HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Help me clear something up with All Clad Please

I have posted on the site for information regarding my purchase of higher end cookware but need some additional input.
As several members suggested I did consider Sitram It's just not the right choice for me. The fact that Sitram has a three pc sandwiched base ( SS/Copper/SS ) kind of killed it. I do all my cooking on a gas range always have ... always will. I realize that adjusting the flame to match the size of the pan disc may be the answer for some but that just doesn't make sense to me. Unless the entire bottom all the way out to the edge is covered I see no advantage to having it as there will be hot spots on the bottom edge or sides ( Several folks have said that this is in fact a problem ). Further, though functional, Sitram has a very industrial/utilitary look about it that doesn't appeal to me. The Sitram Cybernox is as expensive as any other high end cookware.

Regardless.....

I've boiled ( excuse the pun ) my selection down to All Clad ..... now here is the real question:? Is it going to be Copper Core or Stainless.
Anyone out there have both or experience with them and can comment on the respective advantages/ disadvantages of the two??? A post in the past said that the copper core was so thin as to be ,in reality,useless. If SS is, as has been suggested, just as good as Copper Core I don't want to be paying the price for ????
Thanks for the continued input from the forum

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I don't have a definitive answer but I know how you can get one, I think.

    Copper is a better conductor of heat, which means that not only will pans made from it heat more uniformly BUT that they will be more responsive to changes in heat -- literally conducting changes in input more quickly to the pan. Copper is also more dense than aluminum -- a give volume of it weighs much more. I have noticed that for the same size pan the copper core pan is heavier than the SS pan by about the same amount as the difference in density -- it is possible that AllClad changes the handle or added thickness of SS or something else, but my guess is that it is ALL THE COPPER...

    If the copper is the only thing making up for the additional weight THEN the performance WILL BE THERE. I'll bet AllClad will answer that question.

    BY THE WAY, I think the folks who say "it ain't worth the money" are probably a) either confusing CopRChef (which is plated and ain't worth money, as even AllClad says it is for appearance...) b) have not actually tested the pans side-by-side (which I have not done in the same size, but I have compared similar pans and DO THINK that the copper core is more responsive especially with sugar which is what I got the copper core pan for... c) might be talking about COST, as in "for the money you could get tinned copper" like Mauviel, but then you'd have the potential cost of re-tinning(unless your talking about a sugar only pot, which I had until it got borrowed and never returned (thieving bastard...)

    1 Reply
    1. re: renov8r

      I agree. I think the copper core is more responsive. I only have one pan that's copper core and a whole set of all clad stainless, but the copper core seems to heat things faster (and it is heavier).

    2. If looks are that important, you should considere Demeyere's Sirocco and Atlantis lines. They are gorgeous, and the disc extends all the way to the edge of the base. If you have a gas flame turned up so high that the *sides* of the pan are being heated, you have it too high and are basically just heating up your kitchen.

      All-clad doesn't publish (as far as I know) the thickness of the copper or aluminum layer in their pans. Copper is more dense and more conductive than aluminum, so a copper disc can be thinner and still do the same job as a thicker aluminum one. But since All-Clad doesn't tell you how thick their layers are, it's impossible to compare. Most manufacturers don't hide that information.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Buckethead

        Thank you renov8r and Buckethead for the great informaion.

      2. I can't speak to the copper issues, but I will suggest that the brushed exterior surfaces of the mc2 line are FAR easier to keep clean than the shiny ones.

        1. You really owe yourself a look at Demeyere. Some are clad -- such as the conical sauteuse, and they put the comparable All Clads to shame. Some Demeyere pieces have disk bottoms, so check to make sure you are looking at clad models. Have you considered Mauviel with a stainless lining (tin is the one that seems to wear out) or Falk with stainless lining? Those copper pans are magnificent choices, they work better than clad stainless because they will cool down quickly if you have overheat the contents. I swear by them and they never get hot spots.

          1. I've done heavy duty with from All Clad to cheap stuff from China and everything in-between; and while there are very minor differences among cookware, I really can't see why people pay more.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

              Agreed. I have frying pans of seven different materials or combinations of materials (including copper). and don't see any noticeable difference. My only rap against All-Clad is that you have to spend 20 minutes cleaning the frypans after each use.. But the saucepans are fine, if no doubt overpriced.

            2. I honestly don't think you can go wrong with either. I've got quite a bit of All Clad SS and I love all of it. I don't find it hard to keep clean (the occasional go with Barkeeper's Friend). I've had other pots/pans from other makers and the only things that have stood the test and joined my All Clad are a couple of pieces of Le Crueset and a pressure cooker. I love the looks of the SS All Clad, too. I'm a big fan.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ccbweb

                I second the All Clad stainless steel. It cleans beautifully in the dishwasher too.

                I am a very big fan of Sitram as well. Used it in restaurants for years and it held up very well. At home, I have a Sitram stockpot, rondeau, and saucepan, but I honestly reach for All Clad eight out of ten times. It is somewhat lighter, yet cooks beautifully. Also cleans up so much nicer and with less effort than other makes. (I'm not talking about MC2 - not sure why anyone would want to scrub those exteriors every time they use a pan.).

                It also seems to me that the stainless lining in All Clad pans is more stick-resistant than other makes. All in all., you won't make a mistake with any All Clad pan, and I don't know why so many people here like to bash it.

                1. re: btnfood

                  I have to disagree for what I have noticed with the Copper Core versus the SS pan is that I need higher heat settings for maintaining a steady slow boil. I have electric ceramic cooker and the setting for a slow boil with the All Clad Copper Core is 1.5 and I need to go up to 2 to 2.5 on the SS. So I say the definitive winner is the Copper Core! This is from a person who OWNS both and can comment upon it instead of speculating. Plus the Copper Core gives me much better heat control versus the SS.

              2. Buy stainless; I have both copper and stainless. Stainless is easier to clean; it does as good a job. Copper will always need cleaning and won't cook any better.

                2 Replies
                1. re: EclecticEater

                  I believe the OP was talking about copper-core, stainless exterior pans, not full-on copper.

                  1. re: EclecticEater

                    i have All Clad SS and i love it. i haven't really used their copper, but when doing my research i saw an article in cooks illustrated where the reviewer felt that the cooper was TOO good a conductor of heat, and liked that the SS slowed things down a little.
                    Regarding the comment above about heating sugar, i don't do much of that, but maybe if you are a pastry chef the copper is worth it.
                    i am also a huge advocate of well-seasoned cast iron, which i end up using as much as my All Clad. there is no better deal for your money.

                  2. All Clad Stainless is the clear choice for convenience. For performance, either the MC2 or the LTD. Pick up a piece of either and compare it to the same piece of stainless, and the difference in thickness of the interior aluminum layer is readily apparent. Of course with either, you sacrifice your ability to use the dishwasher.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sam Harmon

                      Aluminum and copper are pretty similar in their conductive properties. I'm curious, with an electric range, would there even be a noticeable difference? I can see the dramatic changes in a gas range being a bit more noticeable. Thoughts?