4-qt stovetop pan; which shape most versatile?


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4-qt stovetop pan; which shape most versatile?

Steady Habits | | Dec 5, 2008 06:46 PM

I want a 4- or 4.5-qt. pan for my gas cooktop. I need your advice specifically on its shape.

I have various 3-qt. and 5-qt. pots and pans, different materials and makers. For my next good-pan purchase, I want something in the middle size-wise for use on my gas cooktop. Here are some of the things I'd like to use this for, in order of priority:

1) soups, stews, smaller amounts of stock;

2) cooking pasta in amounts a little too large for my 3-qt., but not big enough so that I want to drag out my largest/heaviest pots (say a one-pound package of pasta);

3) occasional use for boiling larger amounts of potatoes, other veggies, etc.;

4) occasional use for larger (but not vast) amounts of sauces.

I understand the intent and use of each of these as specialty pans, but I avoid buying single-purpose equipment, when I can help it. I've searched a lot of the threads on here and other cooking sites plus other material. I see arguments for and against sauce pans, sauciers and fait-touts/Windsors. I'm getting confused.

My first choice would be a saucier, because I *like* working with that shape (I like to whisk), but I'm not sure it cooks pasta properly. My second choice would be a Windsor, simply because I don't have that shape, but I don't know how versatile it is. But maybe I'm way off the mark here, and should just get a sauce pan with rounded corners. ???

I realize no one pan may do all of these things well, or even adequately, but I'm getting to confused as to which shape would handle the greatest variety of tasks. Thanks for any advice you can give me.