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Jul 27, 2006 11:54 PM

How Big is Your Favorite Saucepan?

I'm looking for the Perfect Saucepan, and I already know what kind I want--I think--but I don't really know what size I need! I'm one person, cooking mostly for myself, but occasionally for other, much bigger eaters. So, I want something extremely flexible--big enough to make a batch of candy but not so big that I won't use it except out of necessity.

Happily, I know my fellow Chowhounders will have some suggestions... so, please, tell me all about your favorite saucepan: what it does, what you use it for, what it's made out of, etc etc etc. I am all ears! : )

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  1. For what you are talking about my "favorite' is our 5 qt Le Crueset Dutch Oven. We use it pretty much everday and never gets put away because of it.

    It's just so perfect because it can make stews, soups, braise. roast and it's not too heavy (We also have the 7 qt for monster jobs and I dunno how people could even DEAL with the 9 qt!)

    It's enamel cast iron, holds heat like nothing else, and if using the right tools, should last you a lifetime! :)


    1 Reply
    1. re: Dommy

      Yes, that is a perfect 'saucepan', although technically called a Dutch oven. Le Creuset makes the best, Emile Henry would be a close second. They are expensive, but the last pot you will ever need.

    2. My 2.5-quart, nearly-30-year-old Cuisinart has always been my favorite, best saucepan, and I have used it nearly every day for as long as I've had it, usually cooking for one or two people. I do have bigger pots for times when I need to cook bigger quantities.


      1. Can I list three?
        --3.5 quart ancient MagnaLite alumnium saucepan (the sole survivor of a multi-pot set)
        --2-quart All Clad master chef saucepan
        --10" Lodge cast-iron skillet
        With these three items, I do 80% of my daily cooking. One qualification: my household has only 2 people. Perhaps I'd use the larger pots more often if I cooked for more people on a regular basis. I'd love the whole set of AllClad MC pots, but can't justify the rather high cost. So until the handle falls of the Magna Lite, I'll keep on cooking with it.

        1. I regularly cook for two people. Every month or so we have 2-4 people over for a meal and I cook from scratch. For the last 3 years, my only saucepan was a flimsy but roomy (about 4 to 5 qts) steel one from a Tools of the Trade set that I got as a wedding gift. I used this for boiling pasta, making soups, curries, risottos and sauces in. It got hot spots and wasn't too good at holding heat, but was roomy enough. Recently I bought a Calphalon One Infused Anodized 4.5 qt saucepan that I love. It is heavy and so no hot spots, roomy enough for my needs. The only thing I like about my old one is that it has a rounder, flared base, while the Calphalon one has straight sides. I haven't cooked a bechamel in it yet, but whisking with a balloon whisk might be a problem. However, I don't make sauces often enough to have opted for any of the various sauciers available. Calphalon One pans are super easy to clean and maintain and just a joy to cook with. If you have those Bed, Bath and Beyond 20% off coupons, even better!

          1. My All Clad 12" pan...3" non-stick.

            My mom's old Revereware sauce pan..2 qt.

            Oh..and my All Clad non-stick 12" round grill pan.