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Mar 18, 2010 02:20 PM

Demeyere Apollo vs. Atlantis

I just got off the phone with a rep from Here are the differences between the Atlantis and Apollo lines:

Atlantis: polished finish (shows fingerprints), lined with copper to the rim (even on their sauteuses), cast handles

Apollo: brushed finish (hides fingerprints), lined with aluminum

The lids are identical (apart from the handles), so one could buy Apollo lids for Atlantis pans. The pyrex lids fit just as securely as their stainless counterparts.

Both the 125 and Sur la Table reps I spoke with use Apollo, as it's slightly less expensive, a "great value for the money", and both also claim that it's more cookware than anyone will ever need. 125 is also offering a special discount if you phone your order in.

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  1. I have Atlatntis and I don't believe that the copper goes all the way to the rim. Most Atlantis piece are disk bottom, and the copper may go to the edge of the bottom on those pieces, but not the rim. In fact, I think copper and silver are only used on their disk bottoms with Inductoseal. I don't think there is any copper at all on their 7 layer pieces such as the conical sauteuse.

    This should get to the various diagrams published by Demeyere.

    All this said, they are the best pans I have ever used.

    1. E_M, We have several Apollo pieces, and zero Atlantis pieces. Full disclosure.

      As to the "seven ply" (that is, disk-bottom) Demeyere pots (saucepans and stockpots), there is no queston: Atlantis is superior. The copper disks in the Atlantis pots are superior to the aluminum disks in the Apollo pots, and the Atlantis disks extend all the way to the outer diameter of the pot.

      As to the "five ply" (clad) Demeyere sauciers, the only difference is the handles. No Atlantis pot or saucier has copper that extends up the sides; the "sandwich filling" in Atlantis sauciers is aluminum, as in the Apollo. Your informant was -- simply -- incorrect. Unless you cook in front of your guests, and a "matching" look of your cookware is important, go with Apollo and save the money for more disk bottom Atlantis pots.

      All Demeyere pots and pans are excellent within their categories and for the price. No Demeyere pot or pan is "lined" with aluminum. The French word for stainless is inox, and the two types of internal finish are "Brinx" (BRIghtly polished inox) and SILVinox (matte finish inox). The Silvinox seems to release sticky and burned-on food better than Brinox. Silvinox is not nonstick, by any means, but it is "less stick" than Brinox.

      For cooking liquids, disk bottom pots, with semi-insulating vertical sidewalls, are superior to clad all the way up the sides construction. For sauces, therefore, Atlantis saucepans are superior to either Atlantis or Apollo sauciers, which are used for a different kind of cooking.

        1. So the difference, basically, is the disk bottom. Atlantis=copper/silver, Apollo=aluminum. And of course, the handles (and exterior finishes) are different.

          Politeness, what kind of cooking would sauciers be ideally suited for then?

          5 Replies
          1. re: Seitan

            While "Atlantis=copper/silver" is impressive, the silver layer is so, so thin, that for most intents and purposes, the disk is a copper disk. My understanding is that the silver layer has more to do with the bimetal interface between the stainless and the copper than it does as a functional spreader of heat.

            The Demeyere five-ply sauciers are superb for cooking anything that does not have freely circulating liquid in it; that is, anything for which you would use a frying pan, and for cooking thick, viscous sauces.

            1. re: Politeness

              Politeness, are you sure you don't mean the saute pan?

              Aren't sauciers, with their more bowl-shaped containers, meant for, well, sauces, rouxes, etc.?

              1. re: Seitan

                Seitan, IIRC, Demeyere calls the pot in question a "conical sauteuse." But we can lose track of the ball if we look at terminology, saucier vs. sauté pan vs. conical sauteuse, rather than function.

                When we are cooking liquids, generally we want all of the liquid to be the same temperature throughout, with as little variation as we can achieve. That result is best accomplished by encouraging convection within the mixture, sometimes aided by stirring, and the container is best designed with straight vertical sides that are semi-insulated to keep the heat inside the pot rather than radiating it to the kitchen. Thick, highly conductive disk bottoms aid in avoiding too-hot spots on the bottom of the pot by distributing the heat evenly across the entire bottom.

                When we are cooking solids or viscous materials, on the other hand, we generally want cooking zones, usually warmer toward the bottom and toward the center, and cooler away from the center and up the sides. When we move some of the pot's content toward and up the rounded sides, we want it to keep cooking, but not necessarily as fast as it was cooking on the center bottom, and the slower-cooking portions of the food we push toward the bottom center to bring them up to speed. Rounded bottom and clad pots are designed to facilitate that kind of manipulation.

                1. re: Politeness

                  Ok, I think I understand better now. Thanks.

                  It's just that when I hear the word 'saucier', I think 'sauce', as in liquid, whether thick or thin, but nevertheless something that needs stirring. And looking at the Demeyere conical saucier, (but never having used a conical saucier), my immediate impression is that its shape and cladding is designed to facilitate stirring (rounded shape with no 90 degree corners for liquid to hide from a spoon or whisk) and reduction (wide flaring top, similar but not as wide as a windsor pan). And the side cladding makes me think sides are getting more evenly heated. But, you're saying side cladded vessels are actually cooler on the sides? Is that because the cladded sides actually radiate heat away from the pan rather than hold heat in?

                  So thick, viscous sauces would cook better and more evenly in the conical saucier, and also solids. But aren't solids cooked just as easily in a fry pan or saute pan? I guess I'm still having difficulty picturing in my mind what kinds of foods and cooking (other than the thickest sauces) the specilaized conical saucier is meant for.

                  1. re: Seitan

                    Seitan: "But, you're saying side cladded vessels are actually cooler on the sides? Is that because the cladded sides actually radiate heat away from the pan rather than hold heat in?"

                    Look at the disk on the bottom of any top of the line disk-bottom pan. If the disk is predominantly aluminum, the disk is 5 mm to 8 mm thick; if it is made of copper, it is 2.5 mm thick or more. Do you think the disks would be that thick, if a thinner profile would work as well?

                    Now look at the core thickmess of the conductive layer that is the "sandwich filling" of the side walls of a clad pot or pan. If it is aluminum, the thickness is much less than 5 mm; if it is copper, the thickness is much less than 2.5 mm. No, those center layers of clad pans do not conduct heat from the heat source as well as the thick disk bottoms do. The greater the distance from the heat source (at the bottom of the pot or pan), the less heat is conducted from that source, and the temperature is lower the farther a point is from the heat source.

                    In addition, the ambient air in the kitchen is almost always cooler than the liquid inside a pot that has an active heat source at the bottom. So, if the sides of a pot or pan are highly conductive of heat, the heat will flow from the hotter contents of a pot or pan to the cooler air outside of the pan. If the sides of the pot or pan are less conductive, then the outward radiation of heat from the contents of the pot or pan to the air outside of it will be much less.

                    I do not think of our Demeyere coniical saucier as a "specialized" piece of cookware, but rather as a versatile utility player that can serve as both a frying pan and as a pan for viscous but still liquid foods that need cooking.

          2. I don't know if it will specifically answer your questions, but I did a write up that sort of consolidates information about Atlantis pieces and has some photos, etc. For what it's worth, I love my Atlantis set.


            3 Replies
            1. re: tzakiel

              tzakiel, that presentation is very well done. It is concise, straight to the point, and beautifully illustrated.

              1. re: tzakiel

                I was waiting for the follow-up post that elaborated upon the fish problem.

                1. re: tzakiel

                  Also, I was wondering if you would elaborate on why you chose the Atlantis line over the Apollo. Everyone I have spoken to concurs with Politeness' view and chooses the Apollo.