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All-Clad vs. Zwilling: Which Cookware Is Better?

The cookware market is crowded, but two brands that stand out are All-Clad and Zwilling.

Both companies have a long history of making premium stainless steel and non-stick cookware.

So what’s the difference between the two? Which cookware is right for you?

In this comparison of All-Clad vs. Zwilling, you’ll learn how the cookware stacks up in terms of materials, construction, performance, design, price, and more.

By the end, you’ll know the key differences between these brands and will be better prepared to make the best buying decision for you.

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

All-Clad vs. Zwilling: Comparison Chart

Offerings6 cookware collections6 cookware collections
ConstructionFully clad stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminum Fully clad stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum, or aluminum
Non-Stick CoatingPTFECeramic
Induction-CompatibleYes, except EssentialsYes, except Motion
Oven-Safe TemperatureNon-stick: 500°FStainless steel: 600°FCeramic non-stick: 400°F Hard-anodized non-stick: 450°FStainless steel: 500°F
Company HistoryFounded in 1971Founded in 1731
Where It’s MadeStainless steel: USA
Hard-anodized: China
Ceramic: Germany
Aurora collection: Belgium
Others: Germany, Italy, China, and Vietnam.
DownsidesToo expensive, food sticks to stainless steelFood sticks to ceramic non-stick
Price$$$$ (Amazon, All-Clad.com)$$$ (view on Amazon)

Difference 1: Offerings

Both All-Clad and Zwilling offer six cookware collections.

All-Clad’s options include the D3, D5, Copper Core, HA1 Hard Anodized, and the Essentials collections. Among these, you will find a range of materials, including stainless steel, stainless steel non-stick, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick, copper, and ceramic.

The All-Clad D3 collection is the most extensive among both brands’ offerings. There are over fifty products, including several curated cookware sets.

Zwilling also provides plenty of options within its six collections, although none are as extensive as the All-Clad D3 collection.

Within Zwilling’s collections (Aurora 5-Ply, Clad CFX, Motion, Madura Plus, Spirit 3-Ply, Carrara Plus), you’ll find stainless steel, stainless ceramic non-stick, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick, and aluminum non-stick.

Ultimately All-Clad provides consumers with more variety and includes a high-end Copper Core collection, which Zwilling does not.

Difference 2: Stainless Steel Construction

All-Clad is best known for its fully-clad stainless steel cookware. In fact, the company’s founder and metallurgist, John Ulam, is credited with inventing the process by which stainless steel cookware is bonded.

All-Clad’s stainless steel cookware comes in either a 3- or 5-ply (ply refers to the number of bonded layers) construction with an aluminum, steel, or copper core.

All-Clad D3 Cookware Bonded Layers
All-Clad D3 Cookware Bonded Layers

The D3 and D5 collections feature an aluminum core, but, as the name suggests, the All-Clad Copper Core collection is made with a copper middle layer.

All-Clad Copper Core Layering

There are important differences between aluminum- and copper-core cookware in terms of performance. The biggest is responsiveness, meaning the speed and precision at which the cookware heats.

Simply put, due to the higher thermal conductivity of copper, it’s much more responsive, meaning it reacts quicker to changes in temperature.

Some cooks prefer highly responsive cookware, like All-Clad Copper Core, because it’s more precise and allows for greater control of the cooking process. But others prefer cookware that’s a bit more forgiving, like All-Clad D5. Check out my in-depth comparison of D5 vs. Copper Core to learn more.

The Zwilling Spirit collection is most similar to All-Clad’s D3 collection — it utilizes the same 3-ply aluminum-core construction for a comparable cooking experience.

Zwilling  J.A. Henckels Spirit Non Stick Fry Pan, 12 Inch, Ceramic Fry Pan, Stainless Steel

Zwilling Aurora cookware is comparable to All-Clad D5 but with a slightly different core construction. It is made with an outer layer of steel followed by three aluminum layers, then another layer of steel.

All-Clad D5 cookware is constructed with an exterior layer of steel. The core is an aluminum layer, a steel middle layer, and a second aluminum layer. A third layer of steel makes up the cooking surface.

All-Clad D5 Cookware Bonded Layers
All-Clad D5 Cookware Bonded Layers

Since steel is not a great heat conductor, D5’s steel core layer diffuses heat transfer, making the cookware less responsive but more forgiving. The Aurora collection’s triple-layer aluminum core allows for faster heating and greater responsiveness.

Neither is superior to the other; it’s just a matter of how you’ll be using the cookware and your cooking style.

Bottom line — All-Clad’s stainless steel construction is more varied than Zwillings.

Difference 3: Non-Stick Construction

All-Clad and Zwilling take a different approach to non-stick cookware.

All-Clad utilizes a proprietary 3-layer PTFE coating on its popular non-stick collections (HA1 and Essentials), whereas Zwilling primarily uses ceramic non-stick coating.

All-Clad Triple-Coated Non-Stick Surface (PTFE)
All-Clad Triple-Coated Non-Stick Surface (PTFE)

Although ceramic non-stick coating is believed to be safer when used at extremely high temperatures, All-Clad’s PTFE coating is significantly more durable, much better at releasing food, and easier to clean.

Plus, the narrative that modern PTFE coating is dangerous has been debunked. All non-stick cookware made after 2013 is completely safe when used correctly.

Good news — if you like everything about Zwilling but don’t want ceramic-coated cookware, they offer PTFE-coated options, too. It’s just not their primary focus.

Let’s look closer at the construction of each brands’ non-stick collections.

All-Clad HA1 and Essentials are made with a heavy gauge hard-anodized aluminum base and a triple-layer non-stick cooking surface made from PTFE (Teflon).

All-Clad HA1 hard anodized aluminum base
All-Clad HA1 non-stick coating

Within the D3 and D5 stainless steel collections, All-Clad offers a few non-stick coated frying pans. With these, you get the quality and durability of stainless steel with the low-maintenance nature of non-stick cookware.

Zwilling offers four non-stick options:

Zwilling Clad CFX: This collection is 3-ply with a stainless steel exterior, aluminum core, and stainless steel cooking surface coated in their Ceraforce XTREME ceramic non-stick material.

Zwilling Motion: This collection boasts a hard-anodized aluminum base and a multi-layer PTFE non-stick coating (very similar construction to All-Clad Essentials)

Zwilling Madura Plus: This cookware features a forged aluminum base and 3-layer DuraSlide PTFE non-stick coating.

Zwilling Spirit: This cookware has a 3-ply stainless steel base and a ceramic-coated non-stick cooking surface. It also features pots and pans with a steel cooking surface (without the non-stick coating).

Zwilling Carrara Plus: This collection features a standard aluminum base and cooking surface coated in Ceraforce XTREME ceramic non-stick material.

Difference 4: Design

Within All-Clad’s stainless steel collections, you’ll find a selection of brushed and polished finishes with matching lids.

All-Clad D3 Design
All-Clad D3 Design

A polished finish is shiny like a mirror, and brushed creates a matte look. Polished finishes are sleek, and matted finishes hide minor scratches and smudges.

The Copper Core collection adds a rustic touch with an attractive copper ring that contrasts nicely with the stainless steel design.

All-Clad Copper Core Design
All-Clad Copper Core Design

All of the collections in All-Clad’s lineup have riveted stainless steel handles.

All-Clad D5 handles side angle
All-Clad handles

The HA1 collection includes a steel plate on the bottom, making it induction-compatible and warp-resistant. This collection and Essentials come with tempered glass lids.

All-Clad Non-Stick Cookware with Steel Plate Bonded to the Base
All-Clad Non-Stick Cookware with Steel Plate Bonded to the Base

The Zwilling Aurora collection sports a shiny, polished stainless steel finish and stylish wide-forked handles that keep heat from traveling up towards your hand during use.

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Aurora Fry Pan, 11", Silver, inch, Stainless Steel

The brand’s hard-anodized non-stick collections (pictured below) are black with either a matching black or white non-stick coating and stay-cool handles. The lids are glass with stainless steel knobs or handles.

ZWILLING Motion Hard Anodized 12-inch Aluminum Nonstick Fry Pan

While All-Clad offers more variety within its design catalog, Zwilling’s unique forked handles are an attractive and practical feature.

Both brands focus on a contemporary-to-classic look with broad appeal, but the small differences are still worth noting.

Difference 5: Oven-Safe Temperatures

All-Clad stainless steel cookware is oven-safe up to 600°F, and the non-stick options are oven-safe up to 500°F. Keep in mind that the stainless steel and glass lids are not oven-safe, and only the stainless steel cookware is broiler-safe.

Zwilling aluminum non-stick cookware is oven-safe up to 400°F, the hard-anodized non-stick cookware is oven-safe up to 450°F, and the stainless steel cookware is oven-safe up to 500°F.

Difference 6: Company History

All-Clad and Zwilling are both well-established brands, but Zwilling has a much longer history.

Peter Henckels founded Zwilling in 1731 in Germany as a knife manufacturing company. Although it’s known for being one of the best kitchen knife brands in the world, Zwilling has gradually evolved from its initial focus and now crafts a wide variety of culinary products, including cookware, flatware, and small kitchen appliances.

All-Clad is a much younger company but with a track record of incredible success. It all started in 1971, when All-Clad’s founder, John Ulam, invented the fully-clad process, which is now used by all kinds of cookware manufacturers.

Despite the competition, All-Clad remains the industry leader in fully-clad stainless steel cookware.

Difference 7: Where It Is Made

All-Clad’s stainless steel cookware is made in Pennsylvania, at its Canonsburg factory just outside of Pittsburgh. Its hard-anodized non-stick products are made in China.

Zwilling is headquartered in Germany and manufactures most of its famous knives there.

The Zwilling Aurora collection is made in Belgium, the Carrara Plus and Mudura Plus collections are made in Italy, the Clad CFX collection is produced in Vietnam, the Motion collection is manufactured in Germany, and the Spirit collection is made in China.

Difference 8: Downsides

As with all cookware, both All-Clad and Zwilling have their share of downsides.

All-Clad is known as a premium brand, but the price of its cookware is very high, especially the most expensive collection: Copper Core.

All-Clad’s stainless steel pans can have issues with food sticking, making them hard to clean and care for if proper culinary techniques aren’t observed. This is a universal issue across almost all brands, but you can make a stainless pan less ‘sticky’ by following a few simple techniques.

Another common complaint is that All-Clad’s handles aren’t comfortable. But for every criticism, there’s someone complimenting the handle’s comfort. Clearly, there’s some subjectivity here.

All Clad Handle
All Clad Stainless Steel Handle

The most common complaint about Zwilling cookware is that the ceramic non-stick coating easily scratches and sticks to food.

That is no surprise because ceramic-coated cookware is notorious for food sticking and its overall inferior durability compared to PTFE non-stick coating.

As with All-Clad, Zwilling has received several complaints about its handles. However, other customers find them very sturdy and comfortable and love the Aurora collection’s unique wide fork design.

Difference 9: Price

Zwilling and All-Clad cookware collections vary in price, and it’s mostly dependent on the material used in production.

For example, hard-anodized collections are comparable in price across brands, but All-Clad stainless steel cookware is far more expensive than Zwilling.

The price also depends on where the products were manufactured. Collections crafted in China, for example, are cheaper than those produced in Europe or America.

To give you a better idea of how All-Clad and Zwilling prices compare, refer to the chart below:

Note: These prices are pulled in real-time from Amazon. Click or tap each product to get more information.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Is All-Clad or Zwilling the Better Cookware?

Now that you know how All-Clad and Zwilling cookware compares across construction, design, performance, and price, it’s time to decide which brand is best for you.

Before I give you my recommendation, let’s quickly recap the differences:

Collections: Both brands offer six unique cookware collections, but All-Clad offers more variety with its high-end Copper Core collection and choices with its 50+ products featured in the D3 collection.

Stainless Steel Construction: All-Clad offers 3- and 5-ply stainless steel cookware with aluminum, steel, and copper core layers to match your cooking preferences. Zwilling offers 3- and 5-ply cookware but only features an aluminum core.

Non-Stick Materials: All-Clad features ultra-durable 3-layer PTFE coating on its non-stick collections, whereas Zwilling uses ceramic non-stick.

Design: All-Clad is known for its gorgeous polished and brushed stainless steel exteriors, whereas Zwilling’s signature design feature is its wide forked handle that disperses heat.

Oven-Safe Temperatures: All-Clad stainless steel cookware is oven-safe up to 600°F, and the non-stick options are oven-safe up to 500°F. Zwilling’s oven-safe temperatures range from 400°F for its aluminum cookware to 500°F for its stainless steel.

Company History: Both brands have proven success, but Zwilling’s history goes back to 1731.

Where It’s Made: All-Clad manufactures its stainless steel cookware in the United States and its non-stick in China. Zwilling manufactures its cookware in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Vietnam, and China.

Downsides: All-Clad has received complaints about its handles, and Zwilling has received negative feedback regarding its ceramic non-stick coating.

Price: All-Clad is far more expensive for stainless steel cookware, but the hard-anodized aluminum collections have comparable prices.

If you’re looking for a nudge in one direction, I highly recommend All-Clad because it’s American-made, has a more durable non-stick coating, and features higher heat tolerance.

I also love that All-Clad’s stainless steel collections are designed to meet the needs of different cooking styles.

The Copper Core collection heats fastest and provides precise control for the serious chef.

The D5 collection has a steel core that diffuses heat, so the pan heats slower and more evenly for the multi-tasking home cook.

The D3 collection is right in the middle; it’s responsive, but also even heating.

Zwilling is a renowned brand that makes excellent performing cookware, too. If they didn’t, the Food Network probably wouldn’t use it on its popular show, Chopped.

Ultimately there are plenty of great things to say about either of these brands, and the right cookware for you comes down to your budget and cooking preferences.

To learn more about these brands and their collections, check them out on Amazon (All-Clad on Amazon, Zwilling on Amazon), All-Clad.com, and Zwilling.com.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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