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Mar 5, 2011 09:28 AM

Need guidance on 2 qt pot

I'm looking for a smaller pot. I've been replacing two old, cheap sets of pots and pans a piece or two at a time. From the old sets I had several assorted smaller sized sauce pans to choose from but now that they're getting donated to good will it's time for something new. I'm thinking of the All Clad D5 2 qt sauce pan, the 1.5 qt sauce pan and the 2 qt saucier. Any recommendations for what would be best and why?
I've also got a 3 qt saucier and 4 qt sauce pan from All Clad if that helps you help me :) Thanks!

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  1. This is not a hugely consequential decision: they're all similar pots that will do about the same things for you. I might be inclined towards the 1.5 qt, since the .5 qt probably doesn't make much difference in a pot that size, and it's $50 cheaper. Then again, if you're willing to spend that sort of money for a small saucepan, you might as well go for the Falk "Try Me" piece, which is around the same price.

    1. How do you frequently use the ~2qt saucepans you've had?

      21 Replies
      1. re: souvenir

        Caramel, beschamel, balsamic glaze, ice cream custard, etc. Also, hard boiling eggs. The older pots definitely scorched on the sides. I use the smaller sizes infrequently but I definitely want to get a good replacement.

        1. re: olympia

          I want to be invited to dinner.

          1. re: pothead

            Any night of the week! You can bring the wine :)

          2. re: olympia

            olympia: For all these things, unless you are limited by heat source (induction), I would suggest you go straight to copper. Tinned if you can find it, SS-lined if not.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              I have gas now and would love to give copper a try. I'm a little hesitant because I have no idea if I'll have induction in the future. If I ran across a great deal or a used piece I'd snap it up but paying full price would hurt too much!

              1. re: olympia

                Hi, olympia:

                Check out the 4-piece set of 3mm tinned saucepans pans (w/ lids) for <$350 from Peter at I have this set, and can't say enough good about them--premium quality, low price.

                I also have a 2Q Le Creuset saucepan, and it is not all that. Comparing the two is like comparing a Porsche and a Toyota. The LC isn't used at all anymore.

                If you are concerned about induction compatibility in the future, you can get a converter disk that will make the copper compatible. It theoretically lowers the energy efficiency somewhat, but straight Cu is *so* much more energy efficient than other cookware that the loss is probably minimal.

                The Chantal Copper Fusion is kind of an odd duck IMO. While many people like it, the number of dealers continues to shrink because of customer dissatisfaction and returns related to the "nonstick" enamel. I think part of the problem is that its colors are not very attractive, and it *looks* a lot like other lines of enameled pans at 1/4 to 1/2 of the cost. Target was selling some of it on line recently.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Thanks for your recommendation. I did look at RM before and kind of forgot about them. I've read that tin is preferable but I think I might look into copper with SS. I'm worried I'd get too hung up about the upkeep. I'm also pretty cheap! I might go for the Falk try me piece.

                  I'm not into the Chantal Copper Fusion. I don't want an enamel interior. I'm also not fond of the aesthetics of it so I probably won't be picking any up. I'm rather fussy about the way things look.

                  Thanks again for the recommendations and especially for mentioning the converter disk. I didn't even know they existed.

                  1. re: olympia

                    olympia: "I'm worried I'd get too hung up about the upkeep."

                    No problem.

                    The folks at Falk have sold a lot of pans to people just like you with that brushed finish and the idea that they don't require upkeep. The truth is they don't need any, but neither, really, to mirror-finished tinned pans. The only "upkeep" downside to tinned is that you just need to be a little cautious inside with abrasives and utensils.

                    Whatever you buy, I'd like to see a comparison review with your old stuff.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Oh boy, the old stuff is just junk! I've been loving all my all clad so much because it's such a step up. Maybe you can straighten me out. I'm concerned about the tin because I've read that it'll wear thin with the wear and tear of utensil use. I've also read that one must be more cautious with the use of heat with tin. The upside from what I can tell is the conductivity of tin as well and its ability to clean up a tad easier than SS.

                      1. re: olympia

                        olympia: IME, if you stick with wooden utensils and refrain from abrasive cleanser powders, a tin lining will last a very long time--longer than most folks keep their sets. One reason for tin's bad rap is that some pans have it *plated* on, rather than hand-wiped. The latter is thicker. If you cook stirred sauces a lot, you might be looking at retinning in 5-10 years.

                        As to the heat, yes, elemental tin melts at 437F, so you need to be a little careful. That said, however, less careful than the bare numbers might indicate. Tinned copper roasters survive high ovens with only darkening of the tin, not puddling or running. Just last month, I spazzed and left my dearest copper skillet on high (gas) heat unattended. It boiled empty, the whole house smelled of acrid metal, but the lining ended up being fine--I can't explain it, since I *know* the pan was hotter than 437F. Maybe its a surface tension thing, and I let it cool slowly...

                        Yes, food releases better from tin than SS, and forms a fond about as well. Eggs will stick about the same as ECI, better than SS.

                        Tin *is* a much better conductor than SS. How much better a tin-lined pan is than a SS-lined is warmly debated, and the difference is probably pretty slight, considering the bimetal pans (they all use Falk metal) have only about a 0.4 mm thick SS layer. I don't own any SS-lined, so I can't offer an informed opinion as to an actual, cooking difference.

            2. re: olympia

              Not that you need another shape option, but I am very happy with the 1.5 qt tri-ply Windsor pan for sauces and reducing for glazes.

              For re-heating stock, I have this 2 qt inexpensive disc bottom saucepan that is really useful,

              Both of these pots get more use than my 2 qt straight-sided All Clad stainless steel saucepan. I also have a pot that I don't think AC makes anymore, a straight sided 2 qt tri-ply rice pot with a rolled rim. It has two short handles rather than a long saucepan handle, and also gets used more often than the regular saucepan.

              1. re: souvenir

                So why does the 2 qt rice pot get more use? The convenience of the rim? The rims and handles are what has me loving the D5 (although not the price)!

                I know that the Windsor has splayed sides but isn't there the corner issue when it comes to sauces?

                1. re: olympia

                  I don't remember having a problem with it; maybe because of the flared shape. You might want to look at it in person somewhere and see what you think.

                  I have a lot of All Clad tri-ply and one piece of the D5. I do like the re-design, but cooking-wise I am very happy with the original AC stainless tri-ply.

                  Have you looked at the Ruffoni copper pieces on Williams-Sonoma's web site? I don't know anyone who has cooked with them, but a number of pieces are on sale for what seems like a pretty good price.

                  I bought a couple of Lagostina tri-ply pieces last year when W-S discontinued them and they were a good sale price. I've used the pieces a lot since then and am just as happy with their performance as I've been with All Clad. They too have flared rims and good handles.

                  1. re: olympia

                    I just realized I didn't answer part of your question. Yes, the reason why the rice pot gets more use is first of all that it gets used for sticky rice in our house all the time. It is just the right size for the quantities we make.

                    And second, the short handles and rim for pouring make it a great solution for a bunch of uses. It's more compact on my cooktop than a long-handled saucepan, and it can be used as a serving piece, either leaving it on the burner or taking it to the table, if using it for serving family style. I am really sorry they don't appear to sell it anymore. I would buy more as presents if I could find them.

                    1. re: souvenir

                      I just looked up the rice pot and found an image. It really does look very nice. I haven't been too fond of the pieces with the two loop handles but your point of using them for serving makes them seem more appealing. Would you mind sharing what else you use it for? I'm wondering how useful I'd find this shape ultimately. I've never had anything with quite the same proportions and I feel a tad apprehensive about the high sides in comparison with the diameter. Thanks again!

                      1. re: olympia

                        The proportions of the AC 2qt rice pot are really similar to the 2 qt saucepan; the main difference is that the flared rim on the rice pot means that it has a wider diameter lid, and I don't have to move a long handle out of the way. For pots that shape, I don't have a style of cooking that values long handles for 2-3-4 saucepans. For another example, I reach for the 4 qt soup pot much more often than the 4 qt saucepan.

                        As far as other uses of the rice pot, I use it on the table to serve re-heated soups and sauces. If I didn't the other 2 qt Norpro multipot, I would also use it for heating stock for risotto type dishes. The Norpro is handy because it has measuring marks on the inside of it, and a pouring spout.

                        Remember that I have the All Clad Windsor for reducing liquids and sauces, so I don't use the rice pot for those purposes. If I took away the rice making, and was forced to chose just one pot, hmm... I'm not sure which shape pot I would choose.

                        1. re: souvenir

                          The Tramontina 3 qt with steamer and double boiler is a similar shape as the All Clad 2 qt described above. Disk bottom which shouldn't effective the performance based on the pots straight sided shape.


                2. re: olympia

                  I use my 2qt saucepan for the same types of things you seem to. I second copper, but I'll also recommend enameled cast iron. I have a vintage Descoware saucepan in flame that I picked up for ~$20, which gets used constantly. Works perfectly for b├ęchamel, smaller batches of tomato sauce, small batch soups, and breakfasts of all types.

                  1. re: caseyjo

                    Thanks for that rec. I bought the 2.5 qt LC Doufeu and I've been contemplating returning it (mainly because of the color!) but I do think it could be really nice so maybe I should just use it and keep it...
                    Is your 2 qt piece straight walled? I wonder a little bit about the height of the AC saucepan and if others have any issues with it.

                    1. re: olympia

                      Mine's straight walled; it has a slightly larger diameter and smaller height than the AC's listed dimensions. I don't have a problem with it; then again, I purposefully bought that specific pot to replace an old non-stick pot with the same dimensions, so your mileage may vary.

                      1. re: caseyjo

                        Mind sharing what yours is? I wouldn't mind one that is closer in proportions to yours. That's why I kind of like the 1.5 qt sauce pan - not quite as tall as the 2 qt.

              2. olympia: "I'm looking for a smaller pot."

                What do you use the two pots you are going to donate to Goodwill for? If you use them in an environment dominated by nonviscous liquids, for tasks like cooking veggies in water or making soups, then you do NOT want The Brand That May Not Be Named On Chowhound Except In Praise. Instead, you want a pot with straight vertical sidewalls -- not clad -- that retains the heat inside the pot, rather than one that efficiently conducts the heat out of the sides of the pot into the room as a clad pot does. If you are cooking solids or viscous liquids that do not form convection currents inside the pot, then you want a pot with curved or sloping sides, and in that kind of pot, clad construction is at its best. Different jobs, different tools called for.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Politeness

                  Thanks, P, I'm kind of hoping to do a bit of both in one pan, well, for now anyway. Boiling seems to be the lowest on the to do list but the occasional hard boiled egg will be made in the pan.

                  1. re: Politeness

                    "NOT want The Brand That May Not Be Named On Chowhound Except In Praise"
                    I'm new here and not sure what you mean. Also when people use the term "All Clad" I assume it's the brand not a generic term for a style of pot/pan, am I correct ?

                    1. re: Dave5440

                      Dave5440: "I'm new here and not sure what you mean. Also when people use the term "All Clad" I assume it's the brand not a generic term for a style of pot/pan, am I correct ?"

                      You seem to have been quickly acclimated. Welcome.

                    2. re: Politeness

                      "you do NOT want The Brand That May Not Be Named On Chowhound Except In Praise."

                      that's funny but spot on

                    3. The D5s are lovely, but I'm a cheap guy and went the MC2 route, buying 'irregulars' via cookware and more, the Pennsylvania All-Clad outlet. I have their 2 qt saucepan [straight sides] and a 3 qt saucier at the smaller pot end; the rounded bottom of the saucier is great for bechemel, rice puddings, anything you have to stir carefully. The heavy cast aluminum shell, with SS lining, distributes heat very evenly. Unless a polished/brushed SS exterior, or anodized alum exterior, is important to you, this is the way to go, in the humble opinion of a guy who survived 30 years of cooking with cheap revereware..... and cookin' pretty good, IMHO and those of family members ...

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: RxDiesel

                        I've not tried MC2 but I really like the handles of the D5 and the rolled rims. I suppose I could find the same in the copper core but I'm not sure it's worth the extra expense. Thanks for your recommendations!

                        1. re: olympia

                          olympia: "I really like the handles of the D5 and the rolled rims. I suppose I could find the same in the copper core ..."

                          One 2-quart copper core saucepan with comfortable handle, at your service: About the same liquid capacity for half the price in a saute pan shape:

                          1. re: Politeness

                            I handled these in a store once and they looked and felt great. Can anyone with first hand experience tell me whether they really cook as well/better than tri-ply? I'm assuming they couldn't be as good as real copper.

                            1. re: pothead

                              pothead, they are real copper; what we do not know is how thick (gauge) the real copper is. Here is a complete thread on the subject: