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new all-clad copper core anyone?

Well I am wondering what everyone thinks of these. They re did the handles and feel much better than they did. I think I can accept these now. The handles are a bit different than the new handles of the other lines.

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  1. I have wondered if there is really any benefit to the copper core, since you would have thinner layers of metal compared to tri ply where you would have a thicker core of just aluminum.

    1. I am a well-seasoned cook...Personally, I don't think the "copper core" is worth the steep cost. I've spoken w/ many pro cooks/chefs and they really see no benefit vs cost, and that it is purely driven to the consumer wanna-be-great cook....Just watch any of the pros cook and it is highly unlikely that you will see one of these pans in their arsenal.

      16 Replies
      1. re: toklas2

        Professional cooks aren't using copper-core, but if they are using All-Clad, they are probably using MC2, which has more aluminum and no exterior SS cladding, and they are cooking on a pro range with larger burners than most residential ranges. If you insist on exterior SS, a copper core might be of some use for certain pans, such as the saucier.

        1. re: GH1618

          I am a professional and I am asking for home. I currently use calphalon one at home and at work we use all clad. I can't stand the handles of what we have at work. I do like the handles on the copper core and wife likes copper so we both win. And we do use copper for sauce pots at work.
          BTW. I work at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas.

          1. re: chef7734

            What is the line of All-Clad you have at work? You seem to be saying that you like the new copper-core because the handle is better, and your wife likes the look (although for the copper core the visible copper is only a thin line to identify it). So where is the cooking quality considered?

            My question is whether All-clad copper core with SS cladding inside and out performs noticeably better than MC2 which is aluminum with SS interior. Can you compare these from experience, say for the sauciers of identical size?

            1. re: GH1618

              We have the mc2 line I believe and copper with stainless linnings. The copper is quicker to react compared to the other line we use. We use French plaques for the most part but also have gass burners.

              1. re: chef7734

                But "copper with stainless linings" is not the same as All-Clad Copper Core. Is it All-Clad Cop R Chef (discontinued)? I think everyone agrees that an almost all copper pan is more responsive, even if it has SS lining, but that is not copper core.

                1. re: GH1618

                  It is the copper chef. Complete copper on outside and stainless inside. I know all clad is a good brand and the copper core is the only ones with that handle. It is just different enough from the new handles on the other lines.

                  1. re: chef7734

                    I believe all versions of Cop R Chef have been copper on the outside, then aluminum, and then stainless - pretty sure the layer of copper in copper core is bigger than the one in Cop R Chef.

                    1. re: will47

                      I wouldn't assume anything about the thickness of the layers. I haven't turned up anything yet that documents the details of the construction of Cop R Chef vs. Copper Core. Do you have a link to an authoritative source?

                      1. re: GH1618

                        You can actually see the layer with both if you look at the edges when you're at a store that carries their products... I have one piece of Copper Core (the older style), and it's a fairly thick layer - I would estimate maybe at least 40-50% of the total thickness. The aluminum layers must be pretty thin, because they're barely visible to the naked eye. All Clad claims the construction is "proprietary", so I don't know if there's an authoritative source, though some folks have said that they used to be more forthcoming about it.

                        The "Technical Details" bits at these pages shows the structure; I don't think the thicknesses shown in the images is to scale, though.
                        http://www.all-clad.com/collections/C...
                        http://www.all-clad.com/collections/c...

                        Anyway, based on weight and price, and what I can see from looking at the edges of the pieces, I would guess that the copper layer is thinner with Cop-R-Chef, but I could be wrong.

                        1. re: will47

                          They look about the same to me, considering, as you say, that this is merely an illustration, not a scale engineering drawing. Anyway, in neither case is it enough to qualify as a copper pot, although the Cop R Chef is made to look like a copper pot. I suppose the reason the line has been dropped is that most people who want their pots to look like copper want actual copper pots.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            I don't know if they've changed it, but this is how thick the copper layer looks in my 4.5 qt chef's pan (bought on sale a number of years back).

                            But just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that anyone pay full price for Copper Core; just that the layer of copper is not as insignificant as some people imply.

                             
                            1. re: will47

                              It's impossible to tell anything from that, at least for me, but I agree that it is probably significant, even though not equivalent to a copper pot. I read somwhere that the external copper layer on Cop R Chef is "plated." I don't believe that at all. What All-Clad does is bond layers of dissimilar metals, and I expect that applies here.

                            2. re: GH1618

                              That is one way to put it. The other way is that a Cop R Chef does not give you any advantage in term of convenience. You certainly cannot put a Cop R Chef into a dishwasher. So you are kind of in a strange situation with that cookware.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Evidently, it has been discontinued anyway. Is that correct? Most people who want a copper look probably want all copper, I think.

                                1. re: GH1618

                                  GH1618,

                                  I agree with you. I am merely pointing out what you said is true but also true in the other end of the spectrum. If you really want the copper look and performance, then you will probably get a more solid copper cookware instead of Cop-R-Chef. If you want the convenience and ease of care, then you may choose Copper Core (or any other full cladded cookware) instead of Cop-R-Chef. So the Cop-R-Chef does not seem to appeal to either ends of the spectrum -- in a clear manner.

                          2. re: GH1618

                            Hi, GH1618:

                            This is hearsay, but Sam Kinsey, posting on the "other" site claims he knows that A-C uses external and lining layers of SS that are each 0.46mm thick. Therefore we can make some educated guesses as to what lies beneath and between.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

          2. If the handles are very important to you, and
            you like them, why would others' opinions matter?
            In terms of producing better-tasting meals, copper is
            a waste of money.

            15 Replies
            1. re: mpalmer6c

              Hi, mpalmer6c:

              "In terms of producing better-tasting meals, copper is
              a waste of money."

              Julia Child, August Escoffier, Henri Boubee, James Peterson and Mary Middleton Rutledge Fogg all stand corrected.

              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Period.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Julia Child loved her copper cookware, but I cannot find anywhere in her memoirs a claim that copper is the key to better-tasting meals. She no doubt liked the cooking characteristics of copper, but the taste of her food was a result of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    Hi, GH2619:

                    Well, there is this: "Copper pots are the most satisfactory of all to cook in, as they hold and spread the heat well and their tin lining does not discolor food. To get the full benefit of cooking in copper, the metal must be 1/8 inch thick, and the handle should be of heavy iron.”

                    Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 1961

                    And this: "Traditionally, of course, there is one ultimate kind of cookware, and it is made of copper which is becoming one of the rarer metals of the world... In any event, the real treasure is solid professional-weight copper lined with tin... a solid copper stock pot with tin lining, pounds heavy saucepans of various volumes. The cost is a king's ransom, but this is Tiffany-value stuff and will last well beyond the present lifetime of anyone reading this.”

                    Craig Claiborne, Craig Claiborne's Favorites from The New York Times, 1975, p. 73.

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Your quote from Julia Child confirms exactly what I wrote.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        Hi, GH1618:

                        You are not going to find Ms. Child saying--as you wrote--that copper cookware is "the" key to better-tasting meals. This for the simple reason that there is no one key.

                        What you *will* find is a collection of statements along the lines of her quote above, which leave no doubt of her opinion that copper cookware yields better culinary results. Otherwise turns of phrase such as "most satisfactory of all to cook in" become meaningless in all but the aesthetic sense. Ms. Child would not have so excluded food from the equation.

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          If you refer back to the post by mpalmer6c, you will see that he is referring to taste, not to cooking characteristics. His point that copper cookware will not improve the taste of your meals is correct. Whether copper is worth the money for other reasons is merely a matter of opinion.

                          We know you love copper cookware — nothing wrong with that. But thete is no point in attributing to it supposed advantages which it does not have.

                          1. re: GH1618

                            Hi, GH1618:

                            I will end here by observing that if better performance yields better culinary results, then you have what you seek. To me that is a tautology, for how else is better performance to be understood?

                            That is not to say that equal "taste" cannot sometimes, in some applications, with workaround technique. and with less consistency and dependability be obtained, and even regularly so, by the truly gifted. To extend your metaphor of the key, there are different culinary hallways, all blocked by locked doors; whichever hall we take, we must use our keys to unlock the doors. I just think that reaching the inner sanctum requires a turn of a copper key, and/or turning it makes for a shorter walk to our final destination. Your results and opinion may vary.

                            Aloha,
                            Kaleo

                          2. re: kaleokahu

                            I think you could argue that good cookware is a pleasure to cook with, and that might be why Julia Child says it's "most satisfactory of all"... however, I don't think we can infer from that that she is saying that using copper cookware will produce better tasting meals.

                            1. re: will47

                              Hi, will47:

                              Yes, that argument can be made, although it makes little linguistic sense based on who Ms. Child was and the fact that she turned that phrase probably sometime in the 1950s. BTW, the same argument can also be made with equal force in favor of food tasting the same coming from extremely thin, lightweight cookware (namely the experience being satisfactory for lightness in and of itself) or even the microwave oven (most satisfactory for having only buttons to push).

                              So I think that the inference is eminently fair that Ms. Child believed better-tasting food comes from better-performing cookware, all other things being equal. We should ask someone who knew her, perhaps Mr. Pepin?

                              Aloha,

                              Kaleo

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                If using copper cookware consistently produced "better tasting meals", even considering its cost, wouldn't more high-end restaurants use copper cookware? Sure, it costs a little bit up front, but what fancy restaurant wouldn't spend a little extra money to guarantee better tasting food?

                                Of course, a home kitchen isn't a restaurant kitchen, and I absolutely feel that there are plenty of reasons to own / use high quality cookware, including the pleasure and satisfaction that it may give one to use it, ease of cooking, reducing errors, etc. If you want to have the opinion that it will result in better tasting meals, that's fine too. But I think it's a little unfair to put words in the mouth of someone who isn't even alive anymore -- yes, it's *possible* that that's what she meant, but we can't really know for sure, and I doubt that any of her acquaintances from that time period would speculate.

                                Whether or not tin-lined copper is "the best", there have been a number of changes in available cookware (introduction of mass-market non-stick cookware, which doesn't seem to have come til the late 60s, various types of multi-ply cookware) since the 1950s, so the other options may be different than they were then. Regarding Jacques Pepin, are you talking about the guy who uses a Teflon coated aluminum pan in his omelette demos? Clearly, he isn't worried that his omelette is suffering because he's using inferior cookware.
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwjcu6...

                                Or, you can just hear Julia Child talk about it herself in this video:
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmvfU...
                                (no mention of copper)

                                or here, where she pulls down her "trusty" "no stick" frying pan to cook chicken, despite the fact that the pan is sitting next to several nice copper sautoirs.
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqOzcn...

                                [And yes, I realize that she may have partially been trying to use tools that were available / familiar to home chefs; but it's clear from the videos that there's no lack of copper cookware in her kitchen]

                                To put it differently, I think that knowing how to use the cookware you have goes a lot farther than having the right cookware. It's fun to obsess over cookware, or spend hours tracking down hotel grade copper or talking about its properties here, and that's fine. But I think that spending some time in the kitchen (with any kind of cookware) probably goes further towards improving one's culinary ability.

                                1. re: will47

                                  Hi, will47:

                                  Actually, I never said that copper cookware consistently produces better tasting meals across the board. And a considerable number of high-end restaurants and private clubs *do* use copper. One of the issues that stands in the way of more using it is that it costs a LOT more to fully outfit a kitchen (e.g., 40 Falk skillets at $300 each vs. 40 aluminum at $30 each--$12K vs. $1,200--and that's just the skillets).

                                  I merely quoted Julia Child (and accurately). If you choose to interpret her words in ways that make no contextual sense, that is your affair. My inference is in keeping with her passion, personality and fame, as well as usage of English when she wrote the quoted words. IMO, your inference (that she found copperware "most satisfactory of all" for nonculinary reasons) is not.

                                  We are in agreement that cooking skill trumps cookware choice, and I can't recall ever saying or writing otherwise. So please avoid putting words in *my* mouth.

                                  You know *nothing* of how many hours I spend in the kitchen or the level of my culinary ability, and your deprecation of my cred merely for being passionate about copper is presumptive in extremis. Perhaps if Julia Child had only spent more time in the kitchen, she might have seen the light you are shining and would have recanted her errors about copper.

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    I didn't say that Julia Child made any "errors" about copper, nor did was I saying that she found it "most satisfactory of all" for "non-culinary" reasons -- in fact, I assume her reasons for preferring it were culinary rather than aesthetic. However, just because something performs better, reduces the incidence of certain problems, or is better to cook with does not necessarily mean that the end result will be noticeably different. She might very well disagree with the statement above; my point was *only* that, to me, the quote posted above, even taken in context, doesn't necessarily imply that.

                                    Since you say that your statement was not meant across the board, what specific applications do you feel that copper provides superior results with? Of course it does depend very much on what you cook, but I think that a lot of what most people cook at home does not really depend very much on precise heat distribution or retention. In other words, what you cook will very much affect what types of cookware are useful to you.

                                    I think you are taking my comments in a much more serious (and personal) way than the way they were intended. I certainly didn't mean to challenge your credibility, cooking skills, or passion about food (or copper) anywhere. I'm sure your cooking skills are well above mine, and I don't think there's anything wrong with being passionate about copper cookware. However, I am pretty certain that for most of the things that I cook, it wouldn't make much of a difference to the outcome

                                    1. re: will47

                                      "...I am pretty certain that for most of the things that I cook, it wouldn't make much of a difference to the outcome."

                                      I am certain it would make no difference at all as between copper-ware lined with tin and aluminum ware lined with SS (e.g. MC2) for any cook who was familiar with the characteristics of both materials and who adjusted the cooking accordingly.

                                      1. re: will47

                                        Hi, will47:

                                        IMO, your insinuation was that Child's comment was made for non-culinary reasons, that time might've changed her mind, and/or that technology since 1961 obsoleted her opinion of "most satisfactory."

                                        "...just because something performs better, reduces the incidence of certain problems, or is better to cook with does not necessarily mean that the end result will be noticeably different."

                                        I suppose this depends on who is cooking and who is discerning. We can trade on the qualifier words 'necessarily' and 'noticeably' if you want. I think you place more emphasis on those words than I do. I also view the better results thing in the macro sense, and I think you look at it more from Forkful A vs. Forkful B perspective.

                                        You asked for examples where copperware provides superior results. I would answer that it is superior when- and wherever temperature evenness (in two and three dimensions) and responsiveness are desired. Sauce preparation and holding would be a flagship example, as would be pan frying of delicates like fish. Confectionary would be another. Anything utilizing beaten eggs, or browning in butter, would also qualify. In especially thick guage (admittedly no longer in mass production), anything in the oven you would ordinarily use cast iron for. Poaching done over more than one hob. Stovetop doufeu. Anything that benefits from rapid chilling in the vessel.

                                        Yes, of course, you are correct that outcomes and margins of differences will tend to vary with what is being cooked and the cook's skill and familairity with it. But even if one subsisted exclusively on popcorn, there can be qualitative, recognizable differences between say, Jiffypop or air-popped Reddenbakker, and 'parn cooked the old-fashioned way.

                                        I don't wish to presume to know your familarity with cooking in copper or cooking in general. If you've tried good copper and notice no difference in outcomes, you've saved yourself a heap of money, and in a way I would envy you. Or perhaps you're preternaturally gifted like Jamie Oliver, and can cook well in a hubcap--my talents are not this great. But I do have a good basis for generalizing that many, many people have not even tried copper, and a growing list of folks who *do* notice differences after trying it (Hey, tanuki!).

                                        Sorry for being prickly.

                                        Aloha,
                                        Kaleo

                  2. I have a copper core dutch oven and copper core stock pot, only because I got both for $100 used. I really really like them, but can't say I'd ever pay full price for them.

                    1. Despite the interesting and rather saucy reading about all copper cookware, I'd like to propose a return to the topic at hand... copper core All-Clad. I was going to ask my question here, "is there a visible/measurable difference between copper core and aluminum core SS clad cookware?" but decided it deserves a topic of its own. But I would love to hear opinions about the All-Clad Copper Core line, as I would buy it if it had measurable benefits over aluminum core.

                      1. Forget the copper. Silver rules!

                        But yes, i have the copper core, and it is a much faster heat up than d5

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: malabargold

                          Haha, yes, silver core sounds awesome. I just might bite if someone made it! "If you build it, they will come." Silver is toxic, so they'd better make darned sure it won't melt/leak/leach out.

                          You're the first one to report a significant difference, though the D5 is designed for slow conduction with intervening SS layers. Everyone comparing the Copper core to aluminum core reports slightly better to no appreciable difference.

                          I ended up going with de Buyer Prima Matera (1.8 mm copper, 0.2 mm SS with an induction bottom layer) and Anolon's Nouvelle Copper SS (4mm copper bottom disk). Haven't cooked with it yet, waiting for the new kitchen to be ready, but I'm very excited.