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Jan 9, 2008 10:47 AM

All-Clad Master Chef 2 or LTD? On a boat?

I have decided to buy an All-Clad 5 1/2 quart saucier. I cannot decide between a Master Chef 2 and LTD. I'll use this pan for about 11 years in my home kitchen, then plan on moving it to a sailboat we'll be living on. I use my current saucier more than all my other pans combined. When we move aboard, I won't be able to take many pots and pans. This one and my pressure cooker will be going for sure. There may be few, if any, other ones I can bring. (Small space!)

I've read that these two All-Clad collections have the same amount of internal aluminum, so it's down to the exterior finish. I need durable and low (least?) maintenance. I'd like it to stay looking nicely, of course. And, we'll be sailing in sea water, so if one would stand up better to a marine environment that would be good to know. I'm perfectly happy to hand wash. I never ever put any of my pots or pans in the dishwasher. I do have young children, but, as they won't be able to lift this beast for years, I'm not overly concerned about their handling of it.

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  1. All of the All-Clad lines have a stainless steel interior , but it is the exterior finish that differs. The polished stainless exterior finish is probably the easiest to keep clean and most durable, if you don't mind the small scratches that will enviably happen. Stainless is impervious to salt water as well.

    I own the brushed MC2 line, but it can be more demanding to keep spotless, if that is important to you. I like the industrial look, plus the lower price point means I can buy multiples of the more commonly used pans. I also think the thicker aluminum bottoms make it more responsive, then the SS exteriors.

    The LTD has a anodized black finish that will scratch and possibly wear off with time.

    I like copper pans, but the copper exterior is not thick enough to affect the cooking performance, and will only tarnish.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kelli2006

      I don't have to have it looking perfect at all times, but it'd be nice if I can sometimes put some elbow grease in and return it to normal. Does MC2 scratch easily?

      All-Clad claims that the LTD will never crack, chip or peel. They don't mention wearing off like you do!

    2. MC2 has an exterior of brushed ALUMINUM not SS.

      Aluminum will PIT in salt air, sometimes BADLY.

      Anodization will slow that pitting, but NOT prevent it entirely, especially as the anodized layer wears over time AND IT WILL WEAR.

      You will be much better off on a boat with SS line

      3 Replies
      1. re: renov8r

        Hmmm... I had discounted the SS because the internal aluminum layer is thinner, but you've got it back on my list!

        1. re: SailingChef

          All SS is definately the way to go. Another thing to consider is most sailboats have galleys with very tight burner configuration. Cuisinart discontinued it set with the removable handle, but some marine stores might still have old stock:

          1. re: renov8r

            I'd thought about storage, but I hadn't thought about burner tops. Maybe I'll get the MC2 or LTD 5 1/2 quart for now, then buy SS 3 qt. (or something else like the Cuisinart set) when we go afloat.

      2. howdy sailingchef,

        deb and i have logged quite a few miles in "morning calm," our pacific seacraft 34. we've also chartered boats in florida, the bahamas and the caribbean. my modest advice is get to know the boat, the galley and your cruising grounds before making any big investments. any old set of pots and pans should do while you're getting to know her.

        btw, life at 5 knots is pretty cool.


        1 Reply
        1. re: steve h.

          That's a good thought. I'm buying some saucier today and I thought I'd try to make a guess at one that would be useful on the boat later. But, I'm starting to think this huge one I want to buy now isn't the one I'd want on the boat anyhow! Your thoughts are good for a lot of things. Initially at least, we'll be sailing in first world waters, so I can always buy things once we're under way. I will definitely remember your advice.

        2. I think the most useful All-Clad pan of all is a pan exclusive to Williams Sonoma called the James Beard pan. It's a 4.5 qt. saucier type pan, with a good amount of bottom area, and one long handle and one loop handle. It's also on sale now at WS for $50 off a $129.99. I can't think of anything you can't cook in that pan. Part of the proceeds also goes to the James Beard foundation to help aspiring chefs with scholarships. The price is only good in the stores if they have any left. That's the pan I would definitely get! Here's a link:

          15 Replies
          1. re: blondelle

            That might do nicely! I like the domed lid and helper handle. It's not clear from the description if the aluminum layer goes all the way up the sides. Do you know if it does? That's why I avoided the All-Clad Emerilware - because it doesn't have that.

            1. re: SailingChef

              Yes, ALL All-Clad pieces are fully clad up the sides. It's an awesome piece at a great price if you can still find one. If I only could have one pan, it would be that one!

              I wanted to add that it also has the rolled edge which makes pouring easier. It's much less than the 5.5 saucier, which is also BTW, the same pot as the AC dutch oven, which has the domed lid, and two loop handles.

              1. re: blondelle

                I think this may be the perfect pan for me! I only wanted the 5 1/2 quart because the 3 quart was clearly too small for me. But, 4 1/2 quarts would do nicely and the rolled edge was something I wished the 5 1/2 quart had. I'm excited! My local WS opens in 51 minutes. I'll be calling them! If they have it, I think I'll be getting it! Thanks so much for telling me about it!

                1. re: SailingChef

                  You're very welcome! WS can also have one sent to you from another store if they don't have it. They check on their computer. Also call the 800# on the website and they can tell you now which store has what stock. The 5.5 saucier doesn't have as much flat bottom area I think, and is too high to work for a saute. This works also for a saute, frying and is the perfect pan for risotto. Also a great braising pan, for soups, stews, and for even roasting a chicken in, or making a pot roast. Great for everything! Let me know if you get it! Good luck!

                  1. re: blondelle

                    You're full of great information! For the saucier, I was leaning towards the MC2 or LTD to get the thicker aluminum. Do you have any idea if this pan has the 2mm or 4mm? What do you think of the difference?

                    1. re: blondelle

                      I found the pan in stock at a store close enough to me that I should have it in a day or two. AND, just this very morning, the price went down to $89!!! I'm SO excited!

                      1. re: SailingChef

                        Well, it looks like we did each other a good deed. I had bought it for $129.99, and after seeing your post ran over to nearest WS store and they refunded me the difference to $89.99. They only do that as long as they have it in stock, and there was only one left. If I hadn't seen your post I wouldn't have been able to get it, so good deeds do go rewarded ;-). By the way, I also got a refund on my 3 qt. saucier I bought at $119.99. It was reduced to $79.99, so you saved me that too! Here's to James Beard!!!

                        1. re: blondelle

                          That's lovely! So, did you buy another toy with the saved $70? :)

                          Is the 3 quart stainless steel? For what purposes to you expect to use it instead of the 4 1/2 quart from James? (Asking because, at that price, maybe I need it too!)

                          1. re: SailingChef

                            Yes the 3 qt. is stainless too. It's just for when the 4.5 is too big for the amount I want to cook. I'm going to use the 4.5 first, and if it seems too big I will go to the three. I'm hoping I can use the JB for everything though. I really don't need it but it's usually more than double that I think for that size. It's for the same use as a saucepan, but you can also saute in it, and great for sauces, rice and such.The regular 2 qt. saucepan I have but I am returning it. I don't like tall and narrow pots in general which is why I got the 2.5 windsor saucepan, which I might not need if the saucier can do what it does. It's not easy trying to edit what you need ;-).

                            1. re: blondelle

                              So, I called WS yesterday and asked if they had the saucier in stock. The gal didn't even know what I was talking about. "We have LTD on sale." I trusted you more, so I went there today... and bought the last one! Now, I have two wonderful pans for less than I was going to pay for one! :)

                    2. re: SailingChef

                      In the WS Easter catalog that arrived in the mail today, that James Beard pan is now reduced to $99.99.

                      1. re: Debra Stuart

                        Strange they would bring it down to $89.99 and then go back up $10. It's an awesome value for that still, and a very useful pan.

                    3. re: blondelle

                      Thanks for your info blondelle! I picked up one myself for $89. The family will go hungry this week but at least we have something to cook in! It really is a great price-I couldn't pass it up! I am going to hang it on my rack awhile before I start using it just to admire it. I made chilli for dinner tonight and that pan would have been perfect but I just couldn't do it yet. All-Clad SS is the best-I have other peices.

                      1. re: chocchipcookie

                        You're very welcome. Glad you were able to get one. It's a great pan. I have some other WS bargain for you guys. The All-Clad 6 quart stainless deep saute pan which is really the 6 qt. stockpot but with one long handle is also on sale for an unbelievable $74.99! The Le Creuset 6 3/4 qt. risotto pot--they call it the low wide pot, is a crazy $99.99 in red. The smaller 3.5 qt. low wide one is $79.99 in many colors. Go get 'em guys ;-).

                      2. re: blondelle

                        Just FYI, not ALL All-Clad is fully clad. They make at least one stockpot I can think of with only a disk bottom. Its usually specified, but sometimes it isn't, so watch out.

                        A link:

                  2. My one piece of LTD looks like complete crap after about 8 years of use whereas my SS looks great.

                    "It doesn't crack, chip or peel" Well is shouldn't. It's not a coating after all. It's anodized. Mine dulled, faded and spotted. The inside is nice and shiny though.

                    SS is def the most low maintainence exterior. There is really nothing that Barkeepers Friend can't deal with.

                    IMO go with SS

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      I wondered about that. A used one sold on eBay recently and I wasn't impressed with how the exterior looked. I am going with SS. I'm glad to hear it's the lowest maintenance! I'd rather be cooking than cleaning!

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        How did you clean your LTD? I see these discolored pieces on eBay and wonder how they got that way. Oven cleaner? Dishwasher? I have about a dozen pieces of LTD that I've been using going on 20 years now, and none of them look like that. They're all nicely preserved and still look great despite a LOT of use. I wash mine in the sink using liquid cleanser (Dawn, and occasionally scrub them down with Barkeeper's Friend.