One of All-Clad’s original designs, the Master Chef, used a clad design throughout the pot instead of only on the bottom. The MC2 continues this tradition, providing excellent performance at a lower price point than some of All-Clad’s higher-end sets.
If you don’t mind more aluminum, the MC2 is a classic design with some of All-Clad’s proprietary designs that performs well. The set is an excellent choice for a starter set or for when you’re downsizing, so let’s take a look at what’s included to see if this is the right option for your kitchen needs.
All-Clad MC2 Cookware Set – The Details
This is what you need to know about the MC2 set before you buy it.
Construction and Materials
The MC2 does use All-Clad’s proprietary cladding design across the entire pot, but it uses more aluminum than the higher-end options. It uses a three-ply bonded material to keep the aluminum and stainless together, but the aluminum layers are thin.
The interior uses stainless steel, which is less reactive to food and provides less sticking than other materials. The exterior is brushed aluminum, which is highly heat-conductive and provides more response to temperature changes.
The handles are stainless steel and riveted to the sides for durability. They stay cooler than aluminum and won’t break during cooking. The lids are also aluminum and fit tightly against the pots and pans.
The aluminum exterior is an excellent heat conductor. It’s brushed to hide the appearance of small scratches and dings, but aluminum will eventually look dingy much sooner than brushed stainless. If you don’t like the way heat stains appear on the metal, this may not be the best option for you.
The interior uses a bonded stainless steel, which is 18/10 steel. It’s nonreactive to food, and if you heat the pan and add oil before putting food in, you can minimize sticking.
The sides are classic straight sides, making it easy to stir and get food off the bottom and sides. You can use a variety of tools with this material, but the pot isn’t induction safe.
Unfortunately, this set doesn’t do well in the dishwasher, so you’ll need to hand wash the set. The aluminum exterior doesn’t age nearly as well as stainless steel, but it’s not going to warp or crack. If you don’t mind the look of it, it’s a durable set.
The handles are somewhat uncomfortable because they’re thin. They don’t heat up as much as pure aluminum handles, and they’re riveted to the sides. The lids are a great fit and provide enough moisture for cooking to tenderize your food without making it soggy.
All-Clad MC2 – The Review
Overall, the MC2 is a good beginner set for those who don’t have a budget for All-Clad’s higher-end sets. You won’t sacrifice performance or durability, but you might be disappointed in how the aluminum ages.
The simple interior conducts heat well and provides even cooking. It is oven- and broiler-safe to about 600 degrees, but it’s not induction capable, which is ultimately disappointing. The materials do not warp under high heat, however, and overall it’s nonreactive to food.
As long as you preheat your cookware and add oil before putting food in to cook, the food has the best chance of not sticking. You can use a variety of utensil materials to cook, but it’s best to hand wash the pots to preserve the finish. All-Clad offers better performing cookware sets, but the MC2 will undoubtedly get the job done.
What’s in the Set?
The set includes several pieces that cover a wide variety of cooking tasks: everything you need to stock your kitchen with solid pieces that perform well without breaking your budget. The pieces give you plenty of functionality, aside from the ability to cook on an induction surface.
Ten-piece set includes:
- 8-inch frying pan
- 10-inch frying pan
- 2-quart saucepan with lid
- 5-quart saucepan with lid
- 3 quart sauté pan with lid
- 8-quart stockpot with lid
These are common sizes, and together the set provides a wide variety of capabilities for cooking. They’re suited for both main and side dishes as well as cooking soups and stocks.
Get the MC2 if:
- you don’t mind the look of aluminum
- you want an All-Clad starter set
- you don’t have an induction cooktop
Stay away from the MC2 if:
- you need something induction compatible
- you don’t like hand washing
- you want a more durable exterior
Choosing the All-Clad MC2
The MC2 doesn’t age well, but it does have excellent performance. The aluminum exterior scratches and reacts to heat, but it doesn’t warp. It will last a long time, but it may not look as pretty as some of All-Clad’s stainless options.
It’s a good option if you want a starter set from All-Clad and don’t mind the humble look of aluminum. It may not perform as well as the Copper Core, but it will give you plenty of performance in the kitchen at a fraction of that price. As long as you don’t mind hand washing your pots and pans, this is a solid choice.
Editor Rating: 3 out of 5
- Price: $$$
- Weight: 3 out of 5
- Performance: 3 out of 5
Materials: Aluminum and stainless steel
Construction: Brushed aluminum with a bonded steel base
Handle: 100% stainless steel riveted