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.