Here's my first post. I'm doing it because I had a really difficult time finding reviews on Cuisinox Elite Cookware from Canada. I thought this might help if anyone is trying to pick a large Saute. I agonized over it for about 2 weeks.
I've purchased the pan online and it should arrive tomorrow. In the meantime I'll elaborate on how I came to my decision and which other Saute pans I was looking at. I wanted a large (5QT/ 12"/ 30cm) saute pan. The plan was to replace my Cat Cora 11" Saute pan that I gave away to my mother in-law. The handle had some flex to it due to thin sides and there was no helper handle. The new pan had to be durable, stainless, clad or encapsulated bottom, 12" wide and have a helper handle. I wanted a 5qt pan that was wider rather than deeper. The budget started at $100 Cdn but I busted that eventually.
I looked at (online or in person) the following pans:
Calphalon tri-ply 5Qt Saute with glass lid
All Clad 6Qt saute pan
Lagostina 28 cm Ambiente Saute pan
Cuisinart MulticladPro 5.5 Qt Saute
Cuisinart Chefs Classic 5.5 Qt Saute
Cool Kitchen Integral-3, 30cm (12") tri ply saute
Zwilling Henckels 5 Qt, Truclad Saute
Cuisinart French Classic 28cm Saute
Some of the pans were too expensive (All Clad, Zwilling, Cuisinart French Classic). The French Classic was close to budget but also deep and narrow. The All Clad was nice but didn't justify the cost. I'm also not a fan of their handles but it wouldn't be a deal breaker. The Zwilling was awesome (3mm) but too expensive at $170 Cdn. If money wasn't a problem this might have been the pan.
The Calphalon was really too wide at almost 13". It was also the thinnest tri-ply of them all. I didn't think that I could really get even heating from this pan (subjective). The sale's associate at bed-bath agreed.
I didn't like the feel or look of the Lagostina but it did seem like a solid pan. On sale for $70 Cdn.
I really liked the Cool Kitchen Integral-3 tri-ply (by ORLY cookware). Great price and specs, but again I couldn't get my hands on one and the reviews were almost non existent. This would probably be a great pan but I don't want to be a Guinea Pig.
The Cuisinart Chef's Classic was on sale at $44, looked great, but the pan was very thin and cooks illustrated had the bottom come off from some of this cookware. So as tempting as that was, I wanted something that would last.
The Cuisinart Multiclad Pro was easily the runner up and I almost bought it. Great reviews, good price ($79 US plus shipping). I might have saved $5 after shipping, exchange and taxes. The specs were also perfect. Really hard to argue with this one overall.
The reason I went with the Cuisinox was due to a positive customer service experience and it also met all of the specs perfectly. The pan was $123 Cdn with free shipping. The Canadian factor might have played a small part. I called the 1-800 number and had immediate and accurate info. I asked about the difference between their Elite and Super-Elite lines (both the same but the elite has a newer handle design); I asked about the thickness of the tri-ply (she went and measured it at 2.5mm); I asked for some photos of the pans as the stock photos were all the same ( they were emailed to me in 5 mins); and I found out that warranty shipping would be my cost to return it (postal is ok) and their cost to send me the new pan. They also helped me find a local dealer, but 2 hours was too far to drive. I was just impressed that someone answered the phone in one ring and answered all of my questions with a smile (I think). Cuisinart has had some questionable warranty service based on reviews, and when I called them they couldn't tell me how thick their pan was. I had to read about it on this great website: http://www.centurylife.org/category/p...
There's a review under an All Clad article. Measurements and tests on a variety of products. Not Cuisinox unfortunately.
So there's how I came to my decision of the best 5 Qt saute pan within my budget. I'll do an un-boxing and a thorough review when I get the pan tomorrow. For now here's one of the pics that Cuisinox sent me. This is the "Super Elite". Mine will be "ELite" and have the classic handle.
For some comparisons, my current cookware includes:
Cuisinart French Classic 10" skillet
Calphalon Pro 12" skillet
Zwilling Henckels Spirit 8" pan
Cat Cora (Starfrit) Tri ply sauce pan/pot set
Cat Cora (Starfrit) Stainless stackable set minus the saute pan now.