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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.


            1. Went through this a little over a year ago. I put together a spread sheet with capacity, weight, sq. inches of cooking surface, construction, and price. Based on these factors I chose the 6qt Viking. Unfortunately, Viking is no longer in the cookware business, so you might find one, or might not.

              Some observations: copper that size is quite heavy and expensive; Demeyere Atlantas in that size is almost as heavy and almost as expensive; the All Clad handle issue will be exaserbated at that size; 6qt saute pans can have very different cooking areas, so check the diameter.

              We have a good quality gas range top, and the large Viking works reasonably well on that. Not sure how it would work on your stove. Good luck!

              1. With a monster pan like that, I'd much rather get a rondeau vs a traditional saute pan. The only difference I can tell is the handles. Rondeau has 2 loop handles vs 1 loop + 1 long. Without the long handle, it may fit better on the stove, and potentially allows you to consider an even bigger pan.

                Check these out:

                1 Reply
                1. re: cutipie721

                  cutipie721, the Rondeau is an excellent suggestion, and I must say that with 20/20 hindsight, that would have likely been a better choice, although I was fortunate that during our remodel we put in a 70/30 split sink, which holds the sauté pan perfictly for washing and there is no problem fitting it on our 36" range top. The Viking comes (came) both ways.

                  I found my spread sheet and here are some figures (engineers find this kind of data interesting for some reason):

                  All Clad Copper Core - 6 qt - 13" dia - 8 lbs 0 oz - $460
                  Calphalon Unison - 6 qt - 12.5" dia - 6 lbs 6 oz - $275
                  Demeyere Atlantis - 4.2 qt - 11" dia - 10 lbs 8 oz - $380
                  Fisler Original Pro - 5 qt - 12" dia - 10 lbs 6 oz - $250
                  Mauviel M-Cook - 5.75 qt - 11" dia - 6 lbs 12 oz - $300
                  Mauviel Copper 2mm - 5.75 qt - 11" dia - 9 lbs 7 oz - $550
                  Sitram Catering - 4.9 qt - 11" dia - 4 lbs 0 oz - $200
                  Viking V7 - 6 qt - 13" dia - 7 lbs 0 oz - $315

                  I found my Viking on sale for jsut over $200, made the decision easier. The other thing that helped me decide was I wanted to handle each piece and not all of the pans on my list were available in my area and I didn't want to order and return. I setteled for a large footprint, comfortable handle, mid weight, and with the sale price, a good price point.

                  An 11 inch pan has 95 sq in of cooking area while a 13 inch pan has 132 sq in of cooking area. That 2" makes a 30% difference in area.

                  I hope some of this information helps.

                2. I've had the All-Clad 6 quart, and I cannot recommend it. I used it on the largest burner on my Frigidaire Gas stove, and it just couldn't heat up out to the edges. For something that big, I'd suggest skipping the dishwasher and going for copper. As an alternative, get a thick aluminum one from a restaurant supply store.