Learn the composition of your stainless steel cookware and the benefits it affords you.
Stainless Steel Cookware is composed of layers of metal bonded together — so the major difference between 3 and 5 ply is the number of these bonded layers. The term “clad” or “cladding” describes this process of layering metals, which is why we refer to our Stainless Cookware as Stainless Clad.
In the cladding process, different metals are layered atop one another, usually with a non-reactive metal on the exterior protecting metal that conducts heat well but is sometimes less durable, and then bonded together to make a new sheet of metal entirely. The number of metal layers are the ply.
Two of the most common types of ply are 3 and 5, and the differences between them are outlined below.
3 ply, also called tri-ply, refers to stainless steel constructed from three different layers of metal. Typically, this consists of stainless steel outer layers bonded to a layer of aluminum core. The third layer is anodized aluminum, which is a protective oxidized layer that helps with heat retention and durability.
Advantages of 3 Ply
Disadvantages of 3 Ply
5-ply Cookware refers to stainless steel constructed from five different layers. Our 5-ply Stainless Clad collection utilizes five sheets of four different metals. The aluminum core conducts heat, while the stainless exterior makes for a smooth and durable cooking surface.
Advantages of 5 Ply
Disadvantages of 5 Ply
While 3-ply is slightly less expensive, and slightly lighter weight, there is a reason that 5-ply cookware like ours is used in professional kitchens all over the world. You can get away with using 3-ply in a pinch, but you will notice a difference in the quality of your finished dish, especially when it comes to achieving the right sear on a steak or making sure a delicate piece of fish has a perfectly crisp skin.
Our 5-ply cookware is excellent at conducting heat, very durable, and exceptionally safe. If you are looking for a pan that will last a lifetime, we recommend 5-ply—it’s more than worth it.