My favorite All-Clad item made because the 3 Qt Saute Pan is my workhorse and it can fulfill many different roles!!!,
I’ve written (very positive) reviews on the All-Clad sets in general previously, but I wanted to write a review directly FOR the 3Qt Saute Pan because of how much I like it.
If there is a ‘workhorse’ of the various All-Clad cookware products I own (out of about 15 different pots/pans), it is their 3Qt Saute pan, by far. I use this probably 2-3 times for every time I use any other pot or pan. The versatility here is great. It’s good size, it yields an exceptional surface area for dry heat, but it has great depth for moist heat, it is still small enough to easily go in a dishwasher or fridge, and it’s still manageable in weight. Like other All-Clad lid designs, it does a good job in keeping steam inside the pan if you do not want it to evaporate (critical for if you are doing sometime like a multi-hour braise. [A few years ago, All-Clad tweaked lid design and it has improved upon the already excellent lid design on my older model.]) In terms of capacity, this is generally a great size for cooking for 1-4 people. If cooking for more than 4, the 4 Qt Saute pan gives some advantages (which I also own, but use only a fraction of how often I use this 3.)
Just overall, this is my go-to and is my favorite kitchen tool.
I use a saute pan for conventional and not-so-conventional usage. It is my primary fry pan…the lid keeps grease splash less than that of an open top fry pan, and the sides and lid allow the usage of radiating heat which unlike a normal fry pan, can be used to cook meats that you want to get a higher internal temp without burning the outside. It is my go-to for any kind of sauce, chili, braised meat, stew, most soups that are not in large quantity, my primary sear pan for steaks, chicken, and pork, and an oven pan for 2-stage cooking (ex: I do a ribeye by heating this pan in the oven at 500 or more degrees, sear it on high heat on the stove, and then return it to the oven in this pan. [Note that not many pans are built for a 500+ degree broil, which is a plus to this.) I also use it for stir-frys, mixed dishes, certain pasta dishes, and for fish. Heck, I use it for darned near anything!
I will admit that I am biased towards clad cookware. I think they give the best performance, best durability, and best practicality overall (usually at the expensive of higher initial price). Like other All-Clad products, the usage of clad gives you numerous advantages…
–excellent heat transfer thanks to the aluminum core…even if your stove has hot or cold spots, All-Clads will account for this and still produce a surface with an even and constant temp. Other than cast iron, nothing does this as well. I find this makes a HUGE difference in how well the food turns out.
–excellent usage of radiating heat (great for steak if you prefer to sear on high heat and then slowly bake until medium-rare – the Saute’s ability to radiate produces juicy chicken breast even without brining)
–lack of reactivity thanks to the steel (you can use any food, acidic or basic, without worry or a need to season)
–durability thanks to the steel (I’ve dropped these more than I want to admit)
–the ability to throw these in a dishwasher, or clean them with an abrasive or acidic compound
–lighter weight than cast iron while still giving excellent quality heat transfer
–no coatings to progressively flake or fail
–no health concerns over the materials regardless of how hot the heat is used (non-stick + super high-heat = bade idea)
–the ability to function like a boss whether it is on an electric, gas, induction stove, an oven, a commercial broiler, or over an open pit flame
–you can use stainless utensils and copper cleaning pads on this without worry
–a service life that will outlast 99.9% of the people on the planet
==IT MIGHT SAVE YOU MONEY==
Yes, the initial price is high, but I call it an investment from a financial and a health perspective. If you like your cooking tools, you will cook more, most likely, and I think clad cookware makes better food, further encouraging you to cook more. Given eating out for a family of 4 can easily exceed $100 for a single meal, having tools that allows you to eat more of food you, yourself, prepare can save you money and simultaneously improve health. I usually cook the week’s worth of lunches in this sauté pan on Sunday, freeze them, eat them during the week, and save about $50 a week over eating out just during work hours alone!
==EXPENSIVE OR NOT, I ABUSE MY ALL-CLADs==
My friends often cringe when they see how hard I am on my All-Clad Stainless line. But while expensive and pretty, All-Clad products are designed to be used hard and are made to withstand usage that would wreck many others. If I am spending big bucks on a high-end product, I want my money’s worth and so I am not…