If you’re serious about cooking, then you’ve probably have heard of All-Clad. All-Clad cookware is designed for professional chefs, and is the preferred line of cookware for the finest restaurants and hotels all around the world from their home in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Their reputation is so strong, that many home cooks fortunate to have a few pieces of All-Clad in their arsenal cherish them like trophies. And for good reason.
But what makes All-Clad such great cookware? The simple answer is their quality and craftsmanship. Their entire bonded stainless steel line is handcrafted in America through a closely guarded process that is geared toward producing the highest quality cookware possible. Sure, it comes at a price, but to quote The Best Fry Pan favorite Alton Brown:
Personally, I believe in having the best tools that I can afford. They make the job easier and make my cooking more successful, and I keep them forever. If you buy good stuff once, you won't have to buy it again.
All-Clad’s Manufacturing Process
All-Clad Cookware Construction
While All-Clad’s construction process is proprietary, the company says that all metals used in the process must meet stringent standards. And during construction, each piece is hand inspected at a number of intervals to ensure these high quality standards.
All bonded cookware from All-Clad are constructed with the following:
- A pure metal core (aluminum, stainless steel or copper). This core isn’t just on the bottom; it runs all the way up the sides.
- A 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface. It doesn’t react with food and has an easy release.
- Long, stainless steel handles that stay cool and keep hands away from the cooktop.
- Stainless-steel rivets that are specially treated to remove traces of iron.
All-Clad has a dozen collections of cookware, but for this post, we focus on three of their highest rated lines. Each of these lines is manufactured at their facility in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Collection
Pieces in the All-Clad® Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set are constructed of three layers: two layers of 18/10 stainless steel which surround an aluminum core. The outer layer is magnetized, so they can be used on any type of cooktop, including induction. Lids and handles are stainless steel as well, so the entire collection has a brilliant, mirror-like finish that will last for years.
The stainless steel items are rated for oven use up to 500 degrees. The interior has a starburst finish for excellent stick resistance, and on the bottom of each piece you will find an engraving that indicates the size.
They are dishwasher safe, but All-Clad suggests using nylon scrubbing pads for the interior and a soft cloth with stainless steel cleanser for the exterior. And never use steel wool or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine bleach, because these could damage the finish. Using these materials will also void All-Clad’s lifetime warranty.
All-Clad d5 Brushed Stainless Collection
While the tri-ply collection is more than you could ask for in a set of cookware, cooking performance is ratcheted even higher with the
All-Clad® D5 Brushed Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set. These pieces are constructed of 5 layers. The core is stainless steel, sandwiched between two layers of aluminum, which provides quick and even heating with no hot spots. The bottom layer is magnetic stainless steel, so that it can be used on any cooktop, and the cooking surface is 18/10 stainless steel for maximum cooking control.
Another great feature of the d5 Brushed collection is the flared rims. The flared rims are designed to allow pouring from the pan without any drips. Great for transferring foods from one pan to another. You can focus on the food instead of the mess.
As with the tri-ply collection, these are dishwasher safe, but when spending several hundred dollars for a single piece of cookware, it would be better to wash with gentle soaps and soft cloths then subject them to the harsh environment of a dishwasher. If you have any doubts about their care, you can always refer to the manual.
All-Clad Copper Core Collection
The All-Clad Copper Core 14-Piece Set is built much like the d5 Brushed collection, in that they are made of five layers. What makes them different, and even more attractive to cooks and chefs around the world is the copper core that is between two layers of aluminum. This arrangement offers the quick heating from aluminum and the perfection of even heating from the copper core.
The copper core also cools quickly. This feature allows you to cook with precision every time you place your stock pot or fry pan on the hob.
The exterior layer and cooking surface are a gleaming 18/10 stainless steel, like the other two collections. However, a copper band runs around the outside and the flared rim, giving each piece of this set a beautiful, and highly distinctive look that you won’t find anywhere else.
Pieces from this set are technically dishwasher safe, but the copper will easily become corroded. Hand wash with gentle soaps and soft cloths, and use a stainless steel cleaner to keep these pieces mirror-bright.
When it comes to quality and craftsmanship, it’s really tough to beat All-Clad. Any one of the three cookware lines that we covered in this post would be welcomed in just about any chef’s kitchen. The only knock against All-Clad is that their well-deserved reputation comes at a high price. But to sum up what Alton Brown said, you get what you pay for. And All-Clad is definitely worth it.