All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 7 Piece Cookware Set by All-Clad
- All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 7 Piece Cookware Set
- 7 Piece
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Premium tri-ply construction throughout the pan delivers even heat distribution - without hot spots;18/10 stainless steel cooking surface will not react with food;Superior stick resistance as a result of starburst finishing on the pan's stainless steel interior;Compatible with all cooktops, including induction;Stainless steel handles are permanently secured with stainless steel rivets
I used to have a non-stick collection from Costco that I wanted to phase out due to health concerns regarding the teflon coating. It just didn't seem right or natural, and ingesting any teflon flakes that scraped off made me nervous. The interior cooking surface of the MC2 line is the exact same stainless steel surface that all All-Clad lines have. It's bulletproof and cooks amazingly. I haven't had any sticking problems with the MC2 line- just remember to pre-heat the pan for a minute or so before you add any oil or food. I don't have any non-stick pieces, so I can't speak to those.
This set has an outer layer of brushed aluminum alloy instead of the shiny stainless steel that other All-Clad lines have. This gives it a cool industrial look that the inevitable scratches look more at home on. It also gives the cookware a bigger overall mass of aluminum that should transfer heat faster and better than the stainless exterior pans. The downsides to this exterior are that its not recommended for the dishwasher and that it is NOT induction cooktop compatible. I would hand wash regardless and prefer gas, so these aren't issues for me, but they might be for you.
The set cleans up easily (use some Bar Keeper's Friend for stubborn spots). I put a piece in the dishwasher once and the exterior oxidized and darkened- Some BKF and elbow grease had it looking new again in no time. I would stick with All-Clad's recommendation of hand washing.
The long stay cool handles do stay cool while cooking and you won't need a kitchen towel or pot holder for these. If you grab close to the base of the handle, it's going to be hot though. The short helper handles and lid handles do, however, get hot while cooking. This isn't a design flaw, it's just how they are, but they will require a pot holder or towel to grab while cooking.
I think this is the best value in the All-Clad line as it's the least expensive, cooks better than the more expensive stainless line (due to the higher Aluminum content) and has a cool commercial look. The only downsides to the MC2 line are it's not induction compatible and the line isn't as extensive as the more mainstream stainless line. For me the cost savings, thermal superiority, and commercial look outweigh these drawbacks. You won't go wrong with any piece of All-Clad, MC2 or otherwise.
Concern 1: Stick & Burn
I cook a lot but I'm always in a hurry. Young, single guy on a budget. I need to cook quickly. For this reason, I had almost gone with non-stick. Most likely hard-anodized. That would have been a mistake. Stick is non-existent with these pans. First thing I did was to take out the 8" frying pan and fry and egg, the ultimate test of stick. I listened to the reviews. Let the pan heat up first, add the butter, then the egg. I nervously went for the flip expecting the egg to be stuck, but it was so slick it almost hit the ceiling when I flipped it. The egg came out perfect and the pan was clean as new with some hot water and dish soap. I never thought I'd have such a stupid grin from flipping an egg. I've heard quality has a huge affect on the stickiness of stainless and this is obviously quality.
Concern 2: Use & Cleanup
Before this set, I cooked mostly with cast iron (and some horribly old teflon, but we won't talk about that). Cast iron was great, but the cleanup was terrible, the pans were so heavy and don't even get me started on the seasoning. Not to mention you can't use acids in cast iron. With my new stuff, all of that is thrown out the window. They are light enough to work with easily, transfering from stove-top to oven. And cleanup is a breeze. I haven't cooked anything yet that hasn't come up with hot water and dish soap. There are odd-colored stains here and there from use, but those are removed easily with Bar Keepers friend. Other than that, they are idiot proof, which is great for me making bacon and eggs drunk at 4 am. Which came out perfect, by the way.
Concern 3: Price
This was a big one. If you'd asked me 2 weeks ago if I was going to drop $350 on cookware, I'd have called you crazy. That's what I earn in a week. But one night, I'm cooking and my teflon pan is flaking. Gross. I grab the cast iron, nearly breaking my wrist and I'm fed up. The search begins and this is wear I really shine. I did days of research to find the best I could afford. That was about half this much. A nice set of Rachel Ray Hard Anodized. At the end of the day, though, it was the reviews that led me to the right choice. People explained to me the difference between an aluminum wrap and just a bottom coating. How much even heat distribution will affect stick and even cooking. How no matter how good, non-stick will lose it's non-stick coating, but stainless will last forever. Up the ladder I went until I found this set. At the price, it's a steal for this quality but it comes to whether you need this particular set. Many people say the pieces are too small. As a singe guy, I find them perfect. I think for a family of 2-3 they would be excellent as well.
Conclusion: The cooking world is now my oyster and I plan on tackling it head on. I've got a list of recipes prepared and these bad boys and I are going to knock 'em out together. If you're looking to give yourself a way to cook and I mean really cook, invest in yourself and invest in some excellent stainless.
I wish Amazon let reviewers award half-stars, as this set would get a great performance review but the steep price would knock it down to 4.5 stars; I do wish it was cheaper, but you definitely get what you pay for. It *does* have a lifetime warranty, which is great...check back in 35 years or so and I'll let you know my thoughts! I'd highly recommend this set...if you've the money to spend on it.