All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
Alf 101
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:24 am

All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Alf 101 »

Here's one where I'm hoping someone can share an opinion, as I'm a little out of my league here. My brother is a serious home chef; cooking is one of the things he enjoys the very most. This year, for Christmas, he asked for an All-Clad stainless steel 12" slope-sided fry pan. Fair enough.

Looking into this I have two questions. All-Clad seems to have a strong reputation, as well as a sticker price to match. As this site tends to attract a frugal lot, I'm wondering if this brand is in fact good value.

Secondly, to those who may own All-Clad cookware, I'm finding merely buying a fry pan isn't as simple as that. There's the stainless steel option, the MC 2 option, and the anodized exterior LTD. I suppose all of these are fine fry pans, but there is a chance someone here has experience and/or an opinion that might help me decide. Perhaps I should post this to a forum of professional chefs, though I have learned not to underestimate the many and diverse talents of those who post here.
User avatar
momar
Posts: 1359
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:51 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by momar »

If he told you exactly what he wants, why would you buy something else?
"Index funds have a place in your portfolio, but you'll never beat the index with them." - Words of wisdom from a Fidelity rep
Wolkenspiel
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:45 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Wolkenspiel »

I would ask for the item # - I assume he is thinking about a specific pan. There's at least a 1/2 dozen pans that more or less match your description. In the end, all of them should be fine (as long as you don't get a non-stick one), but I would rather not guess wrong.

I have a few all-clad pans, picked up on sale at some outlet. I don't know if they work better than others I could have gotten for 1/2 the price, but I will be disappointed if I ever have to replace one of them.
sscritic
Posts: 21858
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:36 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by sscritic »

And since he asked, he must know if he wants the stainless steel option, the MC 2 option, or the anodized exterior LTD. Since he isn't shy, why should you be? Ask him. This assumes that you want to give him what he wants. Does he already have several All-Clad pieces? Then why would you give him a mismatched item given that you know he wants All Clad?

Otherwise, a paper I bond makes a great Christmas gift. This is the last year you can easily get him one, so don't delay.
Lollytiger
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 10:12 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Lollytiger »

He presumably wants the stainless steel option, given that he asked for a "stainless steel 12" slope-sided fry pan" and this is also the default choice for a fry pan. Specifically http://www.allclad-stainless.com/frypans.php or http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Stainles ... 679&sr=1-7
Helloeeze
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:47 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Helloeeze »

They sell a lot of All Clad on ebay. That might suit your Boggleheadedness. I've never won the bid, but the stuff appears to be new.
c.Alvin
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:57 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by c.Alvin »

Alf 101 wrote:Here's one where I'm hoping someone can share an opinion, as I'm a little out of my league here. My brother is a serious home chef; cooking is one of the things he enjoys the very most. This year, for Christmas, he asked for an All-Clad stainless steel 12" slope-sided fry pan. Fair enough.

Looking into this I have two questions. All-Clad seems to have a strong reputation, as well as a sticker price to match. As this site tends to attract a frugal lot, I'm wondering if this brand is in fact good value.

Secondly, to those who may own All-Clad cookware, I'm finding merely buying a fry pan isn't as simple as that. There's the stainless steel option, the MC 2 option, and the anodized exterior LTD. I suppose all of these are fine fry pans, but there is a chance someone here has experience and/or an opinion that might help me decide. Perhaps I should post this to a forum of professional chefs, though I have learned not to underestimate the many and diverse talents of those who post here.
All-Clad is one of the better brands of home cookware made in this country. Are there cheaper options? Yes, Cuisinart MultiClad is a cheaper option. There are minor nuances that make the various brands of cookware unique. A cook prefers a certain brand because of the nuances. It sounds like your brother knows what he wants. I would ask him which of the All-Clad models he prefers and purchase it or give him money.
bb
Posts: 326
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:04 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by bb »

Show on PBS called Americas Test Kitchen has an equipment test segment and
All Clad always seems to come out on top. You could register online for a 14
day free enrollment and read their review of pans. Could also throw in a
1 year subscribtion if he is a fan.
CoderDude
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:19 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by CoderDude »

IMO, the Tramontina TriPly-Clad pans from WalMart are very similar to All-Clad at a fraction of the cost. For example, their 12" pan is $40 compared to $160 for the All-Clad. You might want to see if your brother has heard of the Tramontina pans, since All-Clad is much more well-known.
User avatar
CABob
Posts: 5000
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:55 pm
Location: Southern California

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by CABob »

If in doubt, how about a gift certificate for an appropriate amount to a store that carries that brand. If he is an experienced chef I would assume he knows what he wants and thinks it is a good value for him regardless of what those cheap Bogleheads think. :wink:
I noticed that the Amazon link above indicates that they sell this pan at $0.05 off list price. That would be an indication of something.
Bob
User avatar
dratkinson
Posts: 5278
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by dratkinson »

Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants. I second the recommendation to provide your brother with exactly what he wants.


bb wrote:Show on PBS called Americas Test Kitchen has an equipment test segment and
All Clad always seems to come out on top. You could register online for a 14
day free enrollment and read their review of pans. Could also throw in a
1 year subscribtion if he is a fan.
I saw the episode of ATK reviewing cookware sets. Their #1 favorite cookware was All-Clad.

But, their #2 choice was the reasonably-priced $150 Tramontina set from WalMart mentioned by CoderDude.
CoderDude wrote:IMO, the Tramontina TriPly-Clad pans from WalMart are very similar to All-Clad at a fraction of the cost. For example, their 12" pan is $40 compared to $160 for the All-Clad. You might want to see if your brother has heard of the Tramontina pans, since All-Clad is much more well-known.
Idea. You and your brother could get the free trial to ATK and review cookware sets together. If your brother is in love with the All-Clad mystique, the ATK review might change his mind. And if this will be his first All-Clad product, he might decide he'd rather have a whole set of Tramontina instead of one All-Clad piece.

I went to WalMart to look at the cookware. It was not in stock.

Be careful as MalMart was displaying a cheaper "everyday" Tramontina set (~$50). The $150 set you had to order.



But if your brother's heart is set on All-Clad, get it for him---it was ATK's #1 choice for a good reason (not known to me).

You could work with other family members (1) to gift him one piece per year until his set is complete. This will take care of your Christmas gift ideas (2) for him for the next several years. Plus, you will no doubt be getting many meals (3) from him. And what could be more tasty than a meal cooked by him on his favorite cookware (4) and given to him by you. That's a win-win-win-win in my book. :)
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.
Martello Shores
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:33 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Martello Shores »

I bought an All Clad stainless steel frypan (12" deep one that takes a top) a month or so ago and am very pleased with it. I tired of continually replacing Teflon pans and especially knowing that particles must be shedding into our food. The All Clad pans are very heavy, so should last (an heirloom someday!) and also distribute heat evenly. Kind of like a cast iron pan without the rust challenge. Some day I'd like to try an induction range, and so I also like that my All Clad pan will work with induction (according to their website).

TJ Maxx stores have good prices, but you may need to scout around for a while to find the pan you need.

This is a pan that a true Boglehead should savor!
User avatar
Hawkeye5
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:59 pm
Location: Hendersonville, TN

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Hawkeye5 »

Your brother is a hobbist and has made a very specific suggestion. People that are serious about their hobby don't want less than what they want as it is a waste of money to them and will not be used. I'd get him what he requests because to do otherwise is to discount his hobby as less than worthwhile.

Now, is All-Clad a good value? Unless purchased when just starting out, more than likely not. Expensive, but with a lifetime warranty, and an excellent reputation. If you can use the cookware for fifty years it may be a good buy.

Tramontina is a good value in tri-ply clad cookware, but that was a separate question.
Leesbro63
Posts: 6969
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Leesbro63 »

BEWARE: All-Clad has a factory "seconds" sale here at their factory near Pittsburgh twice per year. People line up FOR HOURS to get thousands of pieces. Most of it is fine. But a lot of it ends up on EBay without disclosure that it is a "second". In the end it might it not really matter, but at the very least a potential buyer should beware that stuff from these sales often end up on the resale market. BTW the sale is usually the first weekend of December and June. So that would be soon!
User avatar
jeffyscott
Posts: 9493
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:12 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by jeffyscott »

Nothing to add, except it makes me happy that we avoid this sort of shopping list exchange among adult relatives.

Person A specifies to person B that person B should buy item X and give it to person A. Person B specifies to person A that person A should buy item Y and give it to person B. We found that a simplification of this process is for A to buy what A wants for himself and B to buy what B wants for himself.
The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions. ― John C. Bogle
fishndoc
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:50 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by fishndoc »

I have one AllClad frying pan, and it is the only stainless pan I have ever used that is as "non-stick" as pans with the non-stick coating.

That said, I also have several pans from Emeril, which I've read are also made by All Clad, and they are almost as good, at about 1/3 the price.
" Successful investing involves doing just a few things right, and avoiding serious mistakes." - J. Bogle
Slow016
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Slow016 »

The All Clad D5 line (only at Williams Sonoma) is really nice, comes in stainless as well. I have both the D5 and standard All Clad pans and the D5 definitely have better heat dispersion than the other. Good luck.
User avatar
Midpack
Posts: 731
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:34 am
Location: Chicagoland

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Midpack »

We have 3 All-Clad LTD pans. I think they are all stainless inside, with a varying numbers of layers of varying materials. We got a pretty good discount buying them through a discount online place, sorry I can't remember the name. Other than a more expensive copper Mauviel saucepan we have, the All-Clad stuff is top notch and well worth it. Most cooks are very particular, so like others have suggested, you should ask your brother exactly which pan he wants.

What a great gift!
You only live once...
Cognitive Miser
Posts: 147
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:52 am
Location: Los Angeles CA Age:35

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Cognitive Miser »

What is the point of all of the internal metallic layers? I've seen as many as 7-ply cookware. Ridiculous.

Adding layers of material to a pot can only decrease the amount of heat conducted through it, even if the materials added have high thermal conductivity.
Martello Shores
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:33 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Martello Shores »

Re D5 only at Williams Sonoma, mine is D5 and was purchased at discounter TJ Maxx. I love that store! :D
Slow016
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:22 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Slow016 »

I believe the theory with multi layers is that you use high and low conductivity metals (aluminum, copper, stainless) the combination gives better heat dispersion i.e. minimizes hot spots where the layers will conduct/spread/conduct/spread/conduct. I agree it sounds hokey but there's definitely less scorching in soups and stews than my other pans and meats release a lot easier once browned.
AlwaysaQ
Posts: 610
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:37 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by AlwaysaQ »

Miser

Cookware made of a single layer of stainless steel is not likely to be a very good piece of cookware because stainless does not spread the heat well; it has hotspots. Therefore most good stainless cookware has a least 3 layers on the bottom. The middle layer usually is copper or aluminum so that the heat is spread evenly across the bottom.

I have 5 pieces of Demeyere that are made of multiple layers; I don't find them ridiculous.
Naikansha
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:32 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Naikansha »

I just bought one of these - it makes wonderful omelets. all clad is long lasting, easy to clean, not very heavy, but excellent solid construction. highly recommended for serious cooks.
Topic Author
Alf 101
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:24 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Alf 101 »

I'd like to thank everyone for all their input. If you're going to cook, and really enjoy it, a high quality pan with a lifetime warranty does not seem a bad investment. It also seems an excellent gift, and it is the season.

The problem I had was that this was one item among a list of options, and he didn't give a link -- just for a 12" All-Clad slope sided fry pan that wasn't non-stick. I have noticed there are several different All-Clad lines though. There's the classic stainless steel. There's the "MC2" (for "Master Chef"), described on their website as an update of their original. There's also the LTD2, which is 5-ply with an anodized bottom. And there's a copper core option.

This initially threw me for a bit of a loop, before I was struck by a moment of clarity that this is just a fry pan we're talking about. In a logical world I would just ask him, though I would like to maintain some small element of surprise. Likely a basic stainless or the MC2 would be the best choice, but I thought if someone else had an opinion on this, I'd ask. He takes cooking, but is very much a "form follows function" guy.
Distance Runner
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:55 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Distance Runner »

Alf 101 wrote:In a logical world I would just ask him, though I would like to maintain some small element of surprise.
Could you ask more specific questions about a couple of different items on his list, thus making sure you get exactly the right pan while maintaining the element of surprise?
marylandcrab
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:51 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by marylandcrab »

Hubby and I love to cook. It's probably the place where we splurge the most. We have the all-clad copper core set of pots and pans. While someone who doesn't cook much or often wouldn't care, if he cares enough to know and ask specifically, he wants all-clad specifically. The copper core is amazing, be sure to buy barkeepers secret to go with it, it's a special cleaner. It cooks evenly, feels so nice it's worth the pleasure I get from it. We made soup this weekend and the stock pot has the copper core in the sides too and the soup didn't just get cooked from the bottom, but the sides too.

Get the 12 inch copper core if you can afford it.

Edited to add the link: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/r ... 2%22%20pan
Lollytiger
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 10:12 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by Lollytiger »

Cognitive Miser wrote:What is the point of all of the internal metallic layers? I've seen as many as 7-ply cookware. Ridiculous.

Adding layers of material to a pot can only decrease the amount of heat conducted through it, even if the materials added have high thermal conductivity.
Aluminum is the typical material used because it has good thermal characteristics. However, it doesn't react well with acidic substances and some people are concerned about Alzheimer's (although it really shouldn't matter). Therefore it is common for the aluminum to be sandwiched by stainless steel, which has good characteristics for a surface like being non reactive, easier to clean etc. but has bad thermal conductivity. Pretty much all multi-ply cookware is of this sort and the ones that claim to be 7 ply, the last time I knew were really 3 ply but they count the bonding layers etc. too.

Generally, for a frying pan it's more important to have multi-ply construction since the sides of the pan are important too, but for a saucepan, stockpot, saute pan etc. you often see a construction where it is stainless steel with an aluminum disc at the bottom. The sides can just be stainless steel as all the heating comes from the base.

I have some of the Tramontina cookware and I'm pretty pleased with it. I got it since I felt the All-Clad stuff was overpriced. It makes a big difference to have the right tools at your disposal (I used to cook with the most godawful stuff) but the tools don't need to be very expensive, e.g. the cookware used in restaurant kitchens, even the best ones, is not super expensive.
dollarstretcher
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:23 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by dollarstretcher »

I have that exact All-clad SS fry pan and I enjoy it. I think I paid about $100 for it from Amazon. Well worth it if you cook for enjoyment and not just to stay alive.
HelenaJustina
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:10 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by HelenaJustina »

Lollytiger wrote:He presumably wants the stainless steel option, given that he asked for a "stainless steel 12" slope-sided fry pan" and this is also the default choice for a fry pan. Specifically http://www.allclad-stainless.com/frypans.php or http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Stainles ... 679&sr=1-7
I was given that precise pan as a wedding present. It's been used, abused (left empty on a hot burner til black- twice :oops: ), and subjected to the dishwasher for over a decade and still makes a heckuva omelette. A little barkeeper's friend once a year and I wouldn't say it looks like new, but pretty darn close. If that's the pan he wants, I'm sure he'd rather get a $40 gift certificate towards it than a $40 tramontina....
lloydbraun
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 9:14 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by lloydbraun »

Williams Sonoma currently has a deal where you can get a 10 and a 12 inch All Clad fry pan for only $99 with free shipping (regular $225). I think it's only for this weekend.
K'zoo
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 2:47 pm

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by K'zoo »

We got the 12" stainless All Clad pan a couple of years ago and it is great. I just wish we hadn't wasted so many years using the cheap stuff we bought out of college.

But the All Clad stuff is expensive. The 12" pan is the only All Clad we have. Our other pans are next level down. They are very good but not great.
User avatar
goggles
Posts: 744
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:38 am

Re: All Clad (Gift for Home Chef)?

Post by goggles »

AlwaysaQ wrote:Miser

Cookware made of a single layer of stainless steel is not likely to be a very good piece of cookware because stainless does not spread the heat well; it has hotspots. Therefore most good stainless cookware has a least 3 layers on the bottom. The middle layer usually is copper or aluminum so that the heat is spread evenly across the bottom.

I have 5 pieces of Demeyere that are made of multiple layers; I don't find them ridiculous.
Yeah, there's a reason that some (some, not all) pots and pans cost a lot and have a bunch of layers. You know that copper is now really expensive, right? Well, it's the best cooking material in terms of even heat distribution and transfer. (We could talk about silver, but now the price is getting astronomical.) There's a reason those Demeyere pans have a lot of layers; they have an extremely heavy copper core. They're pretty much the best pans, second only to stainless-lined 2.5 mm copper. If you really want to thrill your brother (and pay $500), you could get him one of those instead.
Post Reply