All-Clad Buyer's Guide
All-Clad, the founder of tri-ply cookware, originated in 1967 by John Ulam as Clad Metals. Ulam realized that bonding different metals together in cookware had its advantages and would result in superior performing cookware. Handcrafted in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania using American-made steel, All-Clad continues to be one of the highest regarded cookware companies in the world.
Today, All-Clad offers 3 different types of cookware: the original tri-ply D3 Stainless, D5 – Five-Ply Construction, and 5-Ply Copper Core Cookware. Before we get into the specifics of each line, let’s first look at the benefits of multi layered cookware. The premise of multi layered (ply) cookware is pretty simple. Different metals are better at different things, so bonding them together will give you all of the advantages of the different metals without the disadvantages they have on their own. Stainless steel, for example, is commonly used in cookware because it’s easy to clean, does not stain, and when of a high grade, can be cleaned up to look brand new for years to come. Stainless steel; however, is not a good conductor or insulator of heat, so cookware made entirely of stainless steel can cause uneven cooking, increase the risk of scorching, and will ultimately result in longer cooking times. Aluminum, on the other hand, is a very good conductor and insulator of heat, which will allow for faster cooking times and reduce the chances of scorching. On the down side, aluminum is reactive to acidic foods which can cause pitting, does not have the same stain resistant properties as stainless steel, and will oxidize in the dishwasher becoming stained and discoloured. When you combine high quality stainless steel and aluminum together, you get the benefits of both. The stainless steel will keep your cookware looking brand new for years, while the aluminum will help reduce cooking times and the likelihood of scorching by having more even and consistent temperatures.
The one that started it all! This classic series is All-Clad’s widest range of cookware and most popular series. Used by both professional chefs and passionate home cooks, the vast number of pieces in this series will ensure you find the perfect piece, no matter how specific your needs. The Tri-Ply gets its name from having stainless steel on both the exterior of the pan and the interior cooking surface, with a layer of aluminum sandwiched in between. This gives you the benefits of having easily cleanable surfaces that are dishwasher safe because of the stainless steel, while allowing for faster, more even cooking with a reduced risk of scorching because of the aluminum. The 18/10 stainless steel used in this series is a highly polished, mirror finish that cleans up to a brilliant shine every time. The entire series can be used on any cooking surface including induction and is oven & broil safe. We won’t call this an entry-level line because it’s so much more than just another series of cookware. It is an investment in true professional grade cookware. We recommend the D3 Stainless Series to professional chefs or new home cooks who have recently discovered a passion for cooking.
The D5 is available in both a brushed stainless steel and a high polish, mirror finished stainless steel. Though the cooking properties of both will be the same, the polished stainless steel will be a little less expensive than the brushed. The D5 represents the best value between price and performance of all of All-Clad’s series. It has 20% more even heating and 15% more energy efficiency than traditional bonded cookware, while only being a slight premium in comparison to the D3 Tri-Ply Stainless Series. The D5 features 5- layer construction with stainless on both the exterior and interior surfaces followed by two layers of aluminum and a stainless steel core. These pieces will heat up faster, cook more evenly, eliminate scorching and hot spots, and clean up beautifully every time. The D5 is designed with a rolled lip to making pouring easier and mess free. The D5 is safe to use on all cooking surfaces, oven & broiler safe, and dishwasher safe. The five-layer construction is designed for enhanced performance on induction cooktops by responding and reaching temperature faster. We recommend the D5 to anyone with an induction range, as it will better maximize the performance of your range without the higher price of having a copper core. The D5 Series is also recommended for passionate home cooking enthusiasts who are looking for a premium cooking experience.
The ultimate in All-Clad craftsmanship, featuring 5-layers of construction with an elegantly exposed copper core ring. The Copper-Core series has stainless steel on both the exterior and interior cooking surface, aluminum layers beneath that, and a layer of copper at the core. A ring of exposed copper can be seen at the bottom of each piece and a slight shimmer of the copper core can be seen at the top lip, adding a subtle beauty to this cookware series unlike any other cookware on the market. The layer of copper at the core of this entire series offers the maximum in conduction, allowing for better responsiveness to temperature changes and reaching temperature quickly, while the two layers of aluminum maximize the induction capabilities, allowing for the most even cooking surfaces of any series. Like the D5 series, the copper core features a rolled lip for easy pouring with no mess. These pans are safe on all cooking surfaces including induction, oven & broil safe. Due to the exposed copper of this series, it is not recommended to put these pieces in the dishwasher, as the copper will react and oxidize due to the harshness of chemicals and the steam cycle. This series is expensive and hard to make; therefore, it has the least number of pieces of any All-Clad series but will still have all of the essentials. We recommend this series to anyone who is looking for the absolute best in performance cookware and whose passion for cooking knows no compromise. We also recommend this series to those who appreciate the subtle beauty and the craftsmanship of a cookware series unlike any other.
Ultimately, we recommend the D5 for being the best value of all the All Clad series when comparing price and performance. Available in both a polished, mirror finish or a brushed stainless finish, it offers an additional option for the cookware look you want. The 5-layer construction is responsive and able to keep temperature on all cooking surfaces. The rolled lip will help prevent unnecessary spills and messes, while being dishwasher safe offers the convenience of easy clean up. Though not available in as many different pieces as the Tri-Ply Series, the depth of this series still offers enough pieces to meet the needs of most cooks.