All-Clad D5 vs Copper Core vs Tri-Ply

Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

Renowned for their durability, heat distribution and retention, and overall quality performance, All-Clad cookware can be found in the home, restaurant and/or food business. On this page, we are going to examine three major products from this top-notch brand: the All-Clad D5 vs Copper Core vs Tri-Ply. Each set of cookware brings its own definitive qualities and advantages to the table, which oftentimes gives it an edge over the other two. This could make it quite difficult to choose between these cookware collections. However, we’ve been able to compare them and the information gathered below eases the decision-making process.

All-Clad D5 (10 piece) – Click here to check price

All-Clad Copper Core (10 piece) – Click here to check price

All-Clad Tri-Ply (10 piece)– Click here to check price


All-Clad D5 vs Copper Core vs Tri-Ply

Layer or Ply Construction

All Clad Tri-Ply

The All-Clad Copper Core has a 5-ply construction, ‘ply’ being a technical term for layer. So simply put, the Copper Core has 5 layers of metals expertly combined together to give a solid and durable cookware. These metallic layers include a magnetic stainless steel exterior, followed by an aluminium layer, then a copper core, followed by another layer of aluminium and finally an interior cooking surface made from 18/10 stainless steel. All these different metals serve a specific purpose in the overall performance of the cookware.

The outermost layer of magnetic stainless steel makes it possible for the cookware to be used on any cooking or heating surface, induction stove tops included. The aluminium layers serve as good heat conductors. However, the superb performance of the Copper Core line is accredited to its core of copper. Copper is a better heat conductor than aluminium and it also has better heat distribution capabilities. As a result, the Copper Core line of cookware excels at providing even heat distribution throughout the pan. With the All-Clad Copper Core, users won’t have to worry about hot spots on their cookware caused by uneven heat distribution. The interior layer of stainless steel is designed to provide a healthy and secure cooking surface that does not interact with the foods cooked, even if they are acidic or salty in nature.

The All-Clad D5 line of cookware also features a 5-ply construction but its core layer differs from that of the Copper Core line. Also known as All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel, this cookware stays true to its name with a ‘stainless steel’ core surrounded by two aluminium layers, an interior 18/10 stainless steel layer and an exterior layer of magnetic stainless steel. The aluminium and stainless steel layers of the D5 perform the same purposes as their Copper Core counterparts. The stainless steel core however is a poor conductor and distributor of heat compared to copper, and as such, the D5 underperforms when it comes to heat distribution.

The stainless steel construction of these cookware lines ensures their durability. The exterior stainless steel covering protects the pan from warping, deformation as well as scratches, while the interior stainless steel cooking surface makes the pan very easy to clean and maintain.

All-Clad D5 (10 piece) – Click here to check price

All-Clad Copper Core (10 piece) – Click here to check price

All-Clad Tri-Ply (10 piece)– Click here to check price

Fully Clad Feature

Both sets of cookware feature a fully clad construction. What this simply means is that the layers of metals are not limited to the base of the cookware. The 5-ply construction extends to every part of the cookware, from the base to the rim, and ensures food is cooked evenly.

Appearance

All-Clad Copper Core

The All-Clad D5 Brushed Stainless Steel gets its ‘brushed’ description from its appearance. It features a stainless look quite alright but instead of the usual gleaming and shiny appearance, it is given a brushed finish. This matte appearance helps to hides scratches better when compared to a more polished surface.

The Copper Core has a more decorative and elegant design added to its classic stainless look. This is achieved via a thin band of copper circling the pan and quite close to its base. In essence, the decorative band does not have the extra aluminium and magnetic stainless steel exterior layers.

Lid, Handle, and Brim Design

The lids and handles of both All-Clad cookware sets are made from stainless steel. The handles are large and long, offering users increased control. Several users claimed the exposed rivet design of these handles made them much harder to clean when compared to rivet-less or flush-rivet designs of other brands in the market.

The handles have received a fair amount of both praise and criticism from a large portion of users. Due to their stainless steel construction, these handles are capable of staying cool throughout the cooking process. The major downside however is their curved design reputed to cause discomfort when held as they have a tendency to dig into your palms (according to some users). This discomfort can be minimized with the use of towels or by tucking the handles under the forearm.

The All-Clad D5 and Copper Core feature a second handle, usually referred to as the helper handle, which makes handling easier. However, this handle doesn’t stay cool in heat unlike the main handle.

Every piece of cookware in both models is designed with flared brims. This rim design ensures that users can easily pour liquids from the pans without any fear of dribbles or dripping.

Dishwasher and Oven Compatibility

Both the Copper Core and the D5 are dishwasher safe, although hand washing is still recommended for the Copper Core line. They can be safely used in the oven up to a temperature of 500oF.

Compared to the All-Clad Stainless Tri-Ply

The Stainless Tri-Ply is an earlier line of cookware from All-Clad and remains the most popular till date. It is fully cladded just like the D5 and Copper Core, but instead of the more recent 5-ply design, the All-Clad Stainless Tri-Ply features a 3-ply construction, thus earning it the name ‘Tri-Ply’. An aluminium core is surrounded by an exterior magnetic stainless steel layer for compatibility with any cooking top and an interior 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface to inhibit any hazardous interaction between the food and the cookware.

The aluminium core of the Tri-Ply ensures even heat distribution and better conductivity than the stainless core of the D5. However, the Tri-Ply’s performance is still eclipsed by that of Copper Core. Reputed to be the most durable of the three models, the Tri-Ply is also the lightest due to the lesser number of layers, and as such much easier to carry.

With a classic and polished stainless-steel appearance, the Tri-Ply can be safely used in the dishwasher and oven as long as the temperature does not exceed 500oF.

As with the All-Clad D5 and Copper Core, the Tri-Ply’s lids and handles are made from stainless steel, can be relatively uncomfortable to use (according to some), have a rivet design, and can stay cool throughout the cooking process due to the poorer conductivity of stainless steel. However, unlike the D5 and Copper Core, the Tri-Ply line is not designed with a helper handle. Also, not all Tri-Ply cookware pieces have the flared rim design: its regular skillets, stock pots and sauté pans do, while the saucepans and French skillets do not.

Cookware Piece-Set

All Clad D5

The All-Clad D5 Brushed cookware can be purchased in various piece-sets depending on your budget and needs: a 5-piece set, a 7-piece set, a 10-piece set or a 14-piece set. It also has a French skillet set that can be bought separately. Several pieces of the D5 cookware are available in non-stick, most notably the All-Clad D5 Brushed Non-Stick Fry Pan.

The All-Clad Stainless Tri-Ply can be purchased as either a 5-piece set, a 10-piece set, a 13-piece set or a 14-piece set. The 10-piece set can also be gotten as non-stick, if that’s your preference.

The All-Clad Copper Core line is available as either a 7-piece set, a 10-piece set or a 14-piece set. The Copper Core is the only All-Clad line that has none of its pieces available in non-stick. Despite this shortcoming, several users claim foods rarely stick to the sides of the pan and if they do, they are very easy to clean off.

To prolong the lifespan of your non-stick pieces, never use them at high heat as this could cause the non-stick surface to wear off much faster.

Warranty

All pots, pans, and other cooking vessels in these three cookware collections come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros and Cons of the All-Clad D5

Pros

  • Induction compatible
  • Easy cleanup
  • Durable
  • Heats evenly
  • Better at storing heat

 

Cons

  • Heavy and thus, slightly difficult to lift
  • Has the lowest performance in terms of heat conduction and distribution

 

Pros and Cons of the All-Clad Copper Core

Pros

  • Induction compatible
  • Easy cleanup
  • Durable
  • Best heat conduction and distribution
  • Heats evenly

 

Cons

  • Most expensive of the lot
  • Heavy and thus, slightly difficult to lift

Pros and Cons of the All-Clad Stainless Tri-Ply

Pros

  • Cheapest of the three
  • Induction compatible
  • Easy cleanup
  • Lightest of the three and thus, easier to lift
  • Good heat distribution and conduction
  • Durable

Cons

  • No helper handle
  • More prone to warping due to lesser weight (although still very resilient)

Summary

The All-Clad Stainless Tri-Ply offers outstanding value and quality for a lesser price. On a budget and still wanting the best cookware in the market? The Tri-Ply is capable of meeting your needs. The Copper Core offers better with increased heat distribution and quick responsiveness, making its higher price tag very well worth it. If you are ready to shell out cash for the best quality available, then the All-Clad Copper Core gives you a good run for your money. The D5 gets no praise here: it trails behind the Tri-Ply and yet costs more.

All-Clad D5 (10 piece) – Click here to check price

All-Clad Copper Core (10 piece) – Click here to check price

All-Clad Tri-Ply (10 piece)– Click here to check price

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