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Help me build a great cookware set!

Hi all,

It's wedding registry time, and my fiance and I are super excited to be (hopefully) replacing our mish-mash collection of cookware, especially since i cook all the time now and my skills have greatly improved, but I'm using the wrong tools for most things.

Good pieces in hand that we plan to build from:
- 12" nonstick lidded calphalon fry pan
- 10" lodge cast iron skillet
- huge (8qt?) nonstick calphalon stock pot

The rest has got to go. This is what is currently on my wishlist (below). Do you see duplicates, things that i am not realizing could be serving double duty? We don't have a ton of storage space, but we also don't need to make one pot do everything.

Registered for:
- le creuset 5.5 and 7 qt dutch ovens
- all-clad d5 fry pan, 10" and 12" (do i only need one?)
- all clad d5 saucepan, 2 qt
- all clad d5 saucepan, 4 qt
- all clad d5 essential pan, 4 qt http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

- all clad d5 saute/simmer pan, 4qt http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

Is the saute/simmer pan necessary or would a fry pan or sauce pan do the same trick? Is the essential pan basically the same as the s/s pan?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide, as well as any "this is what that pan is ideally suited for" lessons :

)

p-chow

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  1. I love my All-Clad; I have older pans, so not the d5 line. However, I'd probably forego the 4-qt. Saucepan in favor of the 4-qt essential as more versatile. Similarly, I'd pass on the 10" skillet in favor of the sauté pan (nearly same diameter, and again more versatile) and definitely get the 12" skillet. Look at one of the sauciers while you're at it. No corners for sauces to get stuck in, easier to whisk in as well. I have both the 1-qt. & 3-qt sauciers and would not part with them. I *might* get a saucepan, but so far haven't felt the need of one. The only drawback is that with the 1-qt, there is no lid to fit it. That said, I use the sauciers constantly.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mcsheridan

      thanks mcsheridan!

      i hadn't considered a saucier because it's pretty rare i make a sauce by itself (usually just a pan sauce). that being said, saucepans are super annoying for that task. i do occasionally make caramel or lemon curd or something like that - i suppose that would be easier in a saucier as well?

      ok, so SUPER dumb question then - what type of a pan should i be cooking meat in/making pan sauces/browning/frying on a stovetop? a saute pan instead of a frying pan? i've never had anything other than a skillet so i'm not sure how the straight sides will change things.

      1. re: poochiechow

        The sauciers are good for a lot more than sauces. You can do nearly anything in them you'd do in a saucepan, plus they are perfect for making custards, pastry cream, risotto, polenta. Basically, anything that needs a lot of whisking or stirring to come out right or that can scorch in corners. So yes, your lemon curd will do well in a saucier. Searing and browning and the resulting pan sauces can be done in the skillets, sauté pans, or essential pans.

        Caramel is a whole 'nother matter. I don't make it, but I do know that the high, straight sides of a saucepan might be better for when the cream gets added. Things tend to climb at that point. I'll leave it to others to chime in on that. I could be wrong.

        1. re: poochiechow

          Hi poochiechow,

          Conga Rats on your impending nuptials!

          I do a lot of sautés and pan sauces. I also like to roast chickens and small cuts of beef.

          I generally go for one of two pans. One is a Zwilling ceramic-lined 3 quart sauté pan that I use for anything not needing fond. I also shallow fry in it, anything from fish and breaded chicken to frozen snacks like taquitos. The sauté pan you linked would do the job, but so will your existing Calphalon nonstick frypan. One noticeable advantage to the sauté pan is that it's better than a frypan at containing grease spatters. The increased depth is nice, too, because I can sauté a bunch of aromatics in it, then make a big batch of sauce. I can also roast in it. I made skillet lasagna in it last week, and I'll never go back to a lasagna pan and all those layers again.

          But I love a braiser, too, like your linked 4 qt. sauté/simmer pan. Mine is stainless steel and it's the pan I reach for when I want fond for a pan sauce or gravy. They've generally got floor space that's similar to a frypan, but with higher walls that are nicely rounded, allowing for easy whisking. These pans are ideal for sautés followed by pan sauces. They're also great for a pasta toss. It's a very versatile pan, one I highly recommend. Again, any of your frypans will work, but higher walls equals fewer spatters and greater volume for sauces and pasta. Not to mention doubling as a roaster in the oven.

          I'm currently exploring enameled cast iron for it's semi-stick properties. I think it could be, in certain applications, the best of both worlds. Because it's not very conductive and is slow to react, it will take time to develop a sense of when to turn the heat down or off, but once the timing is mastered, I think it might be a good compromise pan, producing fond, then going basically nonstick for pasta tossing, gravies and pan sauces. Look at the Staub Perfect Pan and the Le Creuset braiser. Both appear to be wonderful pans.

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

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

          Here's a thread about the Staub - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9760...

          Bottom line? I think the Saute/Simmer pan is your best bet to supplement the pans you've already got. It could quickly become your most-used pan. I would definitely recommend it first, followed by the sauté pan. But don't overlook the cast iron pans, they could also be wonderful.

          I also find my 2.75 and 4 quart saucepans indispensable. 2qts and 4qts should do nicely. I think the 4qt Essential pan is unnecessary.

          1. re: DuffyH

            thanks so much DuffyH. this was super helpful.

            and those braisers do look very nice - might be worth adding to the list as well. can you do a pan sauce in an enameled cast iron? i'm only familiar with regular cast iron, which has as rule #1 DON'T DO ANYTHING TO MESS UP THE SEASONING! :)

            1. re: poochiechow

              Hi Poochichow,

              <... can you do a pan sauce in an enameled cast iron?>

              Yes, you can. The enamel is non-reactive, so you can cook anything in it without fear of damage.

              1. re: DuffyH

                ...except with saucing in ECI, the fat runs through the jus.

      2. is this what i really want instead of a 4qt saucepan or the essential pan or saute/simmer pan?

        just a good old 3qt saute pan (or 6qt?)

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: poochiechow

          I know others will be chiming in here, and I'd like to see you get a variety of opinions. Perhaps before then you could elaborate on what kind of cooking you'll be doing. What do you and your intended like to eat? Will you be doing any (or a lot of) entertaining? I notice, for example, the lack of a pasta pot or all-in-one.

          What you need depends on what you'll be doing on the kitchen.

          1. re: mcsheridan

            thanks, that's a good idea :)

            i'm pretty adventurous in the kitchen so i want to be able to do a wide variety of things. we do some entertaining - maybe dinner for 4-6 once a month and up to 12 twice a year, but for the most part it's just two of us, though i do very often cook something that serves 4 so we can have it twice.

            i usually make pasta in the saucepans now, and that's what i would continue to make it in, unless someone tells me there's a better way!

            we do a lot of grain sides with pan-seared chicken, fish, steak. some stir fries. lots of browning and then finishing in the oven. braising. sauteed veggies. and a bunch of things that will be fabulous in the dutch oven!

        2. A 12" or 14" carbon steel wok. I cook for two (or less!) most nights and the 12" wok is fine. No fancy brand names needed, you can pick one up at world market or an Asian grocery for under $15. I don't use mine all the time, but when I do, I'm happy I have it.

          We are a couple of egg heads (yuck yuck yuck!) who eat eggs for breakfast daily. I have two matching 7" uncoated anodized aluminum pans I use them only for eggs and only with the lightest coating of butter and olive oil I swirl and pour out. In three minutes I have eggs cooked perfectly that slide out of the pan without a utensil. They then get wiped out with a paper towel and returned to their hooks. Maybe not an absolute essential for your cookery, but I absolutely love mine.

           
          2 Replies
          1. re: CaliforniaJoseph

            thanks CaliforniaJoseph. we do a fair amount of stir fry, might be good to add a wok to the list!

            1. Hi, poochiechow:

              You're sorta on the right track, IMO.

              1. You picked the best 2 pieces LC makes. I recommend you stop there. Pick a color you won't get sick of when it goes out of fashion.

              2. Your plan calls for FOUR frypans. This is too many. If you like your Calphalon, keep it for eggs and fish. Keep your Lodge for searing, roasting and cornbread-type baking. These are all you really need, but if you *must* have a SS-surface frypan for deglazing (see #3 below), just get one. Consider the Demeyere Pro-Line 5 Star.

              3. Get the best conventional (i.e., straightwall) saute you can. You can also fry in a saute, and you get a LOT more useable floorspace than in a similar-diameter frypan. Frankly, I'd get TWO of the best sautes you can find, and forego any more frypans. If your guests can afford it, shoot the moon and ask for a Falk saute.

              4. Forget the Essential and Simmer. These are trendy hybrid pans that are, IMO, only worth buying if you never plan on buying the traditional shapes they're intended to let you get along without.

              5. For saucepans, I'd go with a 1.5Q and a 3Q instead of 2 and 4. Your 5.5Q and 7Q LCs will cover the larger end of your range (think batches of chili, soups, etc.)

              6. Sauciers are fine, they give you more "span" between sizes than do straightwall saucepans. But beware--their capacity is usually 40% less for the same diameter.

              7. I would add a wok and a large (like 14-16Q) stockpot. Both of these can be uber cheap, like $20, and still work really well. Better yet, make your stockpot a canner.

              8. Get a pressure cooker. I recommend stovetop over electric, and if you pick the right size, it can also serve as a small stockpot or oven (it takes people years to realize PCs can be used just like a regular pot, too).

              9. Consider getting 2-3 oval gratins in different sizes. These are great for roasting and also make good serving pieces.

              10. When you're starting out, it's hard not to sucker for sets. But in the final analysis, no one cares whether all your pans look alike.

              11. Re: All-Clad... It's good quality, but overpriced IMO. I do not believe the theory behind d5, either--I think the regular A-C triply is every bit as good, and less expensive. The Copper Core is not worth the premium because there's very little copper in it.

              Hope this helps,
              Aloha,
              Kaleo

              24 Replies
              1. re: kaleokahu

                "7. I would add a wok and a large (like 14-16Q) stockpot. Both of these can be uber cheap, like $20, and still work really well. Better yet, make your stockpot a canner.

                8. Get a pressure cooker. I recommend stovetop over electric, and if you pick the right size, it can also serve as a small stockpot or oven (it takes people years to realize PCs can be used just like a regular pot, too)."

                Yes. This. He typed what I thought.

                36 years without a pressure cooker... After I got one I couldn't figure out how I did without. I now have a couple.

                The stockpot is also something amazing to have but I don't know if I'd put it on the registry... I just bought a new, unused 16 quart stocker on eBay - factory second with a 2" scratch - for $4.49 + $11 shipping and handling. Stainless, thick base, lid. I already had a 21.5 quart Graniteware canner I got for $8 at thrift shop & a 20 quart aluminum pressure cooker that I needed about as much as an 11th toe for $9.88... But I really wanted a stainless large capacity pot for the twice a year I will use it... So I splurged and bought a stockpot for less than a dollar per quart capacity because I am decadent like that.

                Also on the "get for yourself at thrift shops, garage sales & eBay" list: old school pyro ceramic corningware. The French White collection holds the record for being the most registered-for cookware EVER so there is a ton of it out there still (bet you a buck your relatives have some!). The new stuff does not hold a candle to the old, so go hunting for the old. It will rock your leftovers on Black Friday.

                I bake bread and cheaper roasts and chicken in clay roasters.... Also something not essential but I'm no minimalist.

                Whole birds I spatchcock and roast directly on oven rack over a cookie sheet. You could get by without poultry shears... But for $7.50/free shipping on eBay... Well it's a fun tool to have.

                My "saucier" is a very thick Calphalon anodized aluminum 10" wok I picked up on eBay new without package for $15 free shipping. It is lightweight, a breeze to clean and looks cool hanging from my pot rack. I never actually use it as a wok.

                 
                 
                 
                1. re: kaleokahu

                  this definitely helps, Kaleo. very much appreciated. good to hear i'm on the right track, and great advice.

                  my instincts were the same as far as #4 - but i wasn't sure what i would exactly want instead. i think what i want is a saute pan - i just wasn't sure since i haven't had one before!

                  i definitely plan to add a wok - but i'll pick one up myself for cheap at an Asian market as CaliforniaJoseph mentioned. and i'll look into the pressure cooker - it never crossed my mind.

                  1. re: poochiechow

                    Hi poochichow,

                    <my instincts were the same as far as #4 - but i wasn't sure what i would exactly want instead. i think what i want is a saute pan - i just wasn't sure since i haven't had one before!>

                    Get thee to Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table. Check out Saute pans (straight walls) and braisers (curved walls). Note the floor space, the wall height and the curve of the walls. Also, grab some utensils and play at cooking with them. See what you like.

                    And pay no attention to what the pan is called. As noted above, names are all over the place. Shape is the key. The All-Clad Saute & Simmer pan you linked is a braiser. In fact, IMO it's a better braiser than the All-Clad braisers, which I think are a little too shallow. The Essential pan is most like a saucier.

                    But definitely get out to both those stores, if you can. Unless your Williams-Sonoma is a really big one, Sur La Table is likely to have a wider in-stock variety of quality brands, materials and shapes for you to choose from. Have fun!

                    1. re: DuffyH

                      thanks again! i've looked at both, at both stores - i guess i'm not sure what the difference is when you actually have a finished product. i mean, couldn't you technically braise something in a saute pan? or saute something in a braising pan? what would the difference truly be if i were pan-searing chicken thighs on the stovetop? i'm guessing not much, but again i have no experience with this. (and building on that, couldn't i stir-fry something in either pan, or cook rice, or whatever?)

                      and on top of that, would a braiser be overkill if i have a dutch oven? or are there things a dutch oven is too unwieldy for?

                      i'm trying to think of something that would do well in one pan but not the other - since you have more experience with both, can you think of something?

                      maybe i should go back and play around with them and just see which i like the feel of better, like you suggested.

                      1. re: poochiechow

                        Let me tell you, what you need for cooking depends soooooo mcuh on what you cook. I have an ECI braiser from Staub, there was a time when I cooked half of what I made in it. Great cooking vessel, but I haven't used it in months, mainly because I'm cooking different things right now. I don't like to cook the same things over and over, so the pans I use change with the season. My point is that if there are certian types of foods you don't cook, then you don't need certian types of cooking vessels.

                        I think the list Kaleo had would cover most bases, start there and build as your cooking needs require. Good luck.

                        1. re: mikie

                          thanks mikie - very good points here. i'm a seasonal cook also (and it's rare i make the same thing twice!) so i'm trying to find a range of cookware to cover all my bases. i think Kaleo's list is a good one, too.

                        2. re: poochiechow

                          Hi poochichow,

                          In reality, braisers and sauté pans are fairly interchangeable in terms of what can be cooked in them. As you pointed out, that can be extrapolated out to include many other pots and pans. I've made popcorn in a tall saucepan and in a wok. Neither is ideal, but both produce good popcorn. BTW, the Presto PopLite #04820 makes the best popcorn. Accept no substitutes. ;-)

                          As for true differences between braisers and sautés, they're few. Mostly a matter of some things being slightly easier in one or the other. I find it easier to toss pasta and whisk pan sauces in a braiser. The straight walls of the sauté make it a less obvious choice for these tasks. But I've made wonderful pan sauces in my sauté pan, I just have to use a different whisk, and dig into the corners a bit more. The finished sauce is just fine, but it takes a little more effort to make sure it's perfectly smooth.

                          Using your example of pan-seared chicken thighs, the greater floor space of the sauté may allow fewer batches. Again, a braiser (or dutch oven or saucepan or small frypan) will do the job just fine, but if you've got a lot of them, the sauté will make it go faster.

                          Yes, go back and really handle the pans you're considering. Compare them side by side. Think about how much food you normally cook, and how much you occasionally cook. Measure the floor space of your existing pans, and use that to help guide you in choosing sizes. You know how much space you really need for your cooking.

                          If you still can't choose, register for more than one kind or size of pan. You may only get one, but if you do get more, you can cook with them and then decide. By your links, is it safe to say you'll be registering at WS? They've got a 90-day refund/exchange policy for registry items.

                          Duffy

                          EDIT - poochiechow, it occurs to me that I've no idea how high the sides on your Calphalon frypan are. If it's got decent wall height, it could double as a braiser, with the caveat that you'll get no fond when you pan-sear foods. But for a pasta toss, veggie sauté and the like? You're golden.

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            thanks again Duffy (and all the other chowhounders too - every time i post something i am amazed at the depth and breadth of knowledge here, as well as how generous people are with sharing their experiences and time!)

                            the calphalon is unfortunately not high-walled enough to serve as a good braiser. but i can see your point about how useful one might be for the way i cook. will definitely look into one.

                          2. re: poochiechow

                            The difference in the saute simmer and the Essential is basically depth. The Essential is 3/4 of an inch deeper. They will do the same thing, I have the Essential and like it, the depth is nice if you do want to braise a thicker roast, cook a larger batch of pasta covered with sauce, a big serving of popcorn, wilt a batch of greens and it can sub for a 4 qt saucepan nicely. Check out the reviews on the WS site. That can help if you see references to things you like to cook. Just starting out, you may need a pan that is versatile rather than being a purist. The difference between the Stainless and a dutch oven is stovetop temperature control. When ECI gets hot, it stays hot for some time. A tri-ply SS or similar gives you more control, eveness in simmering, less hot spots.

                            1. re: Cam14

                              thanks! that's a very helpful breakdown.

                              and that's the eternal question - several pans that are versatile and get heavy rotation, vs. a kitchen full of pans you might use rarely but are ideally suited to their task... (actually, this makes me wonder which way CHers lean. might be worth a poll, if it hasn't already been done!)

                              1. re: poochiechow

                                I'll weight in on two counts:

                                First, I have been down the road with the all-purpose style pans, especially when I had much less space. I still appreciate an economy of means when it comes to space, but the 3-4 quart essential pan or saucier is vastly inferior IMHO to having 3 sauce pans. If you are ever cooking a meal for more than two people, you will want a set of cookware that will allow you to take full advantage of your range. I have 1.1qt, and 2.3 qt saucepans, and a 4 quart casserole for these purposes, plus one straight sided sauté, and and 11 inch skillet. You can get away with just a sauté and forgo the skillet, but 2-3 sauce pans, a stockpot and a sauté are all essential for cooking for a small group. My primary cookware is Demeyere which has no rivets and therefore allows me to take full advantage of the volume of the saucepans. You may want to get slightly larger small pots if you intend on purchasing a brand with rivets. My point here, though, is that once you have the requisite number of saucepans a stockpot and one or two frypans you won't have much need for an expensive do-it-all pan. Better at this point to spend your money on true specialty items.

                                The second thing I'll share with you is in line with what some other, more respected, members around here will say. I've owned quite a few pieces of All-clad over the years (and still have a few). I have owned lots of Calphalon (and still have a few). My overall perspective on these companies has changed over the years, both based on my cooking experience and on my perception of the quality of the cookware. I can't really say a bad word about All-Clad, but I think you can do better than the stainless line for a bit less money (Sitram). And I think you can do better than the Copper Core for just a bit more money (Demeyere). I am a bit biased because I like flared rims and prefer the welded handles of quality cookware. I also think that those two brands I mentioned have better steel (though I have no empirical evidence for why this would be true, just my experience cooking on them).

                                Calphalon once made (and still occasionally does) great home cookware. You can still cook a fine meal in Calphalon pans, but a slight downtick in quality combined with other quality options out there puts me in the camp of people who wouldn't go out of my way to purchase them if I had do do it over again.

                                I still think that for the money, Sitram Catering is the best deal out there if you don't use induction and don't mind the industrial handles. Demeyere is tops for anything besides pure copper (though I think their conical sauce pans are not worth the money). And you can't go wrong with one or two dutch ovens from Le Creuset.

                                1. re: randallhank

                                  Hi randallhank,

                                  I'm an absolute outlier on Demeyere, in that it is not one of my favorite brands. I returned my 11" Proline skillet after 4 months because I found it more difficult to clean than my other SS pans. Maybe it's the Silvinox finish. For whatever reason, it was more effort than my others.

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    We have only had the Demeyere Atlantus Saucier for about a month, and sauciers don't have the same issues you have with a frying pan, but we havn't had any problems cleaning, it's never even seen BKF so far.

                                    1. re: mikie

                                      Hi mikie,

                                      I've only seen one or two others who had cleaning issues with the Proline. I'm very much not in the majority here, and figure it's just me on this one. It happens.

                                      I'd likely be fine with the saucier because of the differences in cooking technique from the skillet.

                                  2. re: randallhank

                                    Hi, randallhank: "...no rivets and therefore allows me to take full advantage of the volume of the saucepans. You may want to get slightly larger small pots if you intend on purchasing a brand with rivets."

                                    I'm sorry, I agree with much of what you wrote, but I simply must ask: How much volume do you think you'd be losing to those rivet heads?

                                    Aloha,
                                    Kaleo

                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                      I prefer to keep what I'm cooking below the rivets, myself ... like scrambling eggs, they get caught on the rivets.

                                      1. re: foiegras

                                        When the schmutz on the rivets becomes Just Unbearable, I get out my special rivet toothbrush (HARD!) and either 7th Gen or BKF and scrub that schmutz away. What, do you think you're going to get food poisoning if a teeny-tiny amount of scrambled egg touches a rivet?

                                        1. re: Jay F

                                          I don't get the problem with rivets. I've never had schmutz build up around my rivets. It always comes off easily with my palm brush. I give my stainless pans a quick soak before scrubbing, maybe that's the difference? It never sticks at all on nonstick, the brush takes it right off.

                                          Chainmail takes it off carbon steel in a flash.

                                          1. re: Jay F

                                            I'm always amazed at some of the comments here ...

                                            I scramble eggs regularly in a skillet where they reach the top of the rivets, and they undoubtedly make the job more difficult. I was offering a potential explanation as to why someone might think that rivets limit the usable volume of a pan.

                                            1. re: foiegras

                                              <<I scramble eggs regularly in a skillet where they reach the top of the rivets, and they undoubtedly make the job more difficult.>>

                                              Which job, cooking or cleaning?

                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                          LOL. The rivets themselves take up very little volume. That's not what I meant. The tendency, at least for me, is in doing sauce work, making rice, or thicker soups is to choose a pan that is slightly bigger in hopes of cooking only below the rivets. On the other hand I have a 1.1 quart Demeyere that I don't hesitate to use. If I had that size in an All-Clad I would never use it because I would be working around the rivets, worried about food sticking, etc. I would probably grab the 1.5 quart in the All-Clad. Likewise I can make what seems like a ton of rice in the 2.3 quart Demeyere, whereas I would almost certainly grab a 3 quart All-Clad for the same job. The rivets are more of an annoyance than anything else.

                                          1. re: randallhank

                                            Hi Randallhank,

                                            I set out to buy All Clad d5 for induction: 1 1/2, 2, and 3 qt. saucepans. When I came to actually comparing and choosing, I decided on other products for other reasons--but never the rivets. I decided that well constructed SS tri-clad could do as well as d5 with induction, so I chose a W-S Thermoclad for 1 1/2 qt., and Dansk Kobenstyle for 2 qt. I'm just now buying an AC 3 1/2 qt. SS tri-clad. My Thermoclad has rivets, my Dansk Kobenstyle has no rivets, AC has rivets. My Le Creuset 1 1/2 qt. saucepan, and my Tramontina 3 qt. saucier have no rivets--but they weigh too much. I don't think that enameled cast iron is the right answer for saucepans. I wouldn't hesitate to buy Dermeyere induction compatible saucepans--but not because they are rivet free: they are incredible high quality products.

                            2. re: kaleokahu

                              +1 on the gratins and the sauté pans. A large stocker is great for tons of stuff besides stock, such as pasta, steaming large quantities with a rack in the bottom, and using as a water bath for canning.

                            3. I have smaller LC Dutch ovens that I use a lot. I gather here that I may be somewhat unique in that respect :)

                              I'm also a huge fan of the little LC saucepan. I find it enormously useful & have 2 identical. Vegetables, rice, poaching an egg, heating a sauce ...

                              12" seems large for your only non-stick ... seems like a smaller one might be useful for eggs, but I guess this would depend on what you eat.

                              I keep things pretty minimal with my cookware, so to me it looks like you have duplication in the fry pan/skillet area. But it's nice to have a spare.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: foiegras

                                thanks foiegras. the 12" is a little bit large. could have probably done with a 10" for two people, but it was a gift a few christmases back.

                                agreed about the duplication. i'm going to narrow that down a bit.

                                1. re: foiegras

                                  Hi foiegras,

                                  How do you use your small DOs? I've never had a need for a family size DO beyond chili, so was always comfortable with an 8-qt pasta pot. Small ones might be useful to replace my small slow cookers, which don't allow the range of temperatures I want. Tell me more, please!

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    I use my 3.5 quart DO for oatmeal and small batch soup - probably overkill and I could get along well enough with other things I have... But that's how I use mine.

                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                      I have a 1.5? 1.75? small oval that's discontinued now. I use it for small servings of pasta, stovetop mac & cheese, like Joseph said, small batches. Soup. Risotto. Stew. A meat sauce that's not spaghetti sauce. I also have a 5.5 that, now I have it, I use for spaghetti sauce, chili, large batches of soup. To tell you the truth, though, I think that one is really too big for me--it encourages me to make more than I really should.

                                      The 3.5 I use for cooking for my dogs--oatmeal, rice.

                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        Hi DuffyH,

                                        I am also a small Le Creuset Dutch oven user. I have both the 3.5 oval and a 3.5 shallow "wide" round one. The oval I use primarily for roasted chicken when I need to make more than one. I usually use a Nesco roaster for chicken because it roasts an entire chicken perfectly in like 35 minutes and doesn't heat up the whole house. So when I need two, I transfer the first one to the DO and put it in a warm oven. It keeps it perfectly while the second one is cooking. I suppose I could use one of my roasters and just cook the two together in the oven, but I think they come out better this way, especially if I pull the first one off at the right moment and let it coast to a finish while the second one cooks. I use both dutch ovens for small batches of soup and for rice and grains. I use the wide one as a braiser, or as a saucepan.

                                        The main thing I find these pans useful for is when I want a cooking vessel that will keep food warm when I want to clear off the range to make room for other projects. The heat retention is the main property here, and I cannot tell you how often it comes in handy when I want to do a quick sauté or a sauce and need a spare burner. That cast iron will keep my grains warm and most for at least an hour, if not two. Likewise for brisket or braised ribs, where there is no risk of overcooking. Needless to say, you have to think about the items and order of cooking a bit in advance.

                                        The small DO's are also good for table service. I have a 2.75 quart Staub that I use in the same way.

                                    2. Personally, I'd ask for cash gifts instead of All-Clad @ William Sonoma. That's like shopping in a first class hotel gift shop! You will be paying way too much. There are comparable clad cookware brands that can be bought for a fraction of AC that are functionally very similar. Cuisinart and Tramontina come to mind but there are several others. Same for LC, good but overpriced. Look @ Lodge enameled cast iron.

                                      82 Replies
                                      1. re: zackly

                                        ha, yes it is expensive. but you can't ask for cash! the etiquette gods say no. (honestly, the concept of a registry is pretty odd too - 'buy me this!' - but at least socially acceptable!)

                                        if it were me, buying for myself, i would be all over the interwebz and cooking stores finding the best deal. but for our guests' convenience, we figured it's best to have it all in one place.

                                        interestingly, before we registered, i compared both big-ticket item and small item prices at WS to sur la table and bed bath and beyond, to avoid our guests dealing with unnecessary markup - and all items were the same price everywhere. i'm guessing the prices are set by manufacturers rather than the specific store.

                                        1. re: poochiechow

                                          Register for a bunch of All-Clad Stainless at Bed Bath, then exchange it all in a store and have an associate order you several pieces of Demeyere online with the store credit. They will usually arrange for free shipping. You must have the sales clerk in the store order it for you online. They are more than happy to do it. They also sell Sitram online (but not in stores), if that's your jawn.

                                          Get a Proline skillet and a 4.2 quart saute. The 11" Proline, btw, is a very good deal at Bed Bath. If you want a smaller everyday skillet, get the 9.5" Demeyere Industry from Sur La Table which is on sale for $80. You probably don't need all that metal in a smaller skillet, so the slightly thinner Industry works great. Or you could go copper, but based on your choices thus far, I'm thinking that isn't in the cards.

                                          1. re: randallhank

                                            i haven't played around with the demeyere at all, but am hopefully heading to a store this weekend to play with all kinds of cookware and i'll check it out. i have to say, no rivets is appealing, though certainly not a dealbreaker to have them.

                                            copper is gorgeous and appeals to me from a wanting-the-best standpoint, but it sounds too high maintenance for me - i'm a little obsessive about keeping things nice. and to be honest, i'm an intermediate home cook - i've never worked in a kitchen and i've only taken classes in pastry. i have this impression of copper (for me!) being like buying a maserati to drive to the grocery store - would it be awesome/beautiful/powerful? yes. would i be taking full advantage of it? probably not. is that a fair assessment? would it improve my weeknight cooking greatly over regular SS? that's partly why i went for the AC - great reputation, middle pricing, and seemed to be about the speed i need right now.

                                            on the other hand, i do love cooking and i'm sure that as i do more and more i'll find i want better tools, and i don't want to keep upgrading. so, there's something to be said for buying something to sort of grow into. man, the more i read the more confused i get!

                                            (thanks for all your thoughts above, too)

                                            ETA: i think i might want copper for a saucier. that might not be overkill.

                                            1. re: poochiechow

                                              Hi, poochiechow:

                                              Unless you must use a DWer, copperware needn't be high maintenance at all. Only if you polish frequently is it a PITA.

                                              Copper has improved my cooking, and if you buy vintage, it actually costs far less than new A-C.

                                              You're in a special situation right now with populating a bridal registry, so asking guests to spend the long green on new Falk or Mauviel may be asking a lot. OTOH, there is a good argument for not buying more than once if you're serious about improving and you think you'll ultimately want copper.

                                              You can always get one piece and see if you agree and it agrees with you. It really never loses its value, so you can always resell.

                                              Aloha,
                                              Kaleo

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                Kaleo,

                                                I wonder whether or not poochiechow has thought through her energy source. Your potential high end long term "copper" solution makes the most sense with gas.

                                                My old love for copper and my new commitment to induction have taken me in different directions. A-C may have made it's peak contribution with the tri-clad process for SS, relying on an aluminum core sandwich. The parallel beautiful cast iron enamel contributions of L-C and Staub afford single pot near nonstick solutions that are complementary to A-C, similar lifetime investments, and affords a stylistically consistent cooking style across pots and pans for induction.

                                                A-C tries to sneak in copper to the world of induction through copper core, but it's not much different from d5, which is not that different from the original tri-clad--now universally embraced.

                                                For sheer beauty, I still have some copper containers I use with plants and polish biweekly. If I ever reinstall a gas cook stove, I might reconsider, but for now I've abandoned copper altogether for cooking.

                                                Ray

                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                  so if you don't put it in the dishwasher (which i never do - i'm too impatient for it and used to living without one until now!), copper won't tarnish?

                                                  how would you say copper has improved your cooking?

                                                  agreed on it being a bit too much to ask for copper for the registry, but i am intrigued by it and plan to look into adding things on my own at some point.

                                                  what pieces do you think would be most valuable to add? i'm thinking a saucier would be an ideal place to start. (and a related question, does a something like a saute pan matter whether it's copper or not, given that the best part of copper is transmitting heat, and you want to saute things on medium heat?)

                                                  1. re: poochiechow

                                                    Hi, poochiechow:

                                                    Yes, copper tarnishes, both over time and in use. If you must have mirror finish, unless you live where there's a lot of air pollution or heavy marine air, a good polish will usually last 4-6 months. Heavily-used pans will start to discolor right away, and will go 3-4 uses before going dark.

                                                    If you are content with a brushed-look finish, Bar Keeper's Friend allows you to keep a nice clean "matte" type look 24/7/365--you just hit the exterior lightly after every use.

                                                    Many copperheads here learn to love the patina, and dispense with polishing altogether. Tarnish doesn't affect performance.

                                                    Personally, I mirror polish about 2x/year, usually for holiday gatherings and larger parties.

                                                    How has copper improved my cooking? Well, its responsiveness is one big factor--it's very easy and fast to adjust temperature, making under- and overshooting less likely. Another big thing for me is evenness that allows entire saute-full's of larger pieces to cook evenly and liquid-y preps to get nearly equal heat from the walls as well as the floor of the pan. I confess also that, with the best copperware, I have nowhere to hide--I can't blame it on the pan, so I pay a lot more attention.

                                                    With which piece to start? I say saute, but a case can be made for a saucier (they're very trendy now, with a huge % of cookbooks featuring at least one copper splayed pan). But if you're not especially into sauces, I recommend a saute or rondeau first.

                                                    Does something like a saute matter? Yes. The dirty secret of clad is that there's rarely much copper in it, sometimes *very* little. Even the very best clad, e.g., Demeyere, only uses 2mm of the stuff (some, like A-C, compensate by putting flanking layers of aluminum astride the copper). If there's not enough thickness of highly conductive material, the saute's floor will be unevenly heated on all but exceptional hobs.
                                                    Good quality copper sautes usually have 2.5mm or more of copper, and so are very even. That added thickness also has the benefit of *holding* quite a lot of heat, too, so that there's enough stored heat *and* quick responsiveness.

                                                    Note: In sautes at least, you can get very similar performance by choosing a very thick (i.e., >5mm) aluminum disk base for substantially less money. You would lose some responsiveness, but that is less important with a saute than a saucepan.

                                                    Aloha,
                                                    Kaleo

                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                      I would think that some of the necessity of thickness regarding copper is mitigated by stainless cladding, at least as far as even heating goes. The need for extra thickness is to compensate for the extremely efficient heat transfer, especially since the heat source is usually smaller than the base of the pan. Likewise, a thicker piece of copper will be able to resist temperature drop. But when surrounded by stainless, I would think 2mm (or perhaps even 1mm) of copper would be quite effective since the steel would help retain heat and promote the spread of heat.

                                                      Along the same lines, for cooking with liquid (aside from sauce work), I don't know what advantage there would be to a thicker layer of copper, assuming the base of the pan was more or less the size of the burner.

                                                      I'll be able to test this hypothesis on a newly acquired pan by Letang et Remy. The copper layer on the bottom appears to be about half as thick as my Sitram, or roughly 1mm. For boiling a pot of water I don't expect to see a difference. I do however think the difference in a sauté would be significant.

                                                      I am no scientist, so correct me if I am thinking about this wrong.

                                                      1. re: randallhank

                                                        Hi randallhank,

                                                        I'd like to see how that works out for you, especially if you're also able to compare the 1mm to a standard aluminum clad pan of 2-3mm.

                                                        Looking at the Bonjour lines by Meyer, Stainless Steel Clad and Copper Clad, the steel clad has a 2.5mm aluminum core. The copper line has .3mm alum, 1mm copper, then another .3mm alum, for a total of 1.6mm conductive material. The steel cladding is the same on both pots, 4.mm interior, .6mm exterior.

                                                        The copper clad costs a bit more, but is it worth it? There are a lot of discussions about the merits of various amounts of copper, but I haven't seen any comparing thin copper to thick aluminum in a real world application. Can you do that?

                                                        Duffy

                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                          I will see what I can do. I tested the 2 quart Letang et Remy casserole versus a two quart Sitram Catering casserole. I filled both with just over 2 quarts of liquid and boiled on the same burner from completely cold (I did one last night and one tonight) on the highest setting with no lid on until they came to rolling boil. The Sitram won but only by about a minute. One observation I had is that they both looked the same as they water first started to boil, but the Sitram went from a few bubbles on the surface to a full rolling boil about twice as fast. My sense is that the Sitram can hold more heat and would be able to maintain a full boil, or a low simmer, on a lower heat setting once the contents reach the desired temperature. This is no small thing. It makes sense since the Sitram Catering has at least twice as much copper in the base as the Letang et Remy Triplinox. The main differences are on the margins of cooking technique, not in hardboiling eggs though. I won't know more about the Tripinox until I try cooking some onions or making a one pot soup.

                                                          Both of those pans are both copper clad though. I do happen to have the All-Clad 2 quart sauce pan, so I could do the test with that. I try to use the same size pans so I don't have to account for heating a lot of extraneous material. Somewhere online (maybe here?) I read of someone comparing the Sitram Catering to the Profisserie line and determining that performance was more or less the same. I would guess Sitram accounts for that in their engineering since they are largely used in commercial settings. They want to achieve a similar (ideal) response by including a thickness of aluminum that will maximize response with weight.

                                                          In fully clad, I own the aforementioned All-Clad, an All-Clad copper-core sauce pan (I have owned other pieces of both at one point or another), and a Spring Brigade Premium multi-ply saute pan. The Spring is the best cookware of that bunch IMHO, but it is hard to get your hands on. I also have some Calphalon One pieces which, in the 2-4 quart sizes, heat remarkably evenly and have better response than the stainless clad with aluminum. The larger pieces didn't seem to do as well because with the extra metal they required higher heat settings, and were not well-matched to the size of the burners. This is why I went down the copper clad road to begin with.

                                                          My hypothesis was that 2mm copper clad with stainless base would provide the most even heating saute surface (sorry, Kaleo, I can't afford 3+mm of solid copper), and give me a sufficient amount of responsiveness. So far that has proven to be exactly correct. The exception is the Proline skillet, which seems to heat just as evenly as the Atlantis saute (3.7mm of aluminum will do that). But, it is less responsive than the saute pan, so I use it for searing steaks, but not for other cooking techniques.

                                                          http://www.centurylife.org/2013/10/23...

                                                          Full discloser here: I also own the Michael Chiarello saute (Stanley Cheng clearly gave Chiarello the "Napa Buddies hookup" in creating this line) that places 3rd on this list and 1st on the gas rankings, ahead of both the Atlantis and Proline. I found most of the set on clearance at TJ Maxx before I knew anything about them. The saute is a tank, and it does cook very, very evenly. I am not sure how much copper is in there, but upward responsive is fast and even. Doward? Not so much, but the base is so thick that you'd really have to mess up to ruin any food, and there are no hotspots to worry about. I compared boiling water time in a 2quart saucepan with my Demeyere and they came out in a dead heat.

                                                          So, the end result of all of this is that the Demeyere, Sitram Catering, and Chiarello Signature Clad (Meyer) all heat really evenly at medium to high temperature settings. If I had to pick one set to use all the time (and apparently I don't!) it would be the Sitram though, because it has noticeably quicker downward response, and is less bulky. These two are related!

                                                          I'll get back to you about the All-clad stainless.

                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                            <I'll get back to you about the All-clad stainless.>

                                                            Thank you very much.

                                                            Duffy

                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                              OK. I finally tested the 2 quart All-Clad stainless sauce pan relative to the Sitram Catering (copper clad base), and Letang and Remy (thinner copper clad base). The overall results were that they all went from cool tapwater on a cold small (6 inch) burner on high heat in between 13 and 14.5 minutes. In other words, there wasn't much difference. If you must know, the Sitram was quickest and the Letand et Remy came in second, and the All-Clad slowest. But the difference wasn't significant. So long as the material is fairly conductive, what we are really measuring is the speed at which the water is transferring the heat.

                                                              Clearly the fully clad aspect isn't create much of an advantage, and if it is, it is being overcome by having copper in the base. Assuming the copper offers a bit more control, I see no benefit to a fully clad vessel for cooking with water, or even for sauce work for that matter. Once you get past this aspect, you are back at the even heat rankings for sear and saute. I think the thick base pans consistently outperform everything but solid copper, unless you are getting something as thick as the Proline. Even the Proline is outperformed in even heating by the Atlantis saute, though I like the super hot sidewalls for searing larger cuts and a package of chicken breasts all at once.

                                                              My next test will be boiling 2 quarts of water in my 6 quart Letang and Remy wide stockpot on the 8 inch burner. The larger burner does have a greater output, but my overall hypothesis is that the wide base of the pan, and a matching heat source will show a more pronounced advantage than the variant compositional makeup of the 2 quart pans. I would even bet that the larger burner and wider pan will best the two quart pans on medium heat.

                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                Hi randallhank,

                                                                I'm so glad you ran that little test. I've spent too much time pondering this base or that, clad or disk, how much copper to look for, etc..., because the copper was an unknown element tossed into what is already a murky sea of options. I feel a little smarter now, thanks.

                                                        2. re: randallhank

                                                          Hi, randallhank:

                                                          Cladding is going to blunt responsiveness to some degree no matter what. A 0.2mm lining sitting atop 2.3mm of copper (e.g., Falk and Mauviel) isn't bad, but you put nearly half a mm on either side of a 1mm-thick layer of copper (e.g., All-Clad), and the story changes.

                                                          "[For cooking liquids] I don't know what advantage there would be to a thicker layer of copper, assuming the base of the pan was more or less the size of the burner."

                                                          Pick your liquid. For stocks, a thick copper stockpot provides an even base for sweating mirrepoix or browning meat and bones, and makes for more, more complex and involved convection currents at a low simmer. For thicker liquids, it makes avoiding scorches easier and convection currents don't shut down quite as fast as they would if you were delivering heat only from the bottom (picture that magic moment when your smoothie breaks loose in the blender).

                                                          I think you *would* SEE a difference--liquids tend to show bubbling emanating from the walls. But you are largely correct that you will not notice a betterment simply boiling water; the main convection currents are all you need. OTOH, you might experience a betterment if you were blanching larger batches of vegetables, or needing to bring back a boil or simmer.

                                                          I also think pans *frequently* exceed the size of the burner, so your assumption may be a little off.

                                                          I've said many times here that IMO thick copper stockpots aren't the best first use of $$$ for copperware--the margin of improvement over other constructions is smaller than it would be for most other shapes. Sautes, on the other hand...

                                                          Aloha,
                                                          Kaleo

                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            I generally agree on the cladding. You've probably seen this, but the second paragraph speaks to my opinion.

                                                            http://www.centurylife.org/2013/10/26...

                                                            I have a pretty average to crappy HOB so I chose solution #2, but I also got rid of the 13" skillet and a few other shapes that I thought were just not efficient on my stovetop.

                                                            The greater the mismatch between the size of the burner and the pan will likely accentuate both the strengths and weaknesses of the cookware material, AND the strengths and weaknesses of the burner. So, I would say that the advantages of copper are greatest on a weak/small burner with a large piece of cookware. This would also, I would think, indicate that the advantages are at least proportionately less on a good range with a medium size pan (assuming the other pan in question is at least of decent quality).

                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                              Thanks, Kaleo,

                                                              You and Randalhank have clearly explored the complexities of the transmission of heat to and through a pan, and their consequences for braising and sauteeing, cladding vs. thickness of copper. You need to keep in mind, though, that this solution may not generalize to many, or even most of us, who may use different heat sources, or cook for different purposes. With induction and electrical heat sources, heat is pulsed with oscillating circuitry to obtain or maintain a desired temperature. For these sources, sustained temperature in the pan may be preferred to responsiveness.

                                                              For me, it has led to greater interest in one pot meals in Le Creuset and Staub enameled cast iron pots, and less interest in pan braising and sauteeing.

                                                              Ray

                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                Hi Ray,

                                                                My preference is definitely for response. After living for 3 years with a radiant range, I still had not adjusted to it properly. Some people suggested I set one burner on higher heat and another on simmer, but I wasn't about to have lit hobs w/out cookware on them.

                                                                All I wanted from my induction range was something close to the response I enjoyed with gas. I've got that, enabling me to continue to cook as I did when I had a gas cooktop.

                                                                I prepare a lot of skillet dinners, but I use a clad sauté pan or deep skillet. I see induction as a cooking source that is very similar to gas, in that it can easily hold a steady heat or make quick changes, whatever the cook desires.

                                                                Duffy

                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                  Hi Duffy,

                                                                  I think that Induction can be very responsive, but it needs to be compared to itself, not gas--and the key is primarily software/magnetism, as long as sufficient power is assured.

                                                                  When increasing temperature rapidly, induction will tend to overshoot the desired temperature, then fall back, but, ultimately, the number that you see is what you will get--whether it is temperature or some expression of percentage of power. The responsiveness of the pan is some combination of effective magnetism and diffusion across the surface of the pan/pot.

                                                                  This is where the needs of gas and induction clash the most. For maximum responsiveness with gas, the heat needs to get to the copper ASAP, and the copper must be thick enough to spread that heat most effectively. All Clad, or any other "clad," will always be at a disadvantage with gas, even copper core, because there must be both a magnetic and a "spreading" interface in cladded vessels.

                                                                  That's where cast iron enters the scene. Cast iron is very magnetic, so it's magnetic responsiveness is terrific, but it doesn't diffuse heat like aluminum or especially copper. The workaround is to let cast iron warm up first, then make adjustments. Under those circumstances, cast iron can equal or surpass the responsiveness of any alternative with induction, even if it is a very weak performer with gas.

                                                                  When the gas guys used to say, "let's beat electric, the electric guys just said, "let's pass gas."

                                                                  And that means induction these days.

                                                                  Ray

                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                    To just follow up and clarify. The tests I did were on a standard radiant ring electric coil.

                                                                    I did follow up with the 9.5 inch soup pot on the larger, more powerful burner. It boiled the water in less than 10 minutes. Then I retested the All-Clad stainless sauce pot on the same burner. It took about 13.5 minutes to reach a rapid boil. So the full cladding is clearly not helping much in transferring heat from the source into the sides and into the water. If you look at the even heating rankings I posted earlier in this thread for saute pans, you'll see that the aluminum full clad pans have a pretty remarkable heat differential at 10cm, around 80 degrees or more. The responsiveness is always going to be an issue compared to thickness, but full cladding doesn't improve responsiveness. The only thing that seems to improve responsiveness is using a more conductive material, and even that difference in conductivity is fairly limited in a clad pan of any type. As Kaleo says, the cladding ultimately blunts the responsiveness, sometimes in a good way (even heating), and sometimes bad (temperature control). But the various tests out there seem to indicate that cladding alone is not enough to create an even heating surface. The real question for me, though, is whether having a copper clad base can improve the tradeoff between evenness and responsiveness that appears to be unavoidable in a stainless/aluminum clad situation. I think the evidence suggests that it does. For me, being stuck in a situation with below average heat control, this difference matters. If I had a gazzilion watt gas range that could also hold a perfect simmer, I think the differences would be negligible, or at least overlooked.

                                                                    1. re: randallhank

                                                                      Hi, Randallhank:

                                                                      You should introduce a thick copper sheet like a Bella Copper into your equation.

                                                                      "[C]ladding ultimately blunts the responsiveness, sometimes in a good way (even heating)..."

                                                                      You see, I really don't buy this concept of cladding somehow forcing the heat to be more even. It does blunt responsiveness (a function of time), and will--for a short time--blur a hotspot. Remember, there's not much steel cladding between the hob and the food in any event (well short of 1mm in A-C lines). I keep pleading for a thermographic video comparison of A-C d5 compared with another, cheaper line (MC2, SS, etc.). I don't think A-C has any interest in doing one, because IMO both lines would be both more responsive and more even than d5. Yet cheaper. And now there's d7. Why not d23?

                                                                      I have done a lot of boil tests, both up and *down*. The results can be a bit deceiving. With full-on water boiling on a modern home hob, thin materials of virtually all kinds function more or less alike, and generally beat thicker constructions of all kinds. This says more about convection than it does conduction--simply boiling water, there is no downside to uneven heat. But the culinary uses for speed boiling are quite limited. As the viscosity of the food goes up, so does the advantage of delivering even heat from 3 dimensions. For stovetop cooking, that necessitates conductive sidewalls.

                                                                      Folks here love to hate on coil electric. As you say, the control is bad, but I believe that what that means more precisely is only the *downward* responsiveness sucks. Upward responsiveness is actually quite good, as is evenness. Frankly, I'll take a builder-grade coil hob over a builder-grade gas (or cheap induction) one 8 times out of 10. In 2014, the biggest problem of comparison is that builder-grade is just about all there is in coil.

                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                        Hi Kaleo,

                                                                        For the record, I don't hate on coil, although I do dislike coil for several reasons, but it does cool down a little bit faster than radiant. I hate on radiant elements.

                                                                        < Upward responsiveness is actually quite good, as is evenness.>

                                                                        This is quite true, for coil and especially radiant, where the entire surface is evenly heated. But, consider what you wrote above...

                                                                        <... only the *downward* responsiveness sucks.>

                                                                        Good upward response can easily be achieved on any cooktop I've used, but downward response often means the difference between perfectly prepared and overcooked. A fuel that only works well in one direction but sucks in another is only half good.

                                                                        Yes, induction isn't inherently as even as radiant, which provides the most even heat, but as you noted, the right cookware can smooth evenness, while no cookware can make radiant or coil respond quickly to a reduction in heat. That's why I'll always choose gas and induction over coil and radiant. I'm just happy to have an option that works well for me.

                                                                        Duffy

                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                          I think you hit the nail on the head as far as All-Clad. It is self intuitive that a thicker pan will make for less responsiveness. Making the cladding thicker does seem to blunt hotspots, at leasts in the tests I've seen. A highly conductive metal like copper seems to mitigate the need for more mass, and at the same time allows for better downward response. Obviously Demeyere thought thickness was an advantage because they made their Proline frypans with a ton of aluminum. Both objective testing and personal experience says that copper will result in a more even result even in a clad setting, especially if either the copper is > 2mm or the overall thickness is over 4mm. So, there are a number of ways to achieve even heating. The issue with D5 (or AC copper core, for that matter), is that it is none of the above. So, D23 might be the ticket, but I don't see the point in the alternating of materials, except that All-Clad thought they could replicate the Proline experience while keeping the weight down. I'm not a fan. D5 seems to take the maximum amount of energy and achieve only middling result.

                                                                          I made the same observations as you did about boiling tests, but using a wider pan on a wider burner obviously makes a difference. The only point I'll quibble with involves cooking in three dimensions. Very few applications require 3 dimensions, especially if you have a pan and or stove that can maintain a very low simmer. There are a handful of applications that would benefit, but my Demeyere pans can hold a Hollandaise just fine. You just have to know your cooktop and your cookware. I would love to have a copper saucepan and/or sauté, but I pretty much never saw those things in the professional kitchens I worked in, including some 4 and 5 diamond rated places. If you dabble in chocolate and candy maybe you need a full compliment of 3 dimensional cooking vessels, but most highly skilled cooks probably would consider more than one or two pure indulgence. But, hey, indulge away.

                                                                          I enjoy the challenge of my electric coil, and mastering the skill of using every drop of energy while producing perfect results. As you know, this endeavor has involved a revamp of my cookware, but I actually think I am cooking better than ever. I do think you need cookware that sits dead flat to really make it work, otherwise you need to keep the heat level higher than it should be to account for inefficiency, and this can create hotspots and really affects control. My current cookware allows me to keep the heat source lower for every application, so I reduce the need for downward response. And it's a lot easier to go from 5 down to 3 than it is to go from 7 down to 5 -- there is just too much energy built up at that point. Downward response on electric is much easier when you are dabbling at the low end of the stove's power output. And, like you say, you can always pull the pan off the burner. I have looked into getting a better electric, but there isn't much out there. The options I have aren't worth my time, so I just focus on vessel efficiency. It's the poor man's kitchen remodel!

                                                                          Thanks for the tip on the copper plate. I am interested to check it out.

                                                                          Aloha,

                                                                          Randy

                                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                                            I'm going to walk back my comments about three dimensional cooking just a bit. A thicker clad product will allow a stew or pot roast to cook more evenly on the stovetop, and likewise a braised dish in the oven seems to benefit from a thick "second oven." Basically we are talking about reduced conductivity mitigating an imperfect heat source, and retaining moisture properly. Not sure you'll agree with that, but my experience has been that less conductive materials often do better in the oven. It's why people bake with stoneware and glass.

                                                                            1. re: randallhank

                                                                              No, I think the prime reasons some people tend to bake in glass and stoneware is that these vessels are cheap, inert and yet have some mass and inertia.

                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                Kaleo,

                                                                                My enameled cast iron can't go in the microwave, but can go on the stovetop. My stoneware can go in the microwave and oven, but not the stovetop-they don't work with induction. I have stoneware specifically dedicated to the interface between oven and microwave--for reheating.

                                                                                Ray

                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                  I'll add a few more reasons to Kaleo's list; the wide variety of shapes make it versatile, it comes in a rainbow of colors which is nice for oven-to-table use and cleanup of glazed ceramic (and glass) is easier than anything except nonstick pans.

                                                                                  I'd say that stoneware works better in the oven, too, considering that my clad cookware has long handles, forcing me to place it well to the back and side of the oven. Those handles also mean it won't fit my Breville, and that just won't do.

                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                    Even though they are electronic marvels, I've avoided Breville convection ovens in favor of the sometimes maligned but incredibly diverse Oster ovens both for my "toaster" and "roaster." My "toaster" has three manual controls that allow me to bake/broil most anything with the width of three slices of toast--2 deep--and about 6" high. I've learned how to tune it to bread and English Muffins. It can handle up to about a 3 1/2 Qt Le Creuset enameled cast iron Dutch Oven.

                                                                                    My Oster "designed for life" oven is really huge. My fancy computerized convection "roaster" is so big that a conventional oven is no longer necessary: http://www.oster.com/toasters-%26-ove... Check the price and comments on Amazon. With enameled cast iron, handles aren't really necessary. It can hold a 7 1/2 qt. Le Creuset Bouillabaisse pot.

                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                      Hi Ray,

                                                                                      It sounds like a versatile oven and one you're clearly very happy with. It takes up a little too much real estate for me, but seems to have the same interior width as the Breville.

                                                                                      Yours is several inches taller, which is nice for your cast iron. It's hard to fit a CI DO larger than 2.5-3 qts in the Breville, from what I've read. I may be mistaken, but I think that's what's been written. I don't have any cast iron pots, so can't say for sure.

                                                                                      You Oster oven seems perfect for your cooking.

                                                                                      When I wrote my comment above about handles, I wasn't referring to pots, I meant pans. Saute pans and frypans, specifically. Oven height is not an issue.

                                                                                      I can't recall the last time I put a pot into the oven. I bake no-knead bread in a 4-qt saucepan, but only in winter.

                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        Hi Duffy, As long as you stay focused, your Breville is perfect. I almost bought one instead of my "toaster."

                                                                                        I can put a 3 qt. enameled cast iron saucier w/handle in my "roaster" oven. Width, height, and depth all matter for that one.

                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                          Hi Ray,

                                                                                          <As long as you stay focused, your Breville is perfect>

                                                                                          "Focused"? I don't understand.

                                                                                          I didn't realize you have two Oster ovens. You only linked one, I presumed that was the only one you had. With your limited counter space, why two ovens? Your range has one, yes?

                                                                                          Duffy

                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                            Hi Duffy,

                                                                                            See picture. I just have a "toaster" and a "roaster." I don't have or need a big oven.

                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                             
                                                                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                      Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                      My point with Ray was disagreeing that less conductive materials do better in the oven and with the blanket statement that that's why people bake with stoneware and glass.

                                                                                      Professional bakers tend to use high-conductivity metals. One could debate the reasons for this, but I think it's pretty clear that if they could improve their preps by using glass or stoneware, they would.

                                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                        I agree, K. When I wrote:

                                                                                        "I'd say that stoneware works better in the oven, too, considering that my clad cookware has long handles, forcing me to place it well to the back and side of the oven. "

                                                                                        I was specifically referring to long-handled pans. I don't have an opinion on the baking abilities of conductive vs nonconductive pans. I don't bake enough (cookies, cupcakes and brownies about 4-5 times a year) to have a preference. My "baking" is pasta dishes and the like. Even that isn't very often.

                                                                                        D

                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          There are many reasons why particular cookware is used in a professional setting, and optimizing the result isn't always one of them. One the one hand, the quality of heat source(s) in professional kitchens mitigate some of the advantages of specialized cookware. And durability is of much greater concern in an industrial setting. A pro chef/baker will work out kinks with timing and temperature to achieve a consistent result in a way that the home cook likely won't bother with. You can't compare a situation in which a home cook bakes a pie once or twice a month, to a kitchen that might pump out a hundred per day.

                                                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                                                            Hi, Ray: "You can't compare a situation in which a home cook bakes a pie once or twice a month, to a kitchen that might pump out a hundred per day."

                                                                                            Sure I can. When it comes to artisanal bakeries and bakers, the comparison is apt. If such pro bakers aren't favoring low-conductivity bakeware, that's a pretty good indication the pros don't get better results with it.

                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                              I agree with you in that I would say that pro bakers are working under conditions where the conductivity of the cookware may not be a significant consideration. Certain baked good benefit from high conductivity. Overall the quality of the oven(s) plays a much greater role in the results.

                                                                                              As I have mentioned with range variation, the higher quality the heat source, the less important slight gradations in conductivity are. As you have mentioned regarding CI, the oven already has an equalizing affect relative to the stovetop.

                                                                                              If the cooking differences in a professional kitchen are negligible, other considerations come into play. everything has to be cleaned and used the next day (or the SAME day). In other words, efficiency and durability become much more important.

                                                                            2. re: drrayeye

                                                                              Hi Ray,

                                                                              A lot of what you've written went right over my head, but I think I've grasped your point. I know that my pure steel pans, whether super-thin stir fry pan, slightly thicker wok or my much thicker carbon steel pans, do get hot faster than anything else.

                                                                              They don't tend to heat out to the rim, though, not quickly, as you noted. My question is, once thoroughly heated, do they respond quickly to changes? I would think their thermal mass (except the woks) would make them resist downward heat changes.

                                                                              And that's what's so important to me. When cooking chicken and a pan sauce, I need a quick change from sauté temps to lower temperature for my sauce, so liquid doesn't all evaporate. That's one of the things I couldn't do with my radiant range.

                                                                              I think what I'm asking is, if I had an ECI skillet that I let warm gradually, then brought up to a nice sauté temp, would it cool down quickly for my pan sauce? Everything I've read says no. That's how I've always defined "response", so maybe I don't understand what response means.

                                                                              Duffy

                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                Hi Duffy,

                                                                                Your ECI skillets should respond well enough to small changes, especially upward. They might even compensate for the inevitable overshoot of the induction unit, rising to the correct temperature. But, as you already know, they will retain the heat, dropping slowly in temperature--too slowly for your delicate sauces.

                                                                                The classic answer: remove the chicken, add fluids and slosh around to bring temperature down fast, reduce, add the chicken back in.

                                                                                No?

                                                                                Ray

                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                  Hi Ray,

                                                                                  <The classic answer: remove the chicken, add fluids and slosh around to bring temperature down fast, reduce, add the chicken back in.>

                                                                                  I had many a sauce reduce to virtually nothing trying this technique. That was with clad stainless on a radiant electric cooktop. That extremely hot glass kept pouring heat into the pan. This hasn't happened with my induction cooktop where the glass is much cooler. That's why I question the responsiveness of CI. When people talk about it's heat retention, and general lack of responsiveness on gas, I can't see how it will perform better on induction.

                                                                                  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with CI, just that I can't quite see how it can be more responsive on induction than on gas.

                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                    With induction, the heating process stops instantly at the burner level. With electric and gas, the heat dissipates much more slowly. With the same pan, induction will always be more responsive than gas or electric.

                                                                                    Of course, with gas, one uses different pans--and then gas can be more responsive overall. The obvious advantage is induction over electric--as you've experienced.

                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                      With gas the heating process also stops instantly at the burner level. Turn off the gas and you have eliminated the heat source. All that is left is the cast iron grates that support your pots and pans, they don't have enough surface area to really transfer much heat. So now it's whatever heat is in the pan, and CI hold heat much longer because of the thermal mass and poor conductivity.

                                                                                      1. re: mikie

                                                                                        Hi Mikie,

                                                                                        Yes and no. They're not the same, for sure. With induction it's an on/off pulse, whether it's 10 degrees or 100 degrees. Gas heat only (mostly) stops when the gas is turned completely off, leaving the heated support members and the pilot to produce direct and indirect heat transfer. Otherwise, it's still on and temperature change is non linear at the source. Induction can be totally predictable with good software.

                                                                                        Gas vs. induction=analog vs. digital.

                                                                                        Great cast iron or cladded magnetism can produce incredible short term control for smaller changes with induction, but not larger changes--the pan/pot will retain heat. Gas can get quicker responses to bigger drops in temperature at the source--even if one doesn't know exactly what that resulting temperature might be.

                                                                                        drrayeye

                                                                                      2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                        Hi, Ray: "With induction, the heating process stops instantly at the burner level."

                                                                                        First off, it does not stop instantly. There is residual heat both in and under the pan. The more accurate statement would be that the induction hob itself is no longer adding heat.

                                                                                        Second, the same can be said for gas, with the proviso that greater heat usually resides in the spider/grate than in an induction top's ceran. But the extinguished gas hob is not adding more heat than is the de-energized induction coil. So on for radiant and coil electric--the only differences are the amounts of stored heat.

                                                                                        Finally, the heating process stops "instantly" on all hobs--by simply moving the pan. My 1905 wood/coal stove is more downwardly responsive by moving the pan than is pushing buttons on an induction hob. Upward *responsiveness* is damn quick, too, simply by moving cookware. In my book, all it seems to lack is high-end power.

                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                          Kaleo,

                                                                                          If you want to quibble, OK, but the residual heat left from gas (however quantified) is much more than induction. That difference can be more than made up in gas with a responsive pan.

                                                                                          The other comparison is trickier: small to medium decrease in temperature. For such decreases, induction is spectacular (the Vollrath wheel) and measurable (digital), whereas gas is great if you get it right (analog). For an artist like you, gas is perfect!

                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                            Hi, Ray:

                                                                                            It's more than just a quibble. There are uncritically-thinking people who believe that whatever's cooked on induction instantly changes temperature whenever a button is pressed.

                                                                                            I agree with you that the difference can be more than made up by using the right combination of gas and conductive pan.

                                                                                            "The other comparison is trickier: small to medium decrease in temperature."

                                                                                            I'm not sure there's a huge difference here, either. Admittedly, a gas hob is not going to allow the user to turn a setting down from exactly 60 to exactly 59, but that's not really the way most chefs or homebodies cook anyway (and it's not the way the vast majority of induction hobs are set up, BTW). Whatever the hob, most cooks apply their experience, and judge the heat by things *other* than the indicated setting.

                                                                                            Have you ever cooked on a solid-fuel range? These have no "settings" whatsoever, yet they are infinitely adjustable (and responsive). You simply move the pan from one temperature zone to another.

                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                              Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                              it is a quibble. If we just consider an individual burner/hob, induction is a software system that works magnetically through the pan, versus a knob that distributes fuel under variable pressure to be burned. The surface of the induction plate gradually warms, but but it is the pan itself that mostly gets hot. At any moment in time, if they both were turned off, the gas hob would be noticeably hotter. They are not the same at that point. The compensation is that gas can be paired with copper pans that can cool down faster than enameled cast iron with induction over extreme ranges.

                                                                                              Over smaller ranges of temperature, there are two big advantages for induction: near instantaneous incredibly accurate temperature changes tracked in a fully magnetic pot (settings typically controlled continuously on a wheel), and digital, linear control. The analog responses of parsing gas may lack sensitivity at absolutely critical points, and can't be easily kept track of or communicated for future quality control.

                                                                                              It's hard to upgrade gas hobs beyond a certain point, but induction can use multiple rings in an individual hob controlled by complex computer systems.
                                                                                              Such hobs deliver a whole new level of temperature control for the professional high end chef.

                                                                                              For me, in my empty nester mini kitchen, my Vollrath Cadet, with 20 induction levels and one ring for mostly 8"-10" pots and pans is already more than I can handle properly as a cook.

                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                Hi, Ray:

                                                                                                With respect, I reject your analog/digital distinction as being one without a meaningful difference. One could (if one wanted to overcomplicate the modality), impose a burden of digital sensors and controls on gas hobs, but that would not make the delivery of combusting gas any less "analog".

                                                                                                However, I do agree that, in general, induction hobs tend to store far less heat in the (to borrow from your questionable analogy) the "peripherals" than do gas hobs.

                                                                                                I have had the mis/fortune to have had very heavy cast iron grates/spiders on some gas ranges, and also very thin-gauge steel grates on others. Based on my experiences with these and with induction, IME/O, there are greater retained heat differences *between* heavy- and light-grated gas hobs than there are between the light-grated gas and Ceran/induction.

                                                                                                As far as I know, no one has done systematic tests quantifying the differences between a very hot gas spider (which only contacts the pan in a very small area) versus a continuous sheet of warm-to-hot glass which contacts the pan over its entire base. Someone should do that!

                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                  Hi Kaleo and Ray,

                                                                                                  I always thought gas grates, even cast iron ones, would provide less resistance to a cooling pan than the glass on my induction stove. But to be fair, I hadn't cooked on gas for 3 years prior to to installing my induction range, so my memory of gas cooking may be faulty. It does seem to me, though, that my pans don't cool quite as quickly as they did on gas. It feels like a very, very small difference, maybe a 2 second lag behind gas, and I could be wrong, but that's my impression.

                                                                                                  My practical experience with a consumer line 4-burner induction range is that there is damned little difference in the everyday experience between gas and induction. This week I even successfully used my round-bottom wok on my induction range, using an upside-down wok ring to stabilize it. That was pretty cool, just about cementing the analogy for me.

                                                          2. re: zackly

                                                            I've got to chime in and say that no matter how often it's done, I think that asking for cash is just tacky. It really is. I know that a lot of people are asking for cash now, but it always feels icky to me.

                                                            As for All-Clad at WS, well, who says guests can't buy it off eBay or Amazon? Or with a 20% off coupon at BB&B?

                                                            On the quality issue, Cuisinart and Tramontina are decent, but A-C is really good. Having recently switched to thicker clad cookware, I've found that aluminum (or copper) matters, and the more, the better. In that respect, AC's closest competitor is Zwilling/Henckels TruClad and Spirit, or Vollrath Tribute on the commercial end. The other common brands just aren't quite in the same class, IME.

                                                            The same goes for Lodge and other reasonably priced ECI. Look at reviews. Staub and LC seem much less prone to chipping and cracking. Are they better? Undoubtedly. Are they worth the premium? That's a judgement call. Last year's foray into "bargain" ECI ($60 DO from Sams or Costco) sported a pinhole in the floor enamel after just one use. I'm now a quality shopper first, price second.

                                                            As always, opinions vary. This is just my experience.

                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                              duffy, You and my wife. When we were married I wanted to include checking account deposit slips in our wedding invitations but I was overruled.As far as cookware, I own them all, several All-Clad pieces as well as LC. They are fine cookware and maybe work SLIGHTLY better than the knockoffs but not worth the 2/3/4 times the price of the generics. I think foodies buy these brands as much for the cachet as for their function. It makes them "serious" cooks, I guess.. As for the OP, assuming they don't have an unlimited budget, they'd get tremendously more bang for their buck following my suggestions. They would have 100's of dollars left over for other kitchen niceties like a stand mixer, food processor, sous vide immersion circulator, etc. Williams Sonoma's pricing is obscene, IMHO.

                                                              1. re: zackly

                                                                that's hilarious. the future Mr. PChow would love this idea... i'm going to have to tell him!

                                                                and as i mentioned to Sigurd below, it's up to guests - they may agree with you and choose to not buy any cookware. if that happens, i'll be scouring the internet, restaurant supplies, etc for better deals on things (and looking at other brands, too). but for a registry, it keeps it simple to have it all in one place. i picked the AC because 1) i've heard great things, and 2) despite the price, it's actually mid-priced compared to like a Demeyere, Mauviel, or de Buyer (a $500 frying pan?! WHAT?!)

                                                                1. re: poochiechow

                                                                  First, congratulations on your impending nuptials! AC and LC are great but pricey and I'm not a fan of WS. I would supplement you AC with some inexpensive non-stick using the latest generation Teflon that doesn't contain PFOA. I cook everyday 2-3 meals and I use my Teflon coated aluminum 10X more that I use my multi clad stuff. I prefer the quick heat transfer and easy clean up that the non-stick offers.

                                                                2. re: zackly

                                                                  Hey zackly,

                                                                  Checkbook deposit slips? Too funny. You crack me up.

                                                                  Your wife is clearly a very wise woman.

                                                                  1. re: zackly

                                                                    "When we were married I wanted to include checking account deposit slips in our wedding invitations . . . "

                                                                    And she married you anyway? Wow!

                                                                  2. re: DuffyH

                                                                    My LC is not for the cachet ... after wearing out (or in one case ruining by scorching) every pot and pan I started off with, my goal was to buy highly functional things one at a time that will last the rest of my life. I don't mind paying for whatever it is ... but if it was presented as an investment item and doesn't live up to the billing, that is where I become irritated. Not at the price.

                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                      Duffy, I couldn't agree with you more on every count.

                                                                      Had a relative ask for cash, didn't happen, hand made end grian cutting board (my hands) and a beautiful Japanese knife. The gift was a bit late (my fault) but when they got it, they really appreciated it. Everyone has to eat and not everyone can afford to eat out every night, so they wanted a good knife by the time they received their gift.

                                                                      As far as clad cookware is concerned, I'm sure a $15 pan will work just fine, saw some heavy duty aluminum last night in the restaurant supply, I'm sure it works great. Just isn't what I would want. Cookware, knives, tableware, they're all a bit personal to some extent. If you don't mind the handles of All Clad, it's great cookware and not that expensive as long as you don't compare it to made in China brands. I have socio/political issues and don't purchase made in China where possible.

                                                                      Enameled Cast Iron, same deal, they all work just fine until they chip. Staub and LC, although they can chip are less prone to do so. I'm sure some people can cook just fine with a chip, I'm not one of those people.

                                                                      I'm a believer in buy quality and buy once.

                                                                      As for Williams Sonoma, they have sales like everyone else, got a great deal on that Japanese knife there. The internet keeps them honest and if we had to rely on Amazon for everything, where would you go to actually handle the pots and pans you want to purchase, so I cut them a little slack.

                                                                      1. re: mikie

                                                                        Very true ... I really appreciate a brick-and-mortar store, and right in my neighborhood too. I have to drive quite a way to get to a SLT. I have bought LC from W-S as well as the LC outlet (first quality), and what I paid really wasn't that different. Especially considering the recent improvements LC has made, it's so worth it to get the new stuff IMO, and most of what the outlet has isn't (or at least that was true on my last visit in 2013).

                                                                        You also make a good point about All-Clad handles. I have one piece, and really dislike the handle. OTOH, the Lagostina handle is the best designed, most beautiful, most comfortable one I have. I want more pieces, I just haven't convinced myself I need anything else.

                                                                        1. re: mikie

                                                                          what a lovely gift! i'd be so pleased with something like that.

                                                                          and yes, for people who have noted in this thread that WS is expensive - sign up for their email list. you'll get something nearly every single day about some crazy sale they're having. (then again, maybe wait until you want something from there, because they do send a ton of emails.)

                                                                          1. re: poochiechow

                                                                            <and yes, for people who have noted in this thread that WS is expensive - sign up for their email list.>

                                                                            I always thought WS was expensive, too. But poochichow is right. I've been checking these last few days. WS pricing is exactly the same as BB&B or Cutlery & More and others online. And like BB&B, they've always got a sale or coupon to use.

                                                                            Makes me see them in a new light.

                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                              yep. i noted earlier that i had done a price comparison between BB&B, SLT, and WS before registering, because obviously i wanted to make sure we weren't price gouging guests - and they were all the same.

                                                                              i wonder if prices are set by manufacturers rather than the stores.

                                                                              1. re: poochiechow

                                                                                LeCreuset, All Clad, and several other manufacturers set prices for their products.

                                                                                1. re: poochiechow

                                                                                  We registered for (and received :) ) many of the items you've mentioned. Guests bought us All-Clad from macy's & W-S and bought us le creuset from BB&B, sur la table, WS, & amazon. Of all of those stores, WS has been the best with me. If I need to return or exchange, I go to the same store- they gave me my completion discount before we were even married and let me combine that with their in-store only sales so I end up getting many items for less than I've been able to find them elsewhere (that seem to happen at that store all the time for all-clad especially).

                                                                                  After much deliberating & exchanging while figuring out what works: we have a 2 qt D5 sauce pan, 4 qt d5 soup pot, larger tri ply stock pots (8 & 12 qts), 2 french skillets (basically fry pans, but much cheaper), & the 2 essential pans.

                                                                                  I LOVE the essential pans. The larger one is 6 qts & absolutely perfect for browning a good amount of meat and adding tons of sauce or cooked pasta to it.

                                                                                  1. re: Shkra11

                                                                                    Congratulations,

                                                                                    You've made a great start--and some great choices--especially W-S. You'll appreciate their great taste, gentle guidance, and support long after you forget how much you've paid.

                                                                                    drrayeye

                                                                                    1. re: Shkra11

                                                                                      Hi Shkra,

                                                                                      <I LOVE the essential pans. The larger one is 6 qts & absolutely perfect for browning a good amount of meat and adding tons of sauce or cooked pasta to it.>

                                                                                      I'm finding that a lot of use for my sauciers and my deep skillet/braiser, which are very much the same shape as the A-C essential pans. Along with my sauté pans, they've proven to be very versatile.

                                                                                      I use them exactly as you describe.

                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                        I might be messier and tend to look for a bargain? I need a lil more depth- the 6qt saute pan is 2 3/4 in. high and $350 while the 6 qt essential pan is only $199.95 and 6 in. tall (I'm guessing at deepest point). Just depends on your wallet and what depth you want.

                                                                                        When I was unsure between pots/pans, I tried to figure out which ones would give us the most bang for our buck. So if a pan would fill the same purpose, but was cheaper, I went for it. (within the same material, brand, line, etc.)

                                                                                        1. re: Shkra11

                                                                                          I was agreeing with your choices. I only meant that I really like both the sauté AND the saucier shapes about equally. For me, they're more and more taking the place of frypans and saucepans, respectively.

                                                                                          The essential pan isn't really a replacement for a frying pan (not enough floor space), any more than the sauté pan is a replacement for a saucepan (not enough depth).

                                                                                          Duffy :-)

                                                                          2. re: zackly

                                                                            LC vs Lodge is debatable. LC has vastly fewer reports of chipping, and is made in France, whereas Lodge enameled stuff is made in China, with the risks that that entails.

                                                                            In fact, my only piece of Lodge enamel came with a small chip, whereas my several pieces of LC and Staub are all chip-free save for one Staub handle which was bashed against the sink accidentally.

                                                                            1. re: Sirrith

                                                                              My thinking on this has always been that the cost to manufacture a piece of enameled cast iron is minimal compared to the sell price. Why would manufactures competing with LC not put a sturdy finish on them? None of my enameled cast iron has ever chipped although I have mostly LC because I bought them many years ago when I didn't know any better.

                                                                              1. re: zackly

                                                                                I have no concrete answers of course, but my first guess as to why they don't put as sturdy a finish is price. Why else would they be able to sell for so much cheaper, other than lower quality materials/processes?

                                                                                1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                  The cost of the best enameling job versus the worst is probably pennies per piece not dollars.

                                                                                  1. re: zackly

                                                                                    Which makes me wonder why they're not stepping up their game. Skilled labor costs? Better equipment? Proprietary enamel that they can't match? Lack of interest?

                                                                                    It's got to be something.

                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                      Exactly. If it really was that cheap and/or easy to make top quality enamel, then all the made in China ECI cookware should have it, but everything seems to indicate that they don't (just compare reviews on Amazon as one example, to see what proportion of LC/Staub have problems with chipping vs the cheaper competition).

                                                                                      1. re: Sirrith

                                                                                        Made in China use to indicate lower quality just like Made in Japan did in my youth. Today, however, many of their products are made in state of the art production facilities. Politics aside, I wouldn't dismiss Chinese goods out of hand.

                                                                                        1. re: zackly

                                                                                          <Politics aside, I wouldn't dismiss Chinese goods out of hand.>

                                                                                          Now would I, zackly. It seems to me that Lodge and Tramontina have higher QC standards than most of the other MiC wares. Again, look at reviews for lines like Denby and most of the CelebWare.

                                                                                          What it comes down to for ECI is that we've two choices*, France and China. For whatever reason, Staub and LC have it all over the other guys. Fontignac, Staub's budget line (French-made), doesn't get the love either, with enamel being the target of the displeasure.

                                                                                          *Plus a few outliers like Dansk Kobenstyle (Thailand).

                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                            That's a lot of money for a better paint job.

                                                                                            1. re: zackly

                                                                                              It may be, but when the paint job fails on the floor of the pot, you've got yourself a planter. Or a pot that's half ECI, half bare cast iron. What a joy that would be. When premium pricing translates into durability, it is often worth it.

                                                                                              In our youth, we bought a cheap sofa for a couple hundred dollars. Five years later the frame was all wobbly and there were little places where seams were opening, threads unraveling. I'm in year 10 of my Ethan Allen sofas, and just had the cushion foam replaced by a local shop. The frames are rock solid, the rest of it is still perfect, no seams coming loose, etc... Worth it? I think so.

                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                I'm all for buying quality too but your argument is a specious one in this case, IMHO. I looked @ the Amazon reviews and yes, there are more negative reviews for the Lodge but almost 80% people give them five stars. The chipping issue is overblown.
                                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-EC6D43-En...

                                                                                                Look at the price difference!

                                                                                                http://www.amazon.com/Le-Creuset-Enam...

                                                                                                Sacré bleu! The French are screwing us!

                                                                                                1. re: zackly

                                                                                                  Hi zackly,

                                                                                                  Yes, and almost 90% of reviewers give Le Creuset 5 stars. It's almost 100% for Staub. I don't recall saying that Lodge aren't any good. Just that they do seem to be more prone to chipping than LC and Staub.

                                                                                                  You can say it's overblown, or that it's not worth the premium to buy LC or Staub. That's fine, and I don't say you're wrong.

                                                                                                  I say that's a judgement call for each cook to make.

                                                                                                  Peace.

                                                                                                  1. re: zackly

                                                                                                    They're not screwing me ...

                                                                                                    I suspect those stars have more to do with the condition the ECI arrives in, rather than how it holds up over decades of steady use. I'm not sure the stars mean much at all ...

                                                                                                    1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                      You're right, foiegras, those stars are often indicative only of original condition, sometimes not even that. I've seen 5-star "reviews" from people who write nonsense like "I just ordered this and I'm sure I'll love it!" So helpful, thank you for wasting my time.

                                                                                                      On the other end are the 1-star "reviews" from people who would never buy the item, but wanted to take the time to tell us all why we shouldn't either.

                                                                                                      It does help to search reviews on Amazon to look for people who've had an item awhile, especially when the reviews number in the hundreds or thousands. I like to use words like "owned" or "year/s". For ECI, I might look at "finish", "Chipping/ed" and the like. Sometimes I search in brand names of a similar product, looking for people who compare them. Those can be helpful.

                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                            2. re: zackly

                                                                                              I most certainly don't dismiss made in China goods, and yes, there are plenty of very high quality items coming out of there nowadays. However, those high quality goods do not generally come at a substantially lower price than the competition as they do with ECI, and for me, the impression I'm still getting is that their ECI in particular is lower quality than the French versions.

                                                                                              Furthermore, if you look more closely at the reviews on the Lodge, you'll see several positive reviews which mention chipping. So one cannot simply count up the negative reviews. In comparison, you'll find that not many of the LC or Staub reviews specifically mention chipping at all. But I appreciate this is a very time-consuming effort. I just did it when I was deciding whether or not it was worth buying the LC over the Lodge.

                                                                                              In the end, like Duffy says, each has to make up his or her own mind about whether it is worth paying more or not. For me, it is worth it for items I know I will use often. For items I won't use as much e.g. my grill press, I went with the cheaper Lodge which, as I mentioned already, is already chipped out of the box, not giving a great first impression.

                                                                              2. Wedding registries are very inefficient. Something more like a kickstarter where you get some money to negotiate a better deal. or prioritize, might stretch your wedding benefit.

                                                                                Could your best man gather the loot and you look for a bargoon?

                                                                                I also think there are numerous choices cheaper than All Clad, if the money is tight. You might list the costs of the All-clad as inspiration, but buy something more cost efficient in the end.

                                                                                Registries do work for numerous expensive items though. Its your call.

                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Sigurd

                                                                                  see response above to zackly... and we figured now is the time to ask for nice things - it's up to guests whether they're willing to buy them. if they're not, i may very well be back here asking which cheaper brands i should look for to buy myself :)

                                                                                  1. re: poochiechow

                                                                                    The registry is all about the "where" not the "what." Find a place that sells the things you would most want to have, either in store or online. Register for items at price points you think people will be happy to spend on you. Then exchange it for the even nicer stuff that you really want. Nobody cares. They want you to have what you want. In the end, don't be afraid to end up with fewer items of higher quality, and then add pieces one at a time over the years.

                                                                                      1. re: randallhank

                                                                                        Actually, I do care. I want to give a gift that will be used for many years ... it's not just a money-laundering scheme.

                                                                                        1. re: foiegras

                                                                                          i meant good advice to the adding things over time, rather than stocking up now on items of lower quality. i would think most guests would dislike this as well, even if they're just picking something off a list. the ones who truly don't care would go with cash or a gift card.

                                                                                          1. re: poochiechow

                                                                                            Hi Poochiechow,

                                                                                            Great thread! Since I consider W-S my "home" store, I obviously think it is a great store to have for registries. W-S is terrific at exchanging things, working with you, cooking classes/demos, and they have so many exclusives of real value to capture your attention, they can help you establish a standard for quality in your mind. For your registry, don't forget to include cooks tools (they have an exclusive W-S All Clad cook tools collection with a stainless steel cannister--compare carefully), cutting board, mixing bowls, casseroles, glasses, sets of dishes, roasting pans, Shun knives(if you're not superstitious. Then there are teapots, aprons, pot holders, small appliances--etc. etc. etc.

                                                                                            I just started over, acquiring a new collection around empty nester induction cooking. I started with two All Clad d5 10" pans (one nonstick, one w/lid). I intended to also start with a two quart sauce pan (I had a few old ones still around), but I was unwilling to pay more than $100 for a two qt. I eventually bought a really beautiful 2 1/2 qt. Dansk Kobenstyle tri clad SS--for it's vintage fame. When I then went to get a 1 1/2 qt. d5 to get back on track, I was captured by the W-S thermo clad (made in Italy)--they also have a great 3 qt. which I haven't bought yet

                                                                                            I learned to love each pan that I bought by using it all the time for awhile, until I "needed" another one. Careful, it's a disease--and it will never go away.

                                                                                            My passion has shifted to enameled cast iron--first LC, then Staub as I got more knowledgeable (a common progression). As I identify new cooking challenges, I tie them to new pots, pans, Tajines--or whatever. The idea is to have fun.

                                                                                            After you bring back what doesn't work for you yet (following the wedding), I'd encourage you to continue acquiring a minimal core of high end pots and pans, then buy what suits your fancy as your interests change.

                                                                                          2. re: foiegras

                                                                                            Yes, it sort of is. This is not like a birthday gift, or something you bring home from a foreign country for a friend, or a gift you get a lover to show him/her how much you love them. A wedding gift is basically meant as a transfer of resources to the new couple. While it is considered bad form, by some, to give cash, the function of a wedding gift bought off a registry is to buy something that the couple needs for the new home they are creating together. Once the gift is given, IMHO, the giver should not care what eventually becomes of it. Now, if you aren't using the registry and want to buy something unique that's a different story. But most people find that to be in poor form as well if a registry exists. The couple's memory is usually of the original gift given, and as far as thought goes, that's the thought the couple has, even if the object in their home ends up being something different. People register for all sorts of things, many of which eventually break, are replaced or disappear for one reason or another. If, for instance, someone registers for a vacuum cleaner and I buy it for them, I hope the marriage lasts longer than the vacuum. If at any point they find one they think will last longer, I hope they get it! I suppose your issue is with intent, but once one considers the function of a wedding gift, only the intent of the giver is relevant.

                                                                                            1. re: randallhank

                                                                                              Hi randallhank,

                                                                                              <The couple's memory is usually of the original gift given, and as far as thought goes, that's the thought the couple has, even if the object in their home ends up being something different.>

                                                                                              I think you're right about this. That's my experience, anyway, and that of most people I know. But still...

                                                                                              I believe the intent of the recipient is relevant, too. No one likes a bait and switch. I would be put off by a couple who asked people for Xs only so they could pool them and buy the more expensive Y they really want. If I found out I was used this way, I'd be pretty unhappy.

                                                                                              IMO pookiechow and her fiancé are acting in very good faith.

                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                I agree--I like that they are making a list based on what they think is reasonably priced and they'll really use.

                                                                                                Wedding gifts are not poker chips. There is no substitute for remembering the giver of a gift still in use decades later.

                                                                                                When I pick up the tab for a meal and someone says, Oh, I wish I'd known you were doing that, I'd have ordered something more expensive ... well, that is someone whose registry I may not want to use. When I'm asked what I want and I give a specific answer, it is something I would spring for myself ... it passes my own cost-benefit analysis.

                                                                                                Now I realize that some couples who are registering have starter salaries to match their starter jobs. If that's the only reason they wouldn't buy something themselves, I have no problem with that.

                                                                                                1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                  Don't you remember the wedding scene in the movie Goodfellas when they were passing around the satin wedding purse? Only ca$h money was accepted. Nobody tried to stuff a juicer or a home reflexology kit in there. Cash is always the most appropriate wedding gift, IMHO. Nobody doesn't like cash.

                                                                                                  1. re: zackly

                                                                                                    I totally forgot that I was going to ask myself, What would Goodfellas do? in each and every situation. Thanks for the reminder.

                                                                                                        1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                          or better yet
                                                                                                          what would Tony Soprano do?

                                                                                                          1. re: zackly

                                                                                                            <or better yet
                                                                                                            what would Tony Soprano do?>

                                                                                                            Wait! Wait! Don't tell me! I'm just now streaming The Sopranos on Amazon Prime.

                                                                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                        Really? You think the linens, sheets and towels people register for are still in use decades later? My wife and I had a queen size bed when we got married, now we have a king. We do still have the sheets (and ironically they are probably in better shape because we rarely use them), but we never sleep on them. On the other hand we've only been married six years and our regular towels are starting to fade. We lived in the suburbs back then, later moved to New York City and had to downsize. Now we are back in the suburbs. Our needs have changed along the way. Aside from the china, glassware and silver I say anything is fair game for a return.

                                                                                                        1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                          Hi randallhank,

                                                                                                          You said it yourself, needs change. No one expects a gift to be kept forever, no matter what. You did the accepted, expected thing.

                                                                                                          Or, if a couple decides a few months in that they don't really use or need X, then sure, trade it for Y. The last thing anyone wants is for their gift to sit unused. I'd be happy to have "my" underutilized skillet traded in for the blender they didn't get. Or the monogrammed pet bed for Rover.

                                                                                                          Those examples are a far cry from lowballing your registry with an eye towards an immediate upgrade. That's just tacky.

                                                                                          3. i have built my cookware collection slowly over the years. Mostly, i've been using the pieces of Le Creuset i've acquired piece by piece along the way. of the Le Creuset, I own:
                                                                                            - a 7 quart oval French oven
                                                                                            - a 5 quart oval French oven
                                                                                            - 5 quart round French oven
                                                                                            - 5 quart braiser
                                                                                            - 2 LC skillets (black interior) 9 " and 11.75"
                                                                                            These are my staples. After many years of contemplating and researching, I just recently replaced the rest of my cookware with some Cuisinart pieces -- the multi clad French Classic stainless (10 piece set from Amazon) and some cuisinart nonstick -- 7 inch skillet, 1.5 quart and 3 quart nonstick saucepans.

                                                                                            I feel like my collection is now quite complete. It might be overkill for some, but I do cook quite a bit. I've not yet adequately field tested the Cuisinart French Classic multi clad, but after researching, i decided it was a fair substitute for All Clad at a fraction of the price. Note: i specifically chose the French Classic multi clad vs the other multi clad lines from Cuisinart. apparently the quality of the French-made piece is better than the other lines, which are now made in China.

                                                                                            1. I subscribe to the Cooks Illustrated philosophy of:

                                                                                              1. Maximizing versatility with the fewest number of pots that can do the widest range of cooking applications
                                                                                              2. Not being afraid to pay higher prices for pans that will last a lifetime (or two)
                                                                                              3. Paying as little as possible for quality cookware with a limited lifespan (like all non-stick skillets)
                                                                                              4. Pre-fab sets often include pans of awkward sizes or shapes that you don't really need, so stick with assembling your own a la carte set.

                                                                                              CI has done evaluations of the d5 line and have determined that there is no significant benefit to paying the higher price for 5-ply. Stick with the All-Clad tri-ply, and save yourself some money in the process.

                                                                                              In addition to these, I have supplemented my set with a 10" skillet (Instad of All-Clad, I went with Tramontina's Chinese-made, and therefore less expensive tri-ply, because I use the 10" skillet a lot less. But CI's quality tests have shown Tramontina to be on par with All-Clad in terms of durability and quality). I also have a 10" version of the T-Fal nonstick. Lastly, I splurged on a total monotasker-- the Pot Shop of Boston/Julia Child 8" omelet pan. Got an older one on Ebay for about $60.

                                                                                              Also, note that all of these pots can be bought for significantly less. You can buy All-Clad seconds for significant discounts at their online outlet store. They usually run an additional 30% off sale around October, so I'd get on their mailing list. http://www.cookwarenmore.com/

                                                                                              I got my 7.25 qt Le Creuset at an outlet store, during a seconds sale and got it for an out-the-door price of about $135.

                                                                                              Lastly, notice the lack of a saute pan or saucier (like a fry pan but with tall, straight sides instead of low, flared edges). I find that pan unnecessary, as it is a bit too specialized. I have yet to encounter something that I actually needed a saute pan for-- it seems I can accomplish anything I'd do in a saute pan with either my 12" skillet or with my 4 qt saucepan.

                                                                                              Without further ado, here is CI's thoroughly vetted and incredibly wonderful, versatile, a la carte cookware set:

                                                                                              1. All-Clad Stainless Steel 12-Inch Fry Pan
                                                                                              Price:$134.95 This roomy skillet can cook a family-sized meal. The traditional finish allows food to stick, developing the crusty brown bits of fond that contribute flavor.

                                                                                              2. All-Clad Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan (with lid
                                                                                              )Price: $184.95 For even cooking, we prefer saucepans made of stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core in a style of construction known as "tri-ply." A 4-quart saucepan is just the right size for making rice or blanching vegetables.

                                                                                              3. All-Clad Stainless Steel 2-Quart Saucepan (with lid)
                                                                                              Price:$139.95 For even cooking, we prefer saucepans made of stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core in a style of construction known as "tri-ply." A 2-quart saucepan is good for smaller jobs like heating milk or melting butter. For a cheaper alternative, consider nonstick. Best Buy Alternative: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 2 1/2-Quart Shallow Saucepan ($39.95)

                                                                                              4. T-Fal Professional Total Nonstick Fry Pan, 12.5 inches
                                                                                              Price:$34.99 This pan had the slickest, most durable nonstick coating, releasing perfectly throughout testing. It is well proportioned, with a comfy handle and generous cooking surface.

                                                                                              5. Lodge 12" Cast Iron Skillet
                                                                                              Price:$33.95 Nothing tops cast iron when it comes to creating a flavorful, deeply browned crust on steaks and other foods.

                                                                                              6. Le Creuset 7 1/4-Quart Round French Oven (with lid)
                                                                                              Price:$269.95 This incredibly versatile Dutch oven made of enameled cast iron is ideal for soups, stews, stocks, braises-even frying and baking. Best Buy Alternative: Tramontina 6 1/2-Quart Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($44.97)

                                                                                              7. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel 12-Quart Stockpot (with lid)
                                                                                              Price:$69.95 Lighter than a Dutch oven, a 12-quart stockpot is used mainly for boiling water for pasta, corn, and lobster. This brand's inexpensive price tag is just right for a pot with limited use.

                                                                                              8. Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Rack
                                                                                              Price:$119.95 Don't buy nonstick; the dark finish camouflages the crusty brown bits you need to make gravy for roasted meats. This pan's gently flared shape makes stirring and deglazing easy.

                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                              125 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                Hi Mr Taster,

                                                                                                <CI has done evaluations of the d5 line and have determined that there is no significant benefit to paying the higher price for 5-ply. Stick with the All-Clad tri-ply, and save yourself some money in the process.>

                                                                                                Although I personally see no benefit to the extra layer of steel in the d5 line, I can't recall the CI comparison you mention. I just searched the website and only found one reference to the d5 line, in the grill pan reviews, where it finished, not surprisingly, dead last. The other pans in the test were cast iron or nonstick and the All-Clad pan had silly low ridges. CI didn't include the A-C classic 3-ply pan in that test, a rare omission.

                                                                                                Can you provide a link to the comparison test? Or an issue number?

                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                  I heard then talk about it on their radio show. A caller had the question, if I recall correctly.

                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                  Hi Mr. Taster,

                                                                                                  I like your three principles a great deal, but you need to be much more specific before identifying your collection. You need to identify the energy source--and the overall types of meals you intend to prepare with your solution.

                                                                                                  When I switched my commitment to an induction stove top and relatively small convection ovens, my selected cookware changed radically, leading me in the direction of a different style of cooking: those "one pot" meals.

                                                                                                  All Clad d5 is a clear benefit for induction cooking for skillets and fry pans, but not for saucepans. Enameled cast iron works great for one pot meals, for steaming (w/insert), and for roasting, w/ and w/o lid. I have two d5 10" fry pans, one 11" Staub crepe pan, 3 tri pli high end saucepans (1 1/2, 2 1/2, and 3 1/2). Using your approach, that could be completed w/dutch ovens from Le Creuset and Staub.

                                                                                                  Not too different, eh?

                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                    I'm curious, how exactly does the d5 work more efficiently on an induction cooktop? This would be a good time for chemicalkinetics to chime in, if he's reading. What's the science behind the theory? Why are two sandwiched layers of aluminum with a stainless core better conductors than one aluminum core?

                                                                                                    I have 2 qt and 4 qt saucepans (All-Clad tri-ply). I use the 4 qt far more than the 2 qt. I also have an incredibly cheap tiny saucepan which my wife bought at a thrift store (she's not the cook in the family), and is used exclusively for melting butter. Since I can melt butter in the microwave, I really don't see the use for it. But she likes it, so it stays.

                                                                                                    I make crepes in my 12" T-Fal Pro nonstick. Really nice even browning on one side (though not as perfect as a dedicated crepe maker would yield), and the other side properly spotty. Crepes release perfectly, though the edges admittedly are rarely even due to the sloping sides of the fry pan. Nobody seems to care, though :) We don't eat crepes enough to warrant a dedicated pan just for that.

                                                                                                    Why do you have two 10" fry pans (as opposed to a 12" and at 10")?

                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                      Hi, Mr. Taster,

                                                                                                      Magnetism is different. SS layers respond, aluminum layers don't. Companies that have taken special interest in induction have gone multi clad. Demeyere has 7 layers; All Clad 5. I think the manufacturers are on to something--but the benefits are not the same for fry pans and sauce pans.

                                                                                                      I have two 10" All Clad d5 fry pans: one is stainless, the other is non stick. They share one lid. I reserve the non stick for eggs, and treat it with great care. I have an 11" enameled cast iron Staub crepe pan with a wooden handle--surprisingly light weight.

                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                        With regard to the non-stick All Clad, it's important to know that no matter how gently you treat the pan, the non-stick coating will eventually lose effectiveness. Heat makes the coating vaporize into the air and into the food, and with it goes the non-stick properties. It's inevitable- and very different from a quality clad pan whose stainless steel surface will last a lifetime. I don't mind paying $130 one time, but to pay $130 every 3-5 years as the coating burns off? That's not an investment I'm personally willing to make. That's why the $30 T-Fal pro pan is great-- it's solid construction with even heat distribution and the cost to replace them every 2-3 years is minimal.

                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                          I won't vouch for All-Clad nonstick coating, but I'm not buying your explanation. PTFE is not a volatile molecule and should not vaporize unless the heat is great enough to break up the molecule, which would be much hotter than recommended for nonstick pans. When nonstick surfaces wear out, it is generally due to abrasion. Careful handling will allow them to last a long time.

                                                                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                            Chris Kimball spoke on the CI radio show of being the guinea pig on an abuse test of nonstick cookware. They overheated a dry nonstick pan over extremely high heat and let it bake for a while. He then he put his head over it and inhaled deeply. He had a screaming headache for several hours afterward (something known as "polymer fume fever".) Though there is no compelling research (yet) to indicate the fumes have long term harmful effects on humans (though they have been shown to kill certain birds), common sense would dictate otherwise.

                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                              Hi, Mr. Taster:

                                                                                                              Kimball was a fool to expose himself in this way. The gaseous and particulate combustion products of PTFE are extremely toxic. He should be tested for C-8 (ammonium perfluorooctanoate).

                                                                                                              It is always claimed that PTFE is safe below 500F, but since pyrolysis is detectable at <400F, as you say, common sense would dictate otherwise.

                                                                                                              Considering the lobbying power of 3M and DuPont, it's not likely any researchers are going to get grants to study the long-term effects of fumes. I would expect, however, for there ultimately to be wrongful death and personal injury claims filed on behalf of firefighters and workers, whose exposures can be documented.

                                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                            AFAIK All-Clad offers a lifetime guarantee of their non-stick coatings. You should be able to get you pan replaced if the surface starts sticking.

                                                                                                            I know this is the case for Calphalon. I've been able to get a number of their pans replaced for shipping cost when the nonstick coating wore out.

                                                                                                          3. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                            Ray:

                                                                                                            Are you claiming that the center steel layer in d5 is being heated, i.e., it is a layer that *itself* responds to the induction field? That is not my understanding of either the purpose or effect of this layer.

                                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                              Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                              I've got a long ways to go before I claim anything. My starting point is the difference in transmission of energy across multiple ss/aluminum layers between induction and other energy sources.

                                                                                                              So far, that's clear as mud.

                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                            2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                              Hi Ray,

                                                                                                              <Companies that have taken special interest in induction have gone multi clad:...>

                                                                                                              Who hasn't taken an interest in induction? I can't think of any cookware companies off the top of my head that haven't added magnetic steel to their bases. And many of them have gone "multi-clad", like Mauviel, USA Pan, Zwilling, all offering 5-ply lines.

                                                                                                              A lot of the aluminum stuff now comes with a magnetic base, too. Some of them are very good, such as Circulon Infinite, which has been around for years. Reviews indicate that this line performs very well on virtually all induction tops.

                                                                                                              Induction is finally gaining some ground here in the US, so companies are marketing to induction owners. It's a new market with a huge upside, as many of us need to purchase all new cookware to replace our older, non-magnetic stuff.

                                                                                                              Duffy

                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                Duffy,

                                                                                                                Yes, the market for induction is getting bigger. I'm sure everyone would like to make a buck. My questions, which no one has answered, are about science: the differences between induction and other energy sources on multiple layers of metal. It involves the work of a relatively small number of applied scientists who might or might not work for companies that produce cookware. I'm not sure that any of their studies will ever see the light of day.

                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                  <It involves the work of a relatively small number of applied scientists who might or might not work for companies that produce cookware.>

                                                                                                                  You've mentioned these scientists before, but IIRC haven't linked to articles about studies being done. Beyond your claim, I wasn't aware anyone was studying the effects of different cladding layers on cookware. Do you have any reason to think these scientists are working for All-Clad or Demeyere? You seem to think these two companies have the inside track on induction cookware.

                                                                                                                  In the end, it doesn't seem kosher to expect anyone here to be able to answer when you haven't provided any information beyond this claim.

                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                    Duffy,

                                                                                                                    It is possible that applied scientists have found ways to tune SS cladded layers to perform better with induction. If so, there are two ways to exploit these discoveries: disclose and file patents, or keep the information confidential and use the discoveries to commercial advantage.

                                                                                                                    All Clad followed the first strategy in the 70's, but found themselves vulnerable when the patents expired. They may be following the second strategy this time.

                                                                                                                    Keep in mind that the original tri pli research was not done in cookware at all, but was done as part of military contracts. If the second strategy is being followed this time, the scientific studies will not be published.

                                                                                                                    All I know, is that the attempts, on this and earlier threads, to rationalize D5 and d7 in terms of mere marketing hype makes no sense to me. There are far easier ways to make a few bucks.

                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                      Hi, Ray:

                                                                                                                      Do the admissions by the company concerning stability and bonding hold any sway with you?

                                                                                                                      Your persistence in thinking there is some kismet with regard to d5's performance on induction has prompted me to inquire directly to All-Clad. I'll pass along anything they share on the subject.

                                                                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                        Thanks, Kaleo,

                                                                                                                        This should be interesting. I'd especially like to see how they distinguish the responsiveness of fry pans to induction among their three lines.

                                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                                        1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                          Hey, Ray, now you're asking a different unclear question. Distinguish responsiveness of fry pans only? Distinguish that *from* what?

                                                                                                                          I will bet you my new Chow shirt (marked XXL, but effective size M) that they would tell me they use exactly the same magnetic alloy on the bottoms of all their induction-compatible lines. But I didn't ask that question; you need to be asking these questions yourself.

                                                                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                                                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                          EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT... ALL-CLAD d5 EXPLAINED!!!

                                                                                                                          From the horse's mouth: "The middle layer of stainless in the D5 line is not induction compatible, it is 18/10 stainless steel."

                                                                                                                          My work here is done.

                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                            <From the horse's mouth: "The middle layer of stainless in the D5 line is not induction compatible, it is 18/10 stainless steel.">

                                                                                                                            And comports precisely with their marketing, which claims it's there for stability. Which has nothing to do with induction.

                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                              Hi, Duffy:

                                                                                                                              Yes, exactly.

                                                                                                                              Yesterday, I tried to find any recent A-C patents for d5 and came up empty. IF there is one, it would be interesting to read the claims made there, rather than in the ad copy.

                                                                                                                              My cynicism about d5 being any better than the A-C triply springs from how thin all these layers are. If, as has been reported, A-C uses 0.41mm-thick outer cladding, then there can only be [OAT minus 0.82mm] of other stuff in the lines. Whether that's further subdivided into 3 additional layers in d5 or not, it's not a lot of thickness regardless. I suspect this thinness limitation is why A-C says d5 is only "20% more even"--and we know that they will stretch credulity to reach even that small number, using the most uneven hobs they can find.

                                                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                Your focus is very broad.

                                                                                                                                Just be clear. I'm not considering 3 ply vs. 5 ply overall. I'm only considering the differences between induction and, well, gas (since that's what you are most familiar with). They're different, and the responses must be different. It's only for induction that I suspect a difference between 3 ply and 5 ply--most clearly in fry pans.

                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                  Ray:

                                                                                                                                  I don't know what more to offer for you to understand.

                                                                                                                                  As we've proven, there is only one bottom layer in each that heats in the induction field and the layer is exactly the same in all A-C lines. There is nothing about *induction* that is going to make 3-ply any different than this 5-ply.

                                                                                                                                  What there *may* be is *some* evening effect. I have seen no evidence of this, but it is what A-C claims. To do a meaningful comparison on this (on induction, gas, electric, Food-A-Tron or any other modality), you're going to have to look at the heat pattern created by individual hobs. But this has nothing to do, per se, with induction or "tuning". d5 *might* provide more even heat on a crappy induction appliance than A-C SS, just as it *might* provide more even heat on a crappy gas hob. Again, there is no special connection, relevance or relationship between d5 and induction.

                                                                                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                                                                                  Kaleo

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                    Thanks, Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                    You've done a great job in presenting your perspective. It's makes no sense whatsoever to me.

                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                  2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                    >> They're different, and the responses must be different. It's only for induction that I suspect a difference between 3 ply and 5 ply--most clearly in fry pans.

                                                                                                                                    This sounds like the basic parameters to set up for a control test.

                                                                                                                                    Interestingly, All-Clad recently revamped their 12" clad skillet to provide a thicker aluminum core, which makes it play nicer with induction cooktops.

                                                                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                      Hi Mr Taster,

                                                                                                                                      How does a thicker aluminum core provide a benefit on induction? What was wrong with the old core on induction?

                                                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                        That's what Cook's Illustrated claims:

                                                                                                                                        Update: March 2014

                                                                                                                                        Recently, All-Clad replaced our favorite tri-ply Stainless 12-Inch Fry Pan. The revamped All-Clad 12-Inch Stainless Fry Pan delivered the good news: Its slightly more steeply angled handle provided better leverage and its thicker aluminum core sped up cooking (it does require a little more vigilance). For even heating, it was the old pan’s match. The pan is also induction-compatible.

                                                                                                                                        EDIT: on second reading, I realize that I read too much into the last sentence.

                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                          On third reading, I realize I didn't mis-read. In the review of the actual pan, the review says this:

                                                                                                                                          With ample cooking surface for sautéing eight chicken pieces without crowding; a steady, even heat for excellent browning; low, flaring sides for good evaporation; and good balance, this pan offers everything we want in a 12-inch skillet. The handle angles slightly upward on this updated version of our old favorite, which offered testers better leverage, **and the increased amount of aluminum in the core makes it induction-compatible and faster to heat (requiring a little more vigilance from the cook).

                                                                                                                                          This certainly seems to say that the old version of the pan, with less aluminum, was somehow less induction-compatible.

                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                            They're batshit crazy if they think either that more aluminum made this pan more induction-capable, or that it sped up anything. Unfortunately, it's this kind of nonsense I've come to expect from CI.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                              But here's the thing. At least with CI, you can trust that they've done some manner of due diligence. You may not agree with their methodology or conclusions, but at least what they say is based on something greater than repeating ad copy.

                                                                                                                                              In any case, I look forward to the time when they do a d5 to triply induction cook-off (though it's probably too specialized a test for the average American home cook.)

                                                                                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                Hi Mr. Taster,

                                                                                                                                                I like your thinking on this. Here's what I'd propose:

                                                                                                                                                A comparison, induction vs. gas, for three 10" fry pans:

                                                                                                                                                1. an All Clad d5
                                                                                                                                                2. an All Clad TriClad
                                                                                                                                                3. an "economy" TriClad with more aluminum than the All Clad TriClad, and at least as much as the d5.

                                                                                                                                                They would be measured for % magnetism, outside and inside. The aluminum would be measured for thickness and scaled for purity.

                                                                                                                                                The evaluators would carry out cooking tasks that would measure time to achieve a target temperature; time to achieve reduced temperature, accuracy in maintaining well defined simmer. They would be used to prepare several standard dishes. They would be evaluated for cleanup.

                                                                                                                                                I would expect discernible differences between gas and induction on a number of these tasks and with different pans.

                                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                  Making crepes is a good test because it gives you a distinct, visual indicator of even (or uneven) cooking.

                                                                                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                    That one would be a good one for me, Mr. Taster, as long as I could make Swedish pancakes!

                                                                                                                                                    Sorry, I had to sneak that in. I was raised Swedish.

                                                                                                                                                    I agree.

                                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                    <They would be measured for % magnetism, outside and inside. The aluminum would be measured for thickness and scaled for purity.>

                                                                                                                                                    I don't understand the need for this. Isn't this a performance test? Are you going to weight or handicap the results by some factor to account for differences in purity?

                                                                                                                                                    Either the pan is compatible and fast or it isn't. Either it cooks evenly or it doesn't. It maintains a simmer or doesn't. And so on. The rest is gibberish with respect to real world applications.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                      Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                      Level of magnetism and aluminum purity are critical variables and must be controlled, or the study would be meaningless. They are parts of the independent variable. The dependent variable, of course, is performance.

                                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                        Ray,

                                                                                                                                                        <Level of magnetism and aluminum purity are critical variables and must be controlled, or the study would be meaningless.>

                                                                                                                                                        Wait, what?! Your claim is that, on induction, d5 is better than any 3-ply pan. Now you want to exclude some pan because of it's aluminum purity? Seriously??

                                                                                                                                                        What you're testing is performance on induction. Line up the pans, cook, clean if you want to include that, and then tally the results. Simple. And honest. I'm a zoologist, not a metallurgist. The best pan wins. Performance is all that matters to me.

                                                                                                                                                        Duffy

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                          Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                          "Your claim is that, on induction, d5 is better than any 3-ply pan."

                                                                                                                                                          Nope. I'd never make such a global claim as that. I'm willing to make that claim with All Clad d5 vs. All Clad Tri Pli or a non All Clad Tri Clad economy comparison pan (maybe Tramontina).

                                                                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                            Ray,

                                                                                                                                                            Here's you, claiming that d5 is better on induction than 3-ply:

                                                                                                                                                            <Used for sauteeing, your tri ply is fine; also for sauce pans. For fry pans and skillets--and omelettes, one pays a magnetic induction penalty compared to multi clad fry pans.>

                                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                              Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                              My impressions--justification for a study--but let the data decide. Anyone can blow smoke.

                                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                    I am with Kaleo. I have zero confidence in what I've seen from CI. Neophytes or hucksters ... take your pick.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                        There is a lot of snake oil being sold when it comes to marketing cookware.

                                                                                                                                        The multilayer (beyond 3) clad cookware seems to be an attempt to convince consumers that more layers==better.

                                                                                                                                        AFAIK in multi-layer cookware the magnetic field from an induction cooktop doesn't penetrate much beyond the surface so a thin layer of magnetic steel on the bottom or outside is more than enough to make a pan induction comparable.

                                                                                                                                        For conventional heat sources the AC MC2 line offers the best price and performance, followed by tri-ply.

                                                                                                                                        d5 and copper-core are marketing hype and a waste of money. They will cook better than thin discount store pans, but for the price the performance isn't nearly as good as less expensive pans, including ones from All-Clad's other lines.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: cstefan206

                                                                                                                                          Why is copper core marketing hype? I've always understood that copper is an excellent conductor of heat. Its high cost is the real barrier.

                                                                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                            The copper layer in All-Clad's copper core line is very thin, while material is important, so is its thickness. The SS and MC2 lines perform similarly or better than the copper-core at a lower price.

                                                                                                                                            For what All-clad charges for copper-core you are better off getting stainless lined copper pans if that is the way you want to go (though be sure to avoid the thinner Mauviel line)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: cstefan206

                                                                                                                                              cstefan206,

                                                                                                                                              I can see that you're not an "induction" guy. Induction is different.

                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                Yes induction is different but that only really means you need to either use magnetic cookware or an adapter plate. The heat from induction does tend to be more even than gas so good heat conductivity is somewhat less critical but the principles of good cookware design still apply.

                                                                                                                                                For All-Clad that means you can't use the MC2 without an adapter plate and their SS line is the best performance for the money. Some people may like the pouring lips, brushed exterior, and greater warp resistance of d5 but the cooking performance of the lines is going to be similar.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstefan206

                                                                                                                                                  Hi cstefan,

                                                                                                                                                  I've been focused on induction for about two years now. IMO it's a lot more different for pots and pans compared to conventional sources of heat: the pot/pan itself is the heat source--if it wants to be.

                                                                                                                                                  You and I would clearly expect different consequences from a study--and we clearly are buying different pans. I've got two 10" d5's--and i use them on an induction hob.

                                                                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                                                          2. re: cstefan206

                                                                                                                                            Hi cstefan206,

                                                                                                                                            Would you like your "snakeoil" hypothesis be put to the test?

                                                                                                                                            I'm not that cynical. I've done product development. It's very expensive. Spending all that development money for hype is a good way to go out of business when there are others who do no development and then make cheap knock offs that poison the market for a quality product.

                                                                                                                                            It makes sense to me that All Clad and other high end cookware manufacturers are gambling on quality products targeted to induction--but I could be wrong.

                                                                                                                                            If I'm right, your "snake oil" theory will bite the dust. I believe in science based R and D, not the cheapest knockoff someone can sneak in from the other side of the world.

                                                                                                                                            If I'm wrong, I'm headed for WalMart.

                                                                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                              Sure I'm all for controlled tests. I'd love nothing more than to be proved wrong.

                                                                                                                                              However I've seen plenty of 5 and 7 layer cookware marketed as superior based on simply the number of layers. This from long before induction enjoyed its recent surge in popularity.

                                                                                                                                              Color me cynical, but I've seen plenty of money poured into product development for new and different features that result in no real real world performance difference.

                                                                                                                                              See for example KitchenAid and Cuisinart food processors where most reviewers report the performance of the most recent models is inferior to the older models. Sure fancy new features were added but those very features are responsible for the inferior performance.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cstefan206

                                                                                                                                                Hi cstefan206,

                                                                                                                                                If those big international corporations are doing their product marketing of multi clad as a gimmick, they deserve to go out of business IMO.

                                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                  3. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                    Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                    <It is possible that applied scientists have found ways to tune SS cladded layers to perform better with induction>

                                                                                                                                    Sure. Ok. So who's paying them, A-C or Demeyere? This is important, because these companies are using radically different approaches in their "optimized for induction" cookware.

                                                                                                                                    <All I know, is that the attempts, on this and earlier threads, to rationalize D5 and d7 in terms of mere marketing hype makes no sense to me>

                                                                                                                                    I've said, and so have others here, that more conductive material is better. You are saying it's layers that are better, and that they're specifically better for induction. When asked for any evidence, you present none.

                                                                                                                                    Instead, you double down and give us speculation about scientists who may or may not have found the perfect formula for induction cookware, and who may or may not be funded by A-C or Demeyere. It's likely one of these two (if any) because of "their special interest in induction". This "special interest" is indicated by their "multi-clad" cookware.

                                                                                                                                    Yet we are the ones rationalizing? Sure. Whatever.

                                                                                                                                    Duffy

                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                      Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                      Let's start with who pays the scientists. As you know, I hope, both All Clad and Demeyere are now owned by large conglomerates. Radically different approaches? If you are talking about today, how would you know?

                                                                                                                                      All Clad continues to file patents filled with further innovations for the future--but, under French ownership, those innovations may appear in products outside of the All Clad line in other parts of the world. Demeyere is now owned by Zwillig, and Demeyere innovation already appear outside of the Demeyere product line.

                                                                                                                                      I make no claims at all--yet. My only small leap of faith is that multi clad 5 and 7 layers provide special advantages for induction--and I want to know why and how.

                                                                                                                                      Even if it is known, I'm not sure that anyone is telling.

                                                                                                                                      As a user, I can tell you that my All Clad 10" d5 pans work great with my induction unit.

                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                        Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                        <Radically different approaches? If you are talking about today, how would you know?>

                                                                                                                                        All-Clad has decided to stick a piece of steel in the middle of it's conductive layers, Demeyere has not. In fact, Only A-C has steel in the middle. No one else does this.

                                                                                                                                        <My only small leap of faith is that multi clad 5 and 7 layers provide special advantages for induction>

                                                                                                                                        Why do you think so? There must be something you've experienced or read that makes you take that logic leap.

                                                                                                                                        <As a user, I can tell you that my All Clad 10" d5 pans work great with my induction unit.>

                                                                                                                                        I have no doubt they do. They're thick pans with a decent amount of conductive material. Is this why you think 5- and 7-ply pans "provide special advantages for induction"?

                                                                                                                                        Duffy

                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                          Duffy,

                                                                                                                                          What All Clad did may not be what All Clad will do in the future.

                                                                                                                                          Induction is different so the process must be different. If the process is different, one can tune a process that serves all energy forms in a direction favorable to induction.

                                                                                                                                          So, how does that "different" process work?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                            <What All Clad did may not be what All Clad will do in the future.>

                                                                                                                                            So what? We're talking about the cookware you have, not future stuff.

                                                                                                                                            <Induction is different so the process must be different>

                                                                                                                                            First, what "process" do you mean? Manufacture? Cladding?

                                                                                                                                            Second, why? No matter what the "process" is, your statement is a non sequitur.

                                                                                                                                            <So, how does that "different" process work?>

                                                                                                                                            You're the cook who believes it's different. Why are you asking me?

                                                                                                                                            In the end, it seems to me that you're working from some distinct logical fallacies. The first is that induction is different, so different cookware is needed to get the most from it. The second is that AC-d5 works really well on your hob, so 5-ply cookware is better than 3-ply on induction. Conflate the two, and 5-ply cookware has special properties for induction hobs, properties that 3-ply lacks.

                                                                                                                                            Your argument falls apart as soon as you pick up a 3-ply pan that works just as well as 5-ply. I submit I've done that. I identified the pans. I'm sure there are others.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                              Duffy,

                                                                                                                                              All Clad d5 is patent protected. No one else can use that process. But that's dated by now. You can be absolutely certain that d5 is not the end of the story.

                                                                                                                                              Induction being different is a fact. The heating process in the metals must be different. Must be true. No logical problems.

                                                                                                                                              Different for fry pans vs. sauce pans? probably--Demeyere makes different solutions to meet different cooking purposes. Is the difference necessarily a difference between 3 ply and five ply? No, but All Clad was/is looking for a patentable competitive edge. Their 3 pli patent expired.

                                                                                                                                              "Your argument falls apart as soon as you pick up a 3-ply pan that works just as well as 5-ply."

                                                                                                                                              No one would claim that there is something magical about multi clads, 5 vs. 3. My claim is much narrower: that one could tune a 5 clad solution to work better on induction than a 3 clad.

                                                                                                                                              Right now, if nondisclosure could be waived, I suspect that R and D scientists at All Clad could show how it could be done.

                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                Ray,

                                                                                                                                                AC uses the same magnetic material across lines.
                                                                                                                                                AC says the middle layer of steel is not magnetic, it's for stability (warping, possibly doming)

                                                                                                                                                As Kaleo has repeatedly noted, the only part of the cladding that heats differently is the exterior magnetic steel, not the the "metals" as you claim. Just one metal. It's not a pan-wide difference.

                                                                                                                                                Yet still you claim "one could tune a 5 clad solution to work better on induction than a 3 clad." How?? All that's left is aluminum and it's alloys. Those don't react differently to an induction top.

                                                                                                                                                I noticed that you now say one "could tune", so does this mean that you no longer think d5 is already "tuned" so that it's better on induction than any 3-ply could be? Let me be specific, have we convinced you that it is possible to find a 3-ply pan that is objectively just as good as or better than d5 on induction?

                                                                                                                                                Duffy

                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                  Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                  Not at all. I now see that you and Kaleo might be even more confused than me.

                                                                                                                                                  I did read up on the existing and new patent claims, the reviews, and comments. I see where you, Kaleo, and others got your "spin," but the scientific foundation of induction underneath the craftmanship and cookware home applications you both describe has not been expressed or even approached by anyone. I've been involved in patent development as well as product R and D, and I'm familiar with corporate culture: what's said and not said.

                                                                                                                                                  Bottom line, as a user, I'm convinced that my 10" d5 fry pans are superior to all tri clad pans, including All Clad (and WS thermoclad), with my Vollrath induction. The most meaningful challenge might come from certain DeMeyere pans. I'm not convinced by Mauviel M'Cook.

                                                                                                                                                  Does it make any difference in my overall cooking? Probably not. Would I suffer emotional distress if someone substituted a 10" All Clad Tri Clad for my d5? I'd survive.

                                                                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                      Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                      <I see where you, Kaleo, and others got your "spin," but the scientific foundation of induction underneath the craftmanship and cookware home applications you both describe has not been expressed or even approached by anyone.>

                                                                                                                                                      I don't know what this means. As in, I have no idea what you wrote. I understand the individual words, but strung together they don't make sense to me at all. Can you phrase it differently for me? Please?

                                                                                                                                                      Duffy

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                        Gibberish is generally unintelligible...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                          Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                          The world of commercial R and D has always been very secretive, but has become even more so. Add in the purchasing of innovative manufacturers (All Clad, Demeyere) by global conglomerates, who may license technology or production anywhere in the world, and the consumer is no longer fully aware of what he/she is buying.

                                                                                                                                                          Place a magnet either on the inside or outside of a SS tri clad or d5 pan and it will stick. Both the outermost and innermost layers are magnetic. If you put enough aluminum on the outside of the pan, the magnet won't stick anymore--even if the inner pan remains magnetic. Aluminum will always attenuate magnetism--but it will also spread the heat produced by the induced SS. The clad game is to maximize both for induction: exactly the right amount of magnetic SS sandwiching just the right amount of aluminum--either in one or more layers. Of course, copper or other metals could also be part of the sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                          I believe that R and D scientists have worked out the best possibilities for different heat sources as much as 10 years ago, but have kept the information in house--releasing only bits and pieces for marketing purposes.

                                                                                                                                                          We're left in the dark.

                                                                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                            Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                            <Both the outermost and innermost layers are magnetic.>

                                                                                                                                                            Since when? I know of no cookware makers who state their interior steel is magnetic. I tested all of my pans with a weak flexible fridge magnet on the interior steel. It stuck to the Vollrath Optio pans and both of my Zwilling pans, the Tru-Clad and the ceramic coated Spirit. It did not stick to Vollrath Tribute, USA Pans, Bakers & Chefs or Bonjour.

                                                                                                                                                            4 of 7 failed. 5 of 7 is more precise, because both of my Zwilling pans have the same sheet metal. So it may be true that some pans have interior magnetic steel, but it is certainly nowhere near universal; in my kitchen, it isn't even half. I'm also willing to entertain the possibility that my magnet was responding to the pull of strongly magnetic exterior steel on those pans it stuck to.

                                                                                                                                                            I'm quite certain that if some company had worked out the ideal configuration for an induction pan, they'd be shouting it from the rooftops. They'd do everything short of giving away their formula to show that they're the best. They'd be writing marketing blurbs showing tests of their pans side-by-side with inferior pans. Hell, Demeyere does it in a video showing how their frypan's floor is flatter than All-Clad's. They don't name names, but they film wide enough to ensure that the iconic A-C handle can be easily seen in full.

                                                                                                                                                            Ray, it's been fun, but it's belatedly become clear to me that no one, not even the mythical magical mystery scientists locked away in All-Clad's vault, will ever be able to convince you that 5 layers are not inherently superior to 3 layers on induction, no matter how thin the 5 or thick the 3. No mere human can disprove an article of faith. I'm done trying. Be well, good night.

                                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                              Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                              I've done some reading and rereading of how induction works, and I'm a bit less confused. Thanks for doing the magnetic test on the interior of your pans.

                                                                                                                                                              Here's what I learned. If a pot or pan is entirely magnetic, like a cast iron pan, the entire pan makes a complementary response to the inducing coil. There are eddy currents surrounding the floor and walls and hysteresis in the metal itself that generate heat through resistance--in somewhat mysterious ways. With cladded stainless steel, the entire sandwich of metals can be made to respond as if they were a single piece of magnetic metal, even if the exterior is the only magnetic layer. All Clad Tri Ply and All Clad d5 have external 18/0 and internal 18/10 layers. D5 adds more aluminum, but bisects it with another 18/10 layer, preserving the sandwich effect. It appears that the extra aluminum on the d5 makes the pan more responsive.

                                                                                                                                                              I'd even more like to see the test I proposed carried out. I think that the results would be very interesting, and clarify the role of multi cladding.

                                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                                2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                  Ray, buddy, the different process doesn't work differently above the bottom magnetic layer. There isn't any *tuning*, aside from picking a steel to use in that layer.

                                                                                                                                                  I suggest you imagine two pans, which are identical except for ONE detail. They have the same number of layers, all of exactly the same thicknesses, all the same nonmagnetic materials. The ONLY difference is that the bottom, magnetic layer on one is fusion-bonded to the pan (a la A-C's patents), whereas the second pan simply sits, unbonded and loose within a conforming shell (the bottom layer). Other than the efficiency realized by virtue of not having tiny interstitial spaces, the bonded pan is not going to perform any differently than will the unbonded one. This is true whether or not the pans are run on induction or gas, electric or solid-top.

                                                                                                                                                  As I've written here many times, all induction does is turns the bottom of the pan (or the converter disk) into the heat source.

                                                                                                                                                  It is possible d5 employs a different or newer magnetic bottom steel which is more efficient, but I doubt it. Why don't *you* ask A-C if the magnetic bottoms of their various induction-compatible lines are all made of the same alloy?

                                                                                                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                  Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                    Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                    You have a right to this view. You've expressed it many times. Sounds very simplistic to me--and I've explained why. Sounds like we're done.

                                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                      THIS ALSO JUST IN FROM ALL-CLAD: All the induction layers in all lines...wait for it...

                                                                                                                                                      Is there any difference in the magnetic alloy used in d5 versus your other induction lines, or are all the bottoms the same?

                                                                                                                                                      "There is no difference, it is the same metal and grade."

                                                                                                                                                      Turns out "simplistic" is the right answer.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                        As I mentioned pretty much at the getgo, It is very likely that All Clad will no longer disclose any details of their processes through patents for a lot of reasons. Patenting d5 was still following old rules, before they were bought by an international conglomerate.

                                                                                                                                                        It would be foolish to reveal the information in a patent, only to find a cheap knockoff of their solution for sale for $10.99 in Chinatown.

                                                                                                                                                        Induction is different.

                                                                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                            Hi Randallhank,

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks. I like what he did, but he didn't make the comparisons that I am looking for. For some reason, he was focusing on saute pans. Somehow, showing that the big thick pans were able to maintain even temperature almost to the edge better than the pans half as thick wasn't that exciting to me.

                                                                                                                                                            My proposed comparison is an All Clad d5 10" fry pan (not a 3 qt. saute)--compared to All Clad tri pli 10" fry pan and maybe Tramontina 10" fry pan. Also, I'm more interested in responsiveness than evenness of heat.

                                                                                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                              Ahhhh! Look, I own (or have owned), seven of the lines he tested, and the results are exactly as I would have expected based on my experience.

                                                                                                                                                              And there is this which I know must crush your worldview vis-as-vis CI on induction:

                                                                                                                                                              "Cast iron is such a bad conductor relative to copper and aluminum that the “O” had not closed by the time I took the temperature reading (several minutes), so cast iron is even worse at heat conduction than these numbers imply–even with a huge thickness advantage. But to keep things in perspective, cast iron is a fantastic heat conductor compared to enamel, glass, ceramic, and stainless steel."

                                                                                                                                                              The takeaway, which he makes clear in the methodology, is that beyond the bottom layer the cookware all performs as one would expect without induction. As Kaleo mentions above (I think), the fact that the gas rankings are so similar sort of highlights that point.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                I recall the first time I saw that article, my first thought was "Well, duh". That was my second and third thought, too. There shouldn't be anything surprising in there to anyone who's cooked with even a small variety of pans.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi randallhank,

                                                                                                                                                                  I don't own any of the lines and the results were what I would have expected. I don't have a world view; I'm very good at letting the data do the talking.

                                                                                                                                                                  I wish that the investigator would have done something interesting. An enameled cast iron pot can maintain a perfect simmer for hours and hours with induction. I've done it.

                                                                                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                    <I wish that the investigator would have done something interesting. An enameled cast iron pot can maintain a perfect simmer for hours and hours with induction. I've done it.>

                                                                                                                                                                    Cook's Illustrated has compared dutch ovens. Not on induction, but since heat evens out in a long-cooking application, heat source is less important than for quick-cooking tests.

                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.cooksillustrated.com/equip...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                      it was to my absolute horror to discover that my anodized Calphalon commercial DO/Roundeau/French Oven whatever kicks the ass of my LC of the same size in almost every way.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, JTP:

                                                                                                                                                                        In the case of my own epiphany, the reaction was chagrin over wasting so much time and money with/on Le Creuset.

                                                                                                                                                                        Since you like aluminum, I encourage you to keep an eye out for some of the vintage Mauviel pieces they did in *very* thick aluminum--like 5-7mm. They weren't anodized, though.

                                                                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                          Kitchenaid has a couple of line of anodized aluminum that are 4.5mm and 5.5mm respectively. Sadly, they're only available in nonstick.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                            yeah I have some great thick aluminum - not yet come cross Mauviel or old WS stuff but if I do I will snag for sure - fortunately all my LC was gift or thrift so I never spent money on it - I do not hate on the LC, I like it but I do admit when something is outperformed at a task. To make a roux in LC vs Anodized is night and day

                                                                                                                                                                            another surprise was that the thin copper disk base on my Cuisinart SS is much better than the Cuisinart clad that replaced it in the market - faster, more even, more responsive and its not a very thick disk but it works well

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                              I think the advantages of the Le Creuset brand have to do with the quality/durability of enamel. This is pretty well documented, if only anecdotally.

                                                                                                                                                                              The main advantage of CI dutch ovens, etc., in general is the ability to stay warm. In a less than ideal oven situation, by virtue of being relatively poor conductors of heat, they are less susceptible to the scorching that can occur when an oven cycles on and off. I suspect this is why they were popular for hearth cooking. It's just the right amount of conductivity and retention for a particular application and heat scenario. Slow cooking requires an average temperature, but most ovens have a binary heating system: either on or off, with the duration being the only thing to change. Ditto for a fire when you throw in some dry wood. Cooking on a stovetop is a different thing.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                                Hi, randallhank:

                                                                                                                                                                                We need to address several of your statements.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. "I think the advantages of the Le Creuset brand have to do with the quality/durability of enamel."

                                                                                                                                                                                If by advantages over other makers' wares, yes, this has been a historical advantage. It's less of an advantage as others start to get it right.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. "The main advantage of CI dutch ovens, etc., in general is the ability to stay warm."

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, in a way. Others can say with suasion that it is the linings that are the biggest advantage, but it's close. What folks *fail* to appreciate is that a full DO takes a long time to cool regardless of the material from which it's made--longer than a meal's table service usually takes. Frankly, a fabric cozy around the thinnest, conductive-metal DO is going to stay warmer longer than exposed ECI.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. "In a less than ideal oven situation, by virtue of being relatively poor conductors of heat, they are less susceptible to the scorching that can occur when an oven cycles on and off."

                                                                                                                                                                                No, I think this is wrong. I believe oven cycling is a de minimis factor in oven scorching--proximity to the heat source and thin walls are probably primary. CI is going to come up to heat more slowly, but it's going to get there; when it does, it's going to behave pretty much like anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                4. "I suspect this is why they were popular for hearth cooking."

                                                                                                                                                                                I doubt it. I think CI DOs were popular because they were the only affordable (and sometimes the only) things people had.

                                                                                                                                                                                5. "It's just the right amount of conductivity and retention for a particular application and heat scenario."

                                                                                                                                                                                Hmmm... I'd say it *works*, and it works better in some scenarios than others. I can't go much further than that.

                                                                                                                                                                                6. "Cooking on a stovetop is a different thing."

                                                                                                                                                                                Absolutely. I still don't put a lot of stock by the binary thing in closed thermostatically-controlled ovens; the elements/jets just aren't on long enough to matter once the oven is at setting. If you're *opening* the oven often (or for long) to do things, then yes, it has an effect (the moves for no-knead bread are a great example of this).

                                                                                                                                                                                Just my thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi JT,

                                                                                                                                                                              Thinking of the money spent on the LC, yes? I never "got" cast iron, except for storing heat. I think I was turned off by having to cook literally everything in LC when I was a newlywed.

                                                                                                                                                                              Instructions were scarce in the pre-internet "paper age". No one I knew had any, so I was on my own. Mom and the aunts cooked in Club aluminum and Revere. This was my first cookware, I was a total novice. It was not a fun experience. Over the ~10 years I owned it, I learned to deal, but I was sure happy when I got a nonstick aluminum frypan.

                                                                                                                                                                              Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                You know I *Love* my CI

                                                                                                                                                                                I cant imagine cooking EVERYTHING in LC though what a PITA

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JTPhilly

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, coupled with a bride who couldn't cook... high heat ... the only recipe that worked was for charred whatever. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                        The cast iron was proof that thickness, by itself, does not produce an even heating pan. It's a combination of thickness, or mass, and specific materials -- a ratio. Copper is ideal, but it seems you need at least 2mm of it (and probably more like 2.5) to mitigate against the limitations of the heat source (mainly the size). In other words, copper conducts so well that you need a certain amount of mass to ensure that horizontal conduction can keep up with the vertical. But, it seems you can use some other metal to give a little assist in actually slowing down the conductivity juts a tad (so long as you have 2mm of copper). 1.5mm of steel is sufficient. No other material is needed. This is the formula for both Demeyere Atlantis and Sitram Catering. It's not a crazy thick base on either. But, if you forgoe the copper (or use less than 2mm), you will need greater thickness of some other reasonably conductive material to achieve a similar result. It seems that you need about 2.5 to 3.5 mm of a conductive material like aluminum, PLUS the stainless for high heat applications. Pans like Mauviel M'cook stainless are going to struggle with even heating at high heat applications, regardless of whether they call themselves 3-ply or 5-ply. They will probably be fine for medium heat applications at around 2.5 to 3mm of total material.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, randallhank:

                                                                                                                                                                        He also ran the same tests on the same pans using gas, with highly similar results. http://www.centurylife.org/2013/10/29...

                                                                                                                                                                        Drawing distinctions (and faulting the test methodology) based on the fact that the tester used sautes and not frypans is just silliness, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                          <Drawing distinctions (and faulting the test methodology) based on the fact that the tester used sautes and not frypans is just silliness, IMO.>

                                                                                                                                                                          I couldn't agree more. Although the pan walls may differ in shape and height, a floor is a floor. Any pan with a flat floor is an appropriate candidate for this test.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                            It all depends on what you consider interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry, Ray

                                                                                                                                                                              <It all depends on what you consider interesting.>

                                                                                                                                                                              Again, that didn't make much sense to me.

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't want to know how various pans perform because it's "interesting". I want to know how they perform so I can make a more educated decision when buying cookware.

                                                                                                                                                                              Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                      4. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                        LATEST UPDATE!!! THIS ALSO JUST IN FROM ALL-CLAD:.

                                                                                                                                                                        Q: The description of d5 says the middle steel layer makes d5 20% more even. Is there any evidence at all to support this claim that you can share? For instance, is there any thermography which shows d5 to be more even-heating than your other lines?

                                                                                                                                                                        A: "Unfortunately we do not have that information, that is proprietary."

                                                                                                                                                                        So All-Clad is making claims it refuses to back up *at all*. All that product development R&D, and you'd think they wouldn't be so afraid to share the truth.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                          You've obviously not done patent related R and D.

                                                                                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi, Ray:

                                                                                                                                                                            I've done my time with patents and other IP.

                                                                                                                                                                            You're obviously a stranger to science and logic.

                                                                                                                                                                            Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                            Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi, Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                              On this board, I'm focused on the nuances of induction cookware--wherever they might lead: feeding a fun hobby. Let's save science and logic for peer reviewed publications in a less Chow friendly environment.

                                                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                Ray:

                                                                                                                                                                                What you're focused on is less clear all the time. In fact, I don't see any focus whatsoever.

                                                                                                                                                                                I and others have tried to help answer your questions, give you the basics of how induction works, sought out information from makers, reasoned with you, provided data by other testers, all to no avail. You're completely immune.

                                                                                                                                                                                You move the goalposts like no one I've ever seen. You wanted a scientific, logical basis for your surmises, and now you want to leave science and logic behind when those disciplines are proven not to support your preconceived (yet inchoate) ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                Good luck to you, but I'm done with you. Waste someone else's time.

                                                                                                                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                  Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                  You're a great artisan, with a penchant for the dramatic, and I'm sure that you can cook up a storm with those beautiful copper pots and pans.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Crossing the digital divide is a different challenge altogether--and, ultimately, that's what induction is all about. I don't think anyone fully understands induction: when we get into eddy currents and hysteresis, even the scientists scream at each other sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't get mad--you've helped a great deal. I've learned from the discussion and from re reading/re thinking why I took the induction plunge two years ago. You're not entirely wrong,,,,and it's not entirely anyone's fault that some basic applied knowledge remains fuzzy and incomplete: I've lived through it before.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Just remember: this is for fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                    It can only be fun if it's intellectually honest...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                                      Kaleo,

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Intellectually honest"? C'mon.

                                                                                                                                                                                      This is casual discussion of cookware related problems, often tied to the purchasing of pots and pans. Regular participants include hobbyists with varied levels of practical experience--some with very strong feelings.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Don't take yourself so seriously. It's all good.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Ray

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                        While it may be casual, it's not meant to be onanistic.

                                                                                                                                                3. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                  D5 is "a clear benefit" compared to what? Induction provides more efficient heating of the pan than other heating technologies, but I don't see why D5 should be better in this respect than the previous All-Clad induction-compatible stainless tri-ply.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                    Hi GHM1618,

                                                                                                                                                    If you're right, why did All Clad spring d5 on us?

                                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                      All-Clad sprang d5 on us to make money. It's a line they decided could sell alongside others.

                                                                                                                                                      They *claim* it's "20% more even" by virtue of that middle steel layer, but provide no evidence, such as thermography. If you read their ad copy and patents carefully, a very real reason for that layer is prevention of warpage. It's expressed in the ad copy as "stability on induction".

                                                                                                                                                      Bear in mind that A-C's patents are almost all narrow *process* patents addressing bonding of disparate metals. Yet many other makers are bonding these metals using other processes. And some of those cop to the real reasons for multiple disparate layers, namely no warping and the whole thing staying bonded. NONE claim that any layer other than the bottom has anything to do with heating in an induction field.

                                                                                                                                                      I'm not saying d5 is not good clad. But I've seen no evidence A-C 5-layer is any better than their triply, copper core, or mc2.

                                                                                                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                        >> All-Clad sprang d5 on us to make money.

                                                                                                                                                        *Ding!*

                                                                                                                                                        Give that man a prize!

                                                                                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                        It has to do with the very competitive landscape of the triply cookware. In 1970s, when All Clad first started selling fully triply cookware, it was the newest and baddest cookware technology. No other company was able to do it -- to combine the benefit of aluminum (heat conduction) and stainless steel (strength and inertness) into one cookware.

                                                                                                                                                        As time went on, more and more companies can make triply cookware. In fact, I don't even know any major brand cannot do it now. Everyone can. Therefore, d5 is a way to distinguish themselves from most competitors.

                                                                                                                                                        The d5 does offer some real advantages, but a lot of these advantages have nothing to do with being d5. For example, d5 cookware have rolled lip for easy pouring. d5 cookware have brush finished surface instead of polished surface....etc.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                                                                                                          I think D5 probably has an advantage in that it has improved stability/resistance to wrapping. This is the "technology" All-Clad wanted to protect. But this (presumed) advantage has nothing to do with induction! They may be generally more effective than the regular stainless line on all electric heat sources, as gas ranges are more forgiving of warping. But we know they aren't going to advertise it that way!

                                                                                                                                                          This is the most infuriating thread I've seen here in a long time. The number of layers clearly has nothing to do with induction ability. All-Clad is purposely conflating cooking properties with induction specific properties -- and exactly one person here doesn't get it.

                                                                                                                                                          D5 is excellent cookware. Nice rolled rims, the (slightly) improved handle, and likely a bit less likely to warp. It's not on my must-have list, but it might crack the back end of my top ten cookware lines, but I am not sure. I liked the brushed finish version.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                            Hi randallhank,

                                                                                                                                                            Too bad we can't do the study I suggested. We could find out whether or not you're correct!

                                                                                                                                                            Ray

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                              You can do it anytime you want to. Go to BB&B or W-S, order up some pans, cook, test. Return pans when done.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                          Totally agree most others...think D5 is actually a step backward...having more stainless layers in there actually reduce heat conductivity. Also, I read somewhere they are losing some sort of patent; hence they have to make a new line to continue the cash cow.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: randallhank

                                                                                                                                                                Hi Randallhank,

                                                                                                                                                                I guess one three word sentence deserves another: we're not communicating. Induction based cooking is not only different from all other energy based heating approaches, it can even be quite radically different from itself. I'm sure that you know about eddy currents and hysteresis in induction, which are meaningless to someone cooking with gas, so, in what sense are they similar?

                                                                                                                                                                Ray

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure why hysteresis is all that relevant. It doesn't affect the conductive material in the pan.

                                                                                                                                                                  I don't know how eddy currents come into play. Most of the literature references eddy currents in tubes, not on flat surfaces. Do you have more information?

                                                                                                                                                                  Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                    Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                    If you just Google "induction" (or "induction cooking") and check out a few obvious sources, you'll come up with practical explanations with nice graphics that explain the role of hysteresis and Eddy currents in heat generation and transfer in metal containers.

                                                                                                                                                                    Ray

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the suggestion, but that's how I came across the information I had. The first two pages of eddy links were all using cylinders. Not too applicable to a skillet.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                        The references were on the concept of induction. The cylinders are simply standins. The general application discussed might not even be to cooking. Induction is used in many ways--and there is not just one kind of induction. Applying the concepts to specific pots and pans is obviously very complex--and very different from anything related to gas cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                        Ray

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                          Further thoughts, Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                          I obviously find induction fascinating and complex. A serious discussion doesn't really belong on this blog.

                                                                                                                                                                          We've approached induction in radically different ways. You're skillet oriented, and you want induction to compete directly with gas: and it does. But that's not using it at it's strength IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                          I'm letting induction lead me, and it leads me in the direction of one pot meals. I own mostly dutch ovens, you mostly own metallic pans with handles and rarely cook casseroles.

                                                                                                                                                                          Viva le differance.

                                                                                                                                                                          Ray

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                            Ray,

                                                                                                                                                                            <You're skillet oriented, and you want induction to compete directly with gas: and it does. But that's not using it at it's strength IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm letting induction lead me, and it leads me in the direction of one pot meals.>

                                                                                                                                                                            I find this idea a little precious and not very logical. Furthermore, it ignores the facts. Whether it's a skillet or dutch oven, the induction hob still heats the same part of the pan, the base. The current doesn't extend beyond a few millimeters above the glass cooktop. As far as your hob is concerned, a dutch oven is a skillet with high walls, nothing more.

                                                                                                                                                                            Induction's strength as a heat source for cooking lies in it's quick response. It allows cooks, for the first time, to get the responsiveness of gas on an electric hob. Your one-pot meals ignore this strength entirely. They would work just as well on a radiant/coil stove. OTOH, quick sautés and pan sauces demand a responsive cooktop. And that's not opinion, it's a fact.

                                                                                                                                                                            If induction is especially suited for one-pot meals, why haven't companies like Demeyere and All-Clad, which you think have teams of scientists working for them, discovered this and come out with a line of cookware to take advantage of it? Certainly Demeyere should have, because induction cookers have been popular in Europe for a long time, and there's no shortage of scientists there.

                                                                                                                                                                            Have you considered that the evolution of your cooking just happened to coincide with your purchase of a PIC? Or did you perhaps already have a preference for dutch ovens that escalated after adopting induction?

                                                                                                                                                                            Duffy

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Duffy,

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not comfortable with negative "me vs. you" exchanges and attributions. You have every right to your induction opinions. You are a great intuitive cook with practical ideas that you enjoy exploring with others on this board. Your further collaborations with Kalao are also often helpful and fun.

                                                                                                                                                                              The One pot meal idea is being promoted by both Le Creuset and Staub. They both have posted recipes by world famous chefs on their websites and Facebook. Staub might have been most specific with the debut of their "perfect pan." When I bought my Le Creuset bouillabaisse pot, I christened the pot by adapting a recipe by one of the chefs and posting it on the Le Creuset website.

                                                                                                                                                                              I've described how my cooking has evolved as it evolved with critiques of the products I purchased both on Amazon and Williams Sonoma. The first post that explored my "empty nester" ideas was my review of my Vollrath (not purchased from Amazon). I summarized the recent completion of my empty nester project with a picture story on this board, that described the entire process I went through, from concept to full implementation.

                                                                                                                                                                              Induction cooking is a great escape for me from my often strressful work helping doctoral students design research studies and analyze their data as they develop their dissertations.

                                                                                                                                                                              Ray

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: drrayeye

                                                                                                                                                                                "...my often strressful work helping doctoral students design research studies and analyze their data as they develop their dissertations."

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm praying for you all.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi, DuffY:

                                                                                                                                                                        Hysteresis generally contributes around 10% of the heat generated. AFAIK, this contribution is intrinsic to induction, and applies across all makers, models, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                        I have yet to see *any* evidence that eddy currents have any effect on how a pan performs. I think we're off on a Wonderland speculative adventure again.

                                                                                                                                                                        Aloha,
                                                                                                                                                                        Kaleo

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                          Hi K,

                                                                                                                                                                          <Hysteresis generally contributes around 10% of the heat generated. >

                                                                                                                                                                          That's what I found, too. And it seems to be completely unaffected or unrelated to the non-magnetic materials in the pan, because it's pretty hard to induce a field in them. Duh?

                                                                                                                                                                          D

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                            I hear it's radically different, digital and stuff, so who knows?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                                                                                                              To quote the late great Steve Jobs, "It's magical!"

                                                                                                                                                      3. If you're open to other brands, I would recommend adding the demeyere atlantis pieces in there. They make an awesome fry pan....demeyere proline 5 stars.