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Since you would most likely be using the pan often, it is important to choose one that is of high quality. This feature will make cooking an easier and more enjoyable task compared to cooking using a low quality and flimsily made unit.
There are other features that need to be considered. These include straight and tall sides, aluminum-made encapsulated bottoms for even and fast cooking, and riveted handles for durability.
Any of the three highly rated pans in this review are great choices to buy. Each of them is made for sturdy 18/10 stainless steel and comes with a mirror-like finish, as well as encapsulated bases made from aluminum that guarantees even and fast cooking. The top 3 sauté pans in this review can be used in the oven, freezer or stove, and are dishwasher safe.
The pans are ideal for sautéing tasks. However, if these do not quite match the features that you need, go over the rest of the buyer’s guide for more information on the features to look for when searching for the right sauté pan that meets your cooking requirements.
Important Features to Consider
Various features need to be considered as these can indicate the quality of the sauté pan. Read on to find out what to look for once you begin to compare the various models available on the market.
- Design – A sauté pan is intended to have a wide and flat bottom to allow enough space for various ingredients in the pan. Sautéing involves quickly browning the food without steaming or burning it. It there are numerous items in the pan, and there is not enough room for all of them, chances are, you will steam or burn them. A pan with a flat bottom is also easier to slide compared to one with a curved bottom. The straight sides likewise have a purpose. This is primarily to keep the food from spilling over while cooking. The sides may either be low or tall, depending on the particular pan design. The sides, however are lower than those of a saucepan. The straight side design also allows air to circulate and flow, preventing soggy food in the process.
- Handle Construction – Sauté pans come with a long handle found on one side. Some models are designed to have a helper handle, usually a looped one found on the other side. The long handle comes in handy for sautéing purposes as it makes shaking the contents back and forth easier as you brown them. Make sure to find a sauté pan with handles securely attached through rivets or sturdy, long screws. The handles must be cool to touch, and you must be able to hold on to eat without getting burned. However, to be on the safe side, always wear oven mitts when cooking with pats fitted with metal handles.
Why the Materials Matter
Various materials can be used to make sauté pans including cast iron, aluminum, stainless steel, or any combination of these materials. Each material has its own set of pros and cons. In general, the material must be extremely responsive to heat simply to withstand the rigors of sautéing. This way, the pan will quickly get hot and cool off. This is known as conductivity.
Copper is among the most conductive materials. However, the price of the material can be very expensive. It is likewise hard to keep the metal’s shine. If these disadvantages are not factors for you, then a pan made from copper would be ideal for you if you are particularly concerned about conductivity.
A good alternative to copper would be anodized aluminum, which is easy to clean. It also has good heat transmission. More importantly, it is cheaper than copper. Because it is anodized, it does not have a negative reaction to some types of food.
The pan’s bottom must be thick and made of aluminum that is encapsulated. Otherwise, the quality of food you will cook will not be as desired. One common problem associated with a thin bottom is the presence of hot spots that results to burned or unevenly cooked food.
If you specifically need a sauté pan, stay away from non-stick types as they offer limited functionalities. For one, they are not capable of creating fond or the small browned bits you get when sautéing pork, beef, or chicken.
Individual Pans vs. Pan Sets: Which Is Better?
You can buy individually-sold sauté pans or go for sets. There are sets that include other pan types or various sauté pan sizes. Since new types of pans regularly come out, it can be more beneficial to buy one pan at a time. You can start with a regular-sized pan like a 5-quart sauté pan, and just buy other sizes as the need arises.
However, if you want an entire set, find one that includes sauté pans of different sizes. This way, you will always have the right pan size depending on the amount of sautéing you need to do, and the dishes you need to cook. This will make cooking easier and more enjoyable.
Which To Choose
Finding the right sauté pan for you doesn’t have to be complicated. However, it requires a good grasp of the various parts and features of the pan that make up a high quality product. By having the information you need, you will know what distinguishes a high quality pan from an inferior one. While you may save some money on low quality pans, you will end up spending more for replacements in the future.
For this review, we have selected three of the highly rated sauté pans available on the market today. Each of the pans is manufactured by a reputable and well-established company in the industry. Likewise, the pans are all crafted from durable stainless steel and come with an anodized aluminum bottom for optimum heat conductivity.
By using a high quality product, you can be sure of perfect sauces, caramelized food, and dishes each and every time – for a long time. Sure, it may cost you a bit more, but the results will make everything worth it.
Likewise, the pans are backed up by impressive warranties and guarantees. Thus if you find some manufacturing defects on the product you buy, you can have it replaced or get your money back. With a high quality cooking utensil, you will enjoy cooking even more.
1. Cuisinart CS330-24HMR Chef’s Classic Stainless 3-Quart Saute Pan
The Classic Sauté Pan is crafted from 18/10 stainless steel material to guarantee durability. It will not have a negative reaction to food that will alter the taste. The bottom is encapsulated and made from aluminum. You can expect even and fast cooking without hot spots.It comes with riveted handles for a cool grip and extra strength. You can comfortably hold the handles while cooking, without getting burned.
You can use the pan in the oven, on the stovetop, or under the broiler. The Cuisinart pan comes with a tapered, dripless rim, making pouring cooked food extremely easy. The product is oven safe up to 550o. It is likewise dishwasher and freezer safe. It has high, straight sides that offer sufficient cooking area, keeping food from spilling over the pan’s edge.
The pan is ideal for braising chicken, stir-frying veggies, or for caramelizing onions. It has two riveted handles – one long handle and one looped helper handle – that are easy to grip. Cuisinart offers a lifetime guarantee for the product.
2. Cooks Standard Multi-Ply Clad Deep Saute Pan
Made from high-grade 18/10 stainless steel, the sauté pan from Cooks Standard comes with an aluminum core that ensures even heat distribution and rapid cooking. You don’t have to worry about any hot spots. The lid, also made of stainless steel, has a snug fit that traps all the moisture, nutrients, and heat inside. The riveted handles are secure to hold, and keeps cool because it allows air to flow.
The Cooks Standard pan is dishwasher safe. It can be used on a stovetop, ceramic glass top, gas stove, and induction coo top. It is oven-safe for as much as 500o. It measures 21 x 11 ½ x 3 ½”. The straight sides allow more than sufficient area for sautéing. The pan’s base has a brushed finish and is scratch resistant.
Cooking capacity is 5 quarts. This means you can cook regular-sized meals with relative ease. You can also prepare food for the entire family or for a dinner party. Regardless of what you intend to use the pan for, you can expect great results. Ideal for cooking one-pot meals, it has a mirror-like finish that offers a professional, clean look that will complement the overall look of any kitchen.
3. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware
The Classic sauté pan from Calphalon comes with a lot of features that make it a must-have in your cooking utensil collection. It has an aluminum base that is impact bonded to provide fast and even heating. It is dishwasher and oven-safe, and can be used on a stovetop or under the broiler. The ergonomically designed long handle gives you an even grip that is secure even if you handle the pan when it is heavy and full.
The handle remains cool during the entire process of cooking. Thus, it won’t burn your hand even if you touch the handle while cooking. The pan has a wide bottom that makes it ideal for searing meats. It has low sides that allow air to circulate, keeping the food crispy.
The sides, however, are high enough to keep the juices inside, while preventing food from spilling over. Measuring is made easy because of the fill lines. The cover comes with straining holes that facilitate draining of liquids. The product is backed up by a 10-year warranty