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French Skillet vs. Saute Pan

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm trying to figure out if there's any significant difference between an All-Clad 13" French Skillet (available locally to me in a d5 variant for $180 with a lid) and a 6qt saute pan ($250+). Fairly close in size, slightly different shape...that's about all I can see. When I went to induction, my old Wolfgang Puck cheapo disc based saute pan no longer functioned, so I've been stuck using my Le Creuset enameled braiser for size, but it doesn't quite work the same as steel for searing, etc. 


The point is, am I missing something or should I just save the money and go with the French Skillet?



post #2 of 3

The saute pan has a higher side. 


The shape difference matters in terms of the volume of liquid; how much of the bottom you can use; how easy it is to stir the pot with food in it; how easy it is to get the transition between side and bottom with a spoon or whisk; etc. 


The shape difference also matters because the straight-sided saute pan takes up significantly less stove-top real estate. 


The skillet's edge does not have a lip -- the absence makes for sloppy pouring. 


The skillet is better if you plan to cook things which require a lot of turning. The skillet is better for cooking with a small amount of liquid, the saute pan is better for cooking in rather more liquid -- as for braises.  


Whether these differences will mean much to you in terms of your planned usage is not for me to say; but there they are.



post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Yes, thanks.


Best I can tell, the Saute is about 2.75" deep and the and Skillet is about 2". Size matters, no matter what my wife says. The 6qt saute is just about 13" across. I am interested in seeing the size of the base of the 13" skillet...i.e. the surface upon which I can put food. 


I believe the lip is less of an issue for me (I can't think of many/any occasions where I've poured out of a large saute but who knows when it could be handy). 


And for braises, I do have my Denby enameled cast iron (rather than the LC previously stated). 

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