The Frying Pan is the workhorse in the kitchen. They sear, simmer and fry food. However, there exist a different type of pan that can be just as versatile, the Saute Pan. The Saute Pan also know as Sautoir in French, is a straight sided pan. Unlike the flared walls of the frying pan, it holds more liquid than its counterpart. The Best Saute Pan are heavy and uses metal such as Copper or Aluminum.
Saute Pan Uses
Saute Pan or Sautoir Pan are used mostly to braise. The sidewalls lets it hold more liquid than your standard frying pan. Usually a tight fitting lid is included to help trap moisture and keep it moist.
Aside from braising, you can also use it to fry food. Although the tall sidewall can get in the way of turning food. Another task that I like to do is shallow frying. You dont have to use as much oil as a whole dutch oven. And the lower wall lets you reach in with a tong easier.
Saute Pan vs Frying Pan
The biggest difference is the sidewall. The tall sidewall of the Saute Pan traps moisture and pools steam. This is useful if you intend on braising and holding more liquid.
The Flaring sidewall of a frying pan help evaporate moisture. This help caramelize food and develop food. For things like steak or chicken cutlet, I would use a Frying Pan. However, for making things like pasta sauce, use a saute pan. They are also great for oscco buscco.
There are a few different metals used in constructing a Saute Pan. The Best of which are copper. Its rated as one of the most thermally conductive metal out there. Meaning it heats up fast and sear better than stainless steel. However, its also reactive. Most manufacturer will line it with stainless steel or tin to protect the pan.
Next up is Aluminum. They are light and affordable, but they have issue as well. They’re on the softer side so they can warp. Another issue is that it can react with acidic food. Cooking acidic food like tomato sauce can give it a metallic taste.
Cast Iron is heavy and can store a lot of heat. With time, they develop a nonstick coating. However, they are poor conductor of heat. They are riddled with hot spots. But for a Sautoir Pan it should be fine.
Finally, we have the fully cladded pan. They give you the benefit of stainless steel with the lightness of Aluminum. They are one of the more expensive configuration but generally perform really well.
Best Saute Pan List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best sautoir pan. There are a few different option across different price point. The Best Buy are in reach of most people, so choose one that best suits you.
Mauviel M’Heritage 250B 2.5 mm 3.2 quart 9.4″/24 cm (Best Overall)
Mauviel is one of the larges French Manufacturer of Copper Cookware. Their cookware uses a thick 2.3 mm of copper and is considered to be one of the best in the industry. They heat up quicker and you get a better sear than the competition. The only downside is that the handle gets hot and the price. Like yikes its expensive. Nevertheless, if you want the best of the best, this is the way to go.
All-Clad 6405 SS Copper Core 5-Ply (Best Fully Cladded Pan)
All Clad is the original inventor of the fully cladded cookware. Their copper core lines takes advantage of copper with the added benefit of stainless steel. Its responsive and works well. The downside is the horrible handle. But if you want something lighter and more nimble, All Clad is the way to go.
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan with Cover, 5 Quart, Grey (Best Buy)
For a simple and easy to use model Calphalon nonstick sautoir pan is a good option. It has comfortable handle with a glass lid to see inside. However, the nonstick coating will wear down over use. The good thing is that if you intend on braising, wearing down the nonstick coating isnt that much of an issue. Plus its anodized for extra durability.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet With Iron Cover and Assist Handle (Best Cast Iron Model)
Technically, this model is a skillet, but its the best representation of a cast iron model. The good thing about this is that its heavy and holds heat well. Perfect for searing and deep frying thing. The lid is heavy and durable as well. The only thing you have to watch for is the seasoning. If you accidentally strip it, rust can form.
There are many options for a Saute Pan, they are all excellent at frying and braising. However, the best are the one made with copper. Mauviel makes a good option but they are expensive. Cheaper alternative such as those by All Clad are great also, but they too come at a cost. More affordable models are usually nonstick and work very well. Just be aware, they do wear down over time. But if you want the original nonstick, go for a cast iron one.
Looking for a Big Pan? Check out our article on the Best Large Frying Pan.