What’s the fad with All-Clad? All-Clad is a well-known name in almost every kitchen. Often we associate cheap prices with average quality. If you are looking for cookware that will surely last you a long time, these All-Clad Cookware Reviews would help you get everything you need to know about great kitchen cookware.
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Best overall All-clad cookware set: D5 Five-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Best alternative All-clad cookware set: Ha1 Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set
What is All-Clad Cookware?
All-Clad Cookware is a cookware that is manufactured initially in the USA. It is a premium line of cookware that is manufactured following and even going beyond the standards of the Cookware Manufacturers Association or CMA. The highlight that makes All-Clad Cookware an all-star manufacturer of cookware is its primary use of cladding or bonding.
Cladding or bonding is a process where they put sheets of different types of metal and bind then under extreme heat and pressure. Bonding allows these metals to become one solid and durable metal alloy. All-Clad uses the 18/10 brushed Ni-Chrome Stainless Steel Sheet which is Steel is mixed with chromium and nickel. They bind the Ni-Chrome stainless steel with other metals like aluminum and copper to form a strong metal clad. This bonding or cladding process is what makes All-Clad Cookware distinct.
What Makes All-Clad Stand-out from Other Cookware Brands?
Have you ever tried settling for cheap cookware sets only to find yourself back in the Department Store to purchase a new cooking set? I know exactly how frustrated you feel. I’ve ended up trashing endless numbers of cookware that never held up to their claims.
The reality is that cheap cookware is always meant to be replaced - this is what they call as ‘planned obsolescence’. Manufacturers purposely develop or build materials that will only last a period of time. Like when cell phones continuously update until it eventually malfunctions and die, it is the same with items we use on a daily basis especially our cookware.
On the other hand, good quality cooking equipment lasts longer but at a favorably higher price. Here are the reasons why I personally love All Clad cookware despite it being more expensive than most cookware available in the market.
Overall Cost of Value is Cheap
This may sound surprising to you knowing that All-Clad is at least 15% more expensive than most cookware lines available in the market. However, what is even more surprising is the long-term cost of buying less expensive cookware. Cheaper cookware lasts as long (or even less) based on their price. The more affordable, the more likely it is for you to replace it in a short time thus making it twice as expensive.
All-Clad is different. You literally pay for the decades the cookware set will stay with you. Maintenance is also a breeze and it happens to be cookware that would rarely break up even after heavy usage. Each cookware will really stay in your kitchen and constantly on your stove for a long time.
Impressive Heat Conductivity
All-Clad Cookware stands out from other cookware due to its conductivity. All-Clad pans and pots are known for their trademark when it comes to heating capacity. Most pots and pans have a welded conductor at the bottom of the pan which makes the heating inside the pan uneven causes some of our food to cook unevenly. All-Clad is different because it uses the cladding method which allows the heat to go all the way up to the sides. The cladding is a process where they bind metal alloy together under intense heat and pressure. This makes their pans durable and great conductors of heat.
High-grade Steel Material
Cladding or bonding is a tedious process that results in a high-quality steel alloy. All-Clad bonds various metals together to create different types of alloys that are perfect for cooking. And what is great about this is that the steel materials they use are highly resistant to rust, corrosion and warping even in the most intense conditions.
All pans and pots by All-Clad are proven to last for a really long time; if not a lifetime. Whether you use them in the oven, on the stove or on an open fire, the cookware will retain the same quality and functionality as when you got it on day one. What also sets this apart is that it barely warps despite heavy usage. It is great for everyday use in your home or in a professional kitchen.
We all know how dangerous Teflon is to our health and gladly, All-Clad takes that into account. All-Clad uses anodized aluminum with a non-PFOA non-stick surface. PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is the main component needed in making Teflon. It is the chemical that makes Teflon highly reactive and dangerous to health. Teflon is the non-stick coating that makes our pans resistant to heat, water, oil, grease and other organic materials. We have been so dependent on using Teflon-coated pans in the past that every home kitchen had one. All-Clad uses non-PFOE non-stick alternatives that are safer for our health.
All-Clad Cookware Reviews
All-Clad has a lot of kitchenware sets available in the market that any home cook or professional chef would love to get their hands on. I personally love using All-Clad products and have listed down the best cookware sets that would meet your needs and budget.
All-Clad 5-Ply Bonded Cookware Set
All Clad’s flagship line is the Copper Core line that sets this brand apart from other kitchenware selling brands.
The Copper Line Premium set has 14 pieces.
- 10” frying pan
- 12” frying pan
- 12” pan with cover
- 2-quart saucepan
- 3-qt saucepan with lid
- 3-qt saute pan with lid
- 6-qt saute pan with lid
- 8-qt stockpot with lid
The copper line set is a five-ply bonded steel. The outer layers are stainless steel Ni-Chrome alloy followed by two inner layers of aluminum that sandwiches a copper lining. The stainless steel layer serves as the holding case for the aluminum linings and the copper core. Aluminum is added as the conductor to easily distribute the heat throughout the pan while the copper helps the pan retain the heat.
Copper is quite more expensive than Aluminum but twice as effective in conducting heat. With the copper lining, this set offers phenomenal and precise temperature control. The added copper lining also makes the set extra durable.
Without any color or additional chemicals, this cooking set sports its premium natural metal sheen. The pots and pans are beautifully crafted with the handles double bolted into each piece. This prevents the handle from easily getting separated from the pot or pan even after long and heavy usage.
The pans and pots also come with two handles for extra safety. The handles provide extra support since most of the pans and pots are larger and can cook large portions of food.
The copper line has a few unique features that you won’t find in other of the All-Clad Cookware sets.
Unlike most of the All-Clad cook sets, the Copper Line has a distinct flat bottom. A flat bottom is perfect for cookware with copper lining because it ensures equal distribution of heat throughout the pot or pan. With the exception of the frying pans, all of the copper line cookware have flat bottoms to maintain great heat retention when cooking food.
No other cookware set can help you control your temperature better than the All-Clad Copper Line. The copper line heats up fast and cools down quickly. This is perfect for cooking seafood, dairy products, and other TCS foods. You can learn more about TCS foods down in our FAQ section.
All-Clad is a premium line of kitchenware, however, there is also a premium set for this brand. The Copper Line is everything you need and want from a cookware. Though the copper line is quite expensive due to the copper lining, it has the best performance in handling food.
All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Named after the five layers of metal bonded together to create the supreme equipment for every home cook. This All-Clad cookware holds the key to searing and browning perfection.
The All-Clad D5 comes with 10 pieces of cooking equipment. This is a premium set that is great for medium-portion meals but with better cooking performance and upgraded for the professional home cook. The set includes:
- 8” frying pan
- 10” frying pan
- 2-qt saucepan with lid
- 3.5-qt saute pan with lid
- 3-qt saute pan with lid
- 8-qt stockpot with lid
The D5 has a 5-ply construction of bonded stainless steel and aluminum. This set incorporates the alternating layers of stainless steel cladded together to form a warp-free highly conductive cooking set. The set has a stainless steel core with surrounding aluminum layers providing the pan with superb heating speed and retention.
What you will love with the cladding is that the triple layer of steel, you are bound to find that this set is very durable. With three layers of reinforced 18/10 stainless steel, the cookware will not bend even after a decade of heavy usage.
Though they look similar to the D3 tri-ply cookware, the D5 has a thicker construction. The extra layers make this set durable and twice as strong. All pans and pots have flared rims which make pouring a breeze since most All-Clad cookware are heavy.
The lids also fit tightly and securely to cover the pots and pans. They are designed to fit snugly without falling off easily. In addition, you will love the raised bolster handles which are contoured for a comfortable grip but beware, it also heats up with the pan when cooking.
The D5 brushed stainless steel cookware set is a downgrade from the copper line but a real upgrade from the D3. The five layers create strong pans and pots sets. There are a few features that are very unique to the D5:
Built for Strength
There is no denying that out of all the cookware sets by All-Clad, this is the strongest of all. With an extra layer of aluminum and stainless steel added to the cladding, this is a cook set that will surely handle a heavy beating. If you are someone who does a lot of cooking like running catering services from your home kitchen or simply love cooking delectable dishes then this is the perfect set for you. The added reinforcement is not just for cooking comfortably and safely but also guaranteed decades of great cookware performance.
Optimized for Various Methods of Cooking
With more and more kitchens using induction stovetops, pots and pans optimized for this kind of cooking are growing in demand. Fortunately, the D5 is perfect for the induction stove. Since it has two layers of aluminum, this means that even your induction stove can cook superb meals using your D5 cookware set.
Aside from your induction stovetop, your broiler, your oven, and your typical burner, the D5 cookware set can also withstand open fire cooking. Even with hard fire hitting the bottom of the pan, you won’t have to worry about it warping or getting brittle in the long run. The durability of the D5 is definitely unmatched.
With 5 layers of bonded metal alloy, you will never go wrong with the All-Clad D5 cookware set. This set stands out mainly for its strength and longevity that will surely double the worth of your money. This is a great investment that reaps decades of delicious cooking which makes it a perfect choice for glass top stoves.
All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply Bonded Cookware Set
This is the perfect set for a medium-sized family since it falls in the mid-range price list of All-Clad.
The D3 tri-ply bonded cookware is a set of 10 pieces that are perfect for medium portion cooking since most of the items can hold up to five servings of cooked food. The set includes:
- 8” frying pan
- 10” frying pan
- 2 qt saucepan with lid
- 3.5 qt saute pan with lid
- 3 qt saute pan with lid
- 8 qt stockpot with lid
As its name suggests the All-Clad D3 set has three layers of metal cladding. It has an Aluminum core and Ni-Chrome stainless steel layer. The D3 tri-ply set has an aluminum core for a lightweight set of pans and pots.
The aluminum core allows the pan to heat up faster and provide quick and easy cooking. This is a great set because out of all the pans and pots, it has the thickest Aluminum core. With a thicker aluminum core, it allows even cooking. It also easily cools down for better and safer cleanup.
The set has a simple elegant style that is great for every household kitchen to have because it has every essential cookware that you need. The D3 set is also available in 14- and 21-piece sets.
This set has a much more elevated handle that promotes safer cooking. With the elevated handle, it is easier to handle the pans and pots while cooking. Each set piece is also lightweight, making for all types of recipes.
The D3 Tri-Ply cookware is made for all types of recipes. It is most suited for home cooking since it is designed for multi-purpose use. Here are some features that are unique to the All-Clad D3.
Safe Stick-Free Resistant Base
You will love to hear that All-Clad does not use Teflon to make the surface of their pans non-stick. They hard-polish the surface of the pan with a starburst finish to make the pan non-stick. The starburst finish is unique to All-Clad and this process is very safe and non-toxic.
General Recipe Cooking
From baking to frying on an induction stove, this set is built for multiple uses. We often buy something that we use on various occasions. That is one reason why All Clad is a great investment because you really get what you paid for. The D3 can be used as a baking tray. It has great heat conduction allowing you to cook your food through whether is it inside the oven on the stove, this is truly meant for an all-around home cook.
The D3 tri-ply cookware is a wonderful set that allows you to cook faster with smooth heating pots and pans. It is also the cookware set that helps you cook meals to perfection.
All-Clad Ha1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set
Let’s face it, we can’t live without non-stick pans. As much as we want to season our pans ourselves, we don’t often get the chance to do so. And for that reason, we settle for non-stick pans. This is the All Clad’s basic kitchen set for non-stick cookware lovers out there.
The Ha1 hard anodized cookware set has 10 pieces.
- 8” frying pan
- 10” frying pan
- 2 qt saucepan with glass lid
- 3.5 qt saute pan with glass lid
- 3 qt saute pan with glass lid
- 8 qt stockpot with glass lid
The Ha1 cookware is made of three layers of bonded anodized Aluminum to make the aluminum safe to cook in. It has a solid metal base to prevent the pan from warping and makes the pan a formidable piece of cookware.
Made with a stunning black non-stick polish creates a safe layer for your food to cook in. This pots and pans set comes with a tempered glass lid. The Ha1 set is scratch-resistant and flake-free. This means that even under heavy abuse, the pan is guaranteed to not flake off or even show the slightest bit of damage. The surface has a smooth, black non-stick lining giving it a thicker layer of protection for your food.
The set has glass lids that fit tightly to secure your food while cooking. The lid also locks in the heat and the moisture keeping your food cooking beautifully under your constant supervision.
The Ha1 cookware set is made specifically to provide a more affordable All-Clad cookware set. Though it is more affordable than most All-Clad cookware, this set does not skip any of the All-Clad standards in making a cheaper and more wonderful set of cookware. Here are additional features that you will surely love about the Ha1 Hard Anodized Aluminum line.
Stainless Steel Bottom Base and Bolstered Handle
The stainless steel handle offers great support for the cooking set. It is an extra layer of protection for your food and your pan. The stainless steel bottom provides ease in handling your food while you are cooking. This also prevents the anodized aluminum from directly handling open fire and heat to make sure that it lasts longer.
Made for the Basic Home Kitchen in Premium Professional Quality
The Ha1 set is the perfect cookware set for a gas stove but it doesn’t mean that the quality ends there. The hard-anodized aluminum offers great and equal heating, it also maintains the heat even after turning off the stove to keep your food warmer for a long time. All-Clad offers a formidable set of items that will surely stay in your kitchen for the next decade. The bottom also makes sure that the pan doesn’t warp or get disfigured after a long period.
The Ha1 Hard Anodized cookware set as I have covered in my "All-Clad HA1 vs B1" article, is an upgraded model yet more affordable cookware line for All-Clad. despite it being cheaper compared to the other models, the standard of All-Clad is highly maintained making it one of the best nonstick cookware you can ever get your hands on.
Comparison of The Best All-Clad Cookware Sets
Best Suited for
General recipes and TCS or temperature controlled cooking
General Recipes and specialized for searing and browning
Hard Anodized Aluminum
All-Clad Cookware 101: Basic Things You Need to Know
What Does TCS Foods Mean?
TCS foods, or food that need time and temperature control for safety, refer to food that may contain dangerous pathogens. Dangerous pathogens grow faster in temperatures ranging from 41 to 135 ºF which means you need to cook your food at a constant temperature higher than 135 degrees. Some foods are good breeders of pathogens and we need to cook these foods timely and properly to prevent the growth of these bacteria. Such bacteria that may cause us harm is Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria among others more that can cause terrible stomach aches, diarrhea, food poisoning, and even death. Example of TCS foods include the following:
- Crustaceans and shellfish (crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, and more)
- Dairy products
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Cooked food
- Sliced fruits and vegetables
Are you Skeptical about Buying an Expensive All-Clad Cookware Set?
I get this a lot. Not everyone is too trusting when it comes to reading All-Clad Cookware Reviews, but it’s understandable. It’s pretty hard for anyone to trust something they have just known through hearsay. In the beginning, I was also unsure of getting the cookware set so I just bought a pan to try it out.
I compared the All-Clad pan with other pans I’ve bought (I won’t say which one) and found that it is by far better in terms of cooking different types of food. I found it easier to heat, use and clean-up.
How Can You Identify if Your All-Clad Cookware is authentic?
One of the most identifiable features of the All-Clad cookware set is the solid stainless steel base. The stainless steel base has an engraved All-Clad seal at the bottom that is hard to forge and copy. This makes it a distinct feature that doesn’t fade or easily gets destroyed. If your cookware does not have this seal, it is an imitation labeled as “All-Clad”.
The Final Verdict
All-Clad quality is hard to miss. So, what’s the fad about All-Clad? Well, aside from supreme quality cookware, the fact that it ensures its consumers safe cookware sets makes it a great brand of cookware to own.
Since most of us are looking for durable high-standard cookware, the best option out of the many cookware sets out there is the D5 Five-Ply Stainless Steel Cookware Set. The durability is spot-on, making sure that it will last even through heavy use and abuse for years and decades to come. The only negative thing to say about the set is that due to the multi-layered cladding, the D5 pans and pots are pretty heavy. The Copper line, though great quality, is the luxury line of the All-Clad cookware set and may not be the best option for everyone considering the budget.
If you are looking for an affordable All-Clad Line the Ha1 Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set is the top choice. This affordable set offers a great cooking experience for all types of recipes that you have in mind. It is made primarily to provide consumers with a high-quality yet affordable option.