I'm a cooking noob so bare with me :) I'm looking at buying my girlfriend a saute pan, 4-5 qt size range in size, 11 inch diameter max. After lots of research and some reading on this forum and whatnot, I'm leaning towards something indestructible with a bottom that stays flat when heated on a flat top oven (not induction) with a "copper core" base, stainless steel interior, riveted handle that can be put inside the oven. I'm not concerned with looks or brand name. Looking for a single saute pan in the $200 or less budget range. My problem is that I almost found what I was looking for with the "Sitram Catering" brand name but the handles are weak and spot welded prone to braking off (?? from what I've read)
I don't think I want Aluminum cores because when heated, aluminum has a thermal expansion that is quite a lot different than stainless steel, so prone to warping the bottoms.... whereas copper and stainless steel have very similar thermal expansions so less prone to warpage, but I suppose an aluminum core base isn't the end of the world..... also I've read that the side walls of the pans are not as important to have aluminum or copper cores, so I suppose I'm mainly just concerned with the base having the even heat distribution and thickness. Can anyone recommend any types of pans? there's just so many for a noob like me to research!
Also I'd like to stay away from non-stick surface pans.