All Clad Copper Core Review (And Why It's Worth The Price)

For many home chefs, their cookware is in need of a serious upgrade. Lots of folks end up buying subpar cookware that degrades after a couple of years. Or they pick up pots and pans that produce uneven heating. Too hot or too cold spots plague their cooking tools.

All Clad has long been known as a great cookware manufacturer. Most of their pieces use alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum. These layers facilitate even heating and long-term durability.

All Clad Cookware Set, Best Premium Cookware

But All Clad also makes a line of even more premium cookware. So-called “copper core cookware”, these pieces are pricey. But they're well worth it for home cooks that want pots and pans that will actually last for the long haul.

Not sure whether All Clad’s copper core cookware is right for you. Let’s break down everything you need to know about these phenomenal cookware pieces in our detailed All Clad Copper Core review.

How We Performed Our All Clad Copper Core Review

After 42 hours of using this All Clad Copper Cookware and benchmarking to competing brands like Calphalon, Mauviel, and Made In, we have come to a conclusion. But before we let you know what it is, lets take a look closer at why copper core cookware. 

You might first be wondering why you would bother purchasing copper core cookware. Or you might wonder what copper core cookware even is.

Let’s break it down.

In a nutshell, most types of high-quality cookware have with alternating layers of stainless steel and another highly conductive material like aluminum. Aluminum is the industry standard since it’s lightweight. Using it prevents your cookware from weighing too much. But it’s also a much more effective conductor for heat.

Aluminum conducts heat so well that it ensures that any cookware made with alternating layers of aluminum and stainless steel won’t suffer from hot or cold spots. Heating is even instead.

Stainless steel, meanwhile, is used since it is anticorrosive and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. It doesn’t rust over time and has a sleek shine many people find appealing.

In fact, All Clad uses alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum for most of its cookware. But it offers higher value cookware with copper cores instead.

Put simply, copper is an even better conductor of heat than aluminum. With All Clad’s copper core cookware, copper replaces the interior aluminum layers. For instance, an All Clad 5-ply copper cookware piece will feature two layers of stainless steel, two layers of aluminum, and a single interior layer of copper.

Copper is also lightweight compared to aluminum. However, copper is more expensive, so you pay more for any All Clad copper core cookware you purchase.

We decided to find the best All Clad copper core cookware for a variety of pricing points and home chef needs. Specifically, we focused on three major aspects when narrowing down our favorite choices:

  • Cookware Included: We first looked at what each set or purchase came with, full stop. For instance, All Clad makes several multi-piece sets (including the D5). These are great choices for those with lots of money to spend. They’re also good picks if you need a full set of cookware that will last for a long time to come. Single pieces of cookware are good for completing an existing set in your kitchen. Or you can choose these to benefit from copper cookware for a single but important job.
  • Value for Money: We also paid attention to the best All Clad copper core cookware pieces by looking at their value for money. Not all copper cookware is made the same. But the best All Clad pieces have phenomenal materials. Some even come with accessories. Furthermore, many of the best All Clad copper cookware pieces come with lids. This prevents you from having to purchase another lid later.
  • Copper and Steel Layering: Lastly, we rated All Clad Copper core cookware by the numbers of steel and copper layers. For example, some of the pieces below use tri-ply stainless steel and copper layers. This means that there’s a single layer of copper bracketed by two layers of stainless steel. Others use 5-ply alternating layers. Two layers of aluminum are sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. A single layer of copper rests in the very middle. The more layers of materials, the pricier the cookware is in general.

With all this in mind, let’s take a look at the best All Clad copper core cookware for a variety of needs.

The Best All Clad Copper Cookware for Home Cooks

Image

Cookware

Number of Pieces

Best For

Layers

Lids

Price

All Clad Copper Core 7-Piece Cookware Set

7

Home Cooks

5-ply

Yes

All Clad Copper Core 10-Piece Cookware Set

10-Piece Set

10

Home Cooks With A Big Kitchen

5-ply

Yes

All-Clad 6203 SS Dishwasher Safe Saucepan

2

Replacing Existing Saucepan

5-ply

Yes

All-Clad Dishwasher Safe Dutch Oven

2

Even Cooking

5-ply

Yes

All-Clad Dishwasher Safe Open Stir Fry Pan

1

Versatility

5-ply

No

All-Clad Saute Pan, 3-Quart, Silver

2

Sautéeing

5-ply

Yes

All Clad Copper Core Chef’s Pan with Lid

2

Long Lasting

5-ply

Yes


* Best for Home Cooks *

All Clad Copper Core 7-Piece Cookware Set

If you want a versatile set of cookware, All Clad’s 7-piece copper cookware set is a great choice. It includes most of the major pieces you’ll need to make delicious meals for your family. Altogether, it includes:

  • 10 inch frypan
  • 2 quart covered saucepan
  • 3 quart covered sauté pan
  • 8 quart covered stockpot

Even better, each of these pieces comes with 5-ply bonded construction. That means a layer of copper, two layers of aluminum, and two layers of stainless steel. The stainless steel used is 18/10. This is a kind of stainless steel renowned for its durability.

But we also like the nonstick finish that comes with this cookware. Unlike other pieces of cookware, All Clad uses a special sanding finish. It doesn't use a nonstick coating material. In a nutshell, this prevents the nonstick effect from wearing down as easily over time. You’ll only experience some stickiness if you run these cookware pieces through the dishwasher frequently.

All Clad Copper Core 7-Piece Cookware Set Construction

Furthermore, each piece in this set comes with riveted stainless steel handles. They feature special events and contours so they are comfortable to hold. But they also want to become hot since stainless steel was a poor conductor for heat.

Lastly, each piece in the All Clad Cookware Set comes with flared edges. The flared edges prevent you from easily spilling sauces too easily.

What’s Great About It:

  • Cook Selection: This set has most of the major cookware pieces you’ll need for a complete kitchen set.
  • Excellent Construction: This set has 5-ply bonded construction. So you’ll benefit from excellent heating capability and phenomenal durability.
  • Solid Handles: We like that the handles here are both cool and durable. No need to worry about burning your hands during a long cooking session.
  • Good Non-Stick Finish: This set’s finish will ensure you never need to worry about sparying nonstick spray on their surfaces.

What Could Be Better:

  • Heavier Than Average: Most of these pieces are fairly heavy compared to aluminum-only alternatives.

Bottom Line

All in all, this 7-piece copper core cookware set is a phenomenal choice for home chefs who want high-quality cookware for each cooking task.


* Best for Home Cooks With Big Kitchens *

All Clad Copper Core 10-Piece Cookware Set

Want even more copper cookware dishes? In this case, the All Clad 10-piece Copper Core Cookware Set might be perfect for you. Note that it is much more expensive than the seven-piece alternative mentioned above. That's because it comes with three extra pieces. These are:

  • 8 inch frypan
  • 3 quart covered saucepan

With this set, you’ll have even more cooking choices for both frying foods and creating delicious sauces for your family.

Like the last set, each piece is made with 5-ply bonded construction. So you never need to worry about uneven heating. This also means that the same weight issues from the last set return. Each piece is a little heavier than an aluminum core counterpart.

Still, all of the benefits from the seven-piece set reviewed above return as well. You get stainless steel handles and rivets, plus flared edges for each cookware piece.

Chef cooking in all clad Copper Core fry pan

 But the 10-piece set also comes with special etchings on each piece's base. These etchings tell you the total capacity for the pot or pan in question. So you won't easily overload any piece of cookware with too much food.

What’s Great About It:

  • More Cookware Pieces: There’s no doubt about it. This cookware set has every major cookware piece you’ll need for a complete kitchen ensemble.
  • Excellent Construction: The construction in this All Clad cookware set is phenomenal. Excellent materials and good design choices can be seen with each piece.
  • Capacity Etchings: We really like that each piece tells you how much food it can hold safely on the rims.

What Could Be Better:

  • Heavy as Before: As mentioned earlier, the pieces are a little heavier than you may be used to.
  • Pricey: There’s also no denying that this set is quite expensive. Only home chefs with plenty of cash to burn will be able to afford it.

Bottom Line

All in all, the All Clad Copper Cookware 10-Piece Set is a phenomenal pick if you want every major pot or pan in your collection to produce even heating and phenomenal performance. Best for home cooks with a large kitchen.


Best Copper Cookware #3: 
All Clad Copper Core Saucepan with Lid

* Best for Replacing Old Saucepan *

All-Clad 6203 SS Dishwasher Safe Saucepan

What if you don’t need a full set of copper core cookware? In that case, All Clad makes a variety of high-quality individual cookware pieces. Some of these might be a great choice if you need a single piece for making specific dishes. Or you can use them to replace a dish that you previously lost.

For example, this All Clad Copper Core Saucepan is a perfect pick for creating delicious sauces. It is 3 quarts in capacity. It also weighs 6 pounds, so it’s fairly heavy compared to other cookware pieces.

But it has 5-ply bonded construction. It has a layer of copper, a layer of aluminum, and a single layer of stainless steel for phenomenal performance. Like the others, this saucepan benefits from flared edges and a riveted stainless steel handle. But the lid is also excellent. It’s made with durable glass that doesn’t easily break under duress. Even dropping the lid shouldn’t cause it to crack.

All Clad Copper Core Saucepan

The stainless steel is 18/10 in quality. It’s also polished for a shiny finish. Note that this finish can appear dirtier more easily than average. Be sure to clean it regularly to keep your cookware looking fantastic.

What’s Great About It:

  • 5-Ply Bonded Construction: This piece of cookware uses aluminum, copper, and stainless steel. The results speak for themselves.
  • Good Lid: The lid is also made with high-quality glass that is resistant to cracking or breaking.
  • More Affordable Than a Full Set: This piece of copper core cookware is more affordable for most home chefs.

What Could Be Better:

  • Looks Dirty: The piece has a shiny stainless steel finish. So finger smudges or spots of food will show up more easily.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, the All Clad Copper Core Sauce Pan here is a perfect choice if you need a replacement saucepan for cheaper, less-effective cookware in your kitchen.


* Best for Even Cooking *

All-Clad Dishwasher Safe Dutch Oven

All Clad makes more than just individual saucepans. You can also get an excellent copper core Dutch oven. It's not found in either of the above two copper core cookware sets.

This 5.5 quart Dutch oven comes with a round bottom and particularly high walls. It’s a perfect choice for fixing stews, roasts, and other Dutch oven meals or food items. The interior feels quite large and deep.

The cookware overall uses the same 5-ply bonded construction we’ve come to know and love. Aluminum, copper, and stainless steel all work together. They provide even heating and phenomenal cooking results. The Dutch oven also won’t warp, even under extreme heat.

This Dutch oven features the nonstick starburst finish described earlier. So it's easy to clean and your thoroughly cooked food won't stick to its interior very often. 

All Clad Copper Core Dutch Oven with Lid

The lid, rather than being made of glass, is made of stainless steel. This doesn't allow you to look on the inside and check your food without opening the Dutch oven. But it does mean the lid is more durable than many others.

Lastly, we really like that the Dutch oven comes with its capacity etched on the base. There’s no need to perform guesswork when deciding how much food to put inside.

What’s Great About It:

  • Durable Lid: This copper cookware’s lid is made of stainless steel. This provides it with great durability and an excellent, shiny aesthetic.
  • Good Construction: The rest of the Dutch oven is made with phenomenal materials. The deep interior well allows you to put lots of food inside for even cooking.
  • Etched Capacity: The base of the oven features its total capacity.

What Could Be Better:

  • No Glass Lid: The lid is exceptionally durable. But it’s difficult to tell how your food is doing without letting some heat out and removing the lid for a check.

Bottom Line

Any home chef who wants the best Dutch oven on the market would do well to check out All Clad’s copper core version. It’s a sterling piece of cookware through and through.


Best Copper Cookware #5: 
All Clad Copper Core Open Stir Fry Pan

* Best for Versatility *

All-Clad Dishwasher Safe Open Stir Fry Pan

Need a stir fry pan to whip up excellent meals for your family? In this case, All Clad has you covered. Their 14 inch open stir fry pan is a wonderful piece of cookware overall. 

It features very deep and sloped sides. Thanks to the included starburst nonstick finish, all of your food will slide around and be easy to toss as you create the perfect stirfry.

It utilizes 5-ply bonded construction like most other All Clad copper core cookware pieces. The thick copper core inside causes even heating.

It also comes with a riveted stainless steel handle with a vent in the middle. This vent makes sure that it never becomes too hot for comfort.

All Clad Copper Core Open Stir Fry Pan

What’s Great About It:

  • Great Non-Stick Finish: This pan’s nonstick finish is particularly important. So we’re glad to see that it works perfectly. Stir fry ingredients shouldn’t stick to its surface under any circumstances.
  • Excellent Materials: This stir fry pan uses copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. The riveted handle and sloped sides cement this as a great piece of cookware overall.

What Could Be Better:

  • No Lid: While many stir fry recipes don’t call for lids, some do. This pan doesn’t come with a matching lid. So if your recipe calls for one, you’ll have to make do with another from your collection.

Bottom Line

All Clad’s Copper Core Stir Fry Pan is the ideal stir fry solution for home chefs who love making these kinds of dishes.


Best Copper Cookware #6: 
All Clad Copper Core Saute Pan with Lid

* Best for Sautéeing *

All-Clad Saute Pan, 3-Quart, Silver

All Clad’s 3-quart sauté pan features 5-ply bonded construction. This promotes fantastically even heating. Meanwhile, the shiny stainless steel finish will resist corrosive damage. It also ensures long-term durability.

As a sauté pan in general, it has no equal. It features tall sides to prevent foods from spilling out. But it also has flared edges to prevent sauces or other sloshing foods from getting out as you move the pan around. The starburst finish seen earlier returns here as well to facilitate smooth cooking.

We also like that the sauté pan comes with its capacity etched on the base. Furthermore, it comes with a matching lid made with shatter-resistant glass. So it's easy to look in on your food as it is cooking to check on its progress without releasing precious heat.

All Clad Copper Core Saute Pan

What’s Great About It:

  • Excellent Materials: This sauté pan is made with some of the best materials in the business.
  • Matching Lid: Saute pans often need lids to cook their dishes properly. We're glad to see that this pan comes with a matching lid with shatter-resistant glass.
  • High Walls: The height of the pan’s walls will prevent food from spilling out too easily. The flared edges double down on this benefit.

What Could Be Better:

  • Heavy: The sauté pan over always about 7 pounds. So it’s definitely heavier than many other sauté pans on the market.

Bottom Line

As with the other high-quality All Clad Copper Core cookware pieces, this sauté pan is the best of its type. Consider it if you want your sauté pan to provide the best performance possible.


* Best for Long Lasting *

All Clad Copper Core Chef’s Pan with Lid

If you're in need of a basic chef's pan that can do it all, All Clad has your back. Their Copper Core Chef’s Pan is the best of the best, featuring the same 5-ply bonded construction we’ve seen before. The thick copper core does increase its weight to about 7 pounds in total when the lid sits atop it. But that’s a small price to pay for phenomenal cooking performance.

This chef’s pan comes with an excellent nonstick surface and riveted stainless steel handles. Its lid is totally stainless steel. This does make it difficult to check on your food without lifting the lid away. But it means the lid is super durable and should last as long as the pan it is paired with.

All Clad Copper Core Chef’s Pan

What’s Great About It:

  • Durable Lid: As mentioned, the stainless steel lid has the same shiny finish as the rest of the pan. It’ll last for a long time to come.
  • Good Non-Stick Finish: You’ll likely make a wide variety of dishes in this pan. So it’s a good thing the nonstick finish is excellent.

What Could Be Better:

  • No Interior Viewing: Unfortunately, the durability of the stainless steel lid means you have to lift it up if you want to check on your food in progress.

Bottom Line

Overall, this chef’s pan is a perfect tool for home cooks who need a versatile cooking put in place that can handle many meal prep tasks.


Things to Consider When Buying an All Clad Copper Core Cooking Piece

As you can see, no two All Clad Copper Core cookware choices are exactly alike. It can be tough to know which you should choose. Let’s break down what you should think about before buying any copper core piece.

Pieces Included in the Set

First, consider the pieces that are included with the set or single purchase. For instance, you might need a full collection of All Clad copper core cookware pieces. With a full set, you’ll be able to make any meal in your kitchen. You'll also never have to worry about your cookware breaking or having cold spots in the middle.

But those sets are quite pricey. Maybe you just need a single copper core cookware piece for specific dishes. If that’s the case, you’ll be better off going with the chef’s pan. Or you can choose any of the other single piece copper core cookware choices mentioned above.

Pieces included in all clad cookware

Bottom line: make sure that you only purchase what you actually need and will use for years to come. These are not cheap buys.

Price

Each All Clad Copper Core Cookware piece is quite expensive. The price is well-earned. Each All Clad copper core piece should last for a decade at minimum, even under heavy use. But this does mean at home chefs may need to be picky about what purchases they make in the end.

The sets, as you can see, are significantly more expensive than individual pieces. If you don’t have enough cash for a whole set yet, consider purchasing individual pots or pans. Using this strategy, you can slowly build up to a full set. Just purchase each piece individually over a few years.

Layers of Material

Lastly, consider the layers of copper, aluminum, and stainless steel included with any of these cookware pieces. All of the above All Clad copper core pieces have 5-ply bonded construction.

But other cookware pieces that utilize copper may only have three layers. In those cases, it'll be a single layer of copper and two layers of stainless steel on either side.

The more layers of material included with a piece of cookware, the pricier it is. But the better performance you’ll enjoy as well.

Non stick Layers of Material

All Clad Copper Core Cookware FAQs

Are All Clad’s Copper Cookware pieces being discontinued?

No, but you’re not wrong for assuming so. In fact, many of All Clad’s most popular cookware lines are being discontinued, such as the D5 line. Other lines, such as the D3, are not officially discontinued. But they may become discontinued in the near future.

Fortunately, All Clad knows that people love the copper core cookware they offer. As a result, the company is still producing new copper cookware pieces at the time of this writing. You shouldn’t need to worry about any copper pots or pans going away anytime soon.

How does the starburst nonstick finish work?

starburst nonstick finish of fry pan

Most cookware pieces that advertise “nonstick” performance use a coating of certain chemicals. These include synthetic chemicals like PTFE. These chemicals are ostensibly non-toxic. But ingesting them is still not a good idea.

Furthermore, chemical nonstick coatings can wear down over time. This can happen either by using metal utensils or by putting the cookware in the dishwasher.Therefore, the nonstick effect can diminish over several years.

All Clad’s starburst finish is a different type of nonstick solution. The manufacturer sands down the stainless steel surface layer at the end of production. This makes it difficult for food particles to get stuck in the stainless steel layer.

That being said, the starburst nonstick finish can still diminish over time. You have to be careful not to use metal utensils with your All Clad copper core cookware. You should also not throw these dishes in the dishwasher if possible.

Aren’t All Clad copper core cookware dishwasher safe?

Yes, technically. The manufacturer itself says that it's fine to put these dishes in the dishwasher. But in truth, any premium cookware should be hand washed whenever possible.

It all comes down to preserving the nonstick finish. Regular residential dishwashers use harsh liquid detergents and extremely hot water. This is fine for regular dishes that don’t cost too much. But your All Clad’s copper core cookware can be spoiled by regular dishwashing in these machines. Instead, it’s a better choice to hand wash your copper core cookware each time you use it. 

Cleaning All Clad copper core cookware

Use a regular soft sponge and normal dish soap along with warm water. You can soak the dishes if some food does take a little more elbow grease to take off.

Never use a scouring pad. This can also ruin the starburst nonstick finish if you aren’t careful.


Final Verdict – What All Clad Copper Cookware is Right for You?

At the end of the day, you’ll have to decide whether All Clad’s copper core cookware is a good pick overall. We’d stress considering what pieces you actually need. Several of the individual cookware items are great choices if you don't have a huge budget. They're great if you still want to benefit from copper-layer cooking.

If you can’t afford the entire copper core cookware sets described above, don’t worry. They aren’t going away anytime soon. So you can always purchase them later down the road if you like a single copper core cookware piece.

In our opinion, All Clad’s copper core cookware is as good as it gets. Other cookware is nowhere near as effective or durable.

About the author 

Jesse Spitzer

Jesse is a father of two and an aspiring chef. He has worked in the kitchen for over 7 years. He loves cooking and is passionate about finding ways to cook easier and more efficient. When he's not in the kitchen, Jesse can be found on on the golf course, reading a productivity book or sipping a glass of nice pinot.

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