Is it time to update your cookware? If you're ready to replace your rusty and stained pots and pans with a fancy new saucepan or even a whole set, you have plenty of options to choose from.
Our guide will help you compare stainless steel, aluminium, copper and cast-iron saucepans to find the best saucepan for your cooking needs.
Compare some of the best saucepans
When to get a new saucepan
A couple of good saucepans (at least) are essential in any kitchen. Not only are saucepans likely to see more use than just about any other piece of cookware in your kitchen, they also play an integral role in preparing a huge range of dishes.
Sometimes it can be hard to say goodbye to your old pots and pans after their many years of service, so here are a few telltale signs that it's time to upgrade:
Remember, you're only as good as the tools you have at your disposal. You might be surprised by the difference a high-quality saucepan can make to your cooking, while it'll also be easier to clean afterwards.
When not to get a new saucepan
Do your pots and pans still work as they should? Can they adequately prepare the quantities of food you need without falling apart, burning your fingertips or ending up with half your meal crusted to the bottom of the pan? Unless you're an avid home cook who spends more time in the kitchen than in any other room of the house, you're probably better off saving your money and sticking with what you've got.
What materials are available?
The cooking performance of a saucepan and how easy it is to clean depend on the material it is constructed from. Here are the main options:
- Stainless steel. Known for being long-lasting and affordable, stainless steel is widely used and is dishwasher-safe. Many options feature a thick aluminium or copper base for better heat conduction, but some pans can have problems with food sticking.
- Aluminium. Affordable, lightweight and an excellent heat conductor, aluminium is another popular choice. However, aluminium pans can stain and have problems with food sticking to the sides – so a hard-anodised aluminium pan, which has a durable and scratch-resistant surface, may be your preferred choice.
- Copper. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and copper pans warm up and cool down quickly, giving more control to the home cook. They're suitable for a wide range of cooking tasks and their good looks mean they can also double as presentation dishes. However, copper can be expensive, can be difficult to keep clean and can't be used on induction cooktops.
- Cast iron. Long lasting and highly effective at absorbing and retaining heat, cast iron is another option worth considering. It's also oven safe, but can be heavy and may also rust.
How to compare saucepans
Aside from the saucepan material used, there are several other factors you will need to take into account when buying saucepans. Make sure you consider the following:
Which saucepan is the best for me?
The best saucepan for you is really a matter of personal preference. The type of cooking you do, the number of people you're cooking for and the amount you're willing to spend can all play a part in determining the pan you choose. That's why it's essential that you compare a range of saucepans to find one that's best for your needs.
To help make your saucepan shopping easier, we've compared the pros and cons of five popular saucepans below:
|The good||The bad|
|Anolon 4.5-Quart Advanced Hard Anodised Nonstick Tapered Saucepot|
|Cuisinart 4-Quart 7194-20 Chef's Classic Stainless Saucepan|
|Le Creuset 3.5-Quart Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Saucier Pan|
|Farberware 4-Quart Classic Stainless Steel Covered Saucepot|
|Kuprum 2.5-Quart Copper Hand-Hammered Tin Lined|
Should I buy one saucepan or a whole set?
If you're shopping for a new saucepan, you might be considering buying a whole new set of cookware. This may be a sensible choice if you need to upgrade all your pots and pans, and you can often find good value for money by purchasing multiple items all at once.
However, be wary of buying items you don't really need or that you don't have enough space to store. While a 10-piece cookware set may seem like a good deal, you'll need to be sure that you'll actually use all the items in the set on a regular basis.
If the small number of pots, pans and baking dishes you currently have are more than adequate for your cooking needs, your money may be better spent investing in a couple of good-quality saucepans of different sizes.
If it's time to upgrade one or more of your pots and pans, start comparing saucepans today.
MORE BUYING GUIDES