All Clad’s Copper Core collection is one of the best copper ranges currently available.

Its durability is undeniable, its design flawless, and it’s cooking performance unrivaled. It’s the reason I’m an avid All-Clad fan today.

But what makes it so good?

Aren’t there much better and cheaper alternatives?

How do you know it’ll be a massive hit with me too?

If you want the answer to these questions, and more, continue reading our All Clad Copper Core review below.

Who Are All-Clad?

All-Clad is a premium cookware brand founded in 1971 by John Ulam, a renowned metallurgist. 

John had over 75 patents for metal crafting and used these patents to revolutionize how cookware was made. 

He took layers of stainless steel and bonded them together with aluminum. This made one of the most popular ranges on the market today, the D3 collection, made from a combination of steel and aluminum.

All-Clad is all about top-quality cookware made in the United States. They continue to operate in their original birthplace of, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. 

All Clad Copper Core Pros and Cons 

Keep in mind that there’s a lot of nuance to the Copper Core’s advantages. Read our entire All Clad Copper Core review to get the whole picture.

Either way, here’s a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages of Copper Core Cookware. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and spacious.
  • Suitable for gas, electric, and induction stovetops.
  • A lot more durable than other copper competitors.
  • Easy to clean and highly responsive.
  • Incredible heat transfer across the cooking surface.

Cons:

  • Expensive.
  • Handle becomes hot after prolonged use.
  • Ingredients can spill because of its flared sides.
  • The cooking surface discolors easily.
  • Slower to heat compared to traditional copper skillets.

All Clad Copper Core Review: The Good, Bad, And Ugly

Our Pick
All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 10-Inch Fry Pan
$215.89
Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
10/05/2022 07:15 pm GMT

For this review, I purchased the All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 10” Fry Pan to see how it compared with popular competitors.

From now on, I’ll share my experiences using the pan and test results, as well as things I liked and disliked.

Let’s get started.

Design

Design plays a crucial role in the durability of cookware. But one of the biggest problems most folks have is finding a product with the right balance between the two.

Too much focus on design, and your cookware ends up in a landfill. 

Too much focus on durability, and it ends up collecting dust in your kitchen cupboard because you struggle to use it.

This not only eats up your cash but can be really, REALLY frustrating too.

On this occasion, though… 

All-Clad gets it spot on.

The Copper Core collection uses a unique five-ply construction that boosts durability.

Its five layers are made up of:

  • Ferromagnetic stainless steel (Exterior)
  • Aluminum (Exterior Core)
  • Copper (Core)
  • Aluminum (Interior Core)
  • 8/10 stainless steel (Interior)

I think this format works really well, especially for “copper” cookware.

The 18/10 stainless steel distributes the heat evenly across the cooking surface while preventing damage and warping.

And the mixture of copper sandwiched between two layers of aluminum gives instantaneous responsiveness and fast heat-up. 

A neat touch is using ferromagnetic stainless steel, making it induction compatible.

It’s something competitors can’t match. 

In fact, at the time of writing, it appears only premium brands like Mauviel and cheaper alternatives like de Buyer offer induction-compatible copper ranges. 

Not half bad, All-Clad.

Then there’s the overall quality of the stainless steel.

Most brands use lower-quality stainless steel to cut manufacturing costs, often sourcing material from overseas countries like China.

But All-Clad uses stainless steel from the United States. This is important for two reasons.

  1. It has lower oxidation levels, meaning it’s less likely to degrade or rust.
  2. On average, it’s eight times thicker, giving better durability and longevity.

Any stainless steel used by All-Clad is subject to rigorous testing to ensure it meets only the finest safety and quality standards.

For example, steel suppliers working with All-Clad must meet the ASTM A240 (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards. Plus, all 304 series stainless steel has to meet National Standard ISO 9000 (International Organization for Standardization).

In simple terms, All-Clad is “up there” regarding quality. If not one of the best.

It’s a solid option if you want peace of mind and don’t want to worry about low-quality steel leaching metals into your food. Stainless steel is one of the safest cookware materials.

As for looks, the copper core range gets a solid ten out of ten.

It looks professional, with a polished finish and elegant (yet subtle) copper ring surrounding the cookware’s bottom.

These excellent aesthetics are joined by a contoured, riveted stainless-steel handle that gives you better control and grip, improving safety. And, it helps keep it nice and cool.

In the past, handle design has been one of All-Clad’s biggest downfalls.

Their products usually have long, steep handles that don’t give you any real leverage. And when you combined this with heavy weight, it was a “recipe” for disaster.

See what I did there? Recipe…

Anyhoo, you don’t have this problem with the copper core range.

While the handle is similar in angle, All-Clad has designed it with a slight indent (or bump) where your hand typically rests. 

On a personal note, I loved this. 

It gave me better control and leverage while I was using the pan.

And, it was great for pouring liquids. It didn’t feel “janky” like other All-Clad designs and made the whole experience effortless.

So no complaints here. The Copper Core range lives up to the hype so far.

Verdict

The Copper Core’s design is impressive. It looks great with a sleek, professional look. But the secret sauce is its 5 layers of aluminum, copper, and stainless steel.

Cooking Performance

Performance is what All-Clad is all about.

In fact, John Ulam said, “Don’t worry about bells and whistles, worry about delivering maximum performance.

So how does the Copper Core range measure up?

At first, I thought the range would simply breeze past every task I threw at it.

But in actual fact, the Copper Core is so good at coming to temperature, you need to constantly keep an eye on it and adjust accordingly.

Otherwise, your food ends up sticking, as mine did on occasion.

The Copper Core isn’t a “set it and forget it” range.

(By the way, we’ll cover heat capacity and transfer later.)

Nonetheless, the Copper Core performs really well once you come to grips with it.

And while it might not be ideal if you’re a casual cook, skilled chefs and serious home cooks will prefer the responsiveness because it gives better control. 

Another helpful feature is the cookware’s flared rims that complimented the unique handle design for drip-free pouring of liquids. 

I found this was particularly useful when I needed to make a pan sauce for things like steak or chicken breasts.

Yummy.

So far, so good. Using the Copper Core range was a blast.

But what about high-volume dishes?

Is it any good with that?

Again, pretty effortless.

I preferred the skillet’s rounded interior corners to stop food from getting trapped. Plus, it prevented damage as I moved the spatula around the cooking surface.

My only criticism is that sometimes food would spill over the flared rims. Often I felt I had to stir cautiously if the pan was loaded with ingredients.

And this may boil down to the fact it had a slightly limited cooking surface – measuring approximately 8 inches.

That being said, the Copper Core’s extra-flared sides and curved, smaller sides helped food brown rather than simply steaming. 

And with things like macaroni and cheese, chicken breasts, steaks, caramel sauce, or asparagus, it was a pleasure to use.

Overall, I found the performance was “next to none,” and I can’t see any obvious areas where it falls short.

Verdict

You’ll need to keep one eye on your recipe if you choose this cookware for your kitchen. Once you get to grips with it, you can throw almost any ingredients at it, and it’ll perform well.

Durability

If All-Clad is about performance, durability is the “cherry on the cake” and its crown jewel.

In all honesty, All-Clad is among the best brands on the market. And the secret lies in the Copper Core’s 5-ply construction.

In most cases, cookware warps because of extreme temperature changes. When heated, your cookware’s material expands. And as it cools, it’ll contract.

But the Copper Core is unique because it uses 301 stainless steel to restrict movement. It also protects the cooking surface from damage, corrosion, and scratches.

Okay, great, so how do you know that?

I’m glad you asked.

To test the Copper Core’s durability, I conducted a stress test. I heated the skillet to 400°F and immediately submerged it in a bucket of ice water.

So how did it do?

Not half bad.

The Copper Core didn’t warp at all. There were no markings or bumps, and the handle remained strong.

While this isn’t an accurate representation of how you’d use cookware, it gives you a snapshot. It simulates the years of abuse and stress it typically goes through. 

Overall, I struggled to find any flaws regarding the Copper Core’s durability.

So it’s a perfect ten out of ten on this occasion.

Verdict

I can’t find any faults with the Copper Core regarding durability. It really is industry-leading, in my opinion. It’s sturdy and will easily last you years to come.

Ease of Use

Not unlike most cookware brands today, Copper Core is easy to use and maintain. 

It’s responsive and suitable for various cooking techniques and recipes. 

All-Clad lives up to the market standard in this regard.

But what surprised me even more, was how easy it was to clean.

I didn’t have to spend valuable time scrubbing and scrubbing when I could be lying on the couch being fed grapes by my children and fanned like royalty.

Yes, those are the luxuries of being a dad in my household. 

Kidding…. Or am I? *Evil smile*

On a serious note, the main problem with copper cookware is how quickly it loses its shine, becoming tarnished and darkened.

Here’s one such example.

As you can see, copper cookware tends to patina throughout its use.

But with the Copper Core, you don’t have to worry about it. 

At least, not to this extent.

Because after all my cooking tests, I did notice the skillet’s appearance ever so slightly changed.

Is this a dealbreaker? 

Probably not.

Not in my opinion, anyway. It’s a common problem for copper cookware.

But I’ll leave you to decide for yourself.

FYI: one thing to note is that All-Clad’s customer service page has tons of detail and advice on all its products. 

Here, the company is pretty open about the issue and recommends using Bar Keeper’s Friend® or Bon Ami® to restore Copper Core back to its original beauty.

Now to be fair, this could be something I’m missing or did incorrectly. But if that’s the case, we’ll update this review in the future.

Although All-Clad seems to suggest overheating is likely to cause discoloration on products.

So, any other gripes?

Yes.

Although All-Clad makes out the Copper Core collection is dishwasher safe, when you delve deeper, you learn this isn’t the case.

Now, this could be for two reasons:

  1. It protects the longevity of cookware and preserves its appearance.
  2. It can cause corrosion and damage to the surface, causing warps or cracks.

All-Clad advises handwashing instead, using a small amount of soap and a soft sponge if needed.

While it’s pretty standard for brands to recommend handwashing on their products, it’s still a major gripe of mine.

I always feel like I’m being misled.

It usually results in tearing out my hair, gnashing my teeth, and questioning my place in the universe.

Now for full transparency: 

I haven’t tested whether it’s dishwasher safe. So I cannot comprehensively say this as a matter of fact.

But based on my several hours of research, plenty of customers seem to suggest it is and, to this day, continue to do so. 

My advice would be to follow the recommendations made by All-Clad, so you get the best out of the range and improve its durability.

Although it’s (again) not a deal-breaker – and I do love how easy the Copper Core is to use – it still boggles my mind that they sell you with one sentence and contradict with another.

But for a fair Copper Core review – All Clad does an excellent job in helping you get the best out of its products. 

You can read more on All-Clad’s recommendations for care and use here.

Verdict

While you might need to polish it now and then, the Copper Core is still easy to use and maintain. I really enjoyed testing out different recipes with this cookware, and clean-up’s a doddle.

Heat Capacity

Let’s lift the mood again. 🙂

Easily, one of the most significant differences between the Copper Core and other copper collections is the heat transfer and responsiveness.

I spent a few hours thermal testing the Copper Core 10” skillet to see if it really does “give you what it says on the tin.”

First, I looked at how the range stacks up against other All-Clad ranges like Fusiontec and HA1.

Here’s what I found.

In 2 minutes, the Fusiontec heated to approximately 300°F. Copper Core heated to only 250°F – faster than the HA1 collection.

One thing I appreciated was while Copper Core is quick to heat up, it does it fairly consistently.

No temperature spikes that causes warping (unlike Fusiontec). No drops in performance that’ll make food undercooked.

Just steady as she goes.

Next, I looked at how quickly All-Clad’s Copper Core lost temperature.

Okay, great, so what does this graph show?

I took two things from this test, in particular. These are:

  1. It distributes heat evenly across its cooking surface.
  2. It does a pretty good job of locking heat in.

These are two vital things you need in your cookware. Even heat transfer ensures your food is cooked consistently and prevents hot spots from forming.

No Salmonella poisoning for you 😉

As for locking heat in, it means it won’t take as long for your ingredients to cook after adding them. You want consistent temperatures, especially when searing things like steak.

Consistency is key.

And honestly, once you get your head around its responsiveness, cooking with this range is a snap.

Just remember to keep one eye on your food and adjust your temperatures accordingly.

Verdict

If you’re looking for cookware that performs, the Copper Core is the perfect answer. It’s responsive and doesn’t do a bad job in locking heat in either.

Price

All-Clad is expensive. There’s no other way of saying it. 

That’s one of its major drawbacks, so we don’t recommend it if you’re a casual home cook or just getting started.

Here’s the complete collection that’s currently available at the time of writing.

  1. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 10-Inch Fry Pan

  2. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 10-Inch Fry Pan
    $215.89
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/05/2022 07:15 pm GMT
  3. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 8-Inch Fry Pan

  4. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 8-Inch Fry Pan
    $144.95
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/05/2022 07:28 pm GMT
  5. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 12-Inch Fry Pan

  6. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 12-Inch Fry Pan
    $279.00
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/05/2022 09:11 am GMT
  7. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 2-Quart Saucepan

  8. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 2-Quart Saucepan
    $264.97
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/05/2022 09:23 pm GMT
  9. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 3-Quart Saucepan with Lid

  10. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 3-Quart Saucepan with Lid
    $199.95
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

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    10/05/2022 09:33 pm GMT
  11. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 4-Quart Saucepan with Lid

  12. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 4-Quart Saucepan with Lid
    $399.95
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/05/2022 09:44 pm GMT
  13. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 3-Quart Saute Pan with Lid

  14. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 3-Quart Saute Pan with Lid
    $344.00
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/05/2022 10:59 pm GMT
  15. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 5-Quart Saute Pan

  16. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 5-Quart Saute Pan
    $249.95
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/06/2022 01:08 am GMT
  17. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 6-Quart Saute Pan with Lid

  18. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 6-Quart Saute Pan with Lid
    $575.98
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    10/06/2022 01:14 am GMT
  19. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 7-Piece Cookware Set

  20. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 7-Piece Cookware Set
    $989.99
    Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad

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    10/06/2022 01:19 am GMT
  21. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 10-Piece Cookware Set

  22. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 10-Piece Cookware Set
    $1,499.95
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    10/06/2022 01:44 am GMT
  23. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 14-Piece Cookware Set

  24. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 14-Piece Cookware Set
    $1,958.95
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    10/05/2022 08:13 am GMT
  25. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 8-Quart Stockpot

  26. All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 8-Quart Stockpot
    $499.95
    Buy on Amazon

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    10/05/2022 08:21 am GMT

As you can see, Copper Core gets more expensive if you want a more “complete package” for your kitchen. For a skillet, expect to pay anything from $149 all the way to $279 for Copper Core. And it can cost as much as $1,099 for a 7-piece set.

On All-Clad’s website, they do offer discounts and have sale promotions throughout the year. You can also shave off an extra 10% when you sign up for their newsletter.

But don’t judge the prices as they are. Look at the larger picture.

What I mean by this is when you compare All-Clad’s prices with similar products, it’s not as bad as you think.

Here’s an example of how the Copper Core range stands up against similar brands.

And when you consider what you’re actually getting for your money, it’s a no-brainer.

It’s not just a classic copper cookware collection that looks good and gives you quick heat transfer. 

It does that and more. 

The Copper Core collection is an all-in-one solution that’s durable, responsive, easy to use, and premium quality. 

Verdict

All-Clad isn’t cheap. Far from it. But when you compare it to similar competitors, it isn’t as much as you’d think. For its price, it offers great value for money, especially when you consider its durability.

What About Support?

When writing this Copper Core review, I contacted All-Clad’s support with a question about the design. They responded within a few hours and forwarded me to the relevant department.

However, I must highlight I’ve had different experiences in the past. One time, it took them over two weeks to get back to me.

In my opinion, it’s inconsistent.

What if you need to use their limited lifetime warranty? You need a faster response.

Especially when you consider the premium prices they’re charging. You could spend hundreds of dollars on their products. Better support should be available when you pay so much money.

Plenty of customers have also had terrible experiences with their support.

So let’s cover some of the downsides often reported about All-Clad.

What Customers Don’t Like About All-Clad

If you dive deeply into customer experiences, you’ll see it’s a mixed bag. Some love the products and report great success.

But some complain about support:

One customer even reports being misled and refused a refund.

On top of inconsistent support, All-Clad’s limited lifetime warranty can be a bone of contention.

Here are a few scenarios that aren’t covered by the warranty:

  • Damage arising from thermal shocks, drops, improper use, failure to follow the use and care instructions.
  • Normal product wear and tear.
  • Stains, discoloration, or scratches on the inside or outside of the the product.
  • Nonstick damage caused by metal or sharp utensils.
  • Damage caused by use of scouring pads, steel wool, abrasive cleaners, or bleach.
  • Discoloration, warping, or metal separation due to high heat or prolonged heat exposure when empty, or non-stick deterioration that occurs from misuse or abuse. 

It’s clear there are quite a few scenarios not covered. And that’s putting it lightly. Be sure to do your homework before purchasing.

I’m a happy All-Clad customer. But I can understand why others opt to steer clear and choose a more affordable brand.

Wrapping Up: Is Copper Core Right For You?

All-Clad’s Copper Core collection is the “swiss army knife” of my kitchen. It’s indispensable.

Of course, it’s not cheap, starting at around $149 at the time of writing – but it’s something that will last you a long, long time. 

And when you consider the prices of similar copper collections from premium brands like Mauviel, it’s not that much higher in price.

In my opinion, the Copper Core range is a must-have for anyone serious about cooking.

Its durability, versatility, heat properties, and cooking performance are some of the best I’ve ever seen.

It really is that good.

Our Pick
All-Clad Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded 10-Inch Fry Pan
$215.89
Buy on Amazon Buy on All-Clad
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
10/05/2022 07:15 pm GMT

🤔 FAQ

Yes, All-Clad Copper Core is dishwasher safe. However, All-Clad recommends handwashing to prevent corrosion or damage and improve its longevity. 

Copper Core pans are completely safe to use. Copper Core is made using the finest available 301 stainless steel that’s bonded with aluminum. Its core is made from copper to improve responsiveness and won’t leach metals into your food.

Yes, All-Clad’s Copper Core collection is oven safe up to 600°F or 315°C. 

Yes, every All-Clad product comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

All-Clad’s stainless steel ranges, like Copper Core or D3, are made in the United States. However, nonstick collections, HA1, Essentials, and B1, are made in China. 

All-Clad manufactures its products using multiple layers of metal. For example, they might bond layers of stainless steel to aluminum. This makes their ranges durable and non-reactive, meaning metals won’t leach into food. 

No. All-Clad pans do not need to be seasoned. Most of their collections are made of stainless steel. All you’ll need to do is wash your new cookware, and you’re good to go!

All All-Clad ranges are metal utensil safe. However, All-Clad recommends using plastic, wood, or nylon utensils to stop scratches and damage to your cookware.

Written by
James Fuller

Hey I'm James, the one who started Purely Cookware. All my life, I've been lucky enough to bond with family around the dinner table. And I will be using this website to teach you how you can do the same.