Which is it? disk bottom vs. all clad for fry vs. saute pan
I did a search and have been reading a lot of older posts and I skimmed the egullet primer on cookware.
I came to the conclusion that for a
frying pan - a disk bottom was ok if not better because you want high heat on the bottom and nothing is usually touching edges of the pan, so why bother with heat up the sides. I.e.: Fried pork chops, bacon, sausages, pancakes etc.
And that for a saute pan where you may also desire high heat on the bottom to saute the veggies or brown meat you may still want to compromiseand get an all clad for heat up the sides because you more often add liquid and do a reduction utilizing the browned bits or like risotto's with sauteed mushrooms or a stir fry. If you are just carmelizing or sauteing veggies with no liquid use a fry pan with just a disk on the bottom.
These below posts are both the opposite and don't seem right to me.
#1 by JS Fox
For sauteing I'll always recommend a good disk bottom. For a good saute you need a ton of heat on the bottom which a disk bottom will give you. (marys1000 - by having to heat the bottom only to heat the entire sauce - don't you risk burning the bottom?)
Tri-ply will waste heat on the sides where you don't need it and the alum core is usually about half the thickness of the alum in a disk. Unless you have a 30k btu burner you really need a disk bottom for this. Similar for sauce pans and stock pots - the ply on the sides provides very little if any benefit and can be a drawback since it wastes heat up the sides (that heat goes up into the air and very little goes into the liquid) (marys1000 - goes up into the air? you mean on the outside of the pan - but the inside of the sides of pan is still heating the sauce which is a good thing right?)
and because the alum in tri-ply is thin - including on the bottom where you really need it.
For a fry-pan you want an even temp on the sides otherwise you can have problems with things sticking and uneveness of heat so tri-ply is a good choice here. (marys1000 - what is touching the side of a fry pan?)
#2 by gardenlad in response on a different post
Funny, I always thought of it the other way.
Disk on bottom makes sense for things that do not have to be surrounded by heat; such as when making sauces. It ok for the heat to be concentrated just on the bottom.
(marys1000 - What? Sauces go up the sides of the pan, why wouldn't you want a sauce or reduction to be surrounded by heat?)
For searing, pan frying, etc., you want the entire skillet to heat up. So I prefer the fully clad for those items.
(marys1000 - why when food in frying pans typically don't touch the sides? Unless your frying chicken in an inch of oil which is sort of a special case)
There may be technical reasons otherwise, but I feel a lot of this depends on your cooking style. For instance, with skillets I do a lot of shaking and flipping of the pan, rather than stirring with a spoon or spatula. So for me it's especially important that the whole pan be hot (marys1000 - but ultimately unless you really have a ton of food in the pan, don't they rest and cook on the bottom?)
. But I stir sauces and the like, so disc-bottoms are fine for pots and saucepans. (marys1000- the sauce is still always touching the side of the pan)