A rondeau pan is a staple and favorite cookware item for many chefs, as it provides unlimited options when it comes to preparing meals. Sometimes called a brazier due to its somewhat shallow and wide pan, a rondeau is commonly confused with a Dutch oven or a stock pot. A rondeau pan is simply a half-height Dutch oven.
The rondeau pan has straight sides, usually has two loop handles, and nearly always comes with a lid. Rondeau pans are made from a variety of materials, including cast iron, enameled cast iron, stainless steel, copper or a combination of clad metals. Part of a rondeau’s allure is its versatility. Its shape lends itself well to searing, braising, oven-roasting, frying, poaching, pan-roasting and simmering or boiling. The shape is deep enough to hold liquid for poaching or braising, but shallow enough that it can evaporate to make a cooking liquid more intensely flavored.
When shopping for a rondeau, look for one with a heavy base, which will conduct and retain heat well. It will also help distribute the heat throughout the pan. You also want a tight-fitting lid and an oven-safe construction so you have the option to finish—or even fully cook—dishes in the oven. Also, make sure the pan is not too wide; it should not be more than a couple of inches in diameter larger than your burner or it won’t heat properly. Like stock pots or Dutch ovens, rondeaus come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the number of servings. Because rondeau pans come in such a wide range of sizes and materials, they are compatible with all types of stoves, including gas, electric and induction cooktops. There is a rondeau pan out there to suit every need and budget.
Rondeau pans have a wide range of uses and are known for their durability, functionality and versatility. With a rondeau pan in a club’s kitchen, the list of foods that can be prepared is unlimited, and the versatility will ultimately enhance creativity in the kitchen.