Friday, August 29, 2008

All-Clad forever

I have several All-Clad Stainless pots and pans, judiciously acquired over the years. I say "judiciously" because they are expensive pans, and I am cheap. But one of the things I am willing to spend money on is good cookware, and All-Clad is the best.

I bought my first two pans about ten years ago, when I was a poor 20-something with two roommates in a crummy walk-up apartment in New York. I bought a 1.5-quart saucepan and a 3-quart saute pan. I researched cookware for quite a while before settling on All-Clad. I dithered and dithered and dithered, and finally bit the bullet with help from a birthday gift from my brother. Hey, a pan which costs close to $200 was a huge purchase at a time when my daily take-home pay was $70. Those pans meant a lot to me.

I've used those pans heavily for the last ten years. I love them. The little saucepan got a lot of use when I was single, and once I started cooking for more than just me, the saute pan began to see heavy use. Nowadays, I use it nearly every day. I've added other All-Clad pans to my arsenal, but these pans, especially the saute pan, are my workhorses.

But, as we were preparing to move into the new house, I realized that somehow, over the years, the bottom of the saute pan had warped a bit, so that it was no longer flat. I hadn't cared when I was cooking on gas, and even on our apartment's electric coil stove it wasn't a problem. But in our new house, we have a ceramic smooth-top stove (bought from the Sears outlet--bleargh!), and when I was researching these stoves, I read comments from a lot of people complaining that you have to have perfectly flat pans to use them.

I became concerned. I began to worry that I would have to abandon my beloved pan. And, now that I have a started my career over again, a $200 pan is once again a huge purchase. I didn't want to have to buy a new pan.

So, I went on the All-Clad website, and sent them a message, asking if there was any way I could fix it. I thought they might direct me to a dealer or someone who could, I don't know, bang it out for me. Who knows? Instead, I got back an email which said, essentially, "All-Clad pans are guaranteed for life. Send the pan to us for evaluation for repair or replacement. Here's your return number."

To say this was more than I expected would be an understatement. I was a little worried about surrendering my favorite pan. But, a month ago, I dutifully packed up the pan, sent it off to All-Clad, and waited. I cooked without it for a month (very tough, let me tell you!). Then, this week, when I came home, there was a box waiting for me.

I'm not kidding: they sent me a brand-new pan.

I love All-Clad, and the little pauper who bought that pan ten years ago with more money than she really should have been spending on a pan? She feels like crying.


Jenna said...

You are their newest spokesgirl apparently because I am adding their stuff to my registry right away. Thanks for the tip :)

Nopinkertons said...

The Stainless collection is the best, because it can go in the dishwasher. When I bought these pans I didn't have a dishwasher, but I have one now, and it's great :-).

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