HexClad and Made In are two of the most popular cookware brands, but for different reasons.
HexClad is the leader in hybrid cookware, which combines the strengths (and weaknesses) of non-stick and stainless steel.
Made In partners with professional chefs and highly skilled craftsmen to make premium cookware at fair prices.
So which brand is better? Which should you buy?
This in-depth comparison of Made In vs. HexClad highlights the key differences between the brands. You’ll learn how their cookware compares in construction, design, performance, price, and more.
Use the links below to navigate the comparison:
- Made In vs. HexClad: Comparison Chart
- Difference 1: Product Offerings
- Difference 2: Cooking Surface
- Difference 3: Design
- Difference 4: Cooking Performance
- Difference 5: Heat Conduction and Retention
- Difference 6: Oven-Safe Temperature
- Difference 7: Metal Utensil-Safe
- Difference 8: Company History
- Difference 9: Downsides
- Difference 10: Price
- What Others Say About HexClad and Made In
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Made In or HexClad?
Here’s a quick comparison of HexClad vs. Made In.
|Product Offerings||Only one collection: Hybrid (a combination of stainless steel and PTFE non-stick)||Stainless steel, non-stick, carbon steel, copper, enameled cast iron|
|Base Materials||3-ply stainless steel||5-ply stainless steel, carbon steel, copper, or cast iron|
|Cooking Surface Materials||Hybrid of stainless steel and non-stick||Stainless steel, 2-layer PTFE non-stick, enamel|
|Cooking Surface Design||Raised hexagons||Smooth and uniform|
|Handle Design||Rounded, polished stainless steel||Flat, brushed stainless steel|
|Thickness||3 mm||3 mm|
|Weight of 12-Inch Fry Pan||4 lb||3.4 lb|
|Cooking Performance||Versatile, but not the best option for eggs or delicate foods||Each pan type performs as well as the best brands in its class|
|Oven-Safe Temperature||Up to 500°F||500-1200°F|
|Metal Utensil-Safe||Yes||Yes (except Non-Stick)|
|Induction Compatible||Yes||Yes (except Copper)|
|Dishwasher Safe||Yes||Only Stainless Steel|
|Company History||Introduced in the U.S. in 2016||Launched in 2017|
|Where It Is Made||China||USA, Italy, France|
|Price||$$$$ (HexClad.com, Amazon)||$$$ (MadeInCookware.com, Amazon)|
|More Details||In-Depth HexClad Review||In-Depth Made In Review|
HexClad offers one cookware type: hybrid (a mix of stainless steel and non-stick). You can buy cookware sets or individual pieces, but they all have the same construction and design.
HexClad cookware features 3-ply construction with a magnetic stainless steel exterior, a heat-conductive aluminum core, and a hybrid stainless steel and PTFE non-stick cooking surface (I’ll discuss this in the next section).
HexClad also makes knives, knife sets, cookware tools/accessories, and spices. You can see the complete product line at HexClad.com.
If you want more variety, Made In offers five cookware types:
Stainless Steel: Made In’s stainless clad cookware features five layers:
- Heat-conductive aluminum alloy core sandwiched by two layers of pure aluminum
- Non-reactive, food-grade 304, 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface
- Exterior layer of induction-compatible 430 stainless steel on the bottom
Key benefits to this construction:
- Quick and even heating
- Superior heat conduction and retention
- Durable (can last a lifetime)
- Magnetic exterior (430 stainless steel) works with induction cooktops
Non-stick: Made In’s non-stick cookware has the same base as the stainless steel cookware. So you get fully-clad stainless steel pots and pans with the added benefit of a 2-layer, PTFE-based non-stick cooking surface.
Key benefits to this construction:
- Quick and even heating
- Superior heat conduction and retention
- Excellent food release
- Easy cleanup
- Induction compatible
Carbon steel: Made In’s Carbon Steel cookware is made from a steel alloy of 99% iron and 1% carbon. The small amount of carbon fortifies the iron.
Carbon steel is a unique construction because, although it is lighter than cast iron, it matches its high-heat tolerance and durability. It heats up quickly and evenly, just like stainless steel. And it delivers non-stick performance with seasoning — a layer of baked-on oil that bonds to the interior cooking surface, improving food release.
Copper: The copper cookware from Made In has a 90/10 construction: 90% of the cookware is made from copper and 10% from stainless steel. It features a copper exterior and base, while the cooking surface is 18/10 stainless steel. Other brands line their copper pans with tin, but tin is less durable than steel (and re-tinning can be expensive when it wears out).
Key benefits to this construction:
- Quick heating
- Stellar heat response (temperature in pan changes simultaneously with a heat source)
- Saves energy (only requires low to medium heat)
Enameled Cast Iron: Made In offers enameled cast iron cookware with a thick cast iron core and an enamel finish on the interior and exterior. The enamel coating is applied by hand.
Key benefits to this construction:
- The enamel keeps it non-reactive (acidic foods can strip away the seasoning on bare cast iron, making it reactive)
- Excellent heat retention
- High-heat cooking
Made In also makes knives, knife sets, bakeware, dinnerware, utensils, drinkware, and cookware cleaning products. View all that Made In offers at MadeInCookware.com or learn more in my Made In stainless steel, non-stick, and carbon steel reviews.
Difference 2: Cooking Surface
Made In pots and pans have a smooth cooking surface. The non-stick pans feature a dual-layer PTFE non-stick professional coating. The coating is uniformly smooth across the entire interior.
HexClad’s surface isn’t smooth like Made In. The bottom layer is a PTFE-based non-stick coating reinforced with diamond dust for added strength. The top layer is a network of tiny, raised stainless steel hexagons (hence the name, HexClad).
This pattern is throughout the pan’s interior up to an area near the rim, where you’ll find a solid stainless steel band. The brand refers to the surface as stainless steel peaks and non-stick valleys.
The raised stainless steel peaks protect the PTFE non-stick surface below, keeping spatulas, tongs, and forks from scratching the non-stick coating.
HexClad claims the uneven surface provides superior searing because it keeps food in place (I found this accurate in my testing; more on that in a minute).
Difference 3: Design
Made In cookware features a much more traditional design than HexClad. Here’s what you can expect with each Made In cookware type.
Stainless steel: The cookware, including the handles, features a brushed stainless finish. The Made In logo is stamped on the bottom of the pan.
Copper: The collection features a polished copper exterior with polished stainless steel handles and a brushed stainless interior.
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Non-stick: The non-stick collection has a brushed stainless exterior and a dual-layer non-stick interior in black or dark blue.
Carbon steel: The carbon steel cookware has a blue-black tint initially, but it will develop a patina as you cook. A patina is a color change caused by oxidation. It can have a multi-color tone of blue, brown, green, or other colors.
Enameled cast iron: The enameled cast iron collection boasts a glossy enamel exterior and currently comes in five colors: blood orange, ash grey, antique white, harbour blue, and Made In red. The interiors of the cookware are either white or black. The interior lids of the Dutch ovens have small bumps to distribute moisture evenly.
Made In handles on the stainless, non-stick, and copper cookware are double-riveted and designed for ergonomic comfort. They are flat on the top and bottom and slightly curved on the sides. This design ensures the handle won’t slip or rotate when you tilt the pan.
Made In carbon steel handles are much thinner and flatter and are attached with three rivets instead of two.
They feature a rounded upward curve to keep your hand away from the heat, but the angle is so high that you need extra room between oven racks to fit the pan.
HexClad offers one design — cookware with a hexagon-patterned cooking surface featuring stainless steel peaks and non-stick valleys.
Most pots and pans also feature this pattern on the exterior, while others are finished in polished stainless steel.
HexClad offers double-riveted stay-cool handles and tempered glass lids. 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 HexClad handle will rotate. It’s not an issue for most cooking, but you’ll need to be extra careful when tilting the pan.
Difference 4: Cooking Performance
I’ve been cooking with Made In and HexClad pots and pans for several years, and here’s how they stack up in the kitchen.
Made In stainless steel cookware performs exactly how you’d expect high-end cookware to perform. It heats up fast and evenly and retains heat really well. When you add a cold steak to the pan, it stays hot and delivers an excellent sear.
The handles stay cool, and if you use the proper techniques, food doesn’t stick.
Made In’s non-stick cookware has the same base construction as the stainless steel line, so you get the same conduction and retention. But due to its non-stick coating, you also get excellent food release.
I’ve used these pans to make eggs, fish, pancakes, and other delicate foods with zero sticking. Even after years of use, eggs slide around like a hockey puck.
Most non-stick cookware doesn’t sear well because it’s made with a thin aluminum base, but since Made In is made with a thick 5-ply stainless steel base, it cooks salmon, shrimp, steak, and other proteins almost as well as the brand’s stainless steel pans.
HexClad pans also perform well, but their strength is versatility. It 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, brown and roast chicken, and fry chicken cutlets, and it heats up quickly, maintains a stable temperature, and delivers consistent results.
Although the surface isn’t as slippery as non-stick, I had no issues with eggs sticking to the HexClad pan as long as the surface was greased with plenty of oil or butter.
With Made In non-stick, you need little (if any) oil or butter to cook eggs without sticking. But with HexClad, you need to grease the pan a fair amount.
Made In handles are comfortable and feel secure in my hand. HexClad handles are too round and difficult to grip when holding a towel or wearing an oven mitt.
You need to be careful when pouring hot pasta into a strainer or sauces from the pan into a dish. As you rotate a HexClad pan, you need to grip the handle tightly to prevent it from rotating.
Overall, Made In and HexClad perform well but are quite different.
HexClad is an all-purpose pan you can use for every type of dish. It releases food better than a traditional stainless steel pan but not as well as a non-stick pan. And it sears better than non-stick, but not as well as stainless steel. With HexClad, you get the best of both worlds (non-stick and stainless steel), but you also get the worst of them.
Made In stainless steel and carbon steel perform better than HexClad for searing because the meat maintains direct contact with the hot surface (rather than sitting on top of a raised texture). And with a completely smooth surface, Made In non-stick offers better food release for eggs and delicate foods.
Difference 5: Heat Conduction and Retention
In addition to real-world testing, I conducted two experiments with Made In and HexClad to see which brand conducts and retains heat better.
For the first test, I poured two cups of cold water (55°F) into each pan. Then I placed both pans on the stove and set the heat to high.
The water in the Made In pan started bubbling after one minute and 40 seconds and boiled after two minutes and 21 seconds.
The water in the HexClad pan also started bubbling after one minute and 40 seconds and came to a full boil after two minutes and 30 seconds.
I conduct this test with every cookware brand I review, and as you can see in the results below, Made In and HexClad heat faster than most.
|Pan||Time to First Bubbles||Time to Boil|
|Farberware||1 minute and 2 seconds||1 minute and 29 seconds|
|Made In stainless steel fry pan||1 minute and 40 seconds||2 minutes and 21 seconds|
|Anolon X pan||1 minute and 35 seconds||2 minutes and 22 seconds|
|Misen fry pan||1 minute and 50 seconds||2 minutes and 25 seconds|
|Caraway||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 26 seconds|
|Anolon Advanced 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|
|Made In non-stick fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 31 seconds|
|Zwilling fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 31 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|
|Viking fry pan||1 minute and 42 seconds||2 minute and 39 seconds|
|Calphalon fry pan||1 minute and 45 seconds||2 minutes and 40 seconds|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||2 minute and 2 seconds||2 minute and 46 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|
|Our Place Always Pan||2 minutes and 2 seconds||2 minutes and 48 seconds|
|Tramontina fry pan||1 minute and 53 seconds||2 minutes and 52 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|
|Heritage Steel fry pan||1 minutes and 59 seconds||3 minutes and 15 seconds|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||2 minutes and 11 seconds||3 minutes and 25 seconds|
The second test measures heat retention, which is essential for searing and browning. You want pans that stay hot as you add cold ingredients. Food cooks more evenly when the heat remains stable and doesn’t fluctuate.
For this test, I removed both pans from the heat and set them on the counter to cool.
I measured the water temperature in both pans at the five- and ten-minute marks.
As you can see in the results below, Made In retains heat slightly better than HexClad. However, both brands outperformed the majority of the competition.
|Pan||Temperature After 5 Minutes||Temperature After 10 Minutes|
|Made In stainless steel fry pan||121.1°F||106.6°F|
|Demeyere Atlantis fry pan||122.0°F||106.3°F|
|Made In non-stick fry pan||120.2°F||105.8°F|
|Misen fry pan||118.6°F||103.4°F|
|Zwilling fry pan||121.1°F||103.0°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|
|Tramontina fry pan||118.5°F||101.3°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|
|Demeyere Industry fry pan||115.2°F||96.6°F|
|Our Place Always Pan||118.0°F||96.7°F|
|Caraway fry pan||116.6°F||96.4°F|
|Anolon X pan||114.1°F||96.0°F|
|Viking fry pan||106.6°F||95.9°F|
|Farberware fry pan||112.0°F||95.4°F|
|GreenLife fry pan||119.0°F||95.0°F|
|Gotham Steel fry pan||113.0°F||95.0°F|
|Anolon fry pan||112.7°F||90.9°F|
|Pioneer Woman fry pan||104.3°F||90.9°F|
|T-fal fry pan||108.7°F||88.0°F|
These tests confirm what I observed in the kitchen: both brands heat fast and evenly and retain heat well.
Difference 6: Oven-Safe Temperature
HexClad cookware is oven-safe up to 500°F, but it’s not broiler-safe.
Made In’s oven-safe temperatures vary by cookware type:
- Stainless clad and copper: 800°F
- Non-stick: 500°F
- Carbon steel: 1200°F
- Enameled cast iron: 580°F
The range of oven-safe temperatures gives you options. For example, you can broil with the stainless, copper, and carbon steel options. The carbon steel can even handle cooking over a campfire.
Difference 7: Metal Utensil-Safe
HexClad claims its cookware is metal utensil-safe because the stainless steel peaks protect the non-stick valleys.
However, the brand cautions against using pointed metal utensils, such as tongs and forks, which could scratch the surface and cause cosmetic damage.
Made In non-stick and enameled cast iron pots and pans are not metal utensil-safe. You can use metal utensils with its stainless, copper, and carbon steel cookware.
Difference 8: Company History
Made In launched in 2017 as a direct-to-consumer company. Founded by friends Chip Malt and Jake Kalick, the duo disrupted the premium cookware market with affordable, high-quality cookware.
The company still sells direct, which keeps prices down. However, a lower price does not mean a loss of quality. Made In partners with multi-generation family businesses in regions known for their cookware artisans, such as the United States, Italy, Sweden, and France.
Made In also collaborates with Michelin-star and top chefs like Grant Achatz and Tom Colicchio to ensure the cookware provides a restaurant-quality experience at home.
HexClad began selling its innovative hybrid cookware technology in 2009. Co-founder and HexClad CEO, Danny Winer, and co-founder Cole Mecray officially launched the brand in the United States in 2017. All HexClad cookware is designed in Los Angeles and made in China.
In 2021, they brought on celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay to be the brand’s lead spokesperson. He claims to use the cookware at home, in his cooking shows, and in some of his restaurants, and says, “their hybrid technology cooks to absolute, utter perfection.” His involvement continues to increase the popularity of the brand.
Difference 9: Downsides
Made In and HexClad both make quality cookware, but no product is perfect.
Here are the downsides of each brand:
Unforgiving: The 5-ply construction delivers superior heat conduction — it heats quickly and rapidly responds to temperature changes. Usually, that’s a good thing, but if your heat is too high, it’s easy to overheat the pan and burn your food. It may take some practice to get your heat control just right.
Shallow pan walls: Made In’s fry pan walls have a shallow slope. Along with the flared rims, it’s easy to spill food when you move the pan, such as when transferring it from the cooktop to the oven.
Heavy: Made In pans are built solid with thick, heavy walls. The 12-inch fry pan weighs over 3 pounds. If you’re looking for less hefty pans you can easily maneuver, check out my guide to the best lightweight cookware.
Not Available In Stores: Made In recently opened a branded shop in Austin, Texas, near its headquarters, but it’s not available in any other retail stores. So you can’t pick it up and look at it in person before you buy it. Fortunately, they offer a generous 45-day return policy.
High Price: HexClad claims its cookware is built to last a lifetime, but the non-stick portion of the cooking surface will eventually wear down, and food will stick even more. So you need to
factor that in when evaluating the overall value. Some non-stick pans cost less than a third of HexClad. Will HexClad last three times longer? They claim it will, but the brand hasn’t been around long enough to prove it.
Food sticks: Without plenty of oil or butter, eggs and other delicate ingredients will stick to HexClad. Made In non-stick is much more beginner-friendly.
Warped bottom: I noticed the cooking surface was warped when I opened the package. I contacted HexClad, who confirmed “the pans are designed to be concave out of the box. As heat is added to the pan, it flattens out. If the pan was created flat from the start, it would end up becoming convex.”
Although I was skeptical about their explanation, they were correct. After the first or second time using the pan, the bottom flattened out. I’ve never noticed this with any other pans I’ve tested, but it seems intentional with HexClad.
So if you think your pans are warped when they arrive, cook with them a few times, and they should flatten out. If not, this is covered under warranty.
Handles: The handles are short and round. If your hand is wet or oily, the pan can easily slip. It also feels unstable when you are wearing an oven mitt. Plus, fingerprints and smudges are more noticeable due to the polished steel.
Difference 10: Price
HexClad pans are significantly more expensive than most non-stick brands. They justify the high prices because the stainless steel peaks protect the non-stick coating, extending the cookware’s life.
However, it’s still pricey for a non-stick/hybrid pan made in China.
Made In is not cheap, but its stainless steel and non-stick pans are less expensive than HexClad. And considering the stainless steel cookware can last forever, it’s a much better value.
Made In’s Copper collection is more expensive than HexClad, but this is common because copper is such a costly metal.
Whether you decide to buy Made In or HexClad, the exact price depends on whether there are sales or promotions when you’re ready to purchase. If you sign up for the free Prudent Reviews newsletter, we’ll let you know when they go on sale.
Compare the current prices of Made In and HexClad at the links below:
What Others Say About HexClad and Made In
Made In and HexClad frequently top independent outlets’ best cookware lists. Here’s a snapshot of what other reviewers and product testers think about both brands.
In a list of the best cookware sets, Food Network chose Made In’s non-stick set as the best splurge starter set. Reviewers liked the large pot sizes and versatility of cookware in the set. They also praised the restaurant-grade look, feel, and performance. They thought the double-riveted handles were comfortable, but noted the need to scrub around the rivets in the pan to remove oil and food debris.
Good Housekeeping named Made In’s non-stick set the best overall. They praised its fully-clad stainless steel construction, excellent food release, consistent cooking performance, induction compatibility, and low maintenance. They didn’t like that the stainless steel exterior became stained from high heat use.
CNN Underscored called HexClad the best restaurant-quality non-stick pan in its list of the best non-stick pans. Reviewers called the cookware sturdy, noting high performance in every cooking test. It got high marks for its non-stick quality, easy cleanup, and even heat distribution.
Made In topped The Strategist’s list of the best cookware sets. The 13-piece Stainless Set was celebrated for its toughness — it still looked new after years of use. The set contains a mix of options, from clad stainless steel to lightweight carbon steel, so it’s versatile. The even heating, comfortable handles, and durability made it the top choice.
Esquire named the best cookware brands worth buying and chose Made In and HexClad as must-haves. Esquire called Made In the “bang for your buck” brand because it offers everything you need to make a great meal and delivers restaurant-quality cookware at an affordable price.
Esquire named HexClad as the best celebrity-endorsed cookware brand. Chef Gordon Ramsay is the lead brand ambassador for HexClad and calls the cookware “the Rolls Royce of pans.” The hybrid surface is unique, combining the best attributes of stainless steel and non-stick.
Now that you know the key differences between Made In and HexClad, it’s time to decide which option is better for you.
If you want the best performance, whether searing, browning, roasting, sautéing, frying, or broiling, go with Made In.
Its stainless steel, carbon steel, and enameled cast iron cookware is ideal for searing, browning, and high-heat cooking, while the non-stick pans provide the best food release for eggs and fish.
HexClad offers a better sear than most non-stick pans and has better food release than stainless steel, but it’s not the best option for either scenario.
Bottom line — Made In is the better option for most home cooks. You can buy a stainless steel and non-stick pan for just a little more than one HexClad pan. But with both pans, you get better results and more versatility.
That said, HexClad is an excellent option if you don’t have the space for multiple types of cookware and want one all-purpose pan to consolidate.
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