Best saucepan

Cookware

Be careful with low-quality saucepans with metal handles used over high heat — the handle can become just as hot as the pan itself, leading to severe burns and other kitchen-related dangers.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which saucepan is best?

There aren’t many other pieces of cookware you’ll need if you purchase a top-tier saucepan. It can be used to cook just about anything from sauces to soups to vegetables and even searing meats. Because of its versatility and the frequency with which you’ll be using it in your kitchen, it’s highly recommended not to skimp on your selection.

To make that decision easier, try the All-Clad Tri-Ply Bonded Saucepan. This stainless steel saucepan is unbeatable in its construction, performance and even aesthetic design. It will also serve you well for many years if properly taken care of, making it a perfect long-term investment.

What to know before you buy a saucepan

Materials

Saucepans are typically constructed from one of three material options: aluminum and steel mix, ceramic or copper. In addition, they can have a nonstick coating.

Aluminum and steel mix: Most of the best saucepans are made from a three-layered construction of aluminum and stainless steel. Typically, the middle layer is an ultra-conductive anodized aluminum with surrounding layers of stainless steel. They’re excellent conductors of heat and last for many years when properly cared for.

Ceramic: Ceramic materials also heat quite evenly but don’t have the same levels of durability that metal pans have.

Copper: Copper saucepans take a ton of work to maintain, requiring frequent cleaning and polishing. In return, you receive a highly durable and highly conductive saucepan that looks simply gorgeous. They’re incredibly expensive, however.

Nonstick coatings: Some aluminum/stainless steel and ceramic pans have nonstick coatings applied to them to aid in cooking. They need to be treated carefully to avoid scratching and ruining the coating.

Size

Saucepans measure their sizes in terms of the quarts they can hold. The smallest saucepans only hold 1.5 quarts, with the largest holding a full 4-5 quarts, enough to feed plenty of people. Most cooks are perfectly happy with a 2- to 3-quart saucepan.

Shape

There are many shapes of saucepans, each with their own pros and cons. Shorter and wider saucepans are the most versatile, with taller and skinnier saucepans having more specific uses.

What to look for in a quality saucepan

Handle

The handle is an important part of your saucepan, as it’s the area you’ll use to manipulate the entire pan.

Stainless steel handles can become just as hot as the pan themselves, while silicone and plastic handles have decreased durability and can be harder to properly grip.

Lid

You don’t always need a lid when using your saucepan, but when you do, you’ll want one of equal quality to the pan itself. Make sure it fits snugly, and try to pick a saucepan with a glass lid to allow you to check your foods without lifting the lid and letting steam, pressure and heat escape.

How much you can expect to spend on a saucepan

The price of your saucepan can vary tremendously based on the materials used as well as the size and brand name. You can find smaller saucepans and a few brand names under $50, but you’ll want to spend somewhere from $50 to $100 for high quality and reasonable sizes. There are also saucepans that can be found for over $100 with many extra features.

Saucepan FAQ

Are a saucepan and a saucier the same thing?

A. No, they’re different kinds of pans. Sauciers have rounded sides and wide mouths compared to the straighter and taller saucepan. In most circumstances, they can be used interchangeably, but sauciers typically are better for things that need constant stirring.

How can you keep food from sticking to the saucepan?

A. Food is likely to stick when the temperature is between low and medium heats and if the pan is level on the burner. Be careful — a little bit of stick can produce brown bits called fonds, which, when deglazed, can add a tremendous amount of flavor to what you’re cooking.

Can you use a saucepan on an induction cooktop?

A. That depends on the saucepan. Double-check the details of your saucepan before purchasing to ensure compatibility. If you don’t have that information, you can also try and stick a magnet to the bottom of the pan; if it stays put, it’s induction burner capable.

What’s the best saucepan to buy?

Top saucepan

All-Clad Tri-Ply Bonded Saucepan

All-Clad Tri-Ply Bonded Saucepan

What you need to know: This highly rated saucepan can perform a wealth of kitchen tasks and hold any number of ingredients.

What you’ll love: You sacrifice zero aesthetic charm in return for the superior function and ability this pan possesses. It can be used on all types of cooktops, and it heats evenly and quickly. Its stainless steel construction means it’s easy to clean and won’t react with food flavors.

What you should consider: The best of the best doesn’t come cheap — this saucepan is particularly expensive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Top saucepan for the money

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Triple-Ply Saucepan

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Triple-Ply Saucepan

What you need to know: Cuisinart is a trusted brand, providing high-quality gear at affordable prices, and this saucepan is no exception.

What you’ll love: A tapered rim allows for non-drip pouring, and the saucepan is induction stove capable. Riveted handles stay cool while cooking. The included lid fits snugly. It’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning you can go from stovetop to oven seamlessly.

What you should consider: This saucepan is a touch prone to oxidation.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

 

Worth checking out

Calphalon Classic Saucepan

Calphalon Classic Saucepan

What you need to know: This saucepan has some great features, but be aware that it isn’t the highest quality available.

What you’ll love: The impact bonded base allows for precise heating, and the pan has a little spout for easy pouring. The handle stays cool. It’s dishwasher-safe. It includes fill lines and straining holes, so you can measure and strain without additional dishes.

What you should consider: The durability of this saucepan isn’t as high as many want it to be.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.