Cook's Illustrated

The Best 12-Inch Stainless-Steel Skillet

We love stainless-steel skillets. They’re our top choice for achieving golden, uniform browning and developing fond, the secret weapon of chefs. Those browned bits of stuck food are the source of deeply flavorful dishes and pan sauces—but only if you have a high-quality skillet; bad pans leave fond that’s skimpy or scorched.

Our longtime winner is the All-Clad d3 Stainless Steel 12" Fry Pan with Lid ($119.95), which has a layer of aluminum sandwiched by stainless steel, bonded together using a process patented in 1967 by All-Clad founder

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