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All Clad PaSTA Pentola

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello all! I apologize if this has been covered before, but I have searched and searched and have not found any relevant threads on this.

I have recently bought a house and now have my very own kitchen for the first time, and I have been having tremendous fun so far. I have been lucky and found some all clad ss firsts on ebay for literally half their retail...one lucky purchase was the ss 7qt pasta pentola...it retails for approx $350, and I bought it for about $145. My question is, because it has aluminum insulated sides, will water boil faster? Essentially, have I wasted my money on something I really don't need or can this also be used as a general 7 qt stock pot?

I also wanted to know the difference between a saucier and a sauce pan.

I thank you all for your time.

post #2 of 5
Hi Gem,

Congrats on the new house.

Since you asked, I don't think you wasted your money although I believe you may have made a purchase that offered better value. For example, Calphalon makes an 8-quart SS pot with a pasta insert and a steamer insert for less money. The question is, how important is the aluminum clad side in a stock or pasta pot. Many people say it's not necessary, and all that's needed is a heavy disc bottom. I'm not 100% sure, that's why I qualified my statement by saying "may."

I have stock pots with disc bottoms and some with clad sides. I've not noticed any difference in the time it takes water to boil. That said, it may be that having aluminum sides will allow for more even heat throughout the pan - again, I'm not sure. The more even heating could be of some benefit when making stocks, broth, and sauces. There are a cou[ple of well-known chefs and restaurateurs here that believe such is the case. They happen to be people I know and whose food and cooking techniques I admire, but I'm just one voice in a larger group that feels otherwise. Maybe someone here can shed some light on the subject. And that segues into whether or not you can use the pot for stock. The answer is a definite yes.

A saucier is shaped more like a bowl, with curving sides, and is wider at the top than at the bottom. A sauce pan has straight sides, and is just as wide at the top and bottom. The saucier will, at least in theory, allow for better evaporation, and, in practice, it is usually easier to stir the liquid - especially if it's thick. Many people use the two interchangeably, so in essence there's not a lot of difference in practice.

post #3 of 5
To amplify Shel a little,


The purpose of the tri-ply construction is to prevent hot and cold spots, and to allow heat to be conducted evenly up the sides. This level of performance is not considered terribly important by most cooks for these sorts of tasks; largely because the large volume of liquid inside the pot will spread the heat far more evenly than any metal. This is a function of the ways molecules as liquids diffuse heat compared to molecules as solids.

Whether or not you could have bought the same or a similar level of performance for a little or even a lot less money is debatable. As Shel said different cooks have different requirements and expectations and end up defining performance differently. You bought an extremely well made, versatile pot that's going to last you several decades longer than any thought of what you could have done with an extra fifty bucks.

Sauce pan is a generic term for the three kinds. Straight sided, Windsor (or flared), Saucier (or curved). Both Windsors and Sauciers have wider tops than bottoms.

The flare is the only difference between a straight side and a Windsor.

A saucier's sides are curved. The curve conforms to the bowl of a wooden spoon so a saucier is particularly useful for cooking things which need stirring and which might otherwise stick to where the side joins the bottom -- tapioca for instance. I love tapioca. Please, may I have some more? Another indication that sauciers are especially useful with semi-solids is their shorter wall-height.

Here's a site with a picture of each shape: Sauce Pans - Choosing a Good Saucepan for Home Cooking

post #4 of 5
That's a good site - easy to understand information. Good find!

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your information. I have boiled quite a few pots of water with it in the past few days, and like you have said, did not notice a tremendous difference in time to boil; but I did notice that once it boiled, I could hold it boiling by bringing the flame down to the lowest possible level...I am not sure if this be a function of the pot's ability to stay well insulated...or perhaps it is a testament to the gas...I have always had electric my whole life and could never keep water boiling on the low. By the way, much thanks for the link...great page!
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