What is the Difference between a Saucepan and a Saute Pan?

August 31, 2021 3 min read

Atgrills saute pan

Sometimes you could face the dilemma of choosing the right pan for cooking. That’s because there are a variety of pans, and some of them serve similar functions. However, choosing the right pan for cooking can make a significant difference in your cooking experience.

So, what is the difference between a saucepan and a saute pan? Saucepans have taller sidewalls than saute pans. While these two cookware closely shares similar features, they are different. However, at some point, they can be used interchangeably. This article addresses the difference between a saucepan and a saute pan and their functions.


Atgrills saute pan with lid


What is a Saucepan? And what are the Features of a Saucepan? 


A saucepan is a deep cooking pan with straight edges and a long handle. Most of the saucepans come with a lid, but some don’t. They come in various sizes. Standard saucepans range from 2 to 4 quarts.

How can you distinguish a saucepan from other similar types of pans? First, it’s smaller than a dutch oven and narrower and deeper than a saute pan. Additionally, saucepans are much deeper and wider than frying pans. So basically, the saucepan's height is a distinctive feature among other similar cookware. 

Depending on the manufacturer, saucepans come in different materials and finishes such as copper, aluminum, stainless steel, stones, etc. Saucepans with non-stick coatings are also common. 

What are the common uses of saucepans? Saucepans are pretty practical and will cook almost anything that goes in them. However, it cooks better and efficiently meals with liquids. Therefore, saucepans are suitable for simmering, making soaps, cooking sauces, and stewing. Surprisingly, saucepans are used for boiling water for foods (for instance, pasta, lentils, risotto, and mashed potatoes) that require boiling. Lastly, it can be used in an oven (only if it’s oven-safe). 


What is a Saute Pan? And what are the Features of a Saute Pan? 


A saute pan is another type of pan that features a long handle, a large base, and vertical edges (like a right angle). Like saucepans, they also come with a lid and different sizes (3 to 6 quarts). 

Saute pans are often confused with frying pans as well. However, they are different in various aspects, i.e., surface area, weight, and shape. Saute pans have a larger cooking surface area and can easily cook meals that involve liquids. 

They are made from various materials and finishes like saucepans, i.e., copper, cast-iron, aluminum, and non-stick. 

What are the common uses of a saute pan? Saute pans are among the most versatile pans you could have in a kitchen. They are perfect for dry heat and liquid cooking. Among the common uses of saute pans include searing, braising, deep-frying, shallow frying, etc. Also, some saute pans (like those entirely made of stainless steel) are used in the oven cooking. However, they have to be oven-safe. 


Difference between a Saucepan and Saute Pan 


As you can tell from the above brief explanation, saucepans and saute pan share some similarities, such as long handles, a lid, straight vertical sides, and are deeper than frying pans. Additionally, they are used interchangeably. For instance, you can saute and liquid cook with either. Therefore, it’s easy to confuse the two. 

However, they have notable differences. First, a saucepan is deeper than a saute pan. Also, saucepans are narrower than most sauté pans. The more extensive base of sauté pans makes them more versatile than saucepans. Additionally, saucepans tend to do better than sauté pans when cooking dishes with more liquid. 


Can you use a Sauté Pan as a Saucepan?


Yes, you can use a sauté pan as a saucepan, but you’re still limited because a sauté pan is shallower than a typical saucepan. However, a sauté pan can be used for the basic functions of a saucepan. 


Can you Sauté in a Saucepan? 


Yes, you can use your saucepan to sauté dishes. However, you should ensure that your food is in small and even sizes for the best results. 


Check out Atgrills saute pan to cook food on a non stick deep frying pan.






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