All Clad Cookware Review – Find the Best Premium Cookware for Your Home Here
Why is All Clad premium cookware? Take a closer look at our All Clad cookware review, before you buy.
Every home chef needs quality cookware for their kitchen. Your cookware determines a lot about how your meals turn out besides your skill. For instance, cookware quality affects:
- How fast you can cook food
- Whether you have to worry about hot or cold spots
- Whether you can put your cookware in the oven
- How long your cookware lasts
Because of all these factors, lots of home cooks turn to premium cookware sets that they can rely on for years to come. Plus, it’s often smart to purchase more expensive but reliable cookware. Buying cheap cookware that fails after just a couple of years is unwise.
All Clad is one of the most well-known cookware manufacturers in the industry. But they produce a dazzling array of cookware pieces and sets. So it’s tough to know what All Clad cookware you should purchase, or if you should buy some at all. Many people think All Clad is always too expensive.
But that isn’t always the case.
Want to know whether All Clad cookware is right for you?
Let's dive deep into a few All Clad cookware reviews. We'll examine several cookware collections at different pricing points. This way, we can find great cookware sets for home chefs at any budget level. Let's get started.
How We Found Top All Clad Cookware
Reviewing All Clad Cookware took quite a while. After all, the manufacturer makes plenty of pots and pans and many different sets. To make sure we found the best of the best, we looked at a few major criteria.
The Best All Clad Cookware for Home Chefs – Cookware Reviews
Number of Layers
Stainless steel, aluminum core
Stainless steel, aluminum core, copper core
Easy to Clean
Stainless steel, aluminum core
Best All Clad Cookware #1:
All Clad Ha1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set -- Best On Budget
When you want premium cookware without spending too much, money, the All Clad Ha1 set might be a good choice. This cookware set includes 10 pieces in total, including:
In short, you’ll find everything you need to put together tasty meals in this kit. You probably won’t need to purchase any other pots and pans in the near future!
But this cookware set is also a great choice thanks to All Clad’s high-quality construction. This affordable set uses hard anodized aluminum. In a nutshell, the anodized aluminum works as an excellent conductor of heat. Therefore, you won't need to worry about cold spots or hotspots in the middle or edges of your pots and pans.
Furthermore, the anodized coating improves corrosion resistance. This, in turn, helps the cookware to last for a long time.
Aluminum is also relatively lightweight compared to stainless steel. As a result, each cookware piece shouldn't weigh too much. The kit overall weighs about 26.4 pounds.
Stainless steel is woven into each pot and pan’s base. The addition of a little bit of stainless steel prevents warping under extreme heat. It should ensure that the set lasts for a long time to come.
But that's not all. While the primary bodies of each pot and pan are made of aluminum, the handles are made of stainless steel. These handles are contoured for greater ergonomic comfort. Plus, they're secured to the main cookware pieces using stainless steel rivets. The handles should last just as long as their attached cookware.
You'll notice that most of the pots and pans in this collection come with lids. The lids are made with shatter-resistant glass. So dropping the lids shouldn’t result in a break. Each lid is also specially molded to seal tightly to the tops of their paired cookware. Heat retention is guaranteed.
Want to do some cooking in the oven? It’s not a problem with this All Clad cookware set. Each piece is oven safe up to about 500°F. The pots and pans are ostensibly dishwasher safe. But it’s recommended that you hand wash them instead.
That’s because each pot and pan features nonstick coatings. The coatings can wear off over time with excessive exposure to dishwasher detergent and extremely hot water.
Add to that a limited lifetime warranty and it’s easy to see just how valuable this cookware set really is. It's especially good for home chefs that want long-lasting cookware without breaking the bank.
What’s Great About It:
What Could Be Better:
Overall, All Clad's Ha1 Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set is a phenomenal collection. Home cooks who want something affordable but reasonably durable will find a lot to like here.
Best All Clad Cookware #2:
All Clad D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set -- Most Versatile
Let’s move up a bit in quality and take a look at a pricier but even more durable cookware set. All Clad’s D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set is a phenomenal collection of cookware pieces overall. It includes:
As you can see, it has the exact same kinds and sizes of cookware is the previous anodized aluminum set. So it’s really different?
In this case, each cookware piece is made almost entirely of stainless steel. The classic stainless steel style results in a shiny finish that looks great when clean. However, you’ll need to regularly clean the cookware to keep it looking its best. The shiny stainless steel material quickly accrues dirt or smudges.
Still, the stainless steel is a fantastic choice of cooking material. That’s because stainless steel is anti-corrosive. So each piece of cookware will resist rust damage and warping from extreme heat exposure.
Furthermore, each cookware piece is made with tri-ply bonded construction. In a nutshell, this means that the cookware’s layers are comprised of two layers of stainless steel. They bracket a single layer of aluminum. The aluminum provides heat conduction and ensures even heating on each piece's surface. The stainless steel provides durability and protects the aluminum from damage.
Interestingly, the set overall weighs about the same as the anodized aluminum set at 26 pounds. But it enjoys even greater heat distribution and durability due to this tri-ply bonded construction method.
All Clad’s D3 cookware set also includes stainless steel handles and rivets. The handles are once more designed for ergonomic comfort. But they also include vents near their ends. The vents prevent handles from getting too hot, even under extreme heat.
The D3 cookware set also differs from the anodized aluminum collection in its nonstick performance.
Instead of using a chemical-based coating, All Clad’s D3 cookware set uses a starburst finish. This finish sands down the cooking surface stainless steel layer. It removes imperfections and creates a smooth cooking platform. As a result, food rarely sticks to the surface. So you don’t have to worry about wearing down a synthetic coating as easily over time.
All of these benefits are minorly offset by the price. It’s a significantly more expensive cookware set compared to the anodized aluminum Ha1 set. Still, home chefs that want something even more effective and long-lasting can’t go wrong here.
What’s Great About It:
What Could Be Better:
Overall, All Clad’s D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set is a phenomenal choice for home chefs looking to balance budget and quality.
Best All Clad Cookware #3:
All Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Cookware Set -- Best in Quality
All Clad’s most premium cookware are those from its copper core line. In short, copper core cookware replaces one or more layers of aluminum with copper instead. Copper is an even greater conductor of heat than aluminum. So copper core cookware is better for facilitating even heat distribution. Cooking performance is also improved.
All Clad’s Copper Core 5-Ply Cookware Set demonstrates this excellence well. It includes:
It’s identical in terms of cookware pieces to the other sets. What distinguishes it is its 5-ply bonded construction and copper core factor.
5-ply means that each pot or pan has five layers of alternating materials. For the All Clad Copper Core set, two layers of stainless steel bracket two layers of aluminum. A single layer of copper rests in the middle between the aluminum layers. The result?
Arguably the best cooking experience you’ll find. Cold spots are practically impossible. The set overall is oven safe for temperatures up to 600°F. The stainless steel layers are again used for their excellent durability and non-corrosive attributes. The cookware set is also bolstered by riveted stainless steel handles.
As before, the handles have special vents. But these are larger than the vents from other sets’ handles to ensure even greater cooling. The cookware features flared edges, too. Pouring sauce or other foods shouldn’t result in a mess thanks to this design decision.
Each lid is made of the same 18/10 stainless steel that’s used for the main bodies of the cookware pieces. This does mean that you won’t be able to look in on your food as it cooks. You’ll have to remove the lids and let out some heat to check on its progress.
Furthermore, the addition of the copper layer means this set is a little heavier than its counterpart. It weighs around 32 pounds in total. So each cookware piece will be a little tougher to move around your kitchen.
Lastly, the copper layer does introduce a small snack if you use an induction stovetop. Induction stovetops rely on magnetism to excite molecules.
They then generate heat through molecular friction. Copper is not ferromagnetic. This means it doesn’t react to an induction stovetop’s magnetic field. No heating will take place.
Normally, stainless steel does a good enough job of transferring heat. This is why tri-ply cookware with aluminum, which also does not respond very well to induction stove tops by itself, can still work. But the copper core is simply too magnetically disabling to function.
So, if you plan to use this cookware with an induction stovetop, you'll need an induction disc accessory. These can be purchased from all kinds of cookware providers. They're portable surfaces that you stick under your copper core cookware. Then they allow heating to proceed normally.
Still, these downsides are ultimately minor. The cookware set overall is phenomenally durable and quite responsive to cooking heating. As with the D3 Cookware set, the All Clad Copper Core Set comes with a starburst finish. So you can enjoy nonstick cooking without having to worry about a chemical coating wearing down over time.
What’s Great About It:
What Could Be Better:
All in all, All Clad’s Copper Core 5-Ply Cookware Set is a perfect collection. We reviewed it extensively here. Each cookware piece can’t get much better. But it’s only a realistic purchase for folks who can afford it.
All Clad Cookware - Runner Up:
All Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set -- Easiest to Clean
The above three cookware sets are great representations of what All Clad has to offer. But what if you’re looking for something a little more manageable than the D3 set? Or maybe you need more utility for a slightly higher cost.
In that case, the All Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set might be the perfect choice.
It’s very similar to the above cookware sets but there are a few major differences to be aware of.
For starters, it uses 5-ply bonded construction. This is the same layering construction used with the above copper core cookware set. But instead of including a copper core in the very middle, this set uses three layers of stainless steel and two layers of aluminum.
This provides the set with great heat retention and conductivity. But it also keeps the overall weight of the set low. You don’t have to contend with the added weight from a copper core layer.
The set uses 18/10 stainless steel for all of its cooking surfaces, as well as its riveted handles. The handles feature the same ergonomic shapes and vents seen before. Overall, this cookware set is easy to use and move around your stovetop. It can be used with induction stove tops. That's because it features more layers of stainless steel than it does aluminum.
But the stainless steel used here is brushed as opposed to classic. This is a different type of stainless steel finish. All Clad uses a rough-bristled brush near the end of the production process. The resulting finish gives the stainless steel a pleasing but matte look. How does this help?
It means that finger smudges are a lot harder to spot compared to traditional stainless steel.
Therefore, the D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set is a perfect choice for home chefs that like stainless steel but don’t like cleaning up after it.
The other major benefits from the previous sets return as well. Each pot and pan comes with flared edges to prevent easy spills. The lids included with the set are opaque instead of transparent.
That's the only major downside to be found. Furthermore, each pot and pan uses the same starburst nonstick finish. They don't use chemical coatings.
What’s Great About It:
What Could Be Better
All Clad’s D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set is ideal for cooks that want the same benefits as the 5-ply copper core cookware set for less money. It might also be a good choice if you don’t like constantly cleaning shiny stainless steel of finger smudges and food spots.
Maintenance – Preserving All Clad Cookware
It doesn't matter which cookware set you choose. You’ll still need to know how to maintain each piece for maximum longevity.
Here's the thing. All Clad themselves claim that every high-quality cookware piece is dishwasher safe. This is technically true. You can throw the pot into a normal dishwasher and see no negative side effects at first. However, repeatedly putting your All Clad cookware in the dishwasher can lead to serious consequences.
It all has to do with the nonstick finishes used by different cookware sets.
Many residential dishwashers use extremely hot water. They also use certain types of abrasive soaps or detergents. When you put your high-quality cookware in the dishwasher, it is exposed to these elements over and over.
Even All Clad’s excellent nonstick finishes or coatings, depending on the set you choose, will wear down over time. For example, the All Clad Ha1 anodized aluminum set uses a chemical coating. It should normally last for a long time to come. But residential dishwashers can remove this coating little by little.
Over time, the nonstick effect may fade away entirely. This can leave you with cookware that food sticks to more often than not.
The other All Clad cookware sets review above use a starburst stainless steel finish. Therefore, you don’t technically have to worry about the finish wearing down over time. But dishwashers can still ruin the starburst finish. This may cause your pots and pans to become sticky again. The starburst finish only works if the stainless steel surface remains relatively smooth.
Therefore, it’s always recommended that you hand wash all of your premium cookware. This is true regardless of manufacturer. All Clad’s high-quality cookware should be washed with a gentle sponge and regular dish soap. You should also never use a scouring sponge or harder cleaning tools. Again, these kinds of instruments can either remove the nonstick coating or ruin the special starburst finish.
What if you have something that can’t be scrubbed away easily? In that case, just let your All Clad premium cookware sit in soapy water for a little while. That should soften any food and make it easier to remove traditionally.
There’s another important aspect of caring for your All Clad cookware as well. You should never use metal utensils when fixing food in the cookware sets' pots and pans. This is because metal utensils can scrape away the nonstick coating. Or they can ruin the starburst finish. They might create small divots and minor flaws in the otherwise smooth stainless steel surface.
Instead, it’s a better idea to use wooden or plastic utensils whenever possible. Some chefs prefer metal utensils since they don’t affect the flavor of their food. But if you want your cookware to last as long as possible, you'll avoid metal utensils.
Each All Clad cookware set uses durable materials. So you don’t need to take any special precautions when it comes to storing removing the cookware. You can place them in cabinets or on shelves and not have to worry about other dishes damaging them. Even during moving, you should pay more attention to the dishes you put beside your All Clad cookware. The All Clad stuff could accidentally cause damage to more fragile dishes or china.
How to Choose the Best All Clad Cookware for Your Kitchen
It’s one thing to learn just how great All Clad cookware usually is. It’s another thing to determine which cookware set is really worth your time and money. When you’re deciding whether or not to purchase All Clad cookware, be sure to keep these major factors in mind.
All Clad Stainless Cookware Price
First, consider the price of a given cookware set or even an individual pot or pan. All Clad as a rule is relatively pricey compared to other cookware manufacturers. But the price is usually well worth it. All Clad cookware is long-lasting and will look great for years to come even under heavy use.
But certain home chefs may have a much tighter budget they have to remember to be responsible. If that’s the case for you, then go with an All Clad cookware set or pot that you can afford.
If you want an entire set but don’t have the money for it just yet, you can always purchase individual pots and pans. In this way, you can slowly build up to a full All Clad cookware set over time. But you can prioritize different cooking instruments depending on what you really need and use most often.
It's only a good idea to splurge on a complete All Clad cookware set if you can afford it. Only consider a full set if you’ll use all the dishes included in it.
Furthermore, remember that All Clad cookware prices increase as the materials used become more effective. Anodized aluminum is among the cheapest All Clad cookware materials. Various types of stainless steel are more expensive. Lastly, copper core cookware is the most expensive that All Clad offers on its site.
Pieces Included in the Cookware Set
Next, consider how many pieces are included in a given All Clad set. This touches on something mentioned above. You should only pay for long-lasting, durable cookware you’ll actually use. Many of the above sets have plenty of excellent pots and skillets. But if you will never use a stock pot for your recipes, then a complete set may not be worth your time and money.
Instead, try to prioritize purchasing a set that includes pieces you use frequently. Remember, All Clad’s cookware is designed to last for a long time, even if you use it every night. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to find cookware sets or pieces you’ll make the most use of. This is especially true when you consider their asking prices.
“Full” sets usually include around 10 to 12 pieces. “Half” sets hover around 4 to 6 pieces.
Keep the materials used for a given piece of cookware or cookware set in mind before making a purchase. All Clad always uses high-quality materials. But they use different materials for different sets and for certain pricing points.
Anodized aluminum is a great choice for all-purpose cookware. It’s both durable and relatively affordable. Anodized aluminum has a special finish that prevents it from rusting as easily as usual. The aluminum itself conducts heat quite efficiently and doesn’t weigh too much.
Stainless steel is another good choice. It doesn’t conduct heat very well. But it’s incredibly anti-corrosive and is often used as a durable outer coating for All Clad cookware.
All Clad specifically uses 18/10 stainless steel. This is a premium type of stainless steel used in high-quality cookware throughout the industry. The 18 and 10 in the description refer to the amount of nickel in the stainless steel alloy.
However, stainless steel is a little heavier than aluminum. When combined with aluminum, All Clad usually layers different materials. Most pieces alternate between stainless steel and aluminum. These provide the best performance and weight balance.
Other All Clad pieces will include layers of copper. Copper is the best heat conductor out of all three materials. But it also increases the weight of pieces it is used with. Copper is also significantly more expensive than aluminum.
Layers of Materials: Tri-Ply vs 5-Ply
3 Ply Construction
5 Ply Construction
Most All Clad stainless steel and aluminum or stainless steel and copper pieces are layered with all included materials. Tri-ply bonded construction means there are three layers. These are always two layers of stainless steel for the innermost and exterior layers. A single sheet of aluminum rests in between them.
5-ply bonded construction means there are five layers of materials. Depending on the set you choose, this can be two layers of stainless steel, two layers of aluminum, and a single layer of copper. Or it may be three layers of stainless steel and two layers of aluminum.
Tri-ply construction is cheaper but still very effective. You can find it in many affordable All Clad cookware pieces. 5-ply is even more advanced, durable, and better at conducting cooking heat. But it's also significantly more expensive.
Go with 5-ply if you want the best cookware money can buy. Stick with tri-ply if you don’t want to totally empty your wallet for a collection of cookware.
Does it Come with a Warranty?
Most premium cookware sets come with limited warranties these days. All Clad is no exception, but check to see how long each cookware set’s warranty is before purchasing.
Limited warranties cover you for any manufacturer defects. Say that you receive your cookware set or piece and there’s something wrong. You’ll either get a refund or a replacement depending on the terms of the warranty agreement.
Warranties can last for between one and three years, with one year being the most common term. Warranties are great value for money and very nice to see with All Clad’s cookware. Home chefs that spend this kind of money usually want to know that they are covered in case they get a dud shipment.
Don’t forget to consider weight when choosing between different All Clad cookware pieces. Cookware that uses only stainless steel and/or aluminum is lighter than cookware that includes copper.
Each pot or pan will weigh between 3 pounds and 8 pounds. Total sets usually weigh between 20 pounds and 34 pounds or so. It may not seem like a lot. But heavier cookware can put quite a strain on your wrist if you’re planning on making food that requires a lot of swirling or flipping, like pancakes.
Consider going for lighter cookware if you don’t want your arm to feel tired when cooking a big meal.
Lastly, think about any special factors that separate different All Clad sets from one another. For example, All Clad’s copper core cookware is primarily distinguished by its extra layer of copper. It rests in the middle of the 5-ply bonded cookware.
But the other cookware sets usually have a single distinguishing feature as well. The D5 Brushed stainless steel set review above has a brushed stainless steel finish. Meanwhile, All Clad’s Ha1 set has anodized aluminum instead of stainless steel.
Many of All Clad’s cookware sets are relatively similar in terms of the sizes and types of pots and pans they offer. So the distinguishing features can help you narrow down your options. Then you can choose the set that is really right for your cooking needs.
FAQs – All Clad Cookware
Are All Clad’s cookware lines being discontinued?
Some, but not all. All Clad has recently discontinued the D5 Stainless Steel Cookware Sets. This includes both the brushed and classic sets. Therefore, any All Clad D5 cookware you see could be the last of its kind. If you’re interested in purchasing any of these sets or individual pieces, it’s smart to buy them while you can. Once they’re gone, they will likely never come back.
Other sets are in a kind of discontinuation limbo. All Clad’s D3 line of cookware isn’t currently being manufactured. But All Clad hasn’t fully discontinued the line permanently. It may be that the manufacturer is waiting to see how profitable the line is in total before making more pots and pans from this collection.
Fans of All Clad’s copper core cookware have nothing to worry about. All the copper core cookware is still being manufactured. This is likely due to its extreme popularity.
All in all, All Clad’s cookware lines aren’t being discontinued in full. But different lines may become discontinued in the future.
How does All Clad’s nonstick finish work?
All Clad’s cookware offers nonstick cooking performances in two different ways. Some sets, like the All Clad Ha1 Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set, use a chemical-based nonstick coating. This is similar to the chemical nonstick coatings found with other cookware. Fortunately, All Clad doesn’t use any PTFE. PTFE is a known nonstick chemical finish that may have some negative side effects.
However, this chemical coating can and does wear off if you throw your cookware in the dishwasher. It may also wear down if you use metal utensils.
Many other All Clad cookware sets use a starburst finish. The starburst finish involves sanding down the outermost stainless steel layer of the cookware. This finish is much more difficult to wear down over time. Plus, you never have to worry about any chemical coating getting into your food, even in microscopic amounts.
Overall, the starburst finish is a better nonstick solution than even the best chemical coatings. But All Clad’s chemical coatings are also good choices if you want more affordable cookware, up there with Made In cookware.
How does copper core conduction work compared to aluminum?
Copper core conduction works the same way as aluminum heat conduction. Certain types of metals are more efficient at transferring heat from a hot spot to a cold spot. It’s just that copper is a little more efficient at this than aluminum due to its molecular structure.
Copper core cookware uses a single layer of copper to cause more even heating across a cooking surface. The copper layer absorbs heat and radiates it to the aluminum and stainless steel layers, too. Because it radiates heat so well, it doesn’t stay hot for very long either.
What’s better: brushed or classic stainless steel?
It all depends on your preferences. Brushed stainless steel is created when the manufacturer uses a brush at the end of the production process. The stainless steel solidifies with small brushstrokes that give it a novel appearance.
The brushstrokes serve two purposes. They create a more unique aesthetic for home cooks that don't want shiny cookware. But they also make it harder for fingerprint smudges and food spots to be visible.
Shiny stainless steel looks great at first. But as it becomes dirty, it looks annoying. Any food spots or finger smudges may quickly become distracting. You might feel compelled to regularly clean shiny stainless steel cookware. No need to worry about brushed stainless steel cookware.
In the end, both types of stainless steel are durable and anticorrosive. Which is better depends on your aesthetic preferences or how often you use the cookware.
How long does All Clad cookware last?
All Clad's cookware is made with high-quality stainless steel and other materials. There isn't an official time limit for how long the cookware should last. But in general, you can expect All Clad pots and pans to last for at least several years, even under heavy use.
The more you use cookware, the faster it potentially degrades. But All Clad’s cookware has been known to last for over 10 years, even in kitchens that use them each night. It's extremely comparable to the other cookware brand Calphalon.
Furthermore, you can extend the lifespan of your All Clad cookware by handwashing each piece. Don't forget to avoid using metal utensils.
Is All Clad cookware oven-safe?
Yes. But different All Clad cookware pieces are safe at different temperature ranges.
For instance, All Clad’s Ha1 Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set is oven safe at temperatures up to 500°F. The other All Clad cookware sets in this review are safe for oven temperatures up to 600°F.
Be sure to check the temperature limits for any All Clad cookware you’re thinking of purchasing. This way, you can make sure you don’t buy something that doesn’t fit your needs.
Final All Clad Cookware Review: Which Cookware is Right for You?
When all is said and done, you have a choice. Should you pick up an All Clad Cookware set?
Ultimately, it depends on your budget and whether you want cookware that will last for years to come. The good news is that All Clad does produce affordable cookware that should last for a long time. You don't have to splurge on their most premium sets.
The All Clad Ha1 Anodized Aluminum Cookware Set is an ideal choice for home chefs that need something affordable but reliable. While it doesn’t use stainless steel as often as the other sets, it’s still a great choice overall. The anodized aluminum will resist corrosion and facilitate even heating for years to come.
This being said, there are benefits to buying the more expensive sets if you can afford them. All Clad’s D3 Stainless Steel Cookware Set is a good middle of the road option. It’s not as expensive as copper core cookware. But it does use tri-ply stainless steel and aluminum bonded construction. As a result, it produces even more exceptional heating and long-term durability.
If price is no object, we’d heartily recommend the All Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Cookware Set. The copper layer simply adds even more value to each cookware piece. Cooking is always even and fast. Plus, the set features 18/10 stainless steel construction for exceptional strength. It never warps, even under heavy heat exposure.
Should you buy All Clad cookware? Absolutely. Which set should you buy? It depends on your budget. Choose from the three sets above based on your price limit. You’ll likely walk away with the best cookware collection you’ve ever used.