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Old 12-14-2006, 03:42 AM   #1
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All Clad probably for me.

Well, I did make the decision to go the the All Clad and will probably purchase it through the outlet store at cookware and more.

My last question now is that I need help with which sizes of pots to purchase. Which ones do you use and what kinds of cooking do you use it for. Like with saute pans, the 3 quart or the 4 quart and what can you do in the 4 quart that you can't do in the 3 quart size?

Which sauce pan: 2 quart, 3 or 4 and again, what do you use them for?

6 quart stock pot or 8 quart? again what can you do in the 8 that you can't do in the 6 quart.

casserole pot? isn't that duplication of above?

other recommendations and how you have used them.

12" fry pan is a no contest: the only one I'm absolutely sure about.

can you please help me with which sizes of pots to purchase?

lastly, is there a good resource for how cooking on ss all clad will now be different than before ss cookware?

thanks,

mack

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Old 12-14-2006, 04:10 AM   #2
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Well, ultimately it has to do with what you cook more often than not. The one All-Clad pan I would recommend for absolutely everyone though is one of their sauciers.

I use the deep dished skillet quite often as well. Beyond that? I'd have to say the dutch oven (stock pot?) would be a must.

I don't know--I use almost all of mine quite a bit. One of their sauce pots (I think it's the 2 quart) it took me a while to warm to because it's narrow and tall (something I'm not fond of) but with the way they're constructed it tends to work. I still prefer larger surface area, though, which is why I probably use the 3 quart sauce pan more often if my saucier is in use. I'd say the one that gets the least usage for me is the grill pan, but that's because I'm a grillmaster and there's just no substitute for the BBQ--even in 5 degree weather.
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:33 AM   #3
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8 quart stock pot. I don't think mine has ever been put in a cupboard. Obviously you can cook a larger amount of food in an 8 quart and stir it more adequately.
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:32 AM   #4
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Look at what you use the most now. Replace those pieces. It's hard to say whet you should buy as we don't know what and how you cook and for how many people.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:24 AM   #5
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I like sauciers rather than sauce pots. I find 3qt jobbers to be the most versatile... not too big and not too small. Easier to whisk with, and larger surface area for reducing liquids. Nice and wide too for small braising jobs.

8qt pots are almost a no brainer. If I could only have one cooking vessel it would be one of my 8qt MC2's.

Frypans are really where it gets tricky. You mjust choose a proper sized pan for the amount of people you are cooking for lest you end up steaming the foods or burning the drippings. When cooking for 1 person, the 8" is what you need. Two people (or three small portions) sees a 10", and four people (or five small portions) would see the use of a 12" jobber. I also use my frypans for roasting.

As said above though, make a list of all the pans/pots you have. Circle the ones you use most often, and include notes of what it is you like/dislike about those items. Base your pan decisions off that.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:28 AM   #6
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If I could only keep one stainless steel pot or pan it would be a 10" fry pan. The 12" would only occasionally be used in my kitchen. The 8" after subtracting the sloping sides is too small to be useful except on rare occasions.
I have two and 4 qt. sauce pans and would like to add a 3 qt saucier.
Next would be an 8 qt. stock pot.
I'd also want a 6 qt. pot in the shape that All-clad calls casserole. It should be wider than the stock pot.
That's my two cents anyway.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:39 AM   #7
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how big is your family? how many are you cooking for? Do you entertain? etc etc.

I think (and everybody else has an opinion too that is equally valid) you need some saucepans with lids say a 2 3 and 4 qt collection. A couple fry pans 10 and 12 inch, a saute pan with lid 3 or 4 qt size. a soup pot 5 or 6 qt size. If you make stocks, lots of soups etc, you may want a 8 qt or larger pot. If you do meals for one, you may want a 8" fry pan.

I also think you need a couple non stick skillets for eggs and some seafoods etc. Personally I buy resaraunt pans for that, but others disagree and want their matching set pieces. I also think a heavy enamelled cast iron pot is very useful, and a good heavy duty roasting pan too. It is worth getting the all clad roaster...yes it is pricey but your veggies and fond won't burn as it can in a cheaper thiner pan.

So enjoy collecting and using your fine cookware.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:13 PM   #8
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Are you only buying one saucepan? I have 2,3 and 4 and use them all the time. If you are buying only one, I'd probably go with the 3.

4 quart sautee pan gets used a lot. I have the larger one also and it is only used occassionally.

I have 2 10 inch skillets. IMO the 12 inch is just too large to be practical, esp when I have the 4 quart sautee pan.

Always go with the larger stockpot.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
The 8" after subtracting the sloping sides is too small to be useful except on rare occasions.
Not if you're cooking something for just yourself! I find 10" pans way too big for sautees when I'm whipping up a quick lunch/dinner for myself, as the pan juices tend to burn with the amount of real estate surrounding the item. It's also difficult to develop the flavors in a pan sauce with a 10" skillet and a single half-chicken breast as the rate of evaporation is so large when the sauce is at the temperature of a light-simmer. An eight inch diameter is also perfect for a few new red potatoes and asparagus tips to be roasted. I also use them to roast my spices.

Personally, I have two 8" pans and two 10" pans (in All-Clad MC2). I also have cast-iron Lodge pans in the 8", 10", and 12" sizes. It's rounded out with a 10" T-Fal aluminum bodied frypan with a non-stick surface (for crepes and other similar items). Oh, and I have one of those giant electric griddles for big breakfasts.

It all comes down to how many people you cook for, but I would disagree that an eight-inch pan is too small to be useful.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:38 PM   #10
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I'm with Nick. I have 2 8 inch SS All Clad frypans, too. They were on sale for $19 on Amazon. They are perfect for loads of small jobs.

Like I said, I have 2 10 inch frypans, too. 3 10 inch cast iron and a 12 inch cast iron.

An 8 and a 10 nonstick.

They all have their place but the 12 inch gets used the least.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:49 PM   #11
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Okay, Nick and Jennyema, you convinced me. I do get a fair amount of use out of an 8" Lodge. I'll look for a sale on the 8" All-clad. Thanks.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:18 PM   #12
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I'm a single man but when I cook for myself or my girlfriend, I ALWAYS want leftovers. Lately been reading the Americas Test Kitchen books about their successes and failings/learnings and became re-interested in cooking again.

I've always loved to make soups like mushroom barley, blackbean, heavy winter soups and will give making stocks a go also. Their (ATK) recipes for pan chicken looked good, as did their thai dishes.

Never used a saucier though.

do you use your 10" frying pans for things like eggs? does it stick? and what else do you use the 10" for.

can you explain to me what you mean by something steaming in a fry pan instead of frying; something about what happens if the pan is too crowded; what is the science behind that?

any books to recommend on cooking as well would be great.

mack
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:22 PM   #13
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The two things are the same. Overcrowding the pan causes the food to steam rather than brown.

Here's why. You heat the pan to temperature, either high or medium high, then you add the food. The much cooler food draws heat from the pan and reduces the temperature of the skillet so browning will not occur.

If the pan is hot enough and the burner has the capacity, the pan can recover and generate the higher heat necessary for browning. If you put too much food in at one time, the pan cannot recover fast enough to brown the food and it end up steaming in its own juices.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:28 PM   #14
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First of all, I buy stuff from Cookware and More, but definitely go to a store and look at the pieces you are considering so that you have an idea of their size and shape and usefulness to you.

If it's just the two of you, consider a 10 inch fry pan if you are also getting a 4 quart sautee pan. The larger sautee pan is very versatile.

My 10 fry pan is a bit large for the amount of eggs I cook. Plus eggs aren't that easy to cook in SS. Eggs are one of the only reasons I own a nonstick skillet -- they are usually cooked in my smaller one.

When you overcrowd a pan when cooking things that throw off moisture (like when browning beef for stew) the moisture doesn't properly evaporate so the beef "steams" rather than dry-sears. When frying, the oil temp will drop and your food will not cook properly and absorb more oil.

It's very important not to crowd your pan. But that's why you need to eyeball this cookware and guage how large a pan you need.

Books -- Cookwise by Shirley Corriher is a great book that helps explainthe science behind cooking and baking.
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Old 12-14-2006, 02:33 PM   #15
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Most dishes that I sautee I don't want leftovers of, as the crispness of the exterior softens, and it's very difficult to properly reheat without overcooking or losing what remains of the browned exterior. Same goes for steamed vegetables. Now something like a soup/stew/braise is totally different. Those things tend to get better after resting a day or two in the ice box.

Regarding overcrowding the pan, the opposite is true as well. Too much real estate and too little product and you end up boiling what little water exists in the juices and then burning whats left as the temperature is free to increase beyond 212ºF. The fond usually ends up turning black as well as the browned surface doesn't have as much surface contact and the fond absorbs the majority of the pan heat. This is especially true when you transfer the item into the oven to roast at a high-temp or broil. Then when you go to make the sauce, you want the liquid up around 200-205ºF (at a nice simmer) to develop the flavors in the pan sauce. 1/2-C of liquid for one serving spread over a 10 or 12" pan is going to reduce like crazy at that temperature before the ingredients can get their mojo going. In a small 8" pan, you have less surface area and a longer simmering time available.

When cooking for myself, a typical meal is a sauteed 6oz piece of meat browned over high heat in an 8" pan and then tossed into the oven to finish cooking. Beforehand, I'll cube up some red potatoes with a bit of oil, S&P and have those going in the oven (in another 8" pan). Then I'll pull the meat to rest and steam some green beans while I make a pan sauce with the fond/juices from the meat. Whole process including clean-up is usually about an hour, but the first 1/2hr I just have the taters going and I'm off doing something else. So I'll use two 8" pans, a 3qt saucier w/steamer/lid, and thats it. This dish for 2-3 people would see me using my 10" pans and the 3qt steamer setup. For 4-6 people, I would cook the meat in two 10" pans, roast in my large roaster, and blanch the beans in 6qt of boiling salted water with my 8qt pot. More than 6 people, and I won't be making sauteed dishes...
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:45 PM   #16
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Hello and welcome to DC. I would definitely go with the 8 quart stockpot and at least three 4 quart sautee pan. You should also have two 10 inch frypans and as far as the rest I would read all the comments to your post by our wonderful chefs.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:13 PM   #17
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Thank you Nick. Your description of your whole detailed cooking process was exactly what I needed to hear.

mack
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:40 PM   #18
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Is All Clad ok to use on a ceramic stovetop? Are there pots and pans that should not be used on this surface? Really don't like the ceramic; would much have preferred gas, but this is the stove that came with the house and don't want to buy another one.

mack
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:08 PM   #19
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A-C should be fine on ceramic.
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemack
Is All Clad ok to use on a ceramic stovetop? Are there pots and pans that should not be used on this surface? Really don't like the ceramic; would much have preferred gas, but this is the stove that came with the house and don't want to buy another one.

mack

I'm in the same boat (stove came with house) and use All Clad, Le Creuset and Cast Iron every day on mine.
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