I'm registering for my wedding. We want All Clad individual pieces. We are so overwhelmed by all the styles and types. Can someone help us with their top 5 or so used items? Any interchangeable styles? The obvious ones for us would be the fry pans.
Thank you in advance!
I tend to prefer a saucier over a sauce pan. A saute pan will have straight sides and "corners" around the bottom; a saucier has a more curved shape that helps prevent "corners" and promotes whisking more easily.
In effect, the real differences between pans of the same size is whether or not the sides are sloped or straight, or high high the sides are in comparison to another pan.
Some people prefer to saute with a pan with straight sides, others prefer sloped sides.
In general I find that a large saute pan is very useful, a large and a small saucepan/saucier is useful, and a stock pot is useful. Other pans would have to be more specialized in order for me to want to add them on.
Although I usually eschew cookware sets, there is a 10 piece All Clad set usually available at Crate and Barrel that represents a good value and the pans you will need and use.. A sauté, two sizes of saucepans, two frying pans, and a stock pot. The only other thing I would add would be a non-stick frypan, and a cast iron (LeCreuset or other) French oven. That will keep you going for years.
Over the years, I bought one All-clad SS piece at a time as they were on sale, and as I retired older, less well-made pans. This is where my collection stands:
1 - 10" skillet
1 - 8" skillet
1 - 3 qt. Saucier with lid
1 - 1 qt. Saucier (no lid, nor does All-Clad make one for another pan/pot that will fit it, but I find ways to cover it when needed.)
1 - Petite Brasier, a 10-inch two-handled pan with a domed lid.
These handle most everything I need for everyday cooking, with the exception of an all-in-one stainless 8-qt pasta/stock pot with glass lid, pasta insert and steamer insert, not an All-clad, that I picked up @ Williams-Sonoma.
I might add two more All-clad pieces, though; a 1 or 1.5 qt. straight-sided saucepan that will have a lid!), and either a 3 or 4 qt. Sauté pan (also lidded). That's it.
This is not particular to A-C, but I would prioritize as follows:
1. A large (11-12" diameter) straightwall saute with cover.
2. Large (10") and smaller (8") frypans.
3. A larger (say 3Q) and a smaller (say 1.5Q) saucepans or sauciers with covers.
4. A medium size (say 5-6Q) oven with cover.
5. An 8-12Q stockpot OR pressure cooker.
If your guests are rich and numerous, add in a larger oven and cover, maybe in the 9Q range, a roaster or larger oval gratin, or a pasta pentola/steamer setup.
My advice is to ignore all the "Everyday", "Essential", "Chef" and similarly-named hybrid shapes. If you stick with the classics, you can't go wrong--that's how they became classics.