Copper is a chef’s delight. Many higher-end cooking sets use copper or copper cores because of its excellent heat conductivity. It heats quickly without scorching, unlike aluminum, and rarely has hot spots that require a quick hand to mitigate.
So why don’t we all have copper cookware? It’s costly. All copper is the highest-end cookware available, and it can be somewhat challenging to take care of. Stainless steel is some of the most durable cookware on the market, so combining the two can create a more affordable option that’s the best of both worlds.
All-Clad brand’s copper core option combines the heat conductivity of copper and the durability of stainless. It’s a more significant investment than your typical all stainless starter sets, but if you’ve got room in your budget, the ten-piece set could be a great choice. Let’s take a look at all the details.
All-Clad Copper Core Cookware Set – The Details
The Copper Core cookware set comes in several options, but the most common one is the ten-piece. It comes with some standard pieces and lids. Here’s what you need to know about the set.
Construction and Materials
All-Clad made the five-ply construction famous, and this set is no different. It uses five different layers of stainless and aluminum with a copper core to create a heat conductivity that provides even heat distribution without the risk of warping. Stainless steel that’s 18/10 (18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel) won’t react with food and provides better durability.
Cladding is the act of bonding different types of metals together, so All-Clad uses that principle. Stainless exterior and sides are durable and easy to clean. You can put stainless in the dishwasher without worrying about it.
Aluminum and copper conduct heat better than the stainless, and with both, you don’t have to spend as much time heating your pan. As heat moves through the cookware, stainless holds onto it, causing fewer hot spots and scorch marks as you’re cooking.
The handles are all stainless, which is slow to heat up. Your handles should remain cool throughout the cooking process because of that slow conductivity. They’re riveted to the sides of the pans to prevent breakage and aid in durability.
The layers of metal are sandwiched together in a particular way to allow for maximum heat conductivity without overheating in spots. Stainless is a highly durable metal that doesn’t require hand washing and won’t warp with higher heat. The copper core keeps the base even regardless of the type of heat.
Stainless on the bottom of the pan makes this cookware compatible with induction cooking. It’s one of the few options on the market for copper cookware that can be used with an induction cooktop.
The sides are flared to allow better, more precise pouring. The design is a classic cookware option with straight sides and stainless interior, which means you can agitate food from the bottom and sides using a variety of tools, not just plastic.
The lids are complete stainless and designed to fit tightly onto the pots and pans. They aren’t interchangeable, but they are well made and allow enough pressure to escape that your food isn’t soggy while still retaining the moisture you need to cook.
It uses a polished stainless steel option that looks great for carrying from the kitchen to the table. It might get some minor scratches, but a little Bar Keepers Friend will minimize the appearance of those.
The Copper Core is a well-performing addition to All-Clad’s effective five-ply construction. Copper provides an excellent cooking core. Copper itself isn’t quite as durable as stainless steel, but with the stainless exterior, you get the best of both worlds.
It’s best if you preheat your pot a bit and put oil in the bottom before putting your food in. Preheating first gives you the best chance of having a nonstick surface with stainless. It heats evenly on all sides and holds heat well at a lower temperature. It doesn’t have the hot spots that all-aluminum does either.
Once you’ve finished cooking, cleanup is simpler with stainless. You can deglaze the pot to remove any bits of stuck-on food and then put the pot right in the dishwasher. If you have oil stains, boiling a little bit of vinegar should remove that, or you can use the cleaner Bar Keepers Friend, which won’t damage the surface.
Copper Core pans handle a variety of cooking tasks well, including browning and searing as well as cooking liquid-based foods such as soups. With soup or stock, the heat remains even through the sides of the pot.
All-Clad Copper Core – The Review
The Copper Core set is an investment, but it’s such a good way to get all the benefits of copper while retaining the durability of stainless. If you’ve got an induction cooktop, this set can also help you realize your dream of cooking with copper.
It heats evenly without warping or causing scorched spots. If you’ve got room in your budget to upgrade your cookware set, this is an excellent choice for an all-purpose set with great cooking properties.
All-Clad’s Copper Core is oven- and broiler-compatible up to 500 degrees, giving you more flexibility. It’s also dishwasher safe, so you don’t worry about cleaning it. The whole set is the best of both worlds.
What’s in the Set?
The most common set is the ten-piece, which includes everything you need for a variety of kitchen tasks. It also includes a good set of lids.
Ten-piece set includes:
- 8-inch frying pan
- 10-inch frying pan
- 2-quart saucepan with lid
- 3-quart saucepan with lid
- 3-quart sauté pan with lid
- 8-quart stockpot with lid
The frying pans are excellent for a variety of side dishes and breakfast dishes. The addition of two saucepans allows you to use these two sets alone for most of your main and side dishes and sauces.
The sauté pan has nice straight sides for cooking one-pot meals. It gives you a lot of space with good depth to stir without spilling over the sides. Plus, the lid fits nicely to cook a variety of casserole-style dishes that can then brown in the oven or broiler.
The stockpot is an excellent size for cooking larger soups and stews or preparing your own stocks. It’s not so big that it’s difficult to carry, but it gives you plenty of room for liquid-heavy meals.
Get the Copper Core if:
- you have the budget for a copper five-ply
- you want copper, but you have an induction cooktop
- you’re looking for a higher-end, more professional set
Stay away from the Copper Core if:
- you need a budget set
- you want something truly nonstick
- you’re looking for solid copper
Upgrading to the All-Clad Copper Core
I cannot recommend this cooking set enough. Copper can be an amazing cooking material, but it’s challenging to maintain and always at risk of warping. With stainless, you get the durability of stainless with better conductivity.
If you’ve got room in your budget and you are looking for a higher performing set with lots of options, this is a good choice. It’s oven- and broiler-safe, induction cooking compatible, and safe to put in the dishwasher. Overall, it’s an excellent investment and can cover a range of cooking activities with just a small set. I wholeheartedly recommend this set despite the investment because it could be the last set of cookware you ever buy.
Editor Rating: 4.5 out of 5
- Price: $$$$
- Weight: 4 out of 5
- Performance: 5 out of 5
Materials: five layers – alternating stainless steel and aluminum with a copper core
Construction: five-ply stainless steel, aluminum, and copper
Handle: 100% stainless steel riveted