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Jul 26, 2007 04:19 PM

All Clad vs Try Ply

I'm thinking about buying some new pots and pans to replace my old hand-me-downs, I am just wondering whether 3+ layers of metal(S/S-Alum.-S/S) or just a thick aluminum disk welded onto the bottom of a stainless steel pan is better. Thank you in advance----David.

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  1. I think it depends on what kind of range you are cooking on and what kind of pot/pan you are using. For example, if you are cooking on a gas range and using a windsor/reduction pan, you'd probably want all clad construction. But if you have a massive stock/pasta pot that extends far enough that the flames won't lick up the sides, a disc bottom should work just fine.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foodstorm

      How does having a disc bottom pan that flames lick over the side affect cooking?

      1. re: dkua

        Because the metal at the edge of the pan, that isn't covered by the disc, will get much hotter. Some disc-bottomed pans have discs that extend all the way to the edges of the pan's base, but most don't.

        The only thing you'd want a clad pan for is if you're using a heat source like a big gas range, where the heat is being applied to the pan not just through the bottom, but also through the sides. If you're on electric or induction, a disc on the bottom is all you need, since that's where the heat comes from. A clad pan on these heat sources will conduct some heat from the base up through the sides of the pan, radiating it into the room and wasting energy. The only exception would be if you're cooking a liquid or semi-liquid that is touching the sides of the pan as well as the bottom, but even then a lot of heat will be wasted heating up the air in your kitchen.

        1. re: dkua

          I agree with everything Buckethead says. It is important to put the pot on the burner with a smaller diameter that the bottom of the pan and to regulare the heat rather than simply setting it to "high" or letting the flames come up the sides. When the flames come up the sides, there is an increased chance that you will set you sleeves on fire in addition to the fact that the handles will get too hot and that you may be burning little bits of errant grease onto the exterior of the pot. There is never any reason to do that. I like my All Clad pans, but they are not the best things in my kitchen, and I don't really understand why people are so bullish on this brand. My best pans have thick aluminum disk bottoms or sandwiched aluminum and/or copper. I am far less likely to burn anything in my Paderno than I am in anything else because of the superior heat disperson of the disk bottom pans.