When the first bonded pan rolled off our Pennsylvania assembly line 50 years ago, it forever changed how cookware was crafted.
Changing the world of cookware since 1971
The man of metal
Our founder, John Ulam wasn’t a professional chef or a product engineer. He just happened to know metals better than anyone. A renowned metallurgist, John had more than 75 patents for metal crafting and his innovations transformed the metals used to manufacture car parts, build airplanes, and even mint coins.
Reinventing the pan
Being an avid home cook, John wondered what would happen if he applied his patented metal crafting methods to cookware. So in the spirit of invention, he took layers of stainless steel, bonded them with aluminum, and shaped them into pans.
All-Clad is born
This new bonded cookware cooked food more evenly, was easy to clean, didn’t alter flavors, and didn’t tarnish or warp. It was such a hit, John started our company, All-Clad Metalcrafters, in 1971. Shortly after, he opened a factory near his hometown in Western Pennsylvania.
We still make them like we used to
Manufacturing has changed a lot since All-Clad was founded, but our commitment to craftsmanship hasn’t. Unlike other manufacturers who’ve increasingly relied on automation to boost production, we do most of our crafting using time-tested methods to maintain a higher level of quality. Before a piece of fully bonded cookware makes it to your kitchen, over a dozen skilled hands work on it.
In this initial stage, our metalcrafters combine different metals like steel and aluminum to form a stronger, more responsive, more durable metal
Stack 'em up
[Metalcrafter Number 1] kicks things off by meticulously layering sheets of metal, ensuring there aren’t any foreign particles, abrasions, or anything else that will affect bonding.
Up the heat and pressure
[Metalcrafter Number 2] sends the joint sheets through an oven that makes it easier for the metals to bond. The sheets then go into back-to-back rolling mills and a second oven so they stick together, becoming one sheet of bonded metal.
Level, set, and cut
Once the metal sheets cool, [Metalcrafter Number 3] puts them through a leveler to flatten them, then uses a press to punch discs. The discs are checked for imperfections or irregularities before going to the next stage.
Stage 2: Forming
At this stage, our metalcrafters transform flat discs of bonded metal into their familiar cookware shapes.
Shape up and ship out
[Metalcrafter Number 4] lays the discs onto a hydraulic or spinning press, depending on the product, and like a potter, molds the disc into a pot or pan shape.
Stage 3: Finishing
At this stage, with the metals set and formed into the desired shape, our metalcrafters give the cookware its signature look.
All the pan is missing is the signature shine, so [Metalcrafter Number 5] uses high-speed buffers to polish the outside until it’s as dazzling as a gem.
With the outside nice and shiny, it’s time for the inside to match. So, [Metalcrafter Number 6] hand-polishes the inside until it’s pristine and ready for cooking.
Checking the angles
Once polished, a machine etches a starburst pattern on the pan and [Metalcrafter Number 7] measures the pan’s surface, making sure it dips at the ideal angle, then sends it to the laser machine to be inscribed.
Stage 4: Riveting
At this stage, the cookware piece has the right shape and the right look. It’s just a handle away from being ready for the kitchen.
Handled with care
Once it’s inscribed, [Metalcrafter Number 8] punches pairs of holes 180 degrees apart then fastens the handle(s) with steel rivets so strong, they’re known for never coming off.
End of the line
At last, the fully finished pan makes it to [Metalcrafter Number 9] who inspects it one last time and wipes it with a soft cloth before it’s packaged and sent off on its long culinary journey.
Warm it up
With all stages complete and quality checks done, your next All-Clad pan is just a purchase away from cooking your next best meal.
“Don’t worry about bells and whistles, worry about delivering maximum performance.”
- JOHN ULAM, ALL-CLAD FOUNDER
Crafted with passion to ignite yours
The same enthusiasm and creativity cooks put into every dish they make, we put into every piece of cookware we make. To us, cooking to perfection is more than just a saying, it’s our mission. And we challenge ourselves to help all cooks accomplish that goal every day.