The Best Rondeau Pan has large handles, weighs a ton and conducts heat fast. In America most people dont even know what a Rondeau pan is. But it is actually a choice of many kitchen professional. A Rondeau Pan is like a dutch oven but at half the height. Some manufacturer will just use the same pot as a saute pan and attach two loop handle. These are typically called a Braiser Pan. But the best one is those that are a little taller. They can carry more liquid/volume. This article will go in depth on what makes the Best Rondeau Pan.
Best Rondeau Pan By Metal
Here is a list of Rondeau Pan that is sorted by Metal.
Cast Iron (Le Creuset)
Best to use when you have the appropriate size burner. Generally you want one that is 9-12 inches in diameter. Le Creuset is the best in this category. They are beautiful and perfect for the oven to table presentation. Not only that, they have one of the most durable enamel in the industry.
Aluminum and Stainless Steel (All Clad)
All Clad makes the Best Rondeau Pan in this category. They invented the fully cladded technology. The aluminum core ensures that heat can extend to the outer rim of the pan. If you want something that is above 12 inch, they are a good choice. It also generally lighter weight than cast iron or copper. Perfect for those who want something that is more nimble.
No one makes better copper cookware than Mauviel. They are the creme de la creme of rondeau. Professional French Chef love the M’Tradition line. They tend to be really thick at 3mm and above. However, tin is fussy and generally difficult to cook for novices. A good alternative would the 250 line. That uses a stainless steel lining and wont wear down like tin. If you want the best of the best, copper is the way to go. Just dont have a heart attack when you see the price…
Why Use a Rondeau Pan?
The great thing about Rondeau Pan is its versatility. You can cook on the stove top and use it in the oven. The shorter loop handle means that you can fit it in a oven with smaller space. This means its great for braising or roasting. Not only that, they are perfect for a oven to table presentation. In the professional Kitchen, they would often use these massive rondeau pan to make giant batch of food. Since their oven is always big enough, these Rondeau are a perfect alternative.
Rondeau Pan Sizes
The Best Rondeau Pan size really depends on you. For a home kitchen, I recommend one that is at least 9 inches. This will give you more room to cook stuff and not crowd things. Generally, you want one with taller sidewalls, but the shorter one works just as well. If you are serving large guest, I recommend you go big. All Clad makes a giant 14 inch one that is great for this occasion. It holds 8 qt of liquid and it has a massive cooking surface area.
Just be aware, that the bigger you go, the larger the burner you need. If you have one that is too small, the outer edge of the pan will have some problem getting hot. You can circumvet this issue by using a better quality metal. For example copper.
Different metal conduct heat different. Stainless Steel for example is a poor conductor of heat. A pan that is just made with stainless steel will have heat spots all over the place. However, a pan that uses aluminum or a combination of the two will conduct heat a lot better and be more even. The Holy Grail of Rondeau pan uses Copper. Even if you have a smaller size burner, the heat conductivity of Copper means that the pan will get a uniform distribution of heat. Just be aware, you will be expected to pay for it. Manufacturer like Mauviel make Hand Hammered Rondeau pan, but they cost Big Dollars!
Luckily, aluminum is much cheaper and works for most people. There are many good options by All Clad. And generally, they work.
For Cast Iron, since they are relatively poor conductor of heat. You should stick to smaller one. They fit most home ranges a lot better and they can hold heat to sear food. So general rule of thumb, smaller burner go for Cast Iron to Aluminum. Larger one go Copper/Aluminum.
Lids are the biggest issue with Rondeau Pan. Usually the smaller ones have no problem. Cast Iron Braiser often comes with a lid so you dont have to worry about that. They are great if you want to trap in moisture. However, the larger one usually do not have one. If you have a giant plate, you can use that as an alternative. Or you can just not use one at all. Often time people use the Rondeau to Roast food. Letting the food get exposed to hot air is one of the best way to do so. It also develop a lot more flavor.
Best Rondeau Pan Thoughts
A rondeau pan is incredibly versatile. If you need a pan that can do it all, this is the way to go. For a smaller kitchen, the one by Le Creuset works well. If you have something larger, get the one by All Clad. However, if you want the best of the best, go for Mauviel. They are perfect heat conductor and will provide even heat distribution. The only issue is the price.
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