…while a saucepan is standard in any kitchen, sauciers have mainly been the domain of restaurant chefs. We thought it was time this changed. We gathered eight models with capacities ranging from 3 to 3½ quarts—the most common large size—and compared them with our favorite 4-quart saucepan from All-Clad. Six of these pans were fully clad, meaning they were made of alternating layers of steel and aluminum, which takes advantage of the best qualities of each metal. We also tested a “disk bottom” model (only the base is fully clad, and the sides are a single layer of stainless steel) and a hefty model made of enameled cast iron. In them, we prepared risotto, gravy, and pastry cream, noting their cooking performance as well as how comfortable they were to maneuver. We also tested their reduction speed by boiling a measured amount of water in each model for 10 and 20 minutes and weighing the results. Finally, since their curvy sides are known for being easier to clean than the L-shaped sides of saucepans, we washed each model by hand.
A saucier is hardly essential equipment for your kitchen, but if you make a lot of sauces, gravy, reductions, or just like to cook creamy dishes like risotto, you could learn a thing or two from how they’re designed. America’s Test Kitchen also put pans to the test, and looked at what makes a good one worth your money:
As you’ll know if you’ve ever tipped a bag of coarse-ground cornmeal into simmering water without doing the math, polenta for dinner is a much bigger commitment than standbys like pasta or quinoa or rice. “Ready when you are!” the standbys say, while polenta lights up a cigarette and heads out the door.
Rapini is a hearty vegetable — its bitter flavour begs to be paired with creamy, salty and slightly fatty ingredients like sausage, polenta, olive oil roasted potatoes and braised beef. Don’t be shy when pairing rapini with other ingredients; its bold colour and flavour will stand up to rich ingredients and help provide balance to hearty meals.