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All-Clad HA1 Cookware Review: Is It Worth Buying?

HA1 is All-Clad’s best-selling non-stick cookware collection. It features a thick hard-anodized aluminum body, a triple-layer non-stick coating, and a steel base plate for induction cooking.

But is it worth buying? What are the pros and cons? I put it to the test for several years to find out.

In this All-Clad HA1 review, I break down its construction, design, performance, durability, and more. I also reveal its downsides so you get the full picture.


Use the links below to navigate the review:


Design

All-Clad HA1 cookware isn’t bold or flashy. It has a charcoal-gray exterior with a matte finish and a black non-stick interior.

All-Clad HA1 frying pan
All-Clad HA1 frying pan

The handles are polished stainless steel with the All-Clad logo engraved at the base.

All Clad logo on HA1 handle
All Clad logo on HA1 handle

They have a prominent upward angle, which makes it easy to tip the pan forward (for basting or coating the pan with oil or butter) and allows you to keep your hand away from the heat. The downside is that you need more room between oven racks to fit HA1 pans.

There are five inches between the bottom of the pan and the top of the handle.

Measuring All-Clad HA1 handle angle
Measuring All-Clad HA1 handle angle

For comparison, Made In handles are positioned at a much lower angle; there are only 3.5 inches between the bottom of the pan and the top of the handle.

Measuring Made In handle angle
Measuring Made In handle angle

HA1 handles feature All-Clad’s signature cup-shaped design that creates a place for your thumb to rest. It offers a secure grip that won’t rotate when you tilt your wrist, even if your hands are greasy or you’re wearing an oven mitt.

All-Clad HA1 handles
All-Clad HA1 handles

However, this design makes the handle significantly less comfortable than a rounded handle. The edges on the top side dig into your palm if you place your hand on top.

All-Clad HA1 handle digging into palm
All-Clad HA1 handle digging into palm

Larger fry pans, soup pots, stock pots, and Dutch ovens feature smaller helper handles that make lifting and maneuvering easier and safer.

All-Clad HA1 helper handle
All-Clad HA1 helper handle

The pan walls are steep and feature a straight edge instead of flared rims. Flared rims are ideal for pouring, but HA1’s straight edges and tall pan walls help to keep food in the pan and reduce splatter.

All-Clad HA1 interior
All-Clad HA1 interior

All-Clad HA1 pans feature a steel plate bonded to the bottom. This plate serves two purposes.

Bottom of two All-Clad HA1 fry pans
Bottom of two All-Clad HA1 fry pans

First, it makes these pans induction-compatible. Secondly, it improves durability. The steel reinforces the structure of the cookware so it never warps and always sits flat on the cooktop.

The lids are made of oven-safe tempered glass trimmed in stainless steel.

Materials and Construction

The All-Clad HA1 collection features a triple-layer PTFE non-stick cooking surface. The three layers of PTFE non-stick coating promote longevity and provide excellent food release.

The “HA” in All-Clad HA1 stands for hard-anodized aluminum, which is the base material for this collection.

All-Clad HA1 non-stick coating
All-Clad HA1 non-stick coating

Aluminum becomes hard-anodized after it’s treated through an electrochemical process. This process turns the aluminum from a silvery gray color to dark charcoal.

It also makes the aluminum more durable, harder, and more corrosion-resistant — all while maintaining the heat-conductive properties of untreated aluminum.

The pan walls on the HA1 collection are thicker than most non-stick cookware. While most non-stick pans are around 3 mm thick, All-Clad’s are 4 mm.

All-Clad HA1 thick pan walls
All-Clad HA1 thick pan walls

The thicker construction gives the cookware superior heat retention, whether you are cooking on the stove or in the oven. It also makes these pans heavier. For example, the HA1 12-inch fry pan weighs 3.6 pounds.

Weighing All-Clad HA1 12 inch fry pan
Weighing All-Clad HA1 12 inch fry pan

For comparison, here are the weights of several other popular non-stick pans.

CookwareTypeWeight
All-Clad HA112-inch hard-anodized aluminum non-stick pan 3.6 lb
T-Fal Simply Cook12-inch aluminum non-stick pan1.8 lb
GreenLife Soft Grip12-inch aluminum ceramic non-stick pan2.27 lb
T-Fal Professional12.5-inch aluminum non-stick pan2.3 lb
Tramontina Professional12-inch aluminum non-stick pan3.0 lb
Calphalon Contemporary12-inch hard-anodized aluminum non-stick pan2.9 lb
Zwilling Spirit12-inch aluminum ceramic non-stick pan3.5 lb
HexClad Hybrid12-inch stainless steel/non-stick hybrid pan4 lb

Most hard-anodized aluminum cookware is not induction compatible because aluminum is not magnetic. All-Clad solved for this by adding the steel plate to the bottom. Since steel is magnetic, these pans work on all cooktops.

All-Clad HA1 steel induction plate
All-Clad HA1 steel induction plate

In fact, I recently named All-Clad HA1 one of the best non-stick cookware collections for induction cooktops.

Performance

I’ve been testing All-Clad HA1 pans for several years. I’ve used them to cook eggs, pancakes, vegetables, steak, salmon, pasta, and more.

The first thing you’ll notice when you start using HA1 pans is the slickness of the cooking surface — nothing ever sticks. Although I like to grease the pan with butter for flavor, you don’t need any fats to cook eggs.

Cooking eggs in an All-Clad HA1 pan
Cooking eggs in an All-Clad HA1 pan

I’ve used this fry pan for over three years, and besides a few minor blemishes, the non-stick coating isn’t scratched and works just as well as it did on day one. Food slides around, and cleaning is easy — a quick wipe with a soft sponge does the trick.

During my testing, I also noticed how evenly these pans heat. Since aluminum is a great conductor of heat, I’ve never experienced any hot or cold spots. Foods like steak and salmon sear evenly, and food cooks on the sides of the pan at the same rate as food in the middle.

Cooking steak in an All-Clad HA1 pan
Cooking steak in an All-Clad HA1 pan

There are a few downsides to cooking with HA1 pans.

First, they are much heavier than most non-stick pans. When you pick them up for the first time, you might be surprised at their heft. They feel more like cast iron skillets than aluminum non-stick pans.

Cooking steak in an All-Clad HA1 pan on the stove

The thick walls and heavy construction improve HA1 pans’ durability and heat retention but also make them heat up slower and more difficult to maneuver. 

Another downside is the handles. Uncomfortable handles is one of the most common complaints about All-Clad HA1 pans. Because of the U-shaped design, there are two ways to hold the handle.

The first option is to place your hand on top with your palm facing down. But if you do that, the edges of the handle dig into your hand.

The second option is to place your hand underneath with your palm facing up and your fingers wrapped into the “U.” This is the safest and most comfortable way to hold HA1 handles, but it puts your wrist in an awkward and uncomfortable position.

Holding All-Clad HA1 handle with palm up
Holding All-Clad HA1 handle with palm up

I understand why All-Clad designed the handles this way — to ensure they won’t rotate when lifting and tilting heavy pots — but other, more comfortable designs can accomplish the same goal.

For example, Made In handles are flat on the top and bottom and rounded on the sides. Your hand won’t rotate when tilting these pans, and there are no sharp edges digging into your palm.

Made In non-stick pan handle
Made In non-stick pan handle

All-Clad’s newer collections, like Essentials and D3 Everyday have slightly redesigned handles. So All-Clad is listening to customer feedback and making some changes. We’ll update this review if they make changes to HA1 handles.

All-Clad Essentials pan handle
All-Clad Essentials pan handle

Overall, All-Clad HA1 cookware performs well in the kitchen. Food doesn’t stick, the triple-layer non-stick coating holds up for years, and the aluminum body heats evenly. The main downsides are that it’s heavy, heats slower than thinner non-stick pans, and the handles are uncomfortable.

All-Clad HA1 vs. the Competition

In addition to my real-world testing in the kitchen, I also conducted two tests to see how All-Clad HA1 pans compare to the competition.

The first test measures how fast and evenly the pans heat. To conduct this test, I poured two cups of cold water (55°F) into the 12-inch HA1 fry pan, set it on the stove, and turned the heat to the highest setting.

As the water heated, bubbles formed evenly across the cooking surface. When pans don’t heat evenly or the bottom is slightly warped, hot and cold spots form and the bubbles will be concentrated in one area.

Fortunately, that was not the case with HA1. The pan heated evenly and the bubbles were uniform.

All-Clad HA1 even heating
All-Clad HA1 even heating

The first bubbles appeared after two minutes and 12 seconds, and the water came to a full boil after two minutes and 58 seconds.

I conduct this test with every cookware brand I review and below are the results. As you can see, All-Clad HA1 pans aren’t the fastest to heat up, but they’re not the slowest, either. Speed is helpful for quick meals and boiling water fast, but even heat distribution is more important than speed.

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Farberware1 minute and 2 seconds1 minute and 29 seconds
Made In stainless steel fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Anolon X pan1 minute and 35 seconds2 minutes and 22 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Caraway1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 26 seconds
Anolon Advanced fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
HexClad fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 30 seconds
Made In non-stick fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minute and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minute and 2 seconds2 minute and 46 seconds
Hestan fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Our Place Always Pan2 minutes and 2 seconds2 minutes and 48 seconds
Tramontina fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 52 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad D3 skillet1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad HA1 fry pan2 minute and 12 seconds2 minute and 58 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel fry pan1 minutes and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds
Xtrema fry pan3 minutes and 41 seconds6 minutes and 7 seconds

The second test measures heat retention. After boiling the water, I removed the pan from the stove and set it on the counter to cool.

After five minutes, the water temperature was 117.9°F.

All-Clad HA1 heat retention test results after 5 minutes
All-Clad HA1 heat retention test results after 5 minutes

After five minutes, the water temperature was 98.1°F.

All-Clad HA1 heat retention test results after 10 minutes
All-Clad HA1 heat retention test results after 10 minutes

Below are the results from the other brands I tested. As you can see, All-Clad HA1’s heat retention was slightly below All-Clad’s most popular stainless steel collection, D3, but better than brands like Our Place, Caraway, and Anolon.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Xtrema fry pan142°F113°F
Made In stainless steel fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Made In non-stick fry pan120.2°F105.8°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
HexClad fry pan120.7°F102.4°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
All-Clad HA1 fry pan117.9°F98.1°F
Hestan fry pan114.4°F98.0°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
Our Place Always Pan118.0°F96.7°F
Caraway fry pan116.6°F96.4°F
Anolon X pan114.1°F96.0°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
Farberware fry pan112.0°F95.4°F
GreenLife fry pan119.0°F95.0°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113.0°F95.0°F
Anolon fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

Overall, All-Clad HA1 performed average in my heat conduction and retention tests. However, it retained heat better than most aluminum non-stick pans, including GreenLife, Gotham Steel, Anolon, Pioneer Woman, T-fal, and Caraway.

Price

All-Clad HA1 cookware is less expensive than the brand’s premium stainless steel collections, like D3 and D5. However, it’s more expensive than many other non-stick cookware brands, such as Farberware and T-fal.

For example, one HA1 12-inch fry pan costs as much as two T-Fal hard-anodized 12-inch fry pans.

Check the current prices of All-Clad HA1 cookware on All-Clad.com and Amazon.

Downsides

All-Clad HA1 cookware is durable and performs well in the kitchen, but it’s not perfect. These are the downsides to consider before buying this cookware.

Heavy: Although the thick walls improve durability and heat retention, they also make the pots and pans heavy and challenging to maneuver. These are not the type of pans you can grab with one hand and flip eggs by flicking your wrist. If you want easier-to-handle cookware, read my guide to the best lightweight cookware.

Uncomfortable handles: The cupped design provides a secure grip to prevent the handle from rotating when your hands are wet or greasy or you’re wearing an oven mitt. The design makes the handles safer but also uncomfortable. The edges of the handle dig into your palm.

Heats slow: Compared to most aluminum non-stick pans, HA1 cookware heats up slower. It takes longer for heat to transfer through the 4 mm thick walls and steel base plate. Boiling water or pre-heating the pan for a quick batch of scrambled eggs will take a minute or two longer. 

Made in China: All-Clad’s marketing is centered around being “American-made.” That’s because its stainless steel cookware (the brand’s primary product line) is made in the United States. People feel misled when they find out that the HA1 collection is manufactured in China — and this usually happens when the box arrives and it’s too late. If you want American-made cookware, HA1 is not for you.

All-Clad HA1 made in China
All-Clad HA1 made in China

Low oven-safe lid temperatures: The tempered glass lids are only oven-safe to 350°F, so you can only use them for cooking techniques that require a lower oven temperature, such as braising.

Price: The collection is pricey because the cookware boasts a superior construction — a 4mm thick hard-anodized body with a steel plate for induction cooking and a tri-layer PTFE non-stick coating. It’s more durable and versatile than most non-stick cookware, but those benefits come at a cost.

FAQs About All-Clad HA1 Cookware

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about All-Clad HA1.

Is All-Clad HA1 cookware oven-safe?

Yes, All-Clad HA1 cookware is oven safe up to 500°F. However, it’s not broiler-safe, and the tempered glass lids are only oven-safe up to 350°F.

Is All-Clad HA1 induction-compatible?

Yes, the stainless steel plate on the bottom of each pan makes All-Clad HA1 cookware induction-compatible. The magnetic steel draws heat from the induction burner. Aluminum is not magnetic, so most hard-anodized aluminum cookware is not induction-compatible.

Is All-Clad HA1 dishwasher safe?

No, All-Clad HA1 cookware is not dishwasher safe. The harsh detergent and high heat can degrade the non-stick coating. When you hand wash, use non-abrasive cloths, sponges, and cleaning brushes for best results. Learn more about how to make non-stick pans last longer in this guide.

Where is All-Clad HA1 made?

Every All-Clad collection made of hard-anodized aluminum is made in China, including HA1, B1, NS1, and Essentials. Learn more in this guide that explains where every All-Clad collection is made.

What is the difference between All-Clad HA1 and B1?

All-Clad’s HA1 and B1 collections appear the same at a glance, but you’ll notice subtle differences if you look closer. The B1 collection has flared rims and curved handles ideal for pouring sauces and sliding food onto a plate. HA1 cookware has straight rims and steeper (taller) sides, which are better for developing sauces, mixing, and reducing spatter while cooking. B1 is sold exclusively at Bed Bath & Beyond. Learn more in my in-depth comparison of HA1 vs. B1.

What is the difference between All-Clad HA1 and NS1?

The NS1 collection, made exclusively for Williams-Sonoma (although you can find some pieces on Amazon from 3rd-party sellers), has tight-fitting stainless steel lids and flared rims. HA1 has straight rims and tempered glass lids.

What is the difference between HA1 and Essentials?

The main difference between HA1 and Essentials is that the Essentials collection doesn’t have a steel base plate; therefore, it is not induction-compatible. The other notable difference is that Essentials has more comfortable handles with a slight indentation on top.

Does All-Clad cookware ever go on sale?

Not frequently, but we track their prices (along with dozens of other brands) and will email you when it goes on sale. Sign up for our free newsletter to get notified.

What Others Say

All-Clad is frequently highlighted on best cookware lists, but what is HA1’s reputation among kitchen product reviewers? Here’s a snapshot of what others are saying about the collection.

CNET named HA1 one of the best non-stick frying pans you can buy. Reviewers tested the 2-piece fry pan set. After six years of testing, the non-stick coating still had excellent food release. Reviewers noted that the pans are heavy and that the shape can require a spatula to remove foods because of the lack of flared rims.

Food & Wine also chose the two-piece HA1 fry pan set as the best non-stick set in its list of the best non-stick pans. Reviewers called it affordable, sturdy, and ideal for any type of stove. It was a top-five pick because it easily passed all the tests and is a good value for the price. However, testers noted the handles get very hot, so be careful and wear an oven mitt.

The Spruce Eats called the HA1 fry pan set the best overall in a list of the best non-stick pans. After testing, reviewers liked its sturdy construction, excellent food release, and ease of cleaning. But they didn’t like its smaller capacity or steep sides and thought it was more expensive than some comparable non-stick pans.

After testing 16 non-stick skillets, Serious Eats chose All-Clad’s HA1 10-inch fry pan as the best mid-priced non-stick skillet. Reviewers called it affordable and durable and liked the large cooking surface. The non-stick surface held up well in scratch tests and was easy to clean. However, they thought the pan was heavy and criticized All-Clad’s signature cup-shaped handles.

Bottom Line: Is All-Clad HA1 Cookware Worth Buying?

All-Clad HA1 pans are well-built and perform well, but are they worth buying?

You should buy All-Clad HA1 if:

  • You love the All-Clad brand and are looking for quality non-stick cookware.
  • You prefer hard-anodized aluminum over standard aluminum.
  • You have an induction cooktop.
  • You want cookware that you can use on the stove and in the oven (up to 500°F).
  • You like the secure grip that All-Clad’s signature cupped handles provide.

If you’re ready to buy, compare prices on All-Clad.com and Amazon.

You should NOT buy All-Clad HA1 if:

  • You prefer cookware with flared rims.
  • You want lightweight cookware that is easy to maneuver.
  • You want comfortable rounded handles.
  • You like non-stick cookware that comes in a variety of colors.
  • You want American-made cookware.

Bottom line — All-Clad HA1 may be pricier than other non-stick cookware on the market, but its design and durability make it a worthwhile splurge. Plus, the cookware holds up. No non-stick cookware will last forever, but All-Clad HA1 lasts as long or longer than any brand I’ve tested.

The 4 mm walls are thicker than most aluminum non-stick cookware, making it resistant to warping and durable enough for daily use. And All-Clad’s steel plate on the base makes it induction-compatible (unlike most hard-anodized aluminum).

The best part? The three layers of non-stick coating ensure it lasts longer than other cheaper non-stick brands.

The most notable downsides are the weight and the cup-shaped handles. If you like everything about All-Clad HA1 except the handles, check out All-Clad Essentials. It features the same hard-anodized aluminum body, but the redesigned handles are much more comfortable.

Read more reviews and check the current prices of All-Clad HA1 cookware on All-Clad.com and Amazon.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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