Ask several different chef’s what the best material for cookware is, and you’ll get several different answers. Stainless Steel is durable and easy to clean but doesn’t conduct heat all that well. Aluminum has excellent thermal conductivity but isn’t quite as durable as stainless steel and can warp over time at extremely high heats. Cast-iron is awesome, but heavy, brittle and impractical for most everyday cooking. Then there’s copper.
Out of all everyday cookware materials, copper has the best heat conductivity, transferring twice as much heat as aluminum and creating a hot, even surface that makes for excellent performance on the stove. The problem? Copper is also very delicate and reactive, meaning that if you cook acidic or alkaline foods in it, a metallic flavor will leach into your food. You’ll actually be ingesting tiny amounts of copper – which isn’t harmful in tiny amounts but isn’t good for you as everyday use adds up. Foods you really shouldn’t cook in copper include eggs, lemon juice, and wine.
How does one solve this problem? By creating a multi-ply piece of cookware with a copper core and aluminum or stainless-steel cooking surface. This gives you a pan with the excellent thermal conductivity and even heating of copper, but the durable, non-reactive, and easy-to-clean cooking surface that stainless steel offers, for example. And when it comes to extremely durable, high-quality and easy to clean cookware, nobody does it like All-Clad.
The All-Clad C4 Copper 10-Piece set asks a premium but delivers in every way. It’s built with a 4-ply construction, featuring a 100% copper outer layer, a layer of stainless steel inside for durability, a copper core for heat conductivity, and a stainless steel cooking surface. By combining the two, you get ultra-fast heating and easy temperature control, as well as a non-reactive cooking surface that is easy to clean. Searing steaks is easy; perfectly-fried eggs a dream.
These are premium cooking tools in more than material, too. The contoured stainless-steel handles feature cutouts to reduce heat, the edges on all the pots and pans are flared for easy pouring, and the wide, shallow pans with gently-sloped edges make handling with a spatula effortless. And, they’re oven and broiler safe, up to 600F.
This 10-piece set features 8” and 10” skillets, 2 Qt. and 3 Qt. covered saucepans, a 3 Qt. covered sauté pan, and an 8 Qt. covered stockpot and costs about $1500. That might be a week’s paycheck, but when it comes to bulletproof cookware that cooks like Gordon Ramsay and will last you the rest of your life, it’s the obvious choice.