All-Clad is known for its higher-end cookware, but did you know that you can also find starter sets that reflect All-Clad’s knowledge and expertise? If you love All-Clad’s products, but you don’t have the budget for their stainless or their copper core options, the HA1 could be a good choice.
The nonstick materials are easier to clean and maintain than stainless steel or copper. If you cook simple foods and don’t spend much time in the kitchen, the HA1 could be a good option for you. It’s a simple, affordable choice for getting All-Clad quality without sacrificing half your salary. Let’s take a look at the details of this more affordable set to see if it’s the right one for you.
All-Clad HA1 Cookware Set – The Details
Here’s what you need to know about this option for All-Clad’s entry-level set.
Construction and Materials
The HA1 is a hard-anodized aluminum, a highly durable set that provides excellent conductivity and durability. This type of aluminum alloy is less likely to warp when you leave it on high heat.
It uses a steel-bonded base, so you can use it on a variety of heat sources, including induction cooktops. The addition of steel to the anodized aluminum helps prevent warping. Standard aluminum can warp easily and conducts heat so well that you might get hot spots. With this combination, it’s far less likely.
The handles are stainless steel and riveted to the sides of the pots and pans to prevent breaking and to increase the durability at a common weak point. The lids are glass with stainless handles that are also riveted to the top of the lid.
The HA1 uses a more modern nonstick coating to prevent food from sticking. It’s not your typical Teflon coating. Instead, it uses a PFOA-free nonstick surface that helps prevent sticking but doesn’t have the toxic fumes associated with Teflon.
This set has a nonstick design with a brushed metal exterior. It’s a dark metal, which helps to cover up any little nicks or scratches. The nonstick interior is comfortable to cook with, but it does require some maintenance.
The design of the HA1 is curved, which makes it easier to scrape food away from the bottoms and sides of the pan. It’s softer around the edges with tight-fitting glass lids. The glass not only helps reduce costs, it also makes it easier to keep an eye on your food as it cooks.
Recognizing that no cooking surface can be one hundred percent nonstick, the HA1 set performs very well. Hand washing is recommended to preserve the coating. It heats well, but you will have to keep an eye on your food to make sure it doesn’t scorch in certain spots.
The anodized aluminum lasts considerably longer than cheaper standard aluminum. It’s far less likely to warp or scorch, and it won’t react with food the way all-stainless steel will. It’s just a bit harder to control the temperature in certain instances.
The handles are a bit uncomfortable. They are stainless, so they don’t heat up as quickly as the rest of the pan. However, they’re thin and may require a towel to be comfortable when you’re in the middle of cooking.
All-Clad HA1 – The Review
This particular set doesn’t perform as well as some of All-Clad’s triple or five-ply construction sets. It offers a durable material with a nonstick option, but it requires hand washing to ensure you don’t chip the coating.
However, if you want a nicer starter set, this could give you an entry point to All-Clad cookware with a lower price point. You still get all the required pieces you need for a variety of cooking tasks; just be aware that you’re getting a slightly cheaper material. Also, this set is made exclusively in China, a deal-breaker for some buyers.
What’s in the Set?
You get everything you need to make a variety of dishes. It stores well and goes from the kitchen to the table if you need to transfer food without a separate dish.
Ten-piece set includes:
- 8-inch frying pan
- 10-inch frying pan
- 2-quart saucepan with lid
- 3-quart saucepan with lid
- 4-quart sauté pan with lid
- 8-quart stockpot with lid
Each piece offers a good range of cooking capabilities with rounded sides and oven-compatible materials up to a certain point. I recommend hand washing the pieces to ensure you preserve the nonstick coating.
Get the HA1 if:
- you’re on a budget
- you want something more nonstick than stainless steel
- you don’t mind that the sets are made in China
Stay away from the HA1 if:
- you want an American-made set
- you prefer copper core or stainless options
- you want steel lids
Choosing the All-Clad HA1
The All-Clad HA1 wouldn’t be my first choice from the All-Clad line, but it does have benefits. If you don’t cook much but you want something you don’t always have to watch, this could be a good choice. Also, if want to try All-Clad, this set is a good entry point for the brand. Otherwise, there are cheaper brand alternatives (this set is still several hundred dollars) or better performing sets from All-Clad that might suit you better.
Editor Rating: 3 out of 5
- Price: $$$
- Weight: 3 out of 5
- Performance: 3 out of 5
Materials: Aluminum and stainless steel
Construction: Hard-anodized aluminum with a bonded steel base
Handle: 100% stainless steel riveted