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Apr 12, 2010 10:11 AM

Is this AC Copper Core"open fry pan" the best choice for my desired application?

We have a couple of 12" cast iron skillet/fry/saute pans (one is enameled-LC) about 2 & 2.5 quarts, respectively, which I enjoy using and have had for years. However, they are very heavy, and most importantly, it seems many of my recipes leave me ever-so-carefully turning the food over in the pan, with much of it spilling out over the sides as the pans are just too small for the recipes. (These are predominantly "lots of veggies" recipes-curries,etc) Reducing the size of my recipes is not an option for me, so I want a pan that will allow plenty of room for my ingredients and stirring/moving the food around. Please note that I am vegetarian, so anything to do with with browning meat, etc. is not a concern in my choice of pan.
I also want to be able to see my ingredients, if you know what I mean, so a large sauce pan or stock pot type don't really appeal. I have a 4 qt Tramontina sauce pan I love for other types of cooking.

I have come across this AC CC Open Fry Pan, which looks rather like a wok/chef's pan hybrid to me. It's 14" and fairly deep with sloping sides (I think it is about 4-5 quarts)

I am leaning toward the copper core since the sides are so long & high. Seems this might be a better choice for heat distribution in this situation. ?

I've also considered brasier pan, but not sure if one would be "Open" enough for my preference. Lastly, I could get a 5 quart stainless saute or possibly a nice large rondeau.
Rondeau: This 10 quart size would allow me to see the ingredients, but would it be overkill?

What's going to be the best type of pan (and/or brand if you prefer one-I'm not tied down to AC) for this application? I think I should have at least a 4 quart size. I don't buy cookware often, and am fairly a minimalist-I prefer a few pans I use often, so a versatile pan that does this job would be great. I don't mind spending the cash since I purchase infrequently.

I would LOVE to hear your opinions, experiences and recommendations!!

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  1. I just got out my largest diameter, round pot which is 12-1/2" and 4 qts. of water was about 2". But is the 14" descriiption across the top because the base looks significanty smaller to me. Also what is your heat source? If it's 14" on the bottom, you could have an issue there. Also I don't know what you mean about "seeing" the food. One final thing is that I would never in a million years spend that much money on something with no lid. A final suggestion is to go to the All Clad site and find out what the capacity is on that pan. You don't want to make a serious mistake, I'm sure.

    8 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Thanks! I've been filling up my pyrex & then my pans all morning! My cooking source is gas, and you are correct, the 14" is across the top, the portion that touches the stove is much smaller.
      I appreciate your concern on the lid (or lack thereof) I'm a bit wary of that myself- I think that's one reason I was considering the rondeau.

      Re: seeing the food-- Funny isn't it?? We all have our little preferences. I like to be able to get to the bottom of the pan quickly, turn the food over/stir easily and see the bottom of the pan with these types of dishes. Soups and such, it doesn't matter, so I use my dutch oven or sauce pan. But when I have many different veggies, I like to be able to see down in the pot quickly, and have the food more widely dispersed. Just a quirk, I guess! :)

      The pan is 5 quarts- I checked ;) . - What's your take on a good pan for my application? Thank you!

      And you are right on the money- I don't want to make a big mistake!! Hoping I receive some "seasoned" responses here (pun intended).

      1. re: dost

        I'm chuckling while typing. Tho' familiar with the term "rondeau" I really had no idea what it was so I googled. Well, son of a gun, it's the very pot I was using to measure 4 qts. of water into!!! I just think of it as a big pot with a wide diameter. If you're dying to spend a bunch of money, how 'bout this or some of the ones below it:

        Or if you want to spend a modest amount, this is basically what I have:

        The link above says 2 quart but what I copies was 8-1/2 quart. Hope it comes out right. It looks like it's a rondeau if it costs a lot of money or a stockpot if it doesn't. But you can sure as heck see the bottom :)

        1. re: c oliver

          Ha! So how do you like your rondeau/shallow stockpot? You are so right about how they market items! After researching a bit more, I'm thinking this pan might be the way to go and may even be more versatile than the open fry pan...

          So funny- I was actually looking into the exact same Mauviel, but with tin lining.... SS certainly is more durable..

          I think as far as pan materials, I'm looking into stainless triply or greater, or copper.

          My old anodized certainly was excellent for clean-up. I enjoyed cooking in it for years!

          1. re: dost

            I just recently switched to induction cooking so that pot along with a number of others are going to one of our daughters. I've really liked that wide base and the lid is a must-have for me. Most of the things I cook in a pot that large are eventually going to slow cook either on the stovetop or the oven. And, you're right, the LC etc. ARE heavy. I make very unladylike groans when picking them up full. Good luck on your newest purchase. Please report back.

          2. re: c oliver

            We have a rondeau/shallow stockpot made out of what I think is aluminum foil and plastic. The worst possible material. BUT the shape is divine. And it has a rolled lip that makes pouring so easy. Absolutely perfect. I love it but, alas, the teflon is flaking off. It is time to upgrade. But it is truly a versatile shape.

            1. re: E_M

              Thank you for the input about the usefulness of this shape. I'm sorry about the unfortunate materials with which your pan is made! :D The scales on the side of the shallow stockpot are getting heavier & heavier!

              1. re: dost

                I use this almost every day:


                I've also been lusting after the LC 6.75 wide round, which sounds like it might serve your purpose.

                1. re: pothead

                  Love those large pans. I had a Circulon one I used all the time, but I got rid of that set about a year ago, as I'm making the transition to CI, Copper, and Stainless Multi-ply cookware. I think All-Clad has a 5 quart that is pretty nifty, but I think I'm going to go for the rondeau because it will go from stove to table more easily (no long handle to put someone's eye out when the lazy susan spins 'round!