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All-Clad copper core 3 qt sauce pan is on sale at many places. Is this a good size to start learning about French mother sauces?

Is the All-Clad copper core 3 qt sauce pan too shallow to use to begin learning French Mother Sauces? The price is so enticing but I want to make sure it will work well for sauces. Thank you so much for the advice :)

asked by cowgirlculture 11 months ago
5 answers 410 views
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cv
added 11 months ago

It really depends on the size of the portion you're trying to make.

Are you cooking for yourself, just a couple, a family of four?

Or are you running a 40-seat restaurant? Restaurant chefs make sauces in larger quantities than the typical home cook.

If you read Julia Child's classic "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" book, she specifically calls for a 6-cup (1.5 qt.) saucepan. Her recipes are generally geared to serving a table of four.

I own 1-qt and 2-qt saucepans myself and would use either one depending on the application.

Of course, I have larger pans, but I don't typically make sauces in these pans: not because they're not good pans, but simply because I have no need for the quantity of sauce those pans are more appropriate for.

Anyhow, All-Clad pans are good quality, they will last decades.

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cv
added 11 months ago

I will point out that I cracked open my Julia Child and only looked at one recipe: bechamel. That's the one she calls for a 6-cup saucepan. I am simply assuming that for most of the mother sauce recipes, her recipes will yield the same amount, meaning she would grab the same saucepan time and time again.

My 1-qt & 2-qt All-Clads are actually sauteuse pans, not straight-sided saucepans. I happen to find the sloped side of the sauteuse pan more flexible and my 2-qt sauteuse is the most beat-up pan in my kitchen.

Making a bunch of French sauces is a good excuse to buy a lot of pans though. ;-)

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added 11 months ago

Thank you for your reply. i just cook for a family of five. I have decided to buy a smaller sauce pan than the 3 qt after your reply. It is just painful to pay more money for a smaller size pan (because of the current sale). But thank you that is what I needed to hear :)

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cv
added 11 months ago

For a family of five, the 2-qt saucepan will be a great size. Julia Child started writing "Mastering" in the late Fifties, when people used a lot more sauce than what today's diners are accustomed to.

A 1-qt saucepan is really too tiny except for single cooks or childless couples (who aren't entertaining for that specific meal). I like my 1-qt sauteuse, but I mostly use it for defrosting pints of chicken stock or melting butter.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 11 months ago

As CV said, it depends on how many you are cooking for, but I have to hazard a guess that if you are just learning, you aren't cooking for ten on a regular basis. I have the 1.5 qt and have owned it since I went off to college (thanks mom). I probably use it almost exclusively for sauces and love it. I'm not saying don't get the 3 qt. I'd probably snatch it up if it's a great price. My second most used pot is my 3.5 qt Dutch oven. Perfect for soups and stews for smallish groups.