HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Mauviel - Cast Iron Handle (Worth It?)

Just wondering if someone can tell me if the Cast Iron Handle versions of the Mauviel pots and pans are worth the premium? Their websites says that Stainless Handles are 2mm thick copper, while Cast Iron Handles are 2.5mm thick. I love cooking, but I'm not a professional cook and can't decide whether that extra .5mm of copper will really be worth it. I'm planning on keeping these for the rest of my life, could there be a durability advantage to the thicker copper as well as a heat advantage?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hi, mundty:

    Yes, the extra 0.5mm is better. Unless your hob is continuously even, you will get better evenness of heat. The added durability is there, but not a determinative factor, IMO. Because of the added weight of the thicker pans, they can sit more stably on some gas range grates.

    And yes, the cast iron handle is worth having (compared to brass).

    Only you can decide whether the M250 is "worth" the added cost, but over a lifetime of cooking, it isn't all that much more.


    1 Reply
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Thanks for replying,
      Cost isn't a huge concern, I can buy them one at a time instead of buying a set. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't spending extra money that didn't justify the benefits.

    2. In the 2013 Catalog I can only find SS handles in 1.5mm Copper. I wouldn't worry much about the 2 vs 2.5mm if you see a piece that you like in 2mm. The Iron handles are not that much cooler plus they can rust. I prefer the brass but it's really just personal taste. The price on the 1.5mm has come up so far that the 2.5mm line is just a better buy IMO. The rondeau for example has less than a $50 difference between 1.5mm and 2.5mm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TraderJoe

        Yes personal taste, l have @ 30 pieces of older tinned copper, all with cast iron handles. They are heavier, but for me look so much better, would own none without the cast iron handles.

      2. mundty, One of my favorite pieces of cookware is what my family calls "my magic pan"; it is a 2.5mm Mauviel sautoir w/ lid. I use it daily and have for two decades. It shows no sign of wear and would be among the first pieces I would rescue in case of a house fire! It has a cast iron handle but that was a non-issue in the purchase decision. When I buy new piece of Mauviel, I always buy 2.5mm.

        Over the years, I have been gifted with thinner pieces of Mauviel and much prefer the 2.5mm. For table presentation, the thin pieces are fine. On the cooktop, there is no question for me - 2.5mm.

        We built our home ten years ago and I lowered the standard height of my cooktop 3" because I am not the industry standard 6' tall male. These pans are heavy when empty and become even more so when full. As my birthdays accumulate, I am pleased with my decision but will hang onto my heavy pans as long as I can heft and toss them.

        Edit: I realize this is a personal observation and does not address your question of "worth". I cannot decide if the increased cost is worth it for you. It was for me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sherri

          Hee, Sherri...my husband fully understands that after the dogs the copper collection, also 2.5mm w/cast iron, is the only thing I care about saving in a fire!

          Anyway, for the original poster, I"m happy with my cast iron handle pieces. Yes, they are hefty but I like the look of them and all my copper is out on display on an Enclume free standing rack so the handles complement the rack well.

        2. Yes. No question about it. Go for the cast iron. You won't regret the decision.

          1. I prefer 2 + mm copper cookware, and, in general, the thicker stuff comes with cast iron handles. I would buy the 2.5.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Bigjim68

              Both Mauviel and Mazzetti use brass/bronze on 2.5-3mm copper. Mauviel offers both bronze (250b) and cast iron handles in 2.5mm but I agree most 2.5mm comes with Cast Iron handles.

              1. re: TraderJoe

                According to Mauviel's website, Cast Iron Handles signify 2.5mm copper, Stainless Handles are 2mm Copper, and Bronze are 1.2-2mm.

                1. re: mundty

                  You may want to Download a 2013 catalog from Mauviel as that info has changed. The 3mm Rondeau has bronze handles as does all of the current 250b (2.5mm) series. The M 150's (1.5mm) are all SS handles as well.
                  Julia may have preferred cast iron but nearly 50% of her Copperware had bronze handles.


                  1. re: TraderJoe

                    At a thousand dollars for three pans and two lids. I'm wanting more than 2mm thick and bronze handles.

                    1. re: Bigjim68

                      Hi, Jim:

                      Yeah, you'd think you'd get iron handles for a grand. And something beefier than the "turny" handles Mauviel uses.

                      Personally, I like iron handles a lot more than brass/bronze/bell metal on everything, but good luck finding it on everything. Frankly, in the oven it makes no difference, and loop-handled pans practically no difference. OTOH, anything with a long handle makes a big difference which metal--many times there is no need for a side towel or potholder with these, whereas with long handles in brass, you can get a very painful surprise after just minutes of cooking.


              2. I have 10 piece set of the 250c. It is definetly not worth it... I was so amazed at the how poor the fit, finish, And quality of the handles were. They are crooked, there are gaps, burrs, very bad finish, and feel very cheap in the hand. I am very very disappointed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fso506

                  You should send that set back. That's not the norm. Any handle that's crooked is going to be a nuisance (IMO).
                  I'm very pleased with all the Mauviel M250 I've purchased in the last year with cast iron handles however I did have to send one piece back as the handle came crooked with a gap. I've not seen any with burrs or a poor finish as they now have some sort of coating on them that seals the cast Iron. While I still prefer the bronze handles I see no issues with the cast Iron on Mauviel.

                2. Count me as another voice in favor of finding 2.5 thick or thicker. It is simply better performing. It will outlast you. I have heavy copper pieces in regular use 35 years plus. They still look pretty new except for tin discoloration. The iron handles are much superior to brass in that they don't heat up nearly as quickly. I have not tried Mauviel's SS handles, but if they attach to 2.5 mm or thicker tin lined copper, you will love the way they cook. I will also say that thinner (2mm) may not perform like 2.5 or 3 mm, but it performs pretty darned well.

                  1. I say absolutely NO. I own copper pots and pans with the cast iron handles. I thought it was a really nice look. I have cooked regularly in them for about 3 years.
                    I am now looking to replace them with stainless steel handles because, despite my efforts at cleaning and even oiling, the handles rust. It smells and looks yucky to me. I don't want to have to wash my hands after touching my pot/pan handles.
                    Just thought I'd throw out my opinion since it does not seem to be mainstream but I wish it was something I'd considered when I made my huge investment.

                      1. re: randallhank

                        Hi, randallhank:

                        I know Mac Kohler and his old operation pretty well. I agree with what he wrote in your link about there being a trade-off as the gauge gets heavier. He and I differ only insofar as I think 2mm is generally too thin, and 3.5mm isn't much of a disadvantage. IMO, hotel-grade saucepans pans weren't made so thick for any reason other than they generally work better.

                        I once asked Mac and BCC if they could make me pans thicker than .090. I was told that they could find no source for sheet copper any thicker which was soft enough for their machine tools--0.90 in quartersoft was the max they could *handle*. This was because they spun their pans on the very old lathes and chucks that originated with Waldow. I suspect the reasons the gratins were thinner yet was because they didn't need to be thicker, *and* they were pressed, not turned. I didn't follow through because I would have had to find and buy an entire sheet of thicker deadsoft.

                        Is BCC open for business again? I try to stay in touch with Mac, but he's had a series of serious problems to overcome if BCC is going to compete favorably in the larger copperware market. Last I heard, the solutions were not being found in Brooklyn. If you have any recent info about BCC, I'd sure like to hear, because I'm rooting for them.


                        Edit: I caught up with the BCC blog, and noticed one of the schematic drawings for the new line bears a note "3mm or 1/8" 11 Ga. Copper Wall" So the walls, along with the plot thicken!

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          Very cool!! I saw about the new line. But you beat me to the punch before I could post the details.

                          As soon as I can be assured of a gas range I'll be getting a few copper pans, but with my current situation I feel clad copper and high quality aluminum/steel are my best bets. I guess I'll just have to suffer with my crappy Demeyere etc. until then.


                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            "IMO, hotel-grade saucepans pans weren't made so thick for any reason other than they generally work better."

                            Or they valued the slightly better heat retention over the slightly reduced responsiveness. This could especially be true when considering the making of sauces, etc. in larger volumes than one might need at home. What "works better" might depend on the application and environment.

                            1. re: randallhank

                              Hi, Randy:

                              I think it's a res ipsa analysis--if these French hotel and state kitchens considered there was an advantage to thinner saucepans, they would have chosen those and saved money.

                              Yes, I'll concede that applications can differ, and they can make the thicknesses I'm talking about less important. However, the only First-grade pans per se (excluding things like chocolate pots) which I can't seem to find in at least 3mm gauge are oval fish pans.


                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Or it could also be that thicker copper is more robust and better to withstand the vagaries of life as a pan in a commercial setting. Thinner copper would not take the punishment....dare I say it? ...even if it worked better!

                                1. re: alexrander

                                  Maybe they valued the extra thickness because it built strong bodies and made for better antennas, too. Knowing it would compromise their cooking? Doubtful.

                                  Seriously, having dropped, banged and dented all kinds of this stuff, I think the difference in resistance to "punishment" between work-hardened 2mm and 3mm copperware is negligible.

                                  The timing of the discussion about BCC is opportune. Do you think their impending change from 2.3mm to 3mm is only about robustness and at a higher cost and with a downtick in performance?

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    Hi Kaleo,

                                    In reference to your last question, no, I don't think it's about that. I think it's about providing options, and finding a niche in the market. Would I prefer the 3mm over the 2.3? Yes, I think I would. But I don't know if I would want 3.5 or 4 over 3.

                                    I have seen the difference between a 1.7mm copper pan and a 2.5 copper pan, and my subjective opinion was that the 1.7 was borderline for what I would want in my own kitchen both in terms of performance and durability. 2.3mm would satisfy me plenty though, even if ideally I would like a few at 3mm.

                                    Now off to get my latest piece of non-copper rubbish. PIctures when I get back...


                                    1. re: randallhank

                                      Hi, Randy:

                                      I actually posed these questions to alexrander, whose implication was that 2mm saucepans are better performers than 3mm.

                                      You and I are not so far apart--0.3mm apart in terms of what generally constitutes "borderline". Below 2mm, IMO there really are issues for anything other than boiling.

                                      So much of this is familiarity and budget. I could never afford to buy more than a handful of new 3mm-or-more pans, even if I could find many. Rather, I have scrounged and traded my way to where I am today. As a fortunate result, I've cooked in many such pans, and am lucky to have two vintage pans with full 4mm bottoms. One, a Windsor, is the best-performing saucepan I've ever used.

                                      Personally, I think the reasons there are effectively no new >3mm pans on the market have nothing to do with performance tailing off. I think it has more to do with cost, consumer preferences for bimetal pans, and the almost universal *un*familiarity with these hotel-grade pieces.

                                      Mac and I have discussed thickness and how it plays in finding market niches. While he kept his own counsel, we both knew he was--formerly--constrained to .090 sheetstock. That constraint kept BCC in the same league as Falk, Bourgeat and Mauviel--not especially good for competition. That schematic note may indicate he and I are now more in agreement (if we ever really disagreed).

                                      I'm eager to hear/see what you're off to pick up.


                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                        Well, I think many things. In general I think thicker copper is better. But I also recognize what Mac wrote has a certain validity. A carefully watched copper pan will be quicker to fill and release heat and possibly better if it's thick 'enough' to transfer the heat to the whole pan. In such a situation the cook has control with pan in hand.

                                        It also seems logical to me that a larger skillet or fry pan should be thicker, it's not moved around as much and takes larger amounts of food. The copper transfers or gives up it's heat to the waiting food quicker.

                                        I can give you a poor analogy. If you place your hand on a wood cutting board, it doesn't feel as cool as placing your hand on a marble counter. Both are room temperature.

                                        I wonder why Mauviel would bother to make a fairly expensive copper set at 2.0 instead of 2.5. And go through the process of casting stainless handles and rolling the rim edge. I can only imagine they wanted tried to balance performance with weight. I think they should have made the fry pans thicker.

                                        I also think in general that the stainless lining adds strength to the pan, more so than tin. Bourgeat's stainless lining seems thicker to me. That might be worse for cooking, but stronger against abuse. It is possible that the manufacturers felt that with the extra strength of a stainless lining, the copper did not need to be as thick. And I think in some cases that's a shame.

                                        This is all conjecture on my part. I might also note that thicker means better to the more educated consumer and that snob appeal or marketing may play some role in a small company making inroads to an elite market. I thought Mauviel still makes their thick 3 or4 mm with tin- at least in France.

                                        I noticed a while back that there is another company that sells copper with silver lining. https://www.etsy.com/listing/17747290...

                                        If you can find their facebook page you'll notice that they also make pure silver pans - well, that's interesting I guess.

                                        1. re: alexrander

                                          Hi, alexrander: "I wonder why Mauviel would bother to make a fairly expensive copper set at 2.0 instead of 2.5."

                                          Let me add my conjecture to yours. In modern times, Mauviel has offered lines of three different thicknesses of bimetal pans in USA, 1.7mm, 2.0mm and 2.5 (subtract 0.2mm for the SS lining). They all work after a fashion, but none of the 1.7 outperform the 2.0, and IMO none of the 2.0 outperform the 2.5.

                                          I think the brains in Villedieu-les-Poelles decided 3 thicknesses/pricepoints were better than two.

                                          I handled the thinnest Mauviel again a few days ago, and I think it is a waste of money for anything other than home decor. I haven't seen the 2mm at retail lately, but it's the thinnest I'd recommend anyone buy to cook in. Personally, I would have dropped the 1.7mm line rather than the 2.0. Maybe the thinking was 2.0 was already priced too close to the 2.5, which is dependably good stuff.

                                          The *tinned* line, of which I think the 3.5mm rondeau is the last Mohican retailed here in USA, varies in thickness. You might still find some couscousieres or braising boxes here, which can't be stamped out.

                                          Yes, thermodynamics being what it is, there is something to what Mac has written. I just see the balance a little differently, and maybe he has now, too.


                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                          I'll respond more later, but to clarify: by "borderline" I meant not quite good enough to buy, even at ridiculously good prices. But I thought long and hard about it with a couple pieces of Baumalu's top line, ranging from $40-$60. Ultimately I decided that whatever reasons I have for not going with copper now (mostly my cooktop) are even more valid with pans that aren't quite as thick as I want. I'd rather wait until I go back to gas and spend the extra money later for something I really want.

                                          1. re: randallhank

                                            Hi, Randy:

                                            My advice flows from the old maxim "You go to war with the army you have."

                                            In other words, I haven't yet seen an application or conventional stovetop cooking modality that doesn't benefit to some degree from thick copper. I think I've tried all of them. Crappy uneven hobs? Makes it 'way better. Best gas hobs? Better. Totally even solid-tops? Still good. I'd scrounge cookware ahead of waiting for even heat. Why wait?

                                            If you're totally short on budget right now, I might suggest a thick copper diffuser plate like those sold by Bella Copper. Or a scrap dealer.

                                            Short of that, buy now or start scrounging. Stoves will always be around.


                                            PS: I'm happy to point you toward good deals I see. Example: Our CH friend alarash yesterday sold THREE Dehillerin 3mm saucepans in good shape for $204. Just shoot me an email.

                                          2. re: kaleokahu

                                            Hi Kaleo,

                                            I guess I was inspired by the "Is LC braiser redundant?" thread.


                                            When I retooled my cookware for electric, I did give up my best braising vessel and never quite replaced it. I only own a couple of small ECI pans, which I think is really all I ever want due to their inefficiency on the stovetop. The small ones heat up pretty nicely and have a nice heft on the coils, and they obviously retain their heat just as well as the large ones.

                                            I spent more on this Silga Teknika than I have on any other pan. Part of this is because my four Sitram Catering pans were basically free, and the Demeyere was bought entirely at half price and/or with returns/proceeds of my Calphalon One stuff. I do seem to have some redundancy in terms of function (though all the pans except perhaps the Silga and the small stocker are actually different sizes in terms of volume).

                                            The Teknika pieces have been getting increasingly hard to come by. They are not only not sold in the US, but are barely available in Europe anymore.

                                            I find this line beautiful, I am really confident in the quality, and this pan in particular is a very functional size (about 5 quarts) and shape. In general, I am not a fan of chef's pans or other combination types, but that is mostly in the 3-4 quart range. Once you get above 5 quarts in a casserole style pan, you really have a lot of options. The specific dimensions here are 11" diameter (interior rim to rim), and four inches high (5.75" with lid). This just happens to mean I can fit it on the upper rack in my oven with something like a roaster filled with vegetables or potatoes on the rack below. Since I only have one real oven this was important (the 6.5 quart Calphalon "soup pot" pictured, for instance, can only be used as a DO if I remove an oven rack -- plus I find it a bit too tall for braising).

                                            Pans pictured:
                                            Silga Teknika 28cm casserole
                                            4.2 quart Demeyere saute
                                            5.5 quart Demeyere stock pot
                                            4 quart Calphalon One Infused casserole
                                            6.5 quart Calphalon One Infused soup pot
                                            2.3 quart Demeyere sauce pan

                                            Pictured off to the side:
                                            Sitram Catering 8 inch frypan and Alessi copper bottom brewpot

                                            1. re: randallhank

                                              Oooh, that's pretty. I don't even care for the SS aesthetic, and I LIKE that. This will make our friend SWISSAIRE jealous!

                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                Thanks. You know, it's funny, I always thought it was an overrated aesthetic myself. I went this way out of necessity and after a positive experience with the Sitram. Prior to that my experience with fully clad and clad bottom had been, frankly, underwhelming. That's why I originally went with Calphalon One. The conduction was simply better. Turns out the nicer, thicker clad is really better, and made with noticeably better materials. Not all aluminum and steel is the same.

                                                The Demeyere looks nice enough I guess. The Sitram is totally industrial looking. My Spring is somewhere in between, more like Fissler. But this, well, hey I would be more than proud to bring it to the table. And with 6.5mm of aluminum in the base and 100% made in Italy, well, I just had to have at least one, you know!

                                                My question, is do I need to get rid of something here? Keep in mind that I also have a Proline 11" skillet in the cabinet.

                                                1. re: randallhank

                                                  Hi, Randy:

                                                  I think you may have found the apogee of clad--I admire both the aesthetic and what I understand to be this line's construction and ergonomics. This is what the industrial designers dream of creating. You obviously did your homework, and this is no-compromise stuff that would present well at the table.

                                                  As for getting rid of something, I'm not sure. I'm a confessed Luddite, so I'm drawn to very classic shapes and proportions. Bombees and evasees don't hold much cachet for me, but with everything else done so well here, I'm hesitant to second guess... Of what you've pictured, if I had to discard, it would be the stocker--I'd favor a larger one. If I had to add, it'd be another saucepan or two.

                                                  I really can't offer much criticism with your choice.


                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Hi Kaleo,

                                                    Thanks again. I think "apogee" might not be overstating it. It looks like Silga isn't even really making this line any more. Their Ekologa line has a whopping 9.5mm of aluminum in the base, but they are too far removed from the classic shapes I like and the lids are a bit much for me. Plus they lack the pouring lip that I insist upon. It's definitely a downgrade, IMO, on the design. I appreciate that they are really designed to cook more like an oven on the stovetop (maybe I should take it more seriously with my single oven?). I think the Teknika line has the same ability, though, and fits nicely in the oven as well.

                                                    The small stocker was also my first choice on the chopping block. Here's the thing: it retails for over $300, and I paid just $120 plus ten bucks in shipping from One Kings Lane over the summer (the larger stocker wasn't available). I used to have a nice 8 quart stainless multi-stocker from WS (from late 80's or early 90's). I gave it to a friend because at the time I had the 10 quart Calphalon "Dutch Oven" and that 6.5 quart soup pot. It just seemed like too much. I used to think the 8 quart stocker was even a bit too small, but that was when I would make a batch of stock and put it up in quarts in my freezer. I am sort of done with having a bunch of stock in my freezer these days. It does lose a bit, especially after a few weeks (or months). So, I've started to think maybe the 5.3 qt.stock pot and the 6.5 soup pot can be enough for making smaller batches of stock. We'll see this winter I guess.

                                                    At the same time, I have been known to serve two soups at a meal in the winter and those are both pretty nice sizes for soup. The immersion blender also works nicely in those sizes. One last bit is that the 5.3 quart, with its narrow shape, fits on the small rear burners. You probably can't see, but another wonderful thing about that stove is that it only has one large burner, and there is a weird overhang on the backsplash that makes using the rear burners difficult with even a medium diameter pan. So if I wanted to use a larger stocker, I would probably have to either use only small pans on the other burners, or put the large saute on the front 6" burner. This is less than ideal even with the copper core. Plus, I just like having the stock/soup on the back burner.

                                                    As for saucepans, I didn't mention it, but I also have the 1.1 quart Atlantis saucepan. So, the lineup on the "meat" side of my kitchen looks like this, from smallest to largest:

                                                    1.1 quart Demeyere Atlantis saucepan
                                                    2.3 quart Demeyere Atlantis saucepan
                                                    2.75 quart oval Staub French oven
                                                    3.5 quart oval Le Creuset French oven
                                                    4 quart Calphalon One casserole
                                                    4.2 quart Demeyere Atlantis saute
                                                    5 quart (approx) Silga Teknika 28cm casserole
                                                    5.3 quart Demeyere Atlantis deep stockpot
                                                    6.5 quart Calphalon One soup pot

                                                    and the 11" Demeyere Proline frypan

                                                    The only things I think are missing are a smaller skillet, and the bigger stocker. I have been using that 4 quart casserole (pictured) for smaller sautes and braises,or for just reducing vegetables down, but I do have that Spring 24cm (2.6 quart) saute downstairs if I need it. As for the stocker, I can always bring the Chiarello 8 quart into the regular rotation if necessary, but its shape is more of a Dutch oven. I could certainly use it for a larger batch of stock and just add a bit water every 45 minutes or so, but that thing is a tank and nearly 11" in diameter, so I would need to use one of the front burners, and probably the big one.

                                                    Thanks for indulging me!


                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                      Hi Kaleo,

                                                      Sorry to dredge up an old thread, but I think we are safe here.

                                                      This is borderline insane, but I am seriously considering swapping out my 11" 4.2 quart Demeyere sauté for the 8.9 quart Atlantis casserole/"dutch oven."

                                                      Since I have the 11" Proline skillet, and now the 5.5 quart Silga as a simmering pot, I feel I have my bases covered in the mid size pots. Meanwhile the large casserole occupies the same footprint and is just 5.5" high (compared to about 3" on the sauté), so I technically wouldn't be giving up the surface area, just evaporative qualities.


                                                      As you pointed out, I could use a larger stocker, so this would solve that problem as well. What made me think about this is that the 4.2 quart sauté is actually too big to use as a real sauté anyway. I am a pretty big dude, but at nearly 11 pounds, even I can't really do much with the longer sauté handle. The 8.9 quart casserole is actually 2 pounds lighter than the sauté!

                                                      I could probably get rid of the 6.5 quart soup pot in this scenario as well, and just roll with the Silga and/or the 5.3 quart Demeyere for those situations.

                                                      What do you think?

                                                      - R

                                                      1. re: randallhank

                                                        Hi, Randy:

                                                        I see your logic. But I would be lost without a saute in the 11", 4Q range.

                                                        Jumping an 11-pound saute is just barely manageable for me. When it comes to pass that I can't manage it, I'll get the same size/geometery in a rondeau. The large casserole is only a little taller than that, so it's all good.


                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                          "Jumping an 11-pound saute is just barely manageable for me."

                                                          Yeah, it's borderline for me. You are also jumping a pan with better geometry for jumping. The Demeyere handle angle is just a bit flat, and the pans are so bottom heavy that it's tougher than just the weight might suggest.

                                                          "When it comes to pass that I can't manage it, I'll get the same size/geometery in a rondeau."

                                                          Right. I wish Demeyere gave me that option. I will probably end up bringing the 2.6 quart Spring Brigade Premium sauté up from the basement in this scenario.


                                                          It's a downgrade in response, but honestly would probably be just fine. And it also opens the door for a medium sized copper sauté down the line ...

                                                          "The large casserole is only a little taller than that, so it's all good."

                                                          Probably. I think that going from 3-3.5" to 5.5" high is pretty significant, certainly in terms of access. I just can't figure out how significant in terms of evaporation. On the other hand, I can't dismiss the added versatility that the extra volume of the casserole might provide. It's just a weird situation I am in where based on my "needs" and other cookware I am thinking about giving up arguably the most desirable pan Demeyere makes.

                                                          Decisions ...


                                                          1. re: randallhank

                                                            Kaleo and Randy,

                                                            I may be demonstrating ignorance here, but I wanted to address this notion of "jumping" a saute pan. It seems that many think that sauteing is a technique that requires the chef to "jump" the pan. I understand that there is a connection between the word "saute" and the word "jump," but I always understood that to mean that when a dry ingredient is placed into very hot oil, the food itself jumps. Imagine a slice of mushroom in the bottom of a saute pan jumping on its own while sauteing (I'm assuming we've all seen this). Sure, you can toss food to flip it, but jumping is something the food does because of the correct conditions, not something that the chef does, right? If I am wrong about this, how is it that there are so many vintage saute pans out there that were used in French restaurants and hotels that are 14" or greater in diameter, 3mm-4mm thick, and must weight 20 lbs or more. No one ever jumped those things!

                                                            I'm just curious if either of you know something of the history of this notion of jumping?



                                                            1. re: jljohn

                                                              Hi, Jeremy:

                                                              You are correct that saute preps do not *require* jumping or tossing. Larousse Gastronomique defines 'saute' as:

                                                              "To cook meat, fish or vegetables in fat until brown, using a frying pan, a saute pan or even a heavy saucepan... The process sometimes consists of frying food (which may be already cooked) while vigorously shaking the pan, which prevents it from sticking and ensures it is cooked on all sides..."

                                                              Of sauteuses, Renard says (excuse my poor translation): "The sides and shape permit "jumping" that is to say, easy and violent stirring of food cut into pieces to mix well with oils and spices." Likewise 'sautoir': "A thick pan with low walls in which the cook jumps pieces of meat and vegetables. She owns a lid for baking."

                                                              From this I conclude that a jumping techniquie is a sufficient, but not a necessary, condition for a saute.

                                                              I'm not aware that 'saute' refers to food jumping on it's own. Where did you read or hear that?

                                                              The biggest pans of this configuration (I've seen one 36" which the chef told me holds 100 quail) are indeed impossible for one person to toss/flip food in, but they can still be shaken Jiffy-Pop style, i.e., not lifted.


                                                              1. re: jljohn

                                                                Hi, Jeremy:

                                                                Your understanding of the food "jumping" is how I learned it. What Kaleo and I are talking about (I think) is a separate technique that is often employed during the process. As Kaleo puts it, it is a sufficient but not necessary technique in the frying process. Plenty of food is authentically sautéed without being flipped, or jumped.

                                                                That said, the long handle isn't particularly useful with a more stationary technique (though it can certainly help with pouring liquids).

                                                                As for a sauteuse, I believe it is a pan with curved sides designed to enable easy flipping of food. Basically the intent is sort of a European wok. A Sautoir, somewhat ironically, has straight sides and would be less ideal for this, but fine for other shallow frying techniques. Basically it's a sauté pan, and can be used either like a stationary sauté pan, or a sauce pan. Sometimes a rondeau will be referred to as a sautoir. Jumping the food is certainly possible, but it will require more technique on the part of the chef.


                                                            2. re: kaleokahu

                                                              Ok. I just talked myself out of it. I went downstairs to my cookware storage room (my wife and I affectionately call it "Macy's") and grabbed a few pans to get an idea of the dimensions. First I grabbed the Chiarello 8 quart stocker. It's 10.25" x 6", so I thought I could imagine what the Demeyere casserole might be like.

                                                              A few observations:

                                                              1) This stockpot needs to be cleaned/polished
                                                              2) This is a really killer stockpot, pretty much ideal. So why is it in my basement? if I need a stocker, this thing clearly come upstairs.
                                                              3) No way does the Demeyere casserole replace the sauté. Sure, the Demeyere is 3/4" wider and maybe 1/2" shorter, but still, I am only braising chicken in that thing in an emergency. Chance of that emergency happening given all my cookware? Pretty much zero.

                                                              While I was down there I took out the 2.7 quart Spring sauté and the 3 quart Chiarello sauté. I held them each in one hand. The Spring felt like a toothpick compared to the Chiarello. The Spring is high grade stainless, but pretty thin. Size aside, the Spring can't replace the Demeyere in any way.

                                                              Enjoy the picks. That's the Demeyere Atlantis 5.3 quart deep stockpot in the back for perspective.

                                                      2. re: kaleokahu

                                                        And, as I will no doubt be gloating on the aforementioned link, I would put this up against a LC or Staub braiser any day of the week in terms of the performance. On the stove or in oven. You see how deep seated that lid is?

                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                          Hi Kaleo,

                                                          So I finally used it this weekend. It performed like a champ at a variety of functions, but was particularly effective at braising meat and pan roasting large quantities of vegetables. The steel is clearly of the highest quality, the transmission of heat was quick and even, and we know the workmanship is top notch. My only complaint is that the surface area is a bit small relative to the overall size of the pan. I could only sauté three whole chicken legs at a time (though I was very pleased that nothing stuck to the sides even at medium high heat). So, it won't be replacing the large sauté or the frypan anytime soon. However, I was running short on time and literally seared a whole herb rubbed chicken off on both sides and threw the lid on without even adding liquid or deglazing. I finished it off on the lowest heat setting on the stove for about 50 minutes, and came back to the best braised chicken I have ever had, and a nice pool of liquor concentrated in the center of the pan. The surface is large enough to repeat with a nice sized roast. ECI officially irrelevant. This pan is truly an outstanding casserole/braiser, and also an above average sauté pan. It's not necessarily replacing anything for me, but fills a niche as a braiser, and would be my desert island pan at this point. Most pans like this do several things ok, but this one does a few things really well, and could also double as a soup pot or sauté in a pinch.

                                                          The Debuyer Prima Matera braiser, incidentally, has an identical footprint and shape (11" x 4", 5 quarts):


                                                          I wish I could afford something like this, but I'll just keep slumming it until I hit the big one.


                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                            One last thing. The aforementioned "chicken test" (LOL) was done on the 6" burner, so I was able to keep the Demeyere sauté working on the large burner. One advantage of the smaller bottom is that I can use it on the smaller burner in the front without "wasting" energy. And that base is so conductive (not clear if it's 6.5mm or 8mm) that it performs just fine with the lower output.


                                                        2. re: kaleokahu

                                                          One more picture, mainly because this posted twice.

                                          3. Mundty, in the U.S.A. Mauviel no longer inports the 2.0 copper with stainless handles. Yes, they are still on their French website, but no longer sold in America. They were especially nice because they had a pouring lip, and the stainless handles stay cooler and have fewer rivets. There is a lobe on the handle base that works to provide extra support. It was sold here at one time and called 'Cuprinox Style'

                                            The closest Mauviel here in the states that matches what you asked about is Williams Sonoma Mauviel with the bronze handles. It's the same 2.0 but with bronze handles. If you like pouring lips and stainless handles, Falk copper now offers such pans in 2.5 mm. If you want the cast iron handle- and the pouring lip, Falk or Matfer Bourgeat. The Bourgeat is polished inside and outside. .. and is the most robust of the 3 brands. However Mauviel uses a thinner stainless lining than Bourgeat. Mauviel sells 1.5 mm copper with cast iron, stainless or bronze/brass choices, so you have to look carefully.

                                            The very thick copper that was/is 3 or 4 mm thick is usually lined with tin and sometimes hammered - but note that they also sell thin tin lined copper pans.

                                            You can even get hammered 2.5 or in some styles 3mm copper that is lined with pure silver. I know a company that even makes a solid 2.0 silver hammered pan-

                                            Back to your original question, if you could find that 2.0 Mauviel, it's very nice cookware, and of course a bit lighter to lift in the bigger pieces. You could order it from France, but I would see what it looks like by visiting a W&S store that has the 2.0 with the bronze handles... It's the only copper that Mauviel puts a curved pouring lip on. The thicker is better, especially where you would throw a lot of heat into it, perhaps a skillet or fry pan.

                                            1. 2.5mm all the way. The premium you're paying are mostly for the thicker copper anyway, not so much the handle.