High end frying pan recommendation

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it's just really hard for me to believe that there is a sane use for cast iron for which a stargazer, griswold, aus-ion etc. is not more than adequate. Ive cooked two ribeyes at once in the 12"er and the crust certainly did not suggest there was inadequate thermal mass despite dropping two fridge cold steaks in there.

slightly related but I would hope I would not have to explain why a test proposed earlier in this thread about throwing a large quantity of cold water in a heated pan is not only completely ridiculous but also unbelievably stupid/unsafe.

eventually you have to actually use your pans and a longer handle/usable helper, well designed lip and lighter weight are, at least IME with these pans, real wins from that perspective. ok you dont care that's fine I cant tell you what will or wont make your life easier only mine. but I find this focus on benchmarks where everything scores "much more than good enough" strange given you have to put up the thermo-gun and actually cook something at some point.

ultimately if you really desire high thermal mass nothing suggested in this thread, Lodge included, is going to beat a Demeyere, All-Clad or similar quality 7 layer pan that weighs as much as a Lodge except it's got functional handles, heats SUPER evenly and costs 12x as much as the last Lodge I bought.

at least @btbyrd I think you're being reasonable about it even though I ultimately still disagree with you.
There's a lot to unpack here, but let's start at the beginning. The OP wanted recommendations for "high end" frying pans, not merely adequate ones. If adequate is OK with you, great.

As for the experiment I proposed, not once did I suggest "throwing" water anywhere. Once you remove the pan from the oven and place it on a trivet, you simply pour the water into the pan slowly. It's not dangerous, stupid, or unsafe – I've done it multiple times with different types of cookware to no ill effect. If you were to heat the pans to more than 450°F, however, you could potentially run into trouble with thermal shock in cast iron. Just don't be an idiot about it, and you'll be fine.

The real lunacy in your post, however, is writing that nothing suggested in this thread outperforms Demeyere or All-Clad (or even cast iron) for sheer thermal mass. Did you somehow miss my recommendation for Paderno Grand Gourmet (aka Vollrath Centurion)? With 6.5 mm of aluminum and another 1.7 mm of SS in its disc base, it has as much thermal mass as a 6.5 mm thick layer of cast iron – far thicker even than Lodge, and much more than in Demeyere's Proline, as well. Alternatively, the OP could consider some thick bare aluminum pans from Alegacy Eagleware or Agnelli. Oh, and the best part is that Paderno pieces can often be found for far less than $100. For example: Paderno 11115 – 28 POT 28 CM Double Handled Saute Pan Stainless Steel : Amazon.de: Home & Kitchen

It's probably also worth reading this review of the 12" Lodge skillet, just for reference: https://www.centurylife.org/in-dept...12-inch-cast-iron-skillet-10sk-l10sk3ashh41b/
 

coxhaus

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There's a lot to unpack here, but let's start at the beginning. The OP wanted recommendations for "high end" frying pans, not merely adequate ones. If adequate is OK with you, great.

As for the experiment I proposed, not once did I suggest "throwing" water anywhere. Once you remove the pan from the oven and place it on a trivet, you simply pour the water into the pan slowly. It's not dangerous, stupid, or unsafe – I've done it multiple times with different types of cookware to no ill effect. If you were to heat the pans to more than 450°F, however, you could potentially run into trouble with thermal shock in cast iron. Just don't be an idiot about it, and you'll be fine.

The real lunacy in your post, however, is writing that nothing suggested in this thread outperforms Demeyere or All-Clad (or even cast iron) for sheer thermal mass. Did you somehow miss my recommendation for Paderno Grand Gourmet (aka Vollrath Centurion)? With 6.5 mm of aluminum and another 1.7 mm of SS in its disc base, it has as much thermal mass as a 6.5 mm thick layer of cast iron – far thicker even than Lodge, and much more than in Demeyere's Proline, as well. Alternatively, the OP could consider some thick bare aluminum pans from Alegacy Eagleware or Agnelli. Oh, and the best part is that Paderno pieces can often be found for far less than $100. For example: Paderno 11115 – 28 POT 28 CM Double Handled Saute Pan Stainless Steel : Amazon.de: Home & Kitchen

It's probably also worth reading this review of the 12" Lodge skillet, just for reference: In-Depth Product Review: Lodge 12-inch Cast-Iron Skillet 10SK L10SK3ASHH41B
I am no expert and I am just trying to understand what is being said. I owned an Emeril 12-inch fry pan with a big silver disc. Whether this would be the same I am not sure but I was not impressed and I gave it away. I have a gas Viking range and the lack of reaction time on that Emeril pan made me nuts. I am not fond of silver discs on fry pans. I do like cast iron and carbon pans.

PS
I wonder if there is a difference in a silver disc being isolated on the bottom of the pan to where it cannot dissipate heat all over the pan like up the sides and such.

PSS
I do have to say the Emeril silver disc pan did brown better than any stainless pan I have owned. I also owned a silver disc 12-quart pasta pot for several years. I down sized and moved to a smaller pot without a silver disc. The whole time I owned my silver disc pot I always thought it was slow to heat water. Was I right?
 
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tcmx3

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Since you cant block people from quoting you, as a general suggestion to folks in this thread maybe ignore the person going out of their way to make really bad faith intentional misreadings so they can try and drag everyone to clowntown. It's unlikely they have anything valuable to say.

To get back to point, the two best pans I own, out of many, many pans of pretty much every material you can buy, are the Demeyere 12.6" proline and the Stargazer 12".

When you want to actually cook food instead of passing arbitrary, meaningless tests that tell you nothing about how it is to actually cook with a pan, either should be on your list of candidates.
 

Jovidah

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Different pans for different things. Sure I have some big fat heavy stainless pans as well, and they're great for spreading out the heat. But if I'm making cheesepancakes or something with eggs they're just less ideal IMO. Even something as simple as having a ton of thermal mass (applies to basically all heavy pans) also means they respond much slower. There's no free lunch here. Most disk bottoms come with their own caveats, like hot rings / cold rings outside of the disk, or at the very least sidewalls that tend to behave quite different from the bottom itself.

Yes carbon steel and cast iron might be affordable, and I'm open to any suggestions for 'high end' non-stick options that don't die within a few years, but so far I haven't found one. Not saying they're a be-all and end-all since they come with their own set of limitations as well, but even if I had limitless budget I'd still end up having at least a few.

In the end 'high-end' is problematic a problematic concept since it means different things to different people, and even if you only look at price there's plenty of stuff that simply not matches people's preference or cooking habbits. For every lover of Demeyere 7-layer proline I can just as easily find someone who hates them (for example for being too heavy).
 
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coxhaus

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I think the range can be part of the equation on whether you use gas, electric or induction. Some people may be use to moving a hot thick pan off to a cold burner or cold grate to pull the heat out of the bottom. This in my mind would have an impact on the reaction time of a pan. But I think a cast iron pan can dissipate heat better than a silver disc pan since the heat off the cast iron dissipates off both sides, handles and all over so the reaction time is better than a thick silver disc is the way I see it on my gas range.

I would like to try a 7-layer pan including the sides since they can dissipate heat better than a silver disc on just the bottom. Maybe heating will be better using the sides instead of just the bottom. It may make for less heat intensity using the sides instead of just the bottom it seems like to me.
 

rmrf

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I think the range can be part of the equation on whether you use gas, electric or induction. Some people may be use to moving a hot thick pan off to a cold burner or cold grate to pull the heat out of the bottom. This in my mind would have an impact on the reaction time of a pan. But I think a cast iron pan can dissipate heat better than a silver disc pan since the heat off the cast iron dissipates off both sides, handles and all over so the reaction time is better than a thick silver disc is the way I see it on my gas range.
I'm not it makes sense that a disk pan cools appreciably slower than a cast iron pan. Radiation is probably a very small percentage of the heat loss, so most is probably through the air, which means convection will probably dominate. I would guess that adding the little extra surface area wouldn't make a huge difference. Anyways, the thermal conductivity of iron vs stainless steel is only 35 vs 15 W/(m K), verses 230 W/(m K) for Al.

I am shocked there are so many expensive cast iron pans (Smithey, Äüs-ïöñ, etc) but stainless clad copper with excessively thick copper (>3mm) is not common.

I have two demeyere pro line skillets and equivalent sizes in carbon steel. If I’m looking to cook steak I’ll grab the carbon steel pan every time. I think they sear better . Never really occurred to me to use a proline, I’ll have to try it someday.
I highly recommend searing steak in a proline! I used to use carbon steel (matfer) or a lodge to sear steak but I find my proline works significantly better on my induction stove. I preheat until it is hot, then add a little oil and sear. I mostly do reverse sear these days so I tend to use more oil, less heat, and lots of flipping. When cooking a raw steak, I can blacken the exterior and have the interior below 100F for a 1-1.5in steak, flipping every 30 seconds or so. I personally prefer slightly lower heat and more oil however. I also used to sear my beef stew in carbon steel or cast iron but I found it was a lot more even in a proline.

The only things I cannot do in stainless clad are fried rice and fried noodles. (I just changed the way I do eggs)
 

coxhaus

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I wonder if the same holds true for gas as well as induction. I have never used induction so I am lost when you talk about induction. So, is reaction time better on an induction range than gas? Does induction heat up faster and cool down faster than a gas range? My Viking gas range has big heavy grates that hold heat. What about induction? When it's off is it off or does the induction hold heat?

To me even heating is not as important as heating up and cooling down as long as you don't have really bad hot spots. I am getting by with an All Clad D5 fry pan and a tri layer Viking USA made sauce pan using gas. I still use my carbon pans more. I use my stainless for acid dishes. I hated the reaction time on my old Emeril silver disc pan on my gas range.

Why can't you do fried rice in a proline if it browns better?
 
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Luftmensch

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I have never used induction so I am lost when you talk about induction. So, is reaction time better on an induction range than gas? Does induction heat up faster and cool down faster than a gas range? My Viking gas range has big heavy grates that hold heat. What about induction? When it's off is it off or does the induction hold heat?
I have only fiddled with other peoples' induction stoves.

In principle induction is more efficient. It induces eddy currents inside the cookware. Due to internal resistance of the material, it heats up. This is very quick and more or less a direct transfer of energy. On the other hand, gas transfers heat through convection - hot gasses imparting heat to the cookware. Given this method is indirect - it is less efficient and slower... in theory!! It all depends on design and power ratings.

Like you say... large hobs can store heat. On the other hand, at least the trivets creates an air gap. Although induction can instantly change the amount of heat applied to the pan, it relies on close proximity to the pan. All the supporting material behind the pan is a potential heat sink/source that can store and conduct heat. If this is designed well, it will store less heat than a clunky gas hob... if it is designed poorly it could be more...

I would say induction is likely to generally have the edge... but they are probably close!

Somebody with intimate experience with both is better positioned to answer
 

Michi

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For an induction cooktop, the hottest the cooktop can get is the temperature of the pot/pan on top of it. (The pan heats the cooktop, not the other way around.)

Glass and ceramic are poor conductors of heat, so an induction top will remain hot for a while after you turn the magnet off. It won't be as hot though as a conventional glass electric cooktop, where the cooking surface gets much hotter than the pan.
 
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HumbleHomeCook

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Induction is something I know a little about. Not so much in cooking but in casting. Induction means there is a magnetic field wherein the coil and the targeted media couple, things get excited and heat ensues. But only those things that the field are tuned to will react. This why you can put your hand on a freshly used induction burner and not get burned.

Again, I don't know a lot about how induction stovetops are setup but with my experience in induction, I'd be highly skeptical of any benefit beyond the safety aspect they bring. And, all of the complaints and frustrations I've read and had have heard in person, support that opinion.

The induction field is tuned. In other words, it is quite specific. Well, at least to be optimal. This is why there are so many people asking for better cookware options for their induction tops.

Induction tops are going to provide fairly quick heat to whatever material they are coupled to but I can't help wonder how that magnetic field is distorted when a pan is say, a third off the coil...?

I've used gas tops and they are super nice for sure, but I've also been using an electric coil top for about twenty years now and I don't mind saying I make some pretty good food. Just have to learn your stuff, buy accordingly, and cook appropriately.

I'd rather own an old coil stove than an induction top.
 

coxhaus

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For an induction cooktop, the hottest the cooktop can get is the temperature of the pot/pan on top of it. (The pan heats the cooktop, not the other way around.)

Glass and ceramic are poor conductors of heat, so an induction top will remain hot for a while after you turn the magnet off. It won't be as hot though, as a conventional glass electric cooktop, where the cooking surface gets much hotter than the pan.
So, does induction adjust to different pan sizes so it can heat evenly?
 

sansho

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i have a fair bit of experience with various kinds of cooktops.

the only thing i have no experience with is old or entry-level induction. the only inductions i've used are new and high-end.

imo:

quality induction > high-quality, open-burner gas >>> "infrared" (below-surface) resistive element > closed-burner gas > exposed "coil" resistive element

there is of course some overlap between categories depending on implementation and build quality. for example, some consumer/residential-grade closed-burner gas cooktops are so sһitty in terms of output control. hard to get a low simmer. and some of them don't give you a variety of burner sizes, so it's impossible to use a small pot unless you have it halfway on the burner. compared to such a cooktop, i'd take an exposed-element (coil style) electric any day.

that said, i feel strongly that high-end induction and open-burner gas cooktops are clearly and without exception superior to other cooktop technologies. between the two of these, i can see someone wanting to go with gas for various reasons. i cooked for years on a nice 6-burner commercial garland with beautiful, gigantic, star-pattern cast burners. but after using induction, i can't go back. i have the commercial gas garland in my summer home. no, it's not installed correctly. it's not vented adequately. it sticks out too far because of nonstandard (nonresidential) appliance depth :p

garland.jpg


induction.jpg


for everyday cooking at home, it's induction all the way.
  • the spatial power distribution is at least as even as my nice gas burners were.
  • peak output is comparable.
  • the output control is superior -- it's very easy to get a wide range of repeatable low lows.
  • the hottest thing in the entire apparatus is the cookware itself. this combined with the high efficiency yields many benefits. you don't heat up the kitchen with waste heat. less waste heat also means reduced venting requirements. if something spills, it doesn't get baked onto the surface easily since nothing around the pan is not. no other cooktop technology is as easy to clean.
  • the time-response is faster. a big part of that is everything around the cookware is cooler than the cookware, so if you turn down the heat, it drops quickly.
  • it's much safer. i seriously sometimes have kitchen towels a half inch away from a ripping hot skillet to catch oil spatter for less cleanup. what other cooktop technology permits this? "flame tamers" are a thing of the past. with an appropriately low output level, it is virtually impossible to scorch something unless the pan runs dry.

at home, i only use gas for: my wok burner, my neapolitan pizza oven, and my grill. all of them hook up to gas outside 😎

as said above, you can get used to almost anything. these are all tools designed by smart people for cooking at some price point. they all work "fine". but this is a forum of cooking enthusiasts with discretionary income for hobbies, so i don't understand the acceptance or even praise of inferior technology. i see people buying and selling knives more expensive than acceptable cooktops, lol.
 
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Michi

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So, does induction adjust to different pan sizes so it can heat evenly?
A small pot on a large burner is fine, provided it's not so small that the burner no longer senses it.

A large pot on a small burner is also fine, with the obvious caveat that the pot will be heated only to the extent of the burner.
 

Jovidah

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as said above, you can get used to almost anything. these are all tools designed by smart people for cooking at some price point. they all work "fine". but this is a forum of cooking enthusiasts with discretionary income for hobbies, so i don't understand the acceptance or even praise of inferior technology. i see people buying and selling knives more expensive than acceptable cooktops, lol.
To be fair a lot of people don't necessarily have a choice in whether they cook on gas, induction or electric, especially when living in rental places.
 

coxhaus

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A small pot on a large burner is fine, provided it's not so small that the burner no longer senses it.

A large pot on a small burner is also fine, with the obvious caveat that the pot will be heated only to the extent of the burner.
So, would a large silver disc pan be something you would want for a small burner? Or would it be better to get all big burners?
 

sansho

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To be fair a lot of people don't necessarily have a choice in whether they cook on gas, induction or electric, especially when living in rental places.
good point. counterpoint: you can get respectable 120V induction modules that you can set on your counter. portable.
 

Michi

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So, would a large silver disc pan be something you would want for a small burner? Or would it be better to get all big burners?
I have no idea. I don't actually own an induction cooktop, but I've cooked a bunch of times on one at a friend's place. Someone else might be able to chime in?
 

sansho

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So, would a large silver disc pan be something you would want for a small burner? Or would it be better to get all big burners?
ime, for induction, there is no benefit to smaller burners. small cookware works fine on big burners. i only use my smaller burners with smaller pots/pans when the big ones are occupied.
 

Jovidah

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good point. counterpoint: you can get respectable 120V induction modules that you can set on your counter. portable.
Yeah but most rental places that expect you to use gas for cooking usually aren't wired to have several of those running in your kitchen... ;)
Although it is a perfectly viable way use one of those to add a 'simmer'-option if you find your current stove is 'too much'. Personally I just throw stuff in the oven.
 

sansho

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Yeah but most rental places that expect you to use gas for cooking usually aren't wired to have several of those running in your kitchen... ;)
Although it is a perfectly viable way use one of those to add a 'simmer'-option if you find your current stove is 'too much'. Personally I just throw stuff in the oven.
edit: i'm sorry, i misread what you wrote. you're right, many apartment kitchens aren't wired for several of them. if you have only one unoccupied circuit in there, you can only run one portable induction module.
 
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HumbleHomeCook

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as said above, you can get used to almost anything. these are all tools designed by smart people for cooking at some price point. they all work "fine". but this is a forum of cooking enthusiasts with discretionary income for hobbies, so i don't understand the acceptance or even praise of inferior technology. i see people buying and selling knives more expensive than acceptable cooktops, lol.
I think discretionary might be relative here. While cooking is for me to some extent a hobby, it is mostly a necessity. I live in a very old house and don't even have dishwasher (not that I want one) and in many regions, utility changes are very expensive and sometimes prohibited.

This is a forum of kitchen knife enthusiasts. That would of course imply a love of cooking but it also, at least to me, implies a high degree of respect for how the cooking is done. Fitting a house with gas and commercial grade appliances is not the same thing as buying a $300 knife to enjoy.
 

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I lent a spare vehicle and got some fresh produce from the shop landlady tonight. Wish I had the induction cooktop here. The Stargazer seasoning is still in progress (hence so light), but one of these days I may oil it up and chuck it in the oven.



 

Luftmensch

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Now when I browse KKF, and am not logged in, I get adverts for Stargazer 😅

I see Australia finally has an importer for Smithy cast iron (the barbeque company) - no stargazer though...
 

daizee

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Ha!
I think Stargazer only sells direct, but I suppose one could contact them directly about shipping upside down.
 

JASinIL2006

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The one thing I'm starting to wonder... by the time you make cast iron smooth and thin, is it really any different from simple carbon steel? :p

I know carbon steel has its limitations, and when it comes to spreading the heat on crap stoves they're far from ideal... but I still prefer them for stuff like high searing and non-stick stuff (like pancakes). Yes, non-stick pans might have better conductivity - especially the fat cast aluminium ones - and the non stick might work better out of the box.... but with all the other negatives, like essentially eating teflon, not being able to use high heat, having essentially an insulator as your inner layer, and them basically being disposable with all of them lasting but a few years at most, I rather stick to carbon steel these days.

Yes I know you can do a lot of the 'non-stick' things in stainless steel as well, but some of those things nowhere near as easily. IMO they both have their uses, and I want both in my kitchen.
My old Griswold performs a lot more like a DeBuyer carbon steel pan than a heavier Lodge cast iron pan. I do prefer the smooth cooking surface of the Griswold, but there are times when I need the heavier, heat-sink capabilities of the Lodge pan. I would never, though, cook scrambled eggs or delicate proteins in my Lodge; I would not hesitate to do so in m Griswold (or my DeBuyer).

And I won't part with any of them!
 

McMan

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My old Griswold performs a lot more like a DeBuyer carbon steel pan than a heavier Lodge cast iron pan. I do prefer the smooth cooking surface of the Griswold, but there are times when I need the heavier, heat-sink capabilities of the Lodge pan. I would never, though, cook scrambled eggs or delicate proteins in my Lodge; I would not hesitate to do so in m Griswold (or my DeBuyer).

And I won't part with any of them!
Yeah, old Griswold is special. I think some of the love for Lodge would fade if more people had a chance to try old Griswold (or even old Wagner or Birmingham or Wapak etc. etc.).
I think it's hard to find Griswold in a lot of the country and prices have risen a lot recently so Ebay is no help. But the fact that old Griswold exists and I have some makes it hard for me to get interested in the new 'artisinal' cast iron that costs an arm and a leg.
 

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Has anybody used both an All Clad D3 and a copper core? How do they compare? I am not sure I want to polish copper. William Sonoma has an All Clad saute' D3 pan on sale. I like the idea of an 8-inch pan. I have a Viking US made 3 ply 3.4 qt but it can be big sometimes with just the wife. I do like my Viking pan. Should I be happy with a D3?

So, I read about the Demeyere proline and I am sure it is what I would want. It seems if you buy the curved pan you end up with clad but if you buy the flat bottom pans you end up with a silver disc. I am sure it is better than an Emeril silver disc but it may not be what I want on a gas Viking range. It seems to be rated as the best induction pan which I don't care about since I am gas.

I like the wider pans since I have big burners on my Viking range better than just using a regular 2 qt sauce pan.

The nice thing about an All-Clad copper core is they have replaced the middle stainless with a thin copper so you end up with 2 aluminum and 1 copper core sandwiched together making for a better reactive core. But is it really?

Maybe if I could bring myself to polish, one of the French made copper pans would be fun.
 
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tcmx3

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Has anybody used both an All Clad D3 and a copper core? How do they compare? I am not sure I want to polish copper. William Sonoma has an All Clad saute' D3 pan on sale. I like the idea of an 8-inch pan. I have a Viking US made 3 ply 3.4 qt but it can be big sometimes with just the wife. I do like my Viking pan. Should I be happy with a D3?

So, I read about the Demeyere proline and I am sure it is what I would want. It seems if you buy the curved pan you end up with clad but if you buy the flat bottom pans you end up with a silver disc. I am sure it is better than an Emeril silver disc but it may not be what I want on a gas Viking range. It seems to be rated as the best induction pan which I don't care about since I am gas.
I dont buy the proline stuff for like saucepans, instead I buy the 5 layer stuff since that is clad all around. I have their 4 quarter, great saucepan.

Ive not used copper core, but I have two D3s and I still love them, they are light, easy to manipulate, and nearly bomb proof minus scratches. I will say I do prefer the proline but I find a very stable pan preferable for a frying pan, and the responsiveness of the D3 is more suitable to other applications. JMO
 

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If you want a clad saucepan from DeMeyere they have those too, but you have to look for the conoical saucier / saute pans. The highest grade line there is called Atlantis. They have them in a few other lines as well but I think those are thinner / less layers.
 

coxhaus

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I just noticed William Sonoma has the Demeyere Atlantis Stainless Saucepans on sale right now. I think this is the same as the proline. I guess these are the disc type but I am not real sure.

Demeyere Atlantis Stainless-Steel Saucepans | Williams Sonoma (williams-sonoma.com)

So, watching one of the Demeyere videos the guy explains that cooking, frying, and steaming all need different body construction. Their fry pans have clad sides.
 
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