From the simple task of boiling pasta, to the more arduous process of making homemade sauce, every kitchen needs a reliable set of pots. For amateurs to pros alike, sauce pans are absolute must haves. While pots are a simple enough product, some serious thought should go into deciding which kinds are the right fit for your kitchen.
Size, price, durability and material are all important factors to consider when determining what pot to purchase. Do you just want something to make pasta or reheat soup? Or do you want a larger stock pot to tackle bigger recipes?
Pots seem to be a simple enough product, but don’t overestimate the importance of nailing this purchase. Sets of pots can be expensive, and leave you with an overstock of products that you may never even use, and that take up a ton of space in the kitchen. Instead, try to focus on grabbing individual pots that fit your kitchen and cooking style.
We tested a handful of sauce pans to try and figure out which ones are our favorites for the home kitchen.
Perfect to use to whip up pasta or reheat leftovers, the Michelangelo 3 quart Saucepan is a great product to have in the kitchen. This pot heats quickly and and is suitable to use on all types of stove tops. It’s nonstick properties also means that it’s a breeze to clean.
Keep in mind that this is a small pot – at 3 quarts it’s not appropriate to use when whipping up a meal for a large group, but it’s perfectly suitable for smaller sized families and smaller, tighter kitchens.
Retailing around $27, this pot is a steal that will quickly become a true kitchen staple.
Oven safe up to 500 degrees; with lid for 350 degrees
Deep enough to handle large recipes
This Cook N Home 8 ounce pot is a perfect sauce pan for almost any kitchen. This pot is well crafted, and easily handles larger work loads, as well as smaller recipes. The lid is perfect for steaming, and the pot itself is deep enough to whip up sauces and stews.
Retailing at around $30, this is a cost friendly product that can stand up to repeated uses and harsh treatment. The one downside with the pot is the lack of a handle, which might make maneuvering around the kitchen a bit of a pain. But other than that, this pots high end performance, durability, and price point make it a true kitchen winner.
Aluminum core surrounded by stainless steel for even heating
4 quart pot depth
Oven safe up to 350 degrees
Faberware makes great kitchen products, and their saucepans are no exception. This 4 quart covered saucepan is perfect for pretty much any kitchen task. From boiling pasta to tackling larger recipes like roasts, theres almost nothing that this pot can’t cook.
Retailing around $60, this pot is durable enough to last a lifetime, and they have the warranty to prove it. While one of the more expensive products on our list, this sauce pan is worth it. You won’t have to replace or worry about cool spots forming at the base of the pot. And since this pot is dishwasher safe, it’s extremely easy to clean and maintain.
Stainless steel with Aluminum base for consistent heat distribution
Cool grip handle
Drip Free pouring
Possibly the most versatile saucepan on our list, the Cuisinart 3 ounce chef’s classic pot is a thing of beauty. Sleek, professional, and timeless, this product looks as sharp in the kitchen as it preforms on the stovetop. With sufficient depth, this saucepan can cook and prepare almost anything. The drip free pouring lid and flavor lock lid add versatility to this pot that most others lack.
Retailing at around $70, it’s one of the pricier options on the list, but is worth it. Backed by a lifetime warranty, this saucepan is a true workhorse. Couple it’s durability with the ability to machine wash, and it’s easy to see why we love this pot.
Tri-ply stainless steel with with matte finish to reduce scratches
Lid doubles as a built in pasta strainer
Dishwasher safe and durable
Most versatile option
The Avacraft saucepan comes in as the most versatile option on our list. With a lid that doubles as a pasta strainer, and an ingrained measuring cup, this pot gets some major props for functionality. And at 3.5 quarts, it’s big enough to handle most recipes and dishes.
The saucepan retails for around $55, a reasonable price to pay considering all the extras. This pot looks as good as it preforms, and is durable enough to consider a kitchen fixture for decades. This pan is easy to maneuver with top notch handling, and can be used on any type of oven range.
Explore a large, well stocked kitchen and you’re bound to find saucepans of varying sizes. Different pots are ideal for different tasks, and unless you’re buying a set, it’s important to understand what kind of function you’re looking for from the pot. Pots can take up a ton of storage around the kitchen, and unless you cook for large groups, larger pots might be a waste of space.
There are a few standard sizes to choose from when it comes to saucepans. We like to keep a mix of different sizes around the kitchen. Here are the options, and what kind of cooking load that they are best used for.
Smaller Saucepans (1 – 2.5 Quarts)
These saucepans are available in measurements of .5 quarts. Ideal for single to smaller families, these pans are perfect for heating up small to medium sized servings of pasta, soups, and reheating modest amounts of liquids. These pots are also generally easy to store, and can be stacked in larger saucepans if needed. Even larger families tend to have a need for smaller pots. A true kitchen must.
Larger Saucepans (3-4 Quarts)
These larger pots handle much heavier volume, and are great for larger families, or cooks who churn out more food and cook for dinner parties or groups. These saucepans are big enough to tackle everything including roasts.
Types of Saucepan Material
Saucepans made from stainless steel heat quickly and consistently. They also look sleek and sharp in the kitchen, matching performance with a professional aesthetic. Generally dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
On the negative side, stainless steel can scratch and dent. And while they’re easy to clean, they are prone to burns and stains if not maintained properly.
Affordable and lightweight, aluminum is a more rare but trendy material option. These pots maintain heat well, and are more durable and scratch resistant than a lot of other metal options.
A nonstick, environmental friendly option that looks incredibly sharp and can be found in a wide variety of colors and designs.
While ceramic is simple to clean, it’s generally not dishwasher safe, and is prone to chips. The nonstick properties can also degrade over time, meaning they are less durable and trustworthy in the long run.
Care and Maintenance
Saucepans are generally pretty easy to clean and maintain, and a lot of that is due thanks to the metal finishes. These days most new saucepans are dishwasher safe, an excellent bonus when cleaning up after preparing a meal. Since oftentimes sauces or heavy liquids are boiled to high heat in pots, it’s also important to try to get off any food before it sets, thus making it more difficult to clean.
We like to immediately rinse our pots out with warm water, and let sit with a splash of dish soap. When scrubbing a saucepan, try not to use harsh metal brushes that can scratch the interior finish.
It’s also important to consider what type of material your pot is made of before cleaning. Stainless steel saucepans are among the easiest to clean. With that being said, steel can be prone to scratches and rust, so for these pots it’s probably best to not let water soak in the pot for long periods of time. These pots do great in the dishwasher. But to get out stains and spots, it’s best to clean by hand. Simply use some warm water, dish soap, and a soft sponge/brush to buff out any inconsistencies.
Coated saucepans, like ceramic, can be prone to chips and scratches. Since these pots are not made of metal, they’re ideal to let soak with warm water and soap to get off any gunk. Since they’re prone to chips, it’s not ideal to place in the dishwasher, which can be harsh on the coating. Use a soft sponge, as harder bristles can leave scratches.
To maintain your pots for the years to come, try to use soft utensils when working in the saucepans. Metal can leave scratches, so it’s a better bet to use softer items made from silicon or wood to reduce wear and tear. And while it can be tempting to stack pots on each other to save space, this can also cause dents and dings. Try to store them separately so they don’t bang into each other, which can reduce their effectiveness longterm.