Advice on Pots - disk vs clad - Advice on Saute Pan

mbucovyFebruary 20, 2008

Note: I have a brand new Viking gas stove. YAY. Time to upgrade my cookware. I do already have an amazing cast iron fry pan/skillet by creuset and cast iron grill pan and 2 sized NS pans but the rest is junk.

I need a 7 to 8 qt soup/sauce pot and a 2 qt pot.

Is there any advantage to having disk (be it copper/aluminum interior & SS exterior or anodized non stick) VS all clad (up the sides) for these kind of pots?

It seems the disk would provide great heat on the bottom, heating up liquids fast but does the all clad achieve the same? There are many negative comments about all clad w/r/t the heat escaping off the sides. Isn't this irrelevant if the all clad cookware is holding liquids? So leads to disk or all clad for a big soup pot and a 2 QT sauce pot?

I am also replacing my current 5 qt NS cheap Sauté pan for a new one (I cook with solids and often finish with liquids a lot in this pan, like Mary). Should I go for the all clad up the sides even though I hear a lot of negativity about the heat escaping and not being able to sauté solids very well. I keep hearing for solids in a saute pan must go with disk as opposed to all clad. Is there a good all clad (up the sides) Sauté pan that still has a nice disk on the bottom for even heating sauté part? Any comments?

This is driving me nuts so any sound advice is great at this point and I'm just gonna go with it...

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I usually stay out of the disk vs. clad argument because I can never remember what the pros & cons are. And I don't care! Use common sense & pick the ones you feel will do the best job & feel balanced in your hand (& your pocketbook) - there are no wrong answers.

Personally, I like all of my pans (except stock pots) to be thick gauged & heavy regardless of whether they are cast aluminum, clad metal, copper, cast iron, or whatever - & I want that thickness all the way up the sides. I've had the same type pans (assorted brands) for 25+ years & I rarely burn anything.

My aging stock pots (Volrath) are commercial grade stainless with an aluminum disk bottom which allows me to boil liquids at high temps. or for long periods without the fear of scorching caused by hot spots. I imagine it also protects the bottom of the pan & keeps it from burning through. By being a single ply stamped stainless, albeit a heavy one, the weight is much less than an allclad pot, which is important to me with a 8-10 qt pot. If I'm making something that requires browning and/or slow cooking, I'll use a LeCreuset dutch oven because I can brown in it more conveniently than a tall stock pot & it holds heat better for slow cooking. If I could only have one, the LC would be a better choice because I could use it for both tasks - but I really love my Volrath stock pots.

I don't have a disk bottomed saute pan so I can't comment on them, but I have an original Calphalon saute, an old anodized Magnalite saute, a stainless All Clad saute, & a DeMeyere Atlantis skillet. All are heavy weight work horses that perform beautifully when cooking a solid that is finished with a liquid. It's like anything else in cooking - you have to apply the correct amount of heat to get the desired result.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 1:33AM
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I think I'll have to go with your seems to most straigh forward.

Go for the clad on the Saute Pan (up the sides) and a nice thick disk for my pots.

I think I'll get the Eware SS copper disk 8 Qt pot and the Cuisinart SS aluminum 2Qt.
I'm consdidering the DeMeyere saut pan or the Paderno I recently read about (If it's cald up the sides). The DeMeyere is really pricey though.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 5:28PM
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My only DeMeyere is a used skillet that I bought 1/2 price from a cooking school that was going out of business. It's worth every penny.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 6:11PM
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