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Pots & Pans

The latest All-Clad Graphite Core cookware is chef-approved

Lightweight, timeless pots and pans for every kitchen, but beware of price tags.

An All-Clad skillet sears food on a stovetop. Credit: All-Clad

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As director Christopher Nolan espoused to us in his latest movie “Tenet,” "Don’t try to understand it. Feel it." Oddly enough, that statement captured much of my sentiment for All-Clad’s reveal of its G5 Graphite Core cookware, which the brand claims is lighter than copper yet more conductive.

I’m a professional chef and a minimalist when it comes to my kitchen—the more I can do with fewer pans, the better. With all of this in mind, I tested the graphite core cookware to see if each piece was worth owning.

About All-Clad G5 Graphite Core cookware

The All-Clad G5 Graphite Core cookware includes four different pieces, each available separately. There’s an 8.5-inch skillet, a 10.5-inch skillet, a 2.5-quart saucier with lid, and a 3-quart sauté pan with lid.

What’s it made of?

A chef holds a copper and stainless steel skillet.
Credit: All-Clad

The core of this cookware is graphite, which is lighter than copper but can heat quickly and distribute heat just as well.

All the pieces from the G5 Graphite Core set are made from graphite (as the core, hence the name), layered with aluminum and finished with stainless steel to form the exterior. There are seven patents on this particular innovation from All-Clad, and it took six years of experiments to complete. Compared to copper, graphite also boasts exceptionally even heat distribution but is supposedly more conductive, resulting in faster heat absorption.

How does it look?

All four pieces of G5 Graphite Core cookware are sleek and pleasing to the eye. They do not look as upscale or aesthetically interesting as their copper counterparts, but unless you intend to display your cookware this is probably not an issue. If anything, the G5 set looks inconspicuous in your kitchen, offering stellar results without being overtly flashy.

How does it perform?

Two skillets sit on a stovetop to distribute heat.
Credit: All-Clad

These lightweight pots and pans distribute heat evenly, similar to a cast-iron skillet.

I’ve used various versions of All-Clad pots and pans over the years, but these pans truly blew me away. The difference was immediate out of the box—this cookware is incredibly light! As someone with weak wrists due to my competitive fencing days (or maybe I was just born with them, who knows), I often find myself straining uncomfortably to flip foods while cooking. Even the largest 10.5-inch skillet was easy for me to toss multiple times while making a sauté of leek and baby zucchini.

As advertised, the G5 pots and pans truly did heat shockingly fast, and distributed heat comparably to my favorite cast-iron. The crust on my steaks, the skin of my chicken thighs, and the golden-brown coat of my rockfish fillets were all testament to that.

Plus, this cookware is delightfully nonstick, similar to the best nonstick cookware we’ve tested. I made eggs and pancakes in the 8.5-inch skillet without any issues with leftover burnt bits. (However, to this does require you to properly lubricate and heat oil in your pan before cooking.)

I also love the fact these pieces are also compatible with induction cooktops (which I use for my video shoots) and can move easily into the oven, making them the immediate go-to pans for any type of dry heat cooking.

Is it easy to use and clean?

A person scrubs a skillet with a sponge.
Credit: All-Clad

Hand-washing is recommended for this cookware, but the All-Clad G5 Graphite Core pots and pans are also dishwasher-safe.

All-Clad recommends you hand-wash the G5 pots and pans in order to keep this as shiny as day one. However, they are completely dishwasher-safe so I did both to see the difference.

Both emerged very clean, but the hand-washed batch was easily distinguishable by its sparkle, compared to the dishwasher version that had some noticeable water stains and dull spots. Again, this is not an issue if you are not planning to display your pots and pans.

What we like

A chef tosses vegetables from a skillet.
Credit: All-Clad

These lightweight skillets are easy to handle.

This cookware heats up quickly and is super easy to handle

I truly loved these pots and pans. They offer great heat distribution and fast preheating, are lightweight and easy to handle, and come in all the necessary sizes needed for any kitchen.

It’s compatible with every type of cooktop

It can be used on any type of cooktop, including induction, electric, gas, and probably even open flame as well (though I didn’t test that). It’s also oven-safe for finishing large cuts of meat or fish.

What we don’t like

They’re relatively expensive

The biggest drawback of the G5 cookware is certainly the price point. Ranging from $140 to $325, these are pricey pieces that would certainly be considered an investment. It’s worth nothing this cookware comes with a lifetime warranty from All-Clad, so they may very well be the only pots and pans of these sizes you ever need to purchase.

The sauté pan is on the small side

Additionally, I had a small quibble with the size of the sauté pan, which is a touch small for my taste. I personally prefer a 3.5-quart sauté pan—like this Cuisinart pan, which is included in our pick for best value cookware set—for standard use.

Is the All-Clad G5 Graphite Core cookware worth it?

All things considered, I do think the G5 Graphite Core from All-Clad is worth buying if you are able to afford it. The pieces will be timelessly useful in any kitchen, for a wide range of applications from sautéing to braising, searing to deep-frying.

And while I still can’t completely explain how the composition of graphite differs from copper (the last time I dug into the properties of graphite was after watching “Chernobyl”), the superiority of the G5 compared to my other cookware was evident almost immediately.

If you’re interested in other types of pots and pans, check out the best cookware sets we’ve tested.

Get All-Clad G5 Graphite Core cookware starting at $140

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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