What is a 2 Quart Saucepan useful for?
Hi! So I ventured into the world of All-Clad D5 a few months ago, and I bought a few pieces because thats what my research told me to do. The one I am hung up on is the 2 Quart Saucepan, I am scratching my head on what I will use this little thing for. Can you shed any light to me, or did I waste money and should of gotten a 3 Quart instead? I did also buy a 4 quart which I am happy with.
It certainly depends on what, how, and for how many you cook, but for most home cooks, a 2Q is not the smallest useful size. Anything that benefits from reducing, e.g., sauces, stocks, is commonly put into a 2Q at some stage--assuming you had near to 2Q to start with. I find that size to be good for oatmeal, for water for my French press, boiling eggs, reheating soups, smashing down Pommes Anna, and a myriad of other things. Pans this size also fit well in the oven. So you did not pick a "wrong" size.
So much for the good news, on to the bad... You probably need that 3Q, too. And maybe a 6Q.
So, "...I am a recent College grad." You should still be eating Ramin noodles and that's the perfict size! It's also good for many other things as well, as has been pointed out, but I love polking fun at new college grads. I read some humor on advice for new college grads a number of years ago and it was great, a couple of things that stick in my mind as sound advice is 1) be good to your family, some day that will be all you have, and 2) a $5 hair cut lasts as long as a $35 hair cut. Enjoy the All Clad, it's good stuff.
:: water for my French press, boiling eggs, reheating soups ::
Those are the top three uses for a 2-qt saucepan in this two-person household.
Others: Boiling water for tea. Heating up recipe ingredients: frozen peas or corn; water, milk, cream, or stock in which to soak dried mushrooms, chiles, fruit; scalding milk. Making a simple syrup.
Another regular use is making a whisked sauce, like bechamel sauce for a souffle. For that I found the All-Clad's tall and narrow proportions a little confining, and prefer a 2-qt saucepan that's more like 7" x 3" (A-C is more like 6" x 4").
3-qt saucepans are handy for starches (making rice, polenta, potatoes), steaming vegetables, and making larger quantities of sauces. But a 4-qt is just as good at most of those things, and better for still more (making soups and stews, cooking pasta, blanching).
Pasta or noodles
Reheating canned or packaged soups or chili
Poaching 6 or 8 ounce fish filet
Boiling potatoes, yams, and other tubers
Congee or rice porridge
... and the list goes on and on.
It might be the most used piece of cookware in my kitchen arsenal.
I only have the 2 and 3 qt sauce pans (I have the butter warmer but it doesn't really count). I use my 2qt sauce pan all the time. Making rice (especially boxed versions like near east blends), making oatmeal, heating soup.
I typically use my saucier pans for sauces however since it is easier to use a whisk in them since they don't have any corners.
Our 2 qt probably gets used every day in our 2 person household. It's perfect for making rice or rice pilaf, heating canned or leftover home-made soup, steaming vegetables for 1 person (use the 3 qt when steaming veg. for 2), reheating red sauce for pasta, warming apple sauce, making cranberry sauce, and hard boiling eggs. (Unlike others we never use it for just bring water to a boil for tea or the FP coffee maker -- that's what our teakettle is for.)