Do I need a stainless saute pan?
Here's my current cookware lineup:
10" carbon steel skillet
12" cast iron pan
Big carbon steel wok
Big stainless steel soup pot
Right now, if I want to deglaze with wine or cook a tomato sauce, I have to drag out the stainless soup pot which is a hassle, plus it's irritating to try and saute in it. I'm thinking about a stainless saute pan for acidic cooking and to be able to do that cool wrist shake/flip move (which I can't do in a sloped skillet). What do you all think? Is a $100 stainless saute pan worth it?
Is it worth that much money to you to be able to perfect the wrist-flip? If not (and it's not to me), no. I'd opt for an enameled cast iron pan or Dutch oven (preferably the latter), or a quality nonstick saucier (a.k.a. chef's pan) or saute pan. The latter would allow the wrist-flip. There's a wide range of styles manufacturer's call sauciers and chef's pans; I mean flat bottom curving up to straight sides about 4" deep, with two small handles or a long handle and short helper handle. I really like this type of pan - it's a fabulous multi-tasker and you can find a quality 4qt one for $50-75. If I could have only one pan, it would be this.
Yes, I generally think adding a saute to your batterie for $100 is worth it. It's a very basic piece. Given what you already have, I would opt for an 11"/4Q. I think you would then find that you'd use your others a lot less, depending on what you cook.
It isn't clear what configuration your CI pan is. Is it also a skillet?
FWIW, you can jump/flip food in a carbon steel skillet, you just have to be more careful. If it's a CI skillet, though chances are that the handle is 'way too short.
Hi, RMJ: "...too heavy to easily do the wrist flip..."
A big part of the problem with jumping in most CI pans is leverage--the cast handles are too short. The same weight pan with a long handle is far easier to jump. I would not be too afraid of weight until you get >10lbs (unless you have really weak wrists).
I don't think need it, but I do think it is very nice to have. Of course, everyone makes the decision based on their own needs, and I think greygarious hit it just right.
You said it. You have to drag out the stainless steel soup pot and tried to saute in it.
So the question is: How much will you give so that you don't have to do that for the next 10-15 years? $20? $100? $200? I think your answer will help guide your decision.
I like a stainless saute or chef's pan myself. I use one often for all sorts of things.
I don't flip with it though.
You are right, you can deglaze in one of these with wine or tomato product.