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It seems like nowadays all major cooking show are recommending All Clad. The prices that their cookware commands is slowly climbing up in price with their fame. Time and time again, reviewers praise their design and the durability of their pots and pans. All Clad 4 qt Saucepan is no exception. This looks like one of their most famous and popular saucepan size. However, the main issue is that they have too many different iteration of this same pot. Their d5 and their copper core differs from one another, some have a rolled lip and other have no helper handle. Hopefully, this review will give some clarity on which version of the pot is the best.
All Clad 4 qt Saucepan Quick Summary
|Colors||Polished Metal||Brushed Metal||Polished Metal with Copper Band|
|Recommendation||Buy for Value and All Around Performance||Great for Searing Food with a Heft Weight||Best Performer that lets you adjust heat Fast|
|Reviewed Cookware||D3 4qt Saucepan||D5 4qt Saucepan||Copper Core 4qt Saucepan|
All Clad D3 vs D5 vs Copper Core layers
All Clad has many different cladding of their pans. What do I mean by cladding, it means that the layers of metal follows the same thickness from the bottom up to the sides. The most popular version that they sell is the stainless steel. However, they also carry many different lines of their pan. Some are more beneficial than other and they all serve different purpose.
All Clad D3
The D3 consists of three layer, the outer layer is stainless steel, inside is aluminum for good heat conduction and interior is stainless steel for a non reactive interior. This is a great all purpose combination. Perfect balance of weight and heat conductivity for searing food. Most other cladded cookware follow this construction.
All Clad D5
The d5 version is a souped up version of the stainless steel version. It just means that it has 2 additional layers of aluminum and stainless steel. I honestly do not see the point in the center stainless steel core as it is a poor conductor of heat, but whatever, I am not a engineer.
The main purpose of this additional layer is to increase the amount of heft to the pan. The more weight that the pan has, the more heat it can hold. To understand why a heavy pan is so beneficial, imagine the weight of the pan as a heat storage. With a heavier heat storage, you can release more heat to food. So when you begin the initial searing of food, the more heat storage you have the better. Otherwise, the food itself will steam instead of caramelize to form a maillard reaction.
All Clad Copper Core
The copper core layer is similar to the d5 version, the only difference is that it has a copper core instead of stainless steel. Subsequently, the copper is also the most expensive metal out of all the other layers and has the highest heat conductivity. It goes back to the question of why not just use a thick layer of copper? I honestly believe that they just want to shave some cost. There is some benefit to having a stainless steel exterior, usually its due to clean up and induction stove capability. Other manufacturer like Falk has tried to capitalize on this. They have made a line of cookware where it is almost the same as All Clad Copper Core. They even call it the CopperCore Series. The major difference is that they use a much thicker copper core. Regardless, the main reason to have a copper core is to allow for excellent heat control.
In a saucepan, I imagine the main thing that most people will make is sauces. During the initial phase of cooking, controlling heat to prevent burning sauces is important. Because of thin amount of copper and the relatively light pan, you should be able to heat up and cool down the pan much more efficiently than the other line.
For a quick introduction on the All Clad 4 qt Saucepan, check out zappos quick video intro to it.
Is All Clad Cookware Oven Safe?
Yes, that is the beauty of an all metal design. There is nothing to burn and no paint to melt. Most of All Clad cookware is designed like this and you do not have to worry about your standard oven range heat limit. This might not be true for their non stick line. Those teflon coating usually have a heat limit of around 500 degree Fahrenheit. After that, it will start releasing gas that can be harmful. I would be careful if you buy those version.
All Clad 4 qt Saucepan Design
I feel like this is something that is often overlooked. The helper handle is the extra loop on the other side of the handle. It is critical for helping you carry and pour liquid. With a size of 4 qt, you can imagine how unwieldy these pots can be. The Stainless Steel version is the cheapest but also have no helper handle. This is made worse by how uncomfortable and painful all clad handle is. Then again, I heard claims that the reason why the handle has those groves is to help you improve your grip.
-Stainless Steel:No helper Handle (Bad)
-D5: Helper Handle (good)
-Copper Core: Helper Handle (good)
What a pouring lip or a rolled lip in this case does is that it allows for liquid to be poured easily. Have you ever had trouble with pouring liquid from a vessel, most likely that is due to the straight side wall. The D3 version seems to be lacking that lip and you would have issue transferring sauces or liquid. With that being said, it seems like the D3 is the only version without that pouring lip.
All Clad 4 qt Saucepan Shape
For the most part, the shape looks to be same throughout all of All Clad 4 qt Saucepan. It would not surprise me if they use the same machine to just stamp all of the pots out. The only possible difference would be the d3 version where they might have just skipped a step to save manufacturing cost.
Aside from that, how does the shape effect the performance. For my soup pot, which share the same shape as the saucepan, the height is 5 inch while the width is roughly 9 inch. 5 inch is a really tall height for a saucepan. There is one major benefit or drawback depending on what you want to do. A higher sidewall means that it will take longer for water to boil. Reason being is that water does not conduct heat as well as metal. Once you get past the first one or two inch of water, it is now water conducting heat upward. The metal that is in direct contact with the heating element is the most efficient heat conductor. The good side to this is that some food requires a slow simmer to cook food like a delicate fish or sauce. You do not always want a roiling boil. But that really depends on what you are cooking.
Which All Clad 4 qt Saucepan should you buy?
The D3 version is almost a hundred dollar cheaper than the d5. What you get is a good balanced performance between heat distribution and price. Food does not sear as well as the d5 version but it does its job. It controls heat a little better than the d5 but is inferior to the copper core version. It also heats up slightly faster than the d5 due to the lower weight. However, the major two downfall is the lack of the pouring lip and the helper handle. If you are on a budget, this is the recommended version.
Good for Searing
As all good cooks should now, any soup or stock is dependent on the initial browning of food during searing. If you have too light of a pan, the pan will not have enough heat to transfer to the food and it will steam. You need to develop good fond(the brown bits on the pan) to get a delicious stock or sauce. The D5 edges both the d3 and the copper core version in terms of heat stored. The downside is that if you need to control the heat for delicate sauces, it loses compared to the d3 and the copper core. I would say whether this version is good for you depends on what you want to cook.
Best in Class
Copper is one of the best heat conducting metal that you can buy for cookware it. It is the best out of all three pans. You can sear food really well due to the copper layer. It should conduct heat better than both the d3 and the d5 so it should be able to cool down and heat up faster. Which is perfect for making things like gumbo. The copper core version is the most expensive out of all three but it is only 50 dollar more than the d5 version. You also get the helper handle and the rolled lipped unlike the d3.
Which All Clad 4 qt Saucepan would I buy?
I personally love copper cookware, so I would get the copper core version. It is the best performing large saucepan out of the bunch. However, I also think the d3 version is the best one for your dollar. If you can manage without the pouring lip and the helper handle, you should be able to cook just as well as the other pans. Remember, its the cook that makes the food not the pan. Dont blame the tools.
- Best Value
- Good for Searing
- Best in Class
I hope you like this All Clad 4 qt Saucepan Review, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.