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The All All-Clad Cookware Topic


dennis77
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This is going to incur the wrath of a lot of folks here, but Sitram Profiserie is all hat, no cattle. I've had two pieces in the past and after having BOTH pieces loose their handles due to substandard welds, you couldn't pay me enough to use those pieces of garbage ever again.

Snowangel's right, go to a WS, Sur La Table or whatever local joint you have and actually handle the cookware.

Last bit of advice: Forget everything and do yourself a favor and get a Vollrath Tribute Saute pan.

Edited by Grovite (log)

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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Last bit of advice: Forget everything and do yourself a favor and get a Vollrath Tribute Saute pan.

The Vollrath Tribute line appears to be excellent cookware. Look for it in restaurant supply stores rather than the gourmet shops. No problem with it in the oven.

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Is the handle on the Vollrath Tribute oven safe?

Yup, the steel handles have a silicone wrap, so they are oven safe.

I've never had a problem with mine at home nor in the last restaurant I worked in, which used the Vollrath exclusively.

Plus, they're American made, right in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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  • 4 months later...
It's debatable in my mind as to whether an All-Clad Stainless pan will come up to temperature and respond more rapidly compared to MasterChef.  This is primarily due to the fact that the Stainless line contains twice as much stainless steel, which material has very poor thermal conductivity.  I did some calculations assuming a 20 cm (8 inch) frypan, and found that the thermal capacity of the two pans was fairly close, with the MasterChef pan at 4,888 and the Stainless pan at 4,109.  This would tend to favor the Stainless pan in responsiveness.  However,  48% of the Stainless pan's thermal capacity is contributed by stainless steel compared to only 18% for the MasterChef pan.  Stainless steel has extremely poor thermal conductivity compared to aluminum (0.16 W/cm/K versus 2.27 for aluminum) and I have to believe this will have a significant effect on performance.

I'm also not sure I'd say the responsiveness would be at all "like copper."  A 20 cm copper frypan would have a thermal capacity similar to that of the MasterChef pan (4,814) but only 9% of this capacity is attributable to stainless steel.  Considering copper's much higher thermal conductivity (4.01 W/cm/K), it's going to have much better responsiveness than either the Stainless or MasterChef pan, while also benefitting from the higher thermal capacity of the MasterChef pan.

In comparison, the same 20 cm frypan in  cast iron would have a thermal capacity of 4,977, and with low thermal conductivity to move all that thermal energy around (0.8 W/cm/K) it would respond quite slowly.  (I assumed a 3 mm thickness for the cast iron pan.  For a thicker cast iron pan, the responsiveness would be even slower.)

In theory, I don't disagree with the point you're making. But, have you ever actually tested them side by side to verify your hypothesis where you cooked on a MC2 vs. a stainless steel? There are a lot of things that seem logical in theory but then fall apart in the real world.

Edited by mcohen (log)
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I've dealt with cookware n more on several occasions and my experience has been that they're topnotch with customer service.  If they can't find a "second" that they think you would like they won't ship it.  And they'll proactively call and/or email you about your order if there are any  issues.  (They've called me to ask about alternatives if there is something I've ordered that isn't in stock)  And twice a year they have an additional 20 percent off on single orders of cookware - no need to buy 4 to get the extra discount.  IIRC those sales are in November and March.

If you want All-Clad, IMO they're the only place to go.  What makes the pieces "seconds" are cosmetic blemishes so small (think a wee non-gouge scratch on the outside of the pan the size of your little fingernail) they'd probably occur naturally the first time you used the cookware anyway.

I haven't bought any cookware recently - simply because I now have Everything In the World and I have no more space to store anything!

I wouldn't buy All-Clad any other way.  Certainly not at full retail!!

I always thought there was a better deal to buying 4 All-Clad pieces than just getting the same 20% off discount that you could get buying an invididual piece during Nov or March. I might be mistaken but I thought they also included an All Clad accessory for free if you bought 4 or more pieces. At the very least, I think the more pieces you buy, the less you get charged for shipping for each individual piece.

And, of course, there's always the option of buying All-Clad from discounters at similar discount prices without paying for shipping. But, the trade-off is the inconvience and quality control. (I've seen such All-Clad stuff in those stores without boxes and get scratched. But, then again, I've also seen some pieces that looked flawless).

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I've been reading the course too and it's very informative, but overwhelming. I understand the goal of trying to get everyone to figure out things for themselves but it seems to me that there is a "right" answer for various tasks that people might want to accomplish. Using the example the author gave, if someone was looking for a saute pan, he/she should get aluminum disk bottom with the thickest base he/she can afford. Why not just say that?

Is there a chart out there that basically summarizes this information in an easy to read fashion? I realize someone might  have lots of money to blow and may get a sautee pan that heats up to the sides, but cmon, 99% of us won't.

I think one of those tree diagrams would work better than a chart where you answer a set of questions, and each question gives you alternate decision pathways depending on the answer given.

Although, I kinda agree with you how overwhelming this can all get. After reading all this, you settle on MC2 because it appears that will be better. But, then somebody will write something that doesn't necessairly challenge that idea but throws a wrinkle in there that makes you think about this topic all over again. Like, maybe, there are some pots and pans that are better served being MC2 while other pots and pans are better served being stainless steel. For example, somebody might decide that they need their saute pan and sauce pan to be MC2 while their fry pan should should be stainless.

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Have I done a scientifically controlled experiment where I cooked identical food side-by-side?  No.  Does my personal experience in using cookware from both lines confirm my thinking?  Yes.

I haven't used the Masterchef pans. My side by side comparisons involve a clad stainless all clad fry pan, and similar pans by calphalon (heavy, straight gauge aluminum), various heavy aluminum disk bottom pans, various 2.5mm copper pans clad with stainless, and cast iron skillets

The all clad pan responds the fastest of the bunch, with the heavy copper close behind. The different flavors of heavy aluminum are far behind those, and the heavy cast iron is in last place.

The all clad also seems to have the lowest thermal mass, so I have to be careful to get it screaming hot before searing any protein.

I assume the all clad pan also has the least even heat distribution, but in the 10" fry pan it's more than adequate ... I've never had an issue with hot spots.

All in all I love the performance of the clad 10" pan. For a larger saute pan I'm not sure this construction would be as good a choice. The question in my mind about the masterchef is how thick the aluminum is ... will the performance be closer to the clad all clad pan or the heavy (5mm+) calphalon pan?

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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For people who are considering All-Clad (and are willing to pay those prices), consider the new M'Cook line by Mauviel. It's constucted in the same style as traditional heavy copper pots, but is a thermal core fully clad in stainless steel. I'm not sure of the composition of the thermal material or the thickness of the layers, but the whole piece is 2.6 mm thick. Good prices can be found at JB Prince.

(Full disclosure: I am writing some material for the JB Prince web site.)

--

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since you can't wash Master Chef 2 in the dishwasher, does this mean that it is more vulnerable to scratches and dents than All-Clad Stainless Steel? And, is there a difference in washing the Master Chef 2 by hand vs. washing the Stainless Steel by hand? How difficult is to clean them by hand?

Like, maybe, there are some pots and pans that are better served being MC2 while other pots and pans are better served being stainless steel. For example, somebody might decide that they need their saute pan and sauce pan to be MC2 while their fry pan should should be stainless.

Is this really true, or were you throwing this out there as a hypothetical aside? If I cooking oatmeal, would I really want the pot to be Master Chef 2 rather than stainless?

Edited by edwardsboi (log)
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For people who are considering All-Clad (and are willing to pay those prices), consider the new M'Cook line by Mauviel.

Sam,

This cookware is more expensive than the list prices for All-Clad MC-2 in almost every size. It is way more expensive than the seconds offered by Cookwarenmore.com.

What am I missing?

Tim

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Where did this idea about the differences in aluminum between All-Clad's Master Chef 2 and Stainless Steel originate which seems to be the basis for the argument that one line is superior to the other? I can't seem to find any such numbers to prove that one way or the other, and I'm assuming those numbers are proprietary. And, when I go to the All-Clad website, the diagrams, assuming they're correct, doesn't seem to prove that either.

If we don't know those numbers, then it seems all such discussions are a moot point.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me personally, I think it's a little rediculous to spend a lot of money on a pan where the cooking surface will quickly wear away. The two non-stick pans I have were bought at the grocery store for $7.95 each and they've done their job lasting me 5 months and counting. Sure, in the big picture of non-stick cookware they're not good pans but how good of a pan do you need to cook an egg or a piece of fish every now and then?

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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For me personally, I think it's a little rediculous to spend a lot of money on a pan where the cooking surface will quickly wear away.  The two non-stick pans I have were bought at the grocery store for $7.95 each and they've done their job lasting me 5 months and counting.  Sure, in the big picture of non-stick cookware they're not good pans but how good of a pan do you need to cook an egg or a piece of fish every now and then?

I couldn't agree more. However, I recently switched from electric coil to portable induction and hence had to find steel rather than aluminum-based non-stick pans. I bought one from Ikea and two from Winners in sizes from 8 to 12 inches and I have to say that the stainless steel based pans seem so much better than the aluminum ones in terms of responsiveness and durabilty even taking into account the responsiveness of induction heating. I can't explain this scientifically. None of the pans cost more than $20.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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One convincing argument I recently heard in favor of paying full-price to buy All-Clad nonstick at Williams Sonoma. Due to their incredible returns policy, you can just bring back your All-Clad nonstick pans every few years, tell them "this isn't nonstick anymore" and they will replace it with a brand new one.

--

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I couldn't agree more.  However, I recently switched from electric coil to portable induction and hence had to find steel rather than aluminum-based non-stick pans.  I bought one from Ikea and two from Winners in sizes from 8 to 12 inches and I have to say that the stainless steel based pans seem so much better than the aluminum ones in terms of responsiveness and durabilty even taking into account the responsiveness of induction heating.  I can't explain this scientifically.  None of the pans cost more than $20.

I had a Vollrath Steelcoat non-stick fry pan last year. Lasted me a few months and I threw it out. Kinda pissed me off actually. Here I thought this pan would last a while and give me some resemblance of good performance and the damn thing became useless in no time at all. Granted, it probably wasn't babied 100% of the time but still. Spending $20 for a pan is not too bad if ya gotta, ya gotta.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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. . .

Spending $20 for a pan is not too bad if ya gotta, ya gotta.

Hey these are CANADIAN $$$$ :biggrin: Doubtless south of the border they would have weighed in at about $10 a piece.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 2 weeks later...

If anyone is near Western PA, All-Clad is having the semi-annual seconds sale at the Washington County Fairgrounds from December 5 - 7.

You can also buy online from Crate, or at the Crate store in Greentree.

IMO, you really need to look at the items before buying them since the "blemishes" range from unseen to not-worth-buying. In the past, they have sold a selection of tools, such as spatulas, etc., and lids, and bakeware, in addition to their pots and pans. It is worth checking out if you're in the area.

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I bought an All-Clad roasting pan last night and now I'm trying to figure out if that was a good thing -- it's carried exclusively through Williams Sonoma and has sloped sides . . .

Did I do good or bad? I don't know anything about roasting pans -- I'm upgrading from the aluminum buckets they sell at the grocery store . . .

All Clad Roaster

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I bought an All-Clad roasting pan last night and now I'm trying to figure out if that was a good thing -- it's carried exclusively through Williams Sonoma and has sloped sides . . .

Did I do good or bad?  I don't know anything about roasting pans -- I'm upgrading from the aluminum buckets they sell at the grocery store . . .

All Clad Roaster

I have the all clad roti pan and the sloped sides you describe are a source of real trouble when trying to do things like make gravy -- the liquids tend to run off to the sides, and whatever material is in the center of the pan has a tendency to burn. I do not know why the sides are sloped as they are, nor has anyone ever been able to tell me.

ETA: I just clicked on the link you provided; we're not talking about the same pan.

Edited by JohnnyH (log)

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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The dude in the store says the slope is to get you better browning.

Albert Ellis was definitely out of his mind -- maybe that's why he thought everybody else was . . . The time I spent in his presence was some of the weirdest time I've ever spent.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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The dude in the store says the slope is to get you better browning.

Albert Ellis was definitely out of his mind -- maybe that's why he thought everybody else was . . . The time I spent in his presence was some of the weirdest time I've ever spent.

I'd trade my pan for yours.

Hysterical about Ellis; personally, I just love the quote.

"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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