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Would you consider a 20 lb. saute pan impractical?

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I was considering buying a copper saute pan which I just realized is about 20lbs (its 16" in diameter and 3mm thick). Im 6'4 so im pretty big but I dont want to regret buying it. I just felt like buying it because its not everyday you find a pan like this. The thing is im not sure if one can really saute properly in a pan this heavy. Never had one this heavy so have no idea what it would be like to cook in it.

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  1. Depends. If you have a large enough burner, and need the volume of a 16" pan, why not. It's just going to sit there when you're cooking, I expect. No point to it otherwise, in my opinion.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Yes, I have one large burner on my stove meant for the griddle so it will fit. So I guess its not realistic to expect to use it like a smaller saute pan? Guess that defeats the purpose if I cant toss the food with a jerk of the pan.

      1. re: iamreptar

        I couldn't do the pan jerk with such a heavy pan. I would use a stirring implement.

        1. re: GH1618

          I've done it and I don't think my sauté's have particularly suffered.

    2. I don't think weight should be a consideration.....if you think you would enjoy cooking with this pan, that's all that matters.

      Break it out at the holidays.

      9 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        Just thinking about the weight because im worried about whether I can even use it as a saute pan. Dont want to find out its more of a gigantic rondeau with one long handle that aspires to be a saute pan one day but shes just too heavy to saute with lol. I think not being able to use a pan for its intended function may take away from its enjoyment. Its breaking my heart to let it go, but I would like to avoid the frustration if others feel its just too heavy.

        1. re: iamreptar

          Not to doubt you, but....The specifics you list seem a little off, as 16 inches is not really that big and the 20#s you cite seem a little heavy. Does this pan have straight sides or curved/slanted? Usually, braziers can be 3mm....If indeed it is the latter, then they work great for when you have lots of things to prepare in advance.....be it dumplings or chicken cutlets.

          1. re: fourunder

            The pan is 16" in diameter with a 5" height and attached to it is a 14" long cast iron handle. It weighs exactly 20.28 lbs. Its like most other saute pans and has straight sides.

            1. re: iamreptar

              What you have is a brazier......not a saute pan. go for it.

              1. re: fourunder

                Thanks for clarifying this for me. :)

                1. re: fourunder

                  Why are you calling this a brazier instead of a saute pan?

                  My understanding is that a Saute is a one-handled, straight sided, pan with a wall-height equal to about 1/4 of the diameter. Whereas a Rondeau is a two-handled, straight sided pan, with a wall-height equal to about 1/3 of the diameter, and comes with a lid. And "Brazier" is most commonly just another term applied to a Rondeau. What the OP is discussing here is a hotel or restaurant grade tall saute--one-handled, straight-sided, and closer to 1/3 it diameter tall than 1/4, but without a lid.

                  There is no reason to question that weight. Heck, my 11" saute (of similar proportions to the one discussed here) is north of 11 pounds. A 16" saute should require almost twice as much copper as an 11" of the same thickness and proportions

              2. re: fourunder

                I think the weight is realistic. Here's a 15" rondeau just sold that is 7.7 kilos--it would be more at 16x5 with a 14" handle. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-Big-Coppe...

            2. re: fourunder

              Do you mean break it out for the holiday family disputes?

              1. re: Veggo

                It would certainly be so in the case of mine.....

            3. "The thing is im not sure if one can really saute properly in a pan this heavy"

              I am confused. Your post stated that the 16" copper saute pan is 3mm thick. How does its diameter affect its ability to saute properly? My 12" copper saute pan is a marvel and, in this house, we call it The Magic Pan. I am too old and too short to toss a 16" copper pan but would have killed for one years ago. I must not understand your question. Could you explain, please.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sherri

                Size gives a better idea of weight. Just gave its dimensions to give a better idea of the pan im talking about. The pan is 16" by 5" with a 14" cast iron handle and is 20.28 lbs. The clearer the image, the better one is able to access the situation.

                Sorry if I wasn't clear about my question. Since im not feeling the pan in my hands, its hard to know how its is to cook in this pan. My question is whether the weight of this pan when filled with food will keep me from moving the pan in a "sauteing" motion and will force me to stir instead.

                1. re: iamreptar

                  You can sautee in anything....even a pot. With the weight of the pan, tossing and flipping are impractical. The purpose of the 3mm (Triple Gauge) is that it hold the heat and temperature will not drip off like a thinner pan.....to promote more even cooking......you will have to stir....but even with the heavy weight, I see no reason why you cannot shake and slide items in the pan while cooking to prevent sticking.

                  1. re: fourunder

                    btw.....find a cover and you have a great stove top braising pan/pot.....the high sides you have make splatter a non issue when pan frying.

              2. Not if you can curl 265 and bench press 475 CLEAN...

                1. Don't have any clue as to its usefulness as a cooking vessel. I do have a clue as to what it would take to wrestle it around in your sink when you are cleaning it. I have enough problems with my 5 1/2 qt Le Creuset dutch oven when washing it. I can't conceive of what washing would involve if it were 20 lbs.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: trakman

                    Agree and disagree. I agree that a 20 lbs will not be easy, but I think part of the reason why a Le Creuset (or any enameled cast iron cookware) is particular difficult because it need to be carefully handled due to the fragile enameled surface. For example, I find it easier to clean my bare cast iron Dutch Oven than my enameled cast iron oven.

                    < I can't conceive of what washing would involve if it were 20 lbs.>

                    But imagine now that you are allowed to flip and turn and bang it against the sink (slightly).

                    1. re: trakman


                      1. re: trakman

                        I have a rubber mat that I put in the sink to protect the sink and also any fragile things I'm handwashing. My super heavy cookware sits on that mat, I fill with hot soapy water. Easy peasy.

                      2. Yes, it's impractical to "sauté" with, in the classic sense, unless you do it with two hands, and even then, wouldn't be easy. I have 3mm copper pans of the same proportion, with but with loop handles, making them a "rondeau" rather than saute. If I owned the pan you were describing, I would cherish it, and use it as a rondeau.

                        The weight and dimensions make perfect sense. Have a look at this auctuon on ebay 140959342510. The pan in question is the same dimensions (15.45-16 inches across, 9.2 kg = 20.24 lbs). Hopefully yours was a bit cheaper, and hopefully you bought it! I wouldn't pass up on a pan like that if I could afford it, because as you mentioned they are uncommon.