Best saucepans

Cookware & Cooking Tools

Preheating a stainless steel pan before cooking will help prevent food from sticking to its surface.

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

Which saucepan is best?

The classic and versatile saucepan is a must-have staple for all kitchens. Commonly used for boiling pasta or vegetables, making a sauce from scratch, heating soups and stews or slowly simmering your ingredients, saucepans are the go-to cookware item for many home chefs. 

Seeing as your saucepan will likely get plenty of use day after day, it is always a smart idea to choose a model that is durable, practical and will evenly cook or heat your food. The All-Clad Tri-Ply Bonded Saucepan is a sturdy stainless steel option that provides unwavering performance time after time. 

What to know before you buy a saucepan 

Uses

Unlike a frying pan, a saucepan has a deeper design with taller walls, making it the perfect pan choice when using liquid ingredients. Ideal for stewing, simmering, melting, boiling, poaching and more, using a lid with your saucepan will allow you to trap the heat inside, making the cooking process more efficient. 

Material 

Stainless steel, aluminum, nonstick, copper and ceramic materials are most commonly used when constructing saucepans. 

The best stainless steel saucepans will often feature an anodized aluminum core placed between durable outer stainless steel layers. This creates a strong exterior shell with superior heat conductivity properties. 

Nonstick pans will usually apply an outer nonstick coating to an aluminum body, making for easy cleanup and less residue left behind. 

Copper saucepans have a beautiful appearance that can accent a variety of kitchens. While they are durable and reliable heat conductors, they require increased upkeep to maintain their signature appearance. 

Ceramic saucepans heat your ingredients evenly and also offer a unique aesthetic appeal. The only downside is the lack of durability found with other saucepan materials. 

Size

Saucepan sizes will vary depending on their intended usage. Small 1.5-quart saucepans are good for heating or cooking small portions. Saucepans with a 2- or 3-quart capacity are great multi-purpose sizes that you can use for various recipes and meal preparation. The largest saucepans will likely hold 4-5 quarts, allowing you to cook large quantities of food for multiple people. 

Shape

Just as saucepan size varies, so does the shape. You’re likely to come across cylindrical models with higher walls and wider pans with shorter sides. The shape ultimately comes down to personal preference and cooking style. While deeper pots may be better for boiling large amounts of water or making stews and broths, shallower saucepans are versatile and can even be used for sautéing. 

What to look for in a quality saucepan

Included lid

The best saucepans will all feature an included lid. Quality lids should have a snug fit to prevent contents from leaking over the sides. There are both metal and glass lids available, though glass allows you to monitor your food without removing the lid. 

If you want to save time and limit the number of dirty dishes you’ll accumulate, look for a lid that features a convenient built-in strainer.

Durability 

No matter what material you choose for your saucepan, you’ll want one that won’t give out on you after only a handful of meals. Look for models with firmly attached handles and those that seem sturdy and well-balanced. 

Some nonstick coating will be more durable and long-lasting than others. Still, it is always a good idea to use the appropriate utensils when dealing with nonstick saucepans to ensure you don’t scratch or damage the surface. 

Handle

Along with the body and lid, the handle is just as crucial to the overall construction. Handles will vary in size and material, so be sure to choose a model with a handle that will work for you and your kitchen. 

Stainless steel handles tend to be the sturdiest but can burn your hand if gripped without a potholder or oven mitt. Plastic handles won’t heat up in the same manner but lack the same degree of durability. A flimsy handle can be dangerous when attempting to transfer hot contents from your stove to your sink.

How much you can expect to spend on saucepans

Essential, inexpensive and small-sized saucepans can cost as little as $15. High-end models made from premium materials are likely to cost well over $100, but you can usually find a versatile and reliable saucepan in the $30-$100 range.

Saucepans FAQ

Will saucepans work on all types of stoves?

A. Essentially, all saucepans work on gas and electric stovetops. However, not every model will be compatible with induction stoves. Before choosing a saucepan, check to ensure it will work with your specific stove type. 

What’s the best way to store a saucepan?

A. Hanging your saucepan from a rack will help prevent any damage caused by contact with other pots and pans when stored together in a cabinet or drawer. Saucepans hung individually are less likely to be dented or scratched and will also be easier to access when it’s time to cook. 

What’s the best saucepan to buy?

Top saucepan 

All-Clad Tri-Ply Bonded Sauce Pan

All-Clad Tri-Ply Bonded Saucepan

What you need to know: This premium saucepan is made for those who want a long-lasting and high-quality piece of cookware. 

What you’ll love: Not only is this saucepan lauded for its performance, but it also has an appealing design and even works with induction cooktops. 

What you should consider: The high-quality comes at a high price. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top saucepan for the money

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Sauce Pan

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Saucepan

What you need to know: The Cuisinart MultiClad Pro is an affordable and durable saucepan suitable for most home cooks. 

What you’ll love: With an aluminum core for better heat conduction, this pan also sports a tapered rim to cut down on spills while pouring. 

What you should consider: The design is slightly bulky for some people. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Cooks Standard Hard-Anodized Premium-Grade Saucepan

Cooks Standard Hard-Anodized Premium-Grade Saucepan

What you need to know: A good nonstick option for those looking for something other than stainless steel. 

What you’ll love: The aluminum materials heat quickly, and the nonstick interior is easy to clean. 

What you should consider: The lid included with this saucepan may not have the best fit. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot 

 

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

Matthew Young 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.