All Clad D3 Vs D5 Vs Copper Core Comparison 2023

When it comes to stainless steel cookware, All-Clad is one of the biggest and most popular brands, not just in the United States but all over the world. The All-American brand started in the late 1970s, and thanks to their revolutionary manufacturing, All-Clad is one of the best stainless steel cookware manufacturers.

The brand’s name tells the reason why it has become so popular among home and professional chefs alike. The all-clad or fully-clad manufacturing process means bonding the layers of metal on all exterior surfaces as well as the rims. This complete bonding provides better heat conduction and better heat distribution around the cooking pans and pots.

All Clad D3 Vs D5 Vs Copper Core

This improvement in design in comparison to the cookware that only had layers on the bottom made all the difference to the cooking result. Now, the majority of the cookware brands use the fully-clad construction. However, All-Clad will always be known as the pioneers of the all-clad stainless steel cookware.

In this article, we will be comparing three of All-Clad best-selling cookware sets; All Clad D3 vs D5 vs Copper Core. The purpose of this comparison is to help you chose the best for your kitchen. Let’s start with a comparison table, and then we will compare the three cookware sets in detail.

All Clad D3 Vs D5 Vs Copper Core Comparison and Buying Guide

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All Clad D3 Vs D5 Vs Copper Core Key Differences

One look at the comparison table, and you might think there aren’t any significant differences between these three All-Clad cooking sets. However, that not true at all. Even though the differences between these cooking sets are little in number but significant in stature.

We are sure these differences will definitely affect your final decision, so we suggest you give them a careful read. These differences will affect your cooking and user experience, so we hope you will be able to make a more informed decision after reading these.

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Core Material & Cooking Performance

The biggest difference between the All-Clad D3, D5, and Copper Core is the core material, which in turn affects the cooking performances of these cookware sets too. The core material is the central material in the cookware that’s responsible for heat conduction throughout the pans and the pots.

A conductive core material means better heat conduction and an even heat distribution for better cooking results. The more conductive the core metal, the faster the pans and the pots heat up and the faster the food cooks. All three of these All-Clad cookware sets have three different core materials.

The All-Clad D3 has an aluminum core with an 18/0 stainless steel cooking surface and an 18/10 stainless steel bottom surface. The THREE metal layers is also where the D3 gets its name from. Similarly, the D5 gets its name from the fact that it has FIVE metal layers bonded together.

The All-Clad D5 has FIVE layers of metal bonded together, including 18/0 stainless steel, aluminum, and 18/10 stainless steel. The core material of D5 is stainless steel. Now we don’t want to sound too scientific, but aluminum is a much better heat conductor than stainless steel. So, comparing the All-Clad D3 vs D5, the D3 has a better core material.

Then comes the All-Clade Copper Core, which announces from its name that it uses copper as the core conducting material. Again, without sounding like a physicist, copper is a way better conductor of heat than both stainless steel and aluminum.

All this talk of core materials sounds interesting, but what is the purpose of using these different materials, and how can they affect you? These core materials decide the cooking performance of the cookware. A better heat conductor will provide faster and even cooking.

Let’s start with the All-Clad D3. The aluminum core material provides speedy conduction and a much more even heat distribution around the cooking pan. So, when you cook with a D3 pan, your food will cook faster. However, the D3 does not have the same heat distribution in the rims, so there are some cold spots while cooking. But, because they are in the rims, they won’t affect the final result too much.

As for the All-Clad D5, the heat distribution is much more even because of the five layers in the cooking surface, the bottom side, as well as the rims too. So, while cooking with a D5 pan, you won’t have to deal with any cold spots. However, the stainless steel core material will slow you down a bit, as it doesn’t conduct heat as quickly as aluminum.

So, the D3 gives you speed, but the D5 gives you uniformity of heat. People usually prefer even cooking to speed, but some need both these features. However, only seasoned chefs and professional cooks can handle both these things at the same time. The All-Clad Copper Core is for those people.

The FIVE metal layers and the copper core provide even heat dispersion and the fastest heat conduction out of all three cookware sets.

So, if we were to give our verdict based on the core materials, we would suggest the following:

  • If you want speed and can manage the uneven heat distribution, the All-Clad D3 is a very good choice. The heat distribution is not too bad. It’s just not as good as the D5 or the Copper Core.
  • The D5 cookware will give you much better heat distribution, but the core material lacks conduction speed because it is stainless steel. For home use, the D5 and the D3 are good choices because both these set offer you some freedom and control in the kitchen. You don’t have to stand guard over your cooking food all the time.
  • The Copper Core is the best of the three but for a certain group of people who can handle the high temperatures and the faster cooking speeds, i.e., professional chefs. Controlling these features is a difficult task for home cooks, and they will end up wasting a lot of food while trying to cook in the All-Clad Copper Core.


It’s no news that the prices of the All-Clad D3 vs D5 vs Copper Core will vary. There are two reasons for the price variations- one is the metal layers, and the other is the core material. The All-Clad D3 is a 3-ply cookware set, so it’s the cheapest option. The All-Clad D5 has FIVE layers but a lower quality core material, so it costs a little more than D3 but a lot less than the Copper Core.

Lastly, the cooking set for professionals, the Copper Core, is the most expensive option out of all the All-Clad stainless steel cookware. But, the performance, the construction, and the durability of the Copper Core fully justify the higher prices.

Of course, the prices will also vary depending upon which set you buy. The more the pieces, the higher the price.

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All Clad D3 Vs D5 Vs Copper Core Similarities

You might have already made up your mind after seeing the differences between these THREE cookware models, but we would like to mention the similarities between the THREE too. These might have a significant or very little effect on your final decision, but this information is important too.


The build and construction of all three of these cookware sets are the same; all-clad. The D3, D5, and Copper Core; all sandwich a core material within two layers of stainless steel. The only differences are that D3 is 3-ply, whereas the D5 and Copper Core are 5-ply, and all three have different core materials.

As for the cooking surface and the bottom side, all three have a stainless steel exterior. The cooking surface is an 18/0 grade stainless steel, and the exterior surface is a ferromagnetic 18/10 grade stainless steel to accommodate better heat dispersion. The main purpose of the stainless steel exterior is to achieve durability.

The stainless steel cooking surface also means it is non-stick without the use of any coating. So, if you think non-stick coatings are harmful for cooking food, these three cookware sets will give you peace of mind. Also, the stainless steel pans and pots are very easy to clean. Aside from this, the overall construction is very similar too.

All three cooking sets have stainless steel lids and stainless steel handles. They have flared rims on the pans and pots for easy serving, and none of the pots and the pans and the lids will corrode or rust even after years and years of use.


Another similar aspect of all three cookware sets is that all three are compatible with all stove types. Whether you have a gas stove, an electric stove, or an induction stove, you can use any pans or pots of D3, D5, or Copper Core set. The reason for this wide compatibility is the 18/10 stainless steel exterior. The ferromagnetic exterior can handle high temperatures from any source.

You can also use these pans in an oven, as long as you keep the temperatures below 600F. But, remove the lids and the handles when using them with an oven. The same goes for a broiler. However, the non-stick pans of the D3 are not compatible with a broiler, so avoid using the D3 non-stick pots on a broiler.


Cleaning the D3, D5, and Copper Core pans, pots, and lids is very simple because it is stainless steel. No baked-on grease or stuck food to worry about. Even though all the accessories are dishwasher safe, All-Clad advises the users to hand-wash all the pieces to prevent any damage to the cooking surface and ensure durability. If used and maintained properly, All-Clad is a long-term investment that you will be passing down from generation to generation.


An important aspect of these All-Clad cookware sets is that they come with a limited lifetime warranty. If you find any defects in the construction of the pieces or feel that the build quality is not up to par, All-Clad will repair or replace the piece or the whole set for free. But, keep in mind that the warranty is limited.

A limited warranty doesn’t cover any damages that happen because of your negligence. For instance, if you end up damaging the non-stick coating of the D3 pans by cleaning them in the dishwasher, All-Clad won’t be responsible because they specifically advise hand-washing them. You can read the full warranty instructions on the All-Clad website at any time.


In the end, the final decision will depend on you. We would just sum it up by saying that if you are looking for cheap but durable cookware set for your home, the D3 and the D5 are the more affordable option. If you want a cookware set for professional and speedy cooking, nothing beats the All-Clad Copper Core.

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