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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.


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  1. Hi, Brian:

    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.


    5 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      ha much thanks! Here I was trying to buy only what I need to cook with. I guess my mom has just a crazy amount of pans and "stuff" so I try to avoid clutter at all costs. This is my first steps into cookware, I am a recent College grad.

      1. re: briaust85

        I agree with all the suggestions. When I purchased my All-Clad pieces I went for the 1 1/2 qt. and it's been just the right size.
        You did not waste your money, at all, you will find your investment truly worth all the effort and money. Enjoy.

        1. re: briaust85

          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.

          1. re: mikie

            ha I enjoy the humor, much thanks!

            1. re: mikie

              Hi, mikie: "[A] $5 hair cut lasts as long as a $35 hair cut."

              Good advice, but my cipherin' would indicate the cheaper cut lasts 7--no, 8, no 6?--times longer. Maybe even all year if done with low-angle J-shears made of AO White #2 pushed to 67RC. ;)


        2. :: 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).

          1. Boiling eggs

            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.

            1. 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.

              1. 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.)

                1. I agree with all the responses. I use my smaller pans far more than I do my larger ones. I used the smaller ones more even when I was cooking for more than 2 people.

                  1. I have a 3 qt and 2 qt and 1 qt and use them all. The 1 qt is perfect for single serving oatmeal and warming up something. The 2 qt iis great for heating something from a can or boiling potatoes for 2 people. I used it Sunday to boil some water to make Jello. it is also just the right size to boil some hot dogs for the grandkids. I will also use the 2 qt to boil some spaghetti or rice. Anyway, I think you will find it will come in handy.

                    1. To make soup from one piece of oxtail. :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I've always wanted to make oxtail soup!

                      2. Much thanks to all of you, it has made me feel not so confused about my purchase!

                        1. I've read all of the replies up to this point, and there is one thing that no one has explained for you yet. A two quart sauce pan is the perfect size for making French fries or onion rings for one. Well, two if you have to. Buy a hot oil/candy thermometer (around three bucks), the kind with a clip on it to clip it to the side of the pan, then fill the pan one third full of peanut oil. Heat it to the temperature designated in your FF or OR recipe and go for it! Drain excess oil on paper towels. Allow used cooking oil to cool. put it in a plastic jar or bottle and refrigerate until next time, but bring it to room temperature before you start heating it.

                          This is one heck of a lot simpler and easier to clean up that one of those "automatic" electric French fryers. The only thing automatic about them is trying to hold a temperature you set, but they don't hold it that exact. They do NOT automatically clean themselves. So it is MUCH easier to learn to keep an eye on the oil thermometer in your pan while you are deep frying things and then having simple basic clean up when you're done. After you've stored the used oil, wash the pan with warm soapy water and you can make oatmeal in it the next morning. It's really messy if you do that with an automatic French fryer!

                          Enjoy! You've got some fun adventures ahead of you. May all of your failures still be edible and taste good!

                          1. I love D5. It is the only stainless I will buy. I was thrilled to finally be able to replace my old mongrel collection with the beautiful D5. I had no idea that I would ever have anything so nice. My smallest AC is the 1.5 which I use all the time. The collection began with several larger items and I soon discovered that although they cook beautifully, and I wouldn't trade them for anything, not only are they somewhat akward for me to handle when full, but they also take up mega space in my cabinets. I thought I had a fairly large kitchen, but I use my cupboards for a lot more than just pots and pans. I don't need any more large pans, so now I only have the smaller multi-use D5 pans on my want-list. I love the lip on the D5 because of the ease of pouring and the way the small pans feel in my hand.

                            My advice to anyone who is considering All-Clad is to physically go to a Williams Sonoma store and have a look at how large some of these pieces really are and then think really hard about what you are actually likely to cook. Thank god I went to the store in person. Have fun with your collection. Do you know how lucky you are to be starting out with something so special? I hope that you get as much joy out of your lovely cookware as I have from mine.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Cheesed

                              for sure I know how lucky I am. All of my stuff is seconds. I could of never bought this at retail. I saw this a responsible investment. Now if only I could figure how to cook healthy with them, the oil use scares me.

                            2. I use my 2-qt. saucepan with a steamer insert for steaming a small amount of veggies.

                              1. I have a 14, an 18, and a 22 (cm), roughly 1 plus, 2 plus, and 6 quarts. The 2 plus gets most of the action.