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Thread: Saucepans

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    Default Saucepans

    I currently own Calphalon non-stick sauce pans and a stock pot. It's time to replace them. I don't require non-stick, just something with even heating and a heavy bottom. I was considering going with All Clad instead of purchasing another set of Calphalon. Are there any other brands I should consider? Any pros and cons to the various All Clad models? Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    I have a bunch of Calphalon stuff (not the teflon but their trademark 'less-stick' coating but won't go back. When we got them (wedding, over 10 yrs ago), the quality was very uneven. The big pans are of much lesser quality than the little ones. I have a nice 7 or 8 inch pan that is very heavy and smooth; the larger ones have become warped, spotted, pitted, loose rivets ... heavily used but not abused.

    Years ago, commandeered my mother-in-law's cast iron pans that she got for her wedding 30 yrs prior at the time and promptly stuck them in the attic. they looked like crap but within a couple weeks I had them seasoned. A few months later, a friend who is a trained chef stopped by, took one look at my stove with the pans on them, and asked if he could have them. They are awesome for sure.

    Do you have electric or gas heat? If gas, stock pots are pretty straightforward, just get one with a thick bottom. it is not even important whether it is totally flat (for electric this obviously matters). I cook a ton, got one at TJ Maxx for cheap and it has worked great. I also really like a glass lid.

    So my suggestion would be:
    - Get some moderately priced cast iron pans, season them well, take good care of them.
    - For making omelets, etc., get a decent nonstick pan.
    - good value stock pot (heavy bottom, glass lid)

    A yearly subscription to cooks illustrated will pay for itself if you get the 'value' models they recommend for the above.

    - Take the cash you saved and burn it on a nice braiser, dutch oven, or other large dish from Le Creuset. Those are awesome. Value option: Ikea has in the past sold cast iron pots glazed on the outside that are 'Made in France' - they are basically Le Creuset but no glazing on the inside, it is just naked cast iron.

    Quote Originally Posted by MMM View Post
    I currently own Calphalon non-stick sauce pans and a stock pot. It's time to replace them. I don't require non-stick, just something with even heating and a heavy bottom. I was considering going with All Clad instead of purchasing another set of Calphalon. Are there any other brands I should consider? Any pros and cons to the various All Clad models? Thanks in advance!

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    There are many excellent stock pots. Why tempt fate, get something you'll cherish. I've got LeCruset mom got as a wedding gift still doing the job.

    For a sauce pan cast iron is not the ticket yo. You must be able to deal with high heat AND acids when needed. There are some real nice sauce pans out there. If you asked me to only have one it would be copper+staninless. Mauviel M'heritage is my pick, I've got two...blame my wife she has a knack for zeroing in on my lusty cookware musings. Go ahead and spend for the M'250c (thick) copper. Don't let just anyone do the dishes, keep the inside surface smooth and it will love you back. This is a pic of their fry pan...but you get the idea.
    Last edited by Too Tall; 01-14-2013 at 11:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Most all of my stainless cookware is All-Clad and I'm very happy with it. Be aware that not all All-Clad is made in the USA and the quality suffers greatly on the imported stuff. I don't recall which of their pieces are and which are not made in the United States. Now if you want to treat yourself, go high quality copper. I have a couple heavy duty pieces by Falk and I love, love, love them. They are made in Belgium and, as all cyclists know, Belgian is good!

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    I'll take a somewhat contrarian view here:

    * You shouldn't view a non-stick pan as a "lifetime" piece. Even the best are going to get scratched up and eventually need replacing. I buy the nicest cheap ones (cheapest nice ones?) at T.J. Maxx and have had great success doing that. I think right now I've got a stack of Sariette pans. They've been almost shockingly good given the pittance I paid for them

    * There just aren't many situations where a non-stick stock pot makes sense to me. I have one, because kitchen stuff, but it mostly sits unloved in the back of the cabinet. For things in a stock pot, sticking=fond and fond=delicious. To me, no need to pay the extra money here.

    * Being a cheapskate, I just wasn't going to buy Le Creuset or Staub stuff. But the Lodge stuff is 99.995555% as good at about a third the price.

    * I'll second (third? fifth?) the rec for seasoned cast iron. You'll wonder how you ever did without it.

    I can't help you with the everyday saucepans, as I'm still using my late grandmother's 50+ year old copper bottomed RevereWare. It's great stuff, but I don't know enough to rec the newer stuff. Hers sure seems heavier, and I'm skeptical that there's all that much copper in a new pan that sells for $30, copper costing what it does.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Good advice Ben. When it came time to move on from our RevereWare it went to our best friends to live a third life. Great stuff.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Mauviel with the thick copper is where it's at for lifetime pans that are great to live with,I have 5 of them that get daily use if you treat them rite they will last generations.
    -Eric

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    SaucePans if you're going non-stick niceness. Thick bottoms, no warping, key if you're dealing with electric (some day it'll become gas). Two approaches re non-stick. Buy-em cheap ala GFS (as Ben notes above) and simply plan to replace them.
    Stock pots, regular. No need for the non-stick. All-Clad has done well.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    All-Clad Copper Core and Le Creuset enameled iron here.

    All-Clad Copper-Core is excellent stuff. It’s much more expensive than the stainless (without the copper core) but performs much better. SS is ordinary, good quality, does the job, but doesn't bring anything special to the party, comparable to Calphalon. The copper core really improves heat distribution and is what gave All-Clad a reputation. The Stainless was developed to hit a price point. If you don’t or can’t go Copper-Core I’d buy Calphalon instead of SS All-Clad and save $$. They do offer some large pieces is SS (I have a 17” fry pan) not offered in Copper Core, however. Purchased the majority of my set via ebay (new) over time and saved a lot. Can also catch huge sales at Macy’s, etc. once a year with add-on coupons. I have not tried the All-Clad aluminum core or MC2 so no input there.

    Le Crueset’s enameled iron Dutch ovens and pots are something to behold. Very even heat, great for browning, frying, baking and clean VERY easily. Big ones can be very heavy, but that just means “iron”. Bought most of my stuff at Le Creuset Outlet stores.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    For a saucepan, go stainless with a copper base. Alu pans warp and get hot spots on a less than perfect burner. Some folks claim that alu pans can lead to negative health outcomes (up to you to look into that and see if you are on board with that). You can get good deals on Macy's house brand, tools of the trade, when they put stuff on sale and you stack it with another coupon, which happens several times per year. I really like stainless in that I can scrub it with a scotchbrite or SOS and get it nice and clean. I agree with the thinking that non-stick pans are a disposable item.

    Le Crueset for the oven. Mom got me one at a garage sale because the colors did not work with the newly remodeled kitchen. It rocks, it will cause sticker shock, hurt your back when you put it in and out of the cupboard, but that's all OK.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    I've never worked in a kitchen that has had anything other than a large assortment of heavy guage aluminum pans. It is also what i use. But, yes, if you are into polising your pans with a scotchbrite pad, then SS would be a better choice.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Le Crueset is what we use and enjoy...just don't drop them on your footsies!!!

    Zio Franco
    Il vero lusso Ť il tempo da dedicare alle proprie passioni.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Currently using All Clad Ltd's and they've done a great job for over 17 years now. I also have a few Le Crueset pieces. When I start working again I am going to slowly add these American Made Copper Cookware from Brooklyn NY to my kitchen. I've been looking at these for some time now. They are pricey but all made in the U.S. which is why I don't mind saving up for.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    For dutch ovens i've got several Le Crueset in sizes and colors, love cooking in them. I've recently purchased a staub, also good, but comes with a steel handle. No idea why Crueset send's them with plastic when they often go in the oven. Now i do understand that they say the plastic is good to some 400 plus degrees. But i recently decided to foray into bread, artisan stuff (this is not good, as i love good hard crust bread) which i've avoided all these years as baking is akin to science and does not suffer fools. Well the guy i'm following now says breads are cooked in dutch ovens at 500 degrees so i bought several 4 quart pots and this time tried Lodge, as mentioned above by Ben. Good stuff, very nice pots, about half the price, with the steel knob which i had to buy from Amazon for Cruesets. I'll stick with Lodge i think from here on out.
    I've got several of their cast iron skillets and for pan fried steak they are great. sea salt and fresh ground pepper the steaks, very generously, fry in about two tablespoons clarified butter, one of peanut oil. you won't go back.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    I recommend All-Clad. Copper is a pain in the ass to keep looking nice, and if you ever want to use induction, you are s.o.l.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    I vote for tinned copper. It's near impossible to keep shiny, and the tin will discolour , but coupled with a gas stove copper offers instantaneous control. Five years ago, I purchased a set of sauce, saute and fry pans made by the Pierre Vergnes. Hand-made in France using traditional methods. Outstanding quality and handling. Stunningly beautiful in a utilitarian way, It makes me happy every time I put one on a burner.

    Kupfertopf.com / French-copper-cookware - Copper cookware from P. Vergnes France
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    You are ingesting that tin.
    "Old and standing in the way of progress"

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    It's easy to dump a lot of cash on this gear. I'd suggest taking the kit you presently have, line it up on the counter and review how often you use which item. Then buy less!
    You won't go wrong with any of the brands mentioned here but you can go broke buying an entire ensemble, so I advocate purchasing individually (unless you find a super bargain on multi pot set). I'm all-All Clad and, shamefully, I have some pans that sit unused because they are duplicates. Even for large meals, I can usually get by with 3 or 4 pieces.

    Is it important to you that the pieces match? For example, my wife saw me swooning over TT's copper pan and announced, "We will not have any copper in the kitchen because it does not match the All Clad!"

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Wow, thanks for all of the replies.

    I have two Le Crueset dutch ovens that my mother in law found at a Tuesday Morning and I completely love them! They are perfect for stews, braises, etc. I use them constantly! My husband purchased a Lodge cast iron skillet (Thanks Salonistas) for a Christmas present last year. I have an All Clad copper core 12 inch skillet that I use quite a bit too. I'm going to seriously consider the All Clad Copper Core for my saucepans. Since I love my Le Crueset dutch ovens so much, I think I'm going with Le Crueset stockpot. I didn't realize they made a stockpot too, thanks for the tip!

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    If you're making stock in it save your money it doesn't matter.

    If cooking in it everyday dif story.

    Allclad copper has a nigh bling factor but is no more functional. Au core out Mauviel or Bourgeat.
    "Old and standing in the way of progress"

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