All-Clad Handles - Reconsidered

velodougFebruary 23, 2007

I have to retract a generalized complaint I made a while ago about All-Clad handles. In particular, I described picking up an MC2 sauté pan in a store and finding the handle much less comfortable than the rough cast handle of our older MC pan. I think now that the weight of the sauté pan may have had a lot to do with my observation. It was probably the 10.5" pan and I was comparing it with our 2 quart MC saucepan.

DW just bought herself an 8" All-Clad MC2 sauté pan. I used it for the first time last night to make a batch of spicy-sweet tomatoes. At the same time I used the old MC saucepan to steam some frozen brussels sprouts. It was a good side-by-side comparison. The handles feel different because one is polished and one is rough, but I couldn't say that the MC2 handle was significantly less comfortable.

Unfortunately, I don't have an old MC sauté pan to complete the comparison, but at least for a lighter pan like DW's new sauté pan the All-Clad handle feels fine.

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msrevise

velodoug, i don't like the AC handles. No matter how i try and hold them, they dig into my hands. See my post on a new line of cookware i saw--i was very excited b/c of the comfortable handles!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 9:47AM
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kitchendetective

Well, I really wanted to like A-C, but the handles and I just don't get along. Can't stand 'em.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 10:33AM
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msrevise

kitchendetective, so what will you get instead? I'm at a loss, b/c i like everything else about the AC, but that.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 8:05PM
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kitchendetective

Well, I really don't need any more pots and pans--it's an addiction. I have tons (probably literally) of Le Creuset, a lot of French copper, both stainless steel lined and tin lined, and a few pieces of All-Clad (original MC saute pan, I think, and a big ss saute, along with a couple of over-rated roasters, one of which came with my wall oven). I usually use the copper or my good old woks for frying and soup stocks (stockpots 'cause they're pretty, mostly) and the LC for stews, thick soups, etc.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 12:33AM
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solarpowered

Demeyere Atlantis has nice handles. And pretty much everything else is nicer than AC, too, for about the same price.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 2:28AM
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kitchendetective

Someone on a kitchen forum who does professional cooking said he threw out all his All-Clad and bought Demeyere. I think he bought the Apollo. Someone else recommended the Henckels stainless steel line because she likes the handles. Mauviel makes a very good looking all stainless line (clad) line. I think Ira Wood has them. Culinary Institute of the Arts has the Masters series. I have one 8" fry pan. It's very similar to AC except that the rims of the handles that dig into my hand with All-Clad is flattened on the CIA. I have never held one of their large pans, so I'm not sure whether it would be comfortable, but the small pan is more comfortable. Also, I've never tried the Viking line, but it's very attractive. I like the fact that the CIA one is made in the US, but it is very expensive.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 9:54AM
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kitchendetective

Just noticed your name; do you revise manuscripts?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 1:50PM
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msrevise

Solarpowered and kitchendetective, the demeyere look really nice, but am i wrong in thinking they're even more $$ than AC? Unless i'm looking in the wrong places?

Yes and no, to your question--mainly i revise my own manuscripts! Although i do critiques for others, i don't revise for them. When i picked the screen name, it was sort of a tongue in cheek reminder to myself to get off GW and back to work! :-)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:36PM
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solarpowered

The Demeyere Atlantis is indeed not the lowest-priced cookware on the market. From the prices I've checked, it appears to be a tad less than All Clad. I get mine from Knife Merchant (the link is below), who has the best prices that I've found.

The foregoing is the case for Demeyere's Atlantis line, which is substantially better in all areas than All Clad. Demeyere's Apollo line, which is more comparable (aluminum heat spreaders instead of copper), should be substantially less expensive than AC.

Here is a link that might be useful: Knife Merchant

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 7:37PM
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msrevise

solar, am i right in thinking that the atlantis has a disk bottom, whereas apollo is layered all over (like all-clad)? that's what it looks like in the pics.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 6:33PM
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solarpowered

Close, but the distinctions are a bit different than that.

In both lines, certain pieces have disk bottoms; these are the pieces such as saute pans and saucepans that don't really benefit from straight-gauge construction. (Indeed, conducting heat up the side is quite possibly a bad thing, not a good thing, in pans with vertical sides.) In these pieces, Atlantis uses copper-disk construction, and Apollo uses aluminum disks. In addition, Atlantis uses full-diameter disks, which prevents hot spots in the corners.

In other pieces, like rounded sautueses and frying pans, both lines use clad aluminum construction that is very similar to All Clad's, expect that they use thicker aluminum.

The lines also differ in the handles. Apollo has loop handles that are formed from SS bar stock, and long handles that are made from rolled SS sheet stock. Atlantis has cast SS handles, that are very attractive in design.

Both lines feature the Silvinox surface treatment of the SS, which makes it harder and more chemically-resistant than normal 18/10 stainless.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 9:45PM
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suzyq3

solarpowered, you seem very knowledgeable regarding Demeyere, so maybe you can answer my question: You've mentioned the Atlantis and Apollo lines, but what about the Sirocco I see on the site for which you provided a link? Do you know how it differs from the other two?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 10:37AM
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solarpowered

Suzyq, Sirocco differs from Altantis in two ways: the design of the handles, and the surface finish. Otherwise, the two lines are of identical construction, and I would expect them to have identical cooking performance.

The Sirocco handles are of a very contempory design; the Atlantis handles are more traditional.

The Atlantis line has the "Silvinox" surface treatment, while Sirocco has their "Brinox" finish. Silvinox is, well, silvery-looking, and has the useful benefits of making the surface harder so that it is more durable and easier to clean (which I can verify from my own Atlantis cookware). Brinox has a mirror-polished finished, and I haven't seen anything suggesting that it has the same sort of benefits that Silvinox has (though, it is possible I just haven't noticed them).

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 11:07AM
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suzyq3

Thanks so much, solar. I assume that Sirocco and Atlantis, then, are similarly priced? I'm curious, which pieces do you have of the Atlantis?

Now all I need to do is find a legitimate reason to replace our All-Clad. :-)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 11:24AM
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solarpowered

Suzyq,

Yes, the Sirocco and Atlantis are pretty much the same price.

I have the 3.2 qt saucepan and the 8.9 qt saucepot. I'm planning to pick up a few more pieces as finances allow: The 11" saute pan, the 3.5 qt flared saucepan, and perhaps the 2.3 qt saucepan.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 1:04PM
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