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Sauce pans vs. Sauciers

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

If you were going to buy only one or the other, which would you go for..say, the All Clad sauce pan or the saucier, both in the 3 or 4 quart cap. range? Is the All Clad in this product worth the extra money or would you go with another brand? Thanks for your input!


post #2 of 4

Sauce pan or saucier?  Doesn't make much difference really.  You can whisk a sauce in a straight sided sauce pan about as well as you can in a saucier, and you can do as good a job cooking minted peas in a saucier as you can in a sauce pan.  Given equal volumes a saucier is a tiny bit more efficient for reduction but that's about it.


All Clad is generally regarded as good stuff, although one of the mods here had a nightmare experience.


In our drive to replace nearly all of our cookware with new stuff this year we ended up with several large pieces of All-Clad's older line of stainless/aluminum/stainless; a 12" saute pan, a 6qt high side saute pan, and a 4qt sauce pan, all with lids.  They've got comfortable handles, aren't too heavy, are well made, handle well, and all performed exactly as hoped.


I used the 4qt to cook Brussel sprouts for thanksgiving.  They cooked.  They were Brussel.  They were sprouts.  What else can you say?


Perhaps they don't heat quite as evenly as some of our other new cookware -- high-zoot Mauviel 2.5mm copper/stainless, but the All-Clad certainly heats very evenly and are a heck of a lot lighter and faster.


In terms of sheer bang for the buck, you can certainly do better than All Clad -- even within the context of high-end multi-ply.  Calphalon, for instance; or Vollrath Tribute if you don't mind the industrial look -- my wife hates it, we don't own it.  There's a lot of great stuff out there, but I just went through handicapping a gazillion knives for someone else and am still too traumatized to do it with pots. 


Also, if saving money is important, you don't gain much from multi-ply walls on high-sided pans.  When you're cooking with lots of liquid the liquid itself spreads the heat, and a healthy sandwich bottom is good enough.  On Sale! Always good.


Some cookware is so crummy you have to work around it.  But that's the extreme low end.  As with a lot of cooking equipment, a lot depends on how you see your kitchen and yourself in it.  All-Clad -- it doesn't matter which line -- certainly won't impose any more limits on your cooking than anything else with a stainless interior. 


Even though it doesn't work any better than our other junk, I get a huge kick out of cooking homey foods lie barbecue sauce in the copper, because it's such a disconnect.  That's not saying "buy copper."  Rather, don't underestimate the importance of looks and the all important "because you're worth it."  If you can afford it, knock yourself out. 



post #3 of 4

I'm confused by the american terminology.


One is a straight sided pan, the other a kind of bowl shaped pan .


A saucier for me is a red faced guy constantly sneaking out back to smoke a Disc Bleu or Galoise (sp?),  or also  a boat shaped container for holding sauce at the table.


The bowl shaped one, a.k.a. "Sauteuse" (straight sided ones are called a "sautoir")  designed for reducing a'la minute sauces (bowl shape promotes better evaporation) and the shape also allows the whisk to get into the "corners" of the pan ad supposedly incorporate more air. 


However, as BDL  concludes, as do I, a pan is just a pan and for the most part, I use them interchangeably. 


That being said, in many parts of Europe one cooks on an electric hotplate--kind of like a griddle--not on open burners,  and the sautoirs have a slight advatntage in that they don't hog as much space. Then again, the sauteues do a better job with a'la minute sabayons and for making hollandaise. 


Meh, they both boil water just as fast..........

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

And add to that, my confused state while being told in a cooking class that if i wanted to make a "perfect" reduction sauce, I certainly needed the saucier with the bulging sides. I think, all in all, as Foodpump and BDL say, a pan is just a pan that is just a pan, so get over it and buy what you want, what you can afford and what will make you get up earlier just to get in the kitchen start the rattle.


With that said, i think i will wade off into the fray with the 1 quart AC lidless saucier accompanied by the 3 qt. AC sauce pan with lid and bring up the rear with, from what i read, the 12" AC SS fry pan that becomes the workhorse in any kitchen. I already got sucked in to the sale on the Anniversary AC 10" fry pan, but seems a little small for some jobs...oh, and add to that, I succumbed to more forum chatter a while back and got the de Buyer fry pan, small and large saucepan in the Mineral config and they really do a good job, but you have to include handling those heavy bruisers as part of your gym routine.

Thanks for all the encouragement, rationalization support and otherwise experienced input to this little inquiry.....I'm sure I will bother the braintrust again for more wisdom and general cajoling.

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