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Heritage Steel vs. All-Clad: Which Cookware Is Better?

Are you shopping for new cookware but need help deciding between Heritage Steel and All-Clad?

Which cookware is better? What are the differences?

In this comparison of Heritage Steel vs. All-Clad, you’ll learn how these two cookware brands stack up in terms of variety in product offerings, construction options, design, performance, price, and more.

I also reveal the downsides to consider about both brands before you buy.

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

Heritage Steel vs. All-Clad: Key Takeaways

If you only have a minute, here’s a quick overview of the differences between Heritage Steel and All-Clad.

  • Product Offerings: Heritage Steel only offers 5-ply stainless steel cookware. All-Clad offers 2-ply, 3-ply, 5-ply, and 7-ply stainless steel, copper, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick, and enameled steel cookware.
  • Handles: Heritage Steel handles are rounded, while All-Clad’s are cup-shaped.
  • Where It’s Made: While All-Clad makes its stainless steel cookware in the USA, it manufactures its other cookware in China. Heritage Steel manufactures all of its cookware in the US.
  • Resistance to Pitting: Only Heritage offers a cooking surface made of titanium-reinforced steel, which makes it less likely to pit and leach metals into the food.
  • Oven-Safe Temperatures: Heritage Steel is oven-safe up to 800°F, while All-Clad maxes out at 600°F.
  • History: All-Clad, founded in 1971, has been around longer than Heritage Steel. Heritage Steel launched in 1983 and was originally known as New Era Cookware.
  • Company Ownership: Heritage Steel is a small family-owned business. All-Clad is a large business under an international parent company, Groupe SEB.
  • Price: Although both brands are similarly priced, All-Clad has the most expensive collections (Copper Core and D5).

Bottom Line

Heritage Steel and All-Clad both make high-quality stainless steel cookware in the USA. The most notable difference is the handle design. Heritage Steel’s rounded handles are more comfortable, but All-Clad’s handles are less likely to rotate in your hand when tilting or pouring.

Check the current prices and read dozens of other reviews of both brands at the links below:

Comparison Chart

The following chart provides a quick side-by-side comparison of Heritage Steel vs. All-Clad.

Swipe to view the entire chart on mobile.

Heritage SteelAll-Clad
Product OfferingsOnly one stainless steel cookware collectionD3, D5, Copper Core, HA1, Essentials, G5
ConstructionTitanium-strengthened, fully clad stainless steelFully clad stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick, steel with enamel coating
DesignPolished stainless with rounded steel handlesPolished or brushed stainless steel, copper exterior, black hard-anodized aluminum, or high-gloss colored ceramic
Induction-CompatibilityAll cookware is induction-compatibleAll cookware is induction-compatible except Essentials
Oven-Safe Temperature800°FNon-stick: 500°F Stainless steel: 600°F
Metal Utensil SafeYesYes (except for the H1 and Essentials collections)
Company HistoryFounded in 1983 (formerly known as New Era)Founded in 1971
Where It’s MadeTennessee, USAStainless steel: Pennsylvania, USA

Hard-anodized: China

Enameled: Germany
Top Reasons to BuyTitanium-strengthened steel, made in the USA, oven-safe up to 800°FDurability, various collections with unique materials and design, non-slip handles
Top Reasons to NOT BuyLighter than other stainless steel cookware, food sticks, staining, warped bottomsUncomfortable handles, food sticks, expensive
Price$$$ (view on HeritageSteel.us or Amazon)$$$$ (view on All-Clad.com or Amazon)

Similarities Between Heritage Steel and All-Clad Cookware

Before I cover the differences between Heritage Steel and All-Clad, let’s quickly review their similarities.

Made In the United States

Both manufacture their stainless steel pots and pans in America. All-Clad manufactures its stainless steel cookware in Pennsylvania, while Heritage Steel makes theirs in Tennessee.

Heritage Steel Cookware _Made in the US

That said, All-Clad handles and lids are made in China. They also make aluminum non-stick (Essentials and HA1) cookware collections outside the US. More on that in the “Differences” section.

Induction Compatibility

Both brands offer induction-compatible cookware. All Heritage Steel and All-Clad cookware is induction-compatible except for the All-Clad Essentials collection.

Limited Lifetime Warranty

Heritage Steel and All-Clad both offer limited lifetime warranties. Their warranties cover defects in materials, construction, and workmanship (the skill it takes to make the cookware) when you use the cookware properly.

You can read more about the warranties from both brands at the links below:

Available Online

Both brands are available online, making them accessible to more people.

You can buy Heritage Steel cookware through its online store at HeritageSteel.us or through Amazon.

You can buy All-Clad cookware at All-Clad.com or through Amazon. Other retailers such as Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table, and high-end department stores or specialty shops also sell All-Clad cookware online.

Now that you understand the similarities between Heritage Steel and All-Clad, let’s get into the differences.

Difference 1: Product Offerings

Heritage Steel doesn’t offer different cookware collections. Although the shapes and sizes differ, each pot and pan has the same materials, construction, and design.

All Heritage Steel cookware is made of 5-ply stainless steel with a 316Ti titanium-strengthened steel cooking surface.

Heritage Steel frying pan
Heritage Steel frying pan

On the other hand, All-Clad offers a variety of collections across several cookware types, including stainless steel, hard-anodized aluminum non-stick, and enameled steel core.

All-Clad Cookware Collections

Here’s a snapshot of each All-Clad collection:

  • Copper Core: The stainless collection features a 5-ply construction with a copper core. Each piece features a copper cutout along the base, providing an attractive contrast against the polished stainless exterior.
  • D3 Stainless: As the original collection from All-Clad, D3 offers a 3-ply construction with an aluminum core. It features either an 18/10 stainless steel interior or PTFE non-stick coating. Most pieces have flared rims for easy pouring.
  • D3 Everyday: A spinoff 3-ply collection from D3 Stainless that only features the most requested pieces and features. The handle is redesigned with smoother edges, and the skillets have a larger flat cooking surface. Learn more about the differences between D3 and D3 Everyday.
  • D5 Brushed/D5 Polished: This 5-ply collection features a brushed stainless or polished stainless exterior and a stainless or PTFE non-stick interior. The aluminum inner layers and thin steel core ensure completely uniform heat.
  • D7 Stainless: This is a limited collection with a 7-ply construction (stainless steel exterior and cooking surface with an alternating aluminum and steel core). All-Clad claims it’s 25% lighter than cast iron and provides twice the even heating.
  • HA1: This is All-Clad’s primary non-stick collection. It features hard-anodized aluminum construction with a multi-layer PTFE non-stick interior. A steel induction plate is bonded to the bottom, increasing its warp resistance and making it compatible with all cooktops.
  • Essentials: This collection is almost the same as HA1 but doesn’t feature a steel induction plate on the bottom. Therefore, these pans are not induction-compatible. It’s also less expensive than HA1.

Difference 2: Construction

All Heritage Steel cookware features 5-ply construction made of the following layers:

  • Layer 1: 316Ti titanium-strengthened stainless steel
  • Layer 2: 1145 pure aluminum
  • Layer 3: 3004 aluminum
  • Layer 4: 1145 pure aluminum
  • Layer 5: 439 induction stainless steel

One of Heritage Steel’s primary differentiators is its 316Ti titanium-strengthened stainless steel cooking surface. Most cookware brands, including All-Clad, use 18/10 stainless steel.

Heritage Steel Cookware Interior
Heritage Steel Cookware Interior

Although 18/10 stainless steel is durable, 316Ti is harder, more stable, and less likely to pit or corrode due to the added titanium and molybdenum.

That said, I’ve been cooking with both brands for several years and haven’t noticed a difference. Like all stainless steel cookware, both are corrosion-resistant and won’t pit easily.

Heritage Steel and All-Clad stainless steel pans
Heritage Steel (top), All-Clad (bottom)

All-Clad offers more types of cookware than Heritage Steel. The chart below outlines the different materials and construction types available.

All-Clad CollectionConstructionMaterials
D33-Ply Stainless SteelStainless steel interior and exterior, aluminum core
D55-Ply Stainless SteelStainless steel interior and exterior, aluminum inner layers, steel core
D77-Ply Stainless SteelStainless steel exterior and interior with a 5-layer core (aluminum and steel alternating)
HA1 and EssentialsHard-anodized aluminumHeavy-gauge aluminum body with PTFE non-stick interior

Difference 3: Design

Heritage Steel cookware offers one design. All pots and pans feature a polished stainless steel exterior and a brushed stainless steel interior.

Heritage Steel exterior
Heritage Steel exterior

The handles are riveted and made of polished stainless steel. The cookware has a conical shape, flared rims for easy pouring, and flat and polished stainless steel lids.

Heritage Steel rounded handle up close
Heritage Steel handle

With All-Clad, you get several options to choose from:

The D5 collection is available in polished or brushed stainless steel. Polished stainless offers a mirror finish, while brushed stainless features a subtle sheen.

Bottom of All-Clad D5 pan
All-Clad D5 pan (brushed)

The Copper Core collection has a unique exposed copper ring along the cookware’s base.

Bottom of All-Clad Copper Core pan
All-Clad Copper Core pan

The D3 collection features a polished exterior and handle. The classic look is one reason it’s All-Clad’s best-selling cookware.

All-Clad D3 Stainless Pots and Pans
All-Clad D3 Stainless Pots and Pans

Essentials and HA1 collections feature a black matte finish on the exterior.

Bottom of All-Clad HA1 fry pan
Bottom of All-Clad HA1 fry pan

C2’s striking polished copper exterior contrasts with the brushed stainless interior.

All-Clad uses stainless steel handles on all of its cookware. Some collections have tempered glass lids, while others have stainless steel lids.

Difference 4: Handles

One of the most significant differences between All-Clad and Heritage Steel is their handles.

Heritage Steel and All-Clad handles
Heritage Steel (left), All-Clad (right)

All-Clad handles are cup-shaped with a prominent indentation on the top side. With their sharper edges, All-clad handles can be uncomfortable and awkward to hold.

All-Clad cup shaped handle
All-Clad cup shaped handle

However, this design serves a purpose. When you tilt the pan to slide food onto a plate or pour liquids, the handle won’t rotate. Due to the cup-shaped design, your thumb catches the edge, and your hand doesn’t slip.

All-Clad handle design
All-Clad handle design

If you like everything about All-Clad except the handles, consider the D3 Everyday collection, which features redesigned handles with smoother edges.

All-Clad D3 Everyday handle
All-Clad D3 Everyday handle

Heritage Steel handles are much more rounded. Although they’re more comfortable to hold, I’ve noticed my hand slipping several times as I poured liquids.

Heritage Steel handle design
Heritage Steel handle

If your hands are greasy or wet, or you’re holding a towel or pot holder, there’s a high risk that the handle will rotate. The round handles work fine for most cooking, but you’ll need to be extra careful when tilting a pot or pan.

Difference 5: Heat Conduction

I conducted a simple test to see how fast and evenly All-Clad and Heritage Steel cookware heats.

First, I poured two cups of cold water into an All-Clad and Heritage Steel pan. I placed both pans on the stove and turned the heat to the highest setting.

After one minute and 59 seconds, the water in the Heritage Steel pan began to bubble, and it came to a full boil after three minutes and 15 seconds.

The water in the All-Clad pan started bubbling after one minute and 55 seconds and started boiling after two minutes and 55 seconds.

The All-Clad pan not only heated faster, but the water bubbles were also more uniform across the cooking surface, indicating more even heat distribution.

The bubbles in the Heritage Steel pan were more concentrated around the edges. Although this can sometimes be a sign of hot and cold spots, I’ve never noticed any uneven heating in real-world testing. 

Water boiling in a Heritage Steel pan
Water boiling in a Heritage Steel pan

I conduct this same test with every cookware brand I review, and below are the results. As you can see, All-Clad and Heritage Steel are two of the slowest brands to heat.

PanTime to First BubblesTime to Boil
Farberware1 minute and 2 seconds1 minute and 29 seconds
Made In fry pan1 minute and 40 seconds2 minutes and 21 seconds
Misen fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 25 seconds
Anolon fry pan1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 27 seconds
Zwilling fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 31 seconds
T-fal fry pan1 minute and 50 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Gotham Steel fry pan1 minute and 58 seconds2 minutes and 32 seconds
Rachael Ray fry pan1 minute and 47 seconds2 minutes and 36 seconds
Viking fry pan1 minute and 42 seconds2 minute and 39 seconds
Calphalon fry pan1 minute and 45 seconds2 minutes and 40 seconds
Pioneer Woman fry pan2 minute and 2 seconds2 minute and 46 seconds
Hestan fry pan1 minute and 52 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
GreenLife pan2 minutes and 11 seconds2 minutes and 47 seconds
Tramontina fry pan1 minute and 53 seconds2 minutes and 52 seconds
Circulon fry pan2 minutes and 7 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
All-Clad skillet1 minute and 55 seconds2 minutes and 55 seconds
Demeyere Industry fry pan2 minutes and 3 seconds3 minutes and 10 seconds
Ballarini fry pan2 minutes and 15 seconds3 minutes and 12 seconds
Heritage Steel fry pan1 minutes and 59 seconds3 minutes and 15 seconds
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan2 minutes and 11 seconds3 minutes and 25 seconds

However, that’s okay. Thicker pans, like these two brands, heat slower, but the temperature is more even and stable; it doesn’t fluctuate as you add ingredients.

Difference 6: Heat Retention

I conducted another test to measure each pan’s heat retention.

You want a pan that holds its temperature when you turn off the heat or add cold ingredients. Pans with poor heat retention don’t cook as evenly. They’re also more challenging to use because the temperature fluctuates so quickly.

After boiling the water, I removed each pan from the heat and set them on the counter.

After five minutes, the water temperature in the Heritage Steel pan was 120°F.

Heritage Steel Heat Retention Results After 5 Minutes
Heritage Steel Heat Retention Results After 5 Minutes

After ten minutes, the water was 98°F.

Heritage Steel Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes
Heritage Steel Heat Retention Results After 10 Minutes

Water in the All-Clad pan was 111°F after five minutes and 101°F after ten.

Although Heritage Steel retained more heat initially, the temperature after ten minutes was similar to All-Clad.

The chart below shows how All-Clad and Heritage Steel stack up across the industry in terms of heat retention.

PanTemperature After 5 MinutesTemperature After 10 Minutes
Made In fry pan121.1°F106.6°F
Demeyere Atlantis fry pan122.0°F106.3°F
Misen fry pan118.6°F103.4°F
Zwilling fry pan121.1°F103.0°F
Rachael Ray fry pan126.3°F102.7°F
Circulon fry pan133.3°F102.0°F
Tramontina fry pan118.5°F101.3°F
Calphalon fry pan112.8°F101.1°F
All-Clad skillet111.6°F100.9°F
Ballarini fry pan120°F99.9°F
Heritage Steel120.1°F98.2°F
Hestan fry pan114°F98°F
Demeyere Industry fry pan115.2°F96.6°F
Viking fry pan106.6°F95.9°F
Farberware fry pan112.0°F95.4°F
GreenLife fry pan119.0°F95.0°F
Gotham Steel fry pan113.0°F95.0°F
Anolon fry pan112.7°F90.9°F
Pioneer Woman fry pan104.3°F90.9°F
T-fal fry pan108.7°F88.0°F

Difference 7: Oven-Safe Temperatures

All Heritage Steel cookware is oven-safe up to 800°F. All-Clad stainless steel cookware is oven-safe up to 600°F. All-Clad’s hard-anodized non-stick cookware maxes out at 500°F, and the glass lids are oven-safe up to 350°F.

Difference 8: Where It Is Made

All Heritage Steel cookware is made in Clarksville, Tennessee. All-Clad’s stainless steel cookware is made in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

All-Clad G5 Graphite Core Made in the USA
All-Clad G5 Graphite Core Made in the USA

But while All-Clad designs all of its cookware in the USA, the HA1 and Essentials collections are made in China.

Difference 9: Company History

Heritage Steel is a small family-owned business that began as a partnership between cookware salesman Donald Henn and cookware manufacturer John Martelli.

In 1983, Henn bought a factory in Clarksville and formed New Era Cookware. Martelli began working with Henn at New Era — it was one of the first brands to produce induction cookware. By 2013, the company had changed its name to Heritage Steel to honor its American roots.

In 2017, Heritage Steel began using titanium-strengthened stainless steel, establishing its brand as one of the most durable and nonreactive options available. It’s the defining aspect of the brand’s cookware. Learn more about the company’s history on HeritageSteel.us.

John Ulam, a metallurgist (metal expert), launched All-Clad in 1971. Although almost every cookware brand today makes fully-clad stainless steel pans, All-Clad was the first, and Ulam is credited with inventing the bonding process.

Over the decades, All-Clad cemented itself as the leader in premium stainless steel cookware. Millions of home cooks and some of the best chefs in the world use All-Clad.

In 2004, Groupe SEB, a French company that owns T-fal, Krups, Rowenta, and several other cookware and kitchen appliance brands, acquired All-Clad. However, the brand still manufactures and operates its headquarters in the United States.

Difference 10: Price

While Heritage Steel and All-Clad stainless steel offerings are similarly priced, All-Clad offers a mix of collections at different price points.

For example, the Copper Core collection is one of All-Clad’s most premium offerings, with sets costing over $1,000. However, All-Clad has more affordable collections, such as HA1 and Essentials.

The following chart shows the current prices for Heritage Steel and All-Clad cookware. To get more details, click or tap the prices:

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Difference 11: Downsides

Before I reveal the downsides of each brand, I want to cover some issues common with all stainless steel cookware.

First, food will stick if you don’t follow the proper cooking procedures:

  • Always preheat the cookware before adding oil.
  • Use a high smoke point oil that can handle heat well to avoid burnt oil stains.
  • Never add cold food to a hot pan.
  • Always let meat sear fully before flipping. Moving it before it’s adequately seared will cause food to stick.

It’s also natural for stainless steel to develop stains if you don’t keep it clean. Buildup from food and oils can create dark spots and discoloration. Pitting (white marks) can also develop if you add salt to water before it boils. Thankfully, products like Bar Keepers Friend and Bon Ami can help remove stains.

Finally, fully-clad (bonded) stainless steel cookware is often more expensive than other cookware constructions —especially options that employ copper.

Now, let’s look at specific downsides for each brand.

Heritage Steel Downsides:

Too lightweight — Typically, full-clad cookware is hefty, but Heritage steel pieces feel much lighter than other stainless steel brands. While this could be a plus for people who prefer lightweight cookware, it leaves the impression that the layers are thin and less durable.

Warps easily — According to customer reviews, the bottom of the cookware warps more easily than similar stainless steel cookware. Always avoid drastic temperature changes to limit the risk of warping. For example, never place a hot pan into cold water.

Lack of variety — Heritage Steel only makes one stainless steel collection (and no other types of cookware). They don’t offer non-stick, copper, carbon steel, cast iron, or any other cookware.

Heat tint —  After a week of testing a Heritage Steel stainless steel pan, a splotchy rainbow-colored appeared on the bottom. While the stain, known as heat tint, is common to stainless steel, it was much more noticeable on the Heritage Steel pan. Thankfully, removing heat tint is easy: wash the pan with water and white vinegar.

Rounded handles — Visually, the rounded handles are attractive. They also feel comfortable. However, it’s hard to get a firm grip. For example, if you pick up the pan and tilt it to pour liquids or transfer food onto a plate, your hand will likely slip or rotate. Of course, this issue is compounded if your hands are wet, oily, or covered with an oven mitt.

All-Clad Downsides:

Uncomfortable handles — Many people complain that All-Clad’s handles are not comfortable. Most handles are cupped (they feature a deep divot along the length of the handle). Although cupped handles provide a steady grip, they can be awkward and uncomfortable.

Not 100% American-made — All-Clad manufactures its stainless steel cookware in the US. It also designs all of its cookware in the US. However, the lids and handles are made in China and attached in the US. All-Clad’s hard-anodized aluminum cookware is made in China.

Expensive — All-Clad is one of the most expensive cookware brands, especially the D5 and Copper Core collections. It’s not ideal if you are on a tight budget.

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

Now that you know the key differences between Heritage Steel and All-Clad, it’s time to decide which brand is right for your kitchen.

The truth is, Heritage Steel and All-Clad are both high-quality cookware brands. You can’t go wrong with either. In fact, I named Heritage Steel one of the best alternatives to All-Clad.

I’ve tested them side-by-side several times, and there’s no noticeable difference in performance.

Cooking chicken in All-Clad and Heritage Steel pans after flipping
All-Clad (left), Heritage Steel (right)

If you still can’t decide, I recommend All-Clad. It is expensive but lasts, and they offer collections for various budgets, design preferences, and cooking styles.

Plus, I’ve learned to appreciate All-Clad’s cup-shaped handles. They’re safer when your hand is wet, or you are wearing an oven mitt.

All-Clad is the top pick for style, performance, durability, variety, and safety. But if you want to support a small American business that uses the best quality materials and employs seasoned craftsmen, Heritage Steel is an excellent option.

Check the current prices and read dozens of other reviews of both brands at the links below:

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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