People frequently say, “variety is the spice of life” but there is more than spice to consider when cooking. Choosing the right stainless steel cookware for you is critical. Even when you have decided to go for the name brand and gold standard, All-Clad, there are still things to consider, matters to weigh and decisions to be made. Yes, All-Clad has been making fully clad stainless steel cookware for more than 20 years. Now All-Clad has introduced a new line: All-Clad D5 stainless steel cookware. So what’s the difference between these two All-Clad stainless steel cookware lines?
The original stainless steel line from All-Clad is a 3-ply cookware design. It has 18/10 stainless steel for a cooking surface. This high quality stainless steel does not interact with food, even tomato-based foods. Your recipes will always have a consistent flavor. All-Clad original stainless has an aluminum core which ensures that your pan evenly heats. Its third layer is made from 18/0 stainless steel, which is magnetic, so it can be used on an induction cooktop.
The new All-Clad D5 stainless steel line has 5 layers of metal and it’s heavier than the original All-Clad stainless cookware. It has 18/10 stainless steel for a cooking surface, same as original stainless. It also has an aluminum layer followed by another stainless steel layer. The fourth layer is aluminum to further promote even heating. The fifth and exterior layer is magnetic 18/0 stainless steel allowing it to be used on induction cook tops, same as original All-Clad stainless. All-Clad D5 has 2 aluminum layers and 3 stainless steel layers. D5 also features a more ergonomic handle and flared brims, similar to what you find in the All-Clad Copper Core line. D5 also features a larger second handle to make it easier to pick up and use pot holders/oven mitts.
The benefits of the D5 is a slightly easier to use handle and rims that make pouring a bit less messy. The extra stainless steel layer will make D5 less likely to warp and provide even heating. D5 stainless also weighs more than All-Clad’s original stainless cookware so it’s slightly more difficult to lift. Additionally, All-Clad D5 stainless cookware is also about 15% more expensive.
The All-Clad original stainless line, which is the benchmark for all stainless cookware, has been the standard for more than 20 years. It is still an outstanding line of pots and pans and has a lifetime warranty. While extra layers of metal in the D5 cookware make it less likely to warp, I cannot remember when a All-Clad stainless steel cookware item was returned for warping. The stainless line is lighter than D5 and I believe it is quicker to heat. Stainless steel is used on the handles of every All-Clad pot and pan because this metal keeps the handles somewhat cool, as stainless does not conduct heat well. The handles are referred to as “stay cool” handles for that reason. The extra layer of stainless steel in the D5 works to make it less likely to warp and more even heating but it does not seem to heat or cool as quickly as the original stainless steel.
All-Clad D5 has a few improvements but the original stainless cookware from All-Clad is still extraordinary cookware. For my money, my pick is original stainless. The extra metal in the D5 adds to its cost, and for me, this isn’t enough to make the higher price worth it. You get to decide which line best meets your needs. Either line is sure to please, as All-Clad is still the undisputed champion of cookware!