other non stick pan should last this long, and no other stainless steel pan should release this easily. If you want one pan that can do everything pretty well, and have the money to spend, I believe you’ll greatly enjoy this pan’s gorgeous design and great versatility. If you’d prefer to spend less and get two separate pans that each do respective tasks better, than HexClad maybe isn’t the way to go.

Recommendation

For the price of one HexClad pan, you can get one premium clad stainless steel pan, and a better nonstick pan for cheap. Investing in a quality stainless, and a solid nonstick will make a big difference in the types and quality of food you can cook.

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