Once you plan on cooking, you’ll likely need at least one or a couple of saucepans. These are essentially pots that are used to cook a wide variety of dishes such as soups, pastas, stir-fry, sauces and more. You can easily identify saucepans because they usually have a long handle and the sides of the pan are high. The interior of these pans have a large surface area so that food can be cooked evenly in them. The vast majority of saucepans also have a lid with a handle so you can easily boil and simmer food for as long as required. It should be noted that the handle of most saucepans are typically a little shorter than the handle of a frying pan, however, these handles are designed for easy handling of the pan since they don’t get hot.
Saucepans are very similar to other pots and pans, however, their unique shape is what makes them stand out. They have high walls making them quite deep and very suitable for heating and cooking liquids and high volume foods. Saucepans come in many different materials and we will now dive into some of the most popular ones.
The good thing about aluminum saucepans is that they are very light and they conduct heat very well. They are easy to maintain and you can wash them in any dishwasher. However, due to being quite light and thin, they can get bent easily as well as burn.
Stainless steel saucepans are quite attractive to look at and they are a popular material used in saucepans. These type of saucepans offer even heat distribution and you can easily wash them in a dishwasher.
Cast iron saucepans are a bit different from the other types of saucepan materials in that they heat up quite slowly and they also takes longer to cool down. They should not be washed in a dish washer but rather hand washed. Cast iron holds heat quite well which means that once you have cooked food in it, the food will stay warm for a longer period of time. Cast iron is also an extremely strong and durable material and will last many decades. You can use it to cook foods on the stove, over a fire as well as in the oven.
Ceramic saucepans can easily handle a lot of heat and they are excellent for searing various meats. However, when using this type of saucepan, it is important that you only use wooden or silicone utensils so that you don’t scratch the ceramic surface.
Copper saucepans are capable of heating up and cooling down quite rapidly which offers a greater amount of control when cooking. Copper is a very durable material and you can use any type of utensil with them, including metal utensils. These type of saucepans should be hand washed and not washed in the dishwasher. Also, in many cases they are lined with stainless steel to prevent any chemical reactions with the food being cooked.
Important Saucepan Features To Consider
Different saucepans have different features and it is important to choose saucepans that meet your personal needs. Some of the different features include:
PTFE refers to polytetrafluoroethylene which is a chemical that is typically used in non-stick pots and pans. However, once the non-stick coating starts breaking down then fumes can be released into the food you’re cooking. This is highly undesirable, so it is best to buy saucepans that are PTFE-free.
In order to create PTFE, PFOA or perfluorooctanoic acid is used. So, in a similar fashion that PTFE can cause fumes, so can PFOA. Therefore, it is best to use saucepans that are also PFOA-free.
If you intend on using the saucepan to cook a lot of food, then the handle may not be enough to safely move the pan. So, you should look for saucepans that have a helper handle which is simply another handle in addition to the long handle.
Dishwasher Safe, Oven Safe & Metal Utensil Safe
These features are very important if you want to be able to wash the saucepan in the dishwasher, use it in the oven as well as use metal utensils with it.
In summary, we have just looked at some of the different types of materials used in saucepans as well as the features you should look for. This will help you to select the best types of saucepans for your kitchen so that you always have the right tools for cooking.