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  1. #1
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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

    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    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.
    I like the even heating of the LeCreuset stuff but, for us cyclists, it has one fatal flaw: our puny bodies simply do not have the upper body strength to lift the damn stuff. TT, you are superhuman so you do not have this issue.

    Seriously, I had to buy my mother a new set of SS pans when I found her struggling to carry a LeCreuset pan of boiling water. I saw an accident waiting to happen.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Quote Originally Posted by lala View Post
    I like the even heating of the LeCreuset stuff but, for us cyclists, it has one fatal flaw: our puny bodies simply do not have the upper body strength to lift the damn stuff. TT, you are superhuman so you do not have this issue.

    Seriously, I had to buy my mother a new set of SS pans when I found her struggling to carry a LeCreuset pan of boiling water. I saw an accident waiting to happen.
    A good son would have installed a pot filler behind the stove.
    ;)

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    A good son would have installed a pot filler behind the stove.
    ;)
    Touché! but the problem is not filling it with water, it was with her trying to strain the boiling water out of the veggies ... So she was trying to hold the (amazingly heavy) pan of boiling water/veggies with one hand.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    So here's just a bunch of opinions:

    Non-stick can be an advantage for a rice pot, for those who don't have a rice cooker, or for a small skillet for a quick grilled cheese sandwich that doesn't need much butter at all, but I don't think it's very good at all for a sauce pan or a saute pan -- you'll have to be precious as hell with a special plastic-coated wisk or spoon, you'll never have a decent fond to work with, you'll want to be careful about high-heat searing in the pan. Makes perfectly good sense for a couple of non-lifetime pieces for this or that purpose, but otherwise . . . feh.

    For a real saucier . . . I'd go stainless, unless you are going with a really good heavy copper pan that you're willing to maintain. For certain things, like a butter warmer, enameled cast iron can be nice.

    All-clad makes excellent sauce pans. Personally, I don't see any advantage to the ones with the thin (very thin) copper layer -- the multi-layer steel pans conduct heat well and evenly. Get the real ones, from PA. If you wait and look around, you can find relative bargains on what are otherwise somewhat pricey pans. And get "barkeepers friend" to keep them nice and shiny. Calphalon also makes a decent multi-layer stainless pan that's considerably less expensive -- some of them are made in France, and some in China, and they are labeled as such. Demeyer is good, but at least as expensive as AC. Same for Mauviel (known initially for nice heavy copper, but they make ss too).

    The AC skillets are also very good -- they have a large sort of "utility" pan that's great for many things and is often heavily discounted by the chains. Cast iron also can be very good for a skillet. Not a quick-response type of pan, and it's heavy, but nothing holds heat better than a huge chunk o' iron and for some purposes it's really hard to beat. Lodge makes some pretty darn good pans right here in the US (not the enameled ones) that can be had for a song at places like Target.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    The only non-stick pan I'll ever by again is Scanpan. They are made of titanium and ceramic and the non-stick finish is guaranteed by most retailers for life. This pan is heavy, heats up slowly, stays hot and cooks evenly. You can sear your food on the stovetop, then put the pan in the oven to finish banking it. It's a lot like having the best qualities of cast iron and teflon in one pan.

    Scanpans are expensive (I think I paid about $150 for my 10 inch skillet). I replaced a $125 Calphalon non-stick pan after about 18 months with a scan pan few years ago and my new pan shows no signs of wear.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    i'm coming back...gently






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    Default Re: Saucepans

    Sitram Cybernox used to make a "almost" non-stick all metal pan that is broiler safe too. Hellofapan, I've had one for about 12 yrs. If you keep it squeaky clean and remember to get it hot before adding food it is 99% perfect. Never seen another like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackers View Post
    The only non-stick pan I'll ever by again is Scanpan. They are made of titanium and ceramic and the non-stick finish is guaranteed by most retailers for life. This pan is heavy, heats up slowly, stays hot and cooks evenly. You can sear your food on the stovetop, then put the pan in the oven to finish banking it. It's a lot like having the best qualities of cast iron and teflon in one pan.

    Scanpans are expensive (I think I paid about $150 for my 10 inch skillet). I replaced a $125 Calphalon non-stick pan after about 18 months with a scan pan few years ago and my new pan shows no signs of wear.

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    Default Re: Saucepans

    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!
    I favor my All Clad Master Chef (which I am not); SS interior, thick aluminum exterior saucepans, saucier and stock pots. The heat transfer juice/squeeze ratio per dollar is hard to beat though they may not offer that line anymore; mine are ~25 years old.

    For skillets I'll second that it's awfully hard to beat seasoned CI. Alas, I have only a couple of medium size skillets in enameled CI which are very nice but plain old seasoned CI just works better.

    My pasta/former wort boiler is a cheap, thin SS thing which heats quickly bc it doesn't consume lots of energy itself (to heat a bunch of metal in the form of a heavy vessel....'cause it's thin); it's perfect for things that are cooked in boiling water, pasta, 'taters, cabbage, whatever. Wish I'da kept one or two of my parent's Revere Ware sauce pans for smaller "water boiling" tasks like steaming veggies, rather than having to heat water in a sauce pan with a lot more metal mass. They're poor for saucepanney stuff (though a diffuser plate improves things and a lot of good meals have come out of them), but great for boiling water.

    We use gas.
    John Clay
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    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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