My name is Michael Holland. I’m a business and marketing consultant, and an owner of several web sites that cover various interests. I’m also a foodie, wine lover, and fun seeker. Of course, being single and living in South Florida makes this super easy. (Note: Before going any further, you should know that neither I nor this blog have any direct affiliation with All-Clad Inc.)
As a business consultant, it’s pretty tough for a company to pull the wool over my eyes about their products. I always do the research and background checking before arriving at a decision to purchase any pricey item. Heck, I even do it for some inexpensive items.
The reason I do this is because for certain products, I believe you should buy as much quality as you can afford. Within your budget, of course.
Now, just to be clear, here’s how I define my budget. At the beginning of each year, I decide how much I want to save. Then, whatever is left over is used to pay bills and splurge on life’s pleasures.
As a wine lover, I collect wine as a fun hobby. For me, this just means that I buy it faster than I drink it :-). To the right is an image of my wine unit that sits in the garage. I love having a wide variety of very nice (but not crazy expensive) wines on hand when I entertain.
Next, below is an image of the place where I do my entertaining. It’s not a huge space and usually my gatherings consist of 1-4 guests, although on occasions I’ve enterained 15-25 people.
Well, because when I tell you that I love and recommend All Clad Copper Core cookware, you’ll know why. You’ll know that it’s coming from a real person who owns and uses the product. I’m also someone you can contact directly if you have any questions about anything discussed (or not covered) on this blog. Feel free!
As a foodie, who used to travel extensively worldwide for business, I love fine dining and unique casual diners, alike. I also enjoy cooking and experimenting with recipes.
However, for the longest time, I had no interest in upgrading my cookware. I had a mish mash of pots and pans, consisting of no-name brands and a couple of Calphalon items thrown in. Since I was traveling quite a bit, buying new cookware wasn’t a priority.
But a few years ago, when I was no longer on the road, and entertaining at home more often, cookware found it’s way on my radar. I wanted to have better and more fun cooking experiences. My old cookware wasn’t cutting it. And even though the Calphalon was decent cookware, it didn’t excite me. It was functional, but it wasn’t fun. So, I started doing the research.
I read about all kinds of cookware including Calphalon, All Clad, Swiss Diamond, Emerilware, Analon, T-Fal, Mauviel, and lots more. I also visited tons of foodie websites that either sold cookware or had owners who gave their opinions. I took in the good and bad points about all the top brands.
Want to know what I found?
There is no single brand of cookware that leads the pack in every area. Where one person hated a brand of cookware, another person was a raving fan. This didn’t surprise me because few products are universally loved.
But the sheer beauty of the All Clad cookware caught my attention. So I dug deeper to learn more. I started with the All Clad web site.
What Consumer Reports Had To Say
After bouncing around the Internet for a while, I then turned to ConsumerReports.org which is the most objective reviewer of any product. They’re a non-profit organization.
When they evaluate uncoated (e.g., stainless steel and aluminum) cookware, they judge it on the following 5 criteria:
– Cooking evenness
– Handle temperature
– Handle comfort
– Handle sturdiness
– Ease of cleaning
Lo and behold, when I checked their ratings for cookware, they concluded that based on those parameters the Calphalon (contemporary) cookware was the best. I was surprised. As I mentioned, I have a couple of those Calphalon pans.
The All Clad cookware was deemed very good overall, but received just a “fair” rating when it comes to ease of cleaning. This was surprising news to the six Consumer Reports members who chose to provide their opinions. The only negative point left by one person was price. Otherwise, All Clad received positive comments and 5 out of 5 stars in all cases.
I don’t have a problem at all with the way ConsumerReports.org tests products. And based on their independent testing, I was happy to learn that All Clad is indeed top quality cookware. However, there were a few extra “personal” criteria that I used to help make my cookware decision.
The Cookware Had To Also Satisfy My “Personal” Criteria
You see, when I was looking into new cookware, there was a conversation going on in my head (I know, scary). The first issue pertained to quality and durability. I wanted cookware that would last a lifetime. That’s because there are more important things going on in my life and I would really prefer to not revisit this topic again.
The second issue dealt with fun, uniqueness and coolness. Yeah, I know I’m stretching the boundaries for cookware. But hey, I like to cook and entertain. So creating a fun experience for guests (and myself) is important. The Copper Core cookware delivered on this big time.
You can’t deny that the design is elegant and eye-grabbing. When a beautiful Copper Core pot or pan is on the burner, your guests will wander over and want to know what “yumminess” is being created inside it.
Finally, since I never wanted to revisit the topic of cookware again, there had to be copper involved (if it made sense and I could afford it). Top chefs have praised the benefits of copper cookware for ages. Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t want cookware with a copper exterior because it would be a royal pain to keep clean.
So when the dust settled, All Clad Copper Core cookware rose to the top. It met all the criteria — the independent testing and the personal appeal. All Clad also got an extra bump because it’s American made
Key Questions You Might Be Pondering
I would surmise that one key issue on your mind might be the price of All Clad Copper Core cookware. Specifically, is it worth it? No doubt, you’ve asked a fair and important question.
My rationale for going with Copper Core can be found in the “personal” criteria that I outlined above. All Clad Copper Core cookware has a classic, yet unique design. It is manufactured and guaranteed to last a lifetime and beyond. It is cookware that your kids and grand kids will be fighting over when you’re gone. (At least until someone invents one of those Star Trek food replicators.)
Yes, All Clad Copper Core is a little pricier than other cookware. Mercedes and BMW’s are more expensive than other cars. Chanel, Fendi, and Prada will cost you a lot more than Wal-Mart fashion. The only difference is that when all those other expensive items that you bought are gone, the All Clad cookware will still be there looking as gorgeous as ever with a lifetime warranty. So, it all depends on how or where you like to splurge, right?
Another key question that might be on your mind is whether the extra money you pay for All Clad Copper Core cookware will somehow make you a better cook — whatever that means. The short philosophical answer is that better tools provide the opportunity to create better outcomes.
I’m not a trained chef, but here’s what I would say based on my experience, and talking to chefs and my restaurant friends. If you have cheapo cookware, then you’re going to be amazed at the difference All Clad Copper Core cookware will make. If you have average quality cookware, you’re going to definitely notice the even cooking and sheer pleasure of preparing meals. If you have good quality cookware, such as Calphalon, I don’t think you’re going to notice a signficant difference. But you won’t have near as much fun cooking, entertaining, and just owning unique cookware that makes a statement.
I would never prepare a dish in my Calphalon pan and then sit it on the dining table, but I wouldn’t hesitate with my All Clad Copper Core.
Now, having said all of the above, I will repeat what I mentioned earlier. You should purchase the best quality cookware that satisfies your “personal” criteria and that fits within your budget. If your budget is a little tight, but you have your heart set on All Clad Copper Core , then purchase individual pieces over time. Also keep in mind that the other All Clad cookware collections are high-quality and pretty handsome, too.