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Oct 11, 2010 08:41 AM

Advice - building cookware collection - All Clad sizes/shapes?

I'm replacing most of my cookware and would love some feedback. So far I've assembled
Le Creuset 5 qt brasier
All Clad 12 in fry with lid
All Clad 3 qt saucier with domed lid
Lodge 12 in skillet
De Buyer 9.5 in crepe

I'm contemplating the following (would love suggestions or recommendations for alternatives):
Le Creuset 9 qt round dutch oven
All Clad 2 qt sauce
All Clad 3 qt saute (vs. 3 qt sauteuse - thoughts?)
All Clad 4 qt sauce (vs. 4 qt soup - thoughts?)

I also have a somewhat inexpensive non-stick skillet as well as some cheapie SS pieces to fill in as I build my collection.

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  1. I might skip 3qt saute at this point. I guess I might be able to manage most of things with the 12 inch fry pan and 5qt braiser you already have, so to me the saute pan or sauteuse is nice to add but it can wait for a while. I would rather want to have a stockpot first (not necessarily the AC stockpot, though) instead because I want to make a stock especially for recipes for winter time. I cook a lot of braising and stews etc and using own stock brings always better final products than the store bought stock. I might make a stock with 9qt DO if I don't have any stockpot, but to use the big 9qt DO to make a stock is too cumbersome for me as a small person. I hope my random thoughts are benefitial to you.

    1. I agree with hobbybaker on holding off on the 3qt saute/sauteuse, since you're just building your collection. You can probably do everything you need to in your 12" skillet (which will have about the same surface area as the 3qt saute/sauteuse), the 5qt LC braiser (which I think will have even more surface area and deeper sides) and/or your 3qt saucier. Instead, I'd focus on saucepans -- a 2qt and a 4qt seems perfect to me, especially since you have the 3qt saucier.

      If you don't have a stockpot that could also be a good idea, though I wouldn't spend All Clad money on one. A 9qt LC french oven seems ENORMOUS to me, but that sort of thing depends entirely on how much you cook ... and how much you can lift!

      3 Replies
      1. re: herring

        Thank you. I actually think the 3 qt seems a little small to me. I wish there was something between the diameter of the 3/4 qt sautes and the 6 qt saute. I like to have a one pot dinner pan and feel like I'm missing that right now. The LC brasier can do the job sometimes but it doesn't always fit the bill.
        I've got a stock pot but can't say that I've used it for anything beyond vegetable soup. I feel like I want the 9 qt DO for the versatility. With a 5 qt brasier the smaller DOs just seem small to me!

        1. re: olympia

          Funny, because I initially bought a 5qt LC braiser and exchanged it for the 3qt because it seemed too big! So of course much of this depends on what you cook and how many people you cook for -- I have a 7 1/4 LC and use it probably once a month and have NEVER wished for anything larger. My 4.5 LC and 3qt saute pans/skillets/sauciers get much more of a daily workout. But if you need 9qts to make a one-pot meal, go for it!

        2. re: herring

          Count me in on holding off on the 3qt saute. I actually have the 4 qt saute that also doubles as my large frying pan. I have every intention of adding a 12' fry but never felt the need. Point being, the 12" fry will likely do anything the 3qt saute would.

          I have both the 2 and 4qt sauce pans. I use both, the 2 more than the 4. I would actually like another 2qt sauce. My well-meaning husband bought the 4 qt as a gift when I really wanted a second 2 qt.

        3. My most used pieces are the All Clad 3 qt saute pan and lid, I got it as part of an LTD set from Williams-Sonoma more than a decade ago, it accompanied a 10 in fry pan, which tends to be too small for many uses. The 3 qt saute pan is a great size for larger fish fillets, braise or saute of greens, and many one-pan meals including pasta dishes. Even the 4 qt size, which is simply deeper rather than larger diameter, would be an extremely useful piece.

          The saucepan size depends on your cooking, 2 qt is okay for making a quart or so of ice cream base, and concentrated sauces, but insufficient for most pasta sauces, where 4 qt is a better bet.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dan D

            Do you find the 3 qt big enough? I wish there was something with a bigger diameter without going all the way up to the 6 qt sauté. Should I look at the 11 or 13 French skillet or would they be too short?

          2. I use my all clad 2 quart sauce a lot. For soups, stewy stuff, making pasta, popcorn...

            1. I have all the pieces you are contemplating. Of them I use the AC SS 4 qt soup with 2 short loop handles all the time, and hardly ever use the 4 qt saucepan. They are pretty much the same shape and I don't like the weight shift that the long handle adds to the pot. I need two hands on the handle to maneuver it when full. It is the version that doesn't have the loop handle on the other side.

              I also have the 2 qt rice pot which is basically the 2 qt sauce pan with 2 short loop handles instead of the single long handle. These 2 pots are probably my most used AC SS pots. I think you get the way this is going. The same is true of the 3 qt sauteuse (AC D5 SS) with short handles and use it much more than the older design 3 qt saute. The 3 qt sauteuse is 10.5 inches in diameter. I am pretty sure the 3 qt saute is the same; I'm not near it right now to check.

              I do have a 4 burner gas stovetop where the burners are fairly close together and so this may be influencing my pot and pan preferences more than I realize. If you like using long handles, then you may be happier with the opposite choices.

              I like the LC 9qt but do also have a 6 qt round and a 3.5 qt buffter/braiser. All 3 pieces get used pretty frequently in cool weather months. If I were just going to have one round LC, I would probably go in between the 9 and 6 for the 7.25 qt round or 6.75 qt wide french oven.

              I hope you find this helpful, -sou