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All Clad Copper Core vs Stainless - 12" skillet

Abernathy Apr 7, 2010 07:43 PM

Bloomingdales is having a sale and they have the 12" AC Stainless w/lid for $79 and the AC copper-core w/o lid for $129.

I was planning to get the 12" stainless when I discovered the copper-core discounted. They also are selling the 10" AC copper-core for $109.

The new AC copper-core is induction ready and stamped on the bottom of the pans.

My question - are the copper-core worth the extra $$?


  1. h
    hankstramm Apr 7, 2010 08:47 PM

    I've been using All-Clad Stainless, LTD and MC2 for many years. I have the 12in stainless skillet and almost identical 14in LTD skillet. I can't imagine anything working better than these two pans. The stainless and LTD use aluminum as the conductive part of the clad, and copper obviously uses copper. The difference in conductivity is minimal.

    Again, I haven't used the copper, but from understanding basic principles of conductivity, there shouldn't be much difference in actual results. Maybe someone that has owned bother could better explain there experiences using the two...

    1 Reply
    1. re: hankstramm
      Chemicalkinetics Apr 7, 2010 09:53 PM


      Yeah, Copper Core has a copper layer at its core as the name suggested. However, a good chunk of the inner core is actually aluminum as well. It is a 5 ply cookware with the layers of: stainless steel, aluminum, copper, aluminum, stainless steel

    2. Eiron Apr 7, 2010 09:38 PM

      Do you need/want the lids? If so, then it'll cost you a bit more to get the Copper Core pans once you add in the cost of the lids. A $30 lid will make the CC pan twice as expensive as the Stainless pan w/lid.

      The CC line is actually five ply, not three like the Stainless. (ss-al-cu-al-ss) They're also quite heavy. I don't know how they compare to AC's tri-ply pans for weight. My AC CC 10" skillet is 4 lbs, while my Calphalon stainless tri-ply 10" skillet is only 2-1/2 lbs. So it's not just about heat transfer, but also heat retention while cooking. It'll depend on what you cook as to whether or not this is a benefit worth paying for.

      1. b
        blondelle Apr 7, 2010 10:15 PM

        The CC is more responsive to heat but I don't think it will make much difference to the average cook. Consumer Reports didn't find that much of an advantage to justify the extra cost.

        4 Replies
        1. re: blondelle
          Abernathy Apr 8, 2010 05:09 AM

          Thanks everyone for the replys. One of the things I really like are the better handles. The new d5 and CC all have the newer, and in my opinion much better handles.

          My plan was to get the WS d5 version of the 4 qt SS Saute/Simmer pan next that I think uses the same lid as the 12" skillet?

          Thanks again for all the feedback.

          1. re: Abernathy
            cheesemaestro Apr 8, 2010 07:24 AM

            I have both the AC saute/simmer pan and the 12" skillet (the earlier SS version, not the d5). The saute/simmer pan is actually 1/4" or so wider at the top, so its lid is slightly too big for the skillet. It will cover the skillet well enough for most purposes, though.

            1. re: cheesemaestro
              grnidkjun Apr 8, 2010 07:26 AM

              how do you like the saute/simmer? what do you use it for mostly?
              do you find you use it more than a traditional saute pan?
              thanks! :)

              1. re: grnidkjun
                cheesemaestro Apr 9, 2010 11:11 AM

                I use the saute/simmer pan for general sauteing, stove-top braising (chicken, vegetables, etc.) and risotto. Because it is slope-sided, there are times when the larger surface area of a saute pan might work better. Still, this is my go-to pan for most things. I highly recommend it.

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