Pros: Non-stick; durable; safe for metal utensils; dishwasher-safe; perfect size
Rating: 5 out of 5
First posted 2/16/2005
The three-quart Cook’s Essentials saucepan is the perfect size and shape for so many of our needs. It has tall enough sides to prevent splattering. It’s large enough for most things we need to cook on the stove, other than big pots of soup, pasta, and things best reserved for a much larger pot. It’s narrow enough to be usable for amounts of things that won’t really fill it all that full, but not so narrow that it won’t adequately heat a larger amount of material. It’s sized so that we can use it on either the small- or large-size burner on our electric stove.
The handle stays cool and has stayed quite firmly attached despite plenty of use and banging around. The heavy body encloses a thick aluminum core that distributes heat quite evenly, while the shiny stainless steel outside remains beautiful use after use. The non-stick interior is coated with DuPont ScratchGuard, so you can use metal utensils on it–even whisking a sauce or a roux for long periods of time without injury to the pot. The non-stick coating is extremely effective; the Cook’s Essentials pans are easily the most non-stick items I’ve ever owned. I’ve never seen a single sign of flaking or wear on the coating of these pans, and we’ve been using them for, if I remember correctly, coming up on four years now. And we are not people who rarely cook–we put our kitchen items through some truly heavy use!
The glass lid fits snugly and has a stay-cool knob on it that actually stays pretty cool. I love the glass lid because you can see how your food is doing (well actually it often gets a bit fogged up, but you can get a decent idea of how your food is doing).
Because the pot is so non-stick it’s a snap to clean it by hand, but it’s also dishwasher-safe and fits in the top rack of the dishwasher without a problem. Cook’s Essentials also makes a steamer basket that fits this saucepan; it isn’t the best steamer basket we’ve ever used, but it certainly works well.
I’d have to say that of all our pots and pans, this is the one that we use most frequently. The size and shape make it adequate to so many tasks, whether you’re caramelizing sugar or heating a berry compote, and we love how easy it is to use and clean.
Note that Cook’s Essentials cookware is not available through normal retail channels; it’s available through QVC.