A Saucepan alone just won’t cut it anymore.
For much of my life, I’ve been a minimalist when it comes to cookware. Not dishware—I had to stop going into the dish section at stores for a while—but actual pots and pans. I’ve been living in spaces with minimal storage for a decade, so it seemed foolish to amass a large collection of cookware when I only need the basics to craft delicious meals.
Most of my cookware lives on the stove. I have my prized Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, a Carbon Steel Skillet, a vintage tea kettle with a harmonica whistle, and my favorite pot of all, my Stainless Clad Saucier.
Before I was introduced to the Saucier, I was a Saucepan purist. Why have more than one Stainless Clad Pan? I thought. I can make almost anything in my Dutch Oven, and on the off chance I need something metal, the Saucepan will do the trick. I didn’t realize how wrong I was.
The first thing I noticed about my Saucier was the attractiveness of its design. While that’s not something I’d normally say about a pan, this one was different from the start. The curved walls were similar to those of my Dutch Oven but it was a little smaller and wider—a cross between a Saucepan and a wide-mouthed Saute Pan.
It is the only place I make curry (and I make a lot of curry) because of how quickly it heats up. Those curved walls not only hold in the heat but also stay almost as hot as the Pan’s surface. Because of its excellent heat responsiveness, it’s easy to bring the coconut milk to a boil without burning my aromatics. And as an added bonus, the Pan is remarkably easy to clean once I finish cooking. Needless to say, I was instantly impressed.
But it’s real talent is risotto. For many years, I cooked risotto in a Saucepan, where it would often get stuck in the corners. You may think that a Saucepan does not have corners, but take a good look at those straight sides and remember all those times you’ve scorched a roux-based sauce—I know I'm not the only one out there.
Then, I moved on to using my Dutch Oven, which is now battle-scarred from the constant stirring with a metal spoon. It worked better than the Saucepan, but I still experienced some stickage and the heat conduction wasn’t perfect. I knew now that my arborio rice and I could do better.
Sauciers may not be built specifically for risotto but they might as well be. The aromatics sweat without burning and when it’s time to add the rice, the rounded bottom and sides are perfectly conducive to the stirring motion. For thirty minutes, I enter a meditative state as I add stock and stir, watching the rice go from chalky to translucent around the edges, thickening and filling up the Pan. It’s truly a beautiful sight. When all the risotto is gone (and believe me, we eat every last bite each time) not a scratch or burnt piece of food remains.
Until recently, my Saucier had been living in the cabinet next to the sink with my other lesser used pots and pans. Now it sits proudly on my stove, displayed with all of the cookware I use everyday. It has earned its place and I’m sure it’ll be there for years to come.