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When looking to upgrade our cooking skills, often we look at the newest appliances that will help us improve our time in the kitchen. However, having all the latest gadgets is pointless if you are just using cheap and low-quality pots and pans.
All-Clad is the all American premium cookware brand that produces reliable, high-quality, durable stainless steel pots and pans for household and professional kitchens. If you are looking to invest in cookware that could last you a lifetime, then learning more about this brand praised by professional chefs and home cooks all over the country may prevent you from buying basic cheap cookware ever again.
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WHAT MAKES ALL-CLAD A GREAT BRAND?
Besides promoting the engineered quality, All-Clad is proud to be made in the USA, Canonsburg Pennsylvania to be more specific. This is a big part of their brand and gives the customer comfort in knowing that it was made with care and within a fair-labor environment. Taking the honest approach, All-Clad is very open about their intense hands-on manufacturing process. Each pot and pan is skillfully bonded, formed, and finished by nine different people before it leaves the factory. As a customer, understanding how your cookware is made allows you to appreciate what goes into creating something with quality, and gives you validation for buying premium products.
All-Clad says that they put the same enthusiasm into innovating and producing premium cookware as chefs do when cooking and creating dishes. Understanding the needs of a chef and having the passion to be a chef’s best friend and the reliable workhorse of the kitchen is the reason All-Clad remains one of the best sellers in kitchenware. Even by incorporating neat details into the sleek design such as flared edges to make for easy pouring, and heat-resistant handles that are also oven-safe, All-Clad wants to make sure that you continue to use their pans and can rely on them working just as well as the first time you used it.
To encourage home chefs to embrace their culinary creativity, and to allow them to feel like they deserve good quality cookware in their home is very much a goal of the All-Clad brand. Having a variety of designs available means they have collections that range in price providing options for all types of home cooks or chefs. All-Clad continues to produce recipes and content with professional chefs and All-Clad ambassadors, such as Nina Compton and Chris Hastings, to connect customers with the idea that every kitchen deserves stylish premium cookware.
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CONS OF ALL-CLAD
It could be seen as overkill to have such professional cookware in your kitchen if all you do is cook up simple family meals. And if you do have the occasional dinner party, it isn’t worth buying such expensive cookware that only gets used once or twice a year. If you do want to own premium cookware, it’s best to start with one or two items that you know you will use regularly to see if it makes a difference to your cooking experience.
Besides the price making All-Clad slightly inaccessible for everyday home chefs, it could also be argued that the technical jargon used: 3-ply, 5-ply, copper core, hard-anodized, etc, can make customers unsure of what they actually need or want. All-Clad does offer a lot of information on their products but with any large purchase, you should take the time to research exactly what you want to buy, understand the benefit of the premium quality and review all your options.
IS ALL-CLAD WORTH THE MONEY?
When looking at the All-Clad cookware sets, the cheapest 3-ply stainless steel 10-piece set will cost you about $700 while the highest premium "Copper Core" 5-ply 10-piece set is about $1,400. Despite this, All-Clad is still a best seller amongst chefs as well as home cooks and so maybe it’s worth the investment.
Professional chefs do actually use All-Clad in their restaurant kitchens and so if they can be the daily workhorses in fast-paced restaurant kitchens, then they should last a lifetime in your own household kitchen or even become family heirlooms.
When you are seeking new cookware, be sure to check out some competitors and other brands. You may find some other brands may have more suitable qualities and price points that work for you and your kitchen.
A French company adopted into American culture, Le Creuset is considered to be the market leader in enameled cast-iron. However, the company has also designed a stylish stainless steel cookware collection. Similar to their iconic dutch ovens, their stainless steel collection is engineered to last and so comes at a premium price. Check out our Buyer’s Guide on Le Creuset to find out more.
An American brand which initially started making kitchen appliances has broadened their offering into cookware in order to cater for all of their customer’s kitchen needs. Cuisinart offers a middle of the range pricing for all of their kitchenware including a range of stainless steel and hard-anodized pots and pans.
Known for their accessible, reasonably priced non-stick cookware, T-fal can offer a range of cookware for those looking for simple but effective equipment for their home kitchens. However, their non-stick cookware does contain PTFE which is potentially unstable in high temperatures, meaning that the pans may not last very long and emit harmful chemicals. Find out more in our Non-Toxic Pots and Pans article. If T-fal is a more suitable brand for your budget, maybe check out their stainless steel collection which offers a non-reactive solution.
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ALL-CLAD PRODUCT LINES
The most accessible and simple of the All-Clad collections, the 3-ply technology incases a layer of highly-conductive aluminum with a protective casing of stainless steel, meaning you get even heating throughout. Riveted with the classic All-Clad branded handle means you can have the same All-Clad look and craftsmanship in your kitchen as the more premium collections.
The 5-ply design encases a stainless steel core between two layers of aluminum that is then sealed in between more stainless steel. According to All-Clad, this prevents any hot spots and provides more reassurance of evenly distributed heat across the pan. This cookware collection can come with a brushed finish to offer a more vintage look or polished for a more modern shine.
If you are serious about owning professional-quality cookware, then this collection could be for you. All-Clad’s ultimate premium range is a 5-ply design but with a copper core instead of stainless steel. Copper is the most conductive metal, however, fairly expensive which is why you only really see copper-lined pans hanging in expensive fine-dining restaurants. However, copper is also fairly reactive and so having a copper core will give you the conductive qualities of the metal but your food is protected by nonreactive stainless steel.
Hard-anodized aluminum is made by oxidizing the aluminum to take away any nonreactive characteristics turning it into a very suitable material for kitchen cookware. Preventing it from reacting to acid or rusting makes the aluminum a lot more durable and so it doesn’t need to be encased in stainless steel. Instead, the hard-anodized aluminum is coated in 3 layers of PFOA-free non-stick coating, making it a great alternative to more conventional non-stick cookware.
All-Clad also offers a selection of 3-ply stainless steel bakeware as well as a Pro-Release range which is made from aluminized steel and layered with a PFOA-free non-stick coating. Both ranges offer a selection of standard-sized tins and trays to cover any oven-based or baking task.
Offering a limited selection of kitchen electrics, All-Clad has also created waffle makers, slow cookers, hand blenders, and toasters for household use. These appliances are coated and cased in the iconic All-Clad premium stainless steel and have the same sleek branding and style to match their cookware.
Using their high-quality stainless steel, All-Clad produces durable kitchen accessories and utensils as well as more specific professional tools such as a probe thermometer. A range of silicone utensils is also available which are more suitable for their hard-anodized range. It makes sense that if you are investing in premium cookware to use premium utensils alongside. Check out our Non-Toxic Kitchen Utensils article to learn more.
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ALL-CLAD PRODUCTS WE RECOMMEND
Tools & Accessories
After reading our article on Non-Toxic Kitchen Utensils, you can understand the importance of having high-quality utensils that work well with and protect your high-quality cookware. Having this All-Clad professional set means you can cook and serve your food with care.
Designed to mimic the classic All-Clad pans, these measuring cups are durable yet compact to fit in most wide-necked jars. Having steel measuring cups with the sturdy All-Clad riveted engraved handles ensures they don’t bend or break over time and gives you more precise measuring for both dry and wet ingredients.
This colander is built with the same innovation as the All-Clad cookware with the iconic riveted handles for easy maneuvering and a sturdy base for stability. The clever design of the larger holes at the top and decreasing in size as it reaches the bottom allows liquid to drain easily and quickly.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Yes, a good chef should never blame her tools. But, if you have the ability to buy high-quality cookware to help improve your home cooking, then buying a selection All-Clad pots and pans could be a great starting point. If professional chefs rely upon and trust the All-Clad brand it may be hard to find a reason to buy anything else.
The information provided in this article is not nutritional or medical advice. Please read our disclaimer.