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Jun 2, 2006 08:53 AM

Pan size for risotto

  • s

WHat type of pan do you use to make risotto? A saute pan? A dutch oven? A sauce pot? Does it make a difference?

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  1. I'm sure others will have their opinions but I started off using my mom's old Farberware 2 qt. hand-me-down pot because I couldn't afford my own cookware at the time and it worked just fine.

    If I could live off risotto, I would. I think technique matters more in this dish than the cooking equipment itself. Oh, and maybe a wooden spoon.

    For me anyway - I make a 1st class one in that old Farberware even tho I now own lots of great high quality cookware. I see no difference.


    3 Replies
    1. re: sivyaleah

      Ha! Same here - sometimes (most often, truth be told) an old Farberware 2 qt that I've had for 30+ years, sometimes one of the pieces of traditional thick iron-handled tin-lined French copper that I collect. No difference.

      1. re: FlyFish

        Are the sides high? Are they higher than the pan is wide?

        1. re: sandys

          I had always just thought of it as a "standard" (whatever that means) shaped saucepan, but you made me curious, so I took out my carefully calibrated and impeccably clean plastic ruler . . . The old Farberware 2 qt saucepan is 6" in diameter and 3-1/2" deep. I sometimes use the 3 qt when I'm making a larger quantity - that one is 7" by 4".

    2. I have a heavy Calphalon chef's pan (rounded bottom) that is about 1/4 inch thick. Never burns, not non-stick but easy to clean.

      1. I use a 3 quart non-stick Calphalon saucepan to make risotto for 4. I think you want a compromise between keeping the risotto cooking at a simmer and simply boiling the stock away. I used to do mine in a Copco enamelled cast-iron saucepan which had the perfect shape - slightly conical with a wider top than the bottom, like a saucier - but it was a PITA to clean. If you're feeding a lot of people (and have much stronger arms than I do), use a bigger saucepan. I would not use a saute pan, the surface area is too big and allows the stock to boil too quickly before the rice can cook. JMHO of course.

        1. I use a cast iron pan. Use a pan that's not too large and not too deep, so that the onion and rice base you start with fully covers the bottom of the pan. Also, go deeper not wider if you're making larger quantities.

          1. I use my 10 inch Macy's stainless tools of the trade chicken fryer. Great evaporation and a large surface.