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All Clad?

Have been long contemplating, oogling, the 6 qt All-clad pan. I love the shiny outside (not the newer grey exterior). Love the size (I think). I have a 5 qt Analon rounded bottom, the old Farberware large pan that came with my original set, and a 3 qt Calphalon non-stick. So the size makes sense as an addition - just wondering if the expense of the All-clad is worth it.

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  1. You're going to get half of your replies saying "yes" and half saying "waste of money" with a lot of discussion about the handles.

    I like All-Clad myself but have a sprinking of other manufacturers' wares to supplement. This specific purchase depends on whether this 6 qt (sauté?) pan suits your taste (assume so since you mentioned you liked the shiny finish), will address your needs (size-wise, I'd say yes) and fits your budget.

    Before you buy, you may want to go to a Williams-Sonoma or the like and see it in person.

    1. Try before you buy. For me, the handles are too skinny and uncomfortable. If that weren't the case...

      I wouldn't say they're a "waste of money," because they are well made, but unless I found a real good sale I would find it hard to justify spending that kind of money they want for them. I don't think I would cook any better with one.

      1. Hold onto the All Clad handle for about 1 minute flat. See if you like it.

        1. No one can tell you if it's worth it. That's a value judgment that the individual has to make.

          If you hold your pots/pans by gripping palm down, you should definitely go to the store and hold them. If you grab palm up, you might not have any issue. But, still, go hold them and touch them.

          Keeping the outside shiny takes a bit of work. I don't worry about it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tommy

            Never understood the "handle fuss" and I've been using and loving All Clad for ten years...Then I went out and picked on up and realized that they must be for "Girlie Girls" because we all Pitch Underhand. ;-D I palm it and wrap my fingers around the top....feels great! If you are an Overhand Grabber, they might, indeed, feel uncomfortable.

          2. gee - thanks for all the point outs about the handle. I have seen it in person in a Chef's Central store - but now I will have to go and play with it a bit more to see about the handle fit. Any other recommendations for a 6 qt saute pan?

            1. All Clad makes a good product, but that 6 qt saute is pretty big. Try to handle it when it's full before you buy it

              1. well you might try to see if they make a similar pan in the All Clad emeril professional clad line - these are tri-ply like All Clad's but are made in China instead of Canonsburg. You may also want to check tramonita and calphalon's tri-ply lines as they have been reported to perform as well as the all clads and the pro clads by many. So basically, imo, All Clad's aren't worth retail - no doubt about that. If you do get an all clad IMO it's best to find one on sale or at least use a 20% off BB_B coupon.

                2 Replies
                1. re: DukeOfSuffolk

                  Read the fine print on BBB coupons - excludes All Clad. I picked up a Calphalon Induction Ready Tri-ply fry pan recently and it works great. Second choice would have been the Sur Le Table full-clad SS which is also a better price than All Clad. In a 6qt saute pan, you probably not likely making delicate candies, sauces, etc. so the high-end 5- or 7-ply isn't going to make a measurable difference. Plus you should consider the precision of your heat source (stove).

                  1. re: redbeanbun

                    Many of the 20% off coupons will work on All-Clad pans - I didn't notice an exclusion on mine (and it worked on the emeril pro-clad line) but many have used the coupon on All-Clad pans.

                    see here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com...

                    specifically: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4759...

                    I was also going to buy one of the Calphalon tri-ply, but then I asked about the 10" pro-clad (I liked the angle of the pro clad handle, and it was more comfy). The nice fellow sold me the pro clad display model for a steal - it actually ended up being roughly half of the cost of the already cheap calphalon once I used the coupon. As a grad student though I like to save cash :D When it comes time to get a real knife to complement my tri-ply though I'm going to have to splurge on a single bevel japanese something-or-other :/

                2. Bloomies has a special tomorrow (8/11) on an All-Clad stainless 13" frypan with cover. Not sure of the price but it should be about $130 or less. Might even be $99. They didn't give the price yet. It looked a bit deeper than the 12" and the cover is also nice. It also has a helper handle. Can be used like the 6 qt. saute. They also have the 4 qt. saute with domed lid for $139.99.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: blondelle

                    I am searching for it on Bloomies website but can't seem to find it!

                  2. YES.

                    But look at Cookware and More's website and buy an "imperfect" one at a big discount.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      Plus one on cookwarenmore.com. I've bought from them and honestly, I'd have to really look to figure out what I bought from them and what were my 'first quality' pieces. There are some eBay sellers with good prices. Ramsue is someone I've bought All-Clad from.

                      1. re: Jay F

                        Agreed... I still have no idea why my 2 and 4 quart All-Clad pans qualified as seconds. They look flawless to me.

                        And here's a tip.... call them and ask when their next big sale is. They don't tend to advertise it on their website, but twice a year they offer an additional huge % off the already discounted second quality prices. For example, my 4 qt saucepan with lid (about $200) cost me $100.64. Not a bad price for a pot that will last a lifetime, and that my theoretical children will be able to use one day.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Thanks Mr. Taster - that is AWESOME advice. I buy all my All-Clad from them but didn't know about their sales.

                    2. I love my All Clad Copper Core 10" omelette pan, but I use it for probably 90% of all of my stovetop cooking & that makes it a higher-value purchase for me. It would take a need for "that special piece" before I spent that much again. I also bought a Calphalon Tri-Ply 10" omelette pan for comparison cooking against the AC-CC. I'd say the Calphalon cooks at least 90% as well as the AC-CC, maybe more.

                      What I get from using the AC-CC is an indefinable sense of comfort. I simply "feel better" using the AC pan. I'm sure part of that comes from having been out of work for more than a year, & feeling some satisfaction for helping a US company sell another product. In that respect, the All Clad was definitely worth the extra cost. The Calphalon is relegated to 2nd-pan duties, & is the only one of the two pans family members are allowed to use (which they never do; I'm the only anti-Teflon fanatic in the house).

                      As far as handles go, the AC-CC pan is about twice as heavy as the same Calphalon pan. The Calphalon pan's handle is smoothly rounded with a downward arc. With the lighter pan, it's easy to control with the "comfy" handle. I can imagine that the heavier pan of the AC-CC would be out of control were it not for the U-shaped straight handle that lets you control tilt direction with a change in thumb pressure on either side of the handle's top ridges.

                      1. I subscribe to the America's Test Kitchen philosophy of only buying the minimum number of pans in order to get the most versatility and bang for your buck. That means reserving your precious dollars (and kitchen space) for a minimum number of pans that do the most amount of work. (i.e. the "no specialized pans" philosophy, means things like paella pans or woks or tagines are off the list, for example, because you can make fantastic tagine and paella, with soccorat, with a proper recipe and a Le Creuset french oven). It also means never paying lots of $$ for pans that are built to wear out (like nonstick pans, whose optimal life expectancy with daily use is about 2 years, even if you pay $150 for an All-Clad model).

                        If you're going to spend a lot of money on a pan, it should:

                        1) be incredibly useful/versatile and
                        2) last a lifetime.

                        With All-Clad brand, #2 is covered. #1 is subjective based on the pan you're talking about and your personal cooking style. I personally think the 6 qt. sautee pan is an odd duck hybrid, somewhere between a saucepan and a frying pan. To my mind, it's not going to fry as well as a frying pan, and it's low sides make it less useful for things like boiling pasta, for example, which you could do with a large saucepan. I'd rather have a good frying pan for my frying and sauteeing, and a good saucepan for doing my, er, sauceing and boiling.

                        At this point I've pretty much collected ATK's entire checklist of the "ideal a la carte cookware set" which consists of the following:

                        All-Clad Stainless 12-inch Skillet
                        T-Fal Professional Total Nonstick Fry Pan, 12.5 inches
                        Lodge Logic 12-inch Cast-Iron Skillet
                        All-Clad Stainless 2-quart Saucepan
                        All-Clad Stainless 4-quart Saucepan
                        Le Creuset 7¼-quart Round French Oven
                        Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12-quart Stockpot

                        You can pretty much do anything with this short and simple (albeit pricey) list. All the expensive pans can be bought at significant savings if you look around long enough. For example, I got my All Clad pans as seconds, during their October sale, for nearly half off of what a new one would cost. (I truly could not identify why my pans qualified as seconds-- they looked perfect to me).


                        And if you live near a Le Creuset outlet store, you can purchase already discounted seconds during their 20, 30 and even 40% off promotional sales. I got my 7.25 quart Le Creuset (Retail $270) for $130. And it's perfect (the color grading of the paint wasn't quite subtle enough to qualify it as a first quality)

                        Mr Taster

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Mr Taster, how many do you generally cook for?

                          1. re: E_M

                            I primarily cook for myself and my wife, and then we're set up for lunch/dinner for several days after! (We save a ton of $ this way rather than buying lunch each day.)

                            Mr Taster

                        2. Yesterday I bought a Calphalon tri-ply 5 qt saute pan at Home Goods for $65. Seems like a good price and from what chow friends have been saying - Calphalon tri-ply is a good choice. I am disappointed in how it cleans - I used it last night to fry chicken cutlets (along with my old Farberware frying pan). I really enjoy the size - I was frying 24 cutlets (and worried it won't be enough!).

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: smilingal

                            Barkeeper's Friend: it's your friend for stainless steel cookware.

                            You would have run into the same ugliness had you purchased AC, Demeyere or any of the other stainless options.

                            1. re: wattacetti

                              What (s)he said. I soak my SS after it cools, then hand-wash it "regular", and if it isn't clean and shiny enough, then the Barkeeper's Friend. It's a wonderful product.

                              1. re: wattacetti

                                thanks for letting me know that I would have felt the same about the AC cleaning! So - a stupid question I suppose - but everyone always recommends BarKeeper's Friend - and I just bought it but haven't tried yet - but does anyone else use Comet? Why or why not??

                                1. re: smilingal

                                  You'd scratch your stainless with Comet. At least, that's what I've heard. I don't use Comet myself.

                                  1. re: smilingal

                                    I think the new formulation of Comet is much less likely to scratch, but I hate the chlorine smell, and I won't have chlorine anywhere near my water, clothes, food or winemaking equipment. Bladder cancers were almost non-existent until we started putting chlorine in everything.

                                    If you can find it, Bon Ami is even gentler and less abrasive than BF.

                                2. re: smilingal

                                  Yeah, if you're complaining that it's more difficult to clean up stainless steel over nonstick, then you're missing the point... stainless steel is *supposed* to stick, because the pans are designed to develop fond.

                                  Any residual staining left over after cooking is easily cleaned up with Barkeepers Friend.

                                  Mr Taster

                                3. FWIW, I've really liked the Sur la Table tri-ply items I've used; their stockpots in particular are great, and super-cheap compared to the All Clad. I still like the All Clads best (the handles not being an issue for me), but as a second choice the Sur la Table stuff is great and a LOT cheaper.

                                  1. Maybe I'm missing something, but a 6 qt cooking vessel seems like a really odd size to get. Is there any reason to get a 6qt pan over a 7-8qt dutch oven, especially if you already have a 5qt? I would skip the 6qt all clad and go for a Le Creuset type thing. Mine has totally changed my cooking.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                      I had been thinking of the 6qt pan - not as a pot - but for the larger flat surface with a little bit of sides. I ended up with the calphalon tri-ply 5 qt - feeling that the surface is big enough after all. Ironically, until I replace my stovetop - the surface is even too big as it doesn't get evenly heated - but I still love the large cooking area.

                                    2. I've had some All Clads at home for almost 20 years. That's what I've used in many of the restaurants I've worked in, so that's good enough for me.

                                      1. I've had All Clad for over a decade and never HEARD of a handle issue, till reading these boards, starting last year.

                                        That said, and since I'm not wealthy enough to afford copper, I'm a very happy, lifelong All Clad stainless fan! I adore my pots and pans. I expect to use my All Clad for the rest of my life....

                                        Over the years, I've accumulated--all stainless--4, 3, 2, 1 qt. saucepans, 3, 2, 1 qt sauciers, 3 qt saute pan, 6, 8 qt. stock pots, 10 qt. rondeau, large and small roasting pans, two regular skillets (7 and 10) and the giant French skillet, a steamer basket, the asparagus pot (not clad up the sides), the four strainers (excellent quality!), one vintage CopRchef 2 quart sauce pan, and I'm about to treat myself to the stainless 12 qt multi-pot with the pasta insert.

                                        Some I've bought brand new (a "starter" set). Many I've bought used on Ebay--just got my petite roaster and rack that way; less than $100) and the bulk of my purchases have been Factory Seconds--who cares if it has a little scratch???--from the authorized All Clad outlet store. I love them. They ship promptly, their prices are good, and they have friendly staff:


                                        1. Are there All Clad outlets in southern CA?-or other great kitchen ware outlets or warehouses? I am also looking for well priced Wusthof knives.