All-Clad's MC2 cookware is good-looking and performs admirably.
About All-Clad MC2 Cookware
When I was in culinary school, I received a set of All-Clad's MC2 cookware as a gift from my father. The durable, heavy-duty cookware was just what I needed to replicate at home what I was learning in the professionally equipped kitchens at my school.
One of many options in All-Clad's extensive line of cookware, MC2 cookware is an update of the company's original Master Chef line.
It has a 3-ply construction with 18/10 stainless steel interior and a brushed aluminum exterior, with a layer of aluminum in the middle. The handles are riveted to the body of the pots and they're a bit flared for a secure grip. Larger pieces have helper handles. The line includes numerous variations on all the essential pieces, including some nonstick options.
All-Clad MC2 Cookware to the Test
I still use most of the pieces from my set on a daily basis, and they've served me well. The skillets heat evenly and retain their heat, so searing meat results in perfect browning, while the meat releases nicely from the pan when it's ready, as long as I've heated it properly and used a little bit of cooking oil in the pan. The saucepans, similarly, create an even layer of heat on the base and sides of the pan, yielding perfect results in cooking everything from a pot of canned soup to perfectly tender risotto.
The cookware is heavy enough to feel indestructible, but even the larger pieces, such as a stock pot or a 12-inch saute pan, are not unmanageable (helper handles on the larger skillets help, particularly in lifting a hot pan from the oven). Lids fit snugly, and handles are comfortable and stay cool on the stove.
My only complaint is about the line's trademark brushed aluminum finish. Initially I found it to be modern-looking and attractive. But I soon discovered that the matte finish stained, scratched and scorched, no matter how careful you are. Over the years, I actually appreciate the well-loved patina that my cookware has gotten, but more fastidious people might get frustrated by their inability to keep the finish pristine.
Related: How to Care for and Clean Cookware
With prices starting at around $80 for a small skillet, the All-Clad MC2 line is at the less expensive end of the All-Clad range of products, which makes it a good option for a home cook looking to start a collection of high-quality cookware.
- Excellent at conducting retaining heat
- Polished interior is stick-resistant
- Sturdy, durable construction
- Matte finish scratches and stains over time
- Area around handle rivets can trap food
- 3-ply construction includes aluminum core, a layer of aluminum alloy, stainless steel interior and brushed aluminum exterior
- Comes in a vast range of pan shapes and sizes, as well as sets in several configurations
- Stay-cool handles; some pieces have helper handles as well
- Riveted handle construction
- Lifetime warranty