Last updated: August 26, 2021

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Who doesn't like to spice up their meals with delicious sauces that really intensify the taste? The cocktail sauce at the barbecue, the vanilla sauce for the quark strudel or the gravy for the Martini goose - sometimes the thick- or thin-bodied flavour guarantors simply can't be missed.

The gravy boat is perfect for serving sauces, dips, salad dressings, puddings, yoghurt and co. and turns out to be a practical help in every kitchen! In addition, this noble kitchen utensil provides a special flair of haute cuisine. For this product comparison, we have compared all types of sauce boats and listed the most important aspects, as well as advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • Equipped with a handle and a well-made spout, the gravy boat ensures easy serving of sauces without stains caused by passing common ladles back and forth.
  • The most important buying criteria are the materials used, the different sizes, the wide range of functionalities and the different designs.
  • Gravy boats are already available in a low to medium price range in good quality and equipped with practical functions.

The best Gravy Boat: Our picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for gravy boats

In order to find the gravy boat that offers you the best value, there are some criteria that you should take into account when making your purchase decision.

The following section lists the most important buying criteria for sauce boats.

Sizes

Starting with small sauce boats with a capacity of approx. 50 millilitres, the range of different sizes extends to sauce boats with a capacity of one litre.

Small sauce boats with a volume of approx. 50 to 250 millilitres are suitable for particularly hot, sweet and generally flavour-intensive sauces or dips that you do not need much of to enjoy them.

Medium-sized sauce boats with a capacity of approx. 250 to 450 millilitres are suitable for sauces as well as gravy, which you can add to your dishes in increased quantities.

From 450 millilitres to one litre, sauce boats are mainly used for festivities where a large number of people are dining. This way, you do not have to constantly refill the sauce boats.

Materials

Depending on what materials gravy boats are made of, they have different characteristics. The following table lists the most commonly used materials and compares their advantages and disadvantages.

Material advantages disadvantages
Stainless steel does not rust, durable and robust, dishwasher-safe, light weight not scratch-resistant, leaves fingerprints
Porcelain acts as an insulator and keeps contents warm, very decorative, easy to clean less dishwasher-safe, prone to breakage, heavy weight
Glass odourless and tasteless, dishwasher-safe, does not become brittle with frequent microwave use susceptible to breakage, leaves fingerprints, heavy weight
Silver has an antibacterial effect, poor heat conductivity keeps hot food hot and cold food cold, very elegant look regular and time-consuming cleaning, reacts to some ingredients with silver sulphide and turns black

With the right handling, all the materials mentioned offer great properties for the use of sauce boats.

Functions

Some sauce boats are equipped with functions that make handling much easier and also have practical features. The following list lists the most important functions for sauce boats:

  1. The thermal function: The thermal sauce boats, which are usually made of double-walled stainless steel, offer two advantages. On the one hand, sauces and other liquids are kept warm or cold for a very long time and can thus be enjoyed optimally. Secondly, thermal sauce boats have a tightly closing lid that ensures that no skin forms on the surface of the sauce.
  2. The saucer function: Porcelain sauce boats in particular sometimes have saucers attached directly. Especially with thin sauces, you no longer have to be so careful that something spills over when carrying the saucier or that sauce spills over the edge of the saucier onto the tablecloth when ladling.
  3. The fat-separating function: Saucers with a fat-separating spout pour the sauce from the bottom first and leave the floating fat on the surface. This way you can enjoy the sauce with full flavour without having to put up with extra calories.

Design

Of course, there are also gravy boats in different variations and designs. The design often depends on the material the gravy boat is made of. While gravy boats made of stainless steel and glass are almost always kept simple and plain, porcelain or silver look quite different.

You will find many silver and porcelain sauce boats with decorated rims or beautifully curved handles. Since ceramics are often painted, porcelain saucers are often found with beautiful floral patterns or gold-decorated rims.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about sauce boats answered in detail

We have listed the most frequently asked questions about this kitchen utensil and will answer them for you in detail but concisely. Here you will find everything else you want to know about gravy boats.

What is a sauce boat?

The word "sauce boat" comes from the French and describes a usually oval-shaped bowl that is intended for serving thin and thick sauces. Gravy and dips can also be served with a sauce boat.

Equipped with a beak-shaped spout and a handle, the sauce boat is particularly suitable for the easy addition of sauces of all kinds - and without a spoon or ladle. These kitchen utensils are usually found in upscale restaurants and catering establishments.

The sauce boat is not to be confused with the saucier. The latter term, describes a sauce cook who is mainly responsible for preparing sauces in an upscale restaurant and often has a lot of experience.

What types of sauce boats are there?

First of all, a distinction is made between gravy boats made of different materials. Most commonly, gravy boats are made of stainless steel, porcelain, glass or silver. Then there are practical functions that distinguish the type of gravy boat. The following table lists the type and its features:

type feature
simple sauce boat This sauce boat has no special function and is therefore the simplest type.
Thermo gravy boat The gravy boat made of double-walled stainless steel keeps the contents warm or cold for a particularly long time. The tightly closing lid prevents an undesirable sauce skin that can occur when the surface dries out.
Gravy boat with saucer The fixed plate on the underside of the gravy boat prevents overflowing liquid from spilling onto the floor or the beautifully laid table. This variant is usually found on porcelain sauce boats.
Fat-separating sauce boat the spout area in this type is in the form of a hole not on the top but on the underside of the sauce boat. After the sauce or gravy from the bottom of the sauce boat runs over the spout, the fat floating on the surface remains at the end. This ensures full but low-fat enjoyment.

What you should pay attention to with every type of sauce boat is the spout. With poorly made sauce boats, the rest of the sauce will drip and stain even after the boat has been put down. With well-made sauce boats, the sauce remains where it should after serving and does not drip.

What does a sauce boat cost?

The price of a gravy boat depends mainly on the material, function and manufacturer. The following table shows the price ranges of the different designs:

Our research has shown that all gravy boats with various functions and materials (except for silver) can be purchased quite cheaply.

Of course, you pay more for real silver sauce boats, mainly because of the value of the material and the workmanship.

High-quality porcelain sauce boats from renowned manufacturers such as Meissen, Hutschenreuther, Rosenthal or KPM are the ones you pay the most for because of the workmanship and prestige value.

How do you clean a gravy boat properly?

Cleaning a gravy boat also depends on the material. The following list shows you the best and most sensible way to clean different gravy boats:

  • Stainless steel and glass sauce boats are the easiest to clean. Since stainless steel does not rust, both types are dishwasher-safe and can be cleaned of dirt without much effort.
  • Porcelain is a little trickier. Some porcelain saucers are officially dishwasher-safe, but care should be taken here because stainless steel dishes can leave discolouration on the surface. Sauce boats with gold rims or various patterns should generally not be put in the dishwasher and should only be cleaned gently, as this can lead to flaking.
  • Silver requires the most time-consuming cleaning. Silver saucers should only be rinsed with warm water and gently cleaned. There are some cleaning agents for silver that are ideally suited for this purpose. From time to time, the gravy boat can be polished with so-called silver gloves to prevent discolouration and tarnishing of silver.

For sauce boats with a fat-separating function, long cleaning brushes are suitable for thoroughly cleaning the spout and hole.

Sauciere

Not all gravy boats are dishwasher-safe, so sometimes you have to clean them yourself. (Image source: Imani/unsplash)

The cleaning brush is also a helpful tool for cleaning the usually deeper body of thermal sauce boats.

Conclusion

Gravy boats are the perfect way to serve sauces, gravy juices and other thin or thick additions. With all varieties, the most important thing is that the sauces are poured out evenly and without dripping. Another important point is a sturdy base or small pedestal that gives the sauce boat a secure hold and stability so that it does not tip over so easily. A large handle, meanwhile, allows easy handling and a secure grip when serving.

From porcelain to stainless steel, there are gravy boats in suitable designs to keep the contents hot or cold. Some sauce boats even have practical additional functions for separating fat and sauce, thermal storage or a saucer that prevents sauce stains on the tablecloth relatively well. All these advantages make the sauce boat an indispensable companion in your dining room!

Image source: unsplash / kei photo

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