Fingerprint-resistant brushed exterior
Capacity etched on base
Side handles and pot lids get hot
Long handles make them hard to store
As the innovators of multi-ply bonded cookware, it’s no surprise that All-Clad is considered top of the class when it comes to stainless steel pots and pans. Multi-ply bonded cookware—as the name suggests—is made from multiples types and layers of metal (typically stainless steel and aluminum) which promote even heating and heat retention. Whether you’re building your first cookware collection or are looking to upgrade your current pieces, All-Clad’s pieces ensure professional-level results and rock-solid durability that’ll easily last a lifetime.
The All-Clad d5 Brushed Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set promises superior heat retention, even heating, and resistance to stuck on food with zero warping. The set is designed to be compatible with all cooktops (including induction burners) and is oven, broiler, and dishwasher safe. The d5 set is an aesthetically pleasing addition to any kitchen, but is its performance and craftsmanship worthy of its near $1,000 price tag? We cooked up everything from spaghetti to seared salmon to find out.
Design: Beautiful, functional workhorses
The All-Clad D5 10 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set includes an 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, 1.5-quart sauce pan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart saute pan with lid, and 8-quart stockpot with lid. The assortment and sizes of these pieces should be able to handle the majority of your cooking needs.
At first glance, this stainless steel cookware set is absolutely beautiful. The exterior and bottom of each piece is made of brushed stainless steel, which resists fingerprints and water spots. The interior has a starburst finish, designed to help prevent food sticking. Pot handles and lids are made from shiny, polished stainless steel. The combination of brushed and mirror finish is bright, contemporary, and eye-catching.
This set complemented our stainless steel kitchen appliances. Honestly, it’s pretty enough to leave your favorite or most often used pot out on your stovetop. We opted to store the stockpot on our stove since it was a little too wide to fit comfortably in our cabinets with the rest of the set and our other pans.
As soon as we unboxed them, we were impressed with how solid and study each piece felt. The pots are certainly heavier than the nonstick cookware we’re used to, but not nearly as heavy as our cast iron pieces. The added weight is to be expected with the 5-ply construction, but we didn’t find them so heavy as to be uncomfortable.
The capacity is etched on the bottom of each piece, so if you’re not sure what size pot to use with a recipe, a quick glance makes it easy to double check you’ll have enough room. We found this attention to detail helpful when selecting which saucepan to use for cooking small vs. large batches of grains like quinoa and rice.
As soon as we unboxed them, we were impressed with how solid and study each piece felt.
We especially loved the high sides of the saute pan; it’s roomy and versatile enough to go from simmering stovetop sauces to finishing steaks in the oven. The stockpot is also generously sized and perfect for large batches of pasta, chili, soup, and even homemade stock.
All the pieces—with the exception of the stockpot—can nest inside of each other for more compact storage. Just note that scratches can occur when stainless steel pots rub against each other. These won’t hurt the function of the cookware, but you may want to invest in liners if you’re planning to stack your pans.
Each piece in this set has a flared rim to make pouring easy and less messy. While the flared edge isn’t quite as good as a dedicated pour spout, it still made draining excess liquid from steamed vegetables and transferring sauces and leftovers to storage containers much easier than usual.
The fry pans, sauce pans, and saute pan all have extra-long stainless steel handles riveted to the pots. We liked the contouring of the handles for comfort and ease of gripping. There’s also a bolster on the underside of each long handle for finger placement, but we found it was placed too close to the base of the pots—and source of heat—to be of much use. Instead, we preferred gripping the handles toward the middle. The long handles may make storing the pans in a cabinet more difficult; with some creative stacking and maneuvering, ours just barely fit into our cabinet. Since they have a hole in the top of each handle, you could also opt to store them on a pot rack.
The sauce pans, saute pan, and stockpot have short side loop handles. We found these roomy, comfortable to grip, and very ergonomic when transfering dishes from the stove to our dinner table. Be warned: these side handles do get very warm depending on how close they are to the burner and how high of a heat setting you’re using. It’s not a deal breaker, though; we just had to remember to reach for a pot holder or dish towel before picking them up.
The only real complaint we have regarding design is the material and shape of the lids. We tend to prefer glass lids—as opposed to this set’s stainless steel lids—to keep an eye on food as it cooks and adjust heat settings as needed. It’s more of a personal preference, but we still missed being able to see our food when we used a lid. The lid handles are generously sized and, but since they’re also made of stainless steel, they retain heat and get hot to the touch.
Both the lids and lid handles are flat versus domed, which is something to keep in mind when you place a hot lid on the counter. We’ve always laid our cookware lids handle side down to keep food and drips off the counter, but the flat handles of the All-Clad makes it hard to do so without touching the hot lid to your hand or wrist. We remedied this by placing the lids handle side up onto a cutting board or directly into the sink. In the future, we might use a plate to hold dirty pot lids in use—like a spoon rest, but for lids.
Material: Five alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum
All-Clad’s d5 collection is named for its five alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum which deliver serious strength and performance. The interior is made of 18/10 stainless steel. In case you didn’t know, the 18/10 designation refers to the amount of other metals (chromium and nickel) that are added to stainless steel to prevent rusting. Stainless steel is the best metal for cookware since it is non-toxic and doesn’t react with food.
The heat conductivity is excellent; we browned ground beef and seared chicken sausages and salmon filets in record time.
The exterior of the cookware is also stainless steel and is magnetized for optimal compatibility with induction stovetops. Two layers of aluminum surround a stainless steel core within each piece of cookware. The combination of metals and extra layers makes these pieces extra durable and eliminates any potential for warping. They also ensure the pans heat quickly and evenly.
All-Clad says you can use any type of cooking utensil on this cookware, metal included. Stainless steel is prone to small scratches from metal on metal contact, though. These scratches won’t hurt the performance of the pans, but to keep them looking their best, you’ll need to take a bit of extra precaution or use wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils.
Heating Capacity: Fast, even heat distribution
All-Clad’s pans heated quickly; faster than we expected and faster than our usual nonstick cookware. They also heated evenly with zero hot spots and retained heat a long time after cooking. In fact, they heat so well, low to medium heat on our gas range was sufficient to cook most things, resulting in enhanced energy efficiency.
The heat conductivity is excellent; we browned ground beef and seared chicken sausages and salmon filets in record time. The proof is in the sizzle. Liquids also boil and simmer quickly in these pots; we were ready to cook pasta and rice and had tomato sauce simmering in no time. We were even able to scramble eggs in the fry pans over low heat without any sticking. Consider us impressed!
Cleaning: Dishwasher safe and easy by hand
While cleaning stainless steel pans isn’t as easy as cleaning nonstick pans, the process doesn’t have to be intimidating. We were pleased to find the All-Clad d5 pieces are a cinch to clean, as long as you follow the care instructions.
The pans and lids are dishwasher safe, but we had the best results when we allowed pans to cool and soak for a few minutes in warm soapy water. After a soak, we hand washed them with a nylon scrubbing sponge.
We were pleased to find the All-Clad d5 pieces are a cinch to clean, as long as you follow the care instructions.
After cleaning, we did notice some cloudiness on the interior of our cookware. This is often a result of mineral deposits from hard water. A second cleaning with a paste made from Bar Keeper’s Friend and water removed stains and restored the cookware’s brilliant luster.
Price: Top of the line
There’s no sugar-coating it: All-Clad is a high-end brand and their products come with premium price tags. The All-Clad d5 set is an investment with an MSRP of $900. If you’re a serious and regular home cook, you can’t go wrong with any of All-Clad’s cookware. Their pieces are designed with performance and durability in mind. If the steep price tag gives you pause, rest easy knowing it’s backed by All-Clad’s limited lifetime warranty.
If you aren’t ready to commit to the full set, the d5 cookware is available to purchase as individual pieces. It’s a good option if you want to try out the performance of a single pan before springing for the entire set.
All-Clad 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set vs. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless 12-Piece Cookware Set
There are plenty of more affordable stainless steel cookware sets on the market. At around $200, Cuisinart’s Multiclad Pro is an excellent choice that will meet the needs of most home cooks. The set is made from a 3-ply construction with two layers of stainless steel surrounding an aluminum core. The set contains the same types and sizes of pots and pans as the All-Clad, with the addition of a steamer insert with lid.
- Product Name d5 Brushed Stainless Steel 10-Piece Set
- Product Brand All-Clad
- MPN BD005710-R
- Price $899.99
- Weight 24 lbs.
- Materials 5-ply bonded stainless steel and conductive aluminum
- What’s Included 8-inch frying pan, 10-inch frying pan, 1 ½-quart sauce pan with lid, 3-quart saucepan with lid, 3-quart sauté pan with lid, and 8-quart stock pot with lid
- Warranty Limited lifetime