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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 28, 2014
I am without doubt a huge fan of clad cookware, and especially All-Clad cookware. While anything but inexpensive, All-Clad is an example of American manufacturing at its finest. These products give class-leading performance and are built to a quality standard that few can match. I have used All-Clad cookware for many years and my experiences with their products, as well as my interaction with the company, has been absolutely stellar. Buy a pot or pan from All-Clad once and it's the last time you will ever need to make that cookware purchase because these products really will last a lifetime. If you are looking for a stock pot of the finest quality, performance, and durability, this is a great choice.

Clad cookware is literally a compromise of multiple traditional pan types because some guy was unhappy with the limitations of existing materials and decided to combine multiple elements into a single cookware build, drawing on iron's ability to evenly distribute & hold heat, aluminum's heat conducting properties, stainless steel's durability, low reactivity, & low upkeep. So enters the great compromise of clad cookware. With All-Clad's Stainless line and their MC (Master Chef) line, you get (induction-compatible) stainless on the outsides and aluminum on the inside (with All-Clad's higher end models, add copper and multiple cores.) The aluminum betters the heat transfer, and the stainless encases the aluminum for durability. Heat treat the stainless to give good impact resistance & strength to protect it from things like dents, easy-scratching, and warping, and you are left with a pot that heats relatively fast, give an even heat transfer, and has excellent durability without reactivity. Not surprisingly, clad cookware has established itself as a staple in both the home and professional settings. And All-Clad has established itself as a staple among the brands known for producing the finest clad cookware made.

I must own at least about 2 grand in All-Clad cookware and for some crazy reason I keep buying more. This is the summarized list of why I like All-Clad products enough to spend the extra money them:
1) Solid Functional Design Translating to Functional Build Quality -- pick one up and you'll feel the quality & appreciate the layout
2) Immaculate Fit & Finish -- the cosmetic finish is consistent, the curvatures are symmetrical, the engraving is clean, and there are no sharp angles
3) Durability & Longevity -- the difference between these and many models costing ¼ to ½ the price is substantial...just look at the handles/riveting
4) Guarantee -- these are warrantied for life...and given this is indeed a cookware set that will last you the rest of your life, the warranty's a nice plus
5) Versatility -- if you move, All-Clad products excel with gas, electric, induction, side-heat, & open-pit cooking. Buy it once; enjoy for life.
6) Heat Transfer – this is as close as you get to the heat-transfer of cast iron, except you also get the convenience of stainless steel
7) Low Maintenance -- you can clean these with almost anything, and they have phenomenal corrosion resistance (dishwasher safe)
8) American Product...American Jobs -- purchasing this product supports a skilled trade of American metalcrafters & supports domestic steelmaking
9) The Steel -- anyone can make 18/10, but the quality of the steel & heat treatment determines how it performs...with All-Clad, it's class-leading
10) Saving Money & Promoting Good Health By Eating-In -- If you enjoy cooking and you have the tools to enjoy cooking more & cook better thanks to these tools, chances are you are going to cook for yourself more than eating out. That also presents an opportunity to eat healthier food. You may have to spend $600-1,000+ to piece together the complete set of All-Clad pots/pans you need, but like a nice cutlery or flatware set, these products are arguably investments since you only have to pay for them once, plus you can enjoy using them every single day, and they will last for decades...on the other hand, spending $10 a day on lunch doesn't last long at all, but it sure adds up fast!

The stock pot is an interesting pot. While it is rarely the most frequently used cookware item in the kitchen, it is a specialty-purpose item and you really must have one to perform certain cooking tasks. Living alone, the standard 3 qt stock pot (which I sometimes call a Dutch oven) is generally sufficient for me. But sometimes I will make a huge batch of stew, soup, stock, or chili, or cook a huge roast that I freeze for later eating. With those tasks, a 3qt stock pot isn't going to cut it. Heck, a 5 qt is even too small. So the 8 quart is my go-to for these tasks (if you live with other people, chances are you will use this more than me.)

This stock pot can also be used in an interesting fashion to maintain stable temps with baking, much like how indirect heat via a round Weber charcoal grill works. Using All-Clad's ability to provide even heat distribution, you can use this stock pot as a baking pan even if the item being baked is small. If you elevate a piece of meat with something like a cooling rack to place the meat directly in the center, the wall’s radiating heat will maintain a temp more stable than what most ovens can provide on their own. This can be useful when you desire to cook something evenly all-around, especially with a slower roast or with foods that can easily dry out in certain areas when the temp distribution is uneven. I find that pork tenderloin and many kinds of fish come out really well with this method.

All-Clad offers some very large stock pots. Past this 8 quart model, there is also a 12, 16, and 20 quart stockpot. In a perfect world I would have preferred to have purchased the 12 qt, but there were four practical reasons I went for the smaller 8 quart size: 1) the price gets much higher with larger stock pots, 2) the 8qt size is the largest you can purchase in a set to save a few dollars, 3) I do not know where I would store a 12 or 16 quart pot, and (most importantly), 4) the stove in my apartment struggles to bring even 8 quarts to a rolling boil & requires an incredible amount of preheating...chances are my stove will be unable to handle sizes beyond the 8 qt. So I struck this size as my compromise. Depending on your stove, this may or may not be a concern for you personally.

Like other All-Clad items, the handles themselves are solid. They are large, easy to grip, have strong riveting to carry the heavy weight of this thing when filled, and are all-stainless so cooking temps do not reduce their strength/integrity. With silicone oven mitts, the silicone-on-stainless creates a lot of friction to avoid slipping with a heavy pot of stew. Even if I am making a stew or roast, I like to sear meats for the flavor the searing creates. Since this has the same design (and width) as my favorite sear pan (their 3 Qt. Saute pan), I can sear meat directly in this pot as the first step and get that high-quality sear that All-Clad is legendary for, without the need to use (and therefore clean) additional cookware. Nothing gives beef stew a good start of flavor boost better than a nice high-heat sear over thyme! As cookware with certain non-stick coatings are not appropriate for high-high heat usage or very prolonged usage, I also like how I can use this pot for applications of very hot or very long-duration cooking, as well as how the long duration cooking on stainless does not impart any off-flavors or modify the food's flavor in any way. I even sometimes use this for deep frying...the taller walls reduce splashing and the clad construction maintains a consistent oil temp.

As the images show, my stock pot is one generation older than the one currently sold. The main difference is that the lid design is different. The lid on the older design had a little more clearance in the cutout, and did not fit as tightly. The new lid fits tighter (I have it on other items) and while I find this to give the benefit of reducing steam loss, it does have a tendency to rattle under a roaring boil. If I am making beef stock from bones, that rattle can get a little annoying. So while I have both new and old lids that fit this stock pot (it can take the same lid as the 3qt Saute pan), I tend to favor the old design for most uses of this specific pot.

In general, the main downsides to clad would be weight and price, mainly. While not as heavy as iron, the best clad cookware is going to still be pretty heavy...and you will likely pay well over twice that of iron. This larger stockpot is considerably heavy (specs shown in pictures.) The cost of making the sandwiched ply layers is more than casting a single piece. Also, many people note that the rivets on the handle of All-Clad makes cleaning in the area somewhat difficult...and I agree (copper scrubbers work great for this.) However, these oversized rivets do give structural durability.

The way I clean my All-Clad pots and pans is through using one or more of the following: a copper scrubber, a copper bristled brush, bronze wool, Bar Keeper's Friend, a food-safe polish, concentrated peroxide, and/or a certain acid. For reference, the stock pot shown in these pictures has been cleaned at least 500 times over the years, and I give minimal attention to preserving the cosmetic finish. Yet, as you can see, it still looks pretty good.

The point in that illustration is that I strongly recommend NOT babying this stock pot, or any All-Clad cookware, when cleaning. The hardened stainless steel on the outside of clad cookware is made to withstand decades of heavier cleaning without any functional harm. These do great with the use of a mild abrasive such as Bar Keeper's Friend (which All-Clad recommends using.) Bar Keeper's Friend dramatically speeds cleaning by cutting through grease and caked on buildup, which dramatically reduces effort/time, and it also dramatically restores shine/polish. Copper scrubbers and bronze wool works great on these too. Being softer than steel but much harder than a sponge, they rapidly remove down even the worst of caked-in buildup. While not 100% scratch-free, they are relatively easy on the finish. (I recommend using bronze wool over steel wool or steel scrubbers because bronze is softer than steel and it does not rust.)

As others have noted, after use these will not look 100% new unless one is actively polishing them. Scratches on non-stick pans are a concern because it can degrade performance and may have health risks...scratches on a stainless pan are of zero functional or safety concern. A 30 second clean with Bar Keeper's Friend will make these look very good with minimal effort. If they show a few scratches...well…since a device used to make food is not a display for an art museum, I can’t say that a few scratches concerns me.

All-Clad products are dishwasher safe...I have a few pans and lids that I have ran through thousands of cycles. However, there are some limitations here since a dishwasher may not physically clean the cookware good enough if it has a lot of buildup, which can mean a need to pre-clean them. Additionally, the additives in dishwasher detergent or the combination of hard water + heat-drying will often make the inside of the pots dull and discolored. While this is not a safety concern and will not harm performance, many people do not like how these look coming out of the dishwasher. The larger sizes, like this 8qt stock pot, also take up a ton of real estate space in the dishwasher, meaning it is often more efficient to just hand wash with some Bar Keeper's Friend.

When I first transitioned from non-stick to bare-bottomed stainless, I was initially disappointed due to the sticking. I learned from other users that the secret here is temperature control. With these kinds of pots & pans, you generally want to do a medium preheat prior to adding food. When you get that instant sizzle upon the food making contact with the pan, that flash sear creates its own barrier between the food and the pot's surface. Used along with oils, stainless cookware can perform almost as well as most non-stick ones, plus you get the all the added benefits of using stainless.

I apologize for my more lengthy review. But since this is a premium product with a considerable purchase price, buying it is a big financial decision and I wanted to share my experience while discussing the pros and cons. Like almost all All-Clad products I have used, this stock pot is really the best of the best. The purchase price is high, but the superior quality is proof that this isn't one of those products where you are primarily paying just for a name. So I highly recommend this stock pot, as well as other sized stock pots made by All-Clad, and all of All-Clad's cookware in-general.
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88 comments| 80 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 5, 2013
My wife says she loves me, and, I think it is because I let her indulge in her cravings for the best cookware around, namely, All-Clad. I hate to think about all the (so-called) "inexpensive" cookware sets I've bought in the past. Our (nearly complete) All-Clad set will last us indefinitely (and, probably, get passed down to the next generation). If you shop carefully (buying in sets, or catching the occasional sale), you can get All-Clad pieces at less-than-full-retail. One Caveat: if you happen to leave an empty pot on the stove over a full-on flame, you 'can' ruin it by plunging it immediately into cold water (yes, learned the hard way). Turn off the flame, walk away, and give it an hour or so to cool down slowly.
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on April 24, 2013
This is our fourth All Clad pot. Apart from cast iron, I wouldn't buy any other cookware at this point. Because of the wide base, this stock pot heats up *very* fast on the largest (11 inch) induction element on our cooktop--boiling water for pasta in about a minute. (If you have an induction cooktop, you do have to pay attention to which All Clad product line you are purchasing. Not all of that manufacturer's products come with magnetic stainless exteriors, but both of the high end 'stainless steel' and 'copper core' lines do.) All Clad cookware is expensive, but it is one of those product lines which confirms the maxim: 'you get what you pay for.'
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on January 10, 2012
This pot is perfect for large quantities. It has a nice wide base for braising and sauteing before adding liquid. It washes beautifully and conducts heat very well. I highly recommend!
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on February 28, 2013
This is an incredibly versatile size. I don't know how I survived in my kitchen without it. I've used it every day since receiving it. (Of course, it's been winter. Soups and stews are a mainstay of my home.) This is a heavy pot without being weighty. The base of it is thick and distributes heat well. The lid is well-fitted. Condensation drips back in evenly. The lid doesn't spit water around my cooktop when water is boiling inside. Let's hear it for good design! The handles are small but you can easily hold onto them even with thick pot holders. 6 quarts is a very versatile size. It is large enough for almost all of my stew recipes but still small enough that I can easily store it in my kitchen cupboards. Try it. You won't be disappointed.
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on December 7, 2015
This pot cost three times as much as the Calpalon that it replaced. Is it three times better? Maybe!

Reasons to spend $300-400 on one pot:
1. It is obviously made of much better materials than cheaper pots.
2. The craftsmanship and build quality is MUCH better.
3. Aestethically (I know, most people don't care) this pot is beautiful- shiny chrome exterior and brushed stainless interior
4. Function: it cooks food well without hot spots in the pot. It heats up fast and evenly.
5. Solid build, but not that heavy. For being a tri-ply construction, this pot is surprisingly light.
6. Cleans easily- you can do a glaze on it and still clean it very easily with Barkeeper's Friend
7. Design - easy to pour the liquid out of the pot due to the shape- I don't know why other pots don't do this.
8. Fit/finish- the lid fits perfectly unlike other cheaper pots.
9. Value - if you take care of this pot, it will outlast cheaper pots, so the actual cost of ownership isn't that high

For me, cooking with a beautiful pot like this makes it much more enjoyable. It's just a great feeling to have something so nice in the kitchen.

It gives me joy knowing that in our disposable, cheap, "made-in-china" society, there is actually a group of people that care about making something functional, beautiful, and high quality. Not only that, there are other people that appreciate and are willing to pay for that degree of care. This gives me hope.
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on May 19, 2014
This is not only a stockpot it is a Dutch oven as well, you can do so many things with it. I received this this incredible cookware about 5 days ago but today I was able to use it, and I prepared a Peruvian Arroz con pollo and turned out delicious. The heat distribution is outstanding I was impressed about that. About the price might be expensive but the quality is A+. One more word "amazing"
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on January 30, 2013
Perfect weight, like a mirror, but did not expect little white blotches on the inside bottom! I'm not returning it for this reason, it is such hassle. Finally got rid of my 25 years old cheep 5quarter with a buckled lid! So proud of myself!
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on September 6, 2012
I purchased this All Clad 8qt. Stockpot as a wedding gift. This item was on the couple's wedding registry and when it arrived, I opened the package to inspect
the item and it was just beautiful. I have never purchased All Clad cookware for myself, but I was very impressed with the quality and detail of this item. The couple
was truly very happy with their gift and I am sure they will have happy times cooking with it!
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on December 6, 2012
This pot works well for so many tasks! Great for cooking beans or blanching and then sauteeing greens. One of the most useful additions to my All-Clad collection.
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