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Table of Contents
What to Look for in Clad Stainless Cookware (The Important Features)
Now that you know a little about cladding, you can look at the other properties that are important in clad cookware. These are what makes clad stainless cookware good, average, or awful.
Here are the things that matter:
- Stainless steel quality
- Heating properties, which are largely determined by thickness of internal metals used (as discussed above)
- Design and aesthetics: lids, handles, rims, etc. (and: is the cookware pretty?)
We’ll look at all of these factors and find out how Copper Core cookware stacks up.
Stainless Steel Quality
While nearly all clad cookware touts “18/10” or comparable stainless steel, understand that this means very little, because 18/10 stainless is not all created equally.
Yes, 18/10 stainless steel has to be at least 18% chromium and 10% nickel.
But what about the other 72%?
Or, in the case of 18/0 (magnetic) stainless steel, what about the other 82%?
Using inferior stainless steel is one way that manufacturers can cut costs. Steel in overseas-made products tends to be inferior to steel used in the United States and Western Europe. Inferior stainless steel can contain impurities that make it not as durable and corrosion resistant as higher quality stainless.
(Note: You can read more about stainless steel in The Best Cookware for Every Budget. You can read more about All-Clad cookware in our Ultimate All-Clad Cookware Review.)
Differences in steel quality can account for differences in pricing among brands of clad cookware. If you buy inexpensive clad stainless, you may get lucky and get decent pans that last and don’t rust. You might also get unlucky and get pans that rust, pit, and corrode in a frustratingly short time.
All-Clad cookware isn’t the only option for good quality steel. But the easiest way to be sure you’re getting good stainless steel is to buy a known brand. Any American or European brand is a safe bet, as well as a handful of Chinese brands.
Heating Properties: Cookware 101
The two most important heating properties are thermal conductivity-how fast and evenly a pan heats-and heat retention-how long a pan hangs onto heat (or, put another way, how responsive it is). Both aluminum and copper have high thermal conductivity, which means they heat quickly and evenly. Conversely, cast iron has high heat retention: it heats slowly and unevenly, but it hangs onto heat pretty much forever. (This is partly due to its mass, as well: heat retention increases with mass, regardless of the material. For example, a 2mm layer of copper is going to have longer heat retention than a 1mm layer of copper, even though both are copper.)
If you need cookware responsive to temperature changes-such as for delicate sauces and heat-sensitive dishes-then copper is the best option, and aluminum is also good. If you need extreme heat retention-such as for searing a steak to maximum browning-then cast iron is the best option.
Clad stainless is great for everything in-between, and will work in a pinch for other tasks, as well.
Good quality clad stainless cookware has great thermal conductivity and decent heat retention. These properties, along with its durability, make good quality clad stainless the best, most versatile cookware you can buy.
All-Clad Copper Core cookware, as you might guess, is more on the responsive end of the scale. But it’s designed for all-around kitchen tasks, so like most good quality clad stainless cookware, it will work in a pinch for any task you throw at it.
How Much Aluminum and/or Copper Is Enough?
Now we start getting into specifics.
This goes back to the cladding discussion (above): To have great heating properties, clad cookware has to have a certain amount of heat-conducting metal. A half-millimeter layer of aluminum isn’t going to heat as evenly as a full millimeter layer.
Low-cost brands of clad cookware tend to have thinner layers of aluminum than higher-end brands. The difference can be significant. Some pans have such a thin layer of aluminum that they barely conduct heat better than stainless alone (which is to say, terribly). This is one of the big differences between a brand like All-Clad and an unknown brand that sells for hundreds of dollars less.
These thinner pans-because they’re thinner-are also more prone to warping.
Top 4 all clad copper core 10 inch fry pan edited by Top Chef
Shop All-Clad Online – Nordstrom
- Author: nordstrom.com
- Published: 01/09/2022
- Review: 4.82 (811 vote)
- Summary: Find the latest selection of All-Clad in-store or online at Nordstrom. … 8-Inch & 10-Inch Hard Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Fry Pan Set
All-Clad Copper Core Skillet, 10″ | Cutlery and More
- Author: cutleryandmore.com
- Published: 05/18/2022
- Review: 4.77 (227 vote)
- Summary: What is the dimension, please, of the bottom of the 10 inch copper core fry pan (skillet)—I’m trying to determine the actual frying surface. 1 answer
All-Clad, Copper Core 10-Piece Cookware Set – Zola
- Author: zola.com
- Published: 11/18/2021
- Review: 4.54 (499 vote)
- Summary: Feel inspired and let your expertise shine with this All-Clad COPPER CORE® 600822 SS 10-piece cookware set. The set includes 8 inch and 10 inch fry pans,
All-Clad Copper Core 10 Inch Fry Pan
- Author: thebakerspin.com
- Published: 01/21/2022
- Review: 4.38 (369 vote)
- Summary: Home; All-Clad Copper Core 10 Inch Fry Pan … aluminum, and a thick copper core for even heating, warp-free strength, and reliable responsiveness