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Oven and Cooktop Braises and Stews in Stainless Steel: Cladded vs. Disc-Bottom

VFish | Nov 11, 2017 12:17 AM

I have been wanting to start some braising and possibly stews in the oven. I've considered using the Atlantis 4.2 qt saute pan that has a heavy disc bottom for braising but I am questioning how well it will fare. I know Demeyere also has a disc bottom "dutch oven".

In the book, All About Braising, by Molly Stevens, she recommends for braising in stainless steel, a clad vessel with aluminum or copper sandwiched in between to ensure even heating. With a disc bottom pan, all the heat is coming from the bottom only as the stainless walls are a poor conductor of heat.

How would one consider how a stew or braise will turn out in the oven with just stainless steel walls and the better conduction of heat only coming from the bottom? The heat will have a harder time spreading to the poor conducting stainless steel walls, so what kind of results would someone get from that? A more potential for scorching on the bottom? One might have to stir it every so often, while those with clad don't have to open the oven door?

As everyone here most likely knows, Dutch ovens came from the old cast iron ovens, in which it is heated all over and many recipes were developed from this technique of cooking. So why make the only heat source the bottom of this vessel for stews and braises?

Here is a write-up from Century Life I have found since searching this question.

I am questioning the usefulness of this disc bottom saute pan in which I would be limited to only the cooktop for sauteing as I am suspecting it would be inappropriate in the oven.

In addition, how would a disc bottom vs. a clad fare for long braises or stews on the cooktop? Stirring a lot more often or turning things in the disc bottom?

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