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Jul 10, 2008 08:38 AM

LC 12" Frypan or 4.5 qt cvrd Saute?

I am working on my wedding registry and could use some cookware advice. I already have a 12" All Clad frying pan on my registry and I would like to add one other type of fry/sauté pan. I would like to stay away from non-stick so I was thinking about the LC 12" frying pan, but I recently saw the 4.5 covered sauté pan at Williams Sonoma. The sauté pan has the standard LC enamel finish on the inside, whereas the frying pan has the black satin finish. I know both pans are not non-stick, but which one would be less likely two stick of the two?

Also, for a Dutch oven should I go with round or oval? I have an oval shaped cheapo pasta pot at home and I don't know if I imagine it, but it seems like it takes longer to heat up because of it's shape. So, I kind of lean towards the round shape, thought the oval has more cooking surface I guess.

Thank you!

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  1. Personally, I prefer saute pans to be made of a fast-reacting material -- for easy temperature changes -- becasue generally saute-pans are used in high-heat applications, thus heat control is imperative! Cast iron is great at holding heat and delivering heat, but poor at reacting to temperature changes. As far as which pan would stick less, that would be the satin-black finish.

    With the dutch oven, that is up to you... again, I personally prefer the oval. But I tend to cook more large cuts of meat (whole chicken, leg of lamb, etc.), versus soups or stews. Your oval pasta pot most likely takes longer than a round of similar size because it has more volume -- just like Le Creuset -- the 5.5qt round and the 6.75qt are similar sized, one has 1/6th more volume.

    1. first, congrats on the wedding.
      I think you definitely should have a saute pan among your cookware. I think it's the most versatile pan i regularly use (I have an all-clad). It's great for searing, then putting in the oven to finish. But before you buy a large LC saute pan, consider that it will be very very heavy, especially when it's full. I doubt i could comfortably lift it full with one hand. Stainless will stick for sure, but that's not necessarily a bad thing when you're cooking. A lot of times, for sauces, say, you want those little bits sticking to the pan and deglaze it with wine, for instance. Regarding LC oval and round, I have one of each, the round is I think 4 quarts, the oval somewhat bigger, like 6.75 or so, I believe. I use them for different things. I find the round is really too small to braise a good size pot of lamb shanks, or for osso bucco, though it's fine for a lot of other things. If you plan on using it on the cooktop mostly, I'd say go with the oval. If you're planning on making a large dish in the oven, I think the larger oval would be a better choice.

      1. hehe. I've been doing all sorts of research on this for my registry!

        I currently have a cast iron skillet in 8" and 10". the 10" is VERY heavy, so thats just for meat for the fiance and I. the 8" i use daily for my eggs.

        According to research, you're better off paying for a cheapo Lodge Logic skillet than investing in an LC one. Stick to the dutch ovens for LC!

        I'm registered for the round 5.5Q LC dutch oven. I debated the oval, but I don't find myself roasting much, if you're using your oval on electric or induction range, it doesn't heat evenly since the pot is not round. If its gas, then no worries!

        this is what i've got on my registry so far:

        AC 4Q chef's pan
        AC 12" fry pan
        AC 10" fry pan
        AC 6Q saute POT
        AC 3.5Q sauce pan
        LC 5.5Q round dutch oven in dune - neutral color so it'll always match my kitchen!

        I figured that was a good mix, some of the AC pieces are pricey! Those are pans I see myself using most often, I can add to the mix later with $$

        1. Instead of a saute pan, the pan that many people says gets the most use in their Le Creuset collections is the 3.5 qt. buffet casserole. It's about 12" in diameter, with two loop handles, and it has a domed lid. Useful for so many things, Another pan to consider is the All-Clad stainless 13" covered braiser. Similar to the Le Creuset one, this is larger, also with a domed cover, and just as useful. I like both of these choices more than the 12" LC frypan, which lacking a cover isn't as useful.

          I would start out with the 5.5 qt. round LC for just the two of you, and then add either the 7.25 round, or the 6.75 qt. oval later.

          3 Replies
          1. re: blondelle

            Blondelle - do you think the All Clad 4Q covered braiser would be deep enough for like a stir fry type of dish? I originally was looking at the 4Q covered chef's pan but can't decide which one would be better.

            What do you think?

            You make excellent points about the lacking cover on the fry pans! I was just thinking back to how my fiance cooks and he sometimes got pissed that we didn't have lids that fit over our nonstick fry pans!

            1. re: sarawithanh

              The braiser is a bit deeper than a fry pan, but not as deep as a chefs pan. I don't care for the chef's pan. If you can find one, a better, similar pan is the 4.5 qt. ragout pan, formerly called the James Beard pan. It has more bottom area than the chef's pan which makes it more useful, and you can do a stir fry in that, although it's doesn't have the same sized bottom as the braiser. Same domed lid, and helper handle. I think you can stir fry in the braiser. You can also saute, braise, fry, bake, steam, and roast in it. It's pretty enough to bring to the table, and it's a great all around pan.

              I don't care for the 6 qt. saute, as it's just too big with the long handle. You really don't need that handle as you can't flip a pan that large. The handle gets in the way in the oven, fridge and stovetop. The braiser is a more useful pan.

              All-Clad also makes a French Braiser with is a two loop handles 6 qt. rondeau with a domed lid, and a round roasting rack for the bottom. It's exclusive to Williams Sonoma. That's a very useful pan too, and deeper for dishes with more sauce.


              1. re: blondelle

                thanks for the tips blondelle - much appreciated!

          2. Congratulations on your wedding. I have the LC 4.5 saute' pan. I love it. If you have to choose one, that would be the one I recommend. I also like the oval dutch oven.