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Cuisinart vs. All-Clad vs. XXX Cookware


lzrandall
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I am looking to add a few pans to my collection. Does anybody have either of these brands? I guess my questions are: are the handles on the catering uncomfortable? is the cost of the catering justified versus the profisserie? bridge kitchen ware seems to push the catering line. several other vendors push the profisserie line. unfortunately i don't live in n.y. and can't put my hands on either. thanks for any info.

I have pieces of both -- sauteuse evasees in catering and a saute pan in the Professerie. The handles on the Professerie line are more comfortble, but the Catering handles are okay once you get used to them. I often grab the Catering handles with a towel.

The Catering reacts more rapidly. While many say that you don't need copper on an electric range, I have found that it gives me the only real control I have over the heat level in a pan.

I got Catering lids because they had larger handles than the Professerie. But when they arrived I saw that they also have a very small vent hole, and not sure I like that -- okay for stock pots, but....

As an alternative, I suggest people also check out the Vollrath brand disk bottom and tri-clad pieces you can find in restaurant supply stores such as Ace Restaurant Supply. These include heavier, sturdier disk bottom sauce pans and they have great lids for about half the cost of the Catering. I see a sauce pan in my future. And serious tri-clad fry pans, too.

I love the Profisserie line that I got through the mail from Bridge on a sweet deal -- and then I found the same package at HomeGoods for $99, which I bought for my parents who also love it. Click here for the discussion upthread.

Yikes! Now that's a deal, Chris. Is there a website? Toll-free phone number?

I have a vollrath skillet which I like. My only critisim is the way the handle is attached. I have been told the Sitram Catering Line's handle design is beneficial because of the "heat sink" it creates. I am not sure what that means. Thanks for the lid advice, maybe the hole just prevents condensation from forming. Bridge Kitchenware also recommended the Paderno Grand Gourmet over Sitram Profisserie. I am not sure why because I thought they both had the same aluminum disc size. The Paderno looks like it doesn't have a rolled edge from the pictures. Decisions!

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I have never used Paderno, however one of my chef buddies uses it at home, says it is awesome cookware for the price and highly recommends it.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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  • 3 months later...

I was looking at the September issue of Cook's Illustrated and they had an article on "bargain" saute pans. To my surprise they included a Sitram Profisserie saute pan (3.3 qt) in their ranking and given what I read on this site I thought the pan would be rated quite highly. However, the folks at Cook's Illustrated ranked the pan dead last!

In particular, they complained about an "unprotected gap between the disk and the outer edge of the pan" which lead to burning. They also said the pan was too small.

Anyways, their winner was an All-clad model (big surprise) and their "Best Buy" was an All-clad clone called "Gourmet Standard" that you can get at knifemerchant.com.

So for those of you who own a Sitram, what do you think about this article? I was contemplating buying a Sitram saute pan but now I'm not so sure.

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Welcome to the eG Forums, robertl234! I appreciate your posting on this subject. I haven't seen the article, but if what you've written is accurate, this complaint is a perfect example of why Cook's Illustrated doesn't make sense to me.

There's no question that an All-Clad pan will not have the same "problem" with gas burners that is raised here about the Sitram pans, since, well, they're all clad. The sides of the pan are basically as thick as the bottom (I'm sure someone here can weigh in on that more precisely than I can at 6:45 am), so if the flame from the burner is extending up the sides of the pan, then you're likely to see scortching on the Sitram that you wouldn't see on the All-Clad. (This is not, of course, a problem with electric ranges, by the way.)

But that raises the question: why exactly are the flames from the burner extending up the sides of the pan? Well, that's because you've either turned the burner up too high or you've got the pan on a burner that's the wrong size for the pan. No wonder they complained that the pan was too small as well!

Once again, Cook's seems to be blaming equipment for human failure. Did they choose the right pan for the job? Sitram makes saute pans that range from 20-34 cm, so blaming the pan for being too small is just weird. Were they using the pan properly, putting it onto the burner, turning on the burner, and then waiting to bring the pan up to temperature? You don't need to blast the burner with quality pans, of course, because they're sufficiently well made to distribute the heat effectively.

Finally, what is this "bargain" of which they speak? It may well be that I'm a bit biased (click here and especially here, where I mention getting used to using the pans with our new gas burners), but as far as I can tell, the pan they recommend at knifemerchant.com costs $140. That's hardly a "bargain," particularly considering my entire 11-piece Sitram set cost me $20 more at bridge -- and that I've seen those exact same sets at discount places like TJ Maxx for $100.

I can live with the degradation of having chosen a "loser," robertl234. I encourage you to accept the black mark of shame from Cook's and stick with your plans to get the Sitram. And if that burning does occur, well, then you can pay penance and buy a can of Bar Keepers Friend with the money you've saved.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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According to the article, the Gourmet Standard tri-ply 10-inch (their best buy) costs $73.36.

Here's what they say about the Sitram:

During the crêpe-making session--an unconventional test for finding hot or cool spots on a pan's cooking surface--every pan produced perfect crêpes except one: The Sitram's crêpes turned dark brown around the edges. The problem was obvious. The thick aluminum disk stamped to the pan's bottom did not quite extend to its outer edge, leaving an unprotected 3/4-inch ring.

If dark-edged crêpes were the Sitram's only problem, all would be forgiven. (Who but a Cook's equipment tester makes crêpes in a straight-sided pan?) But in a subsequent test-browning chicken thighs-that unprotected ring wreaked havoc again, burning the fond.

There are pans on their "recommended with reservations" list that also have discs rather than being fully clad, so I don't think that alone can be the reason for the difference.

Tammy's Tastings

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I would like to know what or whom has decreed that Cook's has the ability and knowledge to make a judgment on how a pan performs.

In my experience there is not a single individual associated with the publication that has the ability to render judgement on anything to do with cooking. I don't read Cook's but do know metals and cooking. My independant testing and judgment has found that Falk Culiniar to be superior to everything i have tested. Calphalon, All Clad what ever, they all went after I purchased Falk. -Dick

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I would like to know what or whom has decreed that Cook's has the ability and knowledge to make a judgment on how a pan performs.

In my experience there is not a single individual associated with the publication that has the ability to render judgement on anything to do with cooking. I don't read Cook's but do know metals and cooking. My independant testing and judgment has found that Falk Culiniar to be superior to everything i have tested. Calphalon, All Clad what ever, they all went after I purchased Falk. -Dick

Sure, the falk are great but the test was specifically of "budget saute pans" and falk is decidedly not budget. I have to say though, without seeing any of the pans, the CI judgement doesn't sound entirely stupid. 3/4 of an inch on the rim of the pan has no disc? If that was a 12" pan, then only 75% of the cooking area is covered by the disc, the other 25% is completely unprotected and thats unacceptable. Especially in a saute pan where it should be easy enough to get the cladding to go all the way to the edge. I wager the other saute pans on the reccomended list had bottoms that had far better coverage.

Again, I've not seen the pans so I don't know if the CI description is valid but it's certainly a legitimate reason to trash a pan.

PS: I am a guy.

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lord knows i have a lot of issues with CI, and sometimes read it just to piss myself off. also sometimes i watch the show just to yell at them for getting on my nerves.

but in this case, as far as i'm concerned they're totally right--on a disk-bottomed pan, the disk not coming all the way to the edge of the pan is a major pain and if you ask me, a design flaw. i have a couple of saucepans (that macy's 'tools of the trade' brand) that are made like that, and what it does is force you to use really low heat on all of them, because the second that flame comes around the edge of the disk and hits the stainless steel, there are hot spots--or rather, a hot ring.

the 3.3 qt saute pan is 9.5 inches wide, according to what i can see--even on a regular crappy old kitchen stove like mine with 10K btu burners, the flame is nearly that wide. i don't find it odd at all that they got hot spots around the edge. the heat from the flame runs out along the bottom of the pan after all, and will hit the thinner stainless part of the pan and make those hot spots--it's not just a matter of having a giant burner on high.

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I've been thinking more and more about this, got out a ruler, the whole nine yards. Here's the thing: the disk on the Sitram does go right to the edge -- of the flat surface of the bottom of the pan. However, the slope of the side of the pan, which starts immediately after the disk ends, extends the curved part of the base another cm or so away from the edge of the disk. And that is what produces the ring of fire to which Cook's refers.

But I'm not sure I understand why this is a design flaw -- or (perhaps a bit less defensively), I can't really imagine what else could have been done that wouldn't have been a bigger design flaw. The Sitram pans put the bulk of their material in that big, thick disk; the sides are light and strong stainless. Save for total cladding, which would surely remove this pan from the bargain bin contest, the only way to solve this problem would require sides that form an immediate 90 degree angle instead of sloping up from the base, yes?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I have two of the Sitram pans that I bought specifically for use on my induction burners and they work perfectly on them. The only time I have used one on a gas burner was when I moved it from the induction burner to a simmer burner (small diameter) to keep something warm because I needed the induction burner for something else. It worked fine on the gas burner, maintaining the very low temperature required for a rather tricky sauce which would have been ruined if there were hot spots.

Incidentally, my All-Clad pans will work on the induction burners but they develop hot spots and I can't figure why. A magnet will stick to the bottom of the All-Clad pans but not as strongly as to the bottom of the Sitram pans.

Frankly, I have many reservations about CI's evaluations of cookware and appliances.

They gave my favorite DLX/AEG Electrolux mixer a thumbs down, said the bowl was too large to work efficiently. Well, that is the reason I bought it. I needed a mixer that would hold more than the KA, at the time the 5 quart was the largest consumer mixer they made and I didn't like the design of the 7 quart Kenwood mixer now marketed under the Delonghi name.

The evaluation of the Electrolux was rather like comparing apples to oranges.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Similar to Chris and Andiesenjie, I have had good luck with both the Profisserie (aluminum disk) and Catering (copper disk) saute and evasee saute pans from Sitram. I had a little burning on the pan sides the first time I used one, but then adapted to the pan easily and had no more problem. I still think it's a great deal.

I have not read this particular reiew, and will seek it out, but I agree with Andiesenjie in general about some of the Cook's Illustrated equipment reviews. Their mixer review seemed to be flawed by trying to force some mixers against their criteria and essentially downgrading them for their strengths. They did the same thing with the 8 qt De Longhi that they did with Electrolux - criticizing them for not being able to handle very small quantities.

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I've been thinking more and more about this, got out a ruler, the whole nine yards. Here's the thing: the disk on the Sitram does go right to the edge -- of the flat surface of the bottom of the pan. However, the slope of the side of the pan, which starts immediately after the disk ends, extends the curved part of the base another cm or so away from the edge of the disk. And that is what produces the ring of fire to which Cook's refers.

But I'm not sure I understand why this is a design flaw -- or (perhaps a bit less defensively), I can't really imagine what else could have been done that wouldn't have been a bigger design flaw. The Sitram pans put the bulk of their material in that big, thick disk; the sides are light and strong stainless. Save for total cladding, which would surely remove this pan from the bargain bin contest, the only way to solve this problem would require sides that form an immediate 90 degree angle instead of sloping up from the base, yes?

It sounds like you are talking about your Saucier wheras CI is specifically testing saute pans in which the sides SHOULD go up at a 90 degree angle. Even with a saucier, a better but probably more expensive design would be to have the cladding thin out as it goes to the edge rather than stop abruptly. Kind of like this (yellow is cladding):

pan.JPG

I have two of the Sitram pans that I bought specifically for use on my induction burners and they work perfectly on them.  The only time I have used one on a gas burner was when I moved it from the induction burner to a simmer burner (small diameter) to keep something warm because I needed the induction burner for something else.  It worked fine on the gas burner, maintaining the very low temperature required for a rather tricky sauce which would have been ruined if there were hot spots.

Incidentally, my All-Clad pans will work on the induction burners but they develop hot spots and I can't figure why.  A magnet will stick to the bottom of the All-Clad pans but not as strongly as to the bottom of the Sitram pans. 

Frankly, I have many reservations about CI's evaluations of cookware and appliances. 

They gave my favorite DLX/AEG Electrolux mixer a thumbs down, said the bowl was too large to work efficiently.  Well, that is the reason I bought it.  I needed a mixer that would hold more than the KA, at the time the 5 quart was the largest consumer mixer they made and I didn't like the design of the 7 quart Kenwood mixer now marketed under the Delonghi name. 

The evaluation of the Electrolux was rather like comparing apples to oranges.

Reviews are targeted towards a specific audience. If you are not part of that audience, then you should take this into consideration when reading a review. In this case, CI is targeting towards people who have either gas or electric stoves and want to process small to medium quanitites of stuff. You have an induction stove and need to occasionally process large quantities of stuff so their review is not going to be in line with your experience. This is not a fault of the review.

PS: I am a guy.

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OK, I gotcha! Thanks.

However, if you replace the disk with something that's sort of like partial or sloping cladding, you'd still have a ring of fire, albeit a less intense one, since the base thins out quite rapidly. (BTW, I was indeed talking about the Sitram Profisserie Sauté Pan, whose sides do precisely what your helpful diagram illustrates.)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 1 month later...

That Sitram 11-piece Profiserie set is available at Smartbargains.com for just 129.99, and I had to get it. I got 12 percent off that price as a new customer yesterday. I don't usually buy sets of cookware, but this set has a lot of things I needed and was planning to buy separately anyway, namely the 1.7-quart saucepan and lid, the 3.3-quart saucepan and lid, the universal steamer, and the 11.6-quart stockpot and lid. Here's the set:

Sitram Profiserie 11-piece set.

The lid for that stockpot also fits the Profiserie 5.4-quart saucepan that I ordered yesterday from JB Prince, along with the 2.2-quart saucepan and lid, and the 1.1-quart saucepan with pouring lips.

I donated my old, scorching Wearevers to Vietnam Veterans of America this morning, and I am sitting on my porch waiting for the UPS truck. I've got to thank Sam Kinsey and his terrific "Understanding Stovetop Cookware" course for helping me decide what to buy.

edit to add: Note the Mauviel dinged-store-display copper pans also for sale at Smartbargains.com. I was tempted, but my budget won the fight.

Edited by browniebaker (log)
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  • 2 months later...

Hi: I am trying to choose between the following:

Both are 1 quart sauciers, stainless steel (not nonstick).

All Clad:

http://www.amazon.com/All-Clad-Master-Chef...r/dp/B00005AL92

It's available at a great price near me: $ 45.00

Cuisinart:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00...en-20/ref=nosim

This is also on sale: $ 20.00

Thoughts:

The Cuisinart is about half the price of the All Clad.

The Cuisinart also has a pour lip - nice feature.

The Cuisinart has a nice deeper shape.

However

The All Clad has the full heating core surrounding the whole

pot rather than only a disk in the base.

BUT the All Clad has NO pouring lip, which is nice to have.

Specific additional concern:

I am planning to use this saucier

mainly as a mini-karhai (=wok-like pan) to

fry papads, pooris, etc.

Also occasional tarkas where I may

add additional ingredients and

my little cast-iron skillet is too small....

My current tiny wok

is irretrievably blackened.

Will either the Cuisinart or the All Clad be less likely to

get a permanent black layer of goo on it after deep-frying sessions?

Any other thoughts on these products, or on Cuisinart vs All Clad

in general?

Thanks in advance

Milagai

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Unless you are planning on frying miniscule amounts of food in a cup of oil, a one quart saucier is going to be way too small. The pan is only something like 2.5 inches deep. That's a recipe for boilover and a grease fire.

--

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Unless you are planning on frying miniscule amounts of food in a cup of oil, a one quart saucier is going to be way too small.  The pan is only something like 2.5 inches deep.  That's a recipe for boilover and a grease fire.

That does sound like what I plan to do:

fry small quantities in a tiny amount of oil.

Tarkas take ~1 - 2 tsps oil usually.

The pans when I saw them in the store were more than 2.5 inches

deep - more like 4 inches....I don't know if the links I posted

gave dimensions, but I handled both sauciers in the store

yesterday, and they looked like they could handle enough oil

for papads and pooris.....

Deep frying papads / small pooris - I want to fill the pan

about 1/3 full of oil max. I can't find woks that are small

enough (to replace

my teeny tiny blackened wok), big woks waste too much oil,

other bigger saucepans are also wasteful because the flat bottoms need

too much oil for deep frying, etc...

Would either of these pots be less likely to go black or is

that an impossible dream?

sigh.....

Milagai

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Shiny stainless steel pots and pans are not immune to layers of grease build-up. They will be gucky in no time at all.

Buy the cheaper pot (for the purposes you're using it, you don't need triple-ply up the sides), but be sure it's big enough.

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I hate pouring from the all clad 1 or 2 quart pots. If anyone out there has a technique to keep them from dribbling, nay sloshing, let me know!

For frying I always like cast iron, and in such a small pot, the weight should not be a problem.

Edited to add, that any build up of fat on them is called seasoning. :wink:

Edited by Mottmott (log)

"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I have the All Clad saucier in question and it is great for sauteeing garlic, etc. However, the Cuisinart should do a similar job. It sounds like you will not be using it to make egg bound sauces or similar items that might benefit from the distributive properties of a fully clad piece.

No goo on mine, but I do not do a lot of deep frying.

Edited by menon1971 (log)
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The pans when I saw them in the store were more than 2.5 inches deep - more like 4 inches....I don't know if the links I posted gave dimensions, but I handled both sauciers in the store yesterday, and they looked like they could handle enough oil for papads and pooris.....

From a purely geometrical standpoint, they could not possibly have been 4 inches deep if they were 1 quart pans. A 1 quart (57.75 cubic inches) cylinder that is 4 inches tall has a diameter of scarsely more than 4 inches.

Anyway, All-Clad's product information page gives the dimsneions of their 1 quart saucier as 6.5 inches in diameter at the top (which calculates to approximately 4.9 inches in diameter at the bottom) and 2.25 inches in depth. I agree that you wouldn't want to fill the pan more than 1/3 deep (.75 inches) with hot oil. That would give you around 1.25 cups of cooking oil to work with. If that's enough for you to work with, you should go for it.

That said, the blackening is going to happen no matter what if you're doing a lot of deep frying. It's also unclear to me why you'd contemplate spending 45 bucks for something like this. If I were you, I'd look around for a 1 quart carbon steel wok. Do such things exist?

--

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Thanks for all the replies.

1 quart carbon steel wok - I so wish I could find

something like this. I haven't seen it in stores here,

though I have not done an online search.....

re geometry: I'll double check on specific depth back

in the store .....

re spending $ 45, I also am not sure :)

The only reason I was considering it was due to

the All Clad "name" and the fact that the aluminium sandwich

goes all the way up the sides......

Not sure what good either of these features do for me :biggrin:

Re cast iron: I saw a teeny tiny very cute little deep skillet

(like a miniature , flat-bottomed wok)

with a pour lip (Lodge Logic). If I didn't already have an ordinary small cast

iron skillet, and I was searching for a piece ONLY for tarka, I would

have pounced on that item. Alas, it was way too small for

deep frying.....

So, looks like the consensus is:

*go for the cheaper one (good)

* if I deep fry, it's going to get black no matter what....

OK, thanks!

Milagai

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