Saucepan Guide: 12 Best Types to Get for 2021

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Recipes.net Team May 24, 2021
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What is a saucepan and what is it used for? If you didn’t already know, it’s a versatile piece of cooking equipment that’s mainly used for cooking anything with a substantial amount of liquid.

Appearance-wise, it looks like a cross between a standard cooking pot and a cooking pan. It’s like a sauté pan with taller sides. In terms of size, it’s larger than a saucier pan and smaller than a stockpot. If you’re fond of making soup or sauces like this easy marinara sauce recipe, then you’ll definitely benefit from having this dedicated cookware that’s up for the task.

So, if you’re interested in buying one for yourself or a loved one, continue reading to find out the top 12 products we recommend. We also have some pointers on how to select the best saucepan for each specific need.

Discover more tips on how to buy kitchen equipment with this list of the Top 10 Roasting Pans To Get in 2021.

Our Favorite Saucepans at a Glance

Two women scooping sauce from a metal saucepan to a shallow bowl

Best Overall: Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 2-Quart Covered Saucepan

Popular stainless steel cookware with a traditional design and innovative features.

Best Small Saucepan: Cuisinart 619-14 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 1-Quart Saucepan

A small sauce pot made of hard-anodized aluminum and finished with a high-quality nonstick coating.

Best Medium Saucepan: Cook N Home Nonstick Saucepan

A standard two-quart capacity nonstick saucepan with a tempered glass lid.

Best Large Saucepan: Cuisinart MCP194-20N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan with Cover

A durable and versatile stainless steel cookware with a capacity of four quarts.

Best Stainless Steel Saucepan: Cuisinart Professional Stainless Saucepan with Cover

A sturdy and easy-to-clean nonreactive saucepan that is induction, oven, and broiler friendly.

Best Nonstick Saucepan: Utopia Kitchen 2 Quart Nonstick Saucepan with Glass Lid

A durable, standard-sized nonstick sauce pot that’s free from the harmful chemicals commonly associated with its specialized coating.

Best Cast Iron Saucepan: Tramontina 80131/060DS Enameled Cast Iron Covered Sauce Pan

A sturdy and attractive enameled cast iron saucepan that won’t break the bank.

Best Copper Saucepan: SHINEURI 2 1/2 qt Copper Saucepan with Lid

A user-friendly nonstick copper pan with an aluminum core, best for beginners.

Best Ceramic Saucepan: GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, Saucepans with Lids

A versatile and chemical-free cookware set.

Best Saucepan With Strainer: Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan with Straining and Lid

Large, nonstick piece of cookware with a capacity of three quarts, and a lid that doubles as a built-in colander.

Best Luxury: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Saucepan

A piece of high-end kitchen-to-table cooking equipment from a well-known French manufacturer of cookware.

Best Budget-Friendly: Farberware 21666 Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan/Saucier

Affordable yet durable saucier-type cookware that’s oven safe and compatible with most cooktops.

12 Saucepans For Your Kitchen

Taking into consideration brand reputation, product features, as well as overall customer reviews, we’ve curated this list of 12 for the best saucepan to get per category. Feel free to browse our product reviews below:

Best Overall

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 2-Quart Covered Saucepan

 

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 2-Quart Covered Saucepan, with mirror satin finish, lid, and holder

This Farberware model perfectly fuses tradition and modern innovation with its classic yet highly functional design. Online customers patronize this product, so much that it now ranks as the number one best-selling saucepan on Amazon with over 10,000 ratings.

Structural integrity is one of this pan’s strongest suits. Its base is built with an aluminum core sandwiched in between layers of stainless steel, for durability and even heating. And despite being made of heavy-duty material, the handle of the Farberware unit is comfortable to hold. Both the lid and the pan itself have a mirror coating for a sleek look.

In terms of versatility, you can use this cookware on the stovetop, and it’s safe for oven use up to 350 degrees F. With this product, you won’t have to worry about burning your pasta sauce ever again.

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What We Like:

  • Sturdy
  • Oven safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Lifetime Warranty

What We Don’t Like:

Buy the Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 2-Quart Covered Saucepan on Amazon.

Best Small Saucepan

Cuisinart 619-14 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 1-Quart Saucepan with Cover

 

Cuisinart 619-14 Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 1-Quart Saucepan with Cover, saucepan with a nonstick finish, and transparent lid

Small saucepans are ideal for cooking portions of food like light servings of Indonesian-style cabbage soup for individuals and small families. Not only are they easier to clean, but they store better too! Compared to the larger models, the compact size of this product won’t take up much space in your kitchen.

This nonstick one-quart saucepan by Cuisinart is our top pick for this category. It has all the trappings of a good piece of cookware in one small and convenient package. Even-heating hard-anodized aluminum is the core of this cookware. On the inside, it’s finished with a quantanium nonstick coating, specially designed for better scratch resistance.

You’ll also be able to pick up this piece of cookware and pour its contents easily, thanks to its drip-free design and specialized stainless steel handles that are resistant to heat. Lastly, it comes with a tempered glass lid, which is handy for checking the contents of your saucepan without having to lift the lid.

What We Like:

  • Easy to clean
  • Cool-grip handle
  • Tempered glass lid

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not dishwasher safe

Purchase the Cuisinart 619-14 Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 1-Quart Saucepan with Cover on Amazon.

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Best Medium Saucepan

Cook N Home Nonstick Saucepan

Cook N Home Nonstick Saucepan, with tempered glass lid

The standard size for a saucepan is around two to three quarts, and this unit from Cook N Home takes our top spot for the best medium-sized ones. This is ideal for cooking a portion or two of dishes like this creamy baked potato soup. Aside from having a nonstick coating, this product’s thick aluminum core makes it durable and even heating.

This Cook N Home model comes with a soft riveted handle for comfort, and a snug-fitting tempered glass lid that is built to withstand high temperatures. The lid is designed to have a stainless steel rim for a more polished look and a steam vent for releasing pressure that builds up during the cooking process.

The only downside to this piece of cookware is that it’s not oven safe and isn’t compatible with induction cookers. However, if you only plan on using it for traditional stovetop dishes, then this won’t be much of a problem.

What We Like:

  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Tempered glass lid

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not induction compatible
  • Not oven safe

Get the Cook N Home Nonstick Saucepan on Amazon.

Best Large Saucepan

Cuisinart MCP194-20N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan with Cover

Cuisinart MCP194-20N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan with Cover, with a stainless steel handle and lid

If you’ll be cooking large servings of food at a time, then you’ll likely benefit more from getting a four-quart saucepan or larger. This size range is a great option for big families, and even for commercial or restaurant use. For this category, this Cuisinart saucepan bags our top spot, and for good reason.

Aside from the rave reviews on Amazon, this product is sturdy and reliable because it’s made of durable 18/10 stainless steel. The saucepan with a tapered rim, its riveted handle, and its accompanying lid all have a sleek feel and look because of this material. You’ll be able to use this piece of cookware on the stovetop or get creative with some oven or broiler dishes since it’s designed to withstand temperatures of up to 550 degrees F. Recreate P.F. Chang’s iconic hot and sour soup using this impressive kitchen equipment.

What We Like:

  • Oven and broiler safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Limited lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Pricey

Purchase the Cuisinart MCP194-20N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan with Cover on Amazon.

Best Stainless Steel Saucepan

Cuisinart Professional Stainless Saucepan with Cover

Cuisinart Professional Stainless Saucepan with Cover, with tempered glass lid

A stainless steel saucepan is an excellent non-reactive, non-toxic, and chemical-free cookware option for those who are looking to avoid certain manufacturing substances due to allergies and other health conditions. More than that, stainless steel is a reliable material since it’s sturdy and is generally capable of browning food better than its nonstick counterparts.

The base of this saucepan, in particular, is built using the PowerBond technology offered by Cuisinart. It’s made of impact-bonded stainless steel, giving it better and more consistent heat retention all throughout. This material is compatible with induction cooktops and has a heat capacity of 500 degrees F. This makes it safe for use in both ovens and broilers.

In addition to that, this Cuisinart saucepan is designed to have a riveted stick handle made of cast stainless steel for easier gripping, as well as a lid made of tempered glass. Use this classic kitchen equipment to whip up signature recipes, like this hearty Panera French onion soup.

What We Like:

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be used for ovens, broilers, induction cooktops

What We Don’t Like:

  • The tempered glass lid is not heavy-duty
  • Not dishwasher safe

Buy the Cuisinart Professional Stainless Saucepan with Cover on Amazon.

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Best Nonstick Saucepan

Utopia Kitchen 2 Quart Nonstick Saucepan with Glass Lid

Utopia Kitchen 2 Quart Nonstick Saucepan with Glass Lid

Nonstick cookware is a popular choice among beginner cooks, oil-free cooking enthusiasts, and those who simply want something easy to clean. True to its name, this special coat provides a barrier between the food and metal base so that the particles don’t stick to the pan. However, some people tend to veer away from this type of cookware because of certain chemicals that were once used in the coating.

But don’t fret! This nonstick saucepan by the Utopia Kitchen brand is guaranteed free of the substances PFOA, lead, and cadmium that are harmful to the human body. More than that, this piece of cookware is more scratch-resistant than the average nonstick since its coating is multi-layered.

The core of this pan is also made of durable 3003 aluminum alloy, and its handles are heat resistant. With this saucepan, you’ll have no problem cleaning up after making this easy and creamy white sauce recipe for your pasta or bread.

What We Like:

  • Sturdy
  • PFOA, Lead, and Cadmium Free
  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not compatible with induction cooktops

Get the Utopia Kitchen 2 Quart Nonstick Saucepan with Glass Lid on Amazon.

Best Cast Iron Saucepan

Tramontina 80131/060DS Enameled Cast Iron Covered Sauce Pan

Tramontina 80131/060DS Enameled Cast Iron Covered Sauce Pan

Enameled cookware is the best kitchen-to-table option because they usually come in vibrant-colored pieces. Their cast-iron core is a reliable and heavy-duty material that is well-known to last a long time. They tend to be more expensive than most, but a lasting cast-iron saucepan will be more practical in the long run. Off the bat, this Tramontina model is one of the more affordable options on Amazon with rave reviews.

The Tramontina enameled saucepan stands out from the rest of its contemporaries with its bright red hue. This pop of color comes from its gradated porcelain enamel coating that’s free from the chemical substances PFOA and PTFE. It’s oven safe and is compatible with most types of cooktops, including gas, ceramic, electric, and induction.

What We Like:

  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile
  • PFOA and PTFE-free
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Pricey
  • Not dishwasher safe

Get the Tramontina 80131/060DS Enameled Cast Iron Covered Sauce Pan on Amazon.

Best Copper Saucepan

SHINEURI 2 1/2 qt Copper Saucepan with Lid

SHINEURI 2 1/2 qt Copper Saucepan, with glass lid

Copper cookware is sought after by professional cooks and pastry chefs precisely because of the material’s capacity for unparalleled heat retention. However, copper can be a bit difficult to work with especially if you’re just starting your culinary journey. If improperly handled, they’re prone to have uneven hotspots. They often come with a hefty price tag too.

For a more budget and user-friendly experience, you can opt for a nonstick copper saucepan for now. This model by the Shineuri brand is a lot more affordable than authentic copper pans. They’re made of sturdy and even-heating aluminum material, with an eye-catching copper coating. The cooking surface of this pan is also nonstick for easier cleanups.

Another advantage of this product is its compatibility with most cooktops. Unlike lined copper pans, the base of this saucepan is ferromagnetic, which means that it works even with induction cooktops.

What We Like:

  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Compatible with most cooktops (gas, electric, ceramic glass, and induction)
  • Oven safe

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not dishwasher safe

Buy the SHINEURI 2 1/2 qt Copper Saucepan with Lid on Amazon.

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Best Ceramic Saucepan

GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, Saucepans with Lids

GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Saucepan with lids made of tempered glass

For a nonreactive saucepan, ceramic is also a great material to go for. Much like stainless steel cookware, ceramic doesn’t alter the appearance or flavor of food, making it suitable for slow-simmered food like this boozy carrots recipe. This material is also almost as good as a nonstick coating in terms of ease of cleaning.

This ceramic saucepan set by GreenLife promises a healthier method of cooking with its smooth, nonstick, and chemical-free surface. Its core is made from sturdy and even-heating recycled aluminum, with a nonstick ceramic coating derived from sand. This saucepan is safe for oven use, and it’s compatible with most cooktops aside from induction. It also comes with a glass lid for convenient food viewing.

The handle on this product is made of bakelite, a non-burning malleable plastic that’s soft and comfortable to hold. However, it’s still best to take precautions and keep the handles away from open flames as some customers have reportedly experienced unintentionally burning and/or melting this part of the pan.

What We Like:

  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with most cooktops (except induction)
  • Free from toxic chemicals (PFAS, PFOA, lead, cadmium)

What We Don’t Like:

  • Handles are not durable

Purchase the GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick, Saucepans with Lids on Amazon.

Best Saucepan With Strainer

Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan with Straining and Lid

Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan with Straining and Lid

This three-quart saucepan by Circulon comes with a durable, shatter-resistant glass lid that doubles as a colander. It’s also a suitable cookware option for whipping up large portions of food like this creamy cheddar broccoli soup bathed in a generous amount of cheese.

This Circulon unit is built with hard-anodized aluminum which is more durable than plain stainless steel. Despite having a nonstick surface, the coating on this pan is strong enough to withstand metal utensils. This pan is safe for oven use up to 400 degrees F, and you can use it with almost all cooktops aside from induction.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Compatible with most cooktops (except induction)
  • Oven safe
  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lid is not snug-fitting

Buy the Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan with Straining and Lid on Amazon.

Best Luxury

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Saucepan

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Saucepan

The French brand Le Creuset is widely beloved as a prime manufacturer of high-quality, kitchen-to-table enameled cast iron cookware. Their pots and pans are designed to stand the test of time both in terms of durability and style, and this saucepan model of theirs is no different.

This enameled Le Creuset saucepan is available in two of the brand’s standard colors: cerise which is a deep red, and deep teal. It has a stain-resistant sand-colored interior for easier food monitoring. This product is designed to have a large handle and knob for easier handling. All parts are completely heat-safe, so you’ll be able to use this cookware for oven dishes.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Ergonomic knob and handle
  • Available in two colors (cerise and deep teal)

What We Don’t Like:

  • Smaller than the average saucepan

Get the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Saucepan on Amazon.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Farberware 21666 Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan/Saucier

Farberware 21666 Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan/Saucier

This Farberware unit is the best among all the affordable saucepans you can get on Amazon. With a limited capacity of one quart, it blurs the distinction between a saucepan vs a saucier. You won’t be able to use this piece of cookware for large quantities of food. However, this piece of cookware will be handy to have for whipping up a portion or of oatmeal or soup for yourself. It’s also useful for menial cooking tasks like melting butter, making reductions, or warming up some syrup for your yummy dessert recipes.

Made of heavy-duty aluminum, this product looks and feels sturdy. It’s oven-safe, withstanding temperatures of up to 350 degrees F. In addition to that, it has a nonstick coating so it will be a breeze to clean. The small size of this cookware is convenient for small kitchens with limited space.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Nonstick finish
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Small
  • No lid

Buy the Farberware 21666 Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan/Saucier on Amazon.

How to Choose a Saucepan

Two people cooking sauce in a saucepan over an induction cooker

Choosing the best saucepan for your kitchen can be quite difficult. It doesn’t help that this piece of cookware comes in many forms. Without prior knowledge, you might feel a bit overwhelmed with the range of options available. Ease into acquiring the most suitable pan for your needs by considering the most important factors we’ve listed down below.

Size and Shape

Like most cooking equipment, saucepans are available in different sizes.

In terms of a basic saucepan size guide, those with a one-quart capacity are small. This type is best for convenient storage, cooking small portions of food, or heating ingredients like syrup and melted butter. Meanwhile, standard saucepan sizes can hold around two to three quarts of liquid, ideal for cooking normal portions of food for yourself and another person. A big saucepan has a capacity of four to five quarts. This kind is best for whipping up food for large families, feasts, and for restaurants or commercial use.

Aside from that, the pan’s shape is another physical factor you should decide on. You might be asking, what does a saucepan look like? It may seem like the form of this kitchen tool is uniform among all manufacturers, but it isn’t. Some saucepans are taller with flat sides, while others are shorter with rounded sides. As a general rule of thumb, you should keep in mind that a deep saucepan is better at retaining heat, while a shallow one will heat up more quickly.

Material

What’s a saucepan made of? You might find that saucepan manufacturers use different materials in designing and making their products. Cooks often categorize these cookware materials into two: reactive and nonreactive.

In essence, reactive cookware tends to impart a metallic quality to the food’s taste or color if used for an extended period of time. Cast iron, aluminum, and copper are popular examples. You’d rarely find manufacturers using reactive materials alone. Oftentimes, they put a barrier between them and the food like tin for copper, enamel for cast iron, and nonstick for aluminum.

On the other hand, stainless steel and ceramic cookware are nonreactive. Unlike others, these two won’t affect the quality of food at all, making them ideal for dishes with mild flavors and slow cooking methods like simmering.

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Handle

Since you’d be heating saucepans, it’s best to go for one with a handle that is resistant to heat or at least one that won’t burn or melt when exposed to open flames or high temperatures. This would make it easier for you to handle the pan while cooking.

Lid

While this part isn’t necessary, having a lid will make it easier for heat to build up inside your cookware. This is ideal for quicker simmering or boiling. Some saucepans come with a solid cover, made with the same material as the rest of the pan. Other manufacturers produce glass lids that are tempered for easier monitoring of the cookware’s contents. Small saucepans may not come with a cover at all.

You should always make sure that the handle or knob on the lid stays cool to the touch, or is heat safe at the very least especially if you’ll be using the cookware in the oven.

Special Features

You might also want to consider what else you want aside from the standard pan and lid. Will you be using the saucepan for boiling ingredients that will eventually need straining? If so, then you might benefit from getting a model with a built-in colander. Handles of some units come with a hole for hooks. Look for this feature if you plan on hanging this cooking equipment for storage.

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