Yukihira Saucepan are the most commonly used pots in Japan. They are used in a variety of situation from simmering soup to cooking noodles. The design is simple yet beautiful. With hammered sides to improve structural integrity and a wooden handle to keep it cool. However, in the states, these saucepan are relatively unknown. Whether its due to culture or just never caught on, I dont know. However, if you give this pot a chance, you will be surprised at its versatility.
Benefits of a Yukihira Saucepan
The shape of the Yukihira Saucepan is what sets it apart. The bottom is slightly curved with a large rim. On either sides, there are pouring lips to prevent dripping. These saucepans are usually made thin so that it heats up fast. Perfect for when you need to boil liquid quickly. While thicker cookware are more structurally sound, the extra heft make it slow when heating up. To compensate for this, the Japanese hammers the side to make it more strong. This process is known as annealing. You can sometimes see this in copper cookware as well.
Handles are typically made of wood. While it doesnt get hot, this is often a weak point in its design. For starter, the wood can burn. You cannot put this is a oven that is overly hot. Second of all, they usually mount it via a screw. The good thing is that you can easily replace it. Just get a stick and crew it on.
What to Cook in a Yukihira Saucepan
One of the most common thing the Japanese cook is soup. Since its designed to heat liquid quickly, its the best pot to do so. You can also use it to cook noodles like ramen or udon. Both of which are a staple in Japanese Cuisine.
What I wouldnt do is to sear food in it. These pots are really thin and can warp under high heat. If you want that extra flavor that comes from browning, I recommend you get a pot that is thicker.
There are a few materials available for the Yukihira Saucepan. The older models are usually made of aluminum. They are one of the best conductor of heat. What this means is that it will heat up faster than other metal like stainless steel. However, aluminum is also reactive with acidic food like tomato. It can impart a metallic taste.
Stainless Steel is great because it doesnt react and is generally more durable than aluminum. However it heats up slowly. Luckily, its so thin that you wont see that much of a performance difference.
Finally, you can see some Yukihira Saucepan with a golden exterior. Those pots are aluminum with a nonstick coating. They work well if you want to do light stirfry or just want something easier to clean. Something that can be challenging when you boil whole eggs for noodle. Just be aware that these coating will rub off overtime.
Best Yukihira Saucepan List
Below you will find a list of some of the best Yukihira Saucepan around. I have listed them based on materials, so choose the one that best suit your need. All models are made in Japan.
Yoshikawa Yukihira Saucepan, 2.2 quart (Best Stainless Steel)
Yoshikawa Yukihira Saucepan is one of the best stainless steel option out there. The shiny polished exterior with the hammered finish give it a beautiful disco ball look. There are some complaints about the handle burning, but if you just keep to soups and noodles, it shouldnt be that much of an issue. Another good thing is that its induction capable, the other aluminum wouldnt activate the sensors.
Taniguchi Metamachi Craftsman deep Type Yukihira Nabe (Best Aluminum Yukihira)
If you want a more traditional type of Yukihira. This all aluminum model is a great conductor of heat and will boil soup faster than the rest. It is slightly thicker as well coming in at 2.2 mm.
Hinomaru Collection Yukihira Nabe Lightweight Hammered Aluminum Pot
If you want a easy to clean nonstick pot, the Hinomaru makes a good alternative. Its golden coating sets it apart from the rest. However, like any nonstick, it will wear down overtime. Great if you plan on making the occasional stir fry.
A Yukihira Saucepan is great if you love soup or noodles. The thin wall construction means that it will heat up soups fast. Its also pretty to boot. Since drinking soups like Nabe is a core part of their diet, it is used a lot more often than in the states. However, if you want to start adding more soups and noodles to your diet, this is a great pot to have. While I think stainless steel is the best option available. More traditional pots like the aluminum option are a great alternative. You can even get one in nonstick.
Want to make soup family style? Check out our article on the Best Donable Pot.