Matfer Bourgeat vs Mauviel Exterior Finish and Rivet Placement
Happy 4th of July!
I was very close to purchasing a few Falk 2.5 mm copper pans, but now have reservations after reading negative comments on quality control and customer service.
I cook and bake nearly everything from scratch and proudly display all of my cookware, so I want the best performing and best looking pieces available and go to considerable length and expense to obtain them.
I currently have two Mauviel Heritage 250c pans - 3.1 qt splayed saute pan & 3.6 qt sauce pan, but find myself wanting more copper pans.
If I were to purchase a few Matfer Bourgeat pieces such as their 11" 5 1/4 qt brazier (rondeau?) Item # 374128 & 1 5/8th qt flared saute pan item # 373020, how well would the exteriors match my Mauviel exteriors? I know both are mirror polished (not brushed like Falk), but are they fairly indistinguishable?
Also, I know the rivet placement on the Bourgeat pans is lower for better leverage. Does sauce easily get trapped around the rivets? I rarely have the rivets on my Mauviel pans fully submerged, but I believe this will be a constant occurrence with the Bourgeat pans and don't necessarily want to be cleaning around them with tooth picks after every use.
Thank you Kaleo!
Do you or anyone else have an opinion on the 5.25 qt Matfer Bourgeat "Brazier"? I would like to use it as a rondeau.
According to Matfer Bourgeat's 2013 USA catalog, the dimensions are exactly the same as their saute pan (item # 372028) 11" x 3 1/8". According to Sam Kinsey's "Understanding Stovetop Cookware" article, a rondeu should have sides right around 1/3 the diameter of the pan and a saute pan should have sides around 1/4 the diameter of the pan. This saute and brazier fall somewhere in between and Kinsey would probably classify the brazier as a low casserole.
If Bourgeat's measurements are to be trusted, 11" x 3 1/8" puts the sides at 28.409% of the height. A true 3:1 diameter to height ratio would require about another 5/8ths of an inch for this diameter pan.
I believe a copper rondeau would be a great all around pan to have. Would you miss the extra 5/8ths of an inch in height?
It would be challenging for even the strongest cooks to perform the classic saute motion in a 9lbs - 10lbs pan, so I do not see much advantage to the single long handled saute pan (esp. because there is no helper handle), but would this brazier make for a top quality rondeau and saute pan substitute? or should I look elsewhere?
Mauviel does not list the height of their 11" rondeau (6506.03), but given the larger capacity (6.5 qt), I'm assuming it has more traditional rondeau dimensions.
FYI: I am not considering any tin lined or disk based pans. I am pretty set on French or Belgian made 2.5mm stainless lined copper manufactured by Bourgeat, Mauviel or Falk.
I think the M-B brasiere would work just fine as a rondeau. And you are right that a rondeau is a remarkably versatile pan to have.
I would not miss the extra 5/8", unless the cut or joint I was braising was 5/8" taller than the M-B's cover allowed, or I needed the extra quart volume. I think the difference is minimal.
You actually *can* sauter in a single-handled 10-lb saute. It's a 2-handed operation, and requires a strong grip and an elbows in. Bad handle geometry *will* make it near impossible. And the "helper" handle isn't very helpful (or safe on gas). But you are right--a 10-lb rondeau can be jumped more easily. The Aussies call them "shaker pans" for a reason.
I have a Bourgeat 11" x 3" brazier, which I yearned for for a long time before finding one at a price I could afford. Before that, I happily used a 2mm copper-stainless Mauviel/Williams-Sonoma saute pan, which was the same diameter but a third to a half inch taller.
For me, that extra height was not desirable. A lot of what I use the pan for is browning ingredients before a braise, and maybe it's a psychological difference, but the slightly more open dimensions of the Bourgeat are easier to work with on my small stove (which is in a corner, and further crowded by a vent hood lower than ideal).
The iron handles of the Bourgeat also stay cooler longer into the browning phase than the brass ones on the Mauviel did -- not to mention that two low loop handles are much less obtrusive on the stovetop than the higher loop handle and very long (and massive) handle of the Mauviel were.
The finish of the Bourgeat stainless interior is slicker, smoother, and shinier than the minutely grooved interior of the Mauviel. Not much difference in function, but it may make a tiny difference in ease of cleaning -- on the other hand, it may show scratches more easily. My Bourgeat came to me heavily used, so that's not a concern in my case. Even so, I managed to remove all but a few tiny burn stains on the interior and all of the minute crud around the rivets with a bit of Barkeeper's Friend when it arrived -- and have had no trouble keeping the rivets and interior spotless since with just ordinary washing.
A final advantage of the Bourgeat's lower height is that it allows me to cook something on a second rack while it's in my 24" oven, which was impossible with the saute pan. This would be a non-issue for people with 30" or larger ovens.
Can't speak to the exterior finish, because I like the look of unpolished copper. You'll have a magnificent, versatile piece of equipment whichever way you go.
I had a Bourgeat rondeau (brazier?) with lid, and loved it. I eventually sold it on ebay, as I have a habit of cycling through a lot of cookware to try things out. I miss it, and would rank it among the top 5 pieces of commonly used cookware that I've ever owned.
I agree with what Kaleo and Ellabee have said regarding this pan. I don't imagine you could regret buying it.