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Help me choose my saucier

I really need a new saucier. My requirements are:

2-3 quarts, nothing larger
induction friendly
not All-Clad

I've always though that a saucier needed to be aluminum, copper or clad SS to work well, but I'm no longer wedded to that idea. But pan weight has become a factor for me, and I love my disk bottom Vollrath Optio saucepans. They're amazing on my induction range. If a case can be made that disk bottom ones work well, I'll absolutely go for one of those.

The pans highest on my list right now are:

Sitram Profiserie Stainless Steel 2.1-Quart Open Saucier Pan http://www.amazon.com/Sitram-Profiser...

and

BonJour Stainless Steel Clad 2.5-Quart Covered Saucier http://www.amazon.com/BonJour-Stainle...

What else should I be considering, and why do you like it?

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  1. I've bought a fair amount of Viking recently and I really like it. I don't have the saucier, but I think the saucepan, sauté pan, and frying pan I have are great. take a look and see what you think. It's induction compatable, 2 qt., clad SS, comfortable handle.

    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/viking-...

    4 Replies
    1. re: mikie

      mikie,

      How thick is the Viking? What are the layers?

      The Bonjour is tri-ply, 3.5mm total, with a 2.5mm Al core. The weight is listed at a whopping 4.8lbs!

      And crap! Someone bought the last one @ $110, now the lowest price is at $180. >:(

      1. re: DuffyH

        Hi DuffyH,

        My Viking 2 qt sauce pan is over 3mm, close to 3.5 mm total, I don't know what thickness the core is. It's 7 ply SS/Al/SS overall, but not sure what the middle five layers are specifically. Made in Belgium, reportedly Demeyere.

        1. re: mikie

          Thanks, mikie.

          Reading a review over on Amazon, it was claimed that the saucier (don't know about Viking in general) has a thicker base than walls. Do your pans have this? Was the reviewer smoking something that's only legal in 2 states?

          1. re: DuffyH

            As with all cookware manufacturers, Viking literature is not very revealing as to specifics of construction. I assume that other than some us here, most shoppers don't know and don't care. If it were something I just had to know, I have equipment at work that I could use to measure every aspect of a pan, but it's way more trouble to get this $150K machine set up to measure than it's worth for me to know the thickness of the bottom of my pans. But it's accurate to 5 decimel places if I ever measure something. The literature doesn't mention anything about the bottom thickness being different, but that doesn't mean much in my opinion, they don't tell you much in general. We may have a micrometer at work that will measure the thhickness of the bottom, I'll check next week when I'm in the office, if we do I can measure with that, it's way easier. I don't have anything that will allow me to get over the sidewalls here at the house.

      1. re: kaleokahu

        Hey Kaleo,

        I'd like to keep it as close to $100 as possible, but am willing to go up to $200 for the right pan. I've only ever owned one saucier (Calphalon 3qt. tri-ply) and am a bit of a babe in the woods here. Do you think I'll see much higher ROI in performance if I go a lot higher?

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Thank you, Kaleo!

            That's quite a find. I just sent the seller an email asking about capacity and weight.

            1. re: kaleokahu

              That Demeyere saucier looks like a really good find!

              I have the Demeyere Atlantis saucier and it is induction compatible - I don't have induction, I cook on gas flame. That saucier is such a perfect piece of cookware -custards, crème anglaise, alfredo sauce.....smooth as silk....

              1. re: kaleokahu

                I got the specs on the Demyere pan. It's about 2.6lbs and seller thinks (based on measuring with beans) that it's almost 3 quarts.

                I've put in a bid. Now I wait.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  Duffy, I'll share my strategy for winning eBay auctions for a reasonable price. Never ever bid ahead of time. That only drives up the price. I watch the auction and see what kind of action it's getting. If I can't be monitoring it during the last few minutes, then I will place a bid if I have to, but I almost never win those. Have nerves of steel and place your max bid in the last few seconds of the auction. 95% of the time I'm the winner of those. It also helps that I call out "Suckers!" when placing my bid...or maybe it just gives me some satisfaction. And, yes, I know there are bidding apps and programs out there. Where is the fun in that?!

                  1. re: Leepa

                    If someone does want to use a bidding service, esnipe works well. It eliminates last minute problems with your server or can bid if you are busy doing something else. It can be handy to in case you forget the item is coming up.

                    1. re: Leepa

                      Leepa,

                      I won't be around the day the auction ends, so waiting was out of the question. We've used ebay many times and went 'round and 'round here at home, bid early or not, but in the end decided that I had little to lose by bidding early.

                      I've set my max bid, and that won't change no matter what.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        Hope you get it! I'll have my fingers crossed for you.

                2. re: DuffyH

                  Hi, Duffy:

                  Well, I'll keep looking.

                  Just for cost comparison purposes, here's a first-rate Gaillard Windsor in great shape that just went for $132: http://www.ebay.com/itm/GAILLARD-Pari...

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                3. re: kaleokahu

                  Hey Kaleo,

                  I wanted to share a new discovery with you and this is the perfect place. When trying to figure out how small I could go in a saucier and still trigger my 7" (min. pan size) front burner, I tried my 1 qt Optio saucepan on it, thinking no way. Well, color me happy when it worked as well as it's larger sibling. Then I measured it, thinking it was likely 5.5-6". It's a mere 4.5" across!

                  Now I'm thrilled, knowing I'll only need to use the back burners when using 3 or more pans. Yay, me!

                  Weather update - today in Tampa, 48 crappy degrees. Tell me it's gorgeous in Lihue. It's going to be 83º next tuesday. I'll be at Universal Studios Orlando drinking Butterbeer with my son. It's our annual "Mommy and Me" day.

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    Hi, Duffy:

                    That's good such a small pan triggers your top.

                    Try seeing how small you can go.

                    76 and sunny in Lihu'e today.

                    What's Butterbeer?

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Kaleo,

                      Hmmm.... I'm trying to think of things I can use to test the sensor. The 1 quart pan is my smallest. Any ideas?

                      I remember 76 like it was last tuesday. Oh, yeah, it was. Or maybe that was last week. Might have been 80 this week. The temp has been bouncing all over the place for the last 10 days or so. I'm living in a yo-yo. :(

                      I'll take your boring weather any time. I know you appreciate it, too. :)

                      Butterbeer is what wizards drink, from Harry Potter books. Universal Orlando has a whole Hogwart's area that we're looking forward to seeing.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        The frozen butter beer is best.... and ask for extra 'foam' on top! :)

                        1. re: Susangria

                          Susangria,

                          I just added the note to my list for the day, thanks. :)

                        2. re: DuffyH

                          Try a large measuring cup or a small pasty mold.

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            Devilspawn,

                            I hate you.

                            <Try a large measuring cup or a small pasty mold.>

                            Following your advice, I grabbed a magnet and started checking anything small that looked like steel. What I found is the lid to a glass canister that I previously thought was chromed plastic. It measures 3.75". I didn't think it would trigger the sensor, and the panel did flash for a few seconds before registering.

                            Satisfied that it works, I grabbed the lid to remove it from the heat before it warped or did something really bad. It's really, really thin, after all.

                            In addition to being really, really thin, it was also really, really hot. As in instantly raised a blister on my thumb hot.

                            <Try seeing how small you can go.>
                            At least 3.75".

                            I hate you.

                            Sincerely,
                            Duffy

                            1. re: DuffyH

                              Devilspawn? Unrequited love?

                              I didn't mean to burn you. This is a good object lesson. The detector circuits vary, and it's good to know how small you can go, so some unsuspecting someone *doesn't* get burned.

                              This is a very real safety issue, one that is not publicized. It's one of the intangibles of induction--the balance between the frustration of "not useable" and unsafe. As you have learned, someone else decided that for you.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Good morning Kaleo,

                                <It's one of the intangibles of induction--the balance between the frustration of "not useable" and unsafe.>

                                I'm not sure I understand.

                                I *think* the reason I got burned is that my little lid was able to heat up so quickly because it was so thin. It took quite literally 5 seconds, from the time I placed it on the hob until I dropped it. I imagine the same thing could happen on a gas range, but there'd be the visual/tactile cues of flames and heat to alert one that caution should be exercised. Those cues are absent on my range, of course.

                                My fault, for not knowing just how quickly things can get blazing hot on my range, and of course yours, for suggesting the exercise in the first place. Devilspawn. ;)

                                On a more positive note, things can get blazing hot on my range, really fast. Makes me glad I switched to induction.

                  2. What about the Sitram with a copper core, $100 for a 2Q?

                    http://www.amazon.com/Sitram-Catering...

                    I'm actually thinking about one of these now. My other saucepans are nonstick but the coating has begun to come off. I really need to get better at making sauces; in a lot of cases that is my 2nd favorite part of the meal. I failed at two of them last night. Ugh... practice practice I guess :)

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: toddrhodes

                      Hi, todd:

                      I really like Sitram Catering (great bang for the buck), but I don't think it's induction-compatible. Some was, and some wasn't, but Duffy has a new induction stove, so I think she needs to be sure...

                      Aloha,
                      Kaleo

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        Ahhh, darn, forgot about that part. I am always stuck in my little all-gas vacuum :) Thanks for setting that straight kaleo!

                        Todd

                        1. re: toddrhodes

                          And I hope you get to stay in your gas vacuum. It can make these choices easier.

                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            So true, though this induction craze seems fascinating. And if I ever want to dip my toe in that water, I could always get a portable hob to play around with but they're a bit spendy for something to tinker with. Anyway, I ended up getting the Sitram Catering 2Q for $67 with tax on Amazon. They had a "used like new" option which I personally have had very good success with (like a $1000 A/V receiver for $240, backed by Amazon) so I decided to take the plunge. To accompany I picked up my first "sauce" cookbook, "Get Saucy" based on a recommendation I found on here. I'm not interested in trying to make mother sauces at this point, just fun glazes, bbq sauce, asian dipping sauce, that sort of thing. And I've discovered I like to make caramel so I will be trying that in the new Sitran soon. Thanks for the advice!

                            Cheers,
                            Todd

                            1. re: toddrhodes

                              Induction craze? You make it sound a bit like a fad. Bite your tongue!

                              Seriously, what everyone loves best about gas cooking, it's fast response, is exactly what induction owners love about their cooktops. I wouldn't suggest anyone switch out a perfectly nice gas range for induction, but for anyone unhappy with or tired of their electric range, absolutely!

                              In terms of response time, it's virtually identical to gas. In terms of speed, with good induction cookware, there's no comparison.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                Sorry, poor choice of words :) It's the wave of the future, I'm sure of it. I'd have bought one when I picked up my Performer 30" but we'd have had to run a 220 line and I'd have had to replace a bunch of pans, moreso than the good stuff I've been buying lately so it just wasn't in the cards. Plus, I couldn't use my 23 x 14 griddle, I wouldn't think :( But yea, I am jealous too some degree but my 25k burners can take a decent quantity of water to a boil in 5 minutes so I can live with that. Hasn't induction been in use for years across the pond(s), just not so much here in the states?

                                1. re: toddrhodes

                                  <Hasn't induction been in use for years across the pond(s), just not so much here in the states?>

                                  Just so. Much longer. It never seems to catch on here. I saw a FASOR tile setup (still the coolest cooking thing I've ever seen) at the Del Mar Fair in 1985 or so. They're now out of business. One of the big demo/show kitchen companies makes some similar stuff today. Maybe it will finally gain some traction now, with more mainstream players. Perhaps the popularity of PICs is driving the new interest. If so, my hat is off to NuWave. :)

                                  Still, I don't think anyone with a gas range is missing a lot. Well, there's that speed thing, but otherwise it's very much the same. I *think* my kitchen is cooler, but I just got my range and we haven't had enough warm days yet for me to say that with any certainty. Anyway, if my house had a gas line, I'd have switched out the crappy radiant range for an inexpensive gas one 3 years ago and still been happy.

                                  The speed thing is pretty cool, though. Really cool. It cuts total cooking time on a simple pasta toss in half. For me it means when my 4 grandsons are here and screaming for food, I can throw a big bowl of pasta at them in about 10 minutes flat. I suspect that's part of what's making me think my kitchen is cooler. Heating a pot of water heats up a kitchen fast.

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    I used my cheapie cast iron wok the other night and I was really, really happy. I used almost the highest setting and got better stir fry than I've had since I stopped using gas 30 years ago.

                                  2. re: toddrhodes

                                    Europe had more incentive to develop induction because of energy availability and cost, and European manufacturers made an improvement which lowered the cost to only a little more than that of a conventional electric flat-top, so got a head start.

                        2. re: toddrhodes

                          Hi Todd,

                          I'd like to add copper, yes. But sadly, as Kaleo mentioned below, I'm wedded to (and happily so) my new induction range. Thanks for thinking of it.

                          1. re: toddrhodes

                            I just got a Sitram catering 2.06 qt saucier. I think the copper disk is too small. It develops a hot ring around the edges even on a really low flame. For a different pan shape, it may work well, but not for this saucier at this size.

                            1. re: danlind3

                              That's a major complaint over at Cook's Illustrated that they level at many of the disk bottom pots. In fairness, they do state that this only a problem with gas ranges. They suggest buying a pan with disk that covers as much of the pan base as possible. Think Demeyere Atlantis/John Pawson. Even with those care needs to be taken to avoid a flame that's wider than the pan's base.

                              Surprisingly, the fairly inexpensive Berghoff Earhchef pans have full base coverage (very thick too), the dirt cheap Homichef pans appear to have almost full coverage, and my almost dirt cheap Vollrath Optio is very, very close.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                I tried a Homichef saucier because it was so cheap I had very little to lose. It had almost full-base coverage, but things scorched on the thin stainless area near the base. It went off to the thrift store.

                                After that, I got the 2.5 qt Demeyere Apollo saucier that I'd yearned for for a while. It worked just fine, but I almost never had a real need for it, because shortly afterwards I got a smaller 1.5 qt heavy copper saucier, which is what I much prefer to use.

                                It would certainly be different if I had a full induction cooktop, but my induction is a portable unit acting as one (rear) burner -- just not as comfortable for highly interactive work like whisking or frequent stirring as a front burner. I'm planning to put the Demeyere on ebay at some point; I dawdled through the prime selling season (fall up into December), but am determined to get moving on it.

                                1. re: ellabee

                                  ellabee,

                                  Those walls are why I didn't choose Homichef pans. I knew that with the base as thick and wide as it was, they had to sacrifice somewhere. The only thing left was the gauge of steel used.

                                  Based on your post, I made an excellent decision. I've had no scorching in my Optio pans. Well, not since I learned how much heat gets delivered at various levels. But it was only the one pan of chili, so I don't count it. ;)

                                  If I don't win the current auction, let's talk about your saucier.

                          2. I intend to buy the Sitram for myself sometime this year. As you know I like Sitram.

                            11 Replies
                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Hey Kaleo?

                                Let me ask you what I asked sue. For most everyday sauces (I'm not into caramel or other really sensitive sauces) am I likely to notice a real difference between a thick disk bottom pan and a good clad pan?

                                1. re: DuffyH

                                  Hi, Duffy:

                                  If we're talking about a small saucier (rather than a classic sauce pan), you might notice a better result in a fully clad pan.

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                    Kaleo,

                                    That's exactly opposite to what I was thinking. I thought that between the two disk saucier options, large and small, the smaller saucier, with it's smaller volume/base ratio, would be more like it's clad cousin. Not right?

                                2. re: kaleokahu

                                  Thank you, K. The truth is I am concentrating on obtaining a new set of white china. So, my dollars will go in that direction pretty soon.

                                  But I want the saucier before the holidays next year.

                                3. re: sueatmo

                                  hi sue,

                                  I was hoping to hear from you because of your liking for Sitram. You treated yourself to a Sitram piece last year, right? Which one was it?

                                  In addition to saucepans, I've also got a Vollrath sauté and like it very much. Profiserie appears to be quite similar so I've no doubt I'd like it, too. I just wonder about a disk base saucier. Would I notice the difference?

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    I bought a saute pan and a big rondeau. You have heard about my satisfaction. The saute pan works well for me.

                                    I used a Cuisinart Windsor and thought it made a large amount of sauce very well. That had a disk bottom. My small All Clad saucier works well too, but for a smaller amount of stuff. I am not hung up on this, as you know. What I will say is that although the Profiserie line is quite handsome, they are not stove jewelry.

                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                      Sue,

                                      Pretty is as pretty cooks. :)

                                      You know I'm not concerned with stove jewelry, either. Still, I do like my SS to look nice, by which I mean it can't be grungy like my deBuyer stuff. I love the look of commercial cookware. It suits my contemporary kitchen. The prices generally don't upset me, either. ;)

                                      Let me ask you - do you see a difference in the Cuisinart and the AC?

                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                        I used the old Cuisinart only on electric or glass topped cooktops. It is really hard to say.

                                    2. re: DuffyH

                                      Correct- it's the Sitram Profiserie line that's induction capable. I tried some & am very pleased with its wgt. & performance. Not the best "looker" in my kitchen- but color me satisfied.... I only wish I could say that about the damn Demeyere I invested in.

                                  2. The BonJour seems to meet your parameters, but for that price you could get this 3 qt Mauviel:

                                    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/mauviel...

                                    If too much weight is a problem, the easiest way to save weight without compromising quality is to get the smaller version, 1.7 in the case of the Mauviel, unless you really need a large one. I would want the 1.7 anyway. I use a 1-qt saucier now and almost never wish I had a larger one.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      The Bonjour was $105 this morning with 1 left, but it seems someone bought that pan. So now it's the higher price.

                                      Admittedly, it's weight that will keep me away from the 3 qt. Mauviel, as I know with those handles (ok, but not ideal) it's going to weigh a ton in my hand. 2.5 quarts is probably the max size in the thicker pans like Mauviel, Viking, Bonjour and Demeyere. My 3 quart Calphalon was a strain with food in it.

                                      I wouldn't mind the Mauviel 1.7qt, but it is a little smaller than I'd like.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        I've just found the Mauviel M'collection de cuisine 1.7qt pan for $99, even less the M'cook line at cutleryandmore. It looks just like M'Cook, but likely made to be a SLT exclusive? OTOH, I can score the M'Cook 3qt pan at BB&B for ~$135 w/a coupon.

                                        But here's the weird part about the SLT line...
                                        "Five-ply construction consisting of three layers of aluminum sandwiched between two layers of 2.6 mm-thick stainless steel for unmatched heat transfer and thermal efficiency"

                                        Can this be true? 2.6mm of SS? Is it more likely they mean 2.6mm TOTAL thickness?

                                        http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                          There is no way that the pan is as discribed. The way the discription reads there are two layers of SS at 2.6 mm each, that's 5.2 mm without the aluminum and you can bet the whole thing isn't 5.2 mm. Based on the M-cook that I've looked at, the whole pan is more likely 2.6 mm and that would match the Mauviel labels for the most part.

                                          1. re: mikie

                                            mikie,

                                            Ah. Finally found what I need to know on the Mauviel website. It took a little searching, because I'm slow and old.

                                            "2.6 mm Thickness on all shapes - even heat distribution (fast, uniform, controlled cooking)."

                                            That claim did sound really, really wrong.