It doesn’t matter if you’re a home cook who only makes dinner occasionally or a five-star chef who cooks every day of the week, having the best saucepans available is important for every one of us. Most of us will use this versatile tool on a near-daily basis, so investing in a high quality one is an excellent idea. We’ve gone through the many options out there to give you all the information you need about the 12 top options on the market today.
The T-Fal C91124 Excite Stainless Steel Covered Saucepan is a fantastic choice thanks to its contemporary design, straining lid and pour spouts, and easy mode of clean up in the dishwasher.
Another great choice is the Farberware 50002 Classic Stainless Steel Covered Saucepan, which is oven-safe, dishwasher-safe, and created with a mirror-finish that will look great in any kitchen.
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Saucepans
The T-Fal C91124 features a three-ply encapsulated base to ensure the best performance and durability you could want in your saucepans. With an aluminum core in the middle of the stainless steel, you can be sure the pan will heat quickly and evenly every time you cook. The saucepans feature a contemporary design that will fit into most kitchens and a brushed steel interior that will look great for years to come.In addition to the saucepans, you will receive a strong glass lid that has a strainer and a pour spout attached. You can easily watch over your cooking while also having simple methods available for removing water from the pan and transferring your recipe into a serving dish. This saucepan can also be used in the oven, but only up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
This stainless steel saucepan from Farberware uses a three-ply construction with a layer of aluminum in between the stainless steel for even better heat distribution. It also comes with a long and comfortable handle that stays cool even at the hottest of temperatures. The pan includes a snug-fitting lid with a bell shape and a stylish knob on top for easy removal.You can use this pan for all sorts of purposes since it is both oven and dishwasher safe. However, it should only be placed in the oven at low temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid damage. If you’re searching for a classic, traditional saucepan for your kitchen, this one offers the quality and durability you want while looking great in the process.
3. Cuisinart MCP193 MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Saucepan with Cover
The Cuisinart MCP193-19N has been updated to offer a cast stainless-steel handle that is riveted to the pan and stays cool to the touch when cooking. It’s made out of a high-quality 18/10 steel with an aluminum core for a perfect combination of durability and even heating. The pan can be used in the oven as long as the temperature is no more than 550 degrees Fahrenheit.Another notable feature of this saucepan is its Heat Surround technology, which keeps heat evenly moving along the bottom and sides of the cookware. It also offers a drip-free pouring rim, so you don’t have to worry about making a mess when serving meals. It also comes with a secure, tight-fitting cover that helps retain moisture and nutrients.
4. Cuisinart 719-16 Chef’s Classic Stainless Saucepan with Cover
Our second model from Cuisinart is the 719-16 Chef’s Classic, which comes in stainless steel with an interior aluminum base to prevent hot spots. This saucepan also has measurement lines inside that help you quickly determine how much of a dish you are making or how much of an ingredient has been added. This is a smaller pan at 1.5-quarts but works well for a single person or a couple.This saucepan comes with a steel lid that has the same design as the pan and will fit tightly to avoid letting out nutrients while cooking. It also has a tapered rim so you can easily pour soups, chili, and more without worrying about making a mess on your table. The helper handle included on this model gives you an additional level of support and balance when you’re lifting or pouring with the pan.
5. Avacraft Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid
This saucepan from Avacraft is made from 18/10 food-grade stainless steel and comes in 1.5-quart and 3.5-quart sizes. Its interior has a matte finish to prevent scratches, while the outside has a shiny and stylish mirror-finish. It also offers measurement lines on the inside to make cooking even more convenient.The saucepan offers an all in one design with straining holes on each side for removing water from pasta and other dishes. It also has dual pour spouts so even those who are left-handed can use the extra features without trouble. In addition to working well on regular gas and electric stoves, it’s also compatible with induction cooktops.
6. Utopia Kitchen Nonstick Saucepan with Glass Lid
This saucepan from Utopia Kitchen has a multi-layer nonstick coating using 3003 aluminum alloy for optimum durability. The use of this material makes these pans perfect for use in home kitchens and just as useful for a professional kitchen. You can expect the interior of the saucepans to be durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and other blemishes.It also features a Bakelite handle that is riveted to the pan and has a comfortable grip to ensure your hand stays cool while you’re cooking. For those who are worried about chemicals in their cookware, this model is lead-, cadmium-, and PFOA-free, so you don’t have to worry about any nasties getting into your meals. It also has a nice European-themed design to add some elegance to your space.
7. Cuisinart 719-14 Chef’s Classic Stainless Saucepan with Cover
This is our third saucepan from Cuisinart, which just goes to show how well-made and durable their line of cookware tends to be. It’s made from durable stainless steel with an aluminum core for optimal heat distribution with an interior that will not become discolored or react to acidic foods like some saucepans tend to do.There is a smooth taper on the rim of the pan that is designed to stop spills and drips in their tracks. It also comes with a tight-fitting lid made of stainless steel that retains moisture and nutrients. This saucepan can be used in the oven at temperatures below 550 degrees Fahrenheit or even popped under the broiler when needed.
8. All-Clad 4203 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Saucepan with Lid
This saucepan comes from All-Clad and offers even heat distribution and the best simmering, searing, and sautéing you could ask for. Each of the pans is made in the United States and comes with a riveted stainless steel handle that won’t become loose or damaged with frequent use. In addition, the pans are compatible for use with all types of modern cooktops, including induction varieties.The All-Clad saucepan can also be used in the oven or under the broiler at temperatures of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Every pan is tested thoroughly before reaching your front door, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality product. If you want a saucepan that is just as beautiful as it is useful, this could make a great choice for you.
9. Calphalon Contemporary Aluminum Pour and Strain Saucepan
This aluminum saucepan from Calphalon Contemporary has a nonstick surface, which makes it ideal for those who want to eat less fat. Instead of adding lots of oil and butter, only a small amount is required to cook whatever you want and make cleanup a breeze. It also has a large stainless steel handle that stays cool during cooking.
The saucepan itself, as well as the lid, are oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit so you can finish off a dish away from the stove when needed. This pan is dishwasher-safe for quick and easy cleaning, but should only be used with wooden, nylon, or coated utensils to avoid damaging the coating.
10. Ozeri ZP10-5L Stone Earth All-in-One Saucepan
You can tell the Ozeri ZP10-5L saucepan is unique just by looking at it. It comes in a variety of colors to match the design of your kitchen and is created especially for cooking healthy meals to feed the entire family, with over five-quarts of space for your ingredients. It is also made from eco-friendly materials, making it a good choice for those trying to minimize their environmental impact.Like many saucepans, the inside core is made of aluminum which helps conduct and retain heat, while the outside layer is designed for easy cleaning and maintenance. It has an all in one design with a silicone-coated handle, a tempered glass lid, and a side helper handle. The lid also comes with extras like a heat-resistant knob and a steam-release vent to help avoid accidents.
11. Tramontina 80116/022DS Gourmet Stainless Steel Covered Saucepan
Tramontina has something special going on with their selection of saucepans, stockpots, braisers, grills, and cookware sets, and this saucepan is no exception. This gourmet stainless steel covered saucepan has a tri-ply clad construction using stainless steel on top, aluminum at the core, and magnetic stainless steel on the bottom. This ensures optimal heat distribution with no pesky cold spots.All of the saucepans from this brand feature a mirror-polished exterior that looks fantastic in the kitchen, even when not in use. The interior of the pan is satin-finished for an even more elegant appearance.
12. Carote Saucepan with Glass Lid
Another eco-friendly saucepan that looks great in the kitchen is this model from Carote. This pan has a nonstick interior made of cast aluminum to ensure durability and easy cleanup. It also offers a Bakelite handle that stays cool when in use and offers a comfortable grip.While many of the saucepans on this list have two or three layers of nonstick material, this one comes with an impressive five layers to last for thousands of uses. It also has an all in one design that includes a convenient pour spout. In terms of functionality and appearance, this saucepan is the best of both worlds.
Defining Saucepans and Their Most Common Uses
Before we delve into the most important factors to consider when buying a saucepan, we want to go back to the basics. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the defining factors of a saucepan and the ways in which it can be used.
Shape of Saucepans
Saucepans have a very specific shape, being quite deep with straight edges and high sides. Most of the time, you’ll also find that saucepans come with a lid and include a long handle for easy transport. The surface area is quite small compared to its height, which is exactly what makes it capable of creating an even heat distribution throughout the pan and its contents.
In most cases, saucepans are used on stovetops, and while they come in a variety of sizes, the most common is around two- to three-quarts. They are smaller than a Dutch oven or a stockpot but deeper and narrower than a frying pan. They are also taller and narrower than a sauté pan.
One of the reasons that saucepans are so popular is because of their height, which allows a large amount of liquid to be contained in a compact space. The extra height is also useful for preventing spills that may occur with other types of pans. For example, boiling water in a skillet can lead to a mess or even injury when moved, whereas a saucepan’s shape prevents these issues.
Ways to Use a Saucepan
While you can use a saucepan for cooking all sorts of things, it really comes into its own when it comes to liquid-based recipes. This means they’re perfect for simmering, stewing, making soups, and creating sauces for dishes like pasta.
Unless you go with a larger than average saucepan, they may be less useful for making large quantities of stock or soup. A stockpot is typically the best alternative, but saucepans can make smaller amounts of each of these recipes.
If you choose to buy an oven-safe saucepan, you open up a whole world of opportunities for your cooking. In certain situations, the pan can be used to braise meats, or when used with its lid, it can work as a small Dutch oven. However, keep in mind that any saucepans with nonstick coating should not be placed in the oven.
Things to Consider When Selecting the Best Saucepans
Now that you know everything you need to know about what a saucepan is capable of (and what it isn’t), let’s move on to considering the features commonly seen in the top saucepans on the market. There are several things you should look at when deciding which saucepan to buy, each of which we’ll discuss below.
Materials Used to Construct the Saucepan
There are many saucepans on the market, and you will find that they come in a huge number of materials. Choosing a saucepan that uses materials suitable for the kind of cooking you plan to do is crucial. In this section, we’ll look at the most common materials used, what they excel at and what they aren’t suitable for.
Aluminum saucepans typically come with a nonstick coating on the inside and an enamel coating on the outside. This is what makes this kind of pan easy to clean, resistant to stains and scratches and tough enough to handle frequent use. Some aluminum pans come in hard-anodized or cast aluminum versions, the latter of which has the appearance of cast iron, but the weight and heat conductivity associated with aluminum.
One thing to be aware of is that uncoated aluminum pans should never be used for cooking acidic dishes.
A cast-iron saucepan will take longer to heat up but will also retain that heat for a long time, which is what makes it ideal for even, slow cooking at low heat. It can also be useful when you want to get a great sear on a cut of meat. However, this kind of saucepan will keep cooking a dish for several minutes after you take it off of the heat.
Since cast iron is known to rust easily, the pans typically have a nonstick coating to prevent this issue. If you have uncoated cast iron pans, these are not dishwasher-safe, but it’s not often you will run into models of this type. If you do, the saucepan needs to be seasoned to create a build-up of patina before it can be used.
These pans are heavier than saucepans made of other materials and work on all kinds of stoves, including induction cooktops. Because they are so heavy, make sure to take care that you lift the pans rather than drag them to avoid damage to your countertops.
This type of saucepan is black or dark gray in color and has an electrochemical surface that is hard and resistant to peeling, cracking, and chipping. Metal utensils can be used with this kind of aluminum, but it can make marks on the surface. Most of these pans will not be dishwasher-safe, but food isn’t likely to stick on them, so cleaning them by hand doesn’t take much work.
Saucepans made of hard-anodized aluminum are fairly lightweight and will heat up quickly to prevent hot spots. They tend to be expensive but perform well and last a long time. One thing to keep in mind is that they cannot be used on induction cooktops.
Stainless steel is extremely durable, but these saucepans can be more expensive than others. Sometimes food can stick to the bottom of the pan, so you may need to use additional oil in your cooking. It doesn’t conduct heat as well as some materials and can have hot spots, which is why aluminum or copper are often placed in the base of the pan.
It can also be useful to cook over low heat when using stainless steel. In most cases, the saucepans are dishwasher-safe and won’t react to any foods you cook.
Pan Coatings Used on Saucepans
There are two types of coatings commonly used on saucepans: enamel and nonstick. You may occasionally see other kinds used, but we’ll focus on these two popular coatings for now.
- Enamel is often applied to saucepans made of steel, aluminum, and cast iron, and the price will vary based on which metal the pan is made of. Pans with enamel coating are unlikely to scratch, split, or react with foods, but they can sometimes chip if they aren’t handled carefully. In addition, heat distribution can be an issue, while an ultra-thin enamel coating can create stuck or burning food.
- Nonstick coating is great for making sauces or frying foods and prevents food from sticking, which also means less fat is needed. It is often found on cookware that is cast iron, aluminum, or stainless steel.
Capacity and Size of Saucepans
When it comes to the size of your saucepans, a lot of it comes down to personal preference and how you will be using the pan. If you are going to be using the pan for a small dish or only one to two people, a small saucepan of one or two-quarts may be enough. Those who are cooking for large groups or families will probably want to choose a three-quart or larger saucepan.
In most cases, having at least two saucepans is ideal for a home kitchen. Smaller families of one or two may want a one-quart and three-quart saucepan, while larger families could choose a three-quart and a five- or six-quart saucepan. If you cook more often, having more than two saucepans could be the best option for you.
Durability and Level of Maintenance
As with anything else you buy, some models are going to be easier to maintain and clean than others. As an example, an aluminum nonstick saucepan is going to be much easier to clean and maintain than a cast iron saucepan would be.
The best way to determine how durable and easy to maintain a saucepan is would be by reading the materials it’s made from and looking at what other people have experienced. Doing this will ensure that you get a pan that lasts a long time in your kitchen and fits in with the rest of your cookware.
Level of Heat Conductivity
The shape and materials used to make a saucepan will determine the level of heat conductivity you can expect. This is a very important factor to consider, as you want to ensure that your food will be cooked properly and require as little cooking time as possible.
Some of the saucepans on the market are designed to offer better conductivity of heat than others. Take a look at what materials are used in the pan and how it is shaped before you buy it to make an informed decision on whether it will have enough heat conductivity for your needs.
Special Features Associated with Saucepans
Each saucepan is different from the next, which means some are going to have more features than others will. Some of these features will be more important to you than others, so think about what matters most to you and then look for those features on the pans you buy.
- Inclusion of a Lid – Not all saucepans come with a lid, although many would say that all of them should. If you do not get a lid with the pan, you’re going to need to buy one separately, and it can be difficult to ensure it will fit.
- Compatibility with Induction Cooktops – This kind of saucepan is designed to be used with an induction cooktop, which is unique since it uses a magnetic field to cook dishes. However, the cookware used on these cooktops must be capable of using the magnetic field for anything to happen. If you have this sort of cooktop, make sure the pans you buy are able to work with it.
- Dishwasher-Safe Saucepan Design – Some saucepans are dishwasher-safe, but not all of them. If you don’t mind hand washing dishes, this may not matter to you. However, if you’re someone who prefers to avoid washing dishes by hand, you’ll want to make sure this is an option. If you aren’t sure whether a pan is safe in the dishwasher, the manufacturer website will often answer this question.
- Oven-Safe Saucepan Design – If you aren’t someone who uses the oven regularly for dishes that start on the stove, this may not be a concern for you. However, being able to move a pan from the stove to the oven can cut down on how many dishes you need to wash while ensuring the food stays hot before you serve it.
- Inclusion of Nonstick Coating – Some saucepans are made from nonstick materials; other pans include a coating to prevent sticking food. There are even pans that have no materials to prevent sticking at all. This is one of the most important features to watch for so you aren’t disappointed when you have to start scraping food off your pan.
- Helper Handles – A helper handle is a second handle on a saucepan that is on the opposite side of the primary handle. It is used to make it easier to carry, hold, and manage your saucepan effectively and safely. These can be very small or quite large and you will find them in various styles.
- Pour Spouts to Prevent Messes – Saucepans that offer a pour spout allow you to pour soup, stews, and other liquids from a saucepan without worrying about spills or mess.