All Clad D5 Experiences
I decided to splurg this past holiday season and get an All Clad D5 6qt non-stick saute pan that I was eyeing for a long time that finally went on sale. While the size is everything I hoped for (fits perfectly my extra larger burner on my ceramic glass range), I am a bit puzzled on what I believe is a pretty slow response time. Seems to take a very very long time to heat up, and equally long time to cool down (water keeps boiling for a while after I remove the pan from heat).
Anyone else notice a slow response time for All Clad D5 pans?
So you feel it has a slow heat response. But compared to what? The previous All Clad? A thin cheap aluminum pan?
D5 is, in theory, may have a slightly slower response compared to the classic All Clad due to the alternating Stainless steel-aluminum-stainless steel-aluminum-stainless steel design. However, the difference shouldn't be huge and, in return, it is suppose to have a better heat distribution.
There were a few posts about d5 already, and I don't remember people claiming it is much slower than the original All Clad.
Now, if it appears to be slower than some cheap nonstick pans from TJMaxx, then it is expected. The usual cheap nonstick pans are made from aluminum with a nonstick interior coating, therefore the heat response actually will be better due to the simple aluminum construct. Partially because stainless steel on the All Clad slows down the heat transfer, and partially because these cheaper pans are thinner and therefore respond quicker.
I have a 6qt Viking V7 sauté pan and although I believe it heats and cools "slowly" I see this as much a function of the size of the pan as anything else. There's just a lot of metal that has to heat up and cool down. I'm cooking on a gas range-top with a duel flame 18,000 BTU burner, but I really can't use all that as it would be way too hot, so it takes time for the mass of the pan to fully heat, then, again because of the mass of the pan, it takes awhile for it to cool off as well. My experience with glass cooktops is they are slow to respond in the first place. My daughter has ruined several pans on her glass cooktop because she turns the heat up too high to get the pan up to temperature quicker, but that's a slippery slope and you must pay attention to how hot the pan is and turn down the hob before it does any damage to the pan. This would be particularly critical with non-stick pans and the surface can not take excessive heat without damage. Overall I would suspect that the mass of the All Clad D5 is what the issue is and not just that it's a D5 pan. Also as Chem mentioned, multi-clad SS/Al is not the best thermal conductor, so I would expect it to be slower in response to heat than striaght aluminum or better yet copper.
I'm unsurprised--there are 3 layers of SS and one of glass between your heat source and your food.
The idea of this design was to have that middle barrier layer of SS force heat laterally to improve evenness. That (if it happens at all) comes at the expense of responsiveness.
To make matters worse, this is a nonstick pan. Coating a clad pan in nonstick makes little sense to me--you'd be better off with a thick aluminum nonstick pan if you want a balance of responsiveness, evenness and nonstick.
Before I had much decent cookware, my two kitchen workhorses (cooking for myself mostly) were an 8 inch All Clad D5 skillet and a Le Creuset 10.25 inch cast iron skillet. Both were gifts because I was in college. Everything else I had was shitty disc bottomed stuff so those two got a ton of work. I've since expanded my mainstays to two Le Creuset french ovens (a 3.5 and a 5.5 quart), a regular All Clad Tri Ply 10 incher and a 10 inch nonstick.
The D5 stuff has 5 (FIVE!) layers of metal. So it takes a little while to heat up. Working with the D5 and the cast iron it was just kind of a fact of life that pans needed to be preheated and usually I would start heating stuff and then get to prepping vegetables etc. Now that I have more variety in my cookware I would say the D5 definitely exhibits slower temperature changes. The regular All Clad pan seems a bit more sensitive and the non stick cookware is noticeably quicker in all ways.
You just need to learn to use it. Get to know your range and the nuances of each pan and you will start to know what the right heat is. I used to overheat all my pans and then have to bring them back down to the right temperature. Now I know exactly where I want them for different applications so I just set them to the right temperature and am patient.
D5 is a useful tool. I don't think its arguably worse or better than regular All Clad or any sort of pan, just different and thus requires some understanding. Granted, I would argue that weight and slow heat transfer are always good things in a piece of cookware considering the alternative.
I have only one D5 pan, an LTD2 French Skillet. I expect a slow response from it, and use it only for a few dishes which I simmer in a sauce. The idea of D5 is to slow the heat transmission in the direction perpendicular to the surface in relation to the heat transmission parallel to the surface, to provide more even heating.
The only piece of All-Clad D5 I have is an 8" skillet, which at the time was the only non-cast-iron skillet I owned. I have gas burners, and was astounded at the amount of time it took to heat up.
Since then, I've gotten a stainless-aluminum-stainless tri-ply skillet made by Regal, which although substantially larger heats as evenly as the D5 and much more quickly (and off heat also loses heat more quickly).
My original idea was to use the little D5 for toasting spices, but an old original Calphalon skillet of the same size that I got for $10 serves way better for that (it's 6mm aluminum, anodized). Now the S.O. is using the little Calphalon skillet so often for eggs that it's earned a spot on the wall-hanger. The D5 has sat unused for more than a year at this point; I should donate it.