The All-Clad 501853 Gourmet Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set is one of the top-rated stainless steel cookware sets at Amazon.com, which is pretty unusual for an item in this price class. Its expensive price tag doesn't deter too many people, who consider it practically an heirloom. It draws a few complaints from people who say food sticks and it requires some elbow grease to clean, but most are more than happy to put in a bit more work for the superior results.
Flawless results from a high-end product. All-Clad's tri-ply construction -- two layers of stainless steel wrapped around an aluminum core -- delivers slow, steady heat in professional tests. Moreover, the pots and pans are fully clad with the aluminum core extending up their sides, helping promote a more even transfer of heat. According to owner reviews, this 10-piece cookware set is a top performer in any cooking situation. A number of reviewers say these pans have actually made them better cooks. There are a couple of complaints about sticking food, but most of those reviews has generated a number of comments from All-Clad enthusiast with helpful tips for using the pans properly.
A soak and a scrub and its good as new. Because stainless steel is not nonstick, reviewers say there is a learning curve to using any All-Clad cookware properly. Fortunately, there are many resources for doing so from All-Clad fanatics. As with any stainless steel, a crust, or "fond" will form in the pan (as it is intended to), which means it needs more scrubbing than a pan with a nonstick surface. Most owners say to either use Bar Keepers Friend to scrub, or just soak it for a few hours or overnight and then wipe it out. The pots and pans are dishwasher safe, but most owners prefer washing them by hand. Many users say food doesn't stick to the surface as often as with other stainless cookware.
Professional testers name the All-Clad's construction "superb." Handcrafted in the USA, the All-Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set is described in reviews as hefty and sturdily built. Their cooking surfaces are made of 18/10 stainless steel, which contains 10 percent nickel to improve corrosion resistance. (The outer surface, however, is made of magnetic stainless steel, which allows it to be used on induction cooktops.) Several users say their cookware still looks like new after years of use and quite a few say they hang their cookware to display, it's so attractive. This set is backed by a lifetime warranty, and unlike many manufacturers, All-Clad covers the cost of shipping damaged cookware back to them.
Cooking enthusiast Michael Zhao chooses the best skillet by hands on testing, research and speaking with experts. Ultimately, he chooses the All-Clad 12-inch Stainless Steel Fry Pan. This is not included in the cookware set we review, however, it is the same material, so performance and value of the entire set should be similar.
Review: The Best Skillet, Michael Zhao, July 18, 2014
The All-Clad 501853 Gourmet Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set earns an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 in nearly 30 customer reviews. It gets high praise for its even heating, stay cool handles and very attractive appearance. Most add that cleanup is easier once you get accustomed to the pans, and many highly recommend Bar Keepers Friend for scouring.
Review: All-Clad 501853 Gourmet Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set, Silver, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2014
3. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
In this review, editors narrow the wide selection of cookware on the market to six sets that offer what they consider the most usable pieces. The All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless 10-piece Cookware Set, which editors call their "natural starting point," goes up against less expensive sets from brands like Calphalon and Tramontina. Reviewers consider the cookware's construction, the weight of the pans and whether the handles get hot. This is an older review, but the products remain the same or very similar so the tests are still relevant.
Review: Cookware Sets, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine , May 1, 2009
4. Good Housekeeping
Editors of Good Housekeeping test 10 lines of traditional cookware; both individual pieces and a few sets. This is subtitled: Best Nonstick Cookware, but, in fact, there are quite a few stainless steel pieces tested, including a number of All-Clad pieces. These are not necessarily included in the 10-piece set from Amazon.com, but it is the same material, so one can expect the set to perform just as well.
Review: Cookware Reviews, Editors of Good Housekeeping, Not Dated