In expert and owner reviews, the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 12-Inch Open Skillet is the best value-priced stainless-steel option. It has an encapsulated aluminum disk attached to the bottom, so it heats up fast and distributes the heat well. Experts like the roomy cooking area and say the handles stay cool. However, the heat can be trickier to control than with the tri-ply construction on the more expensive All-Clad Stainless 12-Inch Fry Pan (*Est. $140). In one extreme stress test the disk bottom actually fell off. Under normal use, owners are generally happy with the durability and performance of their Cuisinart skillet. It's safe to clean in the dishwasher and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a review of cookware sets, editors at ConsumerReports.org conduct comprehensive testing of the skillets in particular. In 2009, editors at Cook's Illustrated magazine include the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 12-Inch Open Skillet in a review of traditional skillets. We found plenty of owner-written reviews for this skillet at Amazon.com.
Although editors at ConsumerReports.org don't specifically test the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 12-Inch Open Skillet, this brand is one of the 35 cookware sets that receives comprehensive testing. Using the skillet in each cookware set, testers cook pancakes to determine how well the pan distributes heat. Nearly all of the 13 stainless-steel cookware sets tested receive the same rating of "very good."
Review: Cookware Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, May 2011
2. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Editors compare the Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 12-Inch Open Skillet in a review dedicated to stainless-steel skillets. All seven skillets are put through a variety of cooking tasks to evaluate their performance. The skillets are also subjected to stress tests to assess warping and durability.
Review: Traditional Skillets, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, Jan. 2009
The Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless 12-Inch Open Skillet is one of five sizes sold at Amazon.com, where the reviews are grouped together. These skillets receive a solid average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 from nearly 200 owners. They agree the skillets distribute heat well but maintaining an even temperature can be a bit tricky.
Review: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Fry Pans, Contributors to Amazon.com