Hello. I have been lurking for some time and finally decided to join the discussion! Like many, I have decided to ditch my old nonstick frying pans. I have some Lodge cast iron skillets that I use for nearly everything, and am looking to add 10" and 12" stainless steel frying pans for acidic foods.
Given my budget and handling of different products, I have decided on All-Clad (strange me, I actually like the handles). However, I am torn between their product lines. I was initially leaning toward the 3-ply stainless line, but am drawn to the thickness and the perceived advantage of more aluminum on the MC2 line. However, while I do not see myself cooking on induction in the near future, I am looking at this as a lifetime purchase and the limitation is what is holding me back on the MC2. Then part of me thinks that the d5 might be a good compromise between the two. I can get all three lines at "close-enough" prices to make the decision based solely on performance rather than price.
What will be the primary differences in cooking characteristics between the 3 lines? I am primarily concerned with a ranking of heat retention and responsiveness. Also, if there is any difference in resistance to warping over time (since sauteeing, pan searing steaks, etc. are done at high temps), that would also be an important factor to consider. I can tell that the MC2 is thicker than the 3-ply stainless line, but where does the d5 fit in? Is it thicker than the 3-ply stainless, but thinner than the MC2?
As I said, I will be using the pans for acidic foods that I do not want to subject my CI to. On a day to day basis, the typical task will be sauteeing vegetables. I like to use the flip technique for this. Occasionally, I may want to use it for chicken, steak (when I want to deglaze), or some other random job.
I apologize for the long, winded post. I have a passion for cooking and want to be happy with my purchase for many years. Taking everything into consideration and making a decision based on my needs is what will allow me to do that, as I won't be second-guessing the pan in front of me every time I cook with it. Ultimately, what would be your recommendation? MC2, 3-ply Stainless, or d5? Thanks!