Pros

  • Can be used on all stovetops.
  • Consistent cooking results.
  • Excellent heat transfer and retention.
  • High-quality and durable.
  • Lifetime warranty included.
  • Suitable for a wide range of cooking methods.

Cons

  • Needs seasoning before first use.
  • Heavier than other nonstick pans.
  • The extra cost in accessories.
  • Angled handle design can make maneuvering difficult.

All-Clad is a veteran of the cookware scene.

It’s recommended by a lot of people and used by Michelin star restaurants around the world.

Their products are meticulously crafted with durability, convenience, versatility, and performance.

But how does their HA1 range fare when we put it to the test?

Read our All Clad HA1 review to find out.

What Is Hard Anodized Aluminum?

Hard anodized aluminum has undergone an electrolytic chemical process to oxidize its cooking surface, making it extremely durable and less likely to scratch or chip.

And because of this, the material’s less reactive than others, which protects it from rust, stains, or corrosion.

So what does this means for you? 

Essentially, you can cook acidic foods in your cookware without the risk of them becoming damaged. Whereas with other materials like cast iron, you cant.

You should consider this type of cookware if:

  • You want something that will stand the test of time.
  • You want a healthier way of cooking.
  • You need something easy to clean and maintain.
  • You’re tight for space and need to “nest” your cookware.
  • You don’t want to worry about food burning or sticking.

You shouldn’t consider this type of cookware if:

  • You need something light and easy to maneuver.
  • You want some extra color in your kitchen.
  • You’re on a really tight budget.
  • You frequently cook at extremely high temperatures.
  • You want something that’s dishwasher safe.

All-Clad HA1 Review: The Good, And The Ugly

Our Pick
All-Clad HA1 Hard Anodized Fry Pan Set
$69.95

A kitchen staple from All-Clad that's made with hard anodized aluminum and offers the perfect balance between durability, performance, and heat distribution. It's oven and dishwasher safe and comes complete with All-Clad's limited lifetime warranty.

Buy on Amazon Buy on Bed Bath & Beyond
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
10/05/2022 07:15 pm GMT

For this review, I purchased the All-Clad HA1 10” Hard Anodized Frying Pan to see how it fared.

From now on, I’ll share both my experiences using this pan and test results, alongside things I liked and disliked.

How We Tested

  • Egg Test: Fry up to 50 eggs individually with no oil until they start sticking.
  • Have a tester saute peas and give their feedback.
  • Cook pan-seared fish and asparagus.
  • Egg Test: Fry another 50 eggs to see if the nonstick coating has deteriorated
  • Analyze pan temperature using a thermal imaging camera
  • Scrape a metal spatula 50 times across the pan’s cooking surface
  • Heat the pan to 400°F and submerge in ice water to check for warping
  • Bang the pan three times on a cement block

Durability

There’s nothing worse than buying a brand new frying pan, only for it to last a few months and end up in the landfill.

But durability is one of the key features of the HA1, and All-Clad stops at nothing to make sure you know it. 

Throughout their commercials, product pages, and website, you’ll see phrases like “unparalleled durability,” “sturdy,” and even “durability meets convenience.”

Hell, just take a look at this review from Wirecutter.

Honestly, I felt this pan could survive the apocalypse and STILL be sitting on top of cookers afterward!

What impressed me most about the HA1 range is how All-Clad hasn’t simply slapped on nonstick coating and called it a day.

In fact, they’ve meticulously considered every detail, from the material to the handle design. So you have a durable frying pan that will last and last.

But how is it so durable?

Well, first, the HA1 range has a stainless steel base that prevents warping from stovetop use.

Most pans warp because of extreme temperature changes. When the material’s hot, it’ll expand outwards; when it’s cool, it’ll contract inwards. Over time, this causes warping, which ultimately affects cooking results.

So to stop this, the stainless steel base restricts the movement of the pan’s material while it’s being used – improving durability.

Next, All-Clad has combined the stainless steel base with heavy gauge, hard-anodized aluminum. 

We’ve already covered why hard anodized aluminum is so strong. 

But if you missed it, this material is made using an electrolytic process, which builds a natural, nonstick layer of protection. This protects the pan from normal kitchen wear and tear – for example, scratches caused by our utensils.

And the last thing you want is scratches on your pan, as this affects its performance and opens the door to food sticking.

Finally, the HA1 range is topped with three PFOA-free, PTFE nonstick coating layers.

This is good for two reasons…

  1. It stops chips from forming gradually on the pan’s cooking surface.
  2. It improves food release and prevents burning.

Now just a quick side note: the fact it’s PFOA-free isn’t something to brag about. 

In fact, it’s pretty common practice nowadays.

Why?

Because nowadays, the use of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)  to make anti-adhesives like Teflon is banned in most countries after studies found it to be cancerous.

But you DO get peace of mind knowing you aren’t exposed to any harmful toxins or chemicals.

And that’s only a good thing.

The drawback is the use of PTFE (or Teflon) as a nonstick coating. PTFE cannot withstand temperatures above 500°F; otherwise, it’ll release toxic fumes and cause polymer fume fever.

  • What is polymer fume fever?

Polymer fume fever is a condition caused by inhaling degraded polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Signs of polymer fume fever include; shaking, weakness, chest tightness, fever, and sore throat. In most cases, symptoms pass within 24 hours.

That being said, overall, my first impressions of the HA1 range were very promising.

But the real question is, what’s it like in reality?

Well, I can confidently say the stainless steel base does its job.

For my first durability test, I wanted to shock the pan and check for warping. So, I heated it to 400°F before plunging it into a bucket of ice water.

And this was the result…

As you can see, there isn’t any noticeable damage at all. 

So that’s a solid tick in my book.

And I’m pretty sure it’s the same for this customer.

So what next?

First, a disclaimer: No pans were harmed during the making of this review.

*looks around guiltily*

To simulate the wear and tear a pan goes through, I went on to hit it against a concrete block three times.

Yup, you read that right.

Now, am I expecting it to come out completely unscathed? 

No. 

So what’s the point in the test then?

Well, it’s an extreme, accelerated stress test to see how the pan reacts to regular everyday use.

If it can come out of this test moderately undamaged, then it’ll withstand:

  • You dropping it accidentally.
  • Damage from everyday use of kitchen utensils.
  • Dropping it into the kitchen sink before cleaning.
  • You bashing your partner “accidentally” because they’ve pinched the remote. (Oh, sorry, is that just me?)

Jokes aside, think of it like a snapshot – it allows us to form a solid opinion about it.

The HA1 did suffer SOME damage. But I was still impressed with its durability.

While it’s not a solid 10 out of 10, it’s undoubtedly a high 8 or 9.

But I’ll leave you to be the judge.  

In my opinion, the HA1 is a cut above cheaper nonstick pans. It’s certainly designed to withstand more abuse than others. 

Verdict

The heavy-gauge, hard-anodized aluminum and stainless steel base make the All-Clad HA1 one of the best in class for durability. You’ll struggle to find a better alternative out there currently. 

Performance

There’s no other way to say it. For performance, the HA1 range is unrivaled.

It. Just. Works.

To test the HA1’s performance, I did these things.

  • Fry 50 eggs to test its nonstick ability.
  • Cook several different meals with varying volumes.
  • Clean it properly after every use, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Fry another 50 eggs to see if the nonstick coating has deteriorated.

So… how did it get on?

The Good

Not half bad at all – it made it through every one of my tests like a terminator on a mission.

It cleanly released every single egg.

It handled delicate foods like fish with ease. 

It was hassle-free when preparing and cooking my favorite risottos and paellas. And the kids thoroughly enjoyed their homemade pancakes too.

Overall, I was pretty happy with the results.

And many customers feel the same.

But of course, this wouldn’t be a balanced review without discussing some of the HA1’s drawbacks.

So what didn’t I like about it?

The Not So Good

My only gripe is in its heat distribution. 

To give you the nuts and bolts – sometimes I’d notice hot spots on the pan’s cooking surface. BUT this only occurred on a smaller burner.

Is this a huge deal breaker?

Probably not.

In fact, I preferred how quickly the hard anodized aluminum heated up. Especially considering I live in such a busy household where we’re constantly on the go.

Luckily, you can work around this by keeping one eye on your food so it doesn’t scorch, or use an appropriately sized burner on your stovetop.

A bit counterproductive, I know, but it’s more an annoyance than anything else.

Verdict

Time and time again, the HA1 delivered. Whether it was stir-frys, risottos, or delicate foods, it could handle it easily. It’s a great option if you want consistent cooking results.

Heating Capacity

Finding a quality frying pan with even heat distribution can sometimes be challenging.

It’s important for two reasons:

  1. Some parts of the pan can have hot spots. This ultimately affects cooking results as food either become burnt or undercooked.
  2. It stops your pan warping and protects the pan from excessive stress because of extreme temperatures.

With the HA1 range, you have both even and quick heat distribution.

Overall, it took the HA1 frying pan 1 minute 40 seconds to heat to 200°F

To put that into perspective, it’s on par with cheaper alternatives like the Blue Diamond Pan. 

(Which, by the way is “meant” to heat 5x faster)

As you can see, the HA1 pretty much matches the Blue Diamond’s temperature. Initially, it lags behind but consistently keeps getting warmer, preventing hot spots forming.

Moral of the story – cheaper isn’t always better.

Next, I used my thermal imaging camera to test how well the pan does with retaining its heat. Once the pan had reached a temperature of 300°F, I would take it off and monitor how quickly it lost its temperature.

As you can see, each area moved in tandem with one another. It took 7 minutes and 59 seconds for the pan to lose enough heat.

Not a bad result, considering this is on par with many cast iron pans out there!

Overall, I felt the HA1 did well. Throughout testing, there weren’t any hot spots, and the heat was distributed evenly throughout the cooking surface.

  • Pro Tip:

Be sure to use an appropriately sized burner on your stovetop. It can take longer for the HA1 to heat up, and on a few occasions, I noticed hot spots.

Of course, we have a downside I’d like to cover.

Hey, it wouldn’t be a Purely Cookware review if I didn’t!

If you’re like me and love a good ol’ steak for dinner, you’ll have to use something else. 

Because All-Clad recommends keeping their PTFE-coated pans below 500°F. And unfortunately, when it comes to steak, you need about 500-500°F to sear it properly.

On the flip side, its oven safe up to 500°F, which is an added bonus. I found this really useful when cooking frittata or omelets.

It saved me a TON of washing up.

There’s also one final thing I’d like to mention – avoid overheating the pan when it’s empty.

All-Clad recommends using medium-high heat to maintain the pan’s performance. This is to stop the nonstick coating from degrading and releasing toxic fumes. 

To learn more about All-Clad’s Care and Use instructions, click here.

Verdict

All-Clad’s HA1 cookware range does exactly what it says on the tin. The hard-anodized aluminum heats up quickly and spreads evenly. 

Design & Ease of Use

The All-Clad HA1’s design is where things start to get tricky. Because its pitfalls are down to personal preference a lot of the time.

In my opinion, Calphalon, Cuisinart, and Tramontina are a LOT better for their design from an ease of use perspective. 

The first thing you’ll notice is the HA1’s steep sides. This is great for:

  • Sauteeing
  • Delicate dishes or foods
  • Liquids or broths

How? 

Essentially, the walls help lock in moisture, keeping your food tender, packed full of flavor, and nutritional.  It also helps reduce splatter and keep ingredients contained. So, no more unnecessary mess to clean up!

Which, by the way, I felt was an absolute godsend. 

I also liked its steep walls when cooking high-volume meals like risotto or stir-fry.

It made the whole experience much more enjoyable and less stressful.

I never felt like I was cautiously stirring or waiting to catch break-away food.

But there were pitfalls too. 

Sometimes, I felt sliding food out of the pan was much tougher than it needed to be. 

And while this was a complete pain in the ar… *clears throat* rear end, you can work around it by using your kitchen utensils in most cases.

That said, if it’s a deal breaker for you and you need to slide food out of your pan, go for something with flared rims. For this, I’d recommend All-Clad’s B1 cookware range. 

Just know the tradeoff is more cleanup – especially from splatters or runaway food.

Now, let’s talk about handle design.

The HA1 collection has long, stainless steel handles designed to give you a secure, “comfortable” grip.

The main aim of this is to improve safety. A longer handle keeps you away from the heat source, preventing burns. 

Safety aside – I really didn’t like the handle.

This was for two reasons:

  1. It dug into my palm. The HA1 pan was already heavy enough, weighing 2.6 lbs. But add some food, and you’ll only have half a hand left.
  1. I felt I had less control. Because of the length and angle of the handle, as well as the pan’s weight, I never felt in complete control. It always felt a tad awkward flipping pancakes or ingredients. 

A well-positioned handle makes all the difference with the ease of use and “feel” of a frying pan. Essentially it gives it better balance and weight distribution.

If a pan’s handle is too angled, it’ll feel much heavier than it actually is. If it’s more parallel or horizontal, it’ll make it feel lighter because you have more leverage.

Unfortunately, in this case, the HA1 range is too angled.

And this, for me, made the whole experience a little cumbersome at times. It felt like a gym workout but in the kitchen.

Which looking at my dad bod, I probably needed.

Either way, this is largely down to preference. 

And if you look into the customer reviews, you’ll see that’s the case.

Some prefer the angle…

While others don’t…

And one more thing I’d like to mention, the handle gets hot.

This is something a LOT of people seem to complain about with the HA1 range…

And I can see why.

Because the HA1’s handle DOES get hot!

In fact, while testing the pan’s thermal conductivity, the handle’s temperature registered at 80°F.

Ouch.

However, after doing some more research, I noticed how my experience was on the bad end of the spectrum. Because there are plenty of customers who suggest otherwise.

Throughout the 20+ hours of using this frying pan, I never FELT like it was getting hot.

So weigh this aspect based on your own needs.

Also, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t highly All-Clad FAQ page.

Here, All-Clad addresses common problems or issues customers might face when using their products.

One of them being “Do the handles get hot”

In this section, they mention how after extended use on the stovetop, the handle may get hot. They also advise you to have an oven glove or mitts at the ready should you need them.

Kudos All-Clad.

Verdict

Overall, the design of the HA1 range is a mixed bag. While it looks great, there are definite areas it could improve. The pan sometimes feels heavier than it actually is, making it awkward to use on occasions. 

Price

All-Clad’s HA1 range isn’t cheap. 

Prices start from $59.99 up to $599.99.

Here’s a complete list of the pots and pans you can get in this cookware collection.

ProductPrice
10-inch Fry Pan$59.99
12-inch Fry Pan$99.99
12-inch Everyday Pan$99.99
12-inch Chef’s Pan$99.99
2.5-quart Sauce Pan $69.99
4-quart Soup Pot$99.99
8-quart Stockpot$179.99
Square Grill$60.00
11-inch Square Grill$59.99
11-inch Square Griddle$60.00
13 x 20 Grande Grill$99.99
13 x 16 Roaster with Rack$99.99
3-quart Pan with Acacia Trivet & Spoon$119.99
4-quart Saute Pan with Lid$139.99
Dutch Oven with Acacia Trivet & Spoon$179.99
2 piece Cookware Set (8” & 12”)$69.99
2 piece Cookware Set (10” & 12”)$159.98
2 piece Cookware Set (10” & 4 quart)$199.98
5 piece Cookware Set$209.97
8 piece Cookware Set$360.00
10 piece Cookware Set$499.99
13 piece Cookware Set$599.99
Information taken on 08/04/2022 from all-clad.com.

What we liked is that All-Clad tries to cater to every budget.

And while their $599.99 cookware set might seem much, it’s much more affordable than you think. In fact, you’re only spending $46.15 for every piece.

Not to mention, you have a premium-quality brand that prides itself in craftsmanship, quality, and durability.

Not half bad.

And then, there’s the massive amount of customer support available.

Wondering how to get the most out of your nonstick pan? Worried about how to clean your cookware?

Not a problem. All-Clad has a dedicated page specifically for care and use.

Another neat touch is the lifetime warranty – which is included with the HA1 range.

Something unheard of for nonstick pans.

That’s just huge, and I don’t think All-Clad is matched in what they offer by any other brand. In my opinion, it shows how confident they are in their products.

Now obviously, this doesn’t cover every scenario. You can’t burn it, say it isn’t nonstick and get your money back.

In fact, here are a few examples of when the warranty isn’t covered.

  • Normal product wear and tear.
  • Stains, discoloration, or scratches on the inside or outside of the product.
  • Nonstick damage caused by metal/sharp utensils.
  • Damage caused by scouring pads, steel wool, bleach, or abrasive cleaners.
  • Discoloration, warping, or metal separation caused by high heat or prolonged heat exposure when empty.
  • Misuse or abuse of the product.

Safe to say, there are quite a few scenarios. And it’s important to note that I cannot 100% vouch for how easy it is to do either.

Nonetheless, I still think it’s a great thing to have.

Verdict

When you factor in the lifetime warranty, excellent customer support, and variety of products, their pricing is still great. One of (if not the) best on the market.

Is All-Clad HA1 Right For You?

If you’re a beginner or on a tight budget, I’d consider something else. At least for now.

It might be just as affordable as other brands.

But you’d be better off with something like Oxo Good Grips Pro.

However, if you’re more experienced or want something that’s going to stand the test of time, All-Clad’s HA1 range is worth adding to your collection.

It delivers consistent cooking results, spreads heat quickly and evenly, and comes with a lifetime warranty – unheard of for nonstick cookware.

However, if something you read in this All-Clad HA1 review turned you away, make sure to read our All Clad NS1 review and our All Clad Fusiontec review.

Specs

Product NameHA1 Nonstick Hard Anodized
BrandAll-Clad
Model NumberE7859064
MaterialAluminum
Cooking Surface9 Inches
Weight2.4 lbs
WarrantyLifetime guarantee 
Written by
James Fuller

Hey I'm James, the one who started Purely Cookware. All my life, I've been lucky enough to bond with family around the dinner table. And I will be using this website to teach you how you can do the same.