We looked at the most popular sauté pans in the industry and compared their materials, size options, style, cost and value, performance and customer reviews from those who have used these pans in their own homes. Any one of them would be a great choice for your own kitchen.The three choices we have below came out on top in every area.
Introduction to the Saute Pans
One of the most important pans you can have in your kitchen is a sauté pan. Some sauté pans have a helper handle which is a small handle on the opposite side of the pan from the long handle. All of the features of a sauté pan are important for many cooking tasks. They have wide bottoms that are flat, a long handle, a lid, and straight sides.
The idea of sautéing something involves cooking food quickly over a high temperature in a small amount of oil or butter. You toss the items that are in the pan such as onions, green peppers, etc in the oil or butter as they cook.
Finding a good quality sauté pan involves looking at a few different factors when you are researching different pans. You want to choose one that is from a reputable company, that is made from durable, quality materials, and that is long lasting and able to stand up to daily use.
This guide will help you learn the specifics of looking for the right sauté pan for your needs. With this information you will be able to identify the features of a good quality sauté pan so you can make an informed decision that will fit perfectly into your kitchen.
Top Ranked Saute Pans
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Sauté Pan
Cuisinart’s Classic Sauté pan is made from 18/10 stainless steel for long lasting durability that won’t react negatively to your food and alter its taste.
The handles are riveted for extra strength and are cool grip handles so you don’t get burned by touching them.
This sauté pan can be used on the stove top, in the oven or under the broiler. It has a tapered, drip less rim that makes pouring super easy.
It has an encapsulated bottom made from aluminum that provides the cook with fast, even heat and gets rid of hot spots.
It is oven safe up to 550 degrees and is also freezer safe and dishwasher safe too. The straight sides are high, providing a lot of cooking space without worry of slopping food over the edge of the pan.
This sauté pan is perfect for caramelizing onions, braising chicken or stir frying vegetables. The wide handle is easy grip and both handles are riveted. One is a long handle and the other is a looped helper handle. This sauté pan is covered under Cuisinart’s lifetime guarantee.
Cooks Standard Stainless-Steel Covered Deep Sauté Pan
The stainless steel lid fits snugly, trapping all the moisture, heat and nutrients inside with the food. The handles are riveted for secure holding and stay cool thanks to the air flow technology.
This deep sauté pain is made from high quality 18/10 stainless steel and has an aluminum core to ensure rapid and even heat distribution for perfect cooking results; no hot spots to worry about.
This useful sauté pan from Cooks Standard is dishwasher safe and works on a regular stove top, gas stove, ceramic glass top and induction cook tops as well. It can be used in ovens up to 500 degrees. Measuring 21” x 11 ½” x 3 ½”, the straight sides help provide the maximum amount of space for sautéing your food. The base of the sauté pan is scratch resistant and comes with a brushed finish.
The 5 quart capacity means you will be able to cook every dinner with ease as well as plan some excellent dinner parties with family. Whatever you decide to cook in this pan, you will do a great job. It is the perfect pan for making one pot meals. The mirror-like finish of the sauté pan provides a clean, professional look that looks great in any kitchen.
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Sauté Pan
Calphalon stainless steel sauté pan has many features that make it a great addition to your kitchen cooking supplies.
The aluminum base is impact bonded and provides speedy, even heating. It can be safely used in the oven, under the broiler, on the stove and is dishwasher safe too.
The long handle in ergonomically designed and provides the cook with an even grip that feels secure even when handling the pan when it is full and heavy.
This handle will stay cool during the cooking process as well so there is no worry of burning your hand while you are using the pan.
The wide bottom of this sauté pan is perfect for searing meats. The low sides let the air out so it circulates around to keep the food crisp but they are high enough that the juices stay in and prevent splattering as well. The fill lines make measuring super easy and the cover with straining holes make draining liquids out much easier. This attractive and functional sauté pan is covered with Calphalon’s full 10 year warranty.
Saute Pans Summary
Choosing a high quality sauté pan is important because you will use this pan often. A good quality pan makes cooking enjoyable and much easier than if you are dealing with a pan that is flimsy and low quality. There are many characteristics that make up a good sauté pan.
Features like tall, straight sides, encapsulated bottoms made from aluminum that help cooking stay even and fast, handles that are sturdy and durable, riveted is best, and many other features as well.
The three top rated sauté pans that we have reviewed above would make excellent additions to your kitchen. All of them have a mirror-like finish and are made from durable 18/10 stainless steel with encapsulated aluminum bases that ensure fast and even cooking. All three of them can be used on the stove, in the oven, in the freezer and can be washed in the dishwasher.
Any one of these sauté pans would be great for sautéing needs in the kitchen. If these are not quite what you’re looking for, read our buyer’s guide below to learn more information about what to look for when searching for the perfect sauté pan for your cooking needs.
Saute Pan Buyers Guide
There are many features that are important and indicative of a good quality sauté pan. We have described these features below so you will know what to look for when you start researching the different sauté pans on the market.
- Design – sauté pans are designed with wide bottoms that are completely flat so there is plenty of room in the pan to avoid crowding ingredients. Sautéing food is quick browning it without burning the food or steaming it. If you have too many items in the pan you will only succeed in steaming the food or burning it rather than browning it. Another benefit to the flat bottom pan is that it is easier to slide back and forth than a pan with a curved bottom.The sides of the sauté pan are supposed to be are straight and depending on the pan they may be tall or on the low side. They are lower than saucepan sides. The straight up and down sides prevent the sauces and food from being spilled out over the sides during the cooking process. Another benefit to the way the sides are designed is that they allow air flow to circulate which prevents soggy food.
- Handle Construction – Sauté pans have a long handle on one side and sometimes, depending on the style and brand, they may have helper handles, which are looped handles, on the side opposite the long handle. The long handle is good for sautéing because it makes it easier to shake the food back and forth while you are browning it.Look for sauté pan handles that are attached to the pan securely through riveted or screwed on with long, sturdy screws. The handles need to be cool touch handles that the cook can hold onto without getting burned. You should still use oven mitts when using any pots with metal handles.
The Importance of Materials
Sauté pans can be made from many different materials including stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum or a combination of materials. There are positives and negatives to each type of material. Because of what sautéing involves, you want it to be made from a material that is extremely heat responsive. This means it gets hot quickly and cools off quickly too. This is the pan’s conductivity.
One of the best metals for conductivity is copper. Unfortunately copper can be super expensive and they are difficult to keep shiny but if you don’t mind these two drawbacks, copper would provide the best heat conductivity. The next choice is anodized aluminum. They are easy to clean, have good heat transmission and cost a lot less than copper. It is the anodized property of the aluminum that keeps it from reacting negatively with some foods.
Make sure that the pan’s bottom is thick and made of encapsulated aluminum. Thin bottoms are a recipe for disaster and will not provide the kind of results you want from your cooking. One of the most common problems with thin bottomed pans is the hot spots that can be present. This can result in unevenly cooked food or even burned food in places.
When it comes to a sauté pan, avoid nonstick varieties. You will be limited on what you can do with a non stick sauté pan since they can’t make the small browned bits also known as fond that you get from sautéing a piece of chicken, pork or beef.
Which is Better Individual Pans or Sets?
Sauté pans can be sold individually or you can purchase them in sets. Some sets will have other types of pans as well or they may be 2 or 3 sizes of sauté pans. Because new pots are coming out, it can be advantageous to purchase them one at a time. Start with a good size sauté pan such as a 5 quart size and go from there to see what other sizes you want to add as you go on.
If you prefer to buy sets, look for sets that have several sized sauté pans that you can use. Sometimes you may want to only sauté something very small and other times you may be making larger dishes. Having a variety of choices for cooking the dishes you want to cook will make your cooking adventures really enjoyable.
Choosing the perfect sauté pan isn’t overly complicated but it does involve understanding the different parts of the pan that combine together to make a high quality one. This knowledge can also help you understand where lower quality pans are falling down on the job. You want to avoid the low quality sauté pans because you will find that they don’t do a good job and you will end up replacing them often.
The three top rated sauté pans we have chosen and reviewed above are all from reputable, well known companies in the cooking industry. They are all made from high quality stainless steel and have anodized aluminum bottoms for the best heat conductivity. Your dishes, sauces and caramelized foods will come out perfect time and time again and your pan will last you a really long time.
The pans we featured offer great guarantees and warranties so if anything goes wrong with the construction of the pan. Having high quality cooking utensils and pans in your kitchen is a great way to continue loving to cook. The results you will get with these well made sauté pans will make the extra cost worth it.