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Dec 26, 2007 12:01 PM

Do I Need a Saucier?

Sauciers are so sensual, I'm thinking I must have one for my kitchen. But do I really need it? How do you use your saucier, and are there things that you make in it that won't work in a saucepan or skillet? What size is nice - I usually cook things in medium quantities to serve 4 to 6 people.

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  1. I think you know the answer -- when you are cooking for two or three couples there is really no advantage to the shape, as the difference in making a sauce in a 1 or one and half qt sauce pan is minimal, especially as you'd likely have a 10 or smaller skillet.

    Now if you where making a large quantity, the pan you might be using would be much larger and if kept it in there it would be so shallow as to evaporate away. Similarly if transfered all the sauce to a normal pot it would be so deep that you would have harder time whisking.

    I suppose it you "started" with a saucier you could call it an "all purpose" pan/pot, useful for everything from boiling water for one or two portions pasta, reheating soup and oh-by-the-way, great for making a few quarts of sauce, but that is sort of cheating ;^)

    1. I happen to love the saucier. Risotto, Polenta, Chocolate sauce, custards...Have a small, medium and large.

      1. I've used a four quart saucier from Calphalon for years. My second one has worn out and I'm looking to replace it with another one.

        I use my saucier more than all my other pots and pans combined. I often cook in large quantities so I can freeze easy meals. I use my saucier for most everything because I can be lazy and stir without having to be careful about slopping things over the sides. I brown hamburger, make Jamaican meat pie filling, one-pot meals, Spanish rice, curries, tacos, Sloppy Joes, brown onions for recipes. The sloped sides make incorporating ingredients easy and I don't have to dig at square edges with a round spoon! :) I only use my stock pots when I need the quantity. Since my new saucier will be bigger (5.5 quarts), I may never use my stock pots!

        I am not alone in loving this pan. See

        3 Replies
        1. re: SailingChef

          Thank you! I needed someone to justify my need for a saucier. How is the weight on a pan that large? I think a pan with a helper handle is a necessity, don't you. My 3 quart all-clad saucepan is pretty heavy when it has food in it.

          1. re: Linda513

            My old saucier is 4 quarts and it can certainly be heavy. But, I have realized that I never lift it! I tend to scoop out whatever I've cooked, either to plate it up or scoop into freezer containers. Even if I've browned onions, it's usually so I can then add other stuff to that pot.

            I'm getting two new sauciers it turns out! Thanks to some help here, I acquired a 3 quart SS All-Clad and a 4 1/2 quart special edition All-Clad. Both are on clearance right now at Williams-Sonoma. The first is $75 and the second is $90. I was able to find the 3 quart in stock locally, but had to call another store for the 4 1/2 quart and have it shipped. If you call the 1-800 number, you'll pay the full $180 for the larger pan and $150 for the smaller! But, they can tell you who has them in stock on their clearance racks. But, hurry, they just went to these low prices on Thursday and are probably selling out quickly.

          2. re: SailingChef

            Great article -- I probably have it at home in my pile of forgotten magazines. I especially like its blunt description on the advantages of a fully clad pan vs a disk bottom.

          3. Along the lines of "Nobody really NEEDS a flat screen TV/surround sound system/saucier" it is one of my favorite (luxury) pieces of go-to kitchen gear for certain things. Because of the shape, making risotto in the saucier is easier and creamier than using a straight-sided pan. Polenta is also easier in this pan with the nice wide surface. For some reason, I don't get burned as often with those little polenta volcanoes in this pan as with some others. I also use it for wilting large amounts of spinach or other greens; again the sloped sides are a plus. When reducing a large amount of liquid, I reach for my saucier.

            I probably wouldn't have bought the expensive Viking pan that I own but since it was a gift, I have no compunction about loving it. Use it daily.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sherri

              Do you feel a 3 qt. saucier can replace a 3 qt. standard saucepan. I much prefer the shape of a saucier, but I was wondering if there are any saucepan uses that the saucier shape wouldn't work for.

              1. re: blondelle

                If there are, I haven't found anything the saucier cannot do that a sauce pan can do. Doesn't mean it isn't out there, it just means that I don't know about it. (My saucepan has been gathering dust for the past five years since this baby came into my life). The lack of 90 degree corners where the sides meet the bottom make stirring a breeze. I rarely have "forgotten" bits using the saucier. Love this pan. BTW, the Viking has a very long handle that stays cool. According to CI, some of the others with shorter handles get pretty hot.

            2. jfood has 2 sauciers, one with 2 "U" handles and the other with 1 "U" handle on one side and a long handle on the other. He likes the latter better.

              When he bought his first one 10 years ago the lady in the store told him this would be the most used pan he ever bought. She was right. Could not live without them.

              Both are NS from Calphalon.

              BTW - potholders are a must.