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Aug 31, 2013 02:37 PM

Copper cookware vs All Clad Copper Core Cookware

I've been seeing copper cookware (Mauviel) on several flash sale sites lately (Gilt, Rue La La) and have wondered what is so great about copper cookware. Is it worth the hype and price?

What about All Clad's Copper Cookware? Just as good as Mauviel? Any suggestions on whether it is worth it to get the 2.5 mm Mauviel?

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  1. Hi, jbm:

    The Mauviel 2.5mm is several orders of magnitude better than A-C copper core. The only reasons to prefer the latter would be: (a) you want SS full cladding for looks and/or convenience; or (b) you want to cook on induction without a converter disk.

    One of the reasons is that (with the exception of the 0.2mm lining), the Mauviel is *all* (2.3mm) copper, whereas the A-C has a much thinner layer of copper AND they sneak in two layers of aluminum. So with A-C you get 0.41mm of SS inside and outside, and Al-Cu-Al. By the time you do the math and weigh the pans, there isn't a lot of copper in the A-C. That pretty band you see on the A-C is bent upwards, and deceptively makes the copper layer appear to be thick--it's not.

    IME, the thickest copper anyone puts into fully clad is Demeyere, in its Atlantis line, and that's only 2mm.


    9 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Hi kaleokahu:
      Do you know what is the thickness of copper for a all clad cookware

      1. re: betheareast

        Sorry, I don't, but it's thin. We know this for three reasons: (1) A-C won't say; (2) there's nearly a full mm of SS, and the pan is not all that thick overall; and (3) the core is not all copper--it's Al-Cu-Al. As I wrote above, that band you see around the edge is deceptive.

        Someone with CC... Please measure the total bottom thickness, so we'll at least know the Al-Cu-Al thickness.


        1. re: kaleokahu

          And once again I point to centurylife: http://www.centurylife.org/2013/11/09...

          According to him All-Clad Copper core tests consistently under 2(1.81)mm thick in total. He mentions that it has 0.91mm of copper with 0.2mm of aluminum. I'm guessing it's 0.4mm of aluminum in total.

          1. re: Angelus2013

            You can actually find the patent online indicating the thickness. I can't remember what I did to find it, but it's out there.

            1. re: randallhank

              All-Clad's refusal to provide information is really frustrating, and in my case it cost them business. There was a time when I was looking for a nice pair of casseroles/dutch ovens (not ECI). I was open to most anything conductive, so I was looking for old thick copper and, among other things, at the A-C MC2 line. There are no shops near me that carry MC2 to go inspect for myself, so I called A-C to ask about either the thickness of the Aluminum or even just the total thickness of the wall on their MC2 6 and 8 Qt pots. They wouldn't provide any information--"It's proprietary." I pointed out that if I could find a shop that carried them, I could just walk in and measure it with a ruler, but they still wouldn't give me anything. They wouldn't even give me a comparison (like "about 3 nickels thick.") So, I eliminated A-C as a consideration and moved on. My thought is that if you are going to make claims regarding the superiority of your product, you shouldn't be afraid to provide the details explaining why your product is superior. If the manufacturer won't tell you precisely how and why their product is better, it's all smoke and mirrors. They aren't protecting anything--patents are out there to be researched and any competitor can cut a pan in half. They are only duping customers with that nonsense.

              1. re: randallhank

                Hi, Randy: "You can actually find the patent online indicating the thickness."

                I've spent some time looking myself and I can't find anything on the actual thicknesses in any of the patents. I'm not saying it's not there, but...

                According to Sam Kinsey, the inner and outer SS layers are 0.41mm. If that's true (Sam is quite reliable), then we can deduce the thickness of the totality of internal layers. Total thickness minus 0.82mm should be the answer for stainless, CC and d5. Total thickness minus 0.41 should be the answer for MC2.

                If Franz is correct as reported by Angelus, that would make CC:

                0.41mm SS
                0.20mm Aluminum
                0.90mm Copper
                0.20mm Aluminum
                0.41mm SS
                2.12mm Overall Thickness

                This is less OAT than Franz's caliper measurements, so it is plausible the aluminum layers in CC are another 0.1mm or so thicker.

                I think the take-home, whatever the exact numbers, is that CC has the equivalent of <1.3mm of copper inside. Hardly the "ultimate" the shills say.


                1. re: kaleokahu

                  If I recall, when I found the patent, I also got .91m on the copper. When I read Franz's post I remember thinking, "Oh, he must have seen what I saw."

                  I'll try to find it again, but it might have to wait. It took me a while.

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    I can't remember reading where but I think that All-Clad Copper Core has thinner stainless steel. Probably also CenturyLife but I'm not 100%. But I think it's

                    0.3mm Stainless Steel.
                    0.17mm Aluminum.
                    0.91mm Copper.
                    0.17mm Aluminum.
                    0.3mm Stainless Steel.

                    Which is 1.85mm in total. That makes a little more sense as Franz measured All-Clad Copper Core to be 1.83mm in thickness.

              2. re: kaleokahu

                "The copper layer in the prebond composites 11, 11', 35, 35', 59 and 59' preferably occupies at least about 80% of the thickness thereof, wherein the thickness of the prebond is about 0.035 inches."


                So that's .889mm. Perhaps less after the bonding process.
                If I am reading it correctly, there may be two such layers, but it also appears bonding reduces the layers by up over 25%. I am by no means knowledgeable in this area, but perhaps someone else can decipher it better.

                Then there is this forum, which I think comes up with the right answer. I think the patent cited there is the original one I found, though the link is now dead. The copper layer after bonding is .91mm:


          2. Good copperware is fine if you are an exacting cook and want instant heat response. There is a lot of maintenance and upkeep. The exterior takes burnt on grease stains easily, but you can deal with them if you want a pristine pan. The things I prefer from copper pans are fish, veal, and quick sauces, which might be more error prone in All Clad.

            1. The original comment has been removed
              1. As Kaleo says, they are not comparable. I got CC to replace earlier AC because it has a pouring lip. CC *might* be slightly more responsive than earlier AC---or that could be wishful thinking---but nowhere near as responsive as 2.5mm copper. Now that D5 is available with a pouring lip, not sure that I would spend the money on CC. (para) Note that Mauviel does not have a pouring lip. Bourgeat and Falk do. (para) However, not every dish needs maximum responsiveness, and convenience is not always negligible. Besides easier maintenence and dishwasher safe, AC has a stay-cool handle, while the cast iron handle on Bourgeat will heat up enough to hurt if you grab it without a towel or potholder. So I will frequently reach for AC for non-exacting tasks. But I love Bourgeat for sautéing or reductions.

                1. The original comment has been removed
                  1. I recently posted a discussion asking for advice choosing a type of cookware for my parents. I have read a lot of your posts about different nrams and just discovered this one pertaining to Baumalu.

                    My basic question is what brands of all ply cookware would you recommend? I've looked into Berghoff, Cristel, WMF, etc. Also Tramontino and several Italian makes.

                    As for copper I've looked into Mauviel, etc.

                    Basically what brands would you not recommend and are there any small companies that are not well known, but still good?

                    I can't wait for your responses.

                    Sorry to be such a novice.