In this in-depth review, I break down the pros and cons of HexClad cookware.
You’ll learn everything there is to know about this innovative cookware, including:
- What it’s made of and how it’s produced
- How it looks, feels, and performs
- What I like and dislike about it
- What others are saying
- How much it costs
- And much more
So, if you’re intrigued by the unique design of HexClad but not sure if it’s the right cookware for you, keep reading.
Use these links below to navigate the review:
- What Others Are Saying
- HexClad Cookware FAQs
- Bottom Line: Is HexClad Cookware Worth the Money?
The thing I love most about HexClad is its unique design.
One quick look, and you can tell this cookware is special.
I could go on and on, but the best way to explain the design is to show you.
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.
I’m a huge fan of the size and shape of HexClad handles. It’s the perfect design for comfort; when a pan feels good, you’ll no doubt use it more often.
The handle is thick and round but not overly long, so it’s perfect for both small or large hands.
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.
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 to give you a realistic view of what you can expect.
HexClad’s 3-ply fully-clad construction offers a sturdy feel and good heft. 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.
You can use this pan on gas, electric, ceramic, and induction ranges.
It’s also designed to go from cooktop to a max temperature of 500°F in the oven. Plus, the pan is stylish enough to serve in.
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|
|HexClad 12-inch fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 30 seconds|
|All-Clad 12-inch skillet||1 minute and 55 seconds||2 minute and 55 seconds|
|Calphalon 12-inch fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minute and 40 seconds|
|Misen 10-inch fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minute and 45 seconds|
Although it was close, the HexClad pan was the first to show signs of bubbling and the quickest to boil.
After each pan reached a boil, I poured out the water and placed the pans on the countertop. After five minutes, I put the palm of my hand on the cooking surface to find out which pan retained the most heat.
The Misen pan was the warmest, HexClad came in second, and All-Clad and Calphalon tied for third.
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 (and a fellow startup in Misen).
Searing and Browning
I’ve tested the 12-Inch HexClad Fry Pan, and though it gives good results in terms of searing and browning, it does not beat the performance of a fully-clad, high-quality stainless steel pan like All-Clad or Made In.
The uneven cooking surface and mix of stainless steel and PFOA-free non-stick provide a small amount of space between ingredients and the pan, and that space is the difference between a good and great sear.
HexClad pans feature-stick valleys, but the addition of stainless steel can present a sticky situation. Expect a learning curve when using this cookware, so here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Keep heat at low to medium.
- Season the pan before first use and every so often as needed.
- Periodically, perform a deep clean with an abrasive sponge.
- Use at least a tablespoon of a high smoke point oil for best results.
The non-stick valleys minimize sticking, but they do not prevent it. As you can see below, unless you grease the pan heavily and cook on medium, eggs will stick.
Standard non-stick pans offer superior release, but HexClad’s hybrid pan offers better non-stick performance than stainless steel alone.
If you notice food build-up, it might be because of aerosol cooking sprays. Ditch them for regular oil instead. If you prefer the control you get with cooking spray, consider an oil sprayer and fill it with your favorite cooking oil.
Overall, HexClad pots and pans perform well. HexClad cookware is a great all-purpose solution that looks good on your cooktop. It’s not a specialized pan, but it’s versatile.
What Others Are Saying
HexClad has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to its innovative construction. It’s endorsed by Chef Kevin Meehan, owner of Kali, a Michelin-star restaurant in Los Angeles.
Over time, it has appeared in top cookware roundups and has been mentioned by respected cookware reviewers.
Here are just a few accolades to its credit:
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.”
Good Housekeeping rated the top non-stick cookware, and HexClad took the top spot as the Best Hybrid Non-stick Cookware. Reviewers pointed out their satisfaction with heat performance and non-stick quality and also noted how the exterior design “helps prevent staining and allows for easier cleanup.”
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 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.
Check out this chart for up to date pricing on HexClad cookware:
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.
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.
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.
Not Ideal for Searing: It’s not the best choice for searing. For that, you’ll need stainless steel or cast iron. Yet, it’s better than traditional non-stick for searing. Searing is best when meat sits completely flat on the cooking surface, allowing the crust to form. But the mixture of stainless and non-stick coating prevents that from fully happening.
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.
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. In other words, the warranty won’t cover scratched or degraded non-stick coating.
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.
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?
Although it’s quality all-purpose cookware, I believe HexClad is overpriced and not worth the money for most home cooks.
You can buy a high-quality non-stick and stainless steel pan for less than the cost of one HexClad hybrid pan. The two pans will take up more space in your kitchen, but you’ll get better searing performance 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 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.
- HexClad vs. All-Clad: Which Cookware Is Better?
- HexClad vs. Misen Cookware: An In-Depth Comparison
- HexClad vs. Calphalon: Which Cookware Is Better?
- HexClad vs. GreenPan Cookware: An In-Depth Comparison
- The Definitive Guide to the Best Cookware Brands
- Misen Cookware In-Depth Review (With Pictures)
- Is Made In Cookware Any Good? An In-Depth and Unbiased Review
- HexClad vs. Scanpan: Which Cookware Is Better?