The History Of All Clad Cookware Sets, Collections And Products

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If you’ve ever wondered who or what is behind the invention of the All Clad cookware sets, collections, and products, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Here’s the scoop.

All-Clad Metalcrafters, LLC. was founded by the late John Ulam in 1971. John was a metallurgist who had an expertise in how to bond different types of metals together. In fact, he held over 50 patents related to metal bonding techniques. In case you didn’t know, John supplied the know-how for helping the U.S. Mint go from producing solid silver coins to the layered coins we have today.

In the video below, you can watch a rare interview of John by a local newscaster. I would guess that the interview was done sometime in the 1970’s. If nothing else, it’s worth watching just to see the fashion styles and stagecraft from that era. Yikes!

Anyway, you’ll get a good look at some of the early All Clad designs and hear John’s motivation for starting the company. I think his tips for what you should be looking for when buying cookware still hold today. His advice includes the following:

1. Your cookware should last forever.
2. It shouldn’t pit. (Note: Pitting is when little dents or pits appear in the bottom interior of cookware. This could happen, for example, if you placed the pan on high heat and poured salt on it’s surface.)
3. It should stay highly polished and shiny.
4. It should maintain and distribute heat properly.
5. It should be thick enough to allow proper and even cooking of food.

John goes on to add that the best cookware should contain metal(s) with high heat transferability. The top metals for this are aluminum and copper. You could also add silver to the list, but obviously it is too cost prohibitive.

All-Clad’s corporate headquarters and main manufacturing facility are located in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Canonsburg is located in southwest Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. The company currently offers six core cookware collections, along with a number of accessories, specialty items and professional tools.

All Clad Cookware Sets and Collections

Stainless (3 plys of metal – 2 stainless steel, 1 aluminum)
Stainless With D5 Technology (5 plys – 3 stainless steel, 2 aluminum)
Mc2 (3 plys – 1 aluminum, 1 brushed aluminum alloy, 1 stainless steel)
Cop-R-Chef (3 plys – 1 stainless steel, 1 aluminum, 1 copper)
Copper Core (5 plys – 2 stainless steel, 2 aluminum, 1 copper)
LTD2 (5 plys – 2 stainless steel, 2 aluminum, 1 hard anodized aluminum)

You can purchase All clad Cookware sets with 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 27, and 30 pieces. It just depends on the collection and retailer.

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Here are a couple of other All Clad cookware tidbits you should know about:

- Be careful when buying All Clad cookware sets and products on eBay. In my research, I came across a couple of people who thought they got a great deal only to be stuck with fake cookware.

- The Stainless with D5 Techology collection was designed with input from Williams-Sonoma. So they get the biggest allocation to sell, but you can also find it on Amazon.

In addition to producing cookware under it’s own brand name, All Clad teamed with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse in 2000, and has been manufacturing cookware under the Emerilware brand ever since. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that Consumer Reports gave the Emerilware stainless line pretty darn good marks.

What’s even more amazing is that by 2005, Emerilware had become the top selling cookware in the United States. Not sure if that’s still the case today. Back then Emeril was a pretty hot commodity, with multiple television shows. (Note: The All Clad brand is made in the U.S.A. and Emerilware is manufactured in China.)

I think the beauty and popularity of All Clad’s products, especially the Copper Core collection can be summarized in a humorous story that I came across. An engineer by the name of John Milnthorp went to work for All Clad in 1998. Milnthorp recalls that he took one of the All Clad Copper Core pans home to his wife. Here was her reaction…

“…with its copper lid and skived-out copper band, his wife, Hilary, put it on the stove, stepped back to take a look and decided it was time to remodel the kitchen.”

That is just too funny, but I totally understand. And even if you’re not a great cook, the All Clad cookware will inspire you to become one. Or, it’ll give you a good reason to update your kitchen. :-)

Of course, I’m a fan of the Copper Core line, but there are reputable retailers like those below that offer most of the All Clad cookware sets and collections.

All Clad Copper Core Cookware Retail Partners: (Click on the box below)




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