Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Dec 4, 2012 08:57 AM

New Williams Sonoma Cookware

Anyone know anything about the new Williams Sonoma Thermo Clad cookware? Anyone try it it? It's so new that maybe not, and I think they only come as a set at the moment. They're pretty attractive and hefty feeling and the handle feels amazing compared to All-Clad.

I am curious as to who makes it, apparently it is made in Italy, I wonder if that is 100% made in Italy or not. In terms of material I can only find that it is made of an aluminum alloy, so does that mean it isn't layered like All-Clad? What other cookware is an alloy? Personally never heard of that before.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi, Mojave:

    I've asked W-S some of these questions, and unfortunately their CS and sales reps don't yet have answers to all of my questions. So I've asked their PR department.

    I WAS able to verify that it IS tri-ply (SS/Al/SS), so it is "layered" much like A-C. Answers to other questions may be forthcoming.

    It is common for clad makers to use different aluminum alloys for the conductive layers, and these alloys must strike a balance between good conductivity and the best propensity to reliably and permanently bond. Some use pure aluminum, but only with OTHER aluminum or silver alloys to get it all to bond together. I have specifically asked what is is about their alloy that substantiates the claim that it is 35% more conductive than other aluminum cores.

    Time will tell, but in the meantime, I think the assumption is safe that this is basic tri-ply aluminum clad.


    3 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      "Thermo-Clad™ is crafted in Italy to our precise specifications using an exclusive aluminum alloy that provides up to 35% better thermal conductivity than other aluminum-clad metal cookware on the market."

      The key words are "up to 35%". So the improved thermal conductivity is somewhere between 0% to 35%.

      The product summary says they use an "exclusive aluminum-alloy core". But the guy in their product video says they use an "aluminum that is more pure than any other aluminum that is used in cookware".

      1. re: unprofessional_chef

        Hi, u_c:

        I can shed a little more light. I've been told that the "up to 35%" claim is based on some allegedly new innovation that allows the maker to clad pure aluminum, as opposed to a less conductive alloy (or combo of pure and other alloys). Hence, I think the "up to" has a colorable basis in fact.


        1. re: unprofessional_chef

          I was pretty amazed to see the finger slicing comment in a review ... looks like this stuff isn't ready for prime time.

          For a stay-cool handle, I really love Lagostina (and so beautiful too).

      2. I was just looking into the Williams Sonoma set for myself. I did read all the reviews on their web site and while most people where happy with their cooking results, there were some issues on most of the reviews.

        After watching the video, it appeared to only have the core insert on the bottom of pan, and not all the way up the sides. I may be wrong.. as I am trying to figure this out for myself as well.

        At present, I am leaning towards purchasing Mauviels, M'Cook series, although I love the handles on the WS.

        I am interested in any other information or opinions!

        1. It's not necessary to buy a set to try the line; the 10" skillet is sold on its own, in the regular stainless and with a non-stick interior. There's also the lidded 10" and 12" skillets.

          That handle does look comfortable and relatively stay-cool.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ellabee

            Hi, ellabee: "That handle does look comfortable..."

            It feels quite comfortable, too. All-Clad should take notice.

            Something not mentioned is that some of this line's lids are hollow double-wall.


            1. re: kaleokahu

              Hey, Kaleo: why would the lids be hollow double-wall? Never heard of that, why would it make a difference - do you know? Thx.

              1. re: breadchick

                Hi, breadchick:

                I was wondering the same thing. If I remember right, it is only the saucepans' lids that are double-wall.

                My initial thought in the store was it is some energy efficiency gimmick. But on reflection, I now think it is to keep the lids' loop handles cool(er).


                1. re: breadchick

                  <why would it make a difference >

                  Better insulation: reduce heat loss, keep the food warmer, keep the handle cooler....etc. In practice, the difference may not be all that significant due to the way how people actually use a cookware. Moreover, if heat insulation is the goal, tempered glass lid probably do just as good as a job since glass is a much better insulator than stainless steel, but I don't remember people getting all excited about the glass lids.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    The glass lid thing is a mystery to me. Granted, I don't have glass lids, but I would think being able to see what's going on w/o lifting the lid may be a good thing - who knows?

                    1. re: breadchick

                      I have glass lid cookware. It seems to work fine for me. The counterargument from others are that (1) the steam from the liquid will block the viewing -- which is true, but one can still see something, and that (2) glass can break -- which is also true, but this rarely happens. Anyway, everyone has their preferences.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        And,CK, after all this time, this is what is so wonderful about interacting with you, and so many others on this board. We all have our preferences and can give such good advice.

                        And, we all didn't incinerate after 12/21/12 - so, we're good.

            2. Great Idea Ellabee! I was just thinking of doing that with my top 3 WS, Mauviel M'Cook and I just learned about Demeyere Industry 5!

              1 Reply
              1. re: southerndelight

                Um... well, it was more of a clarification of info in the original post than a suggestion, but getting one piece each of lines you're considering might put you a good part of the way toward a 'set' that meets your needs.

                I'm dismayed by the several reports of edges sharp enough to cut fingers. Dents in the double-walled lids aren't quite as surprising: each sheet of stainless in the double-walled lids would be thinner than that used in a regular lid.

              2. I went to WS today and saw their new pans in person. The edges did feel a bit sharp but not that bad! Pans are beautiful and have a good weight and feel.
                However, I did notice the double wall lids...because, there were digs and dents in them!!! That really turned me off.

                I went to SLT and looked at the Demeyere and loved the Atlantis...but wasn't ready for the price.

                They had their SLT triple clad on CLEARANCE. I decided to try it out...13 pieces for $349.00.

                It seemed like a great deal. I hope I won't be sorry.
                Does anyone have any thoughts on it??? I can still take it back.

                10 Replies
                1. re: southerndelight

                  Wow ... it says a lot when there's already damage in the store. I've seen this with clothes, but I don't remember ever seeing it with cookware ...

                  1. re: southerndelight

                    <They had their SLT triple clad on CLEARANCE. I decided to try it out...13 pieces for $349.00.>

                    :) You try a whole set as oppose to one piece of cookware. The price is indeed very good, so no complaint there. I have look at the SLT triply clad cookware. It looks good, but I don't really know if it is better than the other mid tier triply cookware, like Cuisinart MCP or Calphalon Triply...etc.

                    1. re: southerndelight

                      I have several pieces of the Demeyere Atlantis and I LOVE it. It is terribly expensive, but it cooks like a dream. I have the Fissler Solea and they don't have sauciers and sauté pans so I have been getting the Demeyere and I am so happy with the cooking results - the fry pans are simply divine. For the cost of one Demeyere piece, you got a whole set of good cookware- so that is an important issue too. Cookware is a great tool, and wonderful cookware is pure delight, but that said, I have seen amazing cooks produce sublime foods in the crappiest cookware. The skill of the cook is more important than the cookware. I have tin lined copper, carbon steel, Fissler Solea, Staub, Demeyere - I love them all, but if all I had was some clunky dull stainless or a good basic aluminum pan, I would make the best of it and learn how to work with what ever pans I had. It all comes down to how we interact with what is in our hands.

                      1. re: laraffinee

                        A good point, but why make things hard on ourselves if we can help it ;)

                        1. re: foiegras

                          And, when some pans are so pretty... ;-)

                        2. re: laraffinee

                          Thanks for your input. I am still not totally sure I will keep this set. If I wait and get the Demeyere, I will probably never have to think about it again!

                          I have about 44 pcs of Calphalon that I am going to start listing on ebay and I guess I will go from there.

                          This is a good value, I could just use it and sell it later on ebay too. ;-D

                        3. re: southerndelight

                          Disclaimer: I worked for SLT several years in the past

                          Their private label triply is pretty good stuff these days. The earliest versions had issues(back in the early 2000s) but the entire line was revamped and has been good stuff since. I only have a few pieces myself(my years at the store allowed me to develop a nice copper collection) but have given my nephew several pieces as he starts his cookware collections. I do still have a 5qt saute pan I'm very happy with.

                          I've been gone a couple years now but we saw few returns on these items over the years. I find handles pretty user friendly as well.

                          It's good value for the money....enjoy them!

                            1. re: southerndelight

                              The Demeyere is really nice, too! If your budget allows you definitely can't go wrong with that. If you think you may someday have induction in your home, the Demeyere would be a great investment

                              1. re: ziggylu

                                Thank you for your help. I made a decision last night after reading a review on SLT site about the 13pc set. The buyer was talking about how the handles were attached to the pots and how difficult it was for them to keep that area clean.

                                These are definitely a good deal and beautiful to boot, but at this point in time, I don't need hard. I have had Calphalon for too long. Mine still looks nice but it has been too much effort.

                                I am going to be deciding between Demeyere and Mauviel M'Cook. As discussed above, I think I will just get a piece of each to try. Seeing the dings in the WS lids at their store helped me rule those out.

                                I appreciate all the info from everyone.