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Feb 10, 2011 01:12 PM

All-Clad Stainless vs Cuisinart Multiclad Pro

Just wondering - how is the performance of Cuisinart's Multiclad Pro line of tri-ply cookware as compared with All-Clad Stainless?

The ergonomics of the Multiclad seem better - I find that All-Clad handles are rather uncomfortable and awkwardly angled - and, without using both in a direct comparison, can't say if one is better than the other in terms of heat distribution, burning, etc. Both are induction-compatible (not that that's a concern at the moment), both have well-fitting lids and both appear to be well-constructed using the same three-ply construction, but the All-Clad is triple the price. Does it have a thicker middle layer of aluminium, or is the price difference largely due to brand name and place of manufacture?

Any opinions/experiences?

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  1. If you find the handles uncomfortable and awkward, then I think that is the end of the story. You can consider the All-Clad d5 which has the more comfortable handles. Other than that, why put yourself in pain?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Well, awkward and uncomfortable is probably a little exaggerating - they're certainly not awful, just that the Multiclad's handles are better.

    2. I think it comes from where they are made. AC made in US (Except lids and several other pieces not tri-ply ) and Multiclad pro in China.

      I am not sure but All-Clad lids might be heavier than Multiclad pro. However, I believe it creates no significant difference for cooking. I don't have any specific data, it is just what I felt.

      Multiclad Pro's saucepans have rolled rims vs AC traditional SS (not d5) sauce pans don't. +1 for Multiclad pro to me interms of slow pouring. (d5 has rolled rim.)

      AC handles can be unconfortable to many people. Strangely, AC d5 handle is more UNcomfortable to me than the traditional SS. I think it is because my hands are so small and d5 handle is simply too big to me, but I believe I am quite an EXCEPTIONAL case :) I just want to say testing by yourself, holding those pans are very important before making any decisions.

      I got a set of AC as a gift so I didn't have a choice, but I am very much impressed by my friend's multiclad pro. If I buy myself, many of the same pieces can be of multiclad pro - but depends on your budet.

      Just my thoughts. :)

      22 Replies
      1. re: hobbybaker

        "AC handles can be unconfortable to many people. Strangely, AC d5 handle is more UNcomfortable to me than the traditional SS."

        Wait.... so the standard AC handles are more comfortable than the d5 handles to you. Does it mean Multiclad Pro handles and Calphalon handles also feel uncomfortable to you? Or is it just AC d5?

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          CK - It is just d5 compared to SS. Multiclad pro's handle is fine with me.

          I know it is strange but it is really so. SS handles are more confortable to me like person with small hands? Maybe. I think it is also because d5 is heavier.

          I particulary felt so when I compared AC SS 2qt sauce pan and AC d5 2qt saucepan, which has a rather tall shape and without any small helper handle.

          But anyway it is me and I know I am just an outlier. To average person, d5 handle must be an improvement.

          1. re: hobbybaker

            Well, budget isn't really a concern - just the quality of the product. There has to be a reason All-Clad is three times the price, but I can't figure out why! Is it a thicker construction or something?

            1. re: sunrider

              I don't think so. I think it is mainly from where they are made. Multiclad pro looked to me very good quality - equivalent to AC SS I have. many times, the difference in pricingn is not anymore three times. AC SS 4qt sautepan was less than $100 at some point last month..but if you are more confortable with multiclad pro's handle, it is better for you. I don't believe there is significant difference in performance - at least AC SS vs multiclad pro. I own no d5 so cannot compare.

              Only one thing, I like AC's 2qt saucepan's tall/deep shape better than the flatter saucepan of multiclad pro (1.5 qt or 2.0qt I forgot.) Less tipping. but I know some people don't like it because it is deep. it is up to your preference.

              1. re: hobbybaker

                I have *really* tiny hands (as in, the jeweler remeasured my finger three times for my engagement ring because he couldn't believe the size was so small), and I find the All-Clad SS handles intensely uncomfortable. I think it's more about how you're accustomed to holding pans.

                1. re: pothead

                  interesting. Did you try AC d5? It was at least to me more Uncomfortable.. curious how you feel with d5.

                  Add: It might depend on pieces - how large and how heavy. I feel the handles of AC SS for smaller pans/pots are fine but 12 inch fry-pan is unconfortable even to me. Also, having a small loop helper handle or not creates big difference, I guess.

                  1. re: hobbybaker

                    The d5 seems better, but I'm still happier with the Multiclad.

                    1. re: hobbybaker

                      The loop handle does make a big difference. I have two larger A-C pieces with a loop handle — a saucepan and a sauté pan. I never pick these up with one hand unless they are empty. The long handle is just for moving them around on the stove. The handle on my small saucier works well, but requires gripping it in a particular way. It suits me.

                2. re: sunrider

                  Reiterating hobby's point. I don't think so neither. They are of similar thickness.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Also, the Scanpan Fusion 5 range look pretty attractive, at least on paper - 5-ply stainless and aluminium construction, induction-ready and nice, ergonomic handles (like most Scanpans). Only thing is, Scanpan doesn't exactly have the best reputation around here (or is it just their nonstick products).

                    Anyone had any experience with them?

                    1. re: sunrider

                      I've got a Scanpan non stick and it's great, what I think has gotten Scanpan a bad rap here is the PTFE and how they try to couch their coating as something other than what it really is. I don't think the issue has ever been the quality of the product.

                      1. re: mikie

                        Agree. That is my issue with it. I cannot say that is the case for all others, but many do feel the same. Misleading advertisement is the issue, not the contruction.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Fair enough - so it's really just the nonstick Scanpan lines which have issues? Is it just the Teflon which some people don't like, or does it scratch easily (despite being advertised as metal utensil safe) or peel?

                          Any issues with the non- nonstick pans?

                          1. re: sunrider


                            No. It isn't the costruction of Scanpan which is the main problem - for me anyway. It is the marketing. Long story short, Scanpan is sold as an alternative to Teflon and it claims it has no Teflon. This is actually true from a legal point of view but very misleading. In fact, Scanpan uses exactly the same chemical (PTFE), but it didn't get this chemical from DuPont. Teflon is a DuPont brandname of a chemical compound PTFE, so while other comany can sell PTFE, only Dupont can sell it as Teflon.

                      2. re: sunrider

                        We have the Scan Pan Fusion 5 cookware and it is wonderful. Unfortunately, Scan Pan USA decided to drop it and stick with "what sells and what people want" per an answer I received to an inquiry. The pans are a full 3mm thick, most but not all other clad pans are a little thinner. Googling just fusion 5 cookware PEI brings up an interesting site in Canada. The cookware looks to be identical except for the handles.

                    2. re: sunrider

                      You can get Tramonita or BHG tri ply at wal mart, or calphalon tri ply at BB+B, and still have a pan that performs on par with all clad. They charge more because they are made in Canonsburg and because "the market" will pay more for them (the SS). I suspect that the d5 came out at least partially because there was less and less reason to get all clad SS with the competition.

                      Personally I wouldn't really consider paying retail for all clad SS with the alternatives. I'd want to feel like I was getting something for the extra money - at least with their d5, copper, etc you are getting something a bit different.

                      Oh, and FWIW, I got All Clad's Emerilware tri-ply skillet. It's "made by all clad" but made in china and not in the US. I liked the handle better than the AC handles in BB+B, and it really is top quality. Avoid the non tri-ply emerilware.

                      1. re: DukeOfSuffolk

                        There's no Wal-Mart or Bed Bath and Beyond in Australia!

                        I've had a look at Calphalon tri-ply, but don't particularly like the glass lids, which is why they're further down on the list for now (unless someone can convince me otherwise); also, Calphalon tri-ply are basically unavailable in Australia, and I can't find an online stockist which ships them to Australia.

                        In general, 'Made in China' doesn't bother me, so long as the quality is good - after all, every country makes some good products, as well as some lemons. It's not like I'm going to find a lot of quality Australian-made indoor cookware, so it's all imported anyway.

                        Re: Scanpan - I've read from various sources that their stainless discolours easily and doesn't wear well, with reports of spotting and other discolouration after just one use; I've also read reports of the complete opposite, of spotless pans after 25 years of use. Does anyone have any experience of this (specifically the stainless lines, particularly the clad Fusion 5 series - not the nonstick lines)?

                        1. re: sunrider

                          I just spotted some open-stock Calphalon SS at; however, most of the available pieces are from US sellers, so you'll pay nearly as much just for shipping as the pan itself costs. :(

                      2. re: sunrider

                        US stuff is almost always more expensive b/c you're probably paying for unions. Just like with American cars, there are legacy costs with American goods: health care, pensions, etc.

                        1. re: sunrider

                          The multiclad pro has the thicker aluminum sandwich layer. I've had both. Also the multiclad pro has induction elements within the aluminum layer on the bottom but I haven't ever tried it since I don't own an induction cooktop.

                          1. re: sunrider

                            I have all clad d5 and think the quality is tops. I have one cusinart multiclad pro saucepan that was used 6 times and had rust all over the lid. I handwash and dry my pots. I had an unused 12 quart stock pot that was cuisinart multiclad pro. After I noticed the rust, I returned and bought an all clad d5 stock pot. I love it.

                      3. re: hobbybaker

                        "I think it comes from where they are made. AC made in US (Except lids and several other pieces not tri-ply ) and Multiclad pro in China."

                        For me, that's important. All-Clad is American, and it's a high quality product which fits my needs. I'm willing to pay more for that, but I look for bargains.

                      4. Sunrider, IF you don't like the handles, then its a no go on any brand of cookware don't you think ? I own every piece of Cuisinart MCP except the 2qt saucepan and the 12qt stockpot and a couple more but I will say this; Besides these two brands there are so many SS cookware brands out there that it makes your head hurt just deciding what is good and whats CRAP. But damn it, it's a blast anyway. Hope you have fun!

                        1. The original comment has been removed
                          1. I have them both. I think the differences in cooking performance are minor to non-existent, but there are differences in convenience: A/C pre D5 has rather inconvenient handles for many (not for me) and on many pieces it doesn't have pouring lips. (It has on some but I have no idea how to find out for any particular piece unless you go look at it). OTOH, Cuisinart covers are a bit skimpier.

                            There is one other difference that no one has mentioned so far: Like almost all cookware in the world Cuisinart comes in metric sizes -- the last two digits of the model number tell you the size: eg MCP44-24 is the 6Qt pot, MCP55-24 is a 3Qt casserole, but both will take 24 cm covers. This for me is a big advantage because the covers will match not only across the Cuisinart series but also many other makes (Tefal, Demeyere, Cuisinox, Sitram, etc). A/C comes in a lot of weird sizes -- pretty much every pot and pan matches only its cover, they are not consistent with even other inch-sized makes. (However the 8in A/C matches 20 cm Cuisinart- the difference is small enough not to matter). It is really a very minor issue, but I don't like to spend time looking for the exact cover when I have a bazillion other covers that almost fit.

                            A/C has some pieces I really like for certain purposes (eg they have a 6Qt pot that is very low, it is really a rondeaux, that I use for making small amounts of jam) but the cover issue bugs me.

                            Bottom line, if I didn't own A/C already, I would buy just Cuisinart multiclad, and for any piece not available in the Cuisinart line I would get it from another metric manufacturer.

                            HTH, -- CF

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: careme_fan

                              "A/C comes in a lot of weird sizes -- pretty much every pot and pan matches only its cover, they are not consistent with even other inch-sized makes."

                              Good point. We have read about this in the past, but it is really great that you point this out in a much clearer fashion.

                              1. re: careme_fan

                                "A/C comes in a lot of weird sizes -- pretty much every pot and pan matches only its cover, ..."

                                That's an exaggeration, in my opinion. All-Clad has been so successful that their product line has grown rather large, so more sizes are a consequence of that. The 8-inch saucepan lid is pretty standard, I think. As for interchangeability with lids of another brand, that has never been easy for most cookware. I recently bought an A-C 11-inch French Skillet without a lid. Then I bought a Scanpan 11-inch glass lid for it. It's a little bit loose, but serviceable. I'm satisfied.

                                The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro saucepans are described as 20 cm diameter. My A-C saucepan is 20 cm diameter, regardless of how it is described. They may well be interchangeable with respect to lids and the steamer insert, although I have no way to check it. Edit: Oh, I see you mentioned this!

                                1. re: GH1618

                                  On the subject of a multiplcity of lids compared to other vendors, here's a link to the few lids available in the Scanpan Classic line:


                                  Even though European, Scanpan describes their pan sizes in inches and quarts. They also have fractional quart sizes.