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Jan 6, 2010 06:39 AM

A chef's love letter to la rondeau....

ooooh! I totally want one....

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  1. I'm right there with you. I read that article yesterday and immediately set out to Google my way through the myriad of web sites in search of the perfect rondeau. But gosh, the prices range from $500.00 to $19.99. How the heck does one decide??

    7 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Gio, the main issue is size. Our most versatile pot falls within the article's definition of rondeau. Ours was called Demeyere Apollo Mussel Pot; now it is called Demeyere Resto Mussel Pot: It is affordable and very versatile. Do not ignore the domed top, which has uses independent of the bottom.

      The mussel pot is "only" 3.2 liters, which some people think is "small." We find it is easier to cook in smaller (but large enough) pots than in too-large pots; your opinion is the only one that counts.

      1. re: Gio

        I have several Sitram pots and they have held up very well over the years:

        1. re: MMRuth

          Thank you MMR and Politeness. More food for pots.. er, I mean thought.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I have two sizes of Paderno Grand Gourmet Rondeax, both from Bridge Kitchenware, and they some of the most used pots in my kitchen. I reach for them for boiling pasta, corn on the cob, and making tomato sauce. I make soup in them, and will use them the same way as I use a Dutch oven. Their thick bottoms are so great the virtually nothing burns on the bottom, and in that way makes them a better choices than even my beloved LeCreuest and Staub Dutch Ovens.

            I am considering trying a piece of Sambonet, which actually has a 7 mm aluminum disk bottom, making it thicker still on the bottom than the Paderno Grand Gourmet, but I have had other things to think about before spending money on yet another pot.

            1. re: RGC1982

              I'm really craving a rondeau now. I often wish I had another large pot - I have a LC dutch oven, and then a large cheap aluminium stock pot. It's sounding like a good birthday gift! (As, actually, were my other Sitram pots, about 20 years ago!)

              1. re: RGC1982

                BTW Paderno of Italy is the Manufacturer of the Sambonet cookware, they each have a 7mm bottom.

                1. re: mrpotsnpans

                  The bridge site used to say, at least when I bought my pots, that the bottom was 5 mm. If they are the same, I will save my money.

          2. This is actually the next cookware purchase decision I have to make. Do I want the large Le Creuset Braiser, Sitram Rondeau or iittala Tools large saute - they are all broadly the same type of thing ... and I'm useless at decision making.

            1. I wonder what the difference is between a rondeau and a sauteuse. I'm guessing the rondeau has somewhat higher sides.

              I bought this All-Clad sauteuse maybe six or seven years ago and it's become--other than my CI skillets--one of my most-used pots. I now use it instead of my LC for much of my braising--and a lot else, as well. It's also handsome enough to bring directly to the table. I see that AC now makes one with a copper core. I don't recall that being available when I bought mine, but I'd certainly consider it if I were buying it now.

              Love the idea of a rondeau, but wonder if this isn't even more versatile--at least, if you're not cooking regularly for very large groups.


              4 Replies
              1. re: JoanN

                I believe that a sauteuse has rounded sides to facilitate stirring or whisking sauces. My sauteuse, which is a Demeyere clad Atlantis pot, is THE most used pot in my kitchen, and it wonderful for stirring, as their are no edges inside the pot where the side wall meets the bottom.

                I see that the AC has loop handles on both sides, rather than on long handle. Probably easier when lifting if it is full of liquid.

                1. re: RGC1982

                  Don't think so, because if you look at the photo in the link I posted above, my sauteuse has straight sides. Is that what yours looks like?

                  Mine isn't really a pan for making sauces; it's more for sauteing and braising. But I have seen quite a few pans that are called sauteuses that do indeed have rounded sides. This nomenclature is all very confusing. After all, rondeau just means "round." Can any round pot or pan be called a "rondeau"? Is there any other characteristic that distinguishes a rondeau from a large saucepan or a wide stockpot?

                  1. re: JoanN

                    If you do a google images search on rondeau + pan and you will see there is disagreement.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      Interesting, and yes, you are right. I give up on these names already. Too confusing with the sauteuse name.

                      On the other hand, every rondeaux I see always seems to look like a shorter Dutch oven.

                2. Two perfect rondeaus are the 6.75 qt. Le Creuset low wide risotto pot and the All-Clad French braiser with domed lid and flat rack. These are both about 12" in diameter and have a 4" or so side height. If you do more oven roasting and braising I would go with the LC.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: blondelle

                    Here is the baby one I have. However it's a bit too low in terms of spitting fat over your range.

                    But there is a cost difference.

                    1. re: Paulustrious

                      Forgot the picture. You can see that I had a different idea in my head about what a rondeau.


                      I have the cheap Tramontina version of this, but it is called a braiser by them.

                  2. I just got a 10 qt. All Clad rondeau, recently. I haven't used it for it's best purposes, yet, though...but it worked great for making vegetable beef soup, the other day. I'm short and I was able to see inside the pot; with my 12 quart stock pot I have to stand on my tippee toes. ;-)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Beckyleach

                      Oh! I should add: also, for years I've had the 6 qt. All Clad stainless "stock pot" which is actually wide and squat; more of a rondeau shape. It is probably THE most used of all my All Clad, aside from the 3 quart saucepan.

                      1. re: Beckyleach

                        when i went away for school i was equipped with a cuisinart set of pots, it was just enough... frying pan, two pots and what i called a "stock pot". it was definitely not a stock pot but i didn't have another name for it and now i know it is a rondeau!

                        i can definitely say that i prefer it over a stock pot very much for the same reason as beckyleach, i have no issues peering into it even when it's on the back burner. it's gone through the paces in my oven and on my stove top making countless things, i couldn't imagine not having it. so all who want one, i would highly suggest it!