Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Sep 6, 2011 05:24 PM

All-Clad Copper Core & Mauviel Stainless Steel

It's time for me to replace my 20+ year-old Revere saucepan and stock pot. I'm looking for something that's easy to maintain, and yet will last just as long as my Revere cookware. The All-Clad Copper Core seems to fit my needs; it's got the great heat distribution of copper, and easy-maintenace of stainless steel. Mauviel makes stainless steel cookware too, but according to their website the metal is not as thick as the AC Copper Core (3-ply vs 5-ply). I'll be using the cookware with a Thermador gas range cooktop, so does the thickness of the metal matter? Is the AC Copper Core worth its price, since Mauviel Stainless Steel is quite a bit cheaper? Thank you for reading folks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For most conventional use of straight sided sauce pans or a stockpots, you probably do not need the fast temperature changes that copper would enable, but there certainly is nothing wrong with having copper if you are willing to pay for it. After a certain point (different depending on what sort of material is being used), the increasing thickness has drastically diminishing returns for heat distribution - the heat spreading performance difference in a sauce pan or stock pot between the AC copper core and Mauviel M'Cook is probably not going to be significant for most cooks. If it is "worth it" is highly subjective that only you can really answer for yourself.

    Both brands and lines would serve you well for many years and would be fine choices. Something important to consider beyond materials/engineering would be usability factors like the handle type/number/material/construction/placement, the weight of the pots fully laden with liquid, if you want to use inserts/how much the inserts are, etc. I prefer Mauviel cast iron handles, but others think the weight of Mauviel pots with cast iron handles is just too much. Then the price of Mauviel steamer inserts is just crazy talk and they don't offer double boiler inserts at all (though you can use inserts of other brands).

    Personally, I think that for straight sided sauce pans and stockpots having the layer of conductive metal extend up the walls to the rims is not desirable as it would be for other types of pots.

    In addition to the brands/lines you listed, I would also consider the Demeyere Apollo (6.6mm/0.26" triplinduc base for the stockpot, 6.4mm/0.25" for the saucepans comprising of one ~5mm layer of aluminum sandwiched with aluminum alloy and their stainless triplinduc base) or the Vollrath Centurion (0.25" aluminum disk with a thin stainless disk for induction tops/wear resistance) lines. The Centurion base is not fully encapsulated and the Demeyere is. Both of these are overkill for most cooks, so an even less expensive but still very good stockpot and sauce pan line is the Cuisinart Chef's Classic (3.5mm aluminum disk base). If you really like the idea of copper, then the Demeyere Atlantis line (3.6mm/0.14" stockpot 3.4mm/0.13" saucepan inductoseal base with a 2mm copper layer). Again, the brands and lines you already mentioned are high quality pots that should serve you well for many years.

    1. I have only one All-Clad Copper-core pan (bought it on sale). Even though the copper layer is medium-thick, I am not sure that it's worth the massive increase in price over All-Clad's standard stainless line, or other options.

      For a stockpot especially, I would not recommend spending the extra cash. For the saucepan, are you doing a lot of cooking which requires good control of heat?

      3 Replies
      1. re: will47

        I will be using the saucepan the most, as I cook almost anything with it (sauce, soup, noodles, spaghetti, meat, you name it!). The stockpot I usually use it for soups and stews, so I won't use it much. A lot of these cookware are very heavy, and when filled with water I can't imagine holding a saucepan with two hands, let alone one! As for the handles, there are cast iron and stainless steel; do they get extremely hot when using with a gas stove? My Revere saucepan is probably not designed for gas stoves, as the plastic handle gets really hot.

        1. re: bobo_1314

          Yes, metal handles can / will get hot, especially if they're near where hot air exits from the oven or close to another burner. I think using a side towel or potholders is a good idea when using cookware with metal handles, whether it's professional cookware or consumer cookware. Most of the brands that make consumer cookware do try pretty hard to have cools that stay cool. All-Clad's metal handles, for example, will stay fairly cool in most cases. It really varies from brand to brand. I haven't used Mauviel's stainless line yet, so I can't comment on that. I still prefer to have metal handles -- they're durable, oven-safe, easy to clean, etc.

          I really do think that, for the purposes you intend to use these pieces, multi-ply stainless with aluminum (such as the Mauviel series you mentioned), whether clad or disk bottom, should be more than adequate, and will be cheaper and lighter weight (it's a balance - you want something solid and with good heat distribution, but you also want to be able to carry it when it's full of liquid). Then, if you want, you can spend the extra money on a copper or mostly-copper saucepan for more delicate sauce work, and / or a sauté pan or sauciére -- areas where the more precise control of heat will probably be the most useful.

          In addition to some of the other brands mentioned, you could take a look at Viking, CIA, Falk, Le Creuset's multi-ply line. I like Sitram Catering stuff, but it is stainless steel with a copper disk base - it's not fully clad, the handles can get fairly warm, and there are no helper-handles.

          1. re: will47

            Thank you for your advice, will47, you have helped me a great deal. I'm looking all over the net trying the find the weight of these pots and saucepans; are the Mauviel Stainless Steel and All-Clad Stainless lighter than the All-Clad Copper Core? How about the Mauviel M'Heritage Copper?

      2. Hi, bobo:

        If you're just getting one saucepan, why not make it a really good one? I would suggest a Mauviel or Falk bi-metal Windsor pan, i.e., a slope-sided copper pan lined in SS. The deBuyer Prima Matera line is also getting good reviews, albeit it has been compromised to work on induction. Copper is only as high-maintenance as you want it to be. No DW of course, but no special need to polish.


        4 Replies
        1. re: kaleokahu

          Does the US distributer for Falk sell the Windsor pan (I believe they called it a 'chef's pan') anymore? It hasn't been on their site for a few months, and isn't listed as being backordered / out of stock. Maybe they can still special order it (the manufacturer's site still lists it).

          The Windsor pans should be great, but maybe not the most useful for some of the OP's stated purposes (soup / pasta) in terms of size / shape. If not boiling pasta in a stock pot, I try to use a ~ 6 qt straight-sided saucepan at a minimum for normal amounts (1/2 lb to 1 lb) - and for a full lb, I find even that seems a little small sometimes.

          1. re: will47

            Hi, will47:

            Not sure what's current in the US with Falk. I suggested this shape because of its versatility in a 2-pot kitchen. A big copper Windsor is pretty handy--and a good example of how copper "up the sides" can make a qualitative difference.


          2. re: kaleokahu


            When it comes to stainless steel cookware, what are the advantages/disadvantages of a stainless steel handle versus a cast iron handle?

            Mauviel M'cook comes in both versions.


            1. re: NotJuliaChild

              Both metals are poor conductors, but cast iron is very dense so for the same volume of material (handles of the same dimensions) in general cast iron handles will stay cooler than steel handles longer. Once cast iron gets hot, it will remain hot longer than steel handles will. Steel handles do not need to be cast, so they can be shaped into lower volume handles than cast iron, so they can be even lighter.

          3. I'm eyeing that Mauviel copper/ss Windsor pan but for the OP's stated uses, Mauviel M'Cook would be a very good choice. I bought the saute pan and I love the responsiveness.

            4 Replies
            1. re: knet

              I was looking at the prices of cookware on Sur La Table, and the All-Clad Copper Core cost more than the Mauviel M'Heritage! The only thing I worry about using copper cookware is maintenance; the copper will tarnish, and requires a lot of work to polish it. As kaleokahu has stated, I will be getting two pieces of cookware (maybe three, I might get two saucepans), so price is not that big of a factor to me, as I'm going to use them for many many years. Would the Mauviel M'Heritage a better choice than M'Cook and All-Clad Copper Core?

              1. re: bobo_1314

                Just keep in mind that the Mauviel M'Heritage comes (as I understand it) in both 1.5 mm and 2.5 mm bimetal. The 1.5 mm will be lighter weight, and less expensive (than 2.5 mm), but you'll also get less of the heat dispersion and retention properties of copper.

                You don't have to polish your copper if you don't mind the more rustic look, but a lot of people say Falk, with its brushed finish, is lower maintenance. Falk makes the bimetal used by most of the other manufacturers of stainless-lined copper, and I believe they also manufacture the pans for at least one other major manufacturer.

                1. re: will47

                  For the Mauviel M'Heritage 2.5mm, do the cookware, on average, weigh more than the All-Clad Copper Core? I've seen the All-Clad in person, and the weight of the 2 quart saucepan was fine, but the Mauviel copper were all 1.5mm at Williams Sonoma.

                  1. re: bobo_1314

                    I did an (imperfect) comparison recently between the weight of an All-Clad 4.5 qt / 12" chef's pan (which is quite heavy), and Falk's equivalently sized 2.5 mm copper pans. I think the All-Clad, without lid, was around 4-5 lb, and the Falk, based on their site, is about 8. So yes, I think you will see heavier weight with 2.5 mm copper with iron handle vs. All-Clad Copper Core.

                    If you're talking about a small pan, like 2 qt, the difference in weight will probably not be as noticeable. Falk 2 qt without lid is ~ 4.5 lb, and I would guess Mauviel's 2.5 mm equivalent would be about the same.

                    It is hard to find accurate weights for a lot of this cookware online.

            2. Hello bobo_1314:

              See> Cookware -> All-Clad Irregulars -> All-Clad Copper Core has a 2.5 Quart Windsor Pan w/lid for $204. Compared to Revere Ware this is great cookware.

              You need to decide which pans you really need in the copper core if you choose it over other types of cookware. Look at the various pans and make sure you can get a helper handle if weight could be an issue. I find Copper Core to be pretty much indestructible (put my 6 Quart Copper Core Saute in a 500 degree oven to do Thomas Keller/Zuni Cafe Chicken problem!) and easy to clean.

              Long ago I replaced my Revere Ware (a gift from my well-meaning mother, and perhaps like a bike with training wheels - good to learn on) with a variety of cookware brands. Since I rarely used the Revere Ware stewpot/casserole (at the time I already had a Copco enameled cast iron Dutch Oven) I never even considered replacing it with any line of All-Clad.

              The obvious choice for a large casserole, in my opinion, would be Staub or Le Creuset. If you want a large pot for boiling water (cooking pasta) stainless steel with a bottom that incorporates aluminum works just fine. I love my Mauviel, Falk, etc. heavy copper pans for certain specific tasks. They are as heavy as cast iron, must be kept clean if you appreciate the "gleaming copper" look, and demand a little more attention (you don't want to heat an empty tin-lined copper pan).

              One plus for All-Clad Copper Core is that it is induction compatible (I see you are using gas... there are always other possibilities).

              Just a thought... I have tried Chantal, not the Copper Fusion, and think that Copper Fusion might be a reasonable light weight substitute for heavy cast iron Dutch Ovens (induction capable, oven ready, easy cleanup). You might look at Chantal's website or the pan on if you are shopping around.

              1 Reply
              1. re: beansjulienne

                I know the Revere Stainless Steel cookware are very light, because I haven't found any 3 quart saucepan on the market that weighs lighter than my Revere; a sales associate even laughed and said only poor quality stainless steel cookware are light! As long as the Mauviel with iron handles don't weigh as much as the Le Creuset then it's OK, but I find the All-Clad Copper Core is about as heavy I want a saucepan/stock pot to feel.