All Clad cookware is one of my favorites. I’ve been using it ever since I got married almost 20 years ago. (Wow?!?!) But I started using it mostly because my mother told me that all Clad is the best and, you know what? As with so many other things, Mom is right. Since then I’ve learned a lot – some the easy and a lot the hard way – about why All Clad really is so good in the kitchen.
The company was founded in 1967 by a metallurgist in Pennsylvania. The man knew what he was doing. Everything he did prior to founding All Clad was very technical and it really shows in the quality of the cookware that has come up with. In 1971 he sort of stumbled upon the process that would later form the basis of the All Clad cookware revolution. Prior to that he had been making custom metals for the defense industry. What makes All Clad so special is the way it cooks. There are really two factors that go into this – and this what they absolutely nailed. First, they use high quality stainless steel and because stainless steel is non reactive that means it won’t leave impart any taste to your food. You just get the flavors of what you are cooking. In this way is very similar to copper but much cheaper.
Copper copper cookware is quite a bit more expensive than stainless steel. All Clad also makes an excellent line the copper cookware but they made their name with stainless steel. The innovation that All-Clad developed was that they had a way of bonding together multiple layers of steel. And they could make the whole pot or pan out of it all the way to the rim. Previously just the bottom had been coated. And really fine cooking was done either in copper or in cast iron of the type that Le Creuset makes. All Clad made stainless steel cookware so good that it could be – and ultimately would be – used by the best chefs. Basically their technology made stainless a viable – and cheaper – competitor to copper and the best cast iron. Granted, both copper cookware and cast iron cookware have certain uses where they are the best, but stainless steel was able to take over a lot of the day to day tasks – and do it really well.
That said I have to tell you, I still am using the same All Clad pots and pans but I got for my wedding in 1998 and that’s a long time ago. But I love them and they just don’t seem to wear out. That’s not to say that I haven’t gotten a lot of new ones over the years. I have. I’ve gotten so much All Clad you would think I have the whole line by now, but but they keep developing new and interesting products that I love to buy. And use. I have a cabinet that is almost full of All Clad frying pans – stainless steel, copper core, stick, and non-stick. And I have them in all different sizes. Add to this the saucepans, saute pans, and stock pots and, well…I need more cabinets. But I use them all.
Right now, All Clad consists of five distinct lines. They make the All Clad Stainless Steel which is their flagship line and includes over 35 different pieces. They also have the D5 line, the All Clad copper core. I really like the large copper core fry pan and the copper core saucier. And of course they offer a line of copper clad which is gorgeous and their MC5. They also offer all kinds of specialty items from bakeware – cake pans, loaf pans, etc, – to grills, griddles, and even a slow cooker which is quite nice. All Clad also makes Emerilware which is basically their entry level product. It is nice, but you don’t really get the quality of their signature lines.
I am just about as obsessed with my cookware as I am with my cookies – tools of the trade I guess. And if you have been watching my cooking demonstrations you will have seen a lot of All Clad pieces make an appearance. I get all kinds of questions from people who watch or when I do live demos about what I use and why so I thought I should just write about it. The questions keep coming up so I will keep adding reviews of the different I use and new things I get. You get to see them in action and I get to play with them. Win-win. If you have questions or requests just leave a comment below or reach out on facebook or twitter.