I’ve been given this some thought lately, because I’ve never thought about it before. Some handles come out fairly perpendicular to the pan side (horizontal orientation) and other angle upwards. Why the difference?
QUOTE: A: The handles on AllClad pots owe their design to the cast iron handles of heavy copper cookware. The handle is at incline to provide added support and stability when the pot is full and heavy - if you hold the pot the right way. Most people want to hold the pot as far away from the heat as possible and without towels or pot holders, and the inclined handles can feel tippy and unsteady like that depending on your arm and hand strength. If you hold the pot with a towel at the narrow point nearest the pan and let the handle run up the inside of your arm you will find that you can hold a heavy pot very steadily. That is how you handle heavy copper with cast iron handles, and that is how AllClad style handles work best. If you have the handles bent at a metal shop you’ll probably void the warranty that came with your pots. Should be, “…if hot liquids…” What about the “helper handles” on many pots? Aren’t you supposed to use them? They have the same alleged disadvantage as “choking up” on the handle - you have to get close to the pot to use them and you need some kind of insulator (towel or pad). If it is so bad to put your hand near the pot then why do manufacturers put them on pots? I agree that in the hands of inexperienced or careless cooks holding the pot close in can be dangerous, but everything in the kitchen can be dangerous in careless hands. I think helper handles are more dangerous than choking up on the handle. First, both hands are involved. If you slosh the pot, both hands will get it and then you’ll really be in trouble. Second, you have to hold the pot relatively close to and across your body. If you use the angled handle as I described, you won’t need the helper handle. You still have a free hand, if needed, and you can work with your body at arm’s length from the pot. I’m not going to respond to the rest of your rant. It seems “Mr. Hyde” gets the better of you there. Take a deep breath and find your “happy place.” There. Feel better?
I don’t know who wrote this. But the technique of choking up and tucking the far end of the handle under my forearm is pretty much how I handle exactly one pan: my De Buyer carbon steel country fry pan. It has an obscenely long handle and using this technique I can easily flip an entire pan of veggies. (I don’t hang the far end of the handle under my armpit; I rest it under my forearm). The thing is, the handle is horizontal, that is to say perpendicular to the side of the pan (f the pan walls were vertical–they’re not; they are splayed out like a deep fry pan which is what it is and explains why I’m jumping veggies with it).
I’m gonna go home tonight and try some different holding techniques on the Maviel 11" copper 3.5 mm saute pan with the classic upward angling cast iron handle and a few other pots and pans. I don’t think it’s gonna work. I notice that my Demeyere saucepans have a near horizontal orientation and shortish handles. But then, they are comparatively light pans.
I have other ideas on why some handles angle upwards, which I am going to try to verify tonight through experimentation. Meanwhile, are there any thoughts or comments about this horizontal versus upward angling handles? I suspect most people favor the horizontal variety.
I am trying to understand the logic of the different designs. Assuming there is a logic to it all. WIth the French, you got to assume they know what their are doing when it comes to kitchen tools. Italians too.