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WS All-Clad D5 SS 10 piece set....good deal?

I was originally shopping for a couple of new all-clad fry pans. While browsing I came across WS All-Clad D5 stainless steel 10 piece set on sale. Originally $1450, now $949.95. Free gifts offered with purchase and free shipping. It sounded like a good deal me. My pots could use a replacement too. What do you all think? Good deal or not?

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

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  1. Personally, it is not a good deal for me. However, everyone is looking for different characteristics in their cookware, so it really depends on you. Let me start with what not to like, and end with what to like.

    What not to like:
    It is a set. Usually what works best for a pot is not what work best for a frying pan. As such, I am not a fan for a set
    I prefer carbon steel over stainless steel surface for frying pans.
    It is expensive when you compare it to other alternative. The original All-Clad triply 10 piece set is $694. Other competitors are even cheaper.
    What is most ridiculous is the "Sugg. Price: $1,450.00 Our Price: $949.95 " All Clad d5 is exclusive to Williams Sonoma. As such, what does it even mean the suggestive price is $1450.00 and our price is $949.95? No one is selling the set at $1450.
    Here is another perfect example. An exclusive Henckels knife with a suggested price of $1695 and is being sold at $1000. This is an even bigger "price drop" than the d5 cookware. Do you think it is a good deal?

    http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

    What to like:
    It is All Clad, and it is 5 ply stainless steel with the alternating layer design.
    It has an improved smoother and bigger handle
    It has pour rim or flared edge.
    It has size marking on the cookware

    1. In my opinion, SS cladding on the exterior is never a good deal, because it serves only for appearances, and degrades the distribution of heat around the pan. For cooking properties, you would always prefer more aluminum and no SS on the exterior.

      I did recently buy one D5 pan, however. It's an LTD2 french skillet (aluminum exterior). It was marked down below $100 on clearance. Now that's a good deal.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GH1618

        Is that true, that the exterior SS degrades the distribution of heat around the pan? I noticed in the prepared foods section of my local Whole Foods the All-Clad wok-shaped pans holding some of the warm stuff is aluminum on the outside. Is that for performance rather than economics?

        1. re: Nutmegger1

          Yes. Most of my All-Clad is MC2, which is just aluminum with a SS lining. Most of the mass of the pan is in the aluminum, which conducts heat relatively well. The lining is just for its properties as a cooking surface.

          The original SS line has SS on the outside (for appearances only), and less aluminum, so should not distribute as well as MC2. The D5 technology compensates for this by putting a thin SS layer in the middle of an aluminum sandwich, slows the transfer of heat directly through the pan, so as to allow more time for the (relatively thin) exterior aluminum layer to distribute the heat. The downside is that the responsiveness of the pan to heat changes is not as good. D5 pans should be preheated slowly.

          I have only one D5 pan, an 11-inch French skillet. It's a beautiful pan, but I use it only occasionally. I'm not planning to get any more of that line.

      2. I have some D5 and love it. I don't think this is an awesome deal though. Any chance you live near a WS outlet? They have some great prices - some are second quality though. They will also ship but the shipping is pretty darn high. Another good place to look is cookwarenmore.com but they also have seconds. Right now WS has a two skillet set in store for $80 as well as some other pieces on clearance. Hope that helps some!

        1. I personally wouldn't jump on that deal, as compared to other sources the price isn't all that great. Here you can find the Tri-ply for only $600 for a nine piece set, which would suit one well for a long time: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

          Or if you're willing to spend the original amount posted above, you can even go ahead and get a copper core 5-ply 10 piece AC set, which I would recommend over the link you posted above:
          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...
          The copper is really preference though, as some seem to love it and others not so much.

          Just for the price you're paying, that set from WS wouldn't be my first choice, especially if you're shopping online. If you want any more advice on certain sets, or how I've felt about them, feel free to ask!

          1. Thanks for the feedback thus far. As I'm doing more research, I may just buy one d5 frying pan as originally planned and try it out. I may go into the store to see if they have the 2 piece skillets. They are no longer available online. Thanks for the recommendations. I'll have to do more research as to which pots would be best...maybe some of the triply.

            5 Replies
            1. re: ORtastytravels

              Call and see if your local stores have the fry pan set or covered skillets in store. I think they were both good deals. I wanted to add that I've got mostly D5 but also a couple of triply pieces and I enjoy all of them. The new triply has the new handles so I'd look for that over the older pieces.

              1. re: olympia

                "The new triply has the new handles so I'd look for that over the older pieces."

                Good point. Conversely, the older All Clad may sold at a lower price point, and if the person does not mind the handle, then the old version may be a better deal.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  This is also true! I've got one piece of the older triply and I like it very much. For me, the bigger, heavier pieces necessitate the newer handles but it's all personal preference. For sure there must be some good deals out there!

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Very true. I'd definitely go for the new handles if it were me, seeing as the pans would probably last over a decade I'd look for what was most comfortable.

                2. re: ORtastytravels

                  By "2-piece skillet" do you mean two skillets which fit together on the top with interlocking handles opposite the long handles to hold it together? If you want this configuration, Sur la Table has one they call a "frittata pan." it isn't All-Clad, though. Hard-anodized aluminum (10"), on sale for $80 in their January catalog. A similar piece (Calphalon) from Williams-Sonoma is $130.