The Saucepan, its next to the frying pan as the most used tool in the kitchen. Its primary task is to heat up liquid. They come in many different sizes and configuration. You can find them priced from 20 to the hundreds. Because of this, its daunting for most home cook. In my opinion, the Best are the Stainless Steel Saucepan. Since it only heat up liquid, non stick or cast iron sauce pan are not necessary. The main goal is to heat things up as quickly as possible.
Different Type of Saucepan
There are a few type of sauce pan. The one that most people think of is a simple cylindrical pot. They are made this way because its cheap and convenient to manufacturer. In the past, most sauce pan are made with a thin piece of steel. Those are great for heating up liquid quickly.
At time went on, manufacturer started to modify it. Some saucepan had a copper base so that heat will be conducted quickly. Others had a heavy disc on the bottom so that it can hold the heat better, important when you deep fry. However, the most recent iteration are the best one. Models with a fully cladded construction gives the benefit of Aluminum with the durability of stainless steel.
Stainless steel takes a long time to heat up. They are prone to heat spots and can scorch your food. To get around this, manufacturer sandwich a Aluminum core between it. This combination of different metal gives the metal the heating performance of Aluminum with the durability of stainless steel. The problem with this technology is that All Clad held the patent for the longest time. Today, that patent has since expired. Most manufacturer will use some form of this technology in their higher end cookware.
As stated before, the cylindrical pot is the most common pot. They work well and are easy to make. However, in my experience, they dont work well for the smaller size. I actually prefer a miniature saute pan as a sauce pan. This way when you make small batches of sauce or even boiling water, you have more room to move around.
As you get to the larger size, 4qt plus, that issue is gone. You have more room to work with and food wont get cramped. In this situation, getting a normal cylinder pot is a good choice.
Disadvantage of Stainless Steel Saucepan
Of course stainless steel saucepan are not perfect. The main issue arises when you clean them. Since stainless steel stick, so does food and grease stain. If you are not diligent about cleaning it, the pot will soon turn black. Another issue is the sticking. If you plan on making stews, the initial stage of cooking can be challenging. Luckily, after you add liquid, any sticking issue is gone. You can easily lift it up with a wooden spoon.
Best Best Stainless Steel Saucepan List
Below, you will find a list of the Best Stainless Steel Saucepan. There are a few option available, choose one that best suits you.
All-Clad 4201 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Sauce Pan (Best Small Size Saucepan)
All Clad 1 qt sauce pan is wide and short. Unlike other manufacturer, they make miniature version of the traditional saucepan. Those are difficult to use due to its narrow shape. All Clad make a miniature like sautepan that lets you boil liquid and even cook noodle. The handle is a little uncomfortable but it stays cool to the touch. Another bad thing is that the lip is not rolled. When you go to pour, it might dribble down the side.
All-Clad 6204 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Saucepan with Lid / Cookware, 4-Quart (Best Large Saucepan)
All Clad also makes a model with a copper core. Copper conducts heat better than Aluminum as a result, it boils water faster. This model has a rolled lip so that pouring is easier as well. On the other end, there is a helper handle to help you lift and pour. While its more expensive than the tri ply model, it is the best stainless steel saucepan on the market.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 1-1/2-Quart Saucepan with Cover (Best Buy Small Saucepan)
All Clad is nice, but its also expensive. Thankfully cuisinart makes a very good alternative. Its wider than tall so its easy to move food around. The handle stays cool to the touch and its multiclad. Unlike All Clad, the lip is rolled as well. No messy unexpected drip. The only problem is that this saucepan is not as robust.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 3-Quart Saucepan with Cover (Best Buy Large Stainless Steel Saucepan)
For a slightly larger model, cuisnart also makes a 3 qt model. It doesnt have a helper handle so it can be a bit heavy. I recommend using a ladle to pour some liquid out. This way there wont be any accidents. It also features the same multiclad construction like the other model. This model is dishwasher safe and oven safe to 550 degree Fahrenheit.
Saucepan are great tools to have. However, for smaller models it better to get a miniature sautepan instead. They are wider so its easier to cook. You can stir and move food around easier. However, for the larger one, the regular one works just as well. In both instance, All Clad is the best choice there is. But for the budget orientated one, go for cuisinart.
Looking for a Japanese Saucepan? Check out our article on the Best Yukihira Saucepan.