Tramontina clad, Cuisinart MCP or other 2 qt. stainless steel saucepan?
I have 1.5 qt AC and 3 qt Martha Stewart (many years ago) stainless steel saucepans, but am looking for a 2 qt one. Have been looking at the Tramontina clad and the Cuisinart MCP. Both lines tend to get good reviews - do you have a preference between those or can you recommend any other 2 qt. sauce pans? Under $100 (or I'd get Viking!) and not All Clad b/c I really do not like the handles. Thank you!
Both pans should be fine. Since you know you hate the handles of AC, make that a big part of your selection process. If you can, handle the pans to see how the handles feel.
I like Cuisinart pots generally, but hate the handles. I've seen some marvelous Tramontina pots, but I don't remember the handles specifically. I think either pot would perform for you.
There are many Tramontina advocates here.
I've ordered a new Sitram Profiserie saute/chef's pan, and am eager to get it. Part of the reason for my choice was the handle, which I think should be comfortable. Also price.
For a 2 qt or even a 2.5 I would always get a full clad sauce pan. The reason is because these small sauce pans have too small of a disk bottom. The flames and heat from a gas stove would easily pass the disk and scorch the sides of the pan as well as what you're cooking.
Try to get something with a rolled lip for easy pouring. It takes some skill to pour liquids out of my Anolon Saucier which doesn't have a rolled lip. Too slow it drips down the side. Too fast and you'll miss your target. But it doesn't bother me too much.
Don't think you can go wrong with almost any clad pan. Rolled lips are useful but not all are created equal. My Henkles pan lips pour much better than my Kitchenaid lips did, though both were rolled. (The KA pans had awful handles too.) So maybe take a bottle of water to the store?
I have KA, Henkles and All-Clad pans (all full clad). Cooking isn't too different on any of them (maybe the AC is a bit more responsive).
I like the pour and the handles on the Henckles the best:
If it's possible for you to handle each of these, that's the best way to make a decision. For me, the Cuisinart Multi-Clad Pro is the one that feels right; I like the slightly more open proportions, and the pouring lip.
The handle is where the Tramontina would have the advantage; it looks more comfortable. But for a pan as relatively light as a 2qt, the Cuisinart handle is fine for me. It stays relatively cool.
I know you said you didn't like it, but I never fail to be impressed with the rice and quinoa that comes out of my 2 qt AC pan. The tall one that looks like a piece of stovepipe with a handle. It cooks evenly, no sticking, each grain is cooked the same. I quit using my rice cooker, I get better results with the AC.
I'm no longer a fan of disk-bottom cookware. I have 2 pieces, a 12-qt stockpot and a 1.5-qt saucepan. The saucepan sees a lot of use, and I'm beginning to see what looks like a little rust around the seam. I've had it for about 10 yrs, so I can't say it hasn't performed well. It has.
However, it doesn't perform as well as my fully-clad pieces. With a workhorse like the 2-qt (my 2nd-most-used piece), I'd go for the performance of full cladding.
I've been shopping for induction pans lately and of all the pans I've handled, Tramontina was among the most comfortable and most balanced. In fact, comparing WS Thermo-Clad, AC, Sur La Table clad, Calphalon Tri-Ply, Viking, Cuisinox Elite and Le Creuset clad, Tramontina seemed to be THE most stable in my hand, especially when full of water. I tried the big 4-qt saucepan.
The handle was just perfect for me; I also think AC handles are, literally, a pain. If the Tramontina had a rolled lip it would be a walk-away winner, by a lot. As it is, I'm just trying to decide how much I'll miss the rolled lip before committing to more pieces. I think the balance and comfort will outweigh the minor lip issue.
You might have to get in there with something fine like a Qtip and BKF.
Disk bottoms have their place. IMO just not with 8" skillets or saucepans smaller than 2.5 quarts. The disk bottoms are too small of be effective.
But for large stock pots and pressure cookers they fine. The seam can get pretty nasty if you're on gas. But induction keeps the cooktop and the exterior of my pans looking like new.
Thanks for the tip. I used to have gas, but have been cooking on a crappy radiant range for the last 2.5 years. I'm not really worried about cleaning the rust because I'll be switching to induction next year, and neither of them has any magnetic steel. If they fail before then, which I don't consider likely, no loss.
All of my new SS pans will be fully clad, and I've got a few carbon steel and cast iron pieces that will make the change just fine. I'm just trying to decide between the Tramontina and Le Creuset. The LC has 2 features I like, rolled rims and helper handles on all saucepans, but the Tramontina feels better balanced. It's a puzzle.