There are a few essential pieces of cookware that pretty much every kitchen has to have, and a small saucepan ranks pretty close to the top of that list. (It comes in second to the frying pan.) The saucepan is an incredibly versatile pan, that you’ll be hard pressed to cook much without one in your kitchen. You can use it to make sauces, of course, but it can also be used to heat up a can of soup, poach an egg, or make a small batch of rice or pasta. Even the smallest kitchen needs a saucepan.
Whe...n you’re shopping for one, the primary choice you have to make is what material you want your saucepan to be. For most people stainless steel will be the best option. You can also opt for one with a non-stick coating, but you won’t be able to use metal utensils on those. To help you choose the right saucepan for you, here are the seven best on the market today.
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This 1 1/2 quart sauce pan has a bonded aluminum base for fast and even heating on the stovetop. It’s also safe for use in the oven or under a broiler, to finish your cooking or keep food warm for serving. For easy cleanup, the pan is also dishwasher safe.
The long handle is ergonomic, for a comfortable, secure grip even when the pan is completely full, and it stays cool enough to hold during cooking, so you won’t need a mitt. The handle is riveted on by hand so it will always be secure, and the... pan has high sides and a narrow top that minimizes evaporation.
Fill lines inside the pan make it easy to add the right amount of water or other ingredients, and pour spouts make it easy to empty the pan. If you want to drain the liquid from your cooked potatoes, the lid has straining holes that match up with the spouts.
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If you prefer a pan that’s a little bit larger, but you don’t want a huge price increase from our top pick, this 2-quart pan from Winware is your best bet. It is made of commercial grade stainless steel, and also comes with a heavy gauge stainless steel lid.
A possible drawback with this pan is that it is on the heavy side, so it might be right for those with hand or wrist issues. It will resist staining and odors from your recipes, but some reviewers have reported problems with salt interacting... with the finish—another good reason to only salt your cooking liquid once it is boiling.
Skip the dishwasher with this pan and wash it by hand to prolong its lifespan. If you’re looking for a larger size Winware makes a version of this pan in 3-quart, 4-quart, 6-quart, 7-quart, and 10-quart sizes.
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This saucepan has a rounded, saucier-style bottom that makes it perfect for making sauces or cooking rice or other sticky foods, since there are no corners where food might stick. A whisk or spatula can scrape every bit of the bottom as you stir, for more even cooking and blending. The heavy construction reduces hot spots while the nonstick surface keeps food from sticking and makes cleanup a snap. Even better, the pan is dishwasher safe.
The pan is oven-safe to 350 degrees. It has a long,... comfortable handle stays cool during cooking. Since this is made from aluminum, it can’t be used on an induction cooktop.
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If stainless steel isn’t your style, and you want a nonstick pan, this anodized aluminum pan from Analon is a solid choice. The 2-quart saucepan has built in pouring spouts and a built-in strainer in the lid to make pouring and draining even easier. And the aluminum body and base of the pan guarantees even heating, so you won’t have to worry about hot spots and burnt foods.
Unlike some other nonstick cookware, the commercial grade nonstick coating on this pan is incredibly long-lasting and can be... used with metal utensils without risk of damage. It is also rated as oven-safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The pan should be hand washed instead of going in the dishwasher, but the nonstick coating means cleanup is a breeze.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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For anyone who needs a no-frills saucepan that costs less than $10, this budget pick from Granite Ware is the answer. The design is reminiscent of camping cookware (and we bet it would work great for a weekend camping trip), and it is made of carbon steel with a glass coating. The steel distributes the heat for even cooking, and the glass surface is naturally nonstick.
If you aren’t a fan of the black, this two-quart sauce pan is also available in a white finish. And while it doesn’t come with a... lid, for such a well-made, low-cost pan, we can do without. Just keep in mind that it isn’t recommended for use on glass cooktops, and it does have a tendency to chip if it is dropped, but thankfully, that won’t affect its ability to effectively cook your food.
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For those who want a saucepan that truly heats evenly, and is incredibly durable, copper might just be the way to go. Yes, it can be expensive, but it is a solid choice for many kitchens. Of course, copper does have a few drawbacks. First, you'll have to polish it somewhat regularly if you want it to keep it's penny-hued glow. Second, if the pan is completely copper, you'll have to avoid cooking extremely alkaline or acidic foods like tomatoes in it to prevent them from taking on a... metallic flavor.
The solution to the second problem is solved by this saucepan from Kuprum, as it has a non-reactive tin lining to enable you to cook any foods you'd like. The 1.2-quart pot is perfect for small dishes or sauces, and the hammered copper exterior looks great in any kitchen.
While copper is somewhat of an aesthetic choice, you will be guaranteed a durable, long-lasting pot or pan.
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Mauviel has been manufacturing in France since the early 1800s, producing cookware that is both beautiful and functional. This 1.3 quart sauce pan features 5-ply construction, a stay-cool cast stainless steel handle, and a rim that is designed for easy pouring.
The five layers start with magnetic stainless steel on the interior, followed by aluminum, an aluminum alloy, a second layer of aluminum, and finally another layer of magnetic stainless on the exterior. This provides quick, even heating,... and a non-reactive, non-staining interior and exterior.
This pan can be used on all cooking surfaces, including induction, as well as in the oven to 680 degrees, and under the broiler. It is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
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This small saucepan holds 1 1/2 quarts and has high, straight sides, so it’s perfect for making sauces, cooking small amounts of food, or heating liquids without excess evaporation. It’s made from stainless steel with an aluminum core, for the even heating throughout. The surface has a starburst finish to help prevent food from sticking. The pan has a contoured handle that’s easy to hold, the handle is riveted onto the pan for security. This includes a flat stainless steel lid.
This is oven and... broiler safe to 600 degrees without the lid, and can be used on induction cooktops. It’s dishwasher safe, as well. While this is an expensive little pot, it should last a lifetime. There are other pans available in this style, including a 1-quart pan if you need something even smaller.
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