Buying a second All Clad Frying Pan - Need Some Advice
I've lurked here for years but now I need some straight up advice.
I bought my first piece of all clad at the start of the year, but I was limited by budget so I decided to get the 4qt Sautee/Simmer Pan from Williams Sonoma (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...) with the intention of buying a smaller pan when I could afford to.
While this is a great pan for cooking big meals (brown meat/veg, add liquid, into oven) - it's a bit too large and heavy (especially for my skinny wristed mother) for day to day use (although I have been using it day to day in the absence of anything else)
I'm unable to see the pans in person (my friend brings them back from the U.S to the U.K for me) so I'm looking for some advice.
I had asked him to pick me up an 8" pan (I didn't want two pans that were basically the same- by getting the 10" or 12" versions) but I'm now worried the the 8" will be too small for anything other than a few eggs. I don't wan to spend $100 on an egg pan!
I need something big enough for a few eggs (I do fry alot of eggs), but also a couple of medium sized steaks or a few lamb chops, a couple of fillets of fish etc, but it needs to be light enough for a woman in her 60's (not frail but quite small!) to use.
I'd like to leave the sautee/simmer pan for cooking on the bone means (shanks, chicken legs etc) and use this new pan for day to day cooking.
Can anyone offer some advice?
I agree with your concern. 8" is probably too small for a frying pan. Because a frying pan dimension is measured at the top. An 8" frying pan has a cooking surface of ~6". I would go for at least a 10", if not 12". On the other hand, you want to make sure that your stovetop can handle a 12" pan -- assuming you consider a 12" pan. In other words, the pan is not larger than your stovetop.
I have both the 8" & 10" All Clad Copper Core frying pans. I'd agree with your thoughts about the size of the 8" pan. I can't tell from your post if you already have either the 10" or 12" frying pan or not?
The 10" is a great size for the things you mention (steaks, chops, fillets), but I can tell you that the Copper Core line is quite heavy; IIRC the 10" pan is around 4-1/2 lbs. The tri-ply line is much lighter, with the 10" pan at only 2-1/2 lbs. Of course, the 12" has the helper handle that the two smaller sizes do not, but it's still a larger pan to maneuver around the stovetop.
I have the regular 10" skillet and find it surprisingly large enough for two people. I thought I would need the 12", but I found a nice deal on the 10" and I've been very happy with it. It easily fits 4 chicken thighs to give you a frame of reference for the size of it.
I agree an 11" would be good.
Not sure if something like this would work for you and your mother http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/all-clad-d5-stainless-steel-3-quart-sauteuse/?pkey=e|all%2Bclad%2B3%2Bquart|127|best|0|all|24||8&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_- it doesn't have slopped sides, but it's 10 1/2 in x 2 1/2 about the same size as the French skillet, but with side handles. I've slowly been moving to this kind of pan for their maneuverability, versatility and storage. Cuisinart MCP makes a similar pan size for a much lower cost http://www.cutleryandmore.com/cuisina... I have both the AC 3 qt I mentioned as well as the Cuisinart MCP 5 1/2 qt and love them both.
I bet their french skillet would fit your needs. Probably an 11". I have the 9" and its surprisingly useful.
The french skillet is a deeper fry pan with slightly steeper sides and a little more mass. its basically a sauté pan and fry pan morphed together.
the standard fry pan will be the lightest weight, though.
Same as you, love my 9" d5 french skillet. It's the most used pan right now. It is about 2lb 6oz and 7.5" wide at the base.
I think you get more use-able cooking area from a french skillet than from a regular frying pan. My 12" copper core is only 9" measured at the base. Assuming the structure of the sides to be similar, an 8" frying pan will provide ~5" of cooking surface. Maybe Eiron can confirm. :-)
My 10" AC frying pan has about 7" of completely flat surface.
My 8" AC frying pan has about 5-1/2" of completely flat surface.
Both pans have about another 1/2" of usable radiused cooking area.
I'd also think that the 9" french skillet would have more usable cooking area than the 10" frying pan.
Thanks for the advice. I'm think I'm going to get the pair (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...). I've read that the skillet is a little lighter than the frying pan (as it's thinner) but after reading your post I'm not so sure. Either way I think the three layers of metal vs the 5 layers of the pan I already have will make it a little lighter. It needs to be light enough to toss onions with one hand.
EDIT - the pans are 2lb and 3lb vs 7lb for the pan I currently have so I think they will do just fine - thanks for all your help.