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Jan 4, 2014 05:55 PM

Big saute pan recommendations?

I want a new sauté pan. I cook for a family of five, so I want something big, and I want to be able to put it in the dishwasher, so stainless-steel (rather than aluminum or copper) on the outside is probably required. I had been vaguely looking at the All-Clad 6-qt, which is big enough to fit a butterflied chicken, and I think it will fit, barely, on my awful glass-topped stove.
But, in addition to All-Clad stainless, there’s the slightly more expensive All-Clad d5 (I’m dubious about the utility of the additional layer, but, if it matters at all, it would make a difference in a big sauté pan). There’s a 6.5 quart Demeyere from the Industry5 line, which has a smaller diameter and taller sides, so it might fit a little more comfortably on the stove but has a smaller surface for browning. It’s welded, rather than riveted, which would remove the minor hassle of the rivets and, although it seems more likely to fail, I doubt that the welds fail much at this level of quality. I think it has an aluminum disc on the bottom, rather than cladding, which seems just as good or maybe even better for a sauté pan. There are options from several other decent brands, I know Mauviel has a 6-qt sauté, and maybe Viking, and I think there are cheaper options from brands like Le Creuset. I don’t think Tramontina does, or many of the other decent brands like Calphalon or Sur La Table's house cookware.
So, any experiences using a 6-quart sauté pan, especially on a lousy stove? If so, any opinions about the various options? Suggestions about good places to shop? I’ve looked through the archives here, but there isn’t a lot on the really big pans, or, especially, on how they compare. I can’t imagine I’d be unhappy with All-Clad, Demeyere, or Mauviel, but it’s expensive enough to warrant a careful choice.
Thanks for any assistance.

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  1. All the brands above have good reputations... but personally I don't think a Saute pan needs to be a high tech expensive kitchen tool.. disk bottom is fine for Saute pans, Macy's recently had a 5 qt on sale (Tools of the Trade) for less than $20. We own it and it works fine.

    1. Have you considered something like the AC 6 qt stockpot with two loop handles instead of the long handle. It can double as a dutch oven and will move to the oven with space to spare if necessary after stovetop browning. It would be more likely to fit in the dishwasher as well without the long handle on such a large pan. It's fairly shallow for a stockpot and browns nicely.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cam14

        I'm more interested in a wide, low vessel, so a stockpot won't do it. (I have an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and a couple of bare iron ones, so I don't need another.) There's a lot of variation in things called saute pans, but I am looking for space to brown big pieces of meat, or lots of pieces.
        Shortly after I posted, the All-Clad D5 6-qt saute pan showed up on Amazon for $220, so I bought it. I'll report when I have received it.
        Thanks for your thoughts.

      2. I have this one and have been very happy with it

        1. Aloha.
          I had the same need recently, and as you did, purchased the 6 quart All Clad D5. I just got it this past week. I haven't used it yet so I am curious to hear what you and others think of it.
          I too have a pretty crappy 40 year old electric cook top, so I am in the same boat....

          1. I have this pan, and it works just as nicely as my A/C pans. Cleans easily too, if you decide not to put it in the d/w. There's no long handle to deal with, and it fits in the oven with room to spare. The pan is about 12-13 in wide and sides are about 3 in.