I’ve Tried More Than a Dozen All-Clad Pots and This One Is the Best
Throughout my career and at home, I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every single All-Clad pot and pan to have ever been made. I’ve even tried the brand’s waffle maker! I spent 10 years working in Alton Brown’s All-Clad stocked test kitchens and I started my own All-Clad collection 15 years ago. I use these pans every single day, testing recipes for Kitchn and feeding my family of four. My 4-quart pot cooks lots of pastas, while a 12-inch pan is my favorite for braised chicken and weeknight stir-fries. I use my largest pot for making stock at least once a week.
I clearly love my All-Clad, but there is one pan that I use the most. Not only do I use it a lot, I also think other people should too, so I frequently gift it to newlyweds, college grads, and family members. Of the dozens of All-Clad pans I’ve tried, this is the one that I strongly believe is the very best and that everyone should have.
The Single Best Piece of All-Clad Cookware
All-Clad’s 2-Quart Stainless Steel Saucepan (with lid!) was the kitchen tool that I coveted most during culinary school and in my early test kitchen days. At the time, I was tinkering with candy making and the narrow pot was perfect for slow cooking caramels, fudge, and marshmallows. I bought a scratch-and-dent 2-quart pot for myself with my first post-culinary school paycheck. It was a lot for me to spend at the time but it brought me so much joy. While I only bought it for cooking sugar, I found myself reaching for that little pot every single day. Back then, I often used it to cook the quintessential broke college grad staple: ramen noodles.
Buy: All-Clad’s 2-Quart Stainless Steel Saucepan, $155
A whole decade of use has passed and this 2-quart pot is still looking new and seeing daily use. It makes way more morning oatmeal and Annie’s Mac and Cheese now than candy, but that’s part of what makes me love it even more.
Why All-Clad’s 2-Quart Saucepan Is the One Pan To Get
I know what you’re thinking, though: A 2-quart pot seems too cute and small. You’re worried it might be too small and that it won’t see much use in your kitchen? I say it’s not too small and that you’ll use it all the time. Here’s why I love it, gift it, and think everyone should own one.
A saucepan is designed with taller sides and a wide opening to control evaporation, which is what makes it ideal for candy and sauce making. While most of us are probably only making gravy or béchamel sauce a few times a year, this design also makes this little pot ideal for cooking weeknight pasta and potatoes — your water will come to a boil more quickly than in a wide pot! I’m obviously a big fan of quick weeknight dinners, but this shape also helps oatmeal cook more evenly and keeps small batches of stovetop popcorn from scorching as the popped kernels rise up the cylindrical shape.
I know what you’re thinking again: That you could get a 2-quart saucepan from another, less expensive brand and save yourself some money. And I’d say that’s a bad idea. All-Clad’s stainless steel heats up incredibly evenly. And it cleans up so easily. I’ve been able to scour off everything from burnt caramel to day-old mac and cheese with ease. Those are two things I can’t say for the less expensive pots I’ve owned.
My favorite 2-quart stainless steel saucepan is also great for cooking rice perfectly, making simple syrup for cocktails and cakes, and quickly cooking frozen peas or corn for a quick weeknight side. It excels at heating soups, hard boiling a few eggs. And it’s weirdly handy when it comes to crushing ice or flattening crashed potatoes.
Friends and family who have gotten this pot as a gift from me have all told me about their own personal favorite uses. I’ve heard about boiling water for tea, cooking polenta, steaming sweet potatoes for a new baby, the list goes on. I’ve found that this pot fit my life just as much as a single person as it does now as a mom of two. And someday I hope to have time to make candy in it again.
Do you have a favorite piece of cookware? Tell us about it in the comments below!