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All Clad Copper Core vs. D5

I would be interested in knowing if anyone has compared/used the Copper Core and compared to the D5. I hear that the D5 heats more evenly and represents that latest technology. I am about to make a purchase of an entire set and would like to have some input as to which might be better. I realize that the Copper Core cost more, but cost is not the issue. I am looking for the best product. Thanks in advance for the help.

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  1. JeepCook, did you end up buying the D5 or copper core?

    I think it almost comes down to aesthetics. Both are 5-ply, both have flared rims, both have the same stick handle, both have the same gauge steel lid, though the D5 lid is more deeply recessed and has a slightly taller and heavier handle, making the lid slightly heavier. Copper conducts heat a little better than alunimum, and I've heard the copper core pans can get quite hot, which is maybe why the copper core handles have the extra opening. Other than that there's not much difference, except the price of course.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Seitan

      Seitan.

      On addition. The Copper Core cladding layers are: stainless steel, aluminum, copper, aluminum, stainless steel. A lot of people believe the aluminum is responsible for much of the heat distribution. The d5 layers are: stainless steel, aluminum, stainless steel, aluminum, stainless steel. You can already see there is a difference in term of the philosphy. For Copper Core, it is about having 3 high heat conduction metals at the core. For d5, it is about alternating, high, low, high conductive metal at the core.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Yes, so should we infer from this that the D5 diffuses the heat and distributes it more evenly than the copper core (with it's emphasis on conducting and ramping up the heat ) ?

        1. re: Seitan

          Seitan,

          I think blondelle and you are right. From the designs, d5 should be slightly better for heat distribution because it has this alternating layers which makes the heat: stops and goes, stops and goes. It should also have better heat retention because the stainless steel at the very core absorb and release the heat slower. The problem with any cookware with better heat retention is slower heat response. A thick cast iron skillet is good example. You turn the heat down and the cooking surface continue to heat up..

          So, I agree. I think Copper Core has better heat response. Though if you are into heat response, then you should buy the standard two ply cookware: copper exterior and tin/stainless interior.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            So maybe the Copper Core would be slightly better for certain things like fry pans and covered sautuese pans where you want quick response. But then, like you said, if one is really worried about that, then an all copper and tin/stainless interior fry pan would be even better. I wonder if Copper Core sacrifices any eveness in heating for quick response? Maybe not enough to notice.

    2. I like the fact that the D5 will also retain heat which makes it better for braising, while the copper is made to be more responsive and heats and cools faster. The D5 is also induction capable while the copper isn't. With a set you want to keep for a lifetime I think this is important. Looks wise I like the copper, but I don't think you can throw it in the dishwasher. I would get the D5.

      1 Reply
      1. re: blondelle

        I believe the All-Clad copper core is faced externally with a magnetic stainless layer, which makes it induction capable. I've just gotten an induction hob and picked up two Scanpan CTX pieces, a wok and a frypan. I'm really impressed with them both, but won't be able to make any comments about durability for another decade or so ;-)

      2. I purchased the copper core 3qt saute/simmer from WS. I have the old all clad stainless and this is my first copper core. It is way more heat responsive than the old stainless. I can't compare it with the D5, but with my gas wolf range, I can't use the highest heat setting like I do with the stainless. It heats up really fast and super hot.

        1 Reply
        1. re: peppatty

          Peppatty,

          Thanks. This is helpful. We speculate as such, but it is excellent to have a real-life evident. Thanks.

        2. So is the general consensus that D5 is probably better for braising, poaching, boiling.

          While the copper is better for frying, sauteing?

          12 Replies
          1. re: rores28

            "So is the general consensus that D5 is probably better for braising, poaching, boiling.

            While the copper is better for frying, sauteing?"

            Who wrote that? No, I would think it makes little difference if you are doing braising, poaching and boiling because the water/liquid will be your cooking medium and it will circulate the heat for you. The demand for an even heating surface is lower for these types of cooking.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Hi, Chem:

                If anyone knows, it's you: How thick are the conductive layers in A-C d5 and the copper core? How thick is the middle layer in d5? I'm cynical about the stop-go-stop-go-stop theory behind d5. What do you think?

                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Kaleo,

                  To be honeset, I don't know about the go-stop-go... mechanism. I am not dismissing, but I wonder if it makes a real difference. It seems to sacrifice heat response for a more even heating surface. Now, people who own both the original design and the d5 wrote that they find no difference in their thickness, and d5 cookwares are not heavier. As for copper thickness, most people put it at most 2 mm thick, may be a bit thinner.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Hi, Chem:

                    That's it, isn't it, with clad?--we are left in the dark to wonder.

                    Considering that: (a) there are already "stop" layers (SS) inside and outside all the d5 pans; (b) the middle "stop" and all the "go" (aluminum) layers must be quite thin, I can't fathom how *that* construction yields more even heat than just making the center 3 "go-stop-go" layers all one conductive layer of equal total thickness.

                    I'd like an A-C engineer to explain how that is supposed to work (Please, no cut & paste from the promo stuff).

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      "I can't fathom how *that* construction yields more even heat ..."

                      I used to believe that idea, then I am not so sure, now I am back to possibly true. The argument is that the middle steel layer will slow the heat transmission upward, so it forces/gives the heat more time to spread in the copper layer in the lateral (sideway) direction. However, something sounds right and something does not. So I am not going to weight in on this one.

                      "Please, no cut & paste from the promo stuff"

                      :) I don't think I do a lot of cut and paste.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Hi, Chem:

                        Self-quote: "Please, no cut & paste from the promo stuff"

                        This wasn't aimed at you.

                        Re: even heat... Why is it, you think, that, with all A-C's millions in advertising budget, they don't/wont publish some simple IR photos *showing* whether the heat is even/more even? Doesn't it seem to you to be a simple and easy thing, and a boon to sales if it shows better evenness over d1, d2, d3 and d4?

                        Oh, maybe they already thought of that, looked, and don't want to show anyone what they saw. New! Improved! Repeat!

                        Kaleo

                      2. re: kaleokahu

                        {I can't fathom how *that* construction yields more even heat than just making the center 3 "go-stop-go" layers all one conductive layer of equal total thickness.}

                        I know this is old, but I've been mulling this over. If you have heat entering an aluminum layer and passing into a stainless layer, wouldn't the reduced conductivity of the stainless cause the heat to 'build up' in the aluminum and conduct further out from the heat source as it seeps slowly into the stainless, thereby causing the heat to diffuse further from the source than a simple aluminum layer would? More alternating layers would then lead to greater heat dispersion and, hence, better evenness? Of course this would come at the high cost of responsiveness.

                        1. re: jljohn

                          That was what All Clad believes. How impactful is it? I don't know, but that was the logic.

                          1. re: jljohn

                            That's exactly the point of D5. I have just one piece of D5, an LTD2 French Skillet. I use it on low heat, expecting it will distribute heat away from the center, as my burners are small compared to the diameter of the pan. I haven't done any tests of this effect, but I am satisfied with the pan.

                            1. re: jljohn

                              As for responsiveness, you are correct that the Copper-Core should be better. This is why I am generally opposed to sets. Copper-Core (or solid copper) might be the best choice for some pans because of the response characyeristics, but is not worth the expense for everything, in my opinion.

                              1. re: jljohn

                                Hi, Jeremy:

                                That's the theory, but I am skeptical. First, there is a limit to how much heat can pass how fast laterally through each conductive layer, and to a great degree (up to the optimal thickness of about 2.8mm equivalent of copper) this depends on thickness. Aluminum foil, for example, doesn't conduct much heat laterally; but make it a 0.125"-thick piece of aluminum strap stock, watch out! That's why I'm always dubious about thin layers, even the "silver" in lines like Demeyere Atlantis--there just isn't enough of it to do much.

                                Second, what heat *does* spread out from that first thin conductive layer goes where? Most of it goes up to the next barrier layer. And some of it, not much, but some, gets pushed out. Stacking successive layers may feebly tend to "broaden" the cooking surface a little, but at the expense of other things.

                                Third, look at it from a different angle. It may well be true that by interleaving alternating barrier layers, no particular hotspot will be as hot for a given hob setting, but is that "evenness"? TMWOT, that is mostly a function of *muting* the conductivity, not *spreading* any heat. You could also accomplish just about the same thing by using a ridiculously-thick monolithic slab of stainless. If you posit a truly crappy, tiny gas hob heating a d5 vs. A-C aluminum core, theoretically the former would scorch less at the same setting, but my money's on the difference being negligible in a practical sense.

                                It would be great to hear an A-C research engineer's take on this, but right now I can't see go-stop-go as anything but a gimmick or cost-saving measure.

                                For anyone interested, here is the patent application for d5: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pa... If someone can post its attached drawings, I'd be much obliged.

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                    2. Hi,

                      This is from an old news release:

                      After nearly 10 years, through continued innovation and a commitment to unsurpassable quality, All-Clad has refined its best-selling classic stainless line. Stainless with d5 Technology is handcrafted in the U.S.A. using a patented 5-ply bonding technology (alternating layers of stainless and aluminum conductivity with an inner core of stainless) that delivers the following cooking benefits:
                      Twenty percent more even heating over traditional bonded cookware
                      Unique stainless core for unparalleled stability
                      Induction optimized
                      New handle design for better comfort and control
                      Energy efficiency

                      I don't know if this adds anything that was not known but I thought I would send it on. Here is the link

                      http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releas...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: dcrb

                        Sorry for digging up an old post, but I was looking for similar info and it doesn't look like this ever got resolved.

                        @dcrb - If I had to decipher marketing schlock, and its marketing, so who knows the validity of deciphering any of it, I'd say this.

                        1. It says Induction Optimized - that could mean better responsiveness to induction stove tops vs, say, the copper core line.
                        2. It mentions unparalleled stability. Possibly that means less warping than you might encounter in a copper core.
                        3. Twenty percent more heating "over traditional bonded cookware"... well, other than cast iron and straight sheet aluminum, just about everything is "traditional bonded cookware", so you can throw that out the window.

                        The rest is really non-comparative for heat distribution. In any event, my bet would be that you're still going to get better heat distribution, even if negligibly, on a copper core.

                        1. re: chadwickvm

                          I will jump in.

                          <1. It says Induction Optimized - that could mean better responsiveness to induction stove tops vs, say, the copper core line.>

                          That is for sure. I do not think the copper core respond at all to the induction field. Maybe there is a new line of copper core, but the one I know does not respond *See correction below. Copper Core is in fact induction ready*. Now, I think the Induction Optimized phrase simply just means the cookware was designed with induction cooking in mind, so it was part of the design.

                          <2. It mentions unparalleled stability. Possibly that means less warping than you might encounter in a copper core.
                          >

                          The stability could mean the cladding. That is to say the All Clad cladded is more robust. I believe Cooks Illustrated or someone has intentionally overheated several brands of cookware, and that a few other brands of cookware have their cladding destoryed, but the All Clad one was intact.

                          <3. Twenty percent more heating "over traditional bonded cookware"... well, other than cast iron and straight sheet aluminum, just about everything is "traditional bonded cookware", so you can throw that out the window.>

                          That was a confusing phrase because All Clad changed that phrase a few times. First, it reads like that it requires less energy to heat up the pan -- possibly but unlikely. Then, the phrase got changed into something else. I won't pay way too much attention. Many cookware are indeed bonded cookware, but you can get different heat response between them as well. For example, let's say one has thicker layers of stainless steel and the other has thinner.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            Chem, you are mistaken about Copper-Core and induction. The early pieces were not induction-compatible, but at some point the line was changed so that the exterior SS layer is now induction compatible.

                            1. re: GH1618

                              Oh good. Thanks for clarifying. I guess either my information wasn't updated, or I simply confused with another line of All Clad. Appreciated.