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The All All-Clad Cookware Topic


dennis77
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i got the set of seven , it rocks. i wouldnt trade them for anything . just let em soak and even the toughest stuck on grime comes off . and i use this bar keepers friend to keep em shiney it works great . :biggrin: also got that big pasta pot with the steamer its great as well . only wish i got the bigger sauce pot thats the only pan im missin that i would need ever that didnt come in the set . used lots of other pans there still my fave and there garenteed for life so its an investment not a splurge . :biggrin: and they look so good hanging on my wall :raz: i got them on sale from macys during christmas clear out you should wait for sales i got mine for 350$ plus some free all clad towels and utensils that are good as well . :smile:

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Good question, Dennis. The short answer is that it is overpriced and not even the best that All-Clad makes. You can do much better than buying sets in any single brand. For a thorough discussion of this, see the free eGCI course on Stovetop Cookware. It is a terrific overview and will help you to make informed decisions about cookware. Do take a look.

You could help us answer your question here on this thread, if you will tell us a little about what things you like to cook or want to learn how to cook, what pieces you already have, and are you looking for something to last the next five? 10? 20 years? Hand down to your grandchildren?

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I think All clad is terrific - but I never buy sets as they invariably include a piece or two you don't want or won't use. I have the LTD. pots and pans- stainless on the interior, dark aluminum on the exterior.

Is it the best you can get? I honestly think that is subjective - as is the decision to buy the all stainless or Ltd. As I never - well, almost never - put my pots and pans in the dishwasher, that wasn't a question for me.

Another good stainless line is Sitram - expensive but tops imho for all stainless.

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I own a number of All Clad Stainless steel pots and pans, including two roasting pans, and I swear by them. I didn't buy them in a set, but aquired each one as I decided what I needed.

And I always put them in the dishwashwer, with no ill effects. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Is All-Clad stainless steel cookware still the best that you can buy. Is it still worth the money. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Hmmm... My first reaction is, "no it isn't the best that you can buy by any stretch of the imagination" and my second reaction is, "actually, it was never worth the money."

This is not to say that All-Clad Stainless isn't good cookware. It's good stuff, and I own several pieces of it. It's just hidiously overpriced. If price is not a consideration, far superior cookware may easily be found. And if price is a consideration, comparable or even better cookware may be had at a lower price.

If you're interested, please have a look at my eGCI class on Understanding Stovetop Cookware.

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If you want to make better cookware decisions, reading the eCGI Stovetop Cookware course several times is a must.

One of the things you will learn there is that current technology limits how thick the layers of a clad aluminum sandwiched by S/S can be. Typically the aluminum layer will be 1.7 mm, and the S/S ‘bread’ layers will be 0.4-0.5 mm each. All-Clad S/S may have an aluminum layer thicker than 1.7 mm, but the difference may not be enough to matter. If you’re really curious, go to a store and measure the thickness of a straight-sided All-Clad saucepan at the (conveniently non-tapered) top edge, and subtract 0.8 mm from your result.

Assuming you like All-Clad construction, the question really is, can you get the same construction for a lot less money?

If you are talking about aluminum sandwiched btw S/S, with the aluminum going up the sides, I would say that you might be able to pay a lot less if you bought Cuisinart Multiclad or even Farberware Millennium Clad S/S (this line has dark blue, not aqua logo/background. Aqua called ‘Soft Touch S/S’ and no cladding, only a disk on bottom). The thicknesses of the various layers for these lines seem very similar to All-Clad S/S. Be aware that C/M and FWMCSS have brushed S/S that is never as shiny as mirror-finish S/S, and some people have complained that Cuisinart Multiclad handles get hot. Warehouse clubs sometimes have very good deals, but you have to really scrutinize what kind of construction you are getting.

If you want LTD style, ie, thick solid (anodized) aluminum going up the sides, with S/S lining on inside, then maybe All-Clad is your only option.

Sets almost always have some pieces that you don’t see value in. Professional chefs suggest buying a piece at a time, but they are usually trying to fill a very specific gap in their already-diverse arsenal of cooking tools, which may not be your situation.

Personally, I think aluminum going up the sides in all my cookware is worth it. In theory there are some pieces of cookware like skillets, sauté pans or stockpots where you should be able to get away with a thick disk rather than cladding up the sides. In practice, you will find things getting burned on right where the edge of the disk runs out and the ‘floor’ of the pan meets the ‘wall’ of the pan, and this is an annoying feature in something you didn’t want to replace for 20 years. The only exception to this is cookware that you will really, honest-to-God, only boil water in, like a dedicated pasta pot and strainer, because heat distribution is not really an issue if all you are doing is boiling water.

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Personally, I think aluminum going up the sides in all my cookware is worth it.  In theory there are some pieces of cookware like skillets, sauté pans or stockpots where you should be able to get away with a thick disk rather than cladding up the sides.  In practice, you will find things getting burned on right where the edge of the disk  runs out and the ‘floor’ of the pan meets the ‘wall’ of the pan, and this is an annoying feature in something you didn’t want to replace for 20 years.

Interesting. I do a lot of cooking, and as anyone who has been in my kitchen can attest, I own an unconscionable amount of cookware. I have never -- not even once -- experienced even the slightest hint of this problem you are describing. Unless one is using a disk-bottom pan with a diameter so small that the flame of the burner goes up the sides of the pan, I don't believe this really happens. Now, in cases where the pan is smaller than the flame, I agree that it does make sense to have a fully clad pan. Needless to say, this size will vary according to the burners on one's stove.

I should also point out that I don't think it's always a matter of being able to "get away" woth using a disk-bottom design. There are several applications and types of pan where the disk-bottom designs available are superior to the fully-clad designs (usually this has to do with putting the largest amount of the thermal material in the place where it will do the most good).

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ive worked in three restaurants that used stainless all clad and even after 10 years of pro kitchen some low paid mexican who doesnt care about the pans tossing them on the floor kicking them and just general abuse these pans were still good as the day they bought em . they are worth every penny in my opinion theyll last for your childerens life time if taken care of . i saved over 300 $ by buying the set i just lucked into a kick ass deal oh also took out a store credit card and saved some $ too . and like i said there was only one pan that i wish i had bought just havent had time yet :biggrin: there great pans . :cool:

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If you want LTD style, ie, thick solid (anodized) aluminum going up the sides, with S/S lining on inside, then maybe All-Clad is your only option.

One thing I'd like to point out is that the LTD and Master Chef 2 series use thicker aluminum than the Stainless series and will thus outperform the latter, maintenence issues aside. The thickness is nearly double as I recall.

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ive worked in three restaurants that used stainless all clad. . .

This interests me. I've heard similar claims from various people over the years. And I've poked my head into an awful lot of restaurant kitchens over the years, from the super high-end to quotidian greasy spoons. And yet I've never seen a single piece of All-Clad. Not one. And really, given the extreme expense of this stuff, it's no surprise that I haven't seen it around. I'm not saying that such restaurant kitchens don't exist, but they have to be extremely rare. It really is remarkable that you have not only worked in one, but three restaurants that use All-Clad Stainless.

Does All-Clad make a pan that can be used for broiling in the oven and will withstand the high broiling heat?

All of their pans can be used this way, afaik (except the nonstick ones, of course).

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All of their pans can be used this way, afaik (except the nonstick ones, of course).

Yes they can. They do not, to the best of my knowledge make a broiler pan specifically.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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One thing I'd like to point out is that the LTD and Master Chef 2 series use thicker aluminum than the Stainless series and will thus outperform the latter, maintenence issues aside. The thickness is nearly double as I recall.

Ed is right about the All-Clad Master Chef 2 series being significantly thicker than the Stainless line. I took a micometer into a cookware shop and measured a number of pans. The thickest fully clad pan is the frightfully expensive Deymeyere.

It is also interesting that the All-Clad MC2 pans are significantly thinner than my 20 year old Master Chef pans. Thinner pans = higher profits.

Tim

ps: I also find it interesting that the A-C Stainless Roasting pan has NO CLADDING and buckles when you use it to make a pan sauce. The Ltd. Roaster is the better option.

Edited by tim (log)
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I swore by AllClad until I bought a couple pieces of Falk Culinair. I got the 4 qt stew pan and the 1.4 qt sauce pan and am as in love with them as you can get with some copper and steel. The stew pot is so versatile. They are heavy and can't go in the dishwasher - only drawbacks I can see......well, maybe their expense.

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I have some All-Clad Stainless saute pans, sauce pans and a braiser. I love the stuff, although I agree there may be better values for the money out there. I like the way it looks and handles, and cleanup has been easy - well, except for the poor pan in which I boiled the shallots-and-wine down until there was no wine and only bits of charcoal where the shallots used to be. That was a murder cleanup. That's what I get for trying to use the hot tub and cook at the same time. :hmmm:

I absolutely agree: don't get a set. Pick up pieces as you need them.

I'll add: if you do, after all this discussion, decide to go against the professional opinions and go with All-Clad, go to Outlets Online and follow the links to the All-Clad outlet store. You'll save major bucks and the stuff is still good. I once ordered a piece that came, well, too factory-secondish for me and they cheerfully exchanged it.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Does All-Clad make a pan that can be used for broiling in the oven and will withstand the high broiling heat?

Did a quick search on their web-site. They say the stainless interior cookware is overnsafe to 500 degrees, which should not be a problem for broiling unless you have a blast furnace for an oven.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Did a quick search on their web-site. They say the stainless interior cookware is overnsafe to 500 degrees, which should not be a problem for broiling unless you have a blast furnace for an oven.

I have to respectfully disagree; I have always believed that oven broiling is between 550° and 600°F. It has been very daunting to find a pan suitable for broiling. I guess most of the US population grills outside...

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I have to respectfully disagree; I have always believed that oven broiling is between 550° and 600°F.  It has been very daunting to find a pan suitable for broiling.  I guess most of the US population grills outside...

Playing some hookie at work and did some quick googling.

At the lower end of ovens, the top temp appeared to be about 500. The highest that I saw was for a Wolf, where the top setting was for 550. They had a mid-setting of 450 and a low broil setting for 350.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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I have to respectfully disagree; I have always believed that oven broiling is between 550° and 600°F.  It has been very daunting to find a pan suitable for broiling.  I guess most of the US population grills outside...

I've never had a problem with any of my (admittedly few pieces of) All-Clad under the broiler. The stainless has picked up a bit of a temper color, but I can't see that it's affected the cooking. All-Clad's probably worried about people complaining that their $$$ pan has turned a light straw yellow...

Charlie

Walled Lake, Michigan

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I also find it interesting that the A-C Stainless Roasting pan has NO CLADDING and buckles when you use it to make a pan sauce

Tim - I have the SS All Clad roaster - large one and the petite. I have used them on a number of occassions to make a pan sauce, after roasting I take the pan and its contents out of the oven, remove the piece of meat that has finished roasting to rest, put the roasting pan over two burners on my electric stove, deglaze and finsih the sauce. I have done this for three years on the largest one and have no problem.

All Clad has a life time guarantee - perhaps if you have had this experience you should have the piece replaced.

Life is short, eat dessert first

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ca, has it really been three years since we first talked about you getting that roaster?! But yes, I agree, I've been making gravies and pan sauces in my All Clad roaster probably once a week for a long time now, and have no problems at all.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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The pans I use most often are stainless all-clad, but this is only because at the time I bought them I hadn’t read slkinsey’s understanding stovetop cookware and the important Q&A that followed it. Everything I have purchased since, and some cookware recommended by Sam that was purchased by a friend, has not been all-clad. I agree that there are much greener (not to mention cheaper) pastures on the other side… The Sitram catering with the copper base performs much better than the stainless steel all-clad… just to name an example. Nonetheless, the all-clad is very durable. Although I have been very tough on it in hopes of wearing it out and buying something new… it just won’t quit. I don’t think it is ever likely to fail under normal use (damn it).

I have pretty much done everything with the 10" fry pan that would void the warranty (using it for extended periods under high heat, leaving it empty on a heated burner for a long time, using steel wool, scouring pads, abrasive cleaners etc…) and it just keeps going. The only thing I haven’t done with them is drive nails… and I can’t say that I haven’t been tempted.

Edited by fiftydollars (log)
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Tim - I have the SS All Clad roaster - large one and the petite.  I have used them on a number of occassions to make a pan sauce, after roasting I take the pan and its contents out of the oven, remove the piece of meat that has finished roasting to rest, put the roasting pan over two burners on my electric stove, deglaze and finsih the sauce.  I have done this for three years on the largest one and have no problem. 

All Clad has a life time guarantee - perhaps if you have had this experience you should have the piece replaced.

I did not mean to inpugn your roasting pan. I was merely reporting one disadvantage of a pan with no cladding that was documented by Cook's Illustrated.

This is not a guarantee issue because direct burner on high heat above 500 degrees is clealy not covered.

I was only trying to point out an advantage of a fully clad roasting pan. Sorry to offend you.

Tim

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