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A few of my favorite things - Hex Clad cookware

From now until Christmas I will be returning to what I love most: talking about gear and tools and accessories so you can use my experience to guide your gift giving. Expect to see recommendations for gardening, woodworking, home improvement, hiking, big game hunting, small game hunting, camping, backpacking, bike commuting, mountain biking, parenting, kitchen, and more. All recommendations will be for gear I own and use, and have either purchased myself or received from family as a gift--so I'm not being compensated to promote a particular item, though I may receive compensation for purchases made through links provided.

Last year we switched out our gas stove for induction. Doing so required us to purchase induction compatible cookware as we had been using a Calphalon anodized aluminum set from Costco with the gas.

Somehow we stumbled onto HexClad and were impressed by its claims of being induction compatible, extremely nonstick without the use of chemicals, and dishwasher safe. It was also Gordon Ramsay endorsed*, which honestly made me skeptical because celebrity endorsements seem to always come with inferior products, but they had a generous return policy. So we bought small, medium, and large frying pans and have been loving them for the past year. 

As someone who grew up seeing cheesy infomercials about revolutionary new pots and pans, I was skeptical. But amazingly, they live up to every claim. Scrambled eggs are a frequent breakfast meal at our house, and one of the biggest tests for nonstick and easy-clean claims. With every pan I've used in the past scrambled eggs means eggs sticking to the pan and a mess of dried egg to clean up after. Using the HexClad, that hasn't been an issue. They don't stick in the first place, which means easier cleanup in general. And in the few places where I might leave an egg ring on the sides of the pan, the eggs come right off with no effort. Fried eggs are just as easy. Salmon and trout are easy to cook and get a perfectly crispy skin. So far there hasn't been any flaw or shortcoming.

Omelette detritus

Cooked omelette

I cooked an omelette this morning and it presented a good opportunity to show how well the non-stick works. I started with a little olive oil drizzle, then left my eggs unattended and unflipped until cooked through while I finished getting ready. This method naturally causes a little bit of sticking, if I had put any effort into removing the omlette it probably would have left behind less. But you see that ring of cooked egg and expect a tedious cleanup process, right? Not at all. Here's a quick video showing the ease of cleanup.

They've held up great to constant use over the last year. No part of the finish has come off, even using metal utensils. The large pan is too big for our dishwasher, but the small and medium are constantly in there. There's no fussy handwashing or special care needed like with cast iron. These are basically perfect. So much so that I finally ordered a HexClad pot that was on sale for Black Friday so we can stop using a small Dutch oven to make all our pasta and soup. 

If you need more than one piece, they have a number of sets available; otherwise you can get individual pots and pans. Their product line extends into other kitchen equipment, but I don't have any experience with any of the other items.

*I later realized that HexClad pots and pans are exclusively used by the contestants on Hell's Kitchen. On one hand, maybe that's part of the endorsement deal...but on the other hand Gordon Ramsay doesn't strike me as someone who would use subpar equipment just to make some money. And there isn't any obvious advertisement of them on the show, they're just what's used and there's never any mention of them. 

 Also, if you can afford it, converting to induction is one of the best quality of life improvements possible in the kitchen. Water boils in just a few minutes, you don't heat the entire house while cooking, no gas fumes...

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