All-Clad D5 Cookware Set Review – Premium Performance for Years to Come

Let’s be frank: most pieces of kitchen cookware last a few years at best.

It’s the never-ending problem for home cooks. But on some level, this is to be expected. If you use a tool every day for years, eventually it’ll start to show signs of wear and tear, right?

This doesn’t have to be true. For example, the All-Clad D5 Cookware Set offers a collection of quality stainless steel pans, and accompanying lids. It's a great pick for cooks tired of their pots and pans rusting, cracking, or losing their “non-stick” qualities. Plus, it’s made right in the United States.

Want to know if the All-Clad D5 Cookware collection is right for you?

All-Clad D5 Cookware Set Review

We’ll break down everything there is to know about this premium collection in our All-Clad D5 review. We'll also go over how many pieces you get for the purchase and see whether it’ll last you for a lifetime. Let’s begin!


All-Clad D5 Review – Key Features and Benefits

The All-Clad D5 Set demands a pretty high price. But it’s ultimately well worth it when you consider the excellent features and attributes it brings to the table (and your kitchen). Let’s see if it’s a good fit for your cooking needs.

Five Alternating Layers of Stainless Steel and Aluminum

For starters, each piece in this cookware set comes with “5-ply” bonded construction. In short, this means that heat will transfer evenly across each pan’s cooking surface. So you’ll enjoy long-term durability and non-stick reliability for years to come.

It all works because of the 5-ply design, which is an improvement from tri-ply pots and pans.

Each pan is created using alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum. The former is corrosion-resistant and has excellent heat distribution. The latter is extremely effective at absorbing heat. Two aluminum layers are sandwiched between three layers of stainless steel.

Five Alternating Layers

All five layers are important since stainless steel doesn’t have great heat conductivity. But both metals combined make up for each other’s shortcomings. Plus, stainless steel’s heat conduction prevents the inner aluminum layers from melting.

In contrast, tri-ply pots and pans work the same way but don’t last as long. Tri-ply heat distribution also isn’t quite as even.

Put together, the 5-ply design makes it easy for your D5 cooking set to absorb heat from your stovetop or oven quickly. It doesn’t matter whether you have an induction stovetop or a gas stovetop. It works fine either way.

The combined aluminum and steel layers also retain heat well for consistent cooking. There won’t be any need to worry about hot spots or cold spots (places where your pan cooks food more slowly or quickly).

Additionally, the stainless steel layers ensure fantastic durability for the cooking set. Stainless steel is used for a variety of things, from construction equipment to firearms to top-tier cookware, for a good reason.

Meanwhile, the aluminum layer ensures that the kitchenware set won’t weigh too much, even if you hold all the pieces together. Aluminum is relatively lightweight compared to stainless steel.

Plus, the brushed finish that adorns the All-Clad D5 Set’s pans adds a finishing touch. It both preserves the stainless steel outer surface even further and adds a bit of elegance to each piece.

Heat-Resistant Handles

Calphalon Nonstick Using Tips

We’ve all been in the kitchen and accidentally grabbed a handle that became hot by accident. Ouch!

Each of the D5 Kit’s stainless steel handles is designed to be heat resistant from the start. That’s because each handle has the same 18/10 stainless steel that the pans themselves have for cooking surfaces. 18/10 stainless steel has 18% chromium and 10% nickel.

When it comes to stainless steel, more nickel means the steel is safer against corrosion.

18/10 stainless steel is among the most durable in the cookware market. So you can rest assured that the pans’ handles will last for a long time to come. Even better, each handle is secured with stainless steel rivets. No matter how heavy things get inside the pan, it’ll never bend or break.

But durability isn’t everything. The D5’s pans also come with comfortable shapes. Swirling, flipping, and turning your food inside them will be quick and easy thanks to their ergonomic designs.

Flared Edges

Making your family’s favorite sauces in the All-Clad D5 1.5-quart sauce pan will be painless since each pan has with flared edges. In a nutshell, the flared edges make it harder for sauce and other liquid-y foods to spill over the edge, even with vigorous swirling and stirring.

But that’s not even the best benefit provided by this aspect. With the All-Clad D5 cookware, you'll enjoy drip-free pouring. No more messes on the kitchen counter as you try to pour soup, sauce, or other culinary creations into your family's bowls.

It’s a small feature, sure, but the small stuff really makes this cookware set as great as it is.

Non-Stick Surfaces

Lastly, the All-Clad D5’s pans come with non-stick surfaces. But what exactly does this mean?

Most non-stick cookware uses commercial non-stick materials. These eventually rub off through wear and tear or through repeated cooking. This makes their non-stick properties temporary at best.

The All-Clad D5 Set is a bit different. Instead, each pan in this cookware set uses a so-called “starburst” finish on the inside surface. According to All-Clad themselves, the starburst finish is a mechanical trick. It essentially sands down the surface of the topmost surface of stainless steel.

The result?

Non-Stick Surfaces

No more sticking, even for traditionally sticky materials like certain sauces or pancake batter. With the All-Clad D5 Cookware Set, you’ll be able to cook your favorite dishes without having to scrape away sticky stuff.

Plus, the cookware doesn’t use any chemicals to create its non-stick effect. So there’s no need to worry about a non-stick finish compromising your meal’s flavor!


How Do Customers Like the All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Set?

The All-Clad D5 line is renowned for its excellent features and construction. But it’s a good idea to get a sense of what people who’ve already used the cookware have to say about its performance,

Customers Review All-Clad D5 Stainless Steel Set

People Seem to Like…

As from in most All-Clad D5 reviews, people are thrilled with the performance of this line’s various pans.

Most customers have noticed that the cookware distributes heat really well. Each time you use one of these pans, you’ll enjoy even heating and consistent performance.

But people have also noticed that there isn’t any flaking on the surface. There also isn't any reduction in each pan’s non-stick effects over time. That’s because, as described, the non-stick properties come from a sanding procedure. This is better than a special chemical additive that can wear away through heavy use.

Other customers have noticed that it's easy to clean the pans, too. Note that you’ll need to use soap and a sponge rather than the dishwasher. This will keep them looking and performing at their best.

People also appreciate the limited lifetime warranty that kicks in when you buy any piece from the All-Clad D5 cookware line. And it's one of the top competitors compared to other cookware brands like Made In.  This warranty covers any manufacturer defects or starting problems. You can get a replacement for free, though note that the limited lifetime warranty doesn’t cover any user breaks.

People Have Issues With…

Most folks’ All-Clad D5 reviews are favorable overall. But people do have a few minor quibbles.

For instance, you should never use any kind of scouring pad. This may compromise the sanding procedure that gives the cookware its non-stick qualities. This can slow down the cleaning process for some folks.

The other issue is the price. While the All-Clad D5’s are certainly worth your time if you have the funds, they’re quite a pricy set overall. But the set will definitely last for years to come, so most purchasers will find this to be a solid investment. But if you don’t have $800 or so (depending on where you can find these pieces), you’ll likely need to look elsewhere.

What’s in the Box?

The All-Clad D5’s main offering is a 10-piece set. However, you can also find variations of this set with 7 cookware pieces instead. The default set includes:

All-Clad 401877R Stainless Steel 3-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 10-Piece, Silver - 8400000960
  • An 8-inch frypan
  • A 10-inch frypan
  • A 1.5-quart sauce pan with a lid
  • Two 3-quart sauté pans with lids. Both 3-quart sauté pans are identical
  • A 5.5-quart Dutch oven with a lid

In total, that’s enough cookware to whip up a meal for a family of any size! The only things you’ll need to provide are utensils and cooking instruments (i.e., spatulas, spoons, ladles, etc.).

You can also sometimes find individual D5 pieces, all with the same features and specifications. These include an 8-quart stockpot, for example, and 3-quart saucepans.


All-Clad D5 Cookware FAQs

Is the All-Clad D5 Line Being Discontinued?

This cookware is already discontinued per All-Clad’s website and certain company announcements. The company still makes pans and other kitchen cookware. But the D5 line has been totally discontinued.

You’ll only be able to get the All-Clad D5 line and its composite pieces while supplies last from various vendors.

So if you see the Set or any of the All-Clad D5 cookware pieces, be sure to grab them while you can! You may never get another opportunity.

There are other All-Clad cookware lines as well. But it’s uncertain whether a new All-Clad cookware line will be as good as this one.

Are the All-Clad D5 Pans Dishwasher Safe?

Technically, yes. The Cookware Set’s pieces are dishwasher safe push comes to shove. But the manufacturers themselves don’t recommend it.

If you put the cookware in the dishwasher, the brushed finish and the starburst sanding effect could both be spoiled due to the heavy heat and chemical soaps involved with dishwasher cleaning.

As any home cook will tell you, only put explicitly dishwasher safe cookware in the dishwasher.

What’s the Difference Between the All-Clad D3 and All-Clad D5 Lines?

The All-Clad D3 line of cookware has 3-ply construction instead of 5-ply. As you might guess, the All-Clad tri-ply set has a single layer of aluminum is sandwiched between two borders of stainless steel with each D3 piece.

The All-Clad tri-ply cookware is still quite effective. But they’re cheaper and a little less premium in quality and performance compared to the D5 pieces. Its aluminum layer, for instance, may melt under duress. That’s because aluminum, while flexible, isn’t as durable as stainless steel.

Plus, the D3 cookware’s stainless steel surface doesn’t include any brushed finish. The D5’s finish adds a slightly better aesthetic and provides additional protection for the outermost stainless steel surface.

Read our in-depth review of the All-Clad D3 vs D5 cookware linup.

How Should You Clean the All-Clad D5s?

Clean your All-Clad D5 pans and lids with soap and a sponge and use warm water to clear away debris. It’s the best way to make sure that your cookware lasts for as long as possible.

If you’re having trouble getting rid of certain food debris or stains, use a gentle cleaner spray and add a new sponge to the routine. Water stains and similar issues should clear away with the right application of pressure and a cleaning solvent. Never put your All-Clad D5 dishes in the dishwasher.

Check the D5 line’s manual for more information.

Is the All-Clad D5 Line Better Than the D3 Line?

In general, yes. You’ll pay a higher price since each piece comes with 5-ply construction. But the D5 line will likely last for significantly longer compared to the D3 line since there are more borders of both aluminum and stainless steel included in each piece.

Tri-ply is fine for cheaper cookware. But tri-ply isn’t nearly as high-quality as 5-ply.


Final Verdict – The All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Our All-Clad D5 review’s bottom line is simple. The All-Clad D5 Cookware Set is a high-quality and long-lasting kitchenware set. It’s a great choice for certain home cooks. Due to its reliance on handwashing and relatively high price, the All-Clad D5 kit is a really good pick if you want to perfect your home cooking or if you want to buy a set that’ll last for years to come, not just a year or two.

On the other hand, the All-Clad D5s might be a bit unnecessary if you just want to buy pans to last you through college or to serve as backup cookware.

In our eyes, the All-Clad D5’s collection is a sterling set of cookware through and through. Provided you’ll use them each night and can afford them, there’s no reason not to buy them while you can. They’ll be gone permanently sooner rather than later!

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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