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Apr 5, 2014 08:46 PM

Universal pan?

Hey guys I'm new here, I'm a prof. chef and looking for a home versatile pan.

I want copper, probably falk or mauviel.

What i currently have is a 6qt stainless saucier with lid
cast iorn skillet 8 and 10"
black steel 8" skillet
10" aluminum skillet
small cast iron dutch oven without lid.

I want something i can do everything from make sauces, cook rice, heat water for coffee, cook eggs, bacon etc just universal for most things.

i was thinking the saucier from falk 1.5 qt or 2qt

maybe a sauté pan?


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  1. Probably a flared sauté pan with a lid would be the most universal shape.

    1. If I could only have one cooking vessel it would be my 4-qt lidded saucier.

      Sounds like a small saucier would fill in any gap in your arsenal. If none of your other lids fits your dutch oven, maybe one of the smaller skillets can serve as a lid. Or get a clay flowerpot saucer at a garden center.

      7 Replies
      1. re: greygarious

        What i do now is use the skillets as lids, so I'm going to purchase a lid with the pan.

        i was also thinking about saucier as a good shape, I'm just wondering if 2qts will be enough or it i should go larger. My 6qt is too large for most things though, a nice pan but not needed for home cooking very often.

        1. re: jgraeff

          I think you're on track with a saucier, IME it's the most versatile pan on the planet. Mine is 2 quarts and I think it's a little too small for what you want it to do. If my wrists were stronger I'd have gone for the 3 quart for sure. It's more versatile. But for true versatility, the 4 quart mentioned by gregarious would be nice.

          My Vollrath (clad stainless) has a larger-than-normal base, which would be an ideal shape for you, if only it were copper. Is anyone making anything like the so-called "chef" pans in copper? That could be your pan.

          1. re: DuffyH

            thanks, i will definitely look into it for sure.

            Also does anyone know the differences between cast iron handles and stainless other than normal maintenance?

          2. re: jgraeff

            If you're looking for a fait-tout, 2 qts is too small. The 3-qt "stew pan" (two-handled saucier) is the pan to have if you can only have one, IMO. It's 9.5" diam at the top.

            1. re: ellabee

              The Falk signature line saucier is nearly identical in all dimensions, but has a single long handle. Cook's choice. How cool is that?


              1. re: DuffyH

                I have strong wrists and arms, but I would not want this saucier because of the lack of a helper handle. Especially if it's full, and in the oven, a helper handle provides needed security in lifting, carrying, and pouring.
                Not that I could ever afford it, even if it DID have a helper handle.

                1. re: greygarious

                  It weighs 5.5 lbs, which isn't all that heavy considering the OP already has a 6 quart clad SS saucier and several pieces of cast iron.

                  My old Calpahlon clad 3 quart sauté weighed about 4 lbs without a helper handle. I'm a very wimpy 60 year old woman and I was able to lift it. I used two hands when it was full, but that's where a long handle helps.

                  As I wrote, it's nice of Falk to offer it both ways. :)

        2. Hi, jgraef:

          For a "desert island" pan, I'd pick a sauteuse evassee (or Windsor) over either a plat a sauter (saute) or the new sauteuse bombee ("saucier").

          But a 6Q (11") saute would also fit well into your batterie.


          1 Reply
          1. re: kaleokahu

            Ya I think out of the saucier vs stew pot I'd go with saucier, unless I was getting a bigger pot.

            I'm think sauté may be better because I can sear better in it. Still deciding because it's expensive

          2. I'd go 2 qt saucier, for a one- or two-person household. If you often cook for larger numbers (i.e. 4-6), then maybe a 3 qt would work nicely. I think anything larger would be cumbersome for day-to-day cooking.
            I'm also a culinary professional.

            1. I have a 3 quart sauteuse evasee in heavy 2.5 mm stainless-lined copper from Mauviel. I bought it years ago a reduced price from a shopkeeper who thought that it was a "specialty piece" for delicate sauces made in half-gallon quantities, rather useless in the ordinary home. I just smiled, waved away her doubts, and took that baby home.

              It is the best risotto pan ever, does excellent scrambled eggs and general stir-fries, works well as a braising pan. I have since acquired a few other copper pieces, but this remains my favorite. With the lid on, it's a saucepan. With the lid off, it's a deep skillet. If I had to choose just one pan to keep, this would be it.

              Your mileage may vary, of course.