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Mar 12, 2011 07:15 AM

Falk Try Me - Opinions?

I'm thinking of picking up the Falk Try Me piece. I need something in a small size and would love to make reductions, sauces, etc. in addition to more basic tasks. I'm wondering if I could get feedback from some of you who have used the pan.

I've been reading the egullet understanding cookware and Q&A which has me wanting all copper but that's not really in the cards for me. I'd like to try a piece though and it's not that much more than the All Clad piece I was considering. I'm just hoping that the 1.5 qt size isn't too small to be practical.


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  1. It's not too small to be practical.

    In fact, it's bigger than I thought it would be.

    I highly recommend it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: NotJuliaChild

      Is most of your collection copper? I don't have any but figure a saucier would be a good piece for copper.

      1. re: olympia

        No. No reason for it to be. Only certain pieces.

        Just get the try me piece. Look at it this way - if you don't like it, you'll be able to resell it with only a small loss. Falk Culinair gets scooped up quickly on Ebay.

        1. re: NotJuliaChild

          Excellent reasoning. Did you get the lid as well?

          I'm hoping more owners will chime in and share their experiences.

    2. olympia:

      I know you're aware of Rocky Mountain, where you would get *four* 3mm planished saucepans for $60 more than you'd pay for the one 2.5mm Falk (actually 2.1mm, accounting for the 0.4mm of SS). Perhaps you are uncomfortable about tin, even after reading up.

      Whatever you choose, with respect to NJC, I think 1.5Q for what you're wanting is a little small. I cook for 2 most of the time, and I reach for the 2.3Q and 1.9Q most often. Also, while the saucier shape is more "all-purpose" than a straight-walled saucepan. that Falk 7" saucier has got a much too small bottom to do much saute-ing.


      17 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        Ah, all the confusion! I've got a 3 qt saucier from All Clad that I'm fond of. I wish I could hold the darn Falk. It's rather hard to use your imagination for these things. I'll take another look at the Rocky Mountain...

        With sizes so close I'd almost like to split the set with someone. No need for four similar sauce pans for me.

        1. re: olympia

          olympia: A suggestion or 2? First, call Peter or his son and ask if they'll sell you one or two pans. Second, as NJC has said, you're not going to get hurt reselling a premium-grade pan on eBay. Especially a NEW 3mm planished saucepan. All that's missing for "Bring Money!" is an old Williams-Sonoma or Mauviel hallmark, and these pans are every bit as good.

          Splitting a set is a fine idea. I've done exactly that between 2 houses. Largest and 3rd largest at one; 2nd and last at another.

          You may be one of those folks who *must* have the "saucier"/curved-wall evasee shape. If that's the case, you will probably have to buy Falk, Borgeat, or hold out for a vintage fait tout.

        2. re: kaleokahu

          Falk in 2.3mm of copper. The stainless portion is 0.2mm. 2.5mm total.

          Falk is expensive. It's quite nice and more than I need.

          I know people rave about tin, but I have a hard time believing a home cook needs that level of control.

          The upside of the Rocky Mountain product is the cost and that it is thicker copper.

          The upside of Falk is that it is easier to care for, takes abuse a little better (we all make mistakes), doesn't need retinning, has a rolled lip for easier pouring, and is more attractive.

          1. re: NotJuliaChild

            Hi, NJC: "The upside of Falk is that it is easier to care for, takes abuse a little better (we all make mistakes)... and is more attractive."

            I don't find any of these things to be the case. Falk's brushed finish appeals to some, but it still needs to be cleaned. The exteriors of neither *have* to be polished. As for abuse, if a Falk delaminates or is eventually scraped through, it's finished; tin can just be relined. Other than the issues of avoiding metal utensils and abrasive cleansers, tinned is as easy and abuse-resistant as SS. Easier, in fact when it comes to releasing stuck-on food.

            Re: control... You are right, the difference is not great. I prefer tin more for its balance of low-stick with fond rather than its marginally faster response. But it also happens to be the case that the thickest bimetal is 2.5mm, so tin comes by necessity with any pans with wall thicknesses above that. I suspect there are metallurgical reasons for an upper limit.

            As for the aesthetics, I think I'm in the majority in preferring the look of a polished, planished finish. And looks aside, planishing also strengthens the pan against deformation through work-hardening.

            I also appreciate the shorter handles on the RM pieces. I once passed on buying a vintage set of saucepans with *vertical* handles that I now wish I had.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Would you mind posting a photo of your RM if possible? I find their photos to be a little lacking in detail. Thanks for all your suggestions.

              1. re: olympia


                OK, here you go. These are the largest (2.3Q) and next to smallest (1.35Q). My infamous LC 5.5Q DO is there, too, if anyone wants to tease me.

                Zoom in on the detail Peter gives the rivets--they're all faceted. Oh, and the planishing on the pans themselves is of finer pattern than the lids. These haven't been polished since Christmas, if that gives you an idea of maintenance.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Thanks so much for posting - I really appreciate it! So, I have to ask, why is your DO infamous?

                  1. re: olympia

                    Hi, Olympia:

                    You're welcome. You should get what pleases you.

                    That DO is infamous because I've been simultaneously disrespectful of LC, its performance and its guarantee, *and* unwilling to take it out of service long enough to send it back to them (It's cracked, and the written guarantee has some language about they will not return a damaged pan even if it's not replaced). Other CHers have assuaged my fears, but I'm still procrastinating.

                    My 7Q Borgeat saucepan takes a lid exactly the size of the LC DO, so at least I can keep that.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      I would personally raise holy h3ll if they didn't return or replace my piece! That kind of thing would annoy me to death. I more than understand!

                      As indecisive as I am I'll probably never order any copper! I've had a Flame and Red Doufeu sitting in my house for about six weeks (unused) because I can't decide on the color! If I out wait the return period they'll be my infamous LC pieces! (all my others are black hence the MAJOR conflict ;)

                      1. re: olympia

                        Hi, Olympia:

                        Yes, that was the "rub", but others here have convinced me that if you say so in advance, LC will either replace it or send it back. One expert also says you can email them photos to find out in advance what they'll do.

                        Not to add any pressure on the copper, but I don't know how many of the 20 sets Peter has remaining.

                        The doufeu probably cost more than the 4 pans without lids, right?

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          Oh goodness no! This is the baby 2.5 qt size that was on sale through WS - $65. I might have had sale goggles considering it's kind of strange size and I'm so partial to black.

                          You'll have to keep us updated on your LC saga. I'd think depending on what state you live in/purchased the piece you might have different rights about getting the pot back. I'd be seriously angry if they didn't replace it!

                          1. re: Camote

                            LOL. E Camote, Aloha: Check your e-mail!

                  2. re: kaleokahu

                    I don't mean to pick an argument, but how in the world can you scrape through stainless steel, much less separate the two layers?

                    This might be a question for ChemicalKinetics, but what would it take to separate two layers of metal put together under 850 tons per cubic centimeter of pressure? The resulting bond, according to Falk, is "intercristalline". I'm no chemist, but to me that sounds more like a molecular bond than a superficial bond.

                    I've never cooked with tin, but isn't it destroyed by the wayward use of high heat? That's what I was referencing when I said we all make mistakes. I've turned on the wrong burner and inadvertently heated the wrong pan more times than I care to admit.

                    I see a stainless steel lining as a small insurance policy against forgetfulness.

                    As for stuck on food, a short soak in water has dislodged everything I've ever cooked in it. If I want to be picky, a little Bar Keepers Friend keeps the interior looking the same as the day I got it.

                    The exterior is of little concern to me.

                    1. re: NotJuliaChild

                      Hi, NJC:

                      0.2mm of SS lining is a scosh thicker than 2 sheets of 20# office paper. Years of scraping with metal utensils and scouring with abrasives will thin this layer; it is not ridiculous to think of wearing it through.

                      The coefficient of thermal expansion for copper (9.8 microinches per linear inch per degree F) can be almost twice that of certain SS alloys. Many hundreds or thousands of heating/cooling cycles can stress the bond. Obviously the wider the temperature swings, the wider the difference; your unwatched pan would be a wide swing indeed. Clad cookware can and does delaminate. Google "delamination of Revereware" if you're interested. The good news is apparently that Falk will replace for "normal use" delamination for a lifetime. I have not read Falk's patent, but my suspicion about the metallurgy is that there is some sweetspot at the .2SS+2.3Cu that minimizes delamination.

                      Actually, tin is not necessarily destroyed by wayward use. In another recent post, I admitted boiling my favorite Cu skillet dry and forgetting about it on the high gas hob for quite awhile. I did not measure the temperature, but I am confident that it was substantially above 437F in the pan when the acrid metallic smell woke me to my terrible mistake. Other than some darkening of the tin, the pan was fine.

                      I do not know anyone crazy and rich enough to run a comparative destructive test of this sort with both SS- and tin-lined pans, only that my pan was not as prone to heat damage as common wisdom might have held. SS-lined might well be a bit of insurance.

                      IME, tin releases food a bit easier, both in cooking and cleaning up. I did not mean to suggest it won't release from SS.

                  3. re: NotJuliaChild

                    Thanks, NJC. Any chance you could post a photo of yours? I'm not sure how shiny the interior is (or really, non-shiny). Does this every bother you?

                2. I bought it with the lid, and find it to be the handiest little saucepan for small batches of sauces and soups. I have some other copper, not all copper, and that Falk piece is really well made compared to the Mauviel I have. It is a very responsive pot, and that makes it heat up quickly and cool down just as quickly - important for sauce making, things with cream or milk, etc. Go for it. Worth the money. I like the iron handles, and the stainless steel interior seems more sturdy than tin, which I am very careful about not scratching. I think all Falk is of the non-shiny variety, while Mauviel is the shiny stuff, or at least that is what I have seen.

                  BTW, you do realize you are committing to hand washing, don't you? Just checking.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: RGC1982

                    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Do you happen to have any other Falk pieces? I'd love to get a large saucier but it's not in the cards (translation, budget) right now!

                    Do you find the saucier to be too small at all? I wish I could hold one before buying! I'm only worried that I'll find it to be tiny or too shallow. I think it'd be great for reductions though... Decisions, decisions.

                    Yeah, I know about the hand washing. I can't say that I've ever used the dishwasher for pots and pans - maybe I don't know what I'm missing!

                    1. re: olympia

                      Get the dimensions and try out a similar sized one at your local Macys, SLT, BBB, WS, etc....

                      The Try Me pan is lauded on these boards, someone swears it makes the best gravy ever.

                      I am so glad that I struggled through Chemistry and can't follow the above dissertation on tin, stainless, copper thickness, etc, and can save my energies for enjoying what I have, rather than understanding it. To that PhD level, anyway.

                      1. re: E_M

                        Good idea, I'll see if I can find something similar.

                        Great point about enjoying without understanding all the mechanics behind our cookware. I've been enjoying my All Clad and I'm wondering if I should just stick with it and not take on the added expense. Guess that's why they have a try me!

                    2. re: RGC1982

                      RGC1982: "That Falk piece is really well made compared to the Mauviel I have."

                      If you have SS-lined Mauviel, Falk supplies their bimetal. So the same thickness would actually be the very same sheetstock before it goes on the chuck, and the same size and shape should perform identically. I agree with you that Falk's handles and rivets are superior. The pouring rim is nice in itself, and structurally makes up for the work-hardened (hammered) walls of some older Mauviel. The brushed finish I'm not crazy about. (BTW, the bright finish stuff ends up looking much like Falk anyway if you polish with the traditional salt and lemon and never buff)

                      These discussions get a little theological. Cooking on any good copper is near the pinnacle of performance, and we should all be so lucky as to have one good copper pan or pot. I just like to point out to folks that you can get a *slightly* higher performance level and FOUR pans for about the regular price of one Falk. Preferring the latter may be akin to the phenomenon of Americans happily willing to pay $$$ for Le Creuset when it is $ in the hypermarkets of France, i.e., paying more for a well-branded "name" makes them feel it's worth more.

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        Thanks again for your thoughts. Interesting to think that the polished finish doesn't stay that way.

                        For argument's sake, the name brand is essentially worth more. If I want to liquidate any of my collection, chances are that a name brand will fetch more.

                        1. re: olympia

                          olympia: "[T]he name brand is essentially worth more."

                          Kind of. I've been collecting now for over a year and pretty experienced with eBay niches for copper pans. If you sit your new Falk Try-me next to the doufeu and don't cook in it, you might be able to *make* money. And you won't get hurt much even if you cook in it before selling. But the folks who want (and know the quality of) Falk are probably not the same people who pay extra for Mauviel. Some of the highest prices on eBay are for unmarked pieces--old, thick/heavy and specialty shapes. Reselling unmarked 3mm pans is a problem most sellers would like to have.

                        2. re: kaleokahu

                          What does "work hardened" mean? What is the benefit?

                          1. re: NotJuliaChild

                            NJC: I am no metallurgist, but it is the strengthening of metals via plastic deformation, which means that pounding on it (planishing, in this case) creates dislocation movements within the crystalline structure of the copper that strengthen it.

                            Copper sheets from which the cookware is formed must be soft enough to be formed, usually what's called HO2 or "half-hard". Dead soft, completely annealed copper is quite noodly soft and would go out of shape with not much trouble. If your machine tools are powerful enough, H02 is OK--the forming itself imparts some added structural stiffness (kind of like Falk's pouring rim), but if the sheetstock is thin, i.e., "table service grade", you are still prone to bending.

                            Once the pan is formed, how would you harden it further? Copper is not amenable to heat treating per se, so the only real option is work hardening, and this is done by planishing.. This strengthening process has deafened more Frenchmen than German artillery.

                            So the "hammered look" is actually a functional, and just coincidentally aesthetic, feature. For collectors, it is the thing that, besides thickness and elan, conveys premium quality.

                        3. re: RGC1982

                          "I have some other copper, not all copper, and that Falk piece is really well made compared to the Mauviel I have"

                          My experience is a bit different than that. First it's Buyer Beware with Falk in regards to size as they round up to the nearest half quart on all of their measurements. I ordered a 2.5 Quart sauce pot and it's barely 2.1 quarts. Talk about being mislead! That's nearly 20% less by volume. Worse yet the 2.5 quart (not) sauce pot is exactly 7 ounces lighter than they list on their web site. Maybe their scale was just as far off as their conversion from Liters to quarts?
                          The Falk handles seem more like pot metal than cast iron. They have numerous fissures and are a silver colored metal. They are not finished or sealed at all like Mauviel. The other thing that gets over looked very often is that not only is the outside of Falk cookware brushed but so is the inside.
                          Adding insult to injury even with a 15% discount the 2.5 quart Falk sauce pot is $40 more than 2.5mm Mauviel with a real cast iron handle and a polished SS interior that sticks far less!

                          1. re: TraderJoe

                            Hi, TJ:

                            I have to agree about the Falk handles. I'll add that the Falk loops seem sized down almost to child-size. Some Baumalu handles look large/good by comparison.


                        4. I have had my Falk Try Me piece for a few months now and I absolutely love it. If you cook for one or two, it is the perfect size.

                          It's my first piece of copper and I can't believe how responsive copper is and what a pleasure to cook with. I also use the pan a lot for reheating leftovers that previously I would have thrown in the microwave (which I hate because the microwave never reheats things evenly and inevitably one part is too hot and another part is too cold). I love that the copper is so responsive that I can basically reheat as quickly as in the microwave, yet have the food at a uniform and perfect temperature.

                          I just bought a copper frying pan (which I haven't used yet), and for that, I went with Mauviel tin lined because I want it for eggs and I went with the advice that tin is more non-stick than stainless steel. However, for the sauteuse, I absolutely love the Falk stainless steel since I'm not really making a lot of food that is going to stick. Compared to cast iron, the copper/stainless combo is quite a bit less maintenance and it just makes me want to cook more.

                          When I bought the Falk Try Me, I thought it might be another piece of expensive cookware that I would never actually end up using, but it has actually turned out to be my favorite piece in the kitchen.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: omotosando

                            My experience is like omotosando's. I bought the 18cm Try-Me saucier in 2011 and now find myself reaching for it all the time. I thought it might be too small, but it's the perfect size for making a white sauce for a souffle, or gravy, for reducing glazes and sauces, frying aromatics and spices that get added to bean purees and dal, and for heating up almost anything.

                            It took some detailed attention after use for the first month or so to keep the handle from rusting, but now it's well seasoned.

                            If I were permitted only one cookpot, but it could be any one that I want, it would be the Falk 3-quart two-handled 'stew pan' (9.5"). It's a true do-everything -- wide and open enough to saute, deep enough to be a saucepan, with lid perfect for braises and stews. Can't justify it now, even if I could afford it, because I got a great ebay bargain on a 2mm Mauviel saucier of the same size and shape (with one long handle rather than two loop handles).

                          2. Here's the thing. Most people will be very happy with it--it's 2.5mm copper-stainless bimetal. It will outperform most anything on the market. The question is how it stacks up against the rest of the market for price and performance. There is no doubt about it. The try-me is a great price. I'll let you compare prices against Mauviel, Bourgeat, and others to decide if you think Falk's other pans are priced well. Compared to other current copper manufacturers I've been less pleased with Falk when it comes to quality control and customer service. YMMV. If you get a good pan (such that QC and customer service is a non issue) then it will perform as well as any other 2.5mm copper-stainless pan. The rest of the choice comes down to aesthetics and ergonomics.