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 cookware, there are still others things to consider. All-Clad has been making fully-clad stainless steel cookware for more than 20 years. As the manufacturer continues to expand it’s cookware lines a frequently asked question is what’s the difference between All-Clad d3 vs. d5?
All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware
The All-Clad d3 tri-ply stainless steel cookware line features All-Clad’s original 3-ply design. It has 18/10 stainless steel for a cooking surface which doesn’t interact with food, even acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus. Your recipes will always have a consistent flavor. It also features an aluminum core which ensures that your pan heats evenly across its cooking surface. Its third layer is made from 18/0 stainless steel, which is magnetic so it can be used on an induction cooktop. And it’s dishwasher safe.
All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Cookware
The All-Clad D5 brushed stainless steel cookware line has 5 layers of metal and is more substantial than the original All-Clad D3 Tri-Ply stainless steel cookware. It has the same 18/10 stainless steel for a cooking surface and 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 cooktops, same as original All-Clad Tri-Ply stainless steel. In all, All-Clad d5 has 2 aluminum layers and 3 stainless steel layers. It features a more ergonomic handle and flared brims, similar to what you find in the All-Clad Copper Core line. It also features a larger second handle to make it easier to pick up and use pot holders/oven mitts.
Read our All-Clad D5 review.
All-Clad d3 vs. d5
The benefits of the d5 are slightly more comfortable 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 d3, so it’s slightly more difficult to lift. Additionally, All-Clad d5 stainless cookware is also about 15% more expensive.
All-Clad d3 has been the standard for high-performance cookware 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 an All-Clad cookware item was returned for warping. The Tri-Ply stainless steel line is lighter than d5, and I believe it heats faster.
Both styles feature All-Clad’s signature “stay cool” stainless-steel handles because the metal itself doesn’t conduct heat well. 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.
What is All-Clad D3 ARMOR?
All-Clad d3 ARMOR is a recent addition to All-Clad family of cookware. It features a tri-ply construction as you would expect from All-Clad but features a textured finish (vs. a non-stick coating) to improve nonstick performance.
Which do I choose?
All-Clad d5 cookware has a few improvements, but the original d3 Tri-Ply cookware is still extraordinary cookware. If you’re looking to save money, choose the d3 stainless. The extra metal in the d5 adds to its cost, but you do get slightly better performing cookware. You get to decide which line best meets your needs. Either style of cookware is sure to please, as All-Clad is still the undisputed champion of cookware!