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Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware Review: Which Line Is Best?

By trk

Last Updated: November 14, 2023

cookware, cuisinart, cuisinart French classic cookware, cuisinart multiclad pro cookware, cuisinart professional cookware, stainless steel

If you're shopping for affordable yet good quality clad stainless steel cookware, you should consider Cuisinart. Cuisinart makes several lines of clad stainless steel cookware. The company is known for affordability, but also for quality, durability, and good customer service.

This in-depth review will help you understand the differences between Cuisinart's clad stainless steel cookware lines and the differences between Cuisinart clad cookware and All-Clad D3, the industry standard. We look at features, heating performance, safety, durability, budget, buying options, and more. 

We also include basic information about clad stainless cookware to will help you buy wisely.


Table Of Contents (click to expand)

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware at a Glance

Here's a quick look at Cuisinart's clad stainless steel cookware lines. 

An asterisk indicates lines we recommend.

All lines of Cuisinart stainless steel cookware are made in China except the French Classic, which is made in France.

NOTE: Table may not be visible in mobile view.

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware Lines

(an asterisk * means we recommend it)

Line

Description


-3 ply (s-a-s). 2.6mm thick

-Closest to All Clad D3 of all lines

-Stainless or glass lids

-Drip-free lips on all pieces

-About $230 for12pc set.

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 7 pc set

-Like MC Pro w/different look and higher price

-Stainless lids 

-Drip-free lips

-Made in France

-About $300/10pc set.


CuisinartFrenchClassicSet_400px

*Cuisinart Professional Series

see it on Amazon

see it at Wal-Mart

-Disc-clad w/wrap-around construction (best disc design)

-Glass lids

-Drip-free lips

-Small skillet in set is nonstick

-About $140/11pc set.

Cuisinart Professional Series Set

-Disc-clad stainless

-Glass lids

-Drip-free pouring

-Several colors/buying options

-About $140/11pc set.

Cuisinart Hammered Collection

see set on Amazon

-Tri-ply copper-aluminum-stainless

-Stainless lids

-No skillet in set (sauté pan only)

-No lid for small sauce pan

-Available in 9 pc set only

-NOT induction compatible

-About $340/9pc set.

Cuisinart Hammered Copper 9Pc Set

Cuisinart Copper Tri-Ply

see it on Amazon

see it at Wal-Mart (best price)

-Tri-ply copper-aluminum-stainless

-Stainless lids

-Drip-free pouring

-NOT induction compatible

-Available in set only

-About $230(8pc)/$300(11pc).


Cuisinart7PcCopperTriPlySet

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About Cuisinart

Cuisinart began as the maker of the first-ever food processor in the early 1970s so it makes sense that "Cuisinart" is synonymous with "food processor" for many people. The food processor was an instant success in the US, and the Cuisinart company was born.

Cuisinart was sold to Conair--the blow dryer company--in 1989, after which they expanded into more small kitchen appliances and cookware. Cuisinart is still owned by Conair today, and cookware is now a large segment of their business: they have dozens of lines of cookware, including clad stainless, nonstick, enameled cast iron, and more. 

Conair generates about $2 billion in yearly revenue and has more than 3,500 employees. Their headquarters are in Stamford, Connecticut. Most of their products are manufactured in China, including most cookware. One notable exception is their French Classic cookware (reviewed below), which is made in France. 

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Clad Stainless Steel Cookware: What It Is and What Makes It Great 

Clad stainless steel cookware is made by fusing ("cladding") two or more different metals together. This takes advantage of the best attributes of each metal: durable stainless steel on the outside, heat-spreading aluminum (and/or copper) on the inside. The combination makes for durable cookware that provides excellent heating performance.

The most common clad cookware is 3 layers, or tri-ply, which has two layers of stainless that sandwich heat-spreading aluminum, as this diagram from All-Clad shows:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Most versions of Cuisinart clad stainless steel cookware use this design, with several variations.

Today you can also find multi-ply cookware, with 4, 5, or even 7 layers of cladding. Cuisinart doesn't offer a multi-ply product (that we know of), so that's all we'll say about multiple plies.

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Disc-Clad Cookware (What to Know Before You Buy)

Not all clad cookware is fully clad. Many brands are disc-clad, also called bottom-clad or impact-bonded. Disc-clad cookware has a disc with aluminum cladding welded to the bottom of the pan. The sides are a single layer of steel.

A bad disc-clad design has a too-small and too-thin disc, shown in cross section here (this is Cuisinart Chef's Classic cookware):

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Because heat comes only from the bottom, a good disc design has to have a much thicker layer than full cladding: a 4-6mm thick disc is common on good quality brands. 

A good disc-clad design also extends slightly up the sides of the pan, as shown in this diagram from Demeyere (makers of top quality disc-clad cookware):

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Cuisinart makes both types of disc-clad cookware. Chef's Classic has a small, thinnish disc that results in mediocre heating performance. Cuisinart Professional Series has the thicker, wraparound configuration that has better heating. (It won't have copper or silver in it, like the Demeyere diagram above, but the thick, aluminum disc provides excellent, even heat.)

If you go with disc cladding, you can adjust to cooking with it. You just need to be mindful of how it heats.

Should you buy disc-clad cookware? It's fine for pots you use for liquids, like stock pots. It's not the best choice for pans you use for solid foods, like skillets. 

However, with a thick enough heating core (like the Cuisinart Professional line), disc-clad cookware can perform as well as fully clad cookware.

Always read carefully to make sure the cookware has full cladding--if that's what you want.

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How to Choose Cookware (The 6 Important Attributes) 

When we research cookware, we look at six attributes: heating, durability, stability/safety, ease of care, design/usabiity, and value. 

It's a simple system that will help you choose the right cookware.

Heating Properties

Assuming safety, heating properties are the most important cookware attribute because cookware is used to heat (cook) food.

The two important aspects of heating in cookware are thermal conductivity and heat retention.

Thermal conductivity measures how fast cookware heats. Every cookware material has a specific thermal conductivity rating. Copper is the highest thermal, aluminum is second, cast iron is a distant third. Because copper is so expensive, most cookware uses aluminum.

High thermal conductivity also means a pan is responsive to temperature changes, meaning that it will heat and cool quickly. This is most important for delicate foods like fish, egg-based sauces, and candies.

Heat retention is a measure of how well cookware holds heat. Every material also has a heat retention rating. Cast iron is the highest, then carbon steel, then stainless steel. Copper and aluminum have poor heat retention (because they have high thermal conductivity).

Heat retention is a measure not only of mass as well as material: a thick pan has better heat retention than a thin pan, whatever the material. It's important for tasks like pan searing and deep frying, where the ability to hold heat produces better results.

All cookware is a compromise between thermal conductivity and heat retention. Copper and aluminum are on the responsive end of the spectrum; cast iron and carbon steel are on the opposite end because they hold onto heat. Clad stainless steel is in the middle: the aluminum heating core provides good thermal conductivity, and the stainless steel provides heat retention. 

The thicker the heating core, the better the thermal conductivity will be. The thicker the steel layers, the better the heat retention will be. Since greater mass also adds to heat retention, thicker cookware in general--regardless of the materials--holds heat better than thinner cookware.

When you understand this, you can choose your cookware accordingly: aluminum or copper pans for tasks that require quick response time; cast iron or carbon steel for tasks that require heat retention; or clad stainless steel for a happy medium that does most things well.

We think good quality clad stainless steel is the best choice for overall versatility; it's not perfect for every task, but it works for most tasks, as well as being durable and safe.

There's more to it, but this is a good overview. If you want to learn more, follow the links above to read more about thermal conductivity and heat retention.

Durability

Second to heating properties is durability--and we only put it second because so many people opt for ease of cleaning over durability by buying nonstick cookware, which only lasts about 1-5 years. 

Durability refers to how much use and abuse cookware can take. Most people want cookware that can stand up to hard use, even if this means it's not as easy to take care of. (This is why nonstick cookware ads are constantly touting nonstick as tough and durable: people want to believe there's such a thing as tough nonstick cookware--but there really isn't, especially when compared to clad stainless, cast iron, and carbon steel.)

Good quality clad stainless steel cookware is extremely durable. It stands up to high heat, metal utensils, abrasive cleaners, and more, and it will last for decades and stay looking shiny new.

Stability/Safety

Stability is about how reactive cookware is, with food, water, and the environment. 

The more stable (non-reactive) a pan's cooking surface is, the safer it is to use because it won't break down or leach toxins into your food.

Clad stainless steel cookware wins this category: it is extremely stable, non-reactive cookware. 

To read more about safe cookware, see our article Safe Cookware: The Definitive Guide to Healthy, Nontoxic Cookware.

Ease of Care

Here we look at routine maintenance. Does the cookware wash up easily (like nonstick)? Does it require polishing to stay beautiful (like copper)? Can you toss it in the dishwasher? Do you have to use special utensils or avoid high heat? Does it have a list of finicky care requirements? 

Clad stainless steel cookware can be sticky when not used properly (see our section on use below), but overall, it's easy to care for when you do know how to use it.

When you do get a sticky, messy pan, you can soak it in hot soapy water and scrub with abrasive cleansers or pads to get it clean. 

Contrary to popular belief (and reviews from people who don't know how to use it properly), stainless cookware isn't hard to care for.

Design/Usability

Design and usability are about how cookware looks and how easy it is to use. 

First, aesthetics: They matter. Beautiful cookware is a joy to use, and ugly cookware is not. You not only eat with your eyes first, you prepare food with your eyes first. The beauty of your cookware set can affect how much you enjoy your time in the kitchen. 

Second, and equally important, is usability: Is the cookware light and maneuverable--or heavy and well-performing, depending on your personal preference? Are the handles comfortable and do they help you stabilize full pans? Are the pan shapes functional (especially the skillets)? Do the lids fit well (and are preferably stainless over glass)? 

Pastel cookware is fashionable now, but stainless steel (or copper) cookware will be fashionable forever, and go with any decor. You really can't go wrong with the aesthetics of stainless steel cookware.

Design is subjective, but be sure any cookware you buy works for you (e.g., right weight, comfortable handles, good pan shapes, and has whatever other features you want).

Value

Value refers to cost, of course, but more, than that, too. 

We measure value by cost-per-year-of-use, so you're not just looking at initial cost, but how much the cookware costs over its life span. For example, aluminum nonstick cookware is inexpensive (or should be), but has an average life span of 1-5 years. 

A good quality set of clad stainless steel cookware is going to be a larger initial investment, but it's going to last decades. This makes its cost-per-year-of-use low; in most cases, lower than the inexpensive nonstick cookware that you have to replace every couple of years.

You can figure in the warranty, too. Cookware should come with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects, meaning the maker will replace any pan that breaks due to faulty workmanship. A lot of people think this applies to a nonstick coating, but it doesn't, as these coatings losing their nonstick properties is considered normal wear and tear.

Cuisinart stainless has a lifetime warranty. This cookware holds up well, but if a piece does warp, rust, or break, Cuisinart will replace it free of charge.  

The upshot here is that if you invest in good quality cookware, you will spend less in the long run, even if you spend more initially. And, you want to buy a known brand with a good warranty to protect yourself in case something goes wrong.

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Sets Vs. Individual Pieces: Which Is Best?

Sets can be the right choice or the wrong choice, depending on your situation. If you're just starting out, you may need everything, and a set is the best way to get the most pieces at the best price. If you already own a lot of cookware, you may want to instead focus on adding to your collection with a new piece or two.

If you do go with a set, we recommend small sets over large sets. Large sets can have filler pieces--that is, smallish pieces that you won't get a lot of use out of. 

For example, if a set comes with two sauce pans, they should be a 1.5 qt and a 3 qt, not a 1.5 qt and a 2 qt. These are too close in size to provide the versatility you want when purchasing a set.

Remember also that when you buy a set, you're not going to get every piece you need, no matter how big the set is. So when you have to augment your set with, say, a larger frying pan or a roasting pan, you won't feel as bad spending more on these pieces if you started out with a small set rather than a large set.

The only drawback with buying individual pieces is that they'll cost more. However, you'll get exactly what you want, and nothing you don't want. 

Tips for Buying Cookware Sets

  • Make sure the pieces are the sizes you want (they are often smaller than you think)
  • Make sure you'll use all the pieces in the set--if you won't, buy a smaller set, or individual pieces 
  • Check different retailers to make sure you're getting a good deal. You might think a premium retailer like Williams-Sonoma will be more expensive, but often they aren't, and they might throw in a free extra piece with your purchase. If you're a first-time buyer, you can sign up on their website and save 15-20%, as well. 
  • Work the cost of extra pieces into your budget, because no set has everything.
  • Avoid sets that have everything but the kitchen sink; utensils, mixing bowls, and knives tend to be mediocre quality when included in a cookware set.
  • Remember that you don't have to spend a fortune to get good quality, though you should read reviews and educate yourself so you can get exactly what you want without overspending.

See also our Stainless Steel Cookware Set Buying Guide.

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How Does Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Compare to All-Clad D3?

Cuisinart MC Pro skillet

Cuisinart MC Pro skillet: steeper sides with more flat cooking surface.

All-Clad D3 skillet

All-Clad D3 skillet: longer sides with less flat cooking surface.

All-Clad tri-ply patent expired in 2004. Today, there are hundreds of clad stainless cookware brands on the market competing with All-Clad D3. Most of them aren't as good, a few are better, and just a handful are about the same.

Cuisinart's D3 knock-off is Multiclad Pro, and it's one of the few brands similar in construction and performance to All-Clad D3. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to All-Clad D3 and don't mind cookware made in China, Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is a great option.

Many people prefer the handles of MultiClad-Pro over D3 handles, and the skillet shape is also good, with a little bit more flat cooking surface than the D3 skillet.

Multiclad Pro isn't quite as good as D3. Some users complain of warping, and the pans are slightly thinner than D3. But for the price, Multiclad Pro is one of the best picks you'll find.

Cuisinart French Classic is an upgraded version of Multiclad Pro (and made in France), so it's another excellent D3 knockoff. It's more expensive than Multiclad Pro, but a good deal compared to D3.

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Using and Caring For Clad Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel cookware isn't hard to clean if you know how to use it. There's a technique to cooking on clad stainless, and once you have it figured out, you'll find that it's not nearly as difficult to maintain as you might think. 

Here's how to cook with stainless steel:

  • Turn on the heat and let the pan get hot before adding oil. 
  • When the pan is hot, add oil, butter, or cooking spray. You only need enough to coat the bottom. Let it heat for several seconds. 
  • When the oil is shimmering, add food (if it's smoking, it's too hot). The hot oil forms a barrier so your food won't stick as much and also helps create that wonderful fond that adds so much flavor (see Maillard reaction for more info on this).
  • Let the food cook undisturbed until it forms a crust. It will now release from the pan naturally, without sticking. Flip the food and again leave it until it releases naturally. 
  • After cooking, you can de-glaze the pan with water, stock, or wine to remove the fond from the pan and make a delicious pan sauce. This not only fancies up your meal, but also removes a lot of the goop from the pan, making it easier to wash.

For those rare times you have a sticky mess, let your pan soak in hot soapy water, then use a scrubby pad and some Barkeeper's Friend to remove the mess.

Other methods: Some people swear by seasoning stainless steel, but we haven't found that it matters all that much. You can also learn how to use the Leidenfrost Effect, which is about the heat setting: if you get it right, you can cook any food in stainless without sticking, and without any oil or butter.

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*Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 4.0

Heating Properties: 4.0

Durability: 4.0

Stability: 3.5

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 4.0

Value: 5.0

See Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Cookware on Amazon (several buying options)

See Cuisinart Multiclad Pro cookware at WalMart (several buying options)

12 piece set about $230

Multiclad Pro is Cuisinart's most popular clad cookware line, and may be their most popular cookware in any category. It's a straight-up knockoff of All-Clad D3, and close in construction and performance. The main difference is the price: it will set you back a fraction of All-Clad.

Because of its similarity to All-Clad D3, Multiclad Pro is also Cuisinart's highest quality cookware line.

Multiclad Pro is available in two set sizes--7 piece and 12 piece--and also as individual pieces (open stock). You will find the best variety of pieces on Amazon or at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

NOTE: The 10-piece set on Amazon has glass lids so it's not a true Multiclad Pro set.

Sets include:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
7 Piece
  • 1.5 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 3 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 10-inch skillet
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid (lid will fit skillet).
Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
12 Piece
  • 1.5 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 3 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 8-inch skillet
  • 10-inch skillet
  • 3.5 qt sauté pan w/lid
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid
  • steamer insert w/lid.

Several individual pieces are available, as well.

Features

Features of Multiclad Pro:

  • 3 ply stainless-aluminum-stainless App. 2.6mm thick
  • 18/10 stainless steel
  • Brushed magnetic stainless exterior for induction compatibility
  • Almost identical construction to All-Clad tri-ply
  • Stainless lids (some pieces may now have glass lids)
  • Drip-free lips
  • Cool grip handles
  • Oven safe to 550F (including lids)
  • Dishwasher safe (though we recommend hand washing all cookware)
  • Induction compatible
  • Helper handles on large pieces
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in China.

Heating Properties

At 2.6mm, Cuisinart Multiclad Pro cookware has the same thickness as All-Clad tri-ply. This means you can expect similar performance. MultiClad Pro's aluminum layer is slightly thinner, so it will crash faster than All-Clad D3 when you add cold food--but not by much. Most cooks won't notice the difference unless doing something like searing a steak, where heat retention is important (and you should use cast iron for this task anyway, because all tri-ply is going to lose heat more quickly than cast iron).

Durability

Cuisinart  uses 18/10 stainless steel for the cooking surfaces and magnetic stainless for the exterior. The pans hold up and and resist corrosion, rusting, and pitting.

The one thing some users complain about is warping: if you change temperature abruptly--say, by running water into a still-hot pan--your pan may warp. But we tried to make this happen several times, with several different pieces, and couldn't cause any of the MultiClad Pro pans to warp. Regardless, we took a half point off for these complaints (stainless usually gets 5 stars for durability).

If your pans do rust, corrode, or warp, you can get them replaced for free due to the lifetime warranty (which Cuisinart will honor).

Stability/Safety

Stability refers to how much cookware will react with food and other things it comes in contact with. Stainless steel is stable, and won't with food or rusting. 

This means this is safe cookware to use. In fact, stainless steel is some of the safest cookware on the market.

Ease of Care

Stainless steel can be sticky if you don't know the right cooking technique. However, the Multiclad Pro cleans up pretty well. The highly polished cooking surface is smooth and cleans up as easily as most other clad stainless cookware we've tested.

If you use the right cooking techniques, cleanup is pretty easy (see above). But it's not nonstick, so we give it three stars for ease of care.

Design (Usability and Aesthetics)

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro cookware is very usable cookware; a lot of people actually prefer it to All-Clad.

All the pieces have lips for drip-free pouring. 

The handles are flat, with rounded edges and a slight groove for easy grip:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

They're also split where they attach to the pan, allowing for air flow, which keeps handles cool.

Larger pieces like the 12-inch frying pan have a helper handle for easier handling. 

We also like the shape of the skillets, which have a lot of flat cooking surface. 

Overall, Multiclad Pro is a pretty, functional cookware set.

Value

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is one of the best deals you're going to find on quality clad stainless cookware. And remember, this cookware is comparable to All-Clad D3, which is not true of most cookware at this price point.

The sets do have some filler pieces, so you will probably want to supplement with a larger sauce pan and a larger skillet if you get one of the sets. Even so, the value is incredible. 

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent price
  • Very good quality
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Cons 

  • Slightly thinner than All-Clad tri-ply so there may be issues with warping (Cuisinart will replace a warped pan at no charge).

Recommendation

If you're looking for a set very close in construction and performance to All-Clad, Multiclad Pro is one of your best options at the best price.

Highly recommended.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

buy cuisinart multiclad pro cookware:

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*Cuisinart French Classic Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.8

Heating Properties: 4.0

Durability:4.0

Stability: 4.0

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 4.0

Value: 4.0

See Cuisinart French Classic Cookware on Amazon (several buying options)

See Cuisinart French Classic Cookware at Wal-Mart

10 piece set about $400

French Classic is a fancier version of Multiclad Pro that's made in France.  This is reflected in the price, as it is Cuisinart's most expensive clad cookware line. Even so, it is still quite affordable.

French Classic has a different aesthetic than MC Pro, as well, with swoopier handles and French skillets instead of regular frying pans. French skillets are a bit taller with slightly straighter sides than a regular skillet; think of them as a cross between a skillet and a sauté pan.

If you prefer the design to Multiclad Pro, or want cookware that's not made in China, Cuisinart French Classic offers identical performance in a slightly different package. 

The sets include:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
10 Piece Set
  • 2 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 3 qt sauté pan w/lid and helper handle 
  • 4.5 qt Dutch Oven w/lid 
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid 
  • 8-inch French Skillet 
  • 10-inch French Skillet
Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
13 Piece Set
  • 1.5 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 2.5 qt sauce pan w.lid
  • 3 qt sauté pan w/lid and helper handle
  • 8-inch French skillet
  • 10-inch French skillet
  • 4.5 qt Dutch oven w/lid
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid
  • Pasta Insert (fits 8 qt stock pot).

You can also buy French Classic as individual pieces. We especially like the 12-inch skillet.

Features

Features of Cuisinart French Classic tri-ply:

  • 3 ply stainless-aluminum-stainless App. 2.6mm thick.
  • Closest to All Clad tri-ply of any knock off (like Multiclad Pro)
  • Stainless lids
  • Cool grip handles
  • Oven safe to 500F (including lids)
  • High polish finish (makes for easier cleaning)
  • Dishwasher safe (though we recommend hand washing all cookware)
  • Induction compatible
  • Helper handles on large pieces
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in France.

Heating Properties

French Classic is basically Multiclad Pro with a different design, so the heating properties are some of the best to be found among affordable clad stainless cookware. 

Durability

The durability is good.

We let pans sit for several hours with water in them, used generous amounts of salt and acids in cooking, and had no issues at all with the cookware. It retained its shiny luster very well after cleaning.

The vast majority of product reviews (on Amazon and elsewhere) support our testing. However, a small percentage of buyers reported warping, rusting, discoloration, and a few other quality issues. 

These pans have a limited lifetime warranty, so if your pans do rust, corrode, or warp, you can get them replaced for free. 

Stability/Safety

French Classic pans are stable and non-reactive, so they're a safe surface to cook on. Salts and acidic foods may cause some pan discoloration, but the cookware itself remains stable and won't leach unhealthy particles into your food. 

Ease of Care

Stainless steel is not the easiest surface to clean; that honor goes to nonstick cookware. However, the French Classic cookware cleaned up as well as any stainless steel cookware we've tested. The reason for this is the high polish finish which creates a smooth exterior. Right now brushed exteriors are popular because they hide wear and imperfections, but for ease of cleaning, the more polished the finish, the better.

Remember that if you use the right cooking techniques, cleanup can be easy (see above).

Design (Usability and Aesthetics)

French Classic is generally considered Cuisinart's prettiest line of clad stainless steel cookware. The high polish and the long swoopy handles give these pans an expensive feel.

Some drawbacks: Cuisinart French Classic does not have grooved lips for drip-free pouring, and they do drip a bit. 

You can buy a French Classic skillet or nonstick French Classic skillet, which have lips. But none of the other pieces in this line, including the sauce pans, have lips. 

The handles are squarish and have an indentation to help with grip:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Like all Cuisinart cookware, handles are split at the pan for air flow to help keep the handle relatively cool to the touch. 

Stainless lids and helper handles on the larger pieces are great features. 

The French skillets in this set are actually more sloped than the skillets in the Multiclad Pro set, providing slightly less flat cooking surface. 

Set Piece Sizes: The 8 qt stock pot is nice, but the 2 qt sauce pan and 4.5 qt Dutch oven are on the small side. The 8-in./10-in. skillets are standard, but we prefer a 12-inch, which you'll have to buy separately. This is standard for Cuisinart cookware sets, though, so we don't deduct any points for it. And if you go with the 13 piece set, the steamer is a nice addition which you will probably use all the time. 

Value

French Classic is one of Cuisinart's higher priced cookware lines. Even so, the prices are reasonable, especially when compared to All-Clad. If you think this is too much to pay for what is essentially a fancier version of Multiclad Pro, deduct a point. 

Cuisinart French Classic Cookware Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Good quality
  • Made in France (not China)
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Cons 

  • Essentially higher-priced Multiclad Pro
  • No lips for drip-free pouring.

Recommendation

If you want a fancier version of Cuisinart Multiclad Pro (for a higher price), the French Classic is the way to go. Or if you want to buy an affordable set that's not made in China, French Classic is a great option. 

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

BUY CUISINART french classic cookware:

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*Cuisinart Professional Series Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.75

Heating Properties: 3.5

Durability: 4.0

Stability: 4.0

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 3.0

Value: 5.0

See Cuisinart Professional Series Cookware on Amazon (several buying options)

See Cuisinart Professional Series at Wal-Mart

11 piece set about $160

Cuisinart Professional Series is a little more expensive than the super-economical Chef's Classic line (reviewed below), but less than a fully clad line like Multiclad Pro. The disc cladding is "wraparound," meaning the coverage reaches up the side of the pan slightly, which is what you want is disc clad cookware (see above for more on disc cladding).

The thick aluminum base with the wraparound design makes great, even heating cookware. 

The small (8-inch) skillet in both sets is nonstick; both sets also come with a steamer insert, which is a great piece that most people get a lot of use out of.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
11 Piece Set:
  • 2 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 3 qt pour sauce pan w/strainer lid
  • 3 qt sauté pan w/lid and helper handle
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid
  • 8-inch nonstick skillet
  • 10-inch skillet
  • Steamer insert.
Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
13 Piece Set:
  • 2 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 3 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 4 qt sauté pan w/lid and helper handle
  • 5 qt Dutch oven w/strainer lid
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid
  • 8-inch nonstick skillet
  • 10-inch skillet
  • Steamer insert.

Features

Features of Cuisinart Professional Series cookware:

  • "Wraparound" disc cladding with thick aluminum base (minimizes heating discontinuity)
  • Glass lids
  • Cool grip handles
  • Oven safe to 500F (glass lids oven safe to 350F)
  • High polish finish (makes for easier cleaning)
  • Dishwasher safe (though we recommend hand washing all cookware)
  • Induction compatible
  • Helper handles on large pieces
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in China.

Heating Properties

The Cuisinart Professional Series has a wraparound disc bottom. This design is similar to high-end bottom-clad cookware like Demeyere Atlantis, but with an all aluminum encapsulated base. 

The wraparound design minimizes the heat discontinuity found in most disc-clad cookware without a wraparound disc (like Chef's Classic, below). 

The Cuisinart Professional Series is a strong competitor to the higher-end (and much more expensive) disc clad cookware. We deducted half a point for the disc cladding, but if you don't think this will bother you, you can consider this to have 4-star heating properties.

Durability

The stainless walls of the Professional line are thinner than many disc-clad cookware lines (0.6mm vs the standard 0.8mm). This doesn't affect heating performance, but may make the pans more prone to denting. We did not notice any issues with this in our testing, but we could see how it could easily happen in daily use. On the plus side, these pans are lighter than other lines, yet still have great heating properties.

We deducted some points for the thin walls and glass lids, but overall this is pretty durable cookware.

Stability/Safety

Stability refers to how cookware will react with food; for example, aluminum and cast iron cookware both react with acidic foods, which can impart an off, metallic taste to your meals.

Being stainless steel, Professional Series pans are highly stable and non-reactive. Salts and acidic foods may cause some pan discoloration, but the cookware won't leach any unhealthy particles into your food.

Overall, this is safe, stable cookware.

Ease of Care

Stainless steel is not the easiest surface to clean compared to nonstick, so we tend to rate it right in the middle. However, the Professional Series cookware was as easy to wash--when used properly--as most other clad stainless cookware. The high polish finish is why. 

If you want super easy cleaning, your only real option is nonstick cookware (which we do not recommend for everyday cooking; it just does not have the durability to stand up to everyday use). 

Remember, though, that if you use the right cooking techniques, cleanup is pretty easy: heat pan/add oil/heat until shimmering/add food/let food form a crust before moving. If you follow these steps, you'll find your stainless cookware much easier to clean.

Design (Usability and Aesthetics)

Cuisinart Professional Series as a very utilitarian vibe; maybe this is why they call it "Professional."

Every piece has a grooved lip for drip-free pouring, which is great.

The handles are round and hollow:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

They flatten out towards the pot, which gives them really great grip. While nothing fancy, everyone who tested these pots loved the handles. 

We take off a half point for the glass lids, as stainless lids are lighter weight and more durable. If you don't mind glass lids though (a lot of people like them), you can add half a point to a point to this category.

The strainer lid, found on the large sauce pan in the 11-piece set and on the Dutch oven in the 13-piece set, are nice touches.

Set Piece Sizes: The 8 qt stock pot is nice, and we like that the set comes with a 3 qt sauce pan. The 2 qt sauce pan verges on a filler piece, though you may actually get a lot of use out of it depending on how you cook (it's certainly better than a 1 qt. sauce pan). The 8-in./10-in. skillets are standard, but we prefer a 12-inch. This is standard for Cuisinart cookware sets, though, so we don't deduct any points for it. In the smaller set you get a 3 qt sauté pan, while in the bigger set you get a 4qt sauté pan; we much prefer the 4 qt sauté pan. The 5 qt. Dutch oven in the larger set is also nice, and as we've already mentioned, most people are going to love the steamer insert.

Value

When you compare Cuisinart Professional Series to high-end disc-clad cookware like Demeyere Atlantis--which it was probably designed to compete with--the price makes it a no-brainer. 

Cuisinart Professional Series Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Wraparound disc cladding offers great performance
  • Great price 
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Cons 

  • Disc cladding won't provide the same performance as full cladding, esp. in skillets
  • Made in China.

Recommendation

If you want disc-clad cookware, Cuisinart Professional Series is one of the best deals on the market. Most inexpensive disc cookware has a small, thin disc that won't heat well. This is not the case with Professional Series. It has great heating properties.

If you want full cladding--which is rarely a mistake--go with the Multiclad Pro or French Classic.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

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Cuisinart Chef's Classic Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.3

Heating Properties: 2.5

Durability: 3.5

Stability: 4.0

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 3.0

Value: 4.0

See Cuisinart Chef's Classic Cookware on Amazon

See Cuisinart Chef's Classic at Wal-Mart

11 piece set about $140

Chef's Classic is Cuisinart's sort of catch-all line, as it not only includes stainless cookware but also aluminum, anodized aluminum, nonstick, and enameled cast iron pieces.

We are only reviewing the stainless steel Chef's Classic, which is disc-clad and not one of our favorites. It is one of Cuisinart's most affordable and most inclusive lines of cookware, as you can find double boilers, roasting pans, woks, pasta pots, and other open stock pieces not available in Cuisinart's other cookware lines. 

Many retailers carry Chef's Classic, but Amazon and Wal-Mart have the best selection and the best prices. The sets and available pieces vary from site to site, so be sure to check both sites to make sure you're getting what you want.

These are the most popular sets:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
7 Piece Set
  • 1.5 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 3 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 10-inch skillet 
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid.
Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
10/11 Piece Set
  • 1.5 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 3 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 8 qt stock pot w/lid
  • 3.5 qt sauté pan w/lid
  • 8-in skillet
  • 10-in skillet.
  • Steamer insert (11 pc set only).

You can also find a 14-piece set at Wal-Mart (about $220) and a 17-piece set on Amazon (about $180) that has a 12-inch skillet with a lid (great piece!). We don't normally recommend buying such large sets because you're bound to end up with filler pieces (i.e., small pieces that round out a set), but the 12-inch skillet w/lid is a nice piece--just make sure you'll use all the other pieces, or you're better off buying a large skillet separately.

Features

  • Disc-clad aluminum base (the stainless steel line is induction compatible, but other lines may not be)
  • Glass lids (though 11-piece set on Amazon has stainless lids in photo)
  • Cool grip handles
  • Oven safe to 500F (including lids)
  • High polish finish (makes for easier cleaning)
  • Dishwasher safe (though we recommend hand washing all cookware)
  • Many open stock pieces available, as well as several colors
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in China.

Heating Properties

Chef's Classic has the typical too-small disc cladding found on inexpensive clad stainless cookware. Here's a diagram of Cuisinart Chef's Classic disc cladding:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

As you can see, the cladding doesn't wrap around the bottom of the pan, as on the Professional Series (reviewed above). It is also a much thinner disc. These two factors add up to mediocre heating properties.

Our testing proved this to be true. The thermal discontinuity around the edges of the pans was frustrating, to say the least. Sure, you can alter your techniques to compensate for this (lots of stirring!), and it's mostly a factor with frying and sautéing and not such an issue with steaming and boiling, but it's still a pain.

If you want disc clad cookware, we recommend you go with the Professional Series.

Durability

In our testing we did not see any noticeable corrosion, rusting, or pitting, but we deducted some points for customer complaints about staining and denting.

We also took off points for glass lids.

Stability/Safety

Chef's Classic stainless steel cookware is going to hold up and not be reactive with food. It is a safe choice for cookware.

Ease of Care

Chef's Classic gets average ratings for ease of care. Being stainless, it can be sticky, but it's also not terrible when used properly. Like all stainless cookware, we give it an average rating.

Design (Usability and Aesthetics)