Need to choose 4 pc All Clad
I have gone over this for a month now--I have decided to add some upgraded cookware pieces but cannot decide exactly what to choose.
I do a lot of stir-fry type meals and a lot of casseroles that consist of sauteed components. I am trying to do more with sauces. Right now I primarily use a 12" NS frypan that has seen better days and a 10" stir fry pan than I actually received free from a grocery store chain as part of a promotional campaign.
After reading many reports about non-stick, I decided against any of the All Clad NS products. After talking to someone at a local high-end cookware store and doing some research, I ended up ordering a 10.25" Scanpan Classic to handle my NS needs.
One thing I know I want is a 2 Qt Saucier--given what I do, I think that is big enough, but I am open to arguments in favor of a 3 Qt. I was also pretty certain I wanted a 6 Qt Saute pan until I read some comments earlier on this forum about the size and weight.
Since I already have a smaller 10" stir fry for quickie meals, I decided the 12" Chefs Pan would be the better choice over either the 10" or the 14" stir fry.
But I still am a little concerned about the size of the 4 Qt saute. I tried a cheaper 5.5 Qt saute pan from Costco and, while I didn't like the way it cooked, I did like the size. I am concerned that the 10+" diameter of the 4 Qt saute is a little small--in using my 12" fry pan, I have found that I like the larger diameter for some tasks.
So here is my current lineup:
1. 2 Qt Saucier
2. 12" Chef Pan
3. 4 Qt Saute Pan
4. 13" Braiser or 13" Paella or 6 Qt Buffet Casserole
I am looking for suggestions, comments, criticisms. Thanks.
Azdak - I might consider this All-Clad 4 qt saute/simmer pan, which is a hybrid of suate and saucier pan.
This link is their new version of D5 and price is $149. However, they still have SS tri-ply version ($129) at OUTLET STORE, which you can enjyoy 30% off at the moment, making it around $100. I saw dozen of them the week before. I think this is a very good price. This saute/simmer pan is WS exclusive version and so far I have never seen those at other places. I believe 2 qt saucier is too small for your needs. If you prefer saucier, you might be better off with 3qt or even with 5.5 qt if your cook main meals in it, depending on the # in your household. But i think All-Clad Sauciers are more expensive than the 4qt SS try-ply saute/simmer pan even at cookwareandmore has excellent prices for 2nd sauciers if price is your concern.
You might also consider: Le Creuset 3.5 chef's pan. Le Creuset OUTLET is offering 35% off for their SS line, which makes it around $100, too. They are made in China, but very sturdy and nice. Also, LC SS chef's pan has a rolled rim so if you do direct poring often, it is better. The pan also has a helper handle. It is quite helpful when the pan is full.
All-Clad 2qt and 3qtsauciers (Tri-ply) have neither of them although they have another 3qt version with a poring lip.
I know it takes quite time but I personaly enjoy thinking about the best choice. Also, people here is very helpful and you will get good insights. Goodluck for your search and scout!
Thanks for your input. I am sticking w/all-clad because of the availability of pieces at the outlet store mentioned by trakman (that was my original source for the pieces I listed). When you purchase 4 pcs, they take an extra 20% off the discounted outlet price. I suppose I could hit a number of different outlet sources like you mentioned, but, given the problems I am having just deciding on 4 pieces, I might not EVER buy anything ;-)
I went out and visited some stores today and looked at some pieces. I agree that the 2 Qt Saucier is too small and will go w/the 3 Qt size. I also looked at the 4 Qt saute and it is too small. The 6 Qt is a big mother, but the 4 Q is definitely too small. As a compromise, I think I am going w/the 6 Qt Buffet Casserole which has the same dimensions as the 6 Q Saute, but not the long handle. I am sticking w/the 12' Chef Pan and I think I am going back to a casserole -- in this case an MC2 5 Qt casserole. The MC2 is a little less expensive and the 5 Qt size means it won't be a duplicate to something I already have.
6 qt casserole is what I am looking for next, too. I finally bought AC 3qt SS Saucier with a helper handle and a domed lid recently, which is very similar to AC copper core 3qt saucier. (Actually I had just bought a LC 3.5 chef's pan and ended with returning it although I like it, too.) It was on sale at Bloomingdales as a closeout, priced for $82!! It has a rolled rim, too. I have never seen this model even at cookware and more or any retail stores. It looks like this:
I guess I am a kind of person, who really want to see and feel it before placing order so I have never bought at cookware and more for 2nd pieces, but I understand the extra 20% surly make deals sweeter;)
Hence my haunting of Bed, Bath and Beyond, Williams-Sonoma, and Sur la Table the last couple of weeks.
It has definitely changed my mind more than once when I have actually gotten the pieces in my hands. In fact, none of the pieces I eventually buy will be the pieces I originally had on my list 3 wks ago.
I know your pain to look around. I did so many visits BBB, WS, WS outlet, LC outlet, SLT, Bloomies, Macys etc etc. I hope they don't remember my face:) I changed my mind, too, such as my smaller saucier about 1 qt. I almost bought AC 1qt saucier and changed my mind to Mauviel SS, which is an exception for me placing order before actually seeing it in person. I have been waiting it coming:) By the way, I am not considering MC2 even though the price is sweet as I might relocate to countries where induction stoves are majority. Is Induction not your consideration? With AC SS, you are free from this concern as it is induction ready. I am just wondering because you will invest significant $ this time so you don't want to see you switch to induction and you cannot use MC2 on it. Anyway, it might be only my concern but I do choose AC SS for this economical reason not beause it is shiny look.
I have found the MC2 versions to be just fine. Unlike the shiny stainless AC stuff, which shows every scratch, et al, the MC just hides them in the brushed exterior. I suppose that might offend those who think cookware is display stuff, but as far as I am concerned, its for cooking. Looks are secondary, and the MC2, being cheaper but just as good as the shiny stuff, works for me.
I LOVE the MC2 versions; I have two of the dark anodized finish pans, then switched to the MC2.
I bought a set a few years back and got the 31/2 quart casserole. Didn't think i'd use it much. Turns out I use it every week at least once.
I love the 8 quart stockpot.
I use the 10 inch frypan more often than I thought I would.
I have alway argued that the best way to buy non stick pans is cheaply, since they all will eventually get scratched, and why pay All Clad or Calphalon prices for something that is going to go south. I use Tramontina brand, available at any Bed Bath and Beyond for about $18 bucks for a 10" saute pan. As far as the size issue, you can always cook 4 qts of something in a 5 qt pan, but you cant cook 5 qts in a 4 qt pan. Buy the larger.
If you are into All Clad, check out the irregular prices at the following web site. And their idea of an irregular is a small scratch which, in two weeks in your kitchen, you will never know was there. I get all my All Clad at this place