I’ve grown up with a couple phrases stuck in my brain. Both offer sage advice, and both come straight from the mouths of my parents:
“You get what you pay for.” And, “don’t waste your money on anything fancy-schmancy.”
I feel like those thoughts collide when it comes to cookware. I have always settled for affordable non-stick cookware in the kitchen, replacing it every so often when I put too much muscle into cleaning. Teflon is non-stick, not non-scrape.
I felt like I could start looking for something that was “what I paid for” AND “fancy-schmancy” at the same time.
All Clad Cookware
As far as brands that mesh those two worlds together nicely, All Clad cooking pots seemed like the best place to start. High quality, higher priced, elegant, and options to choose from…sounds like functional “fancy-schmancy” to me!
One thing that stood out to me was the many different cookware lines All Clad offered. Here is a quick breakdown on all of their lines:
Stainless and Stainless with D5 Technology
I combine these two because of their one similarity: They are designed to be used with induction ovens. The base layer of both collections is induction stainless steel (also called magnetic stainless steel), which is necessary to interact with the electrical current in induction cooking.
The difference is in the layering. The All Clad Stainless collection has a top layer of 18/10 stainless steel with an aluminum core (middle layer). While the D5 Technology has an 18/10 stainless steel core in between two layers of aluminum, in between another 18/10 layer on the top, and the induction base layer.
Perfect for an induction oven, and the 18/10 stainless cooking surface is easy to clean.
One problem. I don’t have an induction oven, so all the other collections are open for me.
The MC2 line is similar in construction to the Stainless line. The main difference being that the bottom layer is brushed aluminum instead of stainless steel. Aluminum is a good conductor, so it will spread the heat more evenly than stainless steel, but it is also much lighter.
Also closely connected to another line, the LTD2 line has five layers like the Stainless D5 Technology line. This time the bottom layer is a dishwasher safe anodized aluminum layer.
Copper Core and Cop R Chef
These last two lines take it up a notch from standard copper bottom cookware.
All of the metals used in All Clad cookware have their strengths: stainless steel is durable and easy to clean; aluminum is light and a good conductor of heat; copper is a phenomenal conductor. Copper spreads the heat quickly and evenly.
The Cop R Chef line is made up of three layers: a 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface; aluminum core; and a copper exterior. Like I said, great for conducting heat.
The downfall of copper is that it tarnishes easily and that can be hard to clean. Luckily, there is Copper Core.
I feel like Copper Core is best at using the strengths and limiting the weaknesses. As stated in the name, it has a copper core, hidden away where it can conduct away without visibly tarnishing. Surrounding the copper are layers of aluminum to continue conducting smoothly while keeping the overall weight down. And lastly, 18/10 stainless steel interior and exterior for an easy to clean product.
When it comes down to it, everyone has their own tastes. All Clad offers something for everyone. Its “fancy-schmancy” time!