What is a Saucepan


There are so many different types of pans that can be used for cooking. Each is designed for a specific purpose or functionality. But what is a saucepan?

We’ll take a look at a saucepan, its purpose and appearance, as well as compare it to other pans that tend to look similar.

saucepan and pot
saucepan and pot

What Is a Saucepan?

A saucepan is a small, deep pan for cooking liquids on a stovetop. It has a flat bottom with steep sides.

A saucepan is deeper than sauté pan, but not as deep as a stockpot.

saucepan with lid
saucepan with lid

4 Uses of Saucepans

What is a saucepan used for? There are four main uses of a saucepan, keeping in mind that they’re great for cooking food items that dependably require a high side and a smaller surface area. The uses of a saucepan include:

boiling liquids
cooking sauces
blanching vegetables

What Is a Pot?

A pot is a cooking vessel that has high and deep sides with a flat bottom. A pot generally has 2 loop handles, one on each side of the pot.

Pots hold large volumes of liquid and are great for making stews and soups, among other items. Learn the differences between a saucepan and a pot.

pots with lids
pots with lids

4 Types of Pots

The four main kinds of pots include stockpots, sauce pot, double boiler, and a Dutch oven. We’ll describe each one below.

Stockpot. A stockpot is a pot that has high sides and would potentially hold a large volume of food or liquid. It is great for making soup for a large quantity of people.

Saucepot. A saucepot is a cooking pot that has a lid as well as a handle on each side. It is perfect for stewing and simmering foods.

Double boiler. A double boiler pot consists of one pan inside the other. The outside or bottom pan is larger than the inside or top pot. This set of pots function by having water added to the outside pot. It’s great for things like melting chocolate without burning it.

Dutch oven. A Dutch oven pot is a pot that’s generally made to tolerate high heat. It can go in the oven, on the grill, as well as be used on the stovetop. A Dutch oven is perfect for cooking things like a pot roast or stew.

4 Uses for Pots

There are four main uses of a pot, keeping in mind that they’re great for cooking food items that dependably require a high side.The uses of a pot include:

large quantities
slow cooking

Saucepan vs. Pot: What Are the Main Differences?

You might be wondering if there is any difference between a saucepan and a pot, other than the purposes they’re used for. And yes, there are significant differences between the two.

Saucepan. Here are the main traits that identify a saucepan.

Sides are shorter for saucepan
Saucepans are smaller
Saucepans have a single handle
Used for heating small volumes of liquids and sauces

Pot. Here are the main traits that identify a pot.

Sides are taller for a pot
Pots are larger
Pots have two loop handles, one on each side
Used for heating large volumes of liquids

Can You Use a Pot as a Saucepan?

You can typically use a pot as a saucepan, but generally not use saucepan as pot.

What About a Saucier?

A saucier is traditionally shorter and wider than a saucepan. It can be used for similar purposes and making sauces.

How Does a Saucepan Differ from Other Pans?

There are so many kinds of pans that can be used for custom cooking purposes, but you might be wondering how does a saucepan differ from other pans?

Below we’ll compare a saucepan with a stock pot, sauté pan, saucier, frying pan, and braziers.

Saucepan vs. Stock Pot

Saucepans have deeper sides than a frying pan, include one long handle, and have a lid. 

Stock pots hold a larger volume of liquid than a saucepan, include two handles one on each side of the pot, and a lid.

Saucepan vs. Sauté Pan

The main difference between a saucepan and a sauté pan are the sides of the pan.

While a saucepan includes tall straight sides for holding liquids, a sauté pan includes shorter tapered sides and generally includes a large surface area for flipping vegetables and other contents.

Both a saucepan and a sauté pan include a single long handle.

Saucepan vs. Saucier

A saucier has a rounded bottom, larger surface area, and tapered edges that are rolled, whereas a saucepan includes straight sides, a flat bottom, and a smaller surface area.

Both a saucier and saucepan consist of a single long handle.

frying pan
frying pan

Saucepan vs. Frying Pan

The difference between a saucepan and a frying pan are the height of the edges as well as the surface area.

A frying pan is a wide-open pan that has short edges and a flat bottom that works well for flipping and stirring items that are being fried.

A saucepan is a has a smaller surface area, with higher walls that work well for holding liquids.

The thing that a frying pan and saucepan both have in common is that they both have a single long handle.

Saucepans vs. Braziers

A brazier is similar in design to a saucepan, however, it’s much shorter and wider. Its main purpose is for brazing.  

Do I Need a Saucepan?

Chances are if you do a fair amount of stovetop cooking, you’ll appreciate having a saucepan at one time or another. They’re perfect for holding liquids and for making sauces, soups, and stews.

Choosing Saucepan Sizes: Capacity

Saucepans can range in various capacities from small to extra-large. The saucepan sizes can accommodate different serving sizes as well as be used for different purposes.Here are saucepan sizes:

1-2.75 quarts, small capacity;

3-4.5 quarts, medium capacity;

5-7 quarts, large capacity;

7+ quarts, extra-large capacity.

double boiler pan
double boiler pan

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to the question, what is a saucepan. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

What is considered a saucepan?

A saucepan is a pan that is used to heat liquid items on the stovetop. What does a saucepan look like? It generally has a single handle, taller edges that are straight, and it comes with a lid.

What is the purpose of a saucepan?

A saucepan’s purpose is to handle the boiling, simmering, and cooking of small-scale needs.

What makes a saucepan a saucepan?

A saucepan is meant to be used on the stovetop. It’s smaller than a stockpot and comes in many sizes. A saucepan is a saucepan because it’s perfect for heating liquids and making sauces.

What is the difference between a saucepan and skillet?

Sometimes the difference between a saucepan and a skillet are confused. A saucepan is a pan that has a smaller surface area, and the edges of the pan are high enough that they’re suitable for holding liquids. The edges of a saucepan are straight.

On the other hand, a skillet typically has a larger surface area, it includes tapered or curved edges that make the pan suitable for flipping and frying foods.

Both saucepans and skillets generally have one long handle.

Is a saucepan a frying pan?

Not really, a saucepan and a frying pan are two different shapes and are categorized separately.

Are nonstick saucepans safe?

Yes, current nonstick saucepans are perfectly safe according to research. However, it is recommended to keep the temperature of the nonstick pans below 570F degrees. This is because harmful toxins can be released when this temperature is reached.

How do I clean a stainless-steel saucepan?

Let’s face it. Sometimes cooking can cause hard to clean surfaces as a result of burnt food or sticky items.

To clean a stainless-steel saucepan, use a bit of water and some vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off heat adding baking soda. Allow the pan to sit for a few minutes. Then the pan should come clean with a little scrubbing.

What does a saucepan look like?

A saucepan is a small to medium sized pan that has a handle. Its sides are high enough to hold in liquid and the edges of the pan are typically straight.

rA saucepan has a flat bottom and often includes a lid.

What is a saucepan used for?

Saucepans can be used for a variety of things such as heating liquids, making soup, using a saucepan for tea, heating stew, and more.

Other Ideas:

16 Types of Ice and Their Uses
Pork Butt vs Pork Shoulder

what is a saucepan Pinterest Pin
what is a saucepan Pinterest Pin

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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