All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Which Is The Right Cookware Collection For Your Kitchen?

All-Clad D3 and All-Clad Copper Core are two of the most renowned and best-selling cookware sets in the market. It is because they are both made of quality materials and built with longevity and durability in mind. They can also accommodate almost all of your cooking needs.

But choosing between All-Clad D3 vs Copper can be very challenging, because like I mentioned, both of them are a great buy.

If you can’t decide between these two cookware sets, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact, some people are also having a hard time deciding.

To help you, I will be comparing the D3 and Copper Core. The main purpose of today’s post is to help you choose which set is for you.

Without further ado, let’s begin this article with an overview of both products.

All-Clad D3 Overview

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Pros Of All-Clad D3

  • It guarantees a great cooking performance
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Even and quick heat distribution

Cons of All-Clad D3

  • It requires great maintenance and care
  • It’s not too responsive to change in temperature

When it comes to construction, ease of use, and cooking performance, the All-Clad D3 will not disappoint you. The cookware set features three layers wherein the heat spreading and conductive aluminum are sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. On the other hand, the stainless steel is sturdy, non-reactive, and adds durability to the aluminum. In fact, the three-ply design of the D3 helps in optimizing its performance.

But to further improve stability and sturdiness, the cooking surface of the pans and pots included in the D3 are made of 18/10 stainless steel. And for the exterior, it is also made of 18/10 stainless steel, and thus it is induction compatible.

With the available pieces in D3, you can sauté, sear, and even simmer as they permit versatile cooking. Also, upon the set’s construction, the single layer of aluminum can quickly transfer heat. It even distributes heat evenly to the stainless-steel cooking surface.

The All-Clad D3 will only take a few minutes to heat the pan when turning on the burner. Another great thing about the cookware collection is that it is compatible with ovens, stovetops, broilers, and induction cooktops. It is even dishwasher safe.

D3 also comes with handles and lids. The handles are secured with stainless rivets to ensure a strong and comfortable grip. What’s more, they don’t get hot easily. When it comes to the lids, they are actually tight-fitting to ensure that the food’s nutrients and flavors will not be affected.

Check out the full All-Clad D3 Review.

All-Clad Copper Core Overview

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Pros of All-Clad Copper Core

  • The cookware set is built to last.
  • Great heat conduction
  • Cooktop compatible
  • It has a starburst finish

Cons of All-Clad Copper Core

  • It is pretty expensive
  • The copper ring may tarnish

Like the All-Clad D5, All-Clad Copper Core uses five different aluminum and stainless layers with a copper core. This is to make a heat conductivity offering even heat distribution without warping. The 18/10 stainless steel of the cookware set can offer better durability and will not react with food.

Compared to stainless steel, copper and aluminum tend to conduct heat much better. Meaning to say you do not need to spend much time heating the pans. As the heat moves through the pan, the stainless steel will hold on to it. And this will cause a few hotspots as well as scorch marks while you are cooking.

Like the All-Clad D3, the handles of the Copper Core are also made of stainless steel that doesn’t heat up so quickly. The handles will remain cool throughout your cooking process due to the slow conductivity. One more thing, they are riveted to cookware’s sides to avoid breakage.

While it is quite expensive, the All-Clad Copper Core can be a great investment. If you have an induction cooktop, this cookware set will help you accomplish your dream of cooking using copper.

Check out the full All-Clad Copper Core Review.

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core Comparison

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Construction

When it comes to the construction and build, the All-Clad D3 and Copper Core are quite the same. Both cookware sets are sandwiched with a core material within two stainless steel layers. The only difference is that the D3 is three-ply while the copper core is five-ply. Also, there is a difference between the core materials.

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The bottom side and cooking surface both have a stainless-steel exterior. The exterior surface is made of ferromagnetic 18/10 grade steel to handle greater heat dispersion. For the cooking surface, it is made of 18/10 stainless steel. Actually, the main reason why All-Clad used stainless steel for the exterior is to have better durability.

On the other hand, the cooking surface of both cookware sets means they are non-stick without the usage of any coating. Thus, if you are scared that a non-stick coating may contaminate your food, D3 and Copper Core will surely give you peace of mind.

In addition to that, the two cooking sets come equipped with stainless steel handles and lids. The pots and pans have flared rims to ensure easy serving and pouring. With that in mind, you are less likely to make a mess when pouring. Another great thing about the lids and handles and pans and pots is that they will not rust and corrode even after several years of use.

WINNER: All-Clad Copper Core

While both D3 and Copper Core have the same similarities in many aspects of construction, the latter is the real winner. This is because the five layers of metal and the copper core can offer even heat dispersion. What’s more, with regards to heat conduction, it’s relatively faster than the D3.

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Compatibility

The D3 is compatible with all kinds of stoves, and the same thing goes for the Copper Core. Whether you have an induction stove, a gas stove, or an electric stove, you can safely use any pots and pans of these two cookware sets, thank to the 18/10 stainless steel exterior.

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The pans can also be used in ovens. But, if possible, be sure to keep the temperature under 600-degree Fahrenheit. One more thing you will need to remove the handles and lids when using the cookware pieces in the oven. The same thing should also be applied to broilers.

WINNER: All-Clad Copper Core

The All-Clad Copper Core is the winner in this category. It’s because the D3’s non-stick packs aren’t compatible with broilers. Thus, avoid placing them on the said kitchen gadget.

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Options

All-Clad D3

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  • (1) 8-inch Frying Pan
  • (1) 10-inch Frying Pan
  • (1) 2 Quart Saucepan with Lid
  • (1) 3 Quart Saucepan with Lid
  • (1) 3 Quart Sauté Pan with Lid
  • (1) 8 Quart Stockpot with Lid

All-Clad Copper Core

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  • (1) 8-inch fry pan
  • (1) 10-inch fry pan
  • (1) 3-quart saucepan with lid
  • (1) 2-quart saucepan with lid
  • (1) 3-quart sauté pan with lid
  • (1) 8-quart stockpot with lid

The most popular All-Clad cookware line is the D3. One reason is that it has the most extensive cookware solution. As a matter of fact, it boasts more than fifty items, including sets and individual pieces.

The cookware collection of the D3 also includes the Compact Set. The set is made compact so that you can store the pieces without consuming too much space. Mostly, the D3 set is stainless steel. However, it also comes with non-stick fry pans for easy cleaning and food release.

When it comes to the collection of the Copper Core, it is more limited. There are only less than 20 pieces. But keep in mind that the collection has all the essentials like sauté pans, saucepans, and frying pans.

WINNER: All-Clad D3

Without a doubt, the D3 gets this spot as it comes with more cookware pieces. Meaning to say the D3 can handle almost all your cooking needs and styles. 

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Performance

The materials used in constructing the cookware can affect the cooking performance.

Because both cookware sets use aluminum, a heat conductive metal, and have fully clad construction, they heat up evenly and quickly.

But the main difference in terms of performance is how fast they distribute heat and respond when there is a change in the temperature.

Since copper comes with a complex thermal conductivity compared to aluminum, it will heat cookware more rapidly. What’s more, it tends to respond to a temperature change faster than the All-Clad D3. In simple words, the Copper Core is more precise and agile as you will have more control when cooking.

While this will sound great for some people, know that the superb responsiveness of the copper can also be a drawback. This is especially true in the case of less-skilled home cooks. For example, you need to pay attention when cooking with the Copper Core as the pans are not as tolerant as the D3.

So, when you set the heat too high and walk away from the stove, even just for a minute, your food will be burned in a snap. And this is so troublesome for delicate ingredients such as ginger and garlic.

With All-Clad D3 and its aluminum core, it will also heat up and respond rapidly to temperature changes. However, it is worth mentioning that it is more forgiving. It means, when you turn the heat a bit high, it will not burn the food immediately.

WINNER: All-Clad D3

While you might need to wait an extra minute to heat the pan of All-Clad D3 compared to the Copper Core, you can relax more as your cook.

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Design

Both Copper Core and D3 are functional, classy, and elegant. However, there are noticeable differences when it comes to the design.

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The D3 line comes with a polished stainless-steel finish. While the Copper Core has the same finish, know that a copper ring is found at the bottom of the cookware’s exterior.

On the other hand, some love the simplicity and uniform shiny exterior of the D3, whereas others prefer the copper core’s subtle details.

The handles are also designed differently. The handles of the Copper Core feature a tiny bump on the bottom part. This means you shouldn’t move your hands closer to the hot bottom. It also has a small cutout to keep its handle cool and disperse heat. And this will make your cooking experience much safer.

On the other hand, the handles of the D3 line don’t have any cutout or bump. They are solid and, at the same time, straight throughout. Lastly, the Copper cookware set comes with flared rims, and this makes pouring simple and easy. While the D3 also has such rims, keep in mind that the saucepans don’t have this feature. Instead, they have a straight rim that can help in keeping your food contained.

WINNER: All-Clad Copper Core

When it comes to the design, we can’t deny that the All-Clad Copper Core is the champion thanks to its polished design and copper core ring. But if you prefer having a simple cookware set, you can always go for the All-Clad D3.

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Price

Another notable difference between the All-Clad D3 and Copper is the cost.

The Copper Core set is relatively costlier compared to the D3. One reason for this is that copper is costly while aluminum is not so expensive. One more thing, the D3 collection is built with three bonded layers and five for the Copper Core.

WINNER: All-Clad D3

While the Copper Core is more expensive, the All-Clad D3 is a worthy investment too. It’s because some of the features of the Copper Core are also present in the D3.

All-Clad D3 vs Copper Core: Warranty

A limited lifetime warranty backs both the D3 and Copper Core. Meaning to say, if you see any defects or feel that it has poor build quality, which is less likely to happen for All-Clad pieces, the manufacturer will either replace or repair them for free. However, you should bear in mind that the provided warranty is limited.

If you didn’t know, a limited warranty does not cover damages or defects because of the user’s negligence. For example, you damage the D3 pan’s nonstick cleaning because you use a harsh cleaning chemical. All-Clad will not be liable since they advise to hand washing them.

WINNER: All-Clad D3 and All-Clad Copper Core

For this category, the two sets are considered winners because a limited lifetime warranty backs them. Nevertheless, be sure to take care of your cookware pieces whether you opt for D3 or Copper Core to avoid any problem.


Ultimately the right cookware collection will come down to the budget and cooking needs.

Get the All-Clad D3 if:

  • You’re looking for affordable yet durable cookware set for your kitchen.
  • You want a lightweight cookware
  • You need many different kinds of cookware pieces.

Get the All-Clad Copper Core if:

  • You want cookware for speedy and professional cooking.
  • You’re willing to spend a considerable amount of money on quality cookware
  • You’re planning to use the pans in broilers.

Nevertheless, the final decision will still depend on you. I want to help you by highlighting their features and differences to compare the D3 and Copper Core easily.

Hopefully, this has helped you in your acquisition. But whatever you choose, know that you’re not wasting money as both sets can be a great option.

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