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25 Different Types of Sauce Pans


Types of sauce pans.

Pottery discovered in Japan revealed that hunter-gatherers made the first cooking pot 15,000 years ago to cook up some fish soup, most likely salmon. In 1642, the first cast iron pot was manufactured in the U.S.

The first tin pot came around in 1720, followed by the first enameled porcelain pot and cast aluminum cookingware. Sauce pans have evolved through the years but the way they’re used remains the same.

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Concord Cookware tri-ply copper sauce pan with lid.

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Source: Wayfair

Copper is a very popular choice when people are looking for a new saucepan, this is partly because of the beauty of these pieces. They are incredibly durable and will last through regular use for years, as long as you take care of them. One main advantage of copper saucepans is that they provide incredible heat distribution. This means that when you are cooking a sauce, or other item in your pan, you won’t have to worry about there being a hot spot that will burn your food. Even heat is key to great meals, and copper provides that. Additionally, copper saucepans react very quickly when you change the heat, so you can enjoy instant rising or lowering of the heat.


Stainless Steel

AVACRAFT stainless steel saucepan with glass, strainer lid, two side spouts for easy pour with ergonomic handle.

Source: Amazon

Stainless steel will continue to look great for a long time, even if you do not do a great job cleaning it. You can use stainless steel saucepans with all kinds of foods because it does not react with either alkaline or acid foods. Additionally, you don’t need special cleaners for stainless steel and this material is very durable and can stand up to scratches, dents, and dings without any problems. Unfortunately, stainless steel doesn’t do a great job conducting heat and has problems with heating evenly, so you need to be careful when using stainless steel saucepans, as you don’t want to have hot spots that burn your food.


Carbon steel

Pit Boss carbon steel sauce pan with wire handle.

Source: Wayfair

While similar to cast iron, carbon steel has more iron and less carbon. This means that these pans are less brittle than cast iron pans, they tend to be much lighter, and they do a great job maintaining high heats and distributing heat evenly. Your pan will heat up and cool down quickly, which will allow you to not only cook in a hurry, but clean up your kitchen without waiting on your saucepan to cool down. Buy thicker carbon steel pans to avoid any problems with hot spots that may occur when you buy thinner, lower-quality pans. These pans have very small pores in the surface that create a slick surface. Unfortunately, these saucepans generally come with a high price tag.



A small vintage aluminum sauce pan made by Wear Ever.

Source: Etsy

Aluminum saucepans heat up very quickly, which means that you can start cooking with this saucepan right away. Because this material is so resistant to high temperatures, you won’t have to worry about accidentally damaging your saucepan if you leave it on the heat and then walk away. This material will not react with acidic food, so you don’t have to worry about what you are going to be cooking. Additionally, these saucepans are very affordable and will last for a long time, as long as you take care of them.


Cast iron

Starfrit The Rock cast iron sauce pan with glass lid.

Source: Houzz

These types of saucepans are generally very reasonably priced and, when used correctly, will develop a natural finish that will help season the pan to keep your food from sticking. When you cook in a cast iron saucepan, you will be able to leave your food inside of it and the food will stay warm on the table for a long time. It’s easy to sear at very high temperatures and you can put your saucepan directly into the oven from the stove.

These saucepans tend to be very heavy and can hurt your foot or crack a kitchen tile if you drop them. Because they do not cool down very quickly, you have to be sure that you use protection when picking them up and moving them around in your kitchen. Using soap or acidic foods on the surface will damage the cast iron. You generally don’t want to use cast iron saucepans on a glass top stove, as they can crack or scratch the surface.



Zwilling JA Henckels' Spirit stainless steel ceramic sauce pan with lid.

Source: Wayfair

Ceramic cookware is generally very attractive, and the saucepans are no exception. Many ceramic saucepans have bright colors and designs painted on them, which greatly add to the attractiveness of the pan. They work well by distributing heat quickly and evenly, and they can be used with high temperatures, without you having to worry about damaging the saucepan. Additionally, because these saucepans are so durable and easy to clean, you don’t have to worry about them being damaged with normal use. You will be able to easily wipe them out when you have finished cooking and don’t need to worry about seasoning them.



Paula Deen Signature porcelain nonstick red sauce pan.

Source: Houzz

The exterior of these saucepans is going to be made out of porcelain, and that allows the food that you are cooking to heat up very evenly and without any hot or cold spots. Porcelain can be in a number of colors, and this will allow you to use saucepans that are bright and they will match the rest of the décor in your kitchen. In addition, the porcelain does a great job standing up to stains and is very easy to clean, so you don’t need to worry about a change in color.


Polish Pottery sauce pan with floral pattern design.

Source: Houzz

When you use stoneware saucepans, you will have to treat them similar to the way you treat your cast iron. That means that you will need to season them before they can be used. This heavy duty type of cookware has been around for a very long time and makes it incredibly easy to enjoy a non-stick surface so that the food you are cooking isn’t ruined. This is great if you tend to forget your sauces on the stove and don’t want to have to worry about throwing out your sauce or starting fresh because you allowed it to burn by accident.



Swiss Titan 1.4 quart grey titanium sauce pan with lid.

Source: Amazon

While titanium cookware is generally more expensive than other types of cookware, and saucepans are no exception, there are a number of reasons why cooks love using this material in the kitchen. Your titanium saucepans will be both very light and also incredibly strong so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you are going to be able to lift the pot when it is full of hot food.

Additionally, because they are so strong and durable, if you do accidentally drop the pot then you won’t have to worry about denting it. This metal is nonporous and doesn’t cause your food to stick. When you want to clean out your titanium saucepans you only have to rinse them and then wipe them dry, as you won’t have to worry about soaking them to remove any cooked-on food. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about using oil or water to keep your food from sticking, which means you can cook healthier meals and ensure that you will get all of the nutrients from your food.



Vario Click Pearl induction sauce pan with cast-aluminum construction, an extra-long heat-safe handle, and a three-layer non-stick coating that makes cooking a pleasure.

Source: Hayneedle

If you want to cook on an induction cooktop, then you will need to make sure that the saucepans that you choose can be used on this type of stove. While you can use most any kind of material on a gas or electric stove, induction stoves require pots and pans that can work with the stove to create a magnetic field to cook the food. If you try to cook with a pot or a pan that is not susceptible to a magnetic field, then you will not be able to induce an electric current and won’t be able to heat up the pan or your food. This is why you can only use certain pans on your induction cooktop.


Lid Included

Cuisinart 419-14 contour stainless 1-quart sauce pan with lid.

Source: Amazon

Chances are good that you are going to want a lid to keep your sauce or other food items warm when you are cooking with a saucepan. Without a perfectly sized lid, you will have to try to find a different one that will work with the size pan that you have, and this can be difficult. Even if you don’t think that you’ll need a lid very often, it’s a smart idea to buy one right away when you purchase your saucepan.


Dishwasher Safe

Farberware classic sauce pan with lid and dishwasher safe feature.


Source: Wayfair

There are few things more exhausting than trying to wash all of your dishes after you have made dinner. Instead of spending a long time cleaning up after yourself, you can make clean up a breeze when you choose a saucepan that can be put in the dishwasher. This means that you won’t have to worry about soaking the pan to remove cooked-on food or scrubbing it. By putting the pan right into the dishwasher, you can get it clean in no time and with very little effort on your part.



Tramontina limited editions LYON covered non-stick sauce pan in sapphire color.

Source: Hayneedle

Unless you are very good about seasoning your pots or using the right amount of oil, you will want to make sure that you have a nonstick saucepan so that your food doesn’t stick while you are cooking. While some materials are more nonstick than others, if you don’t want to have to worry about food sticking and you tend to walk away and forget to stir your pans, then you will definitely want to choose a nonstick saucepan over one that doesn’t have this feature. It is very easy to accidentally burn your food and cause it to stick to the pan, but nonstick pans will prevent this problem from occurring.



Copper Core features a bonded five-ply construction that combines the superior heat conductivity of copper with the cleaning ease of 18/10 stainless steel, for unrivaled culinary performance.

Source: Houzz

When you can move your saucepan from stove to oven without switching the food to a new pot, then you will speed up how quickly you can get a meal on the table and also decrease the number of dishes that you are going to have to wash when you are done. Not all saucepans can go into the oven, and some have temperature limits about how hot they can get, but putting a saucepan in the oven is a great way to finish the sauce, ensure even cooking, and hold your food at the right temperature before you are ready to serve your meal.


Soft Grip Handle

Sauce pan with features of ergonomic handle a stay-cool, soft-grip finish while the heat- and shatter-resistant tempered glass lid provides easy and safe cooking.

Source: Amazon

It can be very difficult to grasp and hold the handle of a saucepan, and if you struggle with weaker hands or arthritis, then this difficulty is compounded. Instead of suffering each time you take hold of a saucepan, when you buy one that has soft grip handles you won’t have to worry about being in pain when you use your pan. These handles give you something softer to hold onto and make it much easier to move around a full pan. No matter if you simply need to move your food to a new eye on the stove, carry it to the table for serving, or pour your sauce into a bowl, soft grip handles make this much easier and will help decrease any pain in your hands that you feel when doing this.



Kuprum copper sauce pan with lid 2.5 quarts hand-hammered tin lined and antimicrobial features.

Source: Amazon

One problem that can occur when you are cooking is when you do not heat your food to a high enough temperature and bacteria is allowed to grow. This also commonly occurs when you have cooked your food and then allow the pan to cool down. If your food is not held at a high enough temperature or put into the refrigerator right away, then bacteria can easily grow. While you can’t completely prevent this from occurring, you can take steps to limit bacterial growth. Do this by purchasing a saucepan that is antimicrobial, which will help you stop the growth of bacteria in your food.


Pour Spout

Cook and strain 3-qt. sauce pan with lid and pour sprout by WearEver.


Source: Wayfair

One of the main reasons why you are going to be using a sauce pan is to make a sauce, so it makes a lot of sense to choose a pan that has a pour spout, as this will allow you to easily pour out your sauce onto the main dish or into a serving bowl. When you do not have a pour spout, you will find that it is very difficult to control the way that the sauce pours and you will often have it running down the side of the pan, instead of pouring neatly into the bowl.

This can cause you to accidentally waste a lot of the sauce that you have made and may even make you start a fresh batch. A pour spout makes it incredibly easy to control your pour, no matter if you are trying to only pour out a small amount of your sauce onto a plate or want to quickly empty the entire saucepan.


Helper Handle

Enameled cast iron signature sauce pan with lid and extended helper handle provides added control when transferring.

Source: Wayfair

Very large saucepans tend to be quite heavy, even when they are empty. Instead of struggling with lifting a heavy pan by its single handle, when you buy one that has a helper handle, you will be able to get a much better grip on the pan and have more control over moving and lifting it. These helper handles will be placed on the opposite side of the pan from the regular handle and are much smaller.

While they are only large enough for you to grip with one hand, they still allow you to have a lot more control over your pan. They can be useful when you are lifting the saucepan and moving it to a new location or when you are going to be tipping the pan and pouring out the contents. Instead of straining your wrist trying to do this by only using one handle, when you opt for a saucepan that has the helper handle you can use both hands and make the job a lot easier.


Deep Fryer

Oster Sangerfield deep fryer stainless steel sauce pan with lid and frying basket.

Source: Wayfair

Most people love some sort of deep-fried food, but without the right equipment it can be very difficult and even dangerous to attempt deep frying food in your kitchen. Luckily, with the help of a saucepan that doubles as a deep fryer, you can have french fries and fried chicken whenever you want it. You’ll love that the saucepan comes with a frying basket which will make it incredibly easy for you to fill the basket with food and lift it in and out of the hot oil. This will prevent you from being splashed or splattered with the hot oil, which is very painful and can cause burns.



1-1.5 quart

Saflon Titanium nonstick 1.5-quart sauce pan with tempered glass lid.

Source: Amazon

These small saucepans may not seem like you will get a lot of use out of them, but they are great for heating up small amounts of sauce, melting butter, making a mini batch of soup, or even boiling a couple of eggs. While they are unlikely to get quite as much use as a slightly larger saucepan will, they are still a great option for your kitchen, if you have the room for them.


2-4 quarts

Chef's Classic stainless cook-and-pour 2-quart sauce pan with draining lid.

Source: Houzz

This is the most basic sized saucepan, and if you are only going to be buying one, then you will want to opt for this size, as it has a lot of uses. It’s not so small that you can cook up sauce for a group of people, but it is still large enough that it can easily handle heating up soup for dinner for your family. When looking for a saucepan in this size, you will want to make sure that it comes with a lid and that it’s dishwasher safe, so you don’t have to deal with washing it by hand.


4-6 quarts

Tri-ply 4.5-quarts stainless steel sauce pan with lid.

Source: Wayfair

A little larger than the 2-4 quart saucepan, this size is ideal for making a batch of chili or salsa, as there is plenty of room for all of the ingredients to cook together. You can also combine this size of a saucepan with a glass bowl and make a double boiler in a pinch.

6-8 quarts

Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Ply 6.62 quarts copper sauce pan.

Source: Wayfair

This is the perfect size if you want to make a large pot of stock, but do not own or want to buy a stock pot for this purpose. When you use a 6-8 quart stock pot you will have plenty of room for the ingredients to bubble, without splattering on the stove. You can also use this size saucepan for heating up leftovers, making a giant batch of hard boiled eggs, or cooking up a lot of pasta or rice for a dinner party. This size is still usually manageable without a helper handle, although they are fairly common at this point.


8-10 quarts

10 Quart aluminum sauce pan with dent resistant and flat bottom for even heat distribution.

Source: Houzz

Large saucepans like this make it easy to make a lot of spaghetti at once or a double batch of soup for when you want to freeze some. Make sure that the saucepan that you buy has a helper handle so you won’t have to worry about how you are going to lift the pan and move it when it is full. Due to their size, these sauce pans tend to be very heavy, so make sure you can handle lifting it before you buy it.


Over 10 quarts

Browne 11 quarts aluminum heavy weight sauce pan.

Source: Amazon

Very rarely will you need a saucepan that is this big. Most people avoid them because of how difficult they are to store, but if you regularly cook for parties, then you know how important large cookware is. In that case, you will likely love having such a huge saucepan for your needs.

Related: Types of Cake Pans | Silicone Bakeware | Alternatives to Dutch Oven | Types of Pot Racks

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