Is all tri ply cookware basically the same?

deb18May 7, 2007

I'm looking for new cookware and see such a range of prices among different brands that are tri ply all the way up the sides. Is there much difference in quality or is this a matter of paying for certain names?

Also, are glass lids a plus or a minus? Thanks!

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Not sure if this is true or not but I was told when I was just looking that some of the less expensive ply isn't all the way up the sides of the pan. I have some All Clad, love it but do not think it is necessary for all pans.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:00PM
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Well, yes and no.

Yes, because it all consists of a heat-conducting layer sandwiched between layers of stainless. No because the inner layer may be either aluminum or copper; the thickness of that layer varies; there may be more than one inner layer, and if so, they may be of different materials. And the actual stainless can be different alloys.

Fashion, too, plays a role. AllClad comes at incredibly high (and, to me, unjustified) prices. And considering the company's lack of customer service, the costs are not worth what you get. But it's the in cookware among a certain segment, and therefore is considered to be "best," when it's not even close.

Glass covers are controversial. People either love'em or hate 'em. Those who dislike them have not, in my opinion, ever actually used them. Not if we can go by the reasons they give, because most of the time their objections are theoretical but not real.

Obviously, I'm in the former camp, and love 'em.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:32PM
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How would you determine the thickness of the inner core? Do they specify on the boxes or do you have to just judge by feel?

I will probably go with the aluminum because it's cheaper than copper, yet it seems as though the aluminum is well liked, too.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 2:24PM
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To find out the specifics you have to look at the makers' technical specs, which usually are accessible from their webpages.

Usually the only thing specified on the boxes is the stainless alloy. It'll say something like 18/10.

Nothing wrong with aluminum as the inner core. Indeed, that's what the majority of stainless cookware uses. Aluminum is a great conductor of heat; it just doesn't retain it well. But the two, working together, are a perfect match.

Most people feel that copper is more of an aesthetic statement than a heat retention one. The ultimate in combined aesthetics and usefullness is a copper pan lined with stainless on the inside only. But you do need a second mortgage to afford it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 3:37PM
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Thank you! This was very helpful.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 3:41PM
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deb18, probably the best thing to do would be to go to a store that has several different lines of cookware so that you can hold them and see whether they suit you.

I have some All-Clad pieces and love them. I have some of their SS and some of their Copper Core, both of which do a great job. I have never had any problems with these pieces. I also have Calphalon, both their older lines and the newer infused anodized. And I have one Henckel's large saute pan that is terrific.

Any of the above (and others, I'm sure) will do the job well. It's really, then, a matter of personal preference. The pans you choose should be comfortable for you to use and, IMO, be aesthetically pleasing.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 11:31AM
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And in that order, too.

You can have the most beautiful pan in the world, but if it isn't comfortable it won't get used; and is therefore a waste.

And, just to build on SuzyQ's post. When you handle the stuff in the store do it exactly the way you would at home. If you're a twist it, flip it, shake it, toss it kind of cook, then twist, flip, shake, and toss the pan to make sure it stays comfortable in your hand. Also, put something in it, to simulate the weight of cooking food, because than can affect how the item feels in your hand.

Handle comfort is particularly important. There are two basic ways of grabbing a handle. With many designs, one of those ways is comfortable but the other is not. For instance, because of the way I grab the handle, and my cooking style, I love the humpback handle on Henckels skillets. But people who hold pans the other way find them very uncomfortable.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 3:13PM
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I like the Henckels' handles as well. I have mostly All Clad and I like the handles as the ridges give a secure, strong grip. They are not quite as comfy as the Henckels though.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Is this up the sides thing more important with gas than electric? I'm a smooth top person.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 2:08PM
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From what I could tell from my research, it is more important with a gas stove to have the tri ply layers on the sides.

After much reading, I ordered Henckel's Classic Clad 10 piece set. I just got them, so I haven't used them much yet, but I'm very impressed with their look and feel. I bought them from, shipping was free and they arrived in about 2 days.

Thank you all for your input!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 6:46PM
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Patti Engle

Does anyone know if the Henckel's cookware works on induction?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 8:30PM
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