Gordon Ramsey calls HexClad the Rolls Royce of pans. And with its unique hexagonal design, it certainly looks the part.
But are these pans just a marketing gimmick with a celebrity chef pitchman, or are they worth buying?
In this review, I tell you the truth about HexClad. After putting it to the test for several years, I explain what I like about it and reveal the flaws that nobody’s talking about.
Use these links below to navigate the review:
- HexClad Review: Key Takeaways
- Video Summary
- Heat Conduction and Retention
- What Others Are Saying
- HexClad Cookware FAQs
- HexClad vs. Anolon X
- Bottom Line: Is HexClad Cookware Worth the Money?
HexClad Review: Key Takeaways
If you don’t have time to read this entire comprehensive HexClad review, here are the key points. These insights are based on my experience testing HexClad pots and pans for several years. Throughout the full review, you’ll find videos and over a dozen pictures I captured during my testing.
Pros of HexClad
Durability: The lifespan of most non-stick cookware is 2-5 years, and if you scratch the coating with metal utensils, it can be even shorter. HexClad’s hybrid design solves this problem. Instead of having a smooth non-stick coating, the surface has raised stainless steel peaks and non-stick valleys. You can feel the texture by rubbing your hand over the hexagonal lines and dots. The idea behind this design is that the steel peaks don’t allow spatulas, tongs, and forks to touch the non-stick coating. Therefore, you can use metal utensils, and the non-stick coating will stay intact for longer.
Versatility: HexClad cooks more like non-stick cookware, but since the surface isn’t completely smooth, it grips food and sears meat better than most traditional non-stick pans. I’ve used it to cook crispy bacon, sear salmon, roast chicken, and fry chicken cutlets, and it performs similarly to stainless steel cookware. It heats up quickly, maintains a stable temperature, and delivers consistent results.
Bacon comes out perfectly crispy, and chicken and steak sear evenly. I also used it to sauté vegetables, cook pancakes, and fry eggs. Although the surface isn’t as slippery as non-stick, I had no issues with eggs sticking as long as the surface was greased with plenty of oil or butter.
Heat Conduction and Retention: I conduct a simple test with every cookware brand I review to measure how quickly and evenly it heats. I pour two cups of water into the pan and set the burner to high. HexClad performed well; not only were the bubbles uniform across the cooking surface, which indicates even heating, but it was one of the fastest pans to boil the water. Once the water began boiling, I pulled the pan off the heat and set it on the counter. After five minutes, water in the HexClad pan measured 120°F; after ten minutes, it was 102°F. As you’ll see in the results later in this review, HexClad’s heat retention is above average and better than brands like Calphalon, Hestan, and All-Clad.
Cons of HexClad
Eggs Stick Without Oil: If you don’t preheat the pan properly or use enough oil or butter, delicate foods like eggs will stick. A traditional non-stick pan doesn’t need much oil, if any, to prevent eggs from sticking. But with HexClad, you need at least some oil.
Short Handles: The handle on the 12-inch HexClad fry pan is 8 inches long. For comparison, All-Clad Non-Stick handles are 9 inches. With HexClad, your hand will be a bit closer to the heat, and while the end of the handle stays cool on the stove, it starts to get hot about 2 inches past where the handle forks.
Round Handles: The handles are round, making them comfortable, but I noticed them slipping as I tilted the pan to slide food onto a plate. If your hands are greasy or wet, or you’re holding a towel or pot holder, there’s a high risk that the handle will rotate.
Polished Handles: The steel handles have a polished finish, so smudges and fingerprints are difficult to hide. You’ll need to buff the handle regularly to keep it looking new.
Expensive: HexClad is significantly more expensive than most non-stick options on the market. However, the higher price is justified because it’s more versatile and will last longer.
Based on my experience testing HexClad, it’s not a gimmick. It’s convenient and versatile, and its unique hexagonal design allows you to use metal utensils without scratching the non-stick coating.
It can sear better than most non-stick pans and releases food better than stainless steel.
If you’re looking for a pan that releases food and cleans easier than stainless steel but lasts much longer than traditional non-stick, you’ll love HexClad.
It’s also an excellent all-purpose pan to take with you traveling or a great option if you have limited kitchen space and want to consolidate your cookware. With HexClad, you don’t need separate pans for each task.
Watch me break down the pros and cons of HexClad cookware in this quick video.
You can also watch this video on YouTube.
The thing that sets HexClad apart from the competition is its unique design. One quick look, and you can tell this cookware is special.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the 12-Inch HexClad Hybrid Fry Pan — the other pieces are designed the same, so what you see here is what you’ll get regardless of which pots, pans, or sets you buy.
HexClad’s handles are comfortable, but the round shape makes tilting the pan tricky.
On several occasions, I’ve noticed the pan rotating in my hand as I poured liquids or slid food from the pan to a plate. You must be careful when tilting, especially when your hands are wet, greasy, or wearing an oven mitt.
Brands like Made In have flatter handles that provide a more secure grip and prevent the pan from rotating in your hand. See my comparison of Made In vs. HexClad for more details.
The handles feature an angled, ergonomic design and stay cool, even when cooking with high heat. The dramatic, A-shaped spacing between the riveted connection and the rest of the handle diminishes heat transfer.
The polished stainless steel is a nice contrast against the darkness of the pan’s exterior and interior. Although it exposes fingerprints easily, a quick swipe of a microfiber cloth polishes them away.
If you like to hang your cookware, you’ll appreciate the hanging loop at the end of the handle.
Finally, the double rivets are easy to clean.
The interior of the HexClad cookware garners all of the attention. Not only because it features the innovative hybrid stainless steel and non-stick design, but also because it just looks so different from what we are used to seeing.
The flared rims are pure stainless steel and perfect for pouring sauces or draining liquid.
Along the edge of the interior, just under the rim, you’ll see a herringbone pattern of this hybrid design.
From the center of the pan to the rim, you get a mix of stainless and non-stick.
The remainder of the pan features a series of laser-etched hexagons. It may just seem like a cool design, but it’s much more.
The stainless steel perimeters of each hexagon are raised while the PFOA-free non-stick coating is recessed. The raised steel makes the first contact with food and cooking utensils, protecting the non-stick coating below.
The pan’s exterior mixes the elegance of stainless steel with the cooking surface’s hybrid pattern.
It not only delivers an aesthetically-pleasing profile, but if you get food or debris on the exterior, it’s easier to clean than a pan with an entirely stainless steel exterior.
HexClad’s lids are tempered glass with stainless steel rims and handles. The materials and finishes are both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, a small hole in the lid allows for steam release.
If you’re looking for cookware that heats fast and evenly, boasts excellent heat retention, and is easy to clean and use, HexClad checks those boxes. But — it’s not perfect.
In this section, I’ll take you through the pros and cons of HexClad cookware’s performance based on my testing over the past few years.
Searing and Browning
Pans with non-stick coating are notorious for their lack of searing power. However, that’s not an issue with HexClad.
If you don’t believe me, I tested HexClad head-to-head against All-Clad stainless steel to see which brand sears better. As you can see below, the salmon I seared in the HexClad pan came out as good, if not better, than the one I cooked in the All-Clad pan.
Here’s a closer look at the color on each piece of fish.
HexClad also does an excellent job browning chicken and frying chicken cutlets.
HexClad combines non-stick properties with stainless steel. A non-stick layer under the steel hexagons prevents food from sticking as it would on standard stainless.
But how does HexClad’s performance compare to a traditional non-stick pan?
To find out, I conducted a test.
I cooked two eggs, one in a HexClad pan and one in a traditional non-stick pan. I preheated both pans for the same amount of time and did not grease either pan with oil or butter. I wanted to see if the pans could release the eggs without any help from added fats.
Initially, neither egg stuck, but after I flipped them, the egg in the HexClad pan began to stick, and the yolk broke when I nudged it with a spatula.
Thanks to its thicker build and smooth non-stick coating, the traditional non-stick pan cooked the egg more evenly without sticking.
I cooked another egg in each pan, but this time, I greased the cooking surface with a bit of oil and butter. The eggs slid freely in both pans without any sticking.
The key takeaway is that HexClad’s non-stick valleys minimize sticking but don’t prevent it. Most proteins, including beef, chicken, and bacon, won’t stick.
But when cooking eggs, fish, or other delicate foods, you need to grease the pan with oil or butter.
Heat Conduction and Retention
The combination of the fully-clad construction and the innovative hybrid surface delivers quick, even heating.
The aluminum core is designed to excel at low, medium, and medium-high heat. It’s not a pan you use with high heat. Not only will you create an environment ripe for sticking, but high heat can degrade the non-stick surface.
With these pans, a little heat goes a long way.
To see how HexClad compares to the competition regarding heat conduction, I conducted a simple test.
Then, I placed each pan on the same-sized burner and turned the heat to high. My goal was to see which pan boiled the water the quickest.
Here are the results:
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Made In fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Anolon fry pan||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 27 seconds|
|HexClad fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 30 seconds|
|T-fal fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||1 minute and 58 seconds||2 minutes and 32 seconds|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||1 minute and 47 seconds||2 minutes and 36 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Hestan fry pan||1 minute and 52 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|GreenLife pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||2 minutes and 47 seconds|
|Circulon fry pan||2 minutes and 7 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|All-Clad skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minutes and 55 seconds|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||2 minutes and 3 seconds||3 minutes and 10 seconds|
|Ballarini fry pan||2 minutes and 15 seconds||3 minutes and 12 seconds|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||3 minutes and 25 seconds|
Although it was close, the HexClad pan was one of the first to boil. Only Made In, Misen, and Anolon pans boiled water faster than HexClad.
After each pan reached a boil, I remove them from the heat and set them on the counter. After five minutes, water in the HexClad pan measured 120.7°F and after ten minutes it was 102.4°F.
As you can see in the results below, HexClad’s heat retention is above average and better than brands like Calphalon, Hestan, and All-Clad.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Made In fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Rachael Ray fry pan||126.3°F||102.7°F|
|HexClad fry pan||120.7°F||102.4°F|
|Circulon fry pan||133.3°F||102.0°F|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Calphalon fry pan||112.8°F||101.1°F|
|Ballarini fry pan||120°F||99.9°F|
|Hestan fry pan||114°F||98°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119°F||95°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113°F||95°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|T-fal fry pan||108.7°F||88.0°F|
The key takeaway is that HexClad conducts and retains heat as well (if not better) than some of the more established brands on the market.
HexClad’s 3-ply fully-clad construction offers a sturdy feel and good heft. The 10-inch pan weighs 2.5 pounds. It’s light enough to maneuver easily but still has enough weight to sit flat on the cooktop and retain heat well.
The walls are 3 mm thick, which is similar to high-end brands like All-Clad and Made In.
You’d never mistake these pans for cheap department-store cookware. They’re so reliable that Michelin-star chefs trust them in their kitchens.
Thanks to the stainless steel peaks that protect the non-stick valleys, you can run a metal spatula or utensils across the surface without the risk of damage.
HexClad’s durability not only increases its overall value but also makes it more convenient.
Let’s say you decide to bake a quesadilla in the frying pan. Although I wouldn’t recommend it, you can use a metal pizza cutter to cut it into slices and serve from the pan.
What Others Are Saying
HexClad has gained popularity in recent years due to its innovative construction.
Over time, HexClad has appeared in top cookware roundups and has been mentioned by respected cookware reviewers.
Here are just a few accolades to its credit:
Gordon Ramsay, the outspoken Michelin-star chef and TV personality, recently became the lead spokesperson for HexClad. He claims to use HexClad pans in his home and says, “their hybrid technology cooks to absolute, utter perfection.”
CNN Underscored calls the HexClad 10-Inch Hybrid Fry Pan the Best Restaurant-Quality Pan. Reviewers praised its even heat distribution, food release, and easy-to-clean design. According to reviewers, it’s a “pro-level upgrade…wrapped in a pretty package.”
Reviewed.com, a USA Today brand, named HexClad the best overall hybrid cookware set, ranking it among well-established brands like All-Clad, Cuisinart, and Hestan. The review team praised its even heating, ergonomic handles, and ability to tolerate metal utensils without damage.
Consumer Reports tested the 10-Inch HexClad Hybrid Fry Pan and noted excellent results in even heating, non-stick durability, and handle temperature staying, which stayed cool enough to touch without a potholder.
The New York Times tested HexClad, and they were impressed with its unique design but not its performance. They pointed out that eggs stick when the cooking surface is not well seasoned (which we noticed, too), and the pancakes they cooked during testing showed signs of uneven heating.
The HexClad 7-Piece Hybrid Set with Lids and Wok is on Oprah’s Favorite Things list. Oprah called the concept of healthy home cooking with HexClad “so hot.”
HexClad has many benefits, but the price is a major sticking point for some. It’s one of the pricer cookware brands I’ve come across (and I’ve tested and reviewed dozens).
It’s comparable to premium cookware brands like All-Clad and Mauviel and, in some cases, more expensive. It’s significantly more costly than almost all non-stick options on the market.
Although the hybrid approach to protecting the non-stick layer with stainless steel will extend the cookware’s life, it will still wear down over time.
Sure, you can break up the cost by financing your purchase and paying over time through Bread, HexClad’s payment plan partner, but it’s still a hefty investment.
Here are a few downsides to consider before you move forward with HexClad cookware:
Price: This is the biggest downside of HexClad. It’s an expensive offering for a startup, especially for cookware that contains non-stick material. Even with the stainless steel protection, at some point, the non-stick material will degrade, and the pan will need to be replaced (although the warranty covers most issues).
Food Sticks: This is the second biggest complaint among home chefs. The sticking is due to the stainless steel component. You must avoid high heat to get the best results, season the pan periodically, and keep it very clean. In short, treat it like stainless steel.
Prone to Warping: When I first took the HexClad pan out of its box, I immediately noticed that the cooking surface wasn’t completely flat. Instead, it bowed upwards in the center. I was surprised to see this because fully-clad steel pans like these (especially expensive pans) typically don’t warp. Although it doesn’t have a major impact on cooking, oil and other liquids flow to the edges of the pan and won’t stay in the center. So it’s more challenging to grease the pan evenly. I searched thousands of other reviews, and only a handful mentioned this issue. Still, it makes me question HexClad’s quality control.
Discoloration: Like regular stainless steel cookware, the steel portion of HexClad gets stained and requires significant scrubbing. Burnt oil and tiny food particles are the biggest culprits. If that happens, follow these methods to restore your pan.
Heavy: At four pounds, it has a bit of heft for a 12-inch fry pan that some may find cumbersome. For comparison, a 12.5-inch Hestan Stainless Steel Skillet weighs in at three pounds and eight ounces, and a 12-Inch Scanpan Non-Stick Fry Pan weighs just over three pounds.
Short Handles: HexClad handles are relatively short. The handle on the 12-inch fry pan is 8 inches long. For comparison, All-Clad Non-Stick handles are 9 inches. Your hand will be a bit closer to the heat, and while the end of the handle stays cool on the stove, it starts to get hot about 2 inches past where the handle forks.
Round Handles: The handles are round, which makes them comfortable, but I’ve noticed my hand slipping several times as I slid food onto a plate. If your hands are greasy or wet, or you’re holding a towel or pot holder, there’s a high risk that the handle will rotate. The round handles work fine for most cooking techniques, but you’ll need to be extra careful when tilting the pan.
Polished Handles: The last thing I’ll mention about the handles is that the steel is polished. The finish looks excellent at first, but the shiny finish quickly gets smudges and fingerprints all over it. You’ll need to buff the handle regularly to keep it looking new.
Unproven Track Record: At the end of the day, HexClad is still an unproven brand. It makes bold claims about durability, but only time will verify the validity. In a few years, you’ll be able to see if this innovative hybrid construction is as viable as it sounds.
HexClad Cookware FAQs
Before giving you my final recommendation, let’s walk through the most frequently asked questions about HexClad.
HexClad, with its interconnected hexagonal stainless steel/non-stick design, is one of the first hybrid cookware brands on the market.
It boasts a three-ply construction with an exterior layer of magnetic steel, an aluminum core, and the patented hybrid surface: laser-etched peaks of high-quality stainless steel and PFOA-free non-stick valleys.
The non-stick materials are made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is a completely safe material used to make most non-stick coatings. The only warning with PTFE is that you should never heat it above 500°F
HexClad offers only one cookware collection, but within it are multi-piece sets and individual pots and pans. Here’s what the brand currently offers (view all on options on HexClad.com):
– 13-Piece Cookware Set with Lids
– 7-Piece Cookware Set with Lids and Wok
– 6-Piece Pot Set
– 14-Inch Pan with Lid
– 12-Inch Pan
– 10-Inch Pan
– 8-Inch Pan
– 12-Inch Lid
– 10-Inch Lid
– 8-Inch Lid
– 14-Inch Wok with Lid
– 12-Inch Wok with Lid
– 12-Inch Wok
-12-Inch Griddle Pan
All cookware features the same stateless steel and non-stick hybrid design. Lids are tempered glass with stainless steel handles.
HexClad is designed in Los Angeles, California, and manufactured in China.
HexClad pots and pans are oven-safe up to 500°F. The tempered glass lids are oven-safe up to 300°F.
HexClad cookware, including lids, is dishwasher safe, making cleanup convenient and easy. However, with premium cookware like this, I always recommend hand washing. The high temperatures, steam, and harsh detergents inside the dishwasher can shorten its life.
All HexClad pots and pans are designed with a magnetic steel exterior suitable for induction cooking.
HexClad offers a limited lifetime warranty that covers defects in materials and craftsmanship. It does not cover surface imperfection and normal wear-and-tear that don’t impact performance. I spoke with HexClad to clarify their warranty terms, and they told me, “Our warranty is a performance warranty. Any problems that affect performance, we cover.” In other words, if the non-stick coating gets scratched after five years and that scratch causes food to stick, you’re covered.
HexClad offers a 30-day return policy with a money-back guarantee. The one downside is that you have to pay for return shipping.
HexClad is a startup that continues to gain popularity due to its innovative look, performance, and hybrid design. The HexClad trademark was filed in 2016 by co-founders Daniel Winer and Cole Mecray.
After discovering the technology behind HexClad, they began working with the inventor to provide a unique product with the best that non-stick and stainless steel has to offer: ease of use and clean up, superior searing and browning, unmatched durability, and excellent heat control.
HexClad vs. Anolon X
Since launching in 2016, HexClad has become one of the most popular cookware brands. But with that success comes competition.
Anolon, a well-established leader in the non-stick cookware industry, released Anolon X in 2021 to take advantage of consumer interest in this new category.
Like HexClad, Anolon X integrates a stainless steel pattern into its non-stick cooking surface. Although these pans look similar, there are some key differences:
- Anolon X pans are made with a hard-anodized aluminum base; HexClad’s base is 3-ply stainless steel.
- With HexClad, the top layer of steel is laser etched to create the steel peaks. Anolon X’s design is created by fusing a steel mesh into the non-stick coating.
- Unlike HexClad, Anolon’s steel mesh is only on the flat part of the cooking surface; it does not extend throughout. So there’s no protection from scratching if you accidentally scrape the walls.
- Anolon X handles are much flatter, with a slight curve to rest your thumb. This design provides a more secure grip and reduces the risk of the pan rotating in your hand.
- Based on my testing, eggs stick to Anolon X pans more than HexClad.
- Anolon X pans are between 40% and 80% cheaper.
Bottom Line: Is HexClad Cookware Worth the Money?
HexClad has a growing number of fans, and it’s not hard to see why.
It boasts an innovative pairing of the best qualities of stainless steel and high-quality non-stick. It has excellent heat conduction and retention, durability, and versatility.
Yet, even with accolades and its increasing popularity, HexClad might not be right for everyone.
So, the question is: Is HexClad worth the money?
If you’re looking for a true non-stick pan to cook eggs with little oil, or you’re looking for a stainless steel pan that you can buy once and use forever, you’ll be disappointed with HexClad.
If you’re looking for a pan that releases food and cleans easier than stainless steel but lasts much longer than traditional non-stick, you’ll love HexClad.
It’s also a great option if you have limited space in your kitchen and are looking to consolidate your cookware. With HexClad, you don’t need separate pans for each task.
That said, HexClad is expensive and is not worth buying in all scenarios.
You can save more and have more control over the results by purchasing a high-quality non-stick and stainless steel pan. In many cases, those two pans will cost less than one HexClad hybrid pan. The two pans will take up more space in your kitchen, but you get better durability with the stainless steel pan and better food release with the non-stick pan.
Does that mean you shouldn’t give HexClad a try? Not necessary. Here’s how to decide if it’s right for you.
You should buy HexClad cookware if:
- You aren’t on a budget and prefer higher-end cookware
- You like non-stick cookware but are looking for a more durable option
- You enjoy trying new, innovative products
- You want stainless steel-like results with less sticking
- You prefer all-purpose cookware over specialized cookware
- You like the idea of being able to use metal utensils
- You’re a fan of Gordon Ramsay and trust the cookware he endorses
You should NOT buy HexClad cookware if:
- You’re on a budget and looking for a lower-cost alternative with similar performance
- You expect it to have the same food release performance as traditional non-stick
- You want a non-stick pan that is PTFE-free, such as natural ceramic
- You prefer to buy cookware brands that have been around for years with proven durability
Bottom Line — if you find the hybrid technology intriguing and can afford it, HexClad is worth a try. If you don’t love it, HexClad offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
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