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What can you do with a sauteuse pan, more specifically, fry?

I bought a 5qt, 12" "Tools of the Trade" stainless pan at a thrift store. I am thinking it's a sauteuse pan. Flat w/straight sides, handle on each side w/a nice thick bottom. Sadly no lid. If it's a sauteuse pan, what can be cooked in it? Can it be used like a frying pan? I guess I would need to use something like Pam or butter so foods don't stick? I bought it to send to college with my son.
Thanks everyone in advance. :)

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  1. Hi, lhenry777:

    Are the sides perfectly straight, or is the bottom belled out like this one: http://reviews.macys.com/7129/365919/... How tall are the sides?

    The pan shown is marketed as a versatile pan for braising and sautes. The walls are a bit high for the latter, but it will do for a college kid. All in all, a good choice for the college-bound. Find a lid and it'll be even better. Oven casseroles, stews, even pasta.

    Yes, SS pans like this (like most pans) stick without fat. PAM would be a good choice for the student learning to cook for her/himself.


    4 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      The sides are straight up and down and it's only about 2 &1/2 - 3 &1/2 inches high. I attached a pic. You have to click on it to see the handles. For a lid, I may go back to the thrift store and maybe even look for a large microwave glass plate. I figure anything, as long as they use a mitt so they don't get burned, that covers the top, will work. The weird thing is the two handles. Neither is a long straight handle. But BOY is this thing HEAVY!!!! :)

      Off topic Kaleokahu, obviously you are in Hawaii? My son (the one getting this pan) got to spend a cpl days there this summer on his way to and from American and Western Samoa on a mission trip. I was so jealous! South Carolina is fine, but the breathtaking pics he took.......just no comparison. :)

      1. re: lhenry777

        It does look like a sauteuse, similar to my All Clad 4 qt. sauteuse. You should have a lid for it, because it will be excellent for small braises, pasta sauce, as well as frying. A most versatile pan, I love mine - and yes, just follow the usual rule for a saute: heat the pan first, then add oil, then your food.

        Perhaps you can get a universal lid - most will fit a 12 in pan no problem.

        Good find!

        1. re: lhenry777

          Hi, jlhenry:

          So, a different pan... Tools of the Trade changes things up... The two handles are an advantage--goes in the oven/broiler, and easier to learn to "jump" a saute with two handles.

          Even a "universal" lid will work just fine. Teach him/her to finish fried eggs by lidding and he will be a god in his dorm/house.

          No, I'm in Seattle, but I go home to Kaua'i when I can. Samoa is underrated, but then most of the outliers of Polynesia are. But we get Beeeeeeg hurricanes.


          1. re: lhenry777

            It strikes me as an awkward pan for one person, or even 2. I'm not sure when I'd use it. With the 2 handles it is like a dutch oven, great for use in the oven, but less useful on the stove top. But without a lid, it isn't that great for covered braising - though a foil cover will do in a pinch. It's also shallower than what I'd like.

            At 12" it may be hard to heat evenly, especially on an electric stove.

            It would make a good baking dish, and roasting pan, especially if you have a rack that fits.

            I had a roommate who's primary recipe was to dredge chicken pieces in Wondra, and bake them. I can picture do that in this pan. It would hold most of the pieces of a chicken. I can also imagine preheating it in the oven, and 'oven grilling' a couple of steaks.

        2. A sauté pan can indeed be used as a frying pan and often is. The straight sides make for more cooking area so you don't have to do a big job in batches. It can also be used as a casserole. How useful this will be to your son depends on his social life, I guess, but it should be a good all-purpose pan for him.

          1. That looks very similar to the Matfer 'Excellence' sauteuse I noted in another thread -- nice find!

            It will fit into small ovens, unlike many long-handled saute pans. With a lid (ideally one that's slightly domed), it's excellent for dishes where meat &/or veg are browned and then cooked slowly in liquid, in the oven or on the stovetop.

            It's also fine as a frying pan, and takes up less room on the stovetop than a saute pan with long handle. The lack of rivets makes the inside of the pan easy to clean thoroughly.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ellabee

              But at 12" it might not fit in a toaster oven. My newish oven came with a 12" 'pizza pan' that just barely fits.

            2. Ok, I just HAVE to tell you guys..... I got it for........ready??? $2.50!!!!!!!!!! You all have made me feel like I found a Renoir!! It's awesome!!! It should last my son a long time. Yes, now to find a universal 12" slightly domed lid. :)
              Thank you everyone, for your input :) :)

              3 Replies
              1. re: lhenry777

                You might consider Calphalon's 12" glass lid, available from Amazon.com for $40 - if it fits the pan. No way to know this for sure without trying. If there's a Bed Bath & Beyond near you, you could take your pan there and try out the lids they have in stock. A universal lid (one that fits different pan diameters) isn't such a good choice as it gives less clearance above the food, especially with a 12" pan.

                1. re: lhenry777

                  Nice. As John has implied, you can bring your pan to stores and see what lid fits and what does not.

                  1. re: lhenry777

                    Hi, lhenry:

                    Great score! Think how much better it will be if you bring it all in <$10.


                  2. Can I make a suggestion that, probably goes against what many here might believe. All cookware has one purpose, to cook the food. And the food can't tell the difference what it's placed in.

                    I don't believe in the thought that you need a pan for every type of food preperation. I think that most cookware is interchangable. I have baked a cake in a 10-inch skillet. I have made soup in a chicken-fryer. I use the crepe pan for eggs and I've used the 12-inch skillet to make jumbo crepes. I have a fajita pan, but I"ve never made fajitas; I use it to cook my egg and ham for my breakfast sandwich. It may be true that specialized pans make preparing that type of food more easy and the results might be more aesthetically pleasing, but, as long as the quantity of food fits, any pan can be used for any food. Just my two cents.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: Vidute

                      Sure, you can use whatever pot or pan you have for whatever you're making, for better or worse. You can use a screwdriver as a chisel or a bottle opener. But for those with the space and the $$$, why not get the right tool for the job?

                      1. re: John Francis


                        Vidute may have a point here. Give that this is for the college kid going to a dorm/apartment, it may be more advantageous to limit the numbers of cookware (in fact numbers of anything, clothes, cups, dishes, shoes..).

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Possibly so, but Vidute was speaking generally, and so was I in response. As far as we know, the kid's college digs will be suitable for using the pan; lhenry777's original post takes this for granted. But maybe he should think about the issue that you (not Vidute) have just raised.

                        2. re: John Francis

                          If you have the space and you want to make sure that you have your snail pan for the next time you prepare escargot, then go for it. I'm just saying that you do not have to have single-purpose cookware if you don't want it or don't have the space. I've read too many posts where it's been stressed that you need such and such or else the recipe will fail...you need non-stick, you need a double boiler, you need an enamel coated cast iron,,,,,etc. when all you really need, especially if your just starting out or if you or if your cooking because you enjoy eating but you don't want to be America's next top chef, is just a few basics.

                          1. re: Vidute

                            I'd certainly agree with that! But If having a snail pan adds to the fun of cooking for someone, even if they don't use it often (or at all), I'm not so much of a puritan as to complain.

                            1. re: John Francis

                              I am not saying don't buy specialized cookware. If you want it, if you enjoy it, by all means, buy it, use it! I'm saying that just because you don't have that specialty pan, doesn't mean that you can't prepare a recipe because you don't have that pan. You don't have to feel pressured into buying it because someone said that you must have it, and you shouldn't be afraid of thinking outside of the box.

                        3. re: Vidute

                          Hi, Vidute:

                          A Hollandaise can tell the difference if it is made in a crepe pan. A roast cares if it is roasted in a stockpot. A crepe is not a crepe in a bain-marie. There are hundreds of similar truths.

                          It is also true that some pan shapes are more versatile than others (depending on the preparation), and there is crossover. But if outcome (as opposed to starvation) counts for anything, it's grossly misleading to say "any pan can be used for any food."


                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            Hello, Kaleo.

                            Actually, I have prepared a roast in a stockpot. Small roast for four. I layered cellery and used that as the rack, although a collapsable steamer wouild work, too. Roast turned out perfect.

                            A hollandaise could be prepared in a french crepe pan, which has sides, resting atop a pot/saucepan/pan filled with simmering water.

                            If, by bain-marie, you are referring to stove-top cooking using a double-boiler, then the shallow, round insert, can be used directly over the heat source to prepare the crepe. A little more difficult, but doable. Or, as a chafing dish is technically a double-boiler, and as it was originally purposed to actually cook, you can use the round pan to cook the crepe directly over the sterno or use that pain on your stove-top.

                            If you meant bain-marie cooking in the oven using what is basically a steam-table tray inserted into a pan holding water, you can still use the insert. You'll probably have some creatively formed crepes, but, hey, you just might be starting a new trend.

                            What I am saying is that you don't need a specialized pan for almost every dish you prepare. Why buy a bain-marie insert or a double boiler, when you can use a baking pan with sides, place a smaller pan, custard cups, etc in it and pour water into the outer pan, or for the double boiler, rest a heat-proof bowl above a simmering saucepan.

                            There is no need to have a miniature version of William Sonoma in your house. If you enjoy collecting and using each and every specialty cooking vessel, have fun! Otherwise, just having the basics of a couple of different-sized skillets, saucepans, baking pans will allow you to cook almost anything. And the resulting outcome will not be the choice of eat it or starve. It will be a comon sense choice of appropriate cooking vessel. (A crepe in a bain-marie? really????)

                            And, just as a fyi, I have my esoteric cookware....asparagus steamer or fish poacher, anyone? Bought them in my youth and found that I prefer other preperations of those foods, and if I want to steam or poach, I have something else in my aresenal that serves the purpose.

                            1. re: Vidute

                              Hi, Vidute:

                              LOL, then you should be happy cooking everything in a hubcap (and recommending it to others). I'll leave you to judge how perfectly your roast tuned out, except to note that your layers of celery must have been prodigiously thick. And my bain-marie inserts, being thick ceramic, tall and narrow, would make a "crepe" unlike any I've seen.

                              Your statement above that any pan can be used for any food, and with the sole qualification of the "aesthetics", is just plain wrong. Are we to understand you now use only one cooking vessel for roasts, crepes, sauces, stocks, sautes, confectionary, pastry, braises, breads, poaching, steaming, woking and everything else you cook? If you do, I want you to have your own show on the cooking channels, and want to buy your books, because I have a lot more to learn than I ever imagined.


                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                <LOL, then you should be happy cooking everything in a hubcap (and recommending it to others). I'll leave you to judge how perfectly your roast tuned out, except to note that your layers of celery must have been prodigiously thick. And my bain-marie inserts, being thick ceramic, tall and narrow, would make a "crepe" unlike any I've seen. Your statement above that any pan can be used for any food, and with the sole qualification of the "aesthetics", is just plain wrong. Are we to understand you now use only one cooking vessel for roasts, crepes, sauces, stocks, sautes, confectionary, pastry, braises, breads, poaching, steaming, woking and everything else you cook? If you do, I want you to have your own show on the cooking channels, and want to buy your books, because I have a lot more to learn than I ever imagined.>

                                You might know, or probably not, that hubcaps have been used as cookware in third world countries and even here in the United States, and with a quick google, I found that the Clover Grill in NOLA employs a hubcap in cooking their burgers and the men of Caveman Home Companion cook omelets in a hubcap. So, yes, I could use a hubcap to prepare a meal. You? Methinks not.

                                I don’t know about you, but I’m a home cook and my six quart stockpot fit the roast perfectly. As I’ve previously stated, I believe that any pan can be used for any food with TWO qualifications, the second of which, Common Sense, you overlooked. I have a question for you. If, as you state, that “outcome” is dependent upon specialized cookware, then, why does an “Everything Pan” exist. A pan that braises, sautés, poaches, bakes and more?


                                As to any cooking show I might host or any cook books I might write, I doubt they would be of any value to you, as a condescending and belittling attitude precludes you from accepting opposed to yours. Apparently, your bain-marie inserts are not the only thick and narrow objects. You are correct about one thing, though, you do have a lot more to learn.

                                1. re: Vidute

                                  Hi, Vidute:

                                  2xLOL, there is no such thing as an "Everything Pan", despite what Home Shopping Network and whoever in China markets "Wolfgang Puck" cookware says. You might wok in your hubcap, but not in this pan.

                                  But since you espouse crepes in a bain-marie and roasts in stockpots, here's the ticket to reducing culinary vessels to their very essence--aluminum foil. Do scrambled eggs care if you pouch them in foil and tool on over to the dog track while they cook on the exhaust manifold? It *can* be done if all your hubcaps are in the DW...


                        4. Not sure what all the back-and-forth is about, given that this is a particularly versatile pan. Can be used for frying, shallow baking (e.g., lasagna, strata), and braising (with lid).

                          1. Mercy! I certainly didn't mean to start anything. :) John, I do have a BB&B near me. I'll pop in. No telling what might turn up. And Kaleo, I'll keep popping into the Goodwill to see if they have a 12" lid come in. I'll bring it with me to be sure of a good fit. Great suggestion John. Yes, as a home maker w/very little income, keeping it under $10 would be nice. And our Goodwill seems to get a lot more cookware then others I have been to. I'm sure a nice lid will show. I'm blessed to have a child who would appreciate whatever I send to him. Also I never thought about using it in a toaster oven. I found a great deal on a big George Foreman toaster oven, w/rotisserie and it may just be big enough. I'll mention that to him in the note I send once I get the lid and get it out to him.
                            Again I thank you all for your input. I love gathering all the ideas. :)

                            1. I just saw this 12" Sauteuse at CostPlusWorldMarket


                              The description as nonstick aluminum is wrong. The photo and one I saw are clearly stainless steel, uncoated.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: paulj

                                Hey, Paul:

                                Not bad for $30. It does look like SS.

                                My favorite feature, though, is "Sturdy handles keep your arm comfortable as you saute..."


                                1. re: paulj

                                  " The photo and the one I saw are clearly stainless steel uncoated. "

                                  So the determination of the material was done visually ? No testing ?

                                  Aluminum is a remarkable material, and it can be polished to a stainless or even chrome-like luster.I've seen old auto and boat parts described glowingly as highly polished stainless steel, which turned out to be simple pot metal.

                                  If the seller described this item as aluminum, and you think it to be stainless, why not ask them ? . If were actually stainelss steel, which would be a real plus these days, it could be marketed for much more.

                                  1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                    I both handled and looked at it in the store. The idea that it might be aluminum didn't even cross my mind; it had the weight that I associate with steel. It wasn't until I looked on the web that question of whether it was aluminum or steel arose.

                                    I noticed it in the store because of this thread. If it had been aluminum, especially nonstick coated, I would have noticed the difference.