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Cop-R-Chef Skillet by All Clad Old vs New
The Cop-R-Chef Skillet is a rare pan that All Clad use to manufacturer. It consists of a three ply design with the outer layer being copper, inner is aluminium and interior is stainless steel. The closest thing that you can get today is All Clad’s C4 skillet. Which consists of outer copper layer, an aluminum and copper core with stainless steel interior. Either of those two pots are not as common as their standard Copper Core or d3/d5 line.
Why they choose to focus more on their other line is a mystery to me, but I assume that profit margin on those pots and pans must be better. We will be taking a closer look at the Cop-R-Chef Skillet to see how the design differs from a modern day All Clad Non Stick Skillet. Does it perform any better, what makes it unique?
Cop-R-Chef Skillet Quick Summary
|Categories||All Clad Cop R Chef|
|Country of Manufacturer||America|
|Thoughts||A great skillet that is out of production. It performs better than a d5 skillet. The closest thing that you can get from All Clad today is the C4 Skillet.|
|Reviewed Cookware||All Clad Copper Skillet|
Cop-R-Chef Brass Handle
The handle shares the same iconic All Clad handle shape with some major difference. The biggest difference would be the use of brass as the handle material. Brass conducts heat very well compared to stainless steel handle, I wonder if it heats up any differently from today’s handle. This will actually tell us if the shape of the handle has any significant affect on the cooling of the handle.
The interior of the handle has a texture dimple finish. Using your thumb as the point of pressure in that area will give you a sense of grip. Whether it actually gives overall stability that is another thing. I have a feeling that the only thing that the grip provide is the confidence of stability. The two edges of the handle that is wedge between the palm of your hand is what actually gives you control.
The loop handle is smaller than your modern handle and it seems to be missing the raised notch near the base that modern All Clad handle have. Looking at the two handle length side by side, it is almost identical in length.
The base rivets on the handle is kind of interesting as well. They use a bigger rivet on their Cop-R-Chef Skillet and it has 3 of them vs the newer two rivet design.
The base is missing the All Clad logo that the newer pan has. However, the Cop*R*Chef is instead engraved across the length of the handle.
Cop-R-Chef Skillet Thickness
Thickness is interesting as well, on the vintage Cop-R-Chef Skillet the thickness of the pan is a whopping 3.12 mm, the d5 skillet is around 1.73 mm in thickness. I have a Copper Core 10 inch skillet (which has a layer of copper in the center) and that thickness is 1.66 mm. It is sad to say that All Clad seems to be following the trend of modern day Copper Cookware manufacturer. Thin pans seems to be on the rise as the vast majority of consumer seems to be more concern about the weight of the pan then the performance of it.
Looking at the weight of the pans, it is actually quite a bit heaver than your D5 skillet. Using a scale, the Cop-R-Chef Skillet weighs 888 grams and the d5 skillet weighs 791 grams, almost 100 gram heavier. This is significant especially considering that the d5 is one of their heavier pan. They are meant to retain heat better for searing.
I cant actually measure the thickness of each layer but I can get close, looking at the copper layer, it does look like it is any thicker than .75 mm in thickness. Which is not bad for a tri-ply design, the aluminum core has to be at least 2 mm in thickness. So even though the copper layer is thin, the aluminum core should make up for the performance difference. Ruffoni Historia Copper pot wasn’t even thicker than 1 mm in some area. Looking at the thickness of the pan itself, it looks like a pretty decent triply pan.
Diameter and Height
The height of the pan is around 1.76 inch, slightly taller than the d5 1.55 inch. The base cooking area is both the same with a width of around 5.5 inch. The rim diameter of the Cop-R-Chef is around 8.49 inch and the d5 is 8.55 inch very similar but slightly different. So all in all, the shape is almost the same but I would say because of the height difference, I would say that the Cop-R-Chef would prevent evaporation of liquid better. Looking at them side by side, it looks like the d5 version flares out a little more, which lets allows a spatula to reach in and turn food easier. The pouring lip also seems to be a little more wider on the d5 version as well.
Fit and Finish
Fit and Finish is acceptable on this pan. The Cop-R-Chef engraving looks like a font written by a child. It does not look uniform with each letter consisting of varying thickness. The rivets on the pan seems to be misaligned as well. The exterior is a standard polished copper finish and the handle brass looks like it has a bit of pitting with a matte like finish. I am not sure if this is due to wear or whether they tried to make it look rustic on purpose. I do like the bigger rivets though, even though more food will get stuck around its edges.
Note:These measurement are done by me with the tools that I have on hand. The manufacturers have their own measurement guidelines and that should be assumed to be accurate. What I find on this review can vary widely due to several factors, such as ambient temperature, location, water, tool calibration, stove btu, etc..and should only be considered as my opinion.
Weight: 888 g
Rim Width:Around 8.45 inch
Flat Cooking Surface Width:Around 5.5 inch
Sidewall Thickness:Around 3.12 mm
Cop-R-Chef Skillet Performance
To test the how well it distribute heat and how well it heats up, I perform a toast test where I place a piece of toast in the center than weight it down with a meat pounder. I heat up the pan for a total of 2 min then see the color of the toast.
The results of this test is pretty good. Decent browning of the toast and a good distribution of heat throughout the pan.
The performance still does not compare to a straight copper pan but it still performs better than the modern day d5 version.
Look at the lower right hand corner, there is a significant gradient in color change. The dark side will eventually scorch food unlike the cop*r*chef skillet. It seems like modern day technology still cannot beat the simple design of straight copper. The thin layer of copper that the Cop R Chef Skillet has provided a significant performance boost.
Cop-R-Chef Skillet Thoughts & Conclusion
This sure is a surprising result. In terms of skillet, the older model seems to perform better than your modern day version. I would need to get the All Clad’s C4 skillet to do a more comparable test. That model has an alternating layer of copper which the d5 does not have.
As of now, I highly recommend that you get a skillet with at least some copper in them. These heavier skillet with copper should retain heat better and provide more even heat distribution.
So there you have it, those are the major difference between the vintage and newer design. I can only provide information on what I find in these test. Hopefully, you find this review helpful in your selection of skillet. Please comment below if you would like me to test something else. For more reviews, please go to our Pots and Pans review page.
2 Comments on “Cop-R-Chef Skillet by All Clad Old vs New”
Mer BlackfordJuly 24, 2022 at 8:25 pm
I am hoping you can answer a question for me. I have the original cop-r-chef pots and pans from 1978. I love them very much and have used them so much through the years that what you were describing as the stainless steel portion has worn away so I’m afraid it’s the aluminum that is visible in several of the pans and I don’t know if it’s safe to use them anymore. I didn’t know if this was a question you could answer for me or if you could perhaps direct me to who might be able to answer the question. I was hoping that I would be able to send these back to be re-surfaced in someway but that doesn’t seem to be a possibility. Any advice or help you could give me is greatly appreciated. I can send you photos of the interiors if that would help you. I’m just not quite sure how I can attach that to this particular email. Thank you so much, Mer Blackford
Curated CookJuly 25, 2022 at 7:25 pm
You can upload a image to a img hosting site like Imgur. But even if it is aluminum it’s fine. Professional chef have been cooking in pure aluminum for decades, it’s just the home cooks who are aversive to it.