January 14

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware Review: Which Line Is Best?

By trk

Last Updated: November 15, 2022

cookware, cuisinart, stainless steel

If you're in the market for affordable yet good quality stainless steel cookware, you should definitely consider the Cuisinart brand. Cuisinart makes a huge array of cookware, including several clad stainless steel options. Cuisinart cookware is known for affordability, but also for quality, durability, and good customer service.

There are huge differences between the Cuisinart cookware lines. Fully clad or disc clad? Made in China or made in France? Excellent quality and affordable, or just mediocre quality, and extremely affordable? 

This is an in-depth Cuisinart cookware review to help you understand the differences between Cuisinart's most popular clad stainless steel cookware lines. We also include shorter reviews of the lesser known and less popular lines (as well as buying options) so you can do a full comparison. 


Table Of Contents (click to expand)

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware at a Glance

Here are Cuisinart cookware's stainless steel cookware lines at a glance. This table summarizes the differences and should help get you looking in the right direction for your cookware purchase. An asterisk indicates lines we like and recommend.

Note that 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--Comparison and Recommendations

(an asterisk * means we recommend it)

Line

Description


-3 ply (s-a-s). App. 2.6mm thick. -Closest to All Clad D3 (tri-ply)

-Stainless or glass lids (check before buying)

-Drip-free lips on all pieces

-About $230/12pc set.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

-Almost identical to MC Pro with different look and higher price.

-Stainless lids 

-Drip-free lips

-Made in France

-About $300/10pc set.


Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

*Cuisinart Professional Series

see it on Amazon

see it at Williams-Sonoma

-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 Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

-Disc-clad stainless

-Glass lids

-Drip-free pouring

-Several colors/buying options

-About $140/11pc set.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Cuisinart Hammered Collection

see set on Amazon

-Tri-ply copper-aluminum-stainless/Stainless-aluminum-stainless

-Stainless lids

-No skillet in set (sauté pan only)

-No lid w/small sauce pan

-Available in 9 pc set only

-Copper NOT induction compatible

-About $340/9pc set.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Cuisinart Copper Tri-Ply

see it on Amazon

see it at Wal-Mart (best price)

-Copper-plated tri-ply stainless

-Stainless lids

-Drip-free pouring

-NOT induction compatible

-Available in set only

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


Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

back to top

About Cuisinart

Cuisinart began as the maker of the first-ever food processor in the early 1970s. This makes sense, as "Cuisinart" is synonymous with "food processor" for many people. The founder, Carl Sontheimer, created the machine after observing the use of food prep machines in France. The food processor was an almost instant success in the US, and the Cuisinart company was born.

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

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 almost all of their cookware. One notable exception is their French Classic cookware line (reviewed below), made in France. 

back to top

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

Clad stainless steel cookware is made by fusing two or more different metals together. This takes advantage of the best attributes of the metals: 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.

Clad stainless steel cookware was invented by John Ulam, the founder of All-Clad. When All-Clad's patent on tri-ply cookware expired in the early 2000s, hundred--if not thousands--of makers began to compete in the clad cookware market, including Cuisinart.

See our review of All-Clad cookware

The most common configuration of clad cookware is 3 layers, or tri-ply. This configuration contains 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 on the theme (as you will see in the reviews below).

Today you can also find multi-ply cookware, with 4, 5, or even 7 layers of cladding. While multi-ply cookware has become popular, it isn't necessarily better than tri-ply. What makes cookware good isn't the number of layers, but rather, the quality and amount of the materials used.

Since Cuisinart cookware doesn't offer a multi-ply product (that we know of), that's all we'll say about multiple plies in this article.

back to top

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

Not all clad cookware has full cladding. Many brands--including lines of Cuisinart cookware--are disc-clad, also called bottom-clad or impact-bonded cookware. In disc-clad cookware, a disc with aluminum cladding is welded to the bottom of the pan. The sides are just stainless steel.

Depending on the configuration, this can result in a circle of abrupt heat discontinuity where the cladding ends. This is most noticeable on pans that rely on the curved sides for actual cooking, such as a skillet or a sauciér. It is less noticeable on straight-sided pans such as sauté pans, sauce pans, and stock pots, particularly when used for liquids, which are more efficient at moving heat evenly around the pan. 

A bad disc-clad configuration 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)

NOTE: If clad stainless steel cookware has a price that's too good to be true, it might be disc-clad cookware. Manufacturers save money with disc cladding. Always read carefully to make sure the cookware has full cladding if that's what you want.

A better disc-clad configuration has a "wraparound" configuration which extends slightly up the sides of the pan and is thicker than full cladding, 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. Their Chef's Classic has the too-small, too-thin disc that results in mediocre heating performance and a circle of abrupt heat discontinuity where the cladding ends.

The Cuisinart Professional Series has the wraparound configuration that offers good heating. (It won't have copper or silver in it, like the Demeyere shown here, but the thick aluminum disc provides excellent heating with minimal heat discontinuity.)

Needless to say, we much prefer the Professional Series to the Chef's Classic.

For skillets and sauciers, we recommend fully-clad pieces like Multiclad Pro or French Classic.

If you decide to go with disc cladding, you can adjust to cooking with it. You just need to be mindful of the discontinuity and compensate with extra stirring to help your solid foods cook more evenly.

Should you buy disc-clad cookware? As with so many things, the answer is, "it depends." High quality disc-clad cookware can perform as well as fully clad cookware and in some cases better. This is especially true for straight-sided pieces that don't rely on the sides of the pan for heating. Demeyere Atlantis (see it on Amazon) is some of the highest quality cookware in the world, and the straight-sided pieces are all disc-clad. 

On the other hand, if the disc cladding is too small and too thin (as in the Chef's Classic diagram above), it won't heat very well, so you should only buy it if you can't afford better quality cookware. (With the Professional line costing about the same, there's really no reason to buy Chef's Classic at all.)

back to top

How to Choose Cookware (The 6 Attributes You Need to Know) 

When we research and review cookware, we look at six attributes: heating, durability, stability/safety, ease of care, design/usabiity, and value. We give each cookware line a rating from one to five in each category and an overall average. 

This provides a clear, easy-to-follow system that should be of great help in picking out cookware.

Here's a quick description of each category, and how we rate it.

Heating Properties

Heating properties are arguably the most important cookware attribute, as the whole point of cookware is to provide even, rapid heating that makes your time in the kitchen easier. 

There are two aspects of heating properties that we look at (it's a little more complicated than this, but these are the most important ones): thermal conductivity and heat retention. Thermal conductivity is a measure of how fast and how evenly cookware heats; every cookware material has a specific thermal conductivity. Heat retention is a measure of how well cookware holds onto heat--important if you're pan searing a steak, for example (a pan that holds onto heat well, like cast iron, is going to provide a better sear than a pan with lower heat retention, like most clad stainless/aluminum pans). Heat retention is a measure not only of the material, but also the mass: that is, any thick pan will have better heat retention than any thin pan, regardless of the material it's made of.

Most cookware is a compromise between these two properties. For example, super heavy cookware like cast iron or Demeyere Atlantis is going to provide excellent heat retention, but it's going to be heavy and, for some people, unwieldy to use. Lighter weight cookware like most clad stainless tri-ply is going to have worse heat retention, but still provide rapid, even heating, and be lighter and easier to handle.

Once you understand this, you can choose accordingly: heavy cookware with terrific heating properties that's harder to use, or lighter weight cookware that's more all-purpose and easier to handle?

Many cooks have some of each in their kitchen. They use their tri-ply clad stainless for all-purpose cooking and pull out the cast iron for searing or deep frying. They may also have an aluminum skillet with a nonstick coating for eggs and other sticky foods (which may or may not have good heat retention, depending on how thick it is).

Real cookware geeks may also have a top-quality pan like a Demeyere Proline skillet, opting for top performance over ease of use. (The Proline skillet is fabulous, but it's heavy.)

The task also matters: for example, a cast iron Dutch oven is going to be far superior to a lighter weight clad stainless Dutch oven for oven braising, as the cast iron simply holds onto heat in a superior way; the heavier lid also aids in reducing evaporation (important when braising). However, cast iron isn't necessary for most sautéing and pan frying tasks, and tri-ply clad stainless usually provide better results (as well as being easier to use). 

No cookware material is perfect, so this isn't as straightforward as you might think. For example, copper is the fastest and most even heating, but it's expensive and can be hard to maintain. Aluminum also has excellent thermal conductivity, but can react with some foods and there's some evidence of health risks--and coated aluminum (i.e., nonstick) doesn't last very long. Cast iron holds onto heat extremely well but heats unevenly and takes forever to get fully hot; if not enameled, it can react with acidic foods to cause an off, metallic taste. 

In our opinion, good quality clad stainless steel wins this category for its overall versatility; while it's not perfect for every task, it works well for most tasks, with no worries about reacting with food.

You can't really say that about other types of cookware.

So you can see that heating properties is a subject worthy of its own article (if not book). But we've given you the basics here, so you should have an idea of what's important to you and what compromises you're willing to make (because there will always be compromises to make when choosing cookware).

Since Cuisinart cookware is all over the board as far as heating properties, we will discuss them in the individual reviews below.

Durability

Second only 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 a few years at best. (And which is why we don't particularly like nonstick cookware, or recommend it for everyday use.)

Durability refers, of course, to how much use and abuse cookware can take. The kitchen can be a hostile environment, demanding a lot out of cookware, knives, dinnerware, small appliances, and more. Most people want cookware that can stand up to hard use, even if this means it's not as easy to take care of.

Well-designed clad stainless steel cookware is extremely durable cookware. It can take a lot of use and abuse and keep on going. Metal utensils, harsh abrasives, dishwashers--it can take it all and last for decades; it can even look new for decades when cared for properly. 

Cast iron cookware may be even more durable, but it's not as versatile, so clad stainless wins this category.

Cuisinart stainless steel cookware is durable and should outlast many other types of cookware (nonstick, we're looking at you).

Stability/Safety

Stability is about whether cookware will react with food, as many types of cookware do--including cast iron, copper, and aluminum. This is primarily about the cooking surface, and not a pan's exterior construction.

The more stable a pan's cooking surface is, the safer it is: you want cookware that's as stable and nonreactive as possible.

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

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

Ease of Care

Ease of care is about 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 and a pain to wash, especially when not used properly (see our section on use below), so it doesn't win this category--that honor goes to nonstick. However, when used properly, clad stainless is not hard to clean, and it since it is more durable, stable, and versatile than other types of cookware, we prefer it to nonstick cookware for most cooking tasks.

Design/Usability

Design is a catch-all category that includes how the cookware looks and how easy it is to use. 

First, aesthetics: You may think this is a foolish thing to look at for something as utilitarian as cookware, but let's be honest: it matters. Beautiful cookware is a joy to use, while 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 and value your kitchen time.

Second, but equally important, usability: Is the cookware light and maneuverable (or wonderfully heavy and well-performing, depending on your personal preference)? Are the handles easy to grasp and do they help you stabilize full pots and pans? Do you like the pan shapes (especially the skillets)? Do the lids fit well (and are preferably stainless over glass)? Do they perform how you want them to?

Clad stainless steel cookware is generally pretty--even cheap clad stainless steel--but its usability can vary depending on many factors. Good quality clad stainless cookware is a joy to use and should fulfill almost all of your use requirements. 

Overall, we think clad stainless wins this category.

Value

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

We like to look at cost-per-year-of-use, as this is a better measure of the long-term value you're getting. So 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; even mediocre clad stainless cookware is going to last for a looong time. This makes its cost-per-year-of-use low; in most cases, lower than the inexpensive nonstick cookware.

Most clad stainless steel cookware also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you can also factor that into the value--if a piece rusts or warps, the manufacturer will replace it, no questions asked. (At least if you buy a reputable brand they will.) This is usually not the case for nonstick cookware, even if it has a "lifetime" warranty.

You also want to consider the quality of the cookware: low cost isn't good value if the cookware is poor quality. In fact, we believe you should buy the best quality cookware your budget allows. In the long run, your cost-per-year-of-use will be so low.

Having said that, you do not have to buy at the top of the market to get good quality clad stainless cookware. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is one of the best clad stainless values you'll find anywhere: You get All-Clad-like performance, and close to All-Clad quality, too, for a fraction of the cost.

Cuisinart is able to do this for a few reasons: one is that their cookware is made in China, while All-Clad is still made in the US, so Cuisinart's manufacturing costs are lower. Some of their lines also have glass lids; which are cheaper to make (though not as durable as stainless lids).

Even so, the Cuisinart quality is good, and their cookware holds up well over the years. And, if a piece does warp or rust, Cuisinart will replace it free of charge.  

Whenever you buy a brand of cookware made in China, you are taking a risk. There are a lot of ways manufacturers can skimp on quality. This is why you see the prices for clad stainless cookware all over the place. (Again: if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.) 

However, if you buy a reputable brand like Cuisinart Multiclad Pro, you are getting good quality and good performance at a fabulous price, even though it's made in China.

For more information about buying online, see our article How to Buy Online: Teach Yourself About Technical Products and Get What You Can Truly Love.

back to top

Sets Vs. Individual Pieces: Which Is Best?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It all depends 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 augmenting your collection with a few choice pieces.

Having said that, we do prefer small sets over large sets in most cases. The reason is that sets can have a lot of filler pieces--smallish pieces that you won't get a lot of use out of. And the larger the set, the more likely it is to have filler pieces. 

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.

Also, when buying sets, you're likely to not get all the pieces you want or need, no matter how big the set is. So when you have to augment your set with, say, a larger frying pan, a nonstick pan, and a roasting pan, you won't feel as bad spending more on these pieces if you've bought a smaller set rather than a larger 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 they'll be)
  • Make sure you'll use all the pieces in the set--if you won't, buy a smaller set, or open stock (which you'll end up doing anyway, as no set has everything--e.g., a roasting pan)
  • Check around at 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 often 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 and mixing bowls tend to be poor quality when included in a cookware set, as does the cookware itself--and again, you will probably prefer to pick out your own pieces. 
  • 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.

back to top

How Does Cuisinart Clad Stainless Compare to All-Clad?

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.

Many brands of clad stainless cookware began as knock-offs of All-Clad D3 tri-ply, when All-Clad's patent expired around 2004. Today, there are hundreds of clad stainless cookware on the market competing with All-Clad. 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 that are similar in construction and performance to All-Clad D3. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to All-Clad D3, Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is a good option. Many people prefer the handles on MC-Pro over the D3 handles, and the skillet shape is also good, with a little bit more flat cooking surface than D3.

Multiclad Pro isn't quite as good as D3. Some users complain of warping, and the pans are ever-so-slightly thinner than D3. But for the price, Multiclad Pro is a good pick.

The Cuisinart French Classic is an upgraded version of Multiclad Pro, so it is also very close to All-Clad D3 in performance, but it's more expensive than MC Pro.

Other lines of Cuisinart steel (including the copper tri-ply) aren't as good, and won't provide the even heating so close to D3, though most are satisfactory. 

The Cuisinart disc-clad lines--Professional and Chef's Classic--are not a good choice if you're looking for All-Clad performance, but if you're on a budget, the Professional offers surprisingly even heating.

Using and Caring For Clad Stainless Steel Cookware

One of the biggest complaints about clad stainless cookware is that it's hard to clean. Food sticks to it and can be hard to get off. For this reason, there are a lot of people who only buy nonstick cookware, despite its many drawbacks.

While it's true that clad stainless cookware doesn't wash up as easily as nonstick cookware, it has so many other assets that a lot of people prefer it to nonstick cooking. It's durable, so you can use any utensils you want with it; you can use high heat; you can scrub it with an abrasive scrubby pad if it needs it.

And that built-up crust in the pan (called "fond")? That's how you get a delicious pan sauce; with nonstick cookware, you can't build up nearly as much fond for sauce-making.

Stainless cookware isn't hard to clean, though, 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 may have heard. 

Here's how to cook with clad stainless cookware:

  • Turn on the heat and let the pan get hot before adding any oil or food. You don't need to heat above medium-high, as most clad stainless heats very efficiently, and higher heat can cause cooking oils to burn and food to stick to the pan more easily. 
  • Once the pan is hot, add some oil. You only need enough to coat the bottom. Let it heat for several seconds. You can also use nonstick aerosol spray (like Pam) as long as you coat the entire cooking area.
  • When the oil is shimmering, add your 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).
  • Leave the food alone for a few minutes. When it's developed a nice browned "crust," it will release from the pan naturally, without sticking. Flip the food and again leave it alone 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 even easier to wash.

Clad stainless steel is never going to be as easy to clean as nonstick, but if you use this technique, you will rarely have an awful mess on your hands.

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

Use BKF to keep the exterior polished and shiny, too.

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 oil (click the link to see a video).

back to top

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 cookware at WalMart (several buying options)

12 piece set about $230

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

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

Multiclad Pro is a popular cookware line and is available in two set sizes--7 piece and 12 piece--and also as individual pieces. 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. MC Pro's aluminum layer is ever-so-slightly thinner, so it will crash a little more rapidly than an All-Clad tri-ply skillet 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; they don't say what they use but it's most likely a 400 Series (18/0, nickel-free) stainless steel. The pans hold up and and resist corrosion, rusting, and pitting well.

The one thing some users complained about was 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 MC Pro pans to warp. So while we usually give most stainless cookware a perfect score, we took a point off for these complaints.

These pans also have a limited lifetime warranty, so if your pans do rust, corrode, or warp, you can get them replaced for free. Cuisinart honors their warranty and will provide excellent customer service should you have problems.

Stability/Safety

Stability refers to how much cookware will react with food and other things it comes in contact with. Being stainless steel, these pans are going to be very stable, not reacting with food or rusting. 

This means that this is safe cookware to use.

Ease of Care

Stainless steel can be sticky if you don't know the right cooking technique. However, the Multiclad Pro cleaned 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: 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 Multiclad Pro cookware is extremely 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 for easy grip:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

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

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

We also really like the shape of the skillets, which have a lot of flat cooking surface. For this reason, you may be able to get away with using the 10-inch (and not have to buy a 12-inch separately). 

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

Set Piece Sizes: The 8 qt stock pot and 3 qt sauce pans in both sets are good sizes. You may or may not get a lot of use out of the 1.5 qt sauce pan, depending on if you heat up a lot of cans of soup or like to make small batches of fancy sauces. The 7 pc set has only one skillet, but it's the 10-inch, which is nice, though if you like to meal prep or cook for a lot of people you'll probably need to supplement with a 12-inch skillet. 

Value

Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is one of the best deals you're going to find on clad stainless cookware. And remember, this cookware is comparable to All-Clad tri ply; that 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:

back to top

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 10p Set Cookware at Williams-Sonoma

10 piece set about $400

French Classic is mostly just a fancier version of Multiclad Pro. Its biggest claim to fame is that it's made in France, while all other Cuisinart cookware is made in China. 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; you can 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 good performance and a beautiful aesthetic. But not better than Multiclad Pro (for a higher cost).

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

Once again, 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. Cuisinart honors their warranties and will provide replacements if you have problems. 

Stability/Safety

Stability/safety is about how much cookware will react with food and other things it comes in contact with. Being stainless steel, French Classic pots and pans are quite stable. Salts and acidic foods may cause some pan discoloration, but the cookware itself remains stable and won't leach any unhealthy particles into your food. We don't give a perfect score because of some reviewer complaints. However, the pans held up well in our testing.

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 most 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: 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)

While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, French Classic is generally considered to be Cuisinart's prettiest line of clad stainless steel cookware (with the possible exception of their copper 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. This was probably an aesthetic choice; French skillets never have lips, so to remain consistent they kept all the pieces lip-free. If drip-free pouring is important to you, subtract another half a point to a point. 

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 (which Multiclad Pro doesn't have):

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. 

The stainless lids and helper handles on the larger pieces are excellent. And this cookware will look good in any kitchen. 

The French skillets in this set are actually more sloped than the skillets in the Multiclad Pro set, providing less flat cooking surface. The difference isn't huge, but we find the Multiclad Pro skillets more usable overall.

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 a brand like 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, 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. But if you want equal quality for less money, get the Multiclad Pro. By the way, both lines have several open stock pieces if you don't want to buy a set. 

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

BUY CUISINART french classic cookware:

back to top

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 11 Pc. set at Williams-Sonoma (set only)

11 piece set about $140

Cuisinart Professional Series is a fairly new line of Cuisinart cookware. It's a little more expensive (and better performing) than the super-economical Chef's Classic line (reviewed below), but costs 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. This design greatly reduces the heat discontinuity you often find in disc-clad cookware (when they have too-small discs). 

This diagram from Demeyere shows the wraparound configuration (although there is no copper or silver in the Cusinart cookware; it's just a thick layer of aluminum):

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Here's how that diagram actually looks on the cookware:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

The thick aluminum base with the wraparound design makes this surprisingly well-performing cookware. 

The small (8-inch) skillet in both sets is nonstick, which you may or may not prefer; both sets also come with a steamer insert, which is a very nice piece to have (you will probably use the heck out of it). 

For some reason, the 11-piece set on Amazon has stainless lids, while the 13-piece set has glass lids; the set is described on Cuisinart.com as having glass lids. And the Williams-Sonoma 11-piece set has glass lids. 

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 on some pieces, stainless lids on others
  • 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. Professional Series doesn't contain copper like the Demeyere, however, the thick aluminum base provides excellent, even heating, especially in comparison to cheaper lines of disc-clad cookware (like the Chef's Classic, reviewed below).

The wraparound design minimizes the heat discontinuity found in most disc-clad cookware: where the cladding ends, there's a ring where the heat is either too high from gas flames, or too low from an electric or induction hob. With a disc that extends slightly up the side of the pan, this ring of discontinuity is much smaller, with less effect on your cooking.

The Cuisinart Professional Series is a strong competitor to the higher-end (and much more expensive) disc clad cookware. We deducted 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 this cookware are a little 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.

Some users complain of spotting and staining, as well.

Even so, clad stainless cookware is extremely durable and should last you many years, if not decades. And if you do have issues, Cuisinart's limited lifetime warranty should allow you to replace any piece that doesn't hold up to normal kitchen use. 

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.

In our testing, the pans showed normal reactivity: that is to say, they are very stable, as is most stainless steel cookware. 

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 bottom-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 compared to its competitors (e.g., Demeyere Atlantis)
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Cons 

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

Recommendation

If you like bottom-clad cookware, Cuisinart Professional Series is one of the best deals on the market. Most inexpensive disc cookware has a small disc with a high heat discontinuity where the disc meets the sides of the pan. This is not the case with Professional Series. It actually has very good heating properties.

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

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

BUY CUISINART Professional series COOKWARE:

back to top

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. 

We are only reviewing the stainless steel Chef's Classic, which is disc-clad and not one of our favorites . However, 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 if you're interested in this cookware, be sure to check all of these sites to make sure you're getting exactly what you want.

Set configurations vary, but here are the most popular ones:

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 $170) and a 17-piece set on Amazon (about $200) that has a 12-inch skillet with a lid (a 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.

If you're on a tight budget, this set is a decent option (though we think there are better choices than this out there). 

Features

Cuisinart Chef's Classic 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. (In fact, if you've ever came across some cookware and thought to yourself, "Why is the price so low?", it's likely to be because it has cheap disc cladding.)

Here's a diagram of Cuisinart Chef's Classic disc cladding:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

As you can see, the cladding does not wrap around the bottom of the pan, as on the Professional Series (reviewed above). It is also a much thinner disc than you'll find on the Pro Series. These two factors add up to fairly 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 to disc clad cookware, we recommend you go with the Professional Series, which provides more even, more stable heating for about the same price.

Durability

In our testing we did not see any noticeable corrosion, rusting, or pitting, but we deducted some points because the side walls are very thin, and for customer complaints about staining and denting.

Stability/Safety