Last updated: August 10, 2021
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The use of pots was already indispensable in the Stone Age for preparing hot food. Since then, numerous sub-forms have become established. The saucepan is the expert in preparing sauces and has become an indispensable part of many kitchens. It is also versatile, especially in single households.

Thanks to a wide range of capacities, materials, coatings and properties, you can find a suitable saucepan for every occasion. We have therefore compared different models to give you an overview and show you what you should look out for when buying to find the perfect model for your needs.




Summary

  • Saucepans come in a wide variety of materials, sizes and features such as additional handles, lids or spouts.
  • Casseroles are often found in the utensils of everything from student flats to star kitchens. They are usually made of stainless steel, copper or cast aluminium.
  • In addition to sauces, they can also be used to prepare vegetables, meat, rice or hot drinks. For smaller portions, there are no limits for (hobby) cooks.

The Best Saucepan: Our Picks

In this section, we have compiled our editors' favourites to help you with your purchase decision. In the following, you will find a suitable saucepan for every preference and budget.

Buying and evaluation criteria for casserole dishes

To help you find the ideal casserole dish for you, we have summarised the essential criteria below to simplify your decision-making process.

In the following, we explain the individual criteria in more detail so that you can make your decision on the basis of solid knowledge.

Diameter

Most saucepans are between 10 cm and 30 cm in diameter. There are also smaller and larger casseroles, which cover a wide range of dishes. It is therefore important to know which dishes you want to use them for.

If the focus is on preparing sauces and hot drinks, casseroles in the 12 cm range are sufficient. For braising and sautéing vegetables or meat, you should opt for a casserole dish with a larger diameter so that they can cook evenly. If you are looking for an all-rounder, 16-20 cm is preferable.

Capacity

You can choose from a wide range of saucepans, from 500 ml to 5 l in volume. In combination with the diameter, you can decide whether your saucepan should be more like a pan or a tall pot.

If you choose a saucepan with a low diameter and a high volume, you can cook sauces or puree food in it. If you choose a high diameter saucepan with a medium to high capacity, you can use it optimally for frying thanks to the large bottom surface. The average capacity is 1.5 l.

Material

Meanwhile, saucepans are available in a wide variety of materials. However, the majority of casseroles are made of stainless steel, which heats up slowly but keeps the food warm for longer.

If you want a lighter alternative with the same properties, then you should opt for a cast aluminium casserole. Cast iron casseroles are heavier and more difficult to clean, but are perfect for outdoor use. Copper is the material with the best heat conduction, which enables accurate cooking.

Coating

Coatings on casseroles ensure durability. Your kitchen utensils won't scratch the surface and you can cook with less grease without leaving any residue.

Mostly Teflon, ceramic or enamel, as a glass coating, are used. All types are easy to clean. However, the enamel coating also scores points for taste neutrality, allergy friendliness and a wide range of colours.

Induction suitability

Nowadays, induction hobs are increasingly replacing conventional hobs. If you own such an induction hob, there are certain things you need to consider.

Stainless steel and enamelled saucepans are generally suitable for induction. The easiest way to check whether they are suitable is to look at the features or look for a spiral on the base, which indicates that they are suitable for induction. If you use saucepans without a magnetic core, your induction hob will not recognise them and they will remain cold.

Dishwasher safe

Do you not have the capacity to clean your dishes regularly by hand? Then this criterion is particularly important for your selection.

The symbol for dishwasher resistance is decisive here, which, in contrast to the more familiar symbols for dishwasher suitability, has been tested according to official DIN standards. It also takes into account the maximum number of undamaged washing cycles.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about the saucepan answered in detail

In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the saucepan so that you have a solid basis of information for your next purchase.

What is a saucepan?

A saucepan is a hybrid between a pan and a pot. The term comes from the Old French word "casse", which translates as "big spoon". A characteristic feature is the handle for easy handling and a relatively large base.

In contrast to the sauté pan, the high rim of the casserole is straight and therefore ideal for preparing sauces. With an additional lid, you can also fry or braise with it.

What types of saucepans are there?

The available range of saucepans leaves nothing to be desired. You can choose from a wide range of designs, materials and accessories to tailor your latest kitchen gadget to your personal taste.

If the focus is on preparing liquids, then a saucepan with a spout on both sides is ideal. This allows you to transfer soups and drinks without stains and, as a left-handed person, you no longer have to make compromises. If you want to use the casserole dish for braised dishes, you can let off steam with enamel colours or upgrade your place setting with a modern stone look.

What dishes can I prepare in a saucepan?

Thanks to the different volumes and sizes, you can prepare a variety of dishes in a saucepan. There are no limits to your imagination.

Fish is a healthy source of omega-3s that can be prepared anywhere with the right cooking utensil. (Image source: John Salzarulo / Unsplash)

A cook of any level can sauté vegetables, cook rice, create soups or braise cuts of meat with the addition of a glass lid with a matching saucepan. You can also use the lightweight to melt chocolate, cook pudding or caramelise sugar. Lift the saucepan with one hand and stir the ingredients with the other using a wooden spoon. Easy as pie!

How do I clean a saucepan?

Cooking and being together at the dining table is a lot of fun, but no one likes to do the washing up afterwards. You can even wash the majority of saucepans in the dishwasher.

If you want to wash your saucepan gently, you can do so with a washing-up brush and washing-up liquid. Take special care with cast iron and copper saucepans, which require special cleaning agents with extra steps. Burnt-on stains can be easily removed with baking soda, baking powder or vinegar and, after drying, either hung up or stacked with pan protectors.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a versatile kitchen gadget, whether for your first home or hobby kitchen, then you have come to the right place with a saucepan. Thanks to the numerous designs in different price segments, there is something to suit every taste.

In addition to their functionality, casseroles can be optimally adapted to your kitchen furnishings thanks to their variety of colours and shapes, making them real eye-catchers. Nevertheless, you should choose the materials according to their primary use and invest in good workmanship so that they will be a loyal companion for decades to come.

(Cover photo: Edgar Castrejon / Unsplash)

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