All-Clad Cookware Review (Is It Worth the High Price?) (2024)

IsAll-Clad cookware worth it? Why is it so expensive? What makes All-Clad better than other brands?

If you’re in the market for new cookware and are considering All-Clad, these are totally normal questions to be asking yourself, especially when there are alternatives for half the price.

When it comes to stainless steel cookware, All-Clad is the gold standard, but premium products come with premium price tags. So, is All-Clad worth it? The short answer is, yes. All-Clad cookware is worth it because the materials and processes they use to make it result in superior cooking performance and durability.

Let me explain.

All-Clad makes every piece of its stainless steel cookware by bonding (i.e., cladding) exterior layers of steel together with a core layer of aluminum (or, in some cases, copper). The steel exterior enhances durability, while the aluminum core conducts heat fast and evenly. This type of multi-clad construction, which All-Clad invented in the 1970s, results in unmatched cooking performance.

In addition to its multi-clad construction, All-Clad makes all of their stainless steel cookware in the U.S.A. with high-grade materials. Their strict manufacturing standards and meticulous quality control processes guarantee superior quality and durability.

Even though the upfront cost of All-Clad is higher than other brands, its value is incredible when you consider you’ll own it for life—every piece comes with a lifetime warranty. Also, if you look hard enough, you can usually find great deals for All-Clad on Amazon and All-Clad.com.

If you’re still not convinced that All-Clad is worth the higher price, keep reading. I’ve been using it for over 10 years, and in this review, I break down the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself.

All-Clad Review: Key Takeaways

Throughout this review, I share dozens of photos, in-depth insights, and results of tests I conducted. If you’re serious about buying All-Clad, I highly recommend reading every section. But if you only have a minute, here are the key takeaways.

Pros of All-Clad

Collections: All-Clad has a variety of cookware collections with unique materials and designs. D3 is its best-seller with 3-ply construction and 3 mm thick walls. D5 and Copper Core cost more but offer superior heat distribution and responsiveness, respectively. Skip ahead to learn more about All-Clad’s collections.

Cooking Performance: I’ve been cooking with All-Clad for ten years, and every collection heats up fast and evenly and retains heat well. I’ve tested it head-to-head against top brands like Made In, HexClad, and Demeyere, and it sears meat, sautés vegetables, and fries chicken just as well or better. Skip ahead to learn more about All-Clad’s performance.

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Heat Conduction and Retention: Based on my controlled tests, All-Clad Copper Core and G5 pans heat faster than almost every brand on the market (I’ve tested over 30). All collections retain heat well compared to competitors. Skip ahead to see the full test results.

Durability and Quality Standards: All-Clad makes each pan with high-quality locally sourced steel, aluminum, and copper. The pans are thick (3 mm to 4mm), so they stay flat on the stove and won’t dent or warp. Pans with even the slightest imperfections are sold at steep discounts during All-Clad’s Factory Seconds sales events. Skip ahead to learn more about All-Clad’s materials.

Made In the USA: All-Clad makes the base of its stainless steel cookware in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. The handles and lids are made in China and attached in the US. Unlike many cookware brands that outsource production, All-Clad owns and operates its manufacturing facilities. Skip ahead to learn more about where All-Clad is made.

Proven Track Record: Expert metallurgist John Ulam started All-Clad in 1971. He invented and patented the process of bonding multiple layers of steel and aluminum to create ultra-durable, non-reactive, even heating cookware. The company’s decades of innovation and unrelenting quality standards make it the gold standard in the market. Unlike the dozens of copycat brands that have emerged, All-Clad is a proven brand you can trust. Skip ahead to learn more about All-Clad’s history.

Cons of All-Clad

Expensive: All-Clad is one of the most expensive cookware brands because it’s made in the USA using high-quality materials, and customers are willing to pay a premium for the brand’s prestige. Skip ahead to see real-time pricing.

Uncomfortable Handles: The cup-shaped handles on pans in the D3, D5, Copper Core, and HA1 collections provide a secure grip but aren’t comfortable. All-Clad responded to this feedback by redesigning the handles in its newer D3 Everyday, G5, and Essentials collections. Skip ahead to learn more about All-Clad’s handles.

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Exposed Edges: Although All-Clad did not admit any wrongdoing, they recently settled a lawsuit over claims that the exposed edges become sharp when you clean the pans in the dishwasher despite their dishwasher-safe label. Since the settlement, All-Clad now recommends handwashing all pans. Skip ahead to learn more about this issue and settlement.

Food Sticks: Like all stainless steel cookware, All-Clad is prone to discoloration and brown spots. You need to scrub extra hard with a Bar Keepers Friend paste if you accidentally burn ingredients or if oils bake into the exterior. Skip ahead to learn more about food sticking and how to prevent it.

Bottom Line

All-Clad is one of the best cookware brands money can buy. It has sturdy handles, thick walls, gorgeous brushed or polished finishes, highly conductive core materials, and ultra-durable steel exteriors. I’ve tested and reviewed several lower-cost alternatives that perform similarly, but none have All-Clad’s proven track record, meticulously quality standards, and range of collections.

View the current prices and read dozens of reviews on All-Clad.com and Amazon.

Use the links below to navigate the review:

  • Cookware Collections
  • Cooking Performance
  • All-Clad vs. the Competition
  • Where It Is Made
  • Materials
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Durability
  • Brushed vs. Polished/Regular Stainless Steel
  • How to Properly Cook With All-Clad
  • How to Clean and Care for All-Clad Cookware
  • Downsides of All-Clad Cookware
  • How Much Does Each All-Clad Collection Cost?
  • History of All-Clad
  • Final Verdict: Is All-Clad Cookware Worth It?

Cookware Collections

All-Clad makes many different products, including cookware (pots and pans), small appliances (toasters, slow cookers, waffle makers), ovenware (roasting sheets, bakers), and kitchen tools (tongs, whisks, serving utensils, spatulas).

But, the focus of this review will be on their most popular product line: cookware.

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Before I get into the details of what makes All-Clad cookware different and whether the high prices are justified, let’s first examine the products and the various options available.

In 2020, All-Clad overhauled its cookware collections. They discontinued the C4 Copper, Master Chef, LTD, and Thomas Keller collections while introducing a new ceramic collection, FusionTec, a revamped version of its best-selling D3 cookware, D3 Everyday, and a new innovative lightweight collection, G5 Graphite Core. All-Clad discontinued the FusionTec collection in late 2023 and added the NS Pro collection in 2024.

In this section, I’ll walk through each collection available today and briefly highly what makes it unique.

You can get a complete breakdown of the top All-Clad stainless steel collections in our All-Clad Buyer’s Guide: Which All-Clad Cookware Collection Is the Best for You?

All-Clad D3

The D3 collection is made with 3-ply construction, including a polished steel exterior, aluminum core, and stainless steel cooking surface.

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It’s, by far, the company’s best-selling cookware due to its classic design, quick, even heating, and affordable price tag (relative to All-Clad’s higher-end collections).

D3 cookware is made in the USA, oven-safe up to 600°F, and lighter than All-Clad’s 5-ply collections (D5 and Copper Core).

All-Clad D3 Everyday

One of the most common complaints about D3 cookware is that the handles are uncomfortable.

All-Clad addressed that feedback with the D3 Everyday collection by replacing the straight handles with more comfortable, contoured handles.

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They also added flared pouring rims, interchangeable lids, and extended the skillet’s cooking surface by 30%.

Like the D3 collection, D3 Everyday is made in the USA, oven-safe up to 600°F, and features 3-ply construction.

The one downside is that this collection is only available on All-Clad.com, so you can’t hold it before buying.

All-Clad D5

The D5 collection is a step up in quality and price from D3.

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It’s made with five alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum bonded together. The two outside layers are stainless steel, then two layers of aluminum, then one steel layer at the core.

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The steel core slows heat transfer, reducing hot spots and ensuring completely even heat distribution.

Due to the additional layers of metal, it is slightly heavier, more durable, and more expensive than the D3 collection.

All pieces feature flared rims for smooth pouring, and the handles have bolsters to prevent your hand from getting too close to the pan.

D5 cookware comes with a brushed or polished exterior (more on this in the next section).

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It’s made in the USA and oven-safe up to 600°F.

Get an in-depth review of All-Clad D5 cookware and see how it stacks up against the D3 collection in our recent article: All-Clad D3 vs. D5: Which Stainless Steel Cookware Is Better? Or watch this All-Clad D5 Unboxing.

All-Clad Copper Core

Copper Core is All-Clad’s premium and most expensive collection, designed for professional use.

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Like D5, Copper Core cookware features 5-ply construction: two layers of stainless steel on the exterior, two layers of aluminum, and, as the name suggests, copper at the core.

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The star of this cookware is the copper core layer, which also appears as an elegant ring around the exterior.

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Since copper has high thermal conductivity, this cookware heats faster and responds to temperature changes more quickly than any other All-Clad collection.

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This cookware is ideal for meals that require precise temperature control, such as delicate sauces, fish, caramel, and chocolate, but it works exceptionally well with any ingredients.

The main downside is its cost — expect to pay much more than you would for D3 or D5.

Watch this All-Clad Copper Core Unboxing or read my in-depth review to learn more and get an up-close look.

All-Clad HA1 Non-Stick

The HA1 collection is All-Clad’s most popular non-stick collection. It’s made with a thick hard-anodized aluminum base, triple-layer non-stick coating, and a steel induction plate bonded to the bottom.

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It has sturdy stainless steel handles, tempered glass lids, and is compatible with all cooktops.

Unlike All-Clad stainless steel cookware, the HA1 collection is made in China and only oven-safe up to 500°F.

Learn more about this collection in my in-depth All-Clad HA1 review.

All-Clad Essentials Non-Stick

Essentials is a step down in features and price from the HA1 collection.

It features the same hard-anodized base and triple-layer non-stick coating but lacks the steel induction plate. The steel plate not only makes HA1 cookware compatible with induction cooktops but also makes it more warp-resistant.

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Without the plate, Essentials cookware doesn’t work on induction cooktops and is more prone to warping (although it’s unlikely to warp if used correctly).

Another difference between Essentials and HA1 is that Essentials handles are redesigned and slightly more comfortable. The groove on top is more curved and not as deep as HA1 handles.

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The Essentials collection is made in China and oven-safe up to 500°F.

Read my comparison of All-Clad Essentials vs. HA1 to learn more.

All-Clad NS Pro

NS Pro launched in 2024 and is All-Clad’s newest and most premium non-stick collection, designed for superior performance and durability.

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The pans in this collection have a hard-anodized aluminum base, a ceramic plasma bonding layer for enhanced scratch resistance, and a triple-layer PTFE non-stick coating for effortless food release and easy cleanup.

Each NS Pro pan has a thoughtfully designed ergonomic handle with a small groove for a comfortable and secure grip, flared rims for cleaner pouring, and sloped walls for easier access to food and quicker moisture evaporation when searing.

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NS Pro cookware comes with durable stainless steel lids that are easy to clean and won’t trap food particles like glass lids can.

Based on my testing, NS Pro pans heat slightly faster than All-Clad HA1 non-stick pans on electric and induction cooktops, but HA1 pans retain heat marginally better due to their steeper walls.

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The NS Pro collection includes essential pieces like fry pans, saucepans, and sauciers, but it currently only offers one cookware set. Like all All-Clad non-stick collections, NS Pro is made in China and oven-safe up to 500°F.

Although NS Pro is All-Clad’s most expensive non-stick collection, its superior comfort, functionality, and durability make it worth the investment for home cooks who want the best non-stick experience.

All-Clad G5 Graphite Core

G5 Graphite Core is All-Clad’s newest collection. It launched in 2021 and is the product of six years of research by the company’s innovation lab. All-Clad holds seven patents on its design, and it’s already won awards from Good Housekeeping and Popular Science.

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So what makes this collection so special? This cookware is made of five layers. The top and bottom layers are steel, then two layers of aluminum, and finally, a thin graphite disc at the core.

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Typically, materials that heat fast heat unevenly, and materials that heat evenly don’t heat fast. But graphite is different. It heats up incredibly fast and evenly. It’s also extremely light — 80% lighter than copper.

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So, if you’re looking for lightweight cookware that heats incredibly well, this is the collection for you. The only downside is that there are only a handful of pieces available. Over time, I expect All-Clad to add more pots, pans, and sets to this collection.

Cooking Performance

I’ve been cooking with All-Clad for over ten years and have tested every collection, including D3, D3 Everyday, D5, Copper Core, G5 Graphite Core, HA1, NS Pro, and Essentials.

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I’ve seared steak, sautéed vegetables, fried chicken, scrambled eggs, simmered sauces, and more.

After years of use and dozens of head-to-head tests against top-rated brands, I can confidently say that All-Clad performs as well or better than any other cookware I’ve reviewed. It heats up fast and evenly and maintains a consistent temperature.

What I like most about All-Clad is that each collection performs differently, which allows you to choose pans based on your cooking style and needs.

For example, D3 has thick (3 mm) tri-ply construction with an aluminum core. It heats fast, responds quickly to temperature changes, and holds heat well.

But if you want cookware that’s a bit more forgiving (heats slower but more evenly), go with D5. Since these pans have a thin steel core layer, they don’t heat as fast or respond as quickly when you turn the heat up or down. In other words, you get a little more leeway in the kitchen — food won’t burn or overcook if you accidentally turn the dial too high.

Copper Core pans perform differently than D5. Rather than responding slowly to temperature changes, these pans react incredibly fast due to their copper middle layer. This collection is for cooks who want more control over their cooking. It’s ideal for fish, onions, sauces, garlic, and other ingredients that require frequent temperature adjustments.

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I recently tested All-Clad against Made In, and as you can see below, the chicken browned nicely and cooked evenly in both pans.

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I also tested All-Clad against HexClad, and both pans put an excellent sear on the salmon.

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I tested All-Clad Copper Core against the start-up brand Goldilocks, and the chicken browned much faster in the All-Clad pan due to the fast-heating copper.

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Here’s an up-close look at a chicken cutlet fried in an All-Clad pan.

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And here are steaks cooked in the All-Clad HA1 non-stick pan.

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I also conducted a controlled experiment to compare the heat conduction properties of All-Clad’s collections versus Demeyere Industry and Atlantis pans. I heated each pan on medium for 45 seconds, added a small amount of butter, and then poured in ⅓ of a cup of pancake batter.

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I cooked the pancakes for one minute on the first side and 30 seconds on the second side. I allowed the burner to cool completely between tests to avoid skewing the results.

As you can see in the picture below, All-Clad G5 heated so rapidly that the butter nearly burned, and the pancake was overcooked before I could flip it. The Demeyere Atlantis pan heated so slowly that the pancake was still raw in the center after the timer went off. All-Clad Copper Core and D3 both heated fast, while D3 Everyday and D5 heated slower.

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Ultimately, this experiment underscores the fact that All-Clad offers a range of performance characteristics to suit different cooking styles and preferences.

As you can see from these pictures, All-Clad performs as advertised. The fully clad construction and thick walls ensure even heat distribution, and the high-quality 18/10 steel cooking surface doesn’t react with acidic foods.

That said, no cookware is perfect, and All-Clad is no exception.

While I love that the cup-shaped handles provide an excellent grip and don’t allow the handle to rotate when you tilt the pan, they are not comfortable.

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In fact, its handle’s lack of comfort is one of the most common complaints about All-Clad. When All-Clad originally designed the handle, they did so with professional chefs in mind. And since pro chefs often grab the handle while holding a towel or oven mitt, the design was ideal because it made the grip more secure. But for most home cooks, this concave design is not necessary.

Fortunately, All-Clad has listened to this feedback, and newer collections like D3 Everyday, G5, and Essentials have newly designed handles with a much more subtle indentation on the top.

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D3, D5, Copper Core, and HA1 pans still have All-Clad’s original uncomfortable handles, but I suspect that might change soon, given the feedback.

Overall, All-Clad cookware performs really well. If you want a balance between responsiveness and heat retention, D3 is the best option. If you’re a multitasker who wants more forgiving cookware, go with D5. If you’re an experienced cook who wants precise temperature control, go with Copper Core. HA1 and Essentials are best for eggs and other delicate foods prone to sticking.

All-Clad vs. the Competition

Every cookware brand I review goes through two controlled tests. The first test measures how quickly and evenly it heats. The second test measures how well it retains heat.

Both attributes are important to consider when buying cooking. You want a pan that heats fast and evenly without hot spots. But you also want a pan that maintains its temperature when you turn the dial down or add cold ingredients. If you put a cold steak in a hot pan and the pan loses heat, the steak won’t sear or cook evenly.

For the first test, I poured two cups of water into All-Clad D3, D5, Copper Core, G5, and HA1 fry pans. One by one, I placed them on the stove and turned the heat to high.

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As you can see in the chart below, All-Clad G5 and Copper Core are two of the fastest pans to heat up across the entire cookware industry. These results are not surprising since both pans have highly conductive core materials (G5 has a graphite core, and Copper Core is made with copper). The All-Clad D5 collection is one of the slowest to heat, but that’s by design (the thin steel core diffuses heat, so the pan heats slower but more evenly).

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Farberware1 minute and 2 seconds1 minute and 29 seconds
All-Clad G5 fry pan1 minute and 17 seconds2 minutes and 4 seconds
All-Clad Copper Core fry pan1 minute and 21 seconds2 minutes and 18 seconds
Made In stainless steel fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Anolon X pan1 minute and 35 seconds2 minutes and 22 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Caraway1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 26 seconds
Anolon Advanced fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
HexClad fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 30 seconds
Made In non-stick fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minutes and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Sardel fry pan1 minute and 41 seconds2 minutes and 46 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minutes and 2 seconds2 minutes and 46 seconds
Hestan fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Our Place Always Pan2 minutes and 2 seconds2 minutes and 48 seconds
Ninja NeverStick Pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 49 seconds
Tramontina fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 52 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad D3 fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad HA1 fry pan2 minutes and 12 seconds2 minutes and 58 seconds
All-Clad D5 fry pan1 minutes and 58 seconds3 minutes and 4 seconds
Goldilocks fry pan2 minutes and 17 seconds3 minutes and 5 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel fry pan1 minute and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds
Xtrema fry pan3 minutes and 41 seconds6 minutes and 7 seconds

To measure heat retention, I removed the pans from the heat and set them on the counter to cool. I measured the water temperature at the 5- and 10-minute marks.

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As you can see in the chart below, All-Clad retains heat well compared to the competition. The D3 collection retained heat the best, while Copper Core, known for its responsiveness, cooled down the fastest.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Xtrema fry pan142°F113°F
Made In stainless steel fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Made In non-stick fry pan120.2°F105.8°F
Ninja NeverStick Pan130.5°F104.8°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
Goldilocks fry pan122.0°F102.5°F
HexClad fry pan120.7°F102.4°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad D3 skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
All-Clad HA1 fry pan117.9°F98.1°F
Hestan fry pan114.4°F98.0°F
Sardel fry pan114.0°F97.8°F
All-Clad D5 fry pan112.7°F97.3°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
All-Clad G5 fry pan115.3°F96.6°F
Our Place Always Pan118.0°F96.7°F
Caraway fry pan116.6°F96.4°F
Anolon X pan114.1°F96.0°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
All-Clad Copper Core fry pan117.7°F95.5°F
Farberware fry pan112.0°F95.4°F
GreenLife fry pan119.0°F95.0°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113.0°F95.0°F
Anolon Advanced fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

Overall, All-Clad’s heat conduction and retention test results are solid. Some collections heat faster than others, but the uniform bubbling across the cooking surface shows that each pan distributes heat evenly. All collections retained heat well.

Where It Is Made

One of the most appealing aspects of All-Clad cookware is the fact that they source all of their metals directly from US suppliers and manufacture all of their bonded stainless steel cookware in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

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The D3, D5, Copper Core, and G5 stainless steel cookware collections are 100% made in the USA.

The only products they don’t produce in the US are some tools, accessories, and electric appliances that don’t require bonding. The HA1 and Essentials collections are made in China.

Also, the lids and handles across all collections are made in China and attached in the United States.

Materials

All-Clad makes their cookware with high-grade stainless steel. For the surface, they use 18/10 stainless steel, which is a form of 304-grade stainless steel made specifically to meet All-Clad’s extremely high standards.

For the exterior layer, All-Clad uses 18/0 magnetic stainless steel, allowing you to use the cookware on induction cooktops safely.

The core layer(s) vary by collection but are typically pure aluminum or copper. These materials conduct heat much faster and more evenly than steel—more on this in the next section.

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Their materials are all tested and guaranteed to meet National Standard ISO 9000 and ASTM 240 (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards. All-Clad’s cookware is non-toxic and free of PFOA (polytetrafluoroethylene acid).

Aluminum will tarnish and leave a metallic taste in food. Cast iron will rust with if soaked in water. Stainless steel is non-reactive, which makes for a superior cooking surface. The exterior layer is made of magnetic stainless steel, which is compatible with all types of cooktops, including induction. With stainless steel, you taste the food, not the metals of the pan.

Manufacturing Process

All-Clad uses a process of bonding (or “cladding”) several layers of stainless steel, pure aluminum, and, in the case of the Copper Core Collection, copper.

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This innovative process of bonding layers of metal together for even heating and precise temperature control was created by All-Clad in the 1970s. Since then, competitors have copied this method; however, there are two critical differences between All-Clad and other cookware brands.

First, All-Clad has the highest standard for the materials they use.

Secondly, All-Clad extends their bonded construction from the base up through the sides to ensure completely even distribution of heat with no cold spots. Other cookware brands typically only have bonded construction on the bottom cooking surface.

Take a behind the scenes look at their process in this video.

Durability

When you pick up and hold an All-Clad pan, you can feel its durability. They’re thick and heavy, so they stay flat on the stove and won’t dent or warp. And the handles won’t ever budge.

Almost every stainless steel cookware brand says their pans will last a lifetime, but All-Clad is one of the few that can prove it since the company has been around for so long.

Thousands of customers have owned All-Clad pans for decades, and although they may look a little tarnished, they still perform wonderfully.

To prove this point, here’s a pan I’ve used for a year.

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Here’s a pan that I’ve been using for about seven years.

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And here is my parents’ All-Clad saucepan that they bought in 1995 and have been using at least a few times a week since then.

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Almost 30 years later, this pan still sits flat on the stove and heats as evenly as it did from the beginning.

The point is that All-Clad pans are built to last a lifetime, and that is not just a sales pitch. All-Clad guarantees that with a limited lifetime warranty for all their cookware products.

The warranty covers almost everything as long as you properly use the products. For more details, view the warranty on All-Clad.com.

All-Clad Brushed vs. Polished/Regular Stainless Steel

In researching All-Clad cookware, you’ll notice that they describe some of the products as having “brushed” stainless steel or “polished/regular” stainless steel. So what is the difference?

The difference is simply the look on the surface of the pans. Brushed cookware has a dull, matte finish while polished cookware is shiny. They achieve the surface on brushed cookware through a process in which the metal is lightly sanded and then finished with a non-abrasive pad.

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Some customers say that brushed All-Clad cookware doesn’t show their wear as much.I’ve been using the polished cookware for a year, and, as long as you clean them right (jump to Cleaning and Caring section), they will look nice and new for a long time.

Here’s another side-by-side look at brushed and polished All-Clad cookware so you can see the difference.

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Brushed and polished cookware performs the same, so it comes down to your personal preference from a design standpoint.

Learn more about brushed vs. polished stainless steel cookware in this quick guide.

How to Properly Cook With All-Clad

All-Clad cookware distributes and holds heat so well that you rarely need to cook on high heat.

Whether you are searing meat, sauteing vegetables, and everything in between, low or medium heat will work best. The one exception is when you are boiling water. In that case, high heat is necessary, but in most cases, low/medium heat is optimal.

Most problems, like sticking or burning, occur when the temperature is too hot. If you use low and medium heat settings, your food will cook fast, even and perfect.

For delicate foods like eggs, fish, and pancakes, use extra caution, and keep the temperature low. If you don’t allow enough time for the crust to form and the natural release from the pan’s surface to occur, they will stick.

My favorite part of cooking with All-Clad is the fantastic sear you can put on meats. Others don’t even come close, especially pans with non-stick surfaces.

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To get the perfect sear, heat your pan slightly above medium heat. When the pan is warm, add oil and heat for another minute.

When the pan and oil are hot, place the meat carefully in the center of the pan. Be patient.

Do not touch the meat for at least 2 minutes, likely longer depending on the type of meat. If you try to move it right away, it will stick.

By giving it a few minutes, it develops a crust and naturally releases from the surface of the pan.

When you sear meats, there will be some bits and pieces stuck to the pan, but that is okay. They will quickly come off with soap and water.

If you’re feeling fancy, instead of washing the pan, use wine to deglaze it and make a sauce for your meal.

Common Questions About Cooking With All-Clad:

Question: Can you use All-Clad cookware on ceramic/glass/induction cooktops?

Yes, they work well on any cooktop.

Question: Are they safe to put into a hot oven?

Yes, their stainless steel cookware is oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit and their non-stick cookware is oven-safe up to 500. Perfect for searing a steak and finishing it off in a warm oven.

Question: Do All-Clad handles get hot?

All-Clad handles are designed to stay cool on the stove but will certainly get hot in the oven. To be safe, use a cooking mitt or towel when handling.

Question: What should I do if the food is sticking?

Food could be sticking for a few reasons. Likely the heat is too high. If that’s not it, you may need more oil or butter to grease the pan. Make sure that the oil is hot before you add the food.

Be sure to let the food cook for a few minutes before trying to move or stir it. Doing so will allow the food to cook and create a crust that will naturally release it from the surface.

Question: Will salt damage All-Clad cookware?

Yes, salt can cause white dots or pits on your cookware. Be sure to bring liquids to a boil first, then add salt. The dots/pit will only impact the cookware cosmetically, but won’t hurt performance.

Question: Do I need to use wood or nylon utensils when I cook with All-Clad?

No, you can use metal, wood, or plastic.

How to Clean and Care for All-Clad Cookware

If you follow the cooking instructions with All-Clad, cleaning is simple: soap and water.

If you have a minimal amount of leftover debris sticking to the pan, give it a short soak in soap and water and then scrub it off with a regular sponge. Never use steel wool; it will scratch and cause damage.

Be sure to rinse and dry the cookware entirely before putting it away. If water sits in the pan for days, it can cause spotting.

The stainless steel collections are dishwasher safe; however, if you have the Copper Core cookware, the heat and harsh detergents can tarnish the exterior copper band. I typically avoid washing cookware in the dishwasher because it takes up too much space, but that is just me.

Do not run cold water on them immediately after cooking. The rapid change in temperature can cause warping. I’ve made this mistake a few times and got away with it, but the best practice is to take the pan off the heat and let it cool down naturally before rinsing with water.

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What to Do If You Scorch an All-Clad Pan?

So, you decide to dismiss our advice, and you cook on high heat or crank the oven above 600 degrees. All of a sudden, your pan looks like it has been scorched in a fire.

Can’t say I didn’t warn you! Overheating will result in burnt food, a smoky kitchen, and discoloration of your beautiful cookware.

The good news is that you can fix this with the help of a magical product called Bar Keepers Friend which you can buy on Amazon:

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Bar Keepers Friend is a special cleaning powder that has been sold since 1882, so you know it works.

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It is less abrasive than brands like Comet, and my tests proved it works better on stainless steel than The Pink Stuff. The active ingredient, oxalic acid, is the perfect cleaning agent for stainless steel because it removes rust and discoloration and makes the metal resistant to oxidation.

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Essentially, it creates a non-toxic layer on the steel to keep it resistant to damaging chemical reactions in the future.

To use it, combine a small amount of water with Bar Keeper’s Friend powder in your pan and mix it to create a paste. Rub that paste into the pan for about a minute and then scrub it off with more water.

Bar Keeper’s Friend will remove debris, discoloration, and stubborn residues.

Bottom line, if you buy All-Clad cookware, invest the few dollars in Bar Keepers Friend, it will make cleaning easy. You can purchase it on Amazon from this link.

If you’re having trouble removing stubborn stains, try the techniques in this in-depth guide on how to clean All-Clad or check out this quick video where I explain the easiest and quickest way to clean All-Clad.

Downsides of All-Clad Cookware

I touched on these throughout this article, but I want to reiterate a few things that you should know before you buy All-Clad cookware.

Price

Number one, these are premium products; therefore, they are pricey. You can view the current prices on Amazon below:

I understand that not everyone can afford to splurge on a big 14-piece set. However, when you consider the quality and the fact that they will last a lifetime, the pricing, in my opinion, is justified.

Also, as I cover in the next section, All-Clad offers a range of collections, some are less expensive than others. So, if you’re looking to spend less but still get incredible quality, you might be able to find a collection that fits your budget.

Uncomfortable Handles

Another common complaint about All-Clad is that the handles are uncomfortable. It’s true; the handles in the D3, D5, and HA1 collections are straight and cup-shaped and undeniably less enjoyable to hold compared to brands that have rounded handles.

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However, this design serves an essential purpose; it locks the handle in your hand, so you have complete control when tilting and pouring. Pots and pans with smooth rounded handles can easily rotate in your hand, which is a major safety hazard when pouring hot liquids.

Exposed Edges

The edges right along the rim of the pan are not sealed, which allows you to see the bonded layers. While some people like this because it showcases the quality of construction, it can cause issues.

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In fact, All-Clad recently settled a class action lawsuit because of this. The lawsuit alleges that All-Clad advertised its cookware as “dishwasher safe,” but when cleaned in the dishwasher, one or more of the bonded layers become thin and sharp.

When you put these pans in the dishwasher, the aluminum core can shrink and recede over time. When this happens, the thin steel layers on the top and bottom stick out and become sharp.

All-Clad did not admit wrongdoing but agreed to a settlement and refund or replace any damaged pans. Since its legal trouble, All-Clad now says its pans are not dishwasher safe.

Although un-sealed edges are common and not an issue if you avoid the dishwasher, brands like Sardel, Hestan, and Misen make pans with sealed rims to avoid this issue altogether.

Food Sticks

If you browse negative reviews of All-Clad, the complaint you’ll see most often is: food sticks to the stainless steel pans. Yes, this happens. These are not non-stick. There’s a time and place for non-stick pans, so I am not bashing them, they are great. But if you are cooking food that needs a good sear or crispy exterior, you can’t achieve that with non-stick.

If you are a beginner in the kitchen, you need to understand how to use All-Clad cookware properly. If you don’t, your food will stick.

Difficult to Clean

This brings me to the final downside, All-Clad cookware is difficult to clean, and it’s hard to remove all the brown spots and discoloration.

Even if you use the cookware properly, keep the heat low, and grease the pan perfectly, you will inevitably run into some brown spots and discoloration. It happens to the best of us.

My answer to that, again, is Bar Keeper’s Friend. If soaking in soap and water doesn’t work, Bar Keeper’s Friend will. It is a little extra work, but your cookware will look as good as new.

How Much Does Each All-Clad Collection Cost?

All-Clad cookware is expensive, but how much does it actually cost?

Some All-Clad collections are more expensive than others; the price depends on the materials, construction, and design.

For example, D3 is All-Clad’s least expensive collection since they make it with only three bonded layers (steel, aluminum, steel). Conversely, Copper Core is one of the pricier collections due to its 5-ply construction and unique copper core.

To help you get a better sense of how much All-Clad really costs, check out the table below where I compare the current prices of each collection.

Note: These prices are pulled in real-time from Amazon. You can click on the image or the price to check out more details and read dozens of reviews on Amazon.

All-Clad CollectionCurrent PriceView Details
All-Clad D3 10-Piece SetAmazon
All-Clad D5 10-Piece SetAmazon
All-Clad Copper Core 10-Piece SetAmazon
All-Clad HA1 10-Piece SetAmazon
All-Clad D3 12-Inch Fry PanAmazon
All-Clad D5 12-Inch Fry PanAmazon
All-Clad Copper Core 12-Inch Fry PanAmazon

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

History of All-Clad

Back in 1967, steel was a hot commodity with tons of new, expanding applications. Innovations in the 19th and 20th centuries continuously improved steel production, shifting from Bessemer converters, open-hearth furnaces, and oxygen steelmaking processes to electrical steelmaking.

Thanks to that, world steel production was up to 770 million tons per year in 1989.

At the same time, aluminum cookware was receiving backlash about how it made food taste metallic.

The advantage of using aluminum is its fantastic thermal conductivity, a property that allows a pan to heat rapidly.

Although steel is a heartier material that doesn’t leave your food tasting like loose change, it just can’t beat aluminum in conductivity.

Enter John Ulam – an American metallurgist who had been working with U.S. Mint to produce dimes, quarters, and half-dollars, until he discovered a fix for ineffective aluminum cookware.

Ulam was a master of the bonding or “cladding” process, which occurs when you place two metals together under intense pressure and heat until they bond together into a single sheet.

Recognizing the potential in pairing stainless steel’s sturdiness with aluminum’s thermal conductivity, Ulam forever changed the world of cookware. He established All-Clad Metalcrafters in 1971, selling new and improved cookware to professional chefs and home cooks alike.

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Ulam obtained several patents for his bonding process, giving All-Clad a significant head start and a major competitive advantage.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, All-Clad established itself as the leader in premium, fully-clad stainless steel cookware. It became (and still is) a status symbol for anyone serious about cooking.

Despite almost every competitor making their own fully-clad stainless steel cookware since Ulam’s original patent expired, All-Clad remains one of the top cookware brands in the world and continues to demand higher prices because of the reputation it built up over decades, its early mover status, and its loyal customer base.

The company has changed hands several times since its founder passed away in 1989. Although the French conglomerate, Groupe SEB, now owns All-Clad, they still use American steel and manufacture it in the All-Clad factories in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

They’ve also expanded into other products such as indoor grills, slow cookers, waffle makers, and toasters.

You can find All-Clad cookware on the shelves at stores like Crate and Barrel, Macy’s, and online on Amazon and All-Clad.com, and it’s often the top cookware choice of brides and grooms for their wedding registry.

All-Clad’s success is no fluke. Their commitment to innovation and meeting the needs of professional and home chefs is why All-Clad will continue to be a force in the cookware market for years to come.

Final Verdict: Is All-Clad Cookware Worth It?

Is All-Clad worth buying since you can get almost the same design and construction from other brands at much lower prices?

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Based on my testing, including head-to-head tests against dozens of top-rated cookware brands, All-Clad cookware is worth the investment.

Here’s why.

First, they offer more variety than almost every other brand. So you can mix and match collections based on your cooking style and budget. Second, the quality control is in a class of its own. And third, it’s one of the few brands that has proven it will last for decades.

So, despite the high initial price, the long-term value is excellent. If you’re ready to upgrade your kitchen, buy All-Clad on All-Clad.com or Amazon.

If you are still not sure, I would highly suggest purchasing one or two items, like the 12-inch Fry Pan, and try them out yourself.

If you love everything you’re hearing about All-Clad, but you can’t get over the price, you have two options.

Option one is to buy cookware from another brand (these are the best affordable All-Clad alternatives).

Option two is to buy All-Clad Factory Seconds for up to 80% off the regular price.

All-Clad Factory Seconds are pots and pans that have minor cosmetic imperfections, but, otherwise, they’re the same as regular All-Clad cookware.

Throughout the year, All-Clad runs promotions on its retail outlet website HomeAndCookSales.com offering up to 80% off its most popular cookware—an unbelievable deal!

These sales come and go, but if you catch it at the right time, you can save hundreds on All-Clad. Check out the current deals on All-Clad Factory Seconds to learn more.

Tell us your thoughts on All-Clad

Have you had a different experience with All-Clad cookware?

Do you agree or disagree with our review?

Are there any other cookware brands that you think are better than All-Clad?

Please let us know in the comments section or contact us directly; we would love to hear your feedback.

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All-Clad Cookware Review (Is It Worth the High Price?) (2024)
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