All-Clad vs. Viking: How Does Their Cookware Compare?

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In this comparison, I uncover the similarities and differences between two of the top premium cookware brands: All-Clad and Viking.

When you buy All-Clad, you get long-lasting cookware that’s American-made, high-performing, and elegantly-designed. The main downside—it comes with a hefty price tag.

Viking, widely known for its professional-grade stoves and ovens, is one of All-Clad’s top competitors in the high-end cookware market. They don’t offer as many different cookware collections as All-Clad, but what they lack in variety, they make up for in quality.

Keep reading to learn exactly how All-Clad and Viking cookware compares in terms of construction, design, cooking performance, maintenance, price, and much more.

By the end, you’ll have all the facts necessary to decide which brand is right for your kitchen.

Why should you trust me? I’ve been testing, researching, and reviewing cookware for several years. Check out my other cookware reviews to learn more.

Use the links below to navigate this comparison quickly:

All-Clad vs. Viking: 1-Minute Summary

If you’re serious about purchasing a set of All-Clad or Viking cookware, I highly recommend reading this entire comparison.

But, if you’re in a hurry and only have a minute, these are the essential facts you need to know.

Construction and Materials: Both All-Clad and Viking construct their cookware with multiple layers (multi-clad) of high-quality steel, aluminum, and/or copper. All-Clad offers more options, including 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply, and 5-ply construction, as well as cookware made with a copper core for quicker heat conduction. Viking only offers 3-ply and 5-ply construction with aluminum core layers (not copper).

Design: Both brands feature double-riveted, stay-cool handles. All-Clad handles are straight while Viking’s are slightly curved. All-Clad lids are stainless steel. Viking offers both steel and tempered glass lids. Both brands offer a variety of exterior finishes, including polished and brushed stainless steel, copper, and charcoal gray/black. (Jump ahead to the Design section where I provide lots of pictures)

Where It’s Made: All-Clad cookware is made in America, specifically Canonsburg, PA. Two Viking collections (Professional 5-Ply and 3-Ply) are made in America while the other two (3-Ply Contemporary and Hard Stainless) are made in China.

Oven-Safe Temperatures: All-Clad cookware is oven and broiler-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, but the lids are not. Viking cookware, including the steel lids, are oven and broiler-safe up to 600, but their tempered glass lids are safe up to 400.

Cooktop Compatibility: Both brands are compatible with all cooktops, with a few exceptions. The Viking 3-Ply Hammered Copper, All-Clad C4 Copper, and All-Clad Master Chef are NOT compatible with induction cooktops.

Cleaning: All collections are dishwasher-safe, except the All-Clad C4 Copper and All-Clad Master Chef.

Price: Both brands are expensive, but All-Clad tends to cost more, especially their top-of-the-line collections (Copper Core and D5). Jump ahead to the price comparison chart to see the current cost of each collection on Amazon.

Bottom Line: You can’t go wrong with either brand, but if you’re going to invest in a premium set of cookware, go with All-Clad. They have a proven track record of excellence in the cookware market, and they provide a much wider selection of materials and designs. If you’re worried about the high cost, consider the fact that All-Clad cookware will last a lifetime. So, once you buy a set, you’ll never have to replace it. Both brands are available on Amazon, where you can check the current prices, read more reviews, and learn more.

An Overview of All-Clad Cookware

The story of All-Clad Metalcrafters goes back to 1967 when an innovative metal scientist (metallurgist) by the name of John Ulam founded Clad Metals, a company focused on producing bonded (i.e., layered) metals.

In his early work, Ulam produced coins for the U.S. government and led the effort of converting solid silver dimes, quarters, and other coins to bonded metals (which are much less costly to produce).

In 1971, Ulam switched his focus to cookware. With his expertise in bonding metals, he invented the first-ever fully-clad cookware. Hence, the name All-Clad.

All-Clad still manufactures his original design and continues to roll out fresh, new options for both professional and home chefs.

Today, All-Clad is the leading brand of high-quality multi-clad cookware, bakeware, kitchen appliances, and tools. Its fully-clad cookware is made with alternating layers of ultra-durable metal (stainless steel) and heat conductive metals (aluminum and copper).

Is All-Clad Worth It_All-Clad Cookware Review
All-Clad’s most popular cookware collection: D3 (see on Amazon)

The brand name is synonymous with durability and craftsmanship. At least two dozen craftspeople handle each All-Clad pot and pan to ensure consistent quality. And with more than a dozen cookware collections, ranging from stainless steel to PFOA-free non-stick, that’s quite a feat.

But, all these premium features and American-made craftsmanship comes with a high price. All-Clad is hands-down, one of the most expensive cookware brands you can buy. Although the upfront cost is high, if you treat it right, you’ll enjoy it for decades.

An Overview of Viking Cookware

Led by founder, Fred Carl, Jr., Viking produced the first residential, commercial-grade range in 1984. This was a big deal because it was the first time home cooks got access to professional-level equipment.

Today, this Greenwood, Mississippi-based company, is one of the top premium kitchen appliance manufacturers in the world. Their high-end ranges, refrigerators, dishwashers, and grills can be found in millions of homes across the globe.

With their appliances featured on celebrity cooking shows like Iron Chef, and with awards and accolades from influential home and consumer voices like Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful, Viking is firmly entrenched as a symbol of culinary prestige.

Although the Viking brand is most commonly associated with appliances, the company continues to expand its product lines and now offers premium stainless steel, non-stick, and cast iron cookware.

Viking’s most popular cookware collection: 5-Ply Professional (see on Amazon)

Premium cookware seems like a natural fit to accompany such celebrated appliances, but how do their sets fare in the marketplace?

Even compared against All-Clad and other brands that specialize in cookware, Viking can hold its own—and they have the reviews to prove it.

Like All-Clad, Viking constructs it cookware by bonding steel with conductive metals, which results in quick and even heat distribution.

But, there are some complaints among consumers. The most common complaints are about the absence of lids for fry pans, and design issues—the heavy handles don’t allow the pans to lay flush on cooktops. Despite those complaints, the overall reviews are favorable.

Viking offers a mix of stainless steel sets, including brushed and polished stainless steel, hammered copper, hard-anodized aluminum, and cast iron.

And while most Viking cookware is made in America and pricey, they offer two lower-cost collections that are made in China.

Now that you’ve had an overview of All-Clad and Viking cookware, let’s see how they compare head-to-head.

Construction and Materials

Premium cookware starts with high-quality materials and thoughtfully engineered construction.

Fortunately, both All-Clad and Viking pass the test.

Both brands offer multi-clad cookware made with high-quality steel, aluminum, and/or copper.

If you’re not familiar, multi-clad cookware is constructed by bonding metals together; each metal serves a distinct purpose.

For example, the most common multi-clad construction is called tri-ply, or 3-ply. The “tri” refers to the number of layers used to make the cookware.

With tri-ply cookware, two exterior layers of steel encapsulate a core layer of aluminum. Steel is the perfect exterior material because it’s strong and non-reactive, and aluminum is the ideal core material because it conducts heat quickly and evenly.

All-Clad Tri-Ply Construction
All-Clad Tri-Ply Construction. Photo Credit: CooksWarehouse.com.

All-Clad cookware comes in many different forms, including 2-ply, 3-ply, 4-ply, and 5-ply stainless steel construction.

Viking offerings are a bit more limited. They offer only 3-ply and 5-ply construction.

All-Clad uses either aluminum, copper, or a mix of both layered between stainless steel to maximize heat conductivity. Viking has a collection with a hammered copper exterior, but they only use stainless steel and aluminum for their core layers.

Here’s a quick overview of the materials and construction used to make each brands’ most popular collections:

(Click the names to view each collection on Amazon)

  • All-Clad D3 Stainless: 3-ply bonding with an 18/10 (18% chromium and 10% nickel) stainless steel cooking surface, an aluminum core, and an induction-compatible stainless steel exterior.
  • All-Clad Copper Core: 5-ply bonded construction with a copper center (core), an 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface, and alternating layers of aluminum and an induction-compatible exterior.
  • All-Clad C4 Copper: 4-ply bonding with a 100% pure copper exterior and stainless steel cooking surface with a layer of copper and stainless steel sandwiched in between.
  • All-Clad D5 Brushed: 5-ply induction-compatible construction with alternating layers of stainless steel and aluminum with an 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface.
  • All-Clad LTD: 3-ply construction with a hard-anodized, induction compatible exterior, an aluminum core, and an 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface.
  • All-Clad Master Chef: 2-ply bonded cookware with an aluminum exterior and stainless steel cooking surface. This is the original All-Clad design from the founder, John Ulam.
  • All-Clad TK: Made with D5 induction compatible construction (5-ply with alternating aluminum and stainless steel).
  • All-Clad Encore (All-Clad.com): These induction-compatible pans are all recrafted fry pans and feature 18/10 stainless steel with an aluminum core.
  • Viking Professional 5-Ply: 5-ply bonded construction with an induction-compatible stainless steel exterior, alternating layers of aluminum alloy, and 3004 aluminum with an 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface.
  • Viking 3-Ply: 3-ply bonding of induction compatible stainless steel exterior, aluminum alloy core, and 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface.
  • Viking 3-Ply Contemporary: 3-ply bonded construction of magnetic stainless steel on the bottom with an aluminum core and a stainless steel cooking surface.
  • Viking Hard Stainless: 5-ply bonded construction with an induction-compatible hard-anodized exterior, alternating layers of aluminum and stainless steel with an 18/8 (18% chromium and 8% nickel) stainless steel cooking surface.
  • Viking 3-Ply Hammered Copper: 3-ply construction with a copper exterior for excellent heat conduction, an 18/8 stainless steel cooking surface, and an aluminum alloy core.

Design

In terms of design, All-Clad and Viking share several characteristics.

All-Clad and Viking pots and pans are elegant but not flashy. They both offer classic designs with smooth steel or dark exteriors, depending on the collection.

Here’s a look at the All-Clad D5 brushed collection (click the image to view on Amazon):

Here’s a look at the Viking 5-Ply Professional collection (click the image to view on Amazon) :

Both feature double-riveted, ergonomic handles designed to stay cook on cooktops.

Both brands’ fry pans have flared sides ideal for turning, stirring, rotating, and flipping food with ease.

All-Clad D5 Flared Rim
All-Clad D5 Flared Rim

Both prominently display their logo at the base of the handle.

Now, let’s look at how they are different.

Handles

Both All-Clad and Viking feature long, angled stainless steel panhandles, but Viking handles have more of a curve while All-Clad handles are straight.

All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Saucepan
All-Clad straight handles

Viking’s sauté and casserole pans feature an additional helper-handle for easier transport, but All-Clad offers helper-handles on sauté pans, saucepans, chef’s pans, and stir fry pans.

All-Clad helper handle
All-Clad helper handle

All-Clad lid handles are solid and angled like a trapezoid, while Viking lid handles have rounded edges and a space between the metal on either side. 

Lids

All-Clad stainless steel cookware comes with stainless steel lids that are not oven safe. Viking offers stainless steel and vented tempered glass lids, depending on the collection.

Below is an image of a Viking 3-Ply Contemporary saucepan, which features a tempered glass lid (click the image to view on Amazon).

With Viking, the tempered glass lids can withstand up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 200 degrees lower than what their pots and pans can handle. Still, it is nice to be able to see what you’re cooking without removing the lid.

Rims and Sides

Viking stainless steel rims are either straight (cut) and aligned with the pan or rolled (curved) along the top edge. All-Clad stainless steel rims have a slightly curved edge around the top of the pan ideal for pouring out pan juices or turning out an omelet.

Unlike All-Clad, Viking sauté pans have more of a conical shape designed to provide more surface area for evaporation, which is helpful for sauce reductions and thickening. The Viking Contemporary collection also features volume marks etched into the interiors in U.S. and Metric measurements on saucepans, Dutch ovens, and sauté pans.

Finishes

All-Clad finishes include:

  • Polished stainless steel (Collections: D3, D5 Polished, Encore)
  • Brushed stainless steel (Collections: D5 Brushed, Master Chef, TK)
  • Pure copper (Collection: C4 Copper)
  • Stainless steel with a copper cutout on the sides (Collection: Copper Core)
  • Hard-anodized aluminum in charcoal gray (Collection: LTD)

Below is a quick look at some of All-Clad’s finishes. From top to bottom: copper, stainless steel with a copper cutout, brushed stainless steel. (Click the images to view on Amazon)

Viking finishes include:

  • Polished stainless steel (Collections: 3-Ply, 3-Ply Contemporary)
  • Brushed stainless steel (Collection: Professional 5-Ply)
  • Polished or hammered copper (Collection: 3-Ply Hammered Copper)
  • Hard-anodized aluminum in charcoal grey (Collection: Hard Stainless)

Below is a look at some of Viking’s elegant finishes. From top to bottom: hammered copper, brushed stainless steel, polished stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum. (Click the images to view on Amazon)

While both brands have beautifully crafted cookware, All-Clad offers more variety when it comes to design.

Where It’s Made

All-Clad cookware is made in the United States, from raw materials to craftsmanship. The cookware is fashioned with American steel and still made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; its original home for more than five decades.

Viking 5-ply Professional and 3-Ply collections are handcrafted in the United States, but the 3-Ply Contemporary and Hard Stainless lines are made in China.

Cookware sourced and made in the United States assures the quality and consistency of the products, but it also demands a higher price tag. So, expect to pay more if you’re thinking about buying an All-Clad collection or the Viking Professional 5-Ply or 3-Ply collections.

Oven-Safe Temperatures

All-Clad stainless steel collections are oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, excluding the lids. Viking stainless steel collections are oven, grill, and broiler safe up to 600 degrees, including the stainless steel lids. The tempered glass lids are oven safe up to 400.

Cooktop Compatibility

If you have a gas, electric, or halogen cooktop, you can skip this section. Every collection by both brands is compatible with those common cooktops.

If you have an induction cooktop, pay close attention.

Induction cooktops require the use of pots and pans with magnetic bases. With this type of cooking, the heat transfers to the pan through electric currents delivered via magnetic induction. The benefit—quicker heating compared to gas and other styles of cooktops.

Both brands have multiple lines that are compatible with induction cooktops, including:

  • All-Clad D3
  • All-Clad Copper Core
  • All-Clad D5
  • All-Clad LTD
  • All-Clad TK
  • All-Clad Encore
  • Viking 5-Ply Professional
  • Viking 3-Ply
  • Viking 3-Ply Contemporary
  • Viking Hard Stainless

The Viking 3-Ply Hammered Copper, All-Clad C4 Copper, and All-Clad Master Chef collections are NOT compatible with induction cooktops due to their exterior materials (copper and aluminum).

If you’re ever curious about whether a pan is suitable for induction, you can usually flip the pan over. On many pans, you’ll see symbols that indicate its cooktop compatibility.

You can also check to see if a magnet sticks to the back of the pan. If it sticks and holds even after you shake it a bit, you’re good to go.

Cleaning

While I’m an advocate of handwashing stainless steel cookware, it’s still important to note whether All-Clad and Viking stainless steel collections are dishwasher-safe.

If you love saving time, you’ll be happy to know that every Viking stainless steel collection is dishwasher-safe. Apart from C4 Copper and Master Chef collections, you can put all other All-Clad stainless steel collections in a dishwasher.

A word of caution—using the dishwasher exposes your cookware to extremely high temperatures, harsh chemicals, and contact with sharp utensils. Over time, these exposures can scratch and dull the surface of your cookware.

I recommend cleaning the pan while it’s still warm, but not when it’s too hot. Rinsing a piping hot pan with cold water can cause it to warp.

Cleaning stainless steel cookware is simple. To learn several techniques, check out this step-by-step guide about how to clean All-Clad (the methods work for Viking cookware too).

If you don’t have time to read the guide, here’s the short version:

  • Wipe the cooking surface with a paper towel to remove excess oil and then run hot water over the pan.
  • Using mild dish soap, scrub the pan gently with a sponge or a synthetic, long-handle brush.
  • Make a paste of Bar Keeper’s Friend (see on Amazon) and water to remove any stubborn brown spots or discoloration.

Price

If you’re on a tight budget, All-Clad and Viking are not the brands for you.

There’s no doubt about it—both brands are expensive. But, which costs more?

When you compare All-Clad high-end collections (Copper Core, D5) to Viking lower-end, made-in-China collections (3-Ply Contemporary), All-Clad can be up to three times more expensive.

However, when you compare All-Clad lower-cost collections (D3, LTD) to Viking high-end collections (Professional 5-Ply, 3-Ply), the price is much more comparable.

Instead of speaking in general terms, let’s take a look at the actual prices to see how All-Clad and Viking compare.

Note: These prices are pulled from Amazon in real-time. You can click the chart to see each product on Amazon and read dozens of other reviews.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy All-Clad or Viking Cookware?

Before I give you my recommendation, let’s recap the pros and cons of each brand.

All-Clad Cookware Pros and Cons

All-Clad has a stellar reputation in the cookware industry. They are the pioneers of fully-clad pots and pans which are known to exhibit exemplary cooking performance. And, unlike Viking, cookware is All-Clad’s primary product and focus.

To its credit, All-Clad is American sourced and made, but that also means that it’s more expensive than brands who source and manufacture cookware overseas.

All-Clad offers several stunning stainless steel collections, each with unique materials, design features, and price points.

Most of the All-Clad collections are dishwasher-safe and compatible with induction cooktops. All collections are oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees, but the lids are not.

The most common complaint about All-Clad cookware is that food sticks to the surface, and it takes some extra effort to clean and maintain. But, these complaints are common across almost all stainless steel cookware brands, and if you follow these simple principles, you won’t have much trouble.

All-Clad cookware is backed by a lifetime warranty that protects you against defects in materials and craftsmanship.

Viking Cookware Pros and Cons

Viking is still a newcomer to the cookware market, but its pieces are impressive in terms of design and performance. Perhaps with so many awards for its cooktops and ovens, it gives them an edge on crafting cookware that works well with both.

Viking offers a handful of incredibly attractive stainless steel collections. Some are made in the United States (5-Ply Professional and 3-Ply) while others (Hard Stainless and 3-Ply Contemporary) are manufactured overseas. Because of this, they offer a wider range of prices compared to All-Clad.

Some reviewers on Amazon complain about durability, not knowing that certain collections are made in China, and the functionality of the long handles on the pans.

All collections are dishwasher safe. Viking stainless steel cookware is induction compatible and can be used on all other cooktops, but there are complaints about the pans not staying flush to the cooktop due to an extra-long, heavy handle.

Viking cookware is oven, grill, and broiler-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, including the stainless steel lids. The tempered glass lids that come with the Contemporary collection are oven safe up to 400.

Similar to All-Clad, Viking offers a limited lifetime warranty and will repair or replace any product that’s defective in material, construction, or workmanship.

The Verdict

Even though Viking has a range of prices for its cookware, it’s not cheap.

In fact, their 5-Ply Professional and 3-Ply collections are close to All-Clad’s prices.

If you’re going to spend the money, go with All-Clad. Period.

You’ll get the consistency of quality with a product that is sourced and made in one place, a track record of durability, and a high-end set that can last a lifetime.

If you’re not ready to commit to an entire set, start with a frying pan and a saucepan. That way, you’ll get a budget-friendly introduction to All-Clad.

Both brands are available on Amazon where you can see more pictures, read more reviews, and check out the current prices:

All-Clad Cookware on Amazon

Viking Cookware on Amazon

What do you think about All-Clad and Viking? Which cookware brand are you ready to try? Comment below!

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