Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

All-Clad is the original clad stainless cookware (the founder of the company invented the cladding process). It's still American made, and it's the industry standard for clad cookware. Few people would argue that it's high quality stuff--but is it worth the high price tag? All-Clad cookware review

When most people think All-Clad, they think of All-Clad tri-ply, stainless cookware with an aluminum core (officially called "D3"). But All-Clad actually makes several lines of cookware. In addition to D3, they make Master Chef (MC2), LTD, Copper Core, D5, D7, hard-anodized nonstick (HA1/NS1), Thomas Keller, and their newest line, C4, a gorgeous-but-very-spendy-copper cookware line. (Thomas Keller and C4 are exclusive to Williams-Sonoma.)

In this All-Clad cookware review, we look at All-Clad in detail, from who the company is to a review of every line on the market as of late 2018. You will learn everything you need to know to make an excellent cookware buying decision--even if it is to not buy All-Clad. 🙂

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

See All-Clad cookware on Amazon now

See All-Clad cookware at Williams-Sonoma now

If you don't want to read the whole review, use the table of contents to skip to the sections you want to read:

At a Glance: The All-Clad Lines Compared

Here's a comparison table of all the All-Clad lines of cookware, in order of our most favorite to our least favorite. Scroll down to the review section for more details. All-Clad cookware review

The All-Clad Lines (In Order of TRK Favorites)

Line

Description

TRK Rating

Recommended:

AllClad5Piece3_140px

3 ply (s-a-s). App. 2.6mm thick w/1.7mm aluminum. The most popular and familiar AC line. 

Induction compatible.

Great all around cookware: the best combination of heating, durability, design, and value.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

2 ply: aluminum bonded to stainless cooking surface. App. 3mm of aluminum. AC's most inexpensive, line, with better heating properties than the D3. Not dishwasher safe, not induction compatible.

High aluminum content makes it A/C's best performing cookware. Issues: not d/w safe and lack of induc. comp. Scratches easily.

ACLTDSet2_140px

Technically 3 ply: anodized aluminum exterior, aluminum interior, stainless cooking surface w/app. 3mm of aluminum. Not dishwasher safe. 
Not induction compatible.

High aluminum content makes it AC's best performing cookware. More durable exterior than MC2 but costs more. Not d/w safe, not induc. comp.

ACCopperCore7PCSet3_140px

5 ply with copper center (s-a-c-a-s). 1.7mm total thickness with 1mm layer of copper. Copper performance w/out the maintenance.   Induction compatible.

Slightly more responsive than D3, copper core is great all-around cookware, but its performance doesn't quite match its higher price tag.

AllCladNonstickHA1Pans2_140px

Anodized cast aluminum with nonstick (PTFE) cooking surface. Small differences in pan shape among the lines. Induction compatible.

Made in China. â€‹

For nonstick needs only: Buy a skillet or two, not a whole set. Excellent heating properties and price for a nonstick skillet.

Not Recommended:

ACD5Set2_140px

5 ply (s-a-s-a-s). App. 2.6mm total thickness--same as D3, thus actually contains less aluminum than D3. AC calls this their "optimal" induction line.

D3, Copper Core, and D7 all better performers. If you need induction compatibility and don't want D3, go with Demeyere Industry 5.

ACD7Set2_140px

7 ply (s-a-s-a-s-a-s). App. 3.8mm thick w/about 2.2mm aluminum; more than the D3, and much more mass. Domed lids and shorter handles than D3 (great design). 
Induction Compatible.

The skillet or saute pan is a great (but spendy) alternative to cast iron, but this amount of mass isn't really needed for other pans.

​TK (Thomas Keller)

(see it at Williams Sonoma)

ACTKSet3_140px

A mix of D3, D5, and Copper Core pieces, depending on type of pan, with different handles and shapes. "Universal" lids are flat disks that can sit atop any cookware. Induction compatible. â€‹
Williams-Sonoma exclusive.

We hate the universal lids. And if you want varied performance, just buy the pans you want instead of this set.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

4 ply c-s-c-s, with an impressive 1mm external copper layer. ​
Not induction compatible. 
Williams-Sonoma exclusive. 

If you want copper, Mauviel is a better price with at least as much copper. 

All-Clad makes a few other pieces, as well, such as a nonstick skillets in D3 and D5, and a "hybrid" skillet with nonstick sides and a stainless cooking surface. (We do not recommend either of these pieces.) There are also discontinued lines, such as the C2 Copper cookware and old versions of Master Chef and LTD. You might still be able to find these for clearance prices anywhere that sells All-Clad cookware. If you do, they are often excellent buys, and you will still get the All-Clad lifetime warranty on any of these products. 

Having said that, we want to be clear: not all of All-Clad's cookware lines are a great purchase. Yes, they are all high quality, and yes, they are all well made, durable, and good performers. But some lines are just too overpriced to be considered a good buy. (Read more about this in the reviews below.)

All-Clad also makes electronics and cooking utensils. While many of All-Clad's products get great reviews, all of All-Clad's products, except for their clad cookware, is made in China.

This doesn't mean the quality is bad. The quality is generally very good. But you may not want to pay US-made prices for China-made goods. All-Clad cookware review

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

This All-Clad waffle maker is gorgeous--but expensive, especially for a made-in-China product.

All-Clad's clad cookware is made in the USA. All of their other products, including lids, electronics, utensils, and cast aluminum nonstick cookware, are made in China.

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Price Tables: Comparing the Lines 

Here are the approximate prices of each set and the most popular pieces from the set.

Note that these prices are approximate and subject to change. This table is meant to give you a way to compare the price points of the different All-Clad lines.

Where cookware wasn't available in the standard configurations, we noted the differences. For example, Thomas Keller skillets are only available by piece in a nonstick finish, while if you buy the set, the skillets are not nonstick. 

$ 5/7/10/14 Pc. Set

$ 8"/10"/12" Skillet

​D3

$350/500/570/1150

$100/75/160

D5

$450/690/700

$125/131/205

D7

$700 (7pc)

$160 (10")

Copper Core

$680/1000/2000
(7/10/14 pc)

$150/185/255

MC2

$500/800 (7/10 pc)

$75/80/124

LTD

$685 (10pc)

$140/170/225

HA1/NS1 (Nonstick)

$340/400/600 (8/10/13 pc)

$60 for 2 pc 8" and 10"'

$100 for 2 pc 10" and 12"

Thomas Keller

$600/900/1500 (4/7/11 pc)

$140/175/230*

*nonstick

​C4 Copper

$ 800/1500 (5/10 pc)

$210/230 (8/10")

The Reviews: All the Lines of All-Clad Cookware (As of Late 2018)

Here are reviews of all the current lines of All-Clad (as of late 2018). All-Clad cookware review

All-Clad Tri-Ply (D3)

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Overall Rating: 4.2

Heating Properties: 4.0

Durability: 5.0

Reactivity: 5.0

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 4.0

Value/Price: 3.0

Buying Options:

Introduction

Induction compatible: Yes

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Compare to: Cuisinart MultiClad Pro (see it on Amazon)

When people hear the name "All-Clad," this is the line they think of: the tri-ply, whose official name is "D3." Long All-Clad's most popular line, D3 is two layers of stainless sandwiched around a layer of 1.7mm layer of heat-spreading aluminum. The entire width is 2.6mm, providing enough mass to have good heat retention but not so heavy that they're hard to handle. All-Clad cookware review

D3 also comes in two other configurations:

  • D3 Armor (skillets and saute pans only): A waffled cooking surface that's supposed to be nonstick. We do not recommend this pan, as the waffled surface does very little to make the pan nonstick, but does make it harder to clean:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review
  • D3 Compact: Squatter design for easy storage, otherwise the same as regular D3:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

You can also get D3 skillets with a nonstick finish, but we don't recommend them; the HA1 skillet (reviewed below) is a better option for a lot less, and is also induction-compatible.

D3 Heating Properties
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

D3's 1.7mm of aluminum is pretty much the industry standard against which all other tri-ply cookware is measured (as well as other clad cookware). It's not the best-performing cookware out there; the Demeyere Proline skillet has 3.7mm of aluminum (yes, more than twice as much), and Demeyere Industry 5 has 2.1mm of aluminum. Thus, Demeyere performs better than All-Clad tri-ply (actually, better than all the A/C lines, with the possible exception of Master Chef and LTD). However, Demeyere is considerably heavier cookware, and it's also more expensive than All-Clad. So that's the payoff of All-Clad: it's almost the perfect balance of performance, durability, and maneuverability. All-Clad cookware review

D3 Reactivity

Like all stainless cookware, D3 ranks highly in this category--that is, it's stable, non-reactive cookware.

D3 Durability

Also like all stainless cookware, D3 ranks highly in this category. It also has durable, riveted handles and stainless lids that will last as long as the pans themselves.

D3 Ease of Care

While all stainless cookware can be sticky, having a highly polished finish makes a difference. D3 has a super high quality polished finish, so it's less sticky and easier to care for than less expensive stainless cookware. The finish is one place that cheaper brands cut corners, so with D3, you know you're getting the best finish around.

D3 Design/Usability

Some people dislike the handles on the D3 line. They say they dig into their hands. However, the U-shaped design is meant to hold your thumb, helping to stabilize the pan: 

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

It's all what you're used to, but we do not find these handles to be uncomfortable in the least. In fact, we prefer them even to the Demeyere handles. 

Larger pans have helper handles, which is an excellent usability feature. 

Some people also prefer a lip on their saucepans, which D3 does not have; only the skillets have a lip:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

The lids fit somewhat loosely, but they're heavy, so they create a good seal when it's needed.

D3 pans can go on the stovetop, in the oven up to about 600F (including lids), and in the dishwasher (although we recommend hand washing for best results). The versatility and usability is as good as any cookware on the market.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review
D3 Value

All-Clad D3 is a great value. You get fantastic heating, durability, and design for a reasonable price. Yes, it's more than other brands of clad cookware, but the quality is hard to beat. D3 is the second-most reasonably priced line of All-Clad cookware. All-Clad cookware review

D3 Pros/Cons

​Pros:

  • Great all-around cookware by every measure (except cost).

Cons:

  • No lips on the sauce pans, which makes pouring a little more difficult
  • Some people don't like the handles
  • Expensive, especially compared to Cuisinart MultiClad Pro or Tramontina, both of which offer similar performance--though not quite as good--for a less money.
D3 Recommendation

For general purpose cookware that's easy to handle and gives great performance, it's hard to beat All-Clad D3. If you can afford it, the D3 tri-ply is excellent cookware at a reasonable price, especially considering that the price-per-year-of-use is going to be very low, indeed.

Yes, you can get similar performance from other lines, but they're thinner cookware, so they're not going to perform quite as well and they're going to be more prone to warping. If you can afford the initial investment of D3, it's well worth it.

Buy All-Clad D3 Skillet (Tri-ply) on Amazon now:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Buy All-Clad D3 set (Tri-ply) on Amazon now:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Buy All-Clad D3 at Williams-sonoma now:

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All-Clad Master Chef 2 (MC2)

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Overall Rating: 3.75

Heating Properties: 4.5

Durability: 3.0

Reactivity: 5.0

Ease of Care: 2.0

Design/Usability: 3.0

Value/Price: 5.0

See MC2 on Amazon

Introduction

Induction compatible: No

Dishwasher safe: No

Compare to: All-Clad LTD2 (see it on Amazon, or read the review below)

Master Chef 2 (or MC2) is All-Clad's original product, and still one of their very best. It's a thick layer of aluminum with a stainless cooking surface and a brushed exterior finish. Because it doesn't have an outer layer of magnetic stainless steel, MC2 is not induction compatible. All-Clad cookware review

The name "Master Chef 2" does not refer to the two-ply design. Rather, the Master Chef line was re-designed a few years ago with different handles and a few other small differences--this is the second generation of Master Chef. 

Technically, MC2 is 3-ply, as the out layer of brushed aluminum is considered a different layer than the internal aluminum layer. But the two layers of aluminum make for some really excellent cookware:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review
MC2 Heating Properties

Whether you think of the aluminum as one layer or two, it adds up to a lot of aluminum. Master Chef has 3mm of rapid-heating, even-spreading aluminum. Yes: this is almost twice as much as tri-ply's 1.7mm layer of aluminum.

This means that Master Chef is going to perform better than the more popular D3. It is also better than D5 and D7. In fact, Master Chef is one of the best-performing clad cookware products on the market. 

MC2 Durability

If it's so high performing, why isn't MC2 more popular? The answer is durability. 

Actually, Master Chef cookware is quite durable--it's just that the aluminum exterior scratches easily. So the durability issue is more about appearance than performance. All-Clad cookware review

As great as these pans perform, they just don't stay looking nice for very long. The brushed exterior camouflages scratches to some degree, but MC2 pans can look pretty beat up even when they're still fairly new.

Upshot: If you care about appearance, this is not the cookware for you. If you care about excellent performance more than appearance (and don't need induction compatibility), MC2 is an excellent option.

MC2 Reactivity

The stainless cooking surface is very stable, like all All-Clad products, and won't react with food. However, the exterior of the Master Chef cookware, being aluminum, is reactive. 

This won't affect your food, of course, but it does (as we already mentioned) affect the cookware's appearance.

It won't hurt the performance one bit, though, so we don't take points off here--we do, however, take points off for it in the design section.

If you don't mind the lived-in look (and don't need induction compatibility), this is really excellent, top notch, and stable cookware.

Read reviews of MC2 on Amazon

MC2 Ease of Care

MC2 pans are not dishwasher safe--again, because the harsh detergents used in a dishwasher will discolor the aluminum exterior. So in addition to having a stainless cooking surface, which is sticky to begin with, the exterior surface also needs a little bit of pampering.

At least, it does if you want it to stay looking nice. If you don't care, these pans are no harder to take care of than any other clad stainless cookware--as long as you don't mind hand washing them.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review
MC2 Design/Usability

The MC2 lines are designed very much like the D3. The handles, lids, and lips are the same. They can go into a 500F oven (lids included). They're lightweight and easy to handle, and really great, all-around pans.

However, we take points off for the aluminum exterior, and also for lack of induction compatibility and for not being dishwasher safe. All-Clad cookware review

MC2 Value

MC2 is All-Clad's least expensive line while providing excellent heating properties and usability. It's really great general purpose cookware.

We're not taking any points off for the soft aluminum exterior because it doesn't detract from the cookware's usability or durability; only its appearance. So for value, MC2 gets 5 stars.

MC2 Pros/Cons
Pros:
  • Absolutely stellar heating properties (3mm aluminum!)
  • Lowest priced of all the All-Clad lines.

Cons:

  • Not induction compatible
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Aluminum exterior scratches and discolors easily.
MC2 Recommendation

If you don't care too much about appearance, don't need induction compatibility, and don't mind hand-washing your cookware (and we recommend hand-washing for all stainless cookware), Master Chef 2 provides excellent performance at a good price. Highly recommended if you're looking for a great deal on All-Clad. 

Buy MC2 on Amazon now:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

​

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All-Clad LTD

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Overall Rating: 3.75

Heating Properties: 4.5

Durability: 5.0

Reactivity: 5.0

Ease of Care: 2.0

Design/Usability: 3.0

Value/Price: 3.0

See LTD on Amazon 

See LTD at Williams-Sonoma

Introduction

Induction compatible: No

Dishwasher safe: No

Compare to: All-Clad MC2 (see it on Amazon)

LTD is essentially MC2 with a hard-anodized aluminum exterior. LTD was All-Clad's solution for the easily scratched, easily discolored exterior of MC2. Instead of brushed aluminum, the exterior is hard-anodized aluminum. Anodization is a process that sort of bakes a tough skin onto the aluminum, rendering it more durable, yet retaining the excellent heating properties of aluminum. 

This finish is a lot more durable than brushed aluminum; in fact, it's as durable as stainless. The only problem is the matte finish created by anodizing: it's not shiny and pretty, and a lot of people don't care for how it looks.

However, with 3mm of aluminum and the durability of stainless, LTD is one of the best performing and best all-around All-Clad lines. Unfortunately, this is reflected in the price, which is going to set you back more than the D3 tri-ply. 

LTD was redesigned a few years ago with new handles and a few other small changes, which is why it's now called LTD2. If you can find a set of old LTD on clearance, it's well worth a clearance price.

LTD Heating Properties

With its 3mm of aluminum, LTD2 is going to provide excellent heating properties--equal to MC2 and better than D3, D5 and D7. 3mm of aluminum is enough to spread heat faster and more evenly than most other clad cookware on the market. All-Clad cookware review

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review
LTD Durability

The anodized aluminum finish is as durable as stainless steel. The dark color and matte finish isn't for everybody, but if it appeals to you, this is some of the toughest cookware on the market.

LTD Reactivity

With its stainless cooking surface and tough exterior, LTD is extremely stable cookware. 

see ltd reviews on amazon

LTD Ease of Care

The stainless cooking surface gets a "3.0" because it's not as easy to care for as nonstick. We deduct another point because LTD2 is not dishwasher safe. Putting LTD2 in the dishwasher will corrode and discolor the finish--you may be tempted to try, but don't. Dishwashers and aluminum are not a good mix.

LTD Design/Usability

If LTD2 were induction compatible, it would get at least a 4 stars. 

Its upgraded handles are great, especially if you dislike the grooved handles of other A-C lines:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

It's oven safe up to 600F. The lids fit well. All the pans on the newest version of LTD have lips for easy pouring. 

All around great usability.

Unfortunately, we have to deduct points because LTD2 isn't induction compatible and it isn't dishwasher safe.

LTD Value

All-Clad LTD is MC2 with a tougher exterior. It's priced rather oddly, with some pieces being more than both MC2 and D3, and some pieces being less. The 10 piece set is actually cheaper than the MC2. So with the LTD prices being kind of all over the place, we give an average rating for value.

LTD Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • Superb heating properties (3mm aluminum)
  • As durable as stainless.

Cons:

  • Not induction compatible
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Matte finish is considered unattractive by some
  • Expensive (more than D3).
LTD Recommendation

LTD is durable cookware with superb heating properties. But it's not dishwasher safe or induction compatible, and it's more expensive than D3. If you find it on sale and don't mind the drawbacks, it's excellent cookware--but we don't recommend paying full price for it.

Buy ltd2 on Amazon now:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Buy ltd2 at williams-sonoma now:

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All-Clad Copper Core

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Overall Rating: 3.7

Heating Properties: 4.5

Durability: 4.5

Reactivity: 5.0

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 4.0

Value/Price: 

See Copper Core on Amazon now

See Copper Core at Williams-Sonoma now​​​​

Introduction

Induction compatible: Yes

Dishwasher safe: Yes

See our full review of All-Clad Copper Core

Copper cookware is some of the most expensive cookware on the market. And with good reason, because copper is the Ferrari of cookware: it's lightweight, responsive, and pretty.

Unfortunately, copper is also a huge pain to keep looking beautiful. Copper oxidizes easily, losing its luster and turning a dull brown without regular maintenance. This doesn't affect its superb functionality, but most people love the appearance of copper as much as they love its performance. To keep its luster, copper has to be polished a few times a year--more if you're finicky about  it.

Copper Core has solved that problem for copper lovers by placing the copper inside the stainless. The small band of copper that shows makes the cookware beautiful, but doesn't detract much from the appearance when it dulls. 

Copper Core is one of All-Clad's most popular lines. It's beautiful and it provides excellent performance. It's also one of All-Clad's most expensive lines. All-Clad cookware review

Whether or not it's worth the price depends on what kind of performance you want and how big your budget is. 

Copper Core Heating Properties

Copper Core has 5-ply construction, with two outer layers of stainless steel sandwiching three inner layers of aluminum and copper (so, stainless-aluminum-copper-aluminum-stainless):

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

The total thickness of Copper Core is 1.7mm. The copper layer is just shy of 1mm thick (0.9mm to be exact). This is enough copper to provide nice responsiveness, but not enough to compete with the copper brands like Mauviel, whose lowest end line starts at around 1.3mm. (When it comes to copper, this is a significant difference.) 

The aluminum layers are so thin that they don't add a lot to the heating properties. In fact, they're probably there primarily to create a good bond; copper is notoriously poor at bonding to stainless. 

In general, copper is about twice as responsive as aluminum. This varies according to the particular alloys used, so it's hard to be exact. But generally, it means you need about half as much copper to achieve the same heating properties as aluminum. Thus, Copper Core's 0.9mm layer of copper is roughly equal D3's 1.7mm layer of aluminum--actually slightly better.

If you compare Copper Core's total thickness of 1.7mm to D3's total thickness of 2.6mm, you can see that Copper Core is thin, lightweight cookware. This is exactly what copper cookware should be. People buy copper for its responsiveness, not for its mass. Thus, a copper skillet is great for cooking temperature-sensitive foods and when you don't want the pan to hold onto a lot of heat. In other words, Copper Core is great for fish, but not so great for searing a steak.

Much like D3, Copper Core is good all-around cookware. But unless you fall in love with it, D3 is the better buy. If you want one nimble copper skillet, Copper Core is about your only choice if you need induction compatibility. But if you don't, Mauviel is the better choice for about the same cost, or probably a little less.

Copper Core Durability

With its stainless exterior finishes, Copper Core is extremely durable cookware. 

It's thinner than D3, so it's going to be more prone to warping, so we deducted half a point for that--although all All-Clad cookware is quite warp-resistant compared to other brands.

Copper Core Reactivity

With its stainless exterior, Copper Core is also very stable cookware. The exposed copper will tarnish, but this will not affect your cooking at all.

See Copper Core reviews on Amazon now

Copper Core Ease of Care

Copper Core cleans up like any stainless pan, which means it gets a 3 out of 5 because of stickiness. We could deduct half a point for the copper band, which needs to be polished if you want it looking gorgeous--but we're not going to because polishing that copper band is completely optional).

Copper Core Design/Usability

We really love the Copper Core design. Having the copper inside the stainless makes this cookware a lot more general purpose than standard copper cookware. (We just wish it had a little bit more copper in it). It also makes this cookware induction-compatible, which is rare for copper cookware. 

Copper Core has the traditional grooved All-Clad handles (like D3). They added a nice little stop on the bottom side:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

It has all the other great attributes of stainless cookware. It's oven safe up to 600F. It's induction compatible and dishwasher safe. It's lightness makes it great as all-around cookware, especially for people who have issues with heavier cookware. All-Clad cookware review

The only thing it's not good at is heat retention. You need more mass for that. (But since this isn't why people buy copper cookware, we aren't deducting any points.)

Copper Core Value

Copper Core performs only slightly better than D3--it spreads heat slightly faster and responds to changes in temperature slightly faster. This is great, but Copper Core is a lot more expensive than D3. So even though it's great all-purpose cookware, we think it's a bit overpriced. 

Copper Core Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent heating properties
  • Durable, beautiful, and induction compatible
  • Decent copper performance without the maintenance.

Cons:

  • Less copper than other high-end copper cookware (like Mauviel)
  • The slight bump in performance doesn't justify the added cost (over D3).
Copper Core Recommendations
  • Buy one skillet or saute pan if you want a light, responsive skillet for delicate foods and need induction compatibility. If you don't need an induction-ready pan, there are other copper options that will provide better performance at an equal or better price. 
  • For an entire set, you're better off, both price-wise and performance-wise, with D3 (for induction) or MC2/LTD (for non-induction). 

Buy Copper Core on amazon now:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Buy Copper Core at williams-sonoma now:

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All-Clad D7

​

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Overall Rating: 3.5

Heating Properties: 3.5

Durability: 5.0

Reactivity: 5.0

Ease of Care: 3.0

Design/Usability: 3.5

Value/Price: 

See D7 on Amazon

See D7 at Sur la Table

Introduction

Induction compatible: Yes

Dishwasher safe: Yes

Compare to: le Creuset (see it on Amazon)

D7 came out in 2014 and offers a whopping 7 layers of cladding made of stainless and aluminum (s-a-s-a-s-a-s). D7's main competitor is le Creuset enameled cast iron. In fact, the original D7 pieces were Dutch ovens only. Today, you can find entire sets of D7.

This may not last long, however, as All-Clad as recently dropped the D7 line from their web site. People probably didn't want to pay even more for D7 than le Creuset--yes, D7 was marketed at a higher price than the uber spendy le Creuset enameled cast iron.

You can still find D7, though--and you may be able to find it at clearance prices now if you're lucky--so we decided to review it.

7 layers makes for pretty heavy cookware: the 10-inch D7 skillet, at 4.3 pounds, is more than twice as heavy as the D3 skillet, and almost as heavy as the le Creuset 10.25-inch skillet, which weighs in at just over 5 pounds.

The extra mass fills a void for All-Clad, as they had nothing to compete with le Creuset before D7. However, we don't understand why they went with alternating layers of stainless and aluminum. Stainless is only there for its durability. It has terrible heating properties, so there's no logical reason (that we can understand) to put it inside a pan, except to add mass (and slow down a pan's response time). The internal layers of stainless don't do a lot for D7's performance. All-Clad cookware review

It's unfortunate the All-Clad people didn't see fit to compete with the Demeyere Proline skillet instead--which also has 7 layers of cladding and almost as much mass as the le Creuset--because the Proline has a total of 3.7mm of aluminum inside it, while the D7, because of A/C's choice to use stainless internally, has only about 2.2mm of aluminum. This is more than D3's 1.7mm of aluminum, but it could be so much better.

The increased mass will help D7 hold heat more like cast iron, but they could have achieved that with more aluminum rather than more stainless and made this superb cookware. Instead, it's just okay cookware, and probably not worth the cost. 

D7 Heating Properties

D7 pans have a total thickness of 3.8mm, and about 2.2mm of aluminum. This is more than D3's 1.7mm of aluminum. The aluminum in D7 is also a purer alloy, giving it good heating properties. 

However, D7 is going to heat much like heavy cast iron: because of its mass, and because of the layers of stainless slowing things down, it's going to heat slowly. The aluminum and the stainless sort of cancel each other out. So while the heat will spread more evenly than in cast iron, it will spread--and hang onto--heat at about the same rate. 

D7 Durability

The durability of D7 is unsurpassed. In addition to the stainless finish, these pans are heavy, heavy, heavy. They're made to last forever--they may even outlast your grandmother's cast iron. All-Clad cookware review

D7 Reactivity

As with all stainless pans, D7 is very stable cookware. With the same cooking surface as other All-Clad cookware, you'll have no worries about reactions with your food.

see D7 Reviews on amazon now

D7 Ease of Care

The stainless exterior gets an average rating, like all stainless cookware. Stainless is sticky, and you have to take care to use it properly to keep cleaning to a minimum. This includes heating oil before adding food to the pan (creating a barrier so food won't stick as much), or possibly seasoning the pan. (See more about seasoning under the Ease of Care section below.)

D7 Design/Usability

D7 fills a void for All-Clad fans: it provides the usability of enameled cast iron--unfortunately, at a higher price.

If you're a huge A-C fan, you may jump at the chance to have this uber-heavyweight cookware in your collection. For skillets or Dutch ovens, D7 offers performance equivalent to le Creuset.

For everyday cookware, though, D7 may be a little too much for most people. A lot of people switch from cast iron to stainless because they prefer its lightness and ease of handling. D7 is like the stainless version of cast iron. We deduct a point for its weight. All-Clad cookware review

Having said that, the D7 does have some really nice design features. The handle has a flatter groove than D3, making it easy to stabilize a pan but without digging into your hand or arm as much:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Because of the heft, even the 10-inch D7 skillet comes with a helper handle, which is also a really nice feature:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

D7 also has domed lids. While they can take up precious storage space, domed lids are really nice when you need them, plus they look really great:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

D7 is oven safe up to 500F, induction-compatible, and dishwasher safe. With the domed lids, this makes D7 versatile cookware.

We deduct points for two things, though. One, its weight, which may make it less than desirable daily cookware for some people--if you've switched over to clad stainless from cast iron because its lighter and easier to handle, D7 is not the everyday cookware for you.

We also deduct for the internal layers of stainless. Why didn't A-C use more aluminum? It would have made this pan a far superior performer to enameled cast iron. Instead, it's about the same--and again, at a higher price. 

D7 Value

All-Clad D7 is meant to compete with cast iron cookware. However, it costs more than even the most expensive cast iron, le Creuset. Since you can get similar performance from pans that cost a fraction of D7, we give it a one star rating for value.

(Don't get us wrong; it's great cookware. It's just really expensive for what it does.)

D7 Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • Extra mass competes with enameled cast iron
  • Domed lids 
  • Good handle design, plus helper handles even on the 10-inch skillet
  • Induction compatible and dishwasher safe.

Cons:

  • Internal layers of stainless detract from performance rather than add to it
  • The cost doesn't really justify the performance for most people.
D7 Recommendations
  • If you want a heavy pan for searing and deep frying, go with cast iron--even an inexpensive Lodge will probably perform as well as D7 for a lot less.
  • If you want an uber heavy stainless skillet, go with the Demeyere Proline skillet. Its performance is the best on the market for a comparable price.
  • Get the D7 if you love the design: the added mass, domed lids, and pretty stainless looks. Otherwise, you can do better for the same or less on Demeyere, le Creuset, or even Lodge
  • Get the D7 if you find it on clearance for less than le Creuset or Demeyere and you want heavy pans.

Buy D7 on Amazon now:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

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Buy d7 at Sur la table now:

All-Clad HA1/B1/NS1 (Anodized Aluminum Nonstick)

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About All-Clad: The Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review

Overall Rating: 3.6

Heating Properties: 4.0