This post maybe a bit jumpy in topics, but I wanted to share my journey in the last month. Much of it was reading and research, other part was guessing, doubting, and asking questions.
I hoped to have answered 2 questions: How much would I or should I or is reasonable to pay for the pot you want and does it even exist and if not, is there anything close to it.
All of it had to do with finding the right rondeau. A pot I will use 10-15 times a year to cook large batch of dishes. My ideal one does NOT exist AFAIK as no one makes it, which is 3-4mm copper and stainless lined, 36-38cm wide and 13-14cm tall.
Closest things I found so far: Mauviel tradition tin lined 36cm and approx $1k+ (maybe less available but hard to find) and Bottega Del Rame Mazzetti custom made - I have a quote from them, but I would prefer not to disclose it but it's less than Mauviel.
Is there something else or better that exists? Yes, old pans like K has 36cm, 4mm silver lined is close to ideal and several others have similar ones. My main consideration is pan has to fit my oven and few 36cm-40cm saute pans I found that fit my requirements just have too long of handles to work for me (you can rehandle it and I got quote for one, which was around $200, at which point, the total cost may exceed mauviel cost, so hard to justify it).
What else did I look at. Since my main requirement is around 35-38cm diameter, it kicked me off the home market, as almost no one else makes anything in that size. I looked at pure aluminum cookware, some of which is 6mm thick and costs below $100. It's great and seems to work for me, but few of my dishes have tomatoes/acidic ingredients in them and 3-4 hrs in the oven, just not something that I want to risk. I look a look at thicker bottom pans in my size (stainless outside/inside with thick alum core). Many of them offer 4-8mm thickness, but I still haven't found the answer how it performs on a low/slow cooking in the oven and whether it'll scorch, or have hot/cold spots, etc (on the sides). I then started to look at fully clad tri ply cookware in my size 12-15qt (15qt base, 5-6" height). I only found few models in that size. One of them has 3mm alum cladding and while I'd prefer 5-6mm, I could not find anything in that size (if someone knows, please let me know). But, being below $160 delivered in the USA, it seems to offer me the best option, short of doing a custom size one, silver plated, from Mazzetti, which, I'd obviously love but at 4 digit final price right now, is not something I can consider for 1 pan.
This leaves me with 3 questions in mind. The main one, I am I being unreasonable and overly complicating this process? Someone really said that I should just get 2 smaller sized pans (such as 2nd 8.4qt falk stew pot) and make 2 batches at the same time and therefore attain everything I need for less cost than mauviel 36cm. That is easier said than done. While I agree, that would be ideal, I still prefer 1 pot cooking and while this may make me stubborn, I guess I am. Second question being: Is it worth paying $1k+ for 1 pan, even if it will satisfy everything I need and obviously will last for decades, if taken care of. That's a very good question and I imagine the answer will be different for everyone. Right now, to me, I think the answer is no.
The last question is somewhat an unknown as I simply have not read detailed comparisons between 3-ply clad pot vs thick bottom SS pot and how it performs on gas and then in the oven for 3-4hrs. Especially in regard to heating on sides and evenness of that heat.
The unknown and this is possibly something that does exist but I just don't know.... Mauviel or Matfer or maybe even Falk or few other manufacturers that make copper + stainless cookware, may make few custom sizes for restaurants, but alas, until they come to the 2dary market or release it to public, there is little chance for me to see it. The other one, I guess I should cover is nickel plated, which makes it possible that some larger rondeau's exist that fit my needs, but I haven't seen any, so I hope to be wrong in this one. There is 1 other thing that may work for me. Deeper roasting pan that maybe something like 18 x 12" and around 4-5" in height. I am not sure if those exist with copper/ss or 3-ply with thick alum core, but it may work for me needs (if someone knows of any).
Right now, I think my plan is to get a 12 qt 3-ply rondeau until I find my unicorn and when I do, move that to sous vide duty and to retire my 20qt pot, that is by far too large for me.
Have any of you went through this 'madness' before, or maybe when choosing another piece of cookware or something else in life (obviously not as significant as a house or a spouse, lol).
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