January 14

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Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

By trk

January 14, 2020


Can Good Clad Stainless Cookware Be Affordable??
Absolutely!

If you're in the market for affordable yet good quality clad stainless cookware, you should definitely consider the Cuisinart brand. Cuisinart makes a huge array of cookware lines, including several clad stainless options. 

There are huge differences between the lines, so it's important to educate yourself about them. Fully clad or disc clad? Made in China or made in France? Excellent quality and affordable, or just mediocre quality, and extremely affordable? All of these are options with the Cuininart clad stainless cookware lines. To make sure you get the cookware you want (and will love), you have to do your homework.

This is an in-depth Cuisinart cookware review to help you understand the differences between Cuisinart's most popular clad stainless 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 Clad Cookware at a Glance

Here are Cuisinart's clad stainless cookware lines at a glance. This table summarizes the differences and should help get you looking in the right direction for your cookware purchase. Cuisinart cookware review

Cuisinart Clad Stainless Lines Comparison and Recommendations

Line

Description

App. Prices

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

-Stainless lids

-Drip-free lips 

-Made in China.

$140 (7pc)/200(12pc)/70(12" skillet)

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

-Almost identical to MC Pro with different look.

-Stainless lids 

-Drip-free lips

-Made in France. Cuisinart's most expensive clad stainless line.

$310 (10pc)/370 (13pc)/90 (12"skillet)

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Cuisinart Professional Series

see it on Amazon

see it at Williams-Sonoma

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

-Glass lids

-Drip-free lips

-Set only

-Small skillet is nonstick

-Made in China.

$140 (11pc)/175 (13 pc)/45

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

-Disc-clad w/too small disc for even heating

-Glass lids

-Drip-free pouring

-Comes in several colors/buying options

-NOT induction compatible

-Made in China.

$115 (11pc)/170 (17pc)/32

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

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

-Stainless lids

-Straight sided pieces only (no skillet)

-No lid w/small sauce pan

-Available in 9 pc set only

-Copper set NOT induction compatible

-Made in China.

Stainless 9 pc set: $160

Copper 9 pc set: $240

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Cuisinart Copper Tri-Ply

see it on Amazon

see it at Wal-Mart 

-Copper-plated tri-ply stainless

-Stainless lids

-Drip-free pouring

-NOT induction compatible

-Available in set only

-Made in China

-Available in sets only.

$300 (8pc)/430 (11pc)/--

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

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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), which is made in--that's right--France. 

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About Clad Cookware: What It Is, What Makes It Great 

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

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

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

Not all clad cookware has full cladding. Many brands--including some lines of Cuisinart cookware--are disc-clad, also called bottom-clad or impact-bonded cookware. In disc-clad cookware, the bottom of the pot or pan has a layer of cladding that contains heat-spreading aluminum (and/or other materials). This bottom disc is bonded to the sides, which are a single layer of stainless. 

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 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 much more efficient than solid foods at moving heat evenly around the pan.

A bad (i.e., poor heat spreading) disc-clad configuration is 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 cookware has a price that's too good to be true, it's quite likely bottom-clad cookware. Manufacturers save a lot of money with cheap disc cladding. Always read the marketing writeup carefully to make sure the cookware has full cladding (if that's what you want, anyway).

A better disc-clad configuration has a "wraparound" configuration which extends slightly up the sides of the pan,  and is also much 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. However, their Professional Series has the wraparound configuration that offers really good performance. (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, and for skillets and sauciers, we recommend fully-clad pieces, like Multiclad Pro. However, if you decide to go with the 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 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 its straight-sided pieces are all disc-clad. 

On the other hand, if the disc cladding is too small and too thin (as in the first diagram above), it won't have good heating properties, and you should only buy if you can't afford better quality cookware. 

Also, we do not recommend ever buying a bottom-clad skillet, as the sides of the pan are such an integral part of cooking. 

However: If you want to save some money and don't mind having non-matching cookware, you can do so by buying pieces like a roasting pan and a stock pot with cheap disc cladding (or in the case of the roasting pan, no cladding at all). These pieces do not rely so much on heating properties to perform well, so you can save money by buying lower-end stock and put those dollars towards a top quality skillet, sauce pan and/or sauté pan: these are the pieces that get the most use and abuse in your kitchen, as well as the pieces that need excellent heating properties, so they're the ones that need to be top quality. Cuisinart cookware review

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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, ease of care, design/aesthetics, and value. We give each cookware line (or individual piece) a rating from one to five in each category and an overall average. Cuisinart cookware review

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 sautéeing and pan frying needs, 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 reacts with acidic foods to cause an off, metallic taste. 

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

If you want to learn more about heating properties, check out this detailed article. Cuisinart cookware review

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 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.

Stability

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

Clad stainless wins this category, too, as it is an extremely stable, non-reactive material. The only other cooking surface that's close is glass/ceramic, which loses out on other ratings (for example, it conducts heat terribly, and if a nonstick coating applied to an aluminum pan, doesn't last very long).

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 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 almost every task. Cuisinart cookware review

Design (Usability and Aesthetics)

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 make or break 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? If you're considering a set, are the pan sizes large enough, or are there a bunch of filler pieces you won't use? Do the lids fit well (and are preferably stainless over glass)? Are the pans versatile, easy to use, and able to stand up to all you can throw at them? Do they perform how you want them to?

Clad stainless cookware is generally very pretty--even cheap clad stainless!--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. Occasionally, you may have to compromise (such as the handles on All-Clad tri-ply, which a lot of people hate, but otherwise love the cookware).

Overall, we think clad stainless wins this category, too.

Value

Value refers to cost, of course. And the cost of clad stainless cookware is all over the place, so there are a few considerations involved in buying wisely.

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 it's only going to last for a few years. A good quality set of clad stainless 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 very long time. This makes its cost-per-year-of-use low; probably even lower than the inexpensive nonstick cookware.

Most clad stainless 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 that you'll realize what a wise investment you made all those years ago. 

Having said that, though, 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 much lower. Another is that they skimp on their stainless, and no longer use 18/10 grade for their cookware (this according to the Century Life website).

Even so, the quality is good, and their cookware does hold 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. The quality is almost never as good as it is with American or European-made brands. Manufacturers can skimp not only on the steel they use, but also on the aluminum inside--it may be a cheaper grade alloy that doesn't heat as well, or it may be too thin to provide good heating performance. Or it may have cheap disc cladding (this often isn't readily apparent).

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. Cuisinart cookware review

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.

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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.

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Using and Caring For Clad Stainless 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 certainly true that clad stainless cookware doesn't wash up as easily as nonstick cookware, it has so many other virtues that a lot of people prefer it to nonstick cooking. For example, it's durable, so you can use any utensils you want with it. And you can use high heat to get a good sear when you need 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 (partly because of the slippery nonstick surface and partly because you shouldn't use high heat with nonstick cookware).

It doesn't have to be this way, though. 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. Depending on your cooktop and the heft of your cookware, this can take several minutes. 
  • 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.
  • Only now do you add your food. The hot oil forms a sort of 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 on its own--no 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.

That's all there is to it. Clad stainless is never going to be as easy to clean as nonstick, but if you use it properly, 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.

How about using the dishwasher? While most clad stainless cookware is dishwasher safe, we recommend hand washing for all good quality cookware. Dishwasher soap is abrasive, and it can dull the surface of stainless cookware.

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Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.8

Heating Properties: 4.0

Durability: 3.5

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 Bed, Bath & Beyond (several buying options)

Multiclad Pro is arguably Cuisinart's most popular clad stainless 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.
  • Closest to All Clad tri-ply of any knockoff
  • Stainless lids
  • Drip-free lips
  • Cool grip handles
  • Oven safe to 550F (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 China.

Heating Properties

At 2.6mm, Multiclad Pro has the same thickness as All-Clad tri-ply. This means you can expect similar performance. MC Pro's aluminum layer may be slightly thinner, as 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 isn't completely transparent about the grade of stainless steel they use in their cookware. According to CenturyLife.org, Cuisinart stopped claiming to use 18/10 grade stainless several years ago (even though the Amazon listings may say otherwise). And of course, the exterior layer is 18/0 for induction compatibility. So the internal layer may be, as well.

This is unfortunate, because stainless grades of 18/0 or less is less corrosion resistant and therefore more prone to rusting, pitting, and discoloration. The thing is, Multiclad Pro holds up pretty well. Whatever grade the stainless is, it really stood up to hard use in our testing with no discoloration at all. And from the research we did, we suspect this will continue throughout years of use.

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. 

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

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. As we said, we're not sure the pans are 18/8 stainless, so they may be less stable than a brand like, say, All-Clad. But in our testing the pans held up well.

Ease of Care

Stainless steel is not the easiest surface to clean; that honor goes to nonstick cookware. However, the Multiclad Pro cleaned up impressively well. The highly polished surface is very smooth and cleans up as easily as other clad stainless cookware we've tested with the exception of Demeyere, which has a proprietary finish that makes cleanup easier.

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 only has 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

At about $140 for the 7 piece set and $200 for the 12 piece set, 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 

  • Small pieces in sets so you'll probably need to supplement
  • Uncertain what grade of stainless is used.

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)

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Cuisinart French Classic Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.6

Heating Properties: 4.0

Durability: 3.5

Stability: 3.5

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

See Cuisinart French Classic Set Cookware set at Wal-Mart (several buying options)

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, especially at Wal-Mart.com. We especially like the 12-inch skillet and the 10-inch nonstick crepe pan.

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 (similar to 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

Once again, see the Multiclad Pro section above, all of which applies to Cuisinart French Classic.

In short, Cuisinart does not disclose the stainless steel they use, so it's probably not 18/8, and not as corrosion and rust resistant as other stainless. Having said that, we had no problems in our testing. 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

Stability refers to how much cookware will react with food and other things it comes in contact with. Being stainless steel, French Classic pots and pans are going to be extremely non-reactive. 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. They may be less stable than a brand like, say, All-Clad, because of the unknown grade of stainless steel that Cuisinart uses. 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. 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.

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 cookware (with the possible exception of the copper cookware). The high polish and the long swoopy handles give these pots and pans an expensive, classy air.

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

At about $300 for the 10 piece set and $90 for a 12 inch skillet, this 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
  • Not sure what the grade of stainless steel is (though it's probably below 18/10).

Recommendation

If you want a fancier version of 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 individual pieces available, as well, if you want to avoid buying a set.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

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Cuisinart Professional Series Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.5

Heating Properties: 3.0

Durability: 3.5

Stability: 3.5

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)

Cuisinart Professional Series is a fairly new line of Cuisinart cookware. It's a little more expensive (and better performing bang for your buck) 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 greatly reduces the heat discontinuity you often find in disc-clad cookware. 

This diagram from Demeyere shows the wraparound configuration (although there is no copper or silver in the Cusinart cookware; it's 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. 

We're not sure why it's called "Professional." Perhaps because it is inexpensive cookware that offers decent enough performance for a restaurant kitchen (most restaurants use the most inexpensive cookware they can get away with). 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. So despite the option for stainless lids on Amazon, any other options will almost certainly come with glass lids (the pieces we tested did).

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 (though 11-piece set on Amazon has 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 China.

Heating Properties

The Cuisinart Professional Series has a wraparound disc bottom. This design is strikingly similar to high-end bottom-clad cookware like Demeyere Atlantis and Fissler. Professional Series doesn't contain any copper like 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 with 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 very, very small.

Where you'll notice it most is when using the skillet, which has curved sides that you'll want to use for cooking. (In fact, you will find full cladding on the Demeyere Atlantis pieces with curved sides for this very reason). It's something you can grow accustomed to using, and compensate for by stirring food regularly to even out the heating. But it is most definitely not an ideal design. 

If you don't mind adjusting your skillet techniques somewhat, the Professional Series is absolutely 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 most pro cookware lines (about 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, though, so we didn't deduct any points for the thinness.

As with other Cuisinart stainless cookware, we're unsure of the grade of stainless used, but it's probably not 18/8. Even though the Professional Series didn't show any signs of corrosion or rusting in our testing, we deducted half a point here (we give most clad stainless cookware 4 stars for durability). 

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

Stability refers to how much 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.

Because of the unknown grade of stainless steel that Cuisinart uses, Professional Series cookware may be less stable than a brand like, say, All-Clad. However, in our testing, the pans showed normal reactivity: that is to say, they are very stable, as is most stainless steel cookware.

Ease of Care

Stainless steel is not the easiest surface to clean; only nonstick cookware gets that accolade. However, the Professional Series cookware was as easy to wash--when used properly--as most other clad stainless cookware. The high polish finish is the reason for this. 

We give all clad stainless cookware an average rating for ease of care, and the Professional Series is no different. (Demeyere with Silvinox is the only stainless cookware that gets a higher-than-average rating here.) 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). 

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 lids 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
  • Not sure what the grade of stainless steel is (though it's probably below 18/10)
  • 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. 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 ON AMAZON:

BUY CUISINART Professional series 11 pc COOKWARE set AT WILLIAMS-SONOMA:

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Cuisinart Chef's Classic/Chef's Classic Color Cookware Review

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.25

Heating Properties: 2.5

Durability: 3.5

Stability: 3.5

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/Chef's Classic Color Series at Wal-Mart 

See Cuisinart Chef's Classic cookware at Bed, Bath & Beyond

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 even a few pieces of enameled cast iron. 

We are only reviewing the stainless version of Chef's Classic, which is disc-clad and not one of Cuisinart's higher quality lines of cookware. 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 many of Cuisinart's other cookware lines. 

You also have the option of several colors, if that appeals to you. Colors include red, white, blue, and copper in addition to stainless. (You will probably have the best luck finding a variety of colors at Wal-Mart.)

Note that the copper Chef's Classic copper is color only and does not contain any actual copper.

Many retailers carry Chef's Classic, but Amazon, Wal-Mart and Bed, Bath & Beyond generally have the best selection. 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 and a 17-piece set on Amazon 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 or otherwise not very useful pieces that round out a set), but the 12-inch skillet w/lid is a nice piece (and the big set goes for only about $170). If you're on a tight budget, this set is a decent option (though we think there are better ones out there).

Here's the 11 piece Chef's Classic set in red (from Wal-Mart):

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Features

Cuisinart Chef's Classic features:

  • Disc-clad aluminum base (not induction compatible)
  • 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 cladding (shown above). It is also a much thinner disc than you'll find on the Pro Series. These two factors add up to one conclusion: 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 sautéeing and not such an issue with steaming and boiling, but it's still a pain. If you want to skimp, we recommend you go with the Professional Series, which provides much better heating for not much more money.

Durability

Being clad stainless, the Chef's Classic is about as durable as most clad stainless cookware. Since it's probably not made with 18/10 steel, it may not hold up as well as more expensive brands. However, in our testing we did not see any noticeable corrosion, rusting, or pitting, so we didn't deduct any points. We can't give it 4 stars, as we do to 18/10 products, but Chef's Classic is certainly equal to other stainless lines of Cuisinart cookware.

Stability

The same goes for stability: being clad stainless, Chef's Classic cookware is going to hold up and not be reactive with food. The composition of the stainless won't affect its stability factor.

Ease of Care

Once again, the Chef's Classic gets average ratings for ease of care. Being stainless, it's not the easiest cookware to wash, but it's also not terrible when used properly. Like all stainless cookware, we give it an average rating.

Design (Usability and Aesthetics)

Here, we may have been a bit generous to give Chef's Classic three stars. It has not-very-good heating properties, and it's not induction compatible. If you don't care about induction, you can raise the rating half a point. 

We also don't like the glass lids (they're not as durable as stainless), but that may not be a concern for you.

The cookware is pretty, it's finished to nice high polish, and it has lips for drip-free pouring. So while it's not the best performing cookware out there, it does have some nice features you won't find on a lot of other starter-level cookware.

The mediocre disc cladding is kind of a deal breaker for us--but everything else about this cookware is adequate or even above average. So: an average rating for usability.

Set Pieces: Every set comes with a small (1.5 qt) sauce pan, which is a filler piece for many. However, the rest of the pieces are good. The 8 qt stock pot is nice, and the steamer insert is a wonderful piece. Yes, you may have to supplement with a larger skillet, but other than that, you get a lot of useful pieces in these sets. (And if you go with the gigantic 17 piece set on Amazon, you don't even need to do that--though that may not be the best choice because of the other filler pieces in this gigantic set.)

Value

Being on the bottom end of the clad stainless market, Chef's Classic may deserve a 5-star rating for value. However, because of Chef's Classic's mediocre heating properties, we really just don't like this cookware very much. We much prefer the Professional Series pieces, which is only slightly more. Cheapest isn't always the best value--far from it.

Cuisinart Chef's Classic Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Economically priced
  • Lots of buying options, including several open stock pieces not found in other Cuisinart cookware lines.

Cons 

  • Mediocre heating properties (too-small bottom cladding)
  • Not induction compatible
  • Not sure what the grade of stainless steel is (though it's below 18/10)
  • Made in China.

Recommendation

If you're primarily interested in saving money, then Chef's Classic is the way to go. It's not a terrible option for a starter kitchen and has a lot of open stock pieces like roasting pans and woks, but you can do better. For higher quality and better performance, spend a little more and get the Professional Series, or a little more yet and get the fully-clad Multiclad Pro (both reviewed above).

On the other hand, if you don't care about matching cookware and want to save on pieces that don't get a lot of use and/or abuse--stock pots and roasting pans, for example--Chef's Classic is actually a decent option. The mediocre heating properties aren't much of a drawback for these pieces, and you can save a lot by going with a less expensive line--money best invested in durable skillets and sauce pans.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

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Cuisinart Hammered Collection Review: Stainless (HTP-9) or Copper (HCTP-9) 

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.0

Heating Properties: 3.0

Durability: 3.0

Stability: 3.5

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 3.0

Value: 3.0

See Cuisinart Hammered Cookware Collection on Amazon (both options)

See Cuisinart Hammered Copper Cookware set at Bed, Bath & Beyond (copper only)

See Cuisinart Hammered Stainless Cookware set at Bed, Bath & Beyond (stainless only)

The hammered collection is one Cuisinart's fancier cookware sets, and it really is beautiful in either finish. If you fall in love with its looks, we wouldn't blame you a bit. And the copper set is real copper, too. Yet there are some drawbacks to this set that you should consider before buying.

For example, there's no skillet in the set--and as far as we've been able to find, no open stock available. The pieces in the set are the only ones Cuisinart offers. 

Also, the pieces are a little small, with a 1 qt saucier, which is really just a tiny sauce pan with no lid. The 6 qt stock pot is also on the small side; most of Cuisinart's other sets have an 8 qt. stock pot. The 4 qt. casserole pan is also on the small side, though it's large enough to roast a chicken or pot roast. 

Pricewise, this is one of Cuisinart's more expensive lines, but still very affordable. 

Overall, these is very pretty cookware and if you love it, you can make it work--but functionally, there are better options available.

If you want this set, you may have to check several retailers, as it sells out quickly. You may also find different pricing on different sites, so be sure to shop around for the best deal before you buy.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)
9 Piece set (both color options) includes:
  • 1 qt saucier w/pour spout (no lid)
  • 3 qt sauce pan w/lid
  • 4 qt casserole pan w/lid
  • 6 qt stock pot w/lid
  • 10-inch sauté pan w/lid.

Wal-Mart also offers a 10 piece set in the copper only with an additional 2 qt. sauce pan.

Also, Amazon offers an 8-piece set in hammered copper that does have skillets. This may be discontinued, though, as we couldn't find it anywhere else.

Features

The Hammered Collection features:

  • Stainless lids
  • Cool grip, hollow handles
  • Oven safe to 500F (including lids)
  • Hammered finish
  • Stainless set is induction compatible; Copper set is not induction compatible.
  • Stainless set is dishwasher safe (though we recommend hand washing all cookware), Copper set is not dishwasher safe
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Made in China.

Heating Properties

You may think that the copper set in particular would get a higher rating for heating properties, but as far as we can tell the copper is actually just copper plating, so it's more decorative than functional. In our testing these pans heated almost as well as Multiclad Pro, so we could have been more generous here. But we don't like Cuisinart's murky claims about the copper exterior. It makes people think they're getting something great, when in reality, both the copper and the stainless heated almost exactly the same.

Buy the copper set for its beauty, but if you're looking for straight up functionality, the stainless set is the better deal (and still very pretty!).

Durability

We were generous here, too, mostly because we're reviewing two different sets: If you're interested in the stainless set, add a point. The copper discolors easily and while it won't affect the functionality, people are buying the coper for its beauty, and it's hard to keep it looking good. You may find that the copper scrubs right off if you use a harsh abrasive on the exterior (like Barkeeper's Friend). 

We tested on induction cooktops, so we didn't have problems with discoloration, but one Amazon reviewer posted this picture, the result of one use on a gas cooktop:

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

People know going in that copper is harder to keep looking good, but this is an excellent reminder of it.

Stability

The stainless cooking surface is stable and non-reactive. We deduct half a point because we're unsure what grade of stainless Cuisinart uses, but it's probably not 18/10, so there's a greater possibility of corrosion. We had no problems in our testing, but it's hard to say whether this will stand up for long term use.

Ease of Care

Stainless cookware gets an average rating for ease of care because it's harder to maintain than nonstick cookware. The copper exterior is even harder to maintain as it will discolor easily, especially if you have a gas stove. The discoloration won't affect performance, but if you want to keep it looking new, you may have to invest a fair amount of effort.

This effort may also result in scrubbing the copper plating off (though we had no issues in testing).

Design (Usability and Aesthetics)

The Hammered Collections get 5 stars for beauty, but we deduct points for a few things.

The Copper set is not induction compatible or dishwasher safe (though the Stainless set is both of these).

There is no skillet in the set, though this set on Amazon comes with skillets (it is currently unavailable).

The small sauce pan ("saucier") has no lid, and isn't an actual sauciér because it has straight sides (a sauciér has curved sides).

The hollow handles are great and do manage to stay cool very well (though use a heating pad if you're cooking on gas). The lids are nice, heavy gauge stainless--a really nice touch, as well as an indicator of a better quality cookware.

Set Pieces: Once again, no skillet. The 6 qt. stock pot is smaller than found in other Cuisinart sets (usually 8 qt.). The 4 qt. casserole pan and 3.5 qt. sauté pan are also on the small side, although they are probably adequate unles you are routinely cooking for a crowd. The 3 qt. sauce pan is great.

Value

This set isn't a great deal, but it's not the worst deal out there, either. We give it an average rating for value. 

Cuisinart Hammered Collection Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Beautiful aesthetic
  • Decent performance (but not copper-like performance)
  • Limited lifetime warranty.

Cons 

  • Available in set only
  • No skillet in set
  • Copper set is not induction compatible or dishwasher safe.
  • Not sure what the grade of stainless steel is (though it's probably below 18/10)
  • Made in China.

Recommendation

It's not as high quality as an All-Clad set, but it won't set you back nearly as much, either. Multiclad Pro is the better deal, but if you love this set, it's not the worst one to get.

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

BUY CUISINART hammered COOKWARE collection ON AMAZON:

BUY CUISINART Hammered stainless COOKWARE set AT bed, bath & beyond:

BUY CUISINART Hammered copper COOKWARE SET AT bed, bath & beyond:

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Cuisinart Copper Collection Tri-Ply Cookware Review (CTP-8/CTP-11)

Cuisinart Cookware Review (Clad Stainless)

Overall Rating: 3.0