What exactly is a sauté pan? The sauté pan is one of the most useful pieces of cookware available today. It is the perfect choice for shallow frying, searing and pan roasting. Sauté pans are also used when browning meats, making sauces and reductions and deglazing pans. If you don’t own a sauté pan, it needs to be a part of your collection just as much as any other cookware that you could own.
What is a Sauté Pan?
The sauté pan is the most versatile of all pots. It has a wide base and sloping sides, which means it can be used as a frying pan or a saucepan.
The flat base makes it ideal for browning food, while the high sides keep in moisture during slow cooking. This allows you to steam-fry, that is fry using only a little fat and the moisture released by the food.
The straight sides also mean you can stack ingredients without them spilling out when you stir them. Unlike a frying pan, the sauté pan has a lid so it can be used for simmering and reducing liquids.
A large sauté pan with an extra-thick base and straight sides is called a saucière or fait-tout (literally ‘makes everything’). The fait-tout is especially good for making risottos, as it seals in all the flavours as the rice cooks.
How is a Sauté Pan Used?
The sauté pan is very versatile in that it can cook almost anything that you would cook on a stove top. It can be used to boil pasta or meats, make sauces and gravies, stir fry meats and vegetables, deep fry foods, or even sauté salads. A good saute pan will have a heavy bottom so that the heat disperses evenly across the surface of the pan.
This type of pan will usually have rounded sides that are sloped inward which makes it easier to move foods around inside the pan. This feature also allows you to use a larger quantity of ingredients than you could use in a regular skillet. For example: you can use ten onions in a sauté pan instead of three or four because they have space to spread out instead of stacking up. The bottom should be flat so that it can sit directly on your stovetop burner without any problems.
6 Advantages Of Using A Sauté Pan
1. It is versatile
One of the advantages of using a sauté pan is that it can be used for many different types of food. You can sauté vegetables, such as onions and green peppers or cook up some fried chicken. You can also quickly brown meats, such as steaks or chicken breasts. Because the sides are not very deep, you can also use the sauté pan to make gravy after you cook meat in it because there will be plenty of drippings left behind on the bottom of the pan. The sauté pan is also great for frying up an omelet or scrambling eggs with cheese and ham inside.
2. It is great for stir-frying
A sauté pan is an excellent choice for stir-frying because you can safely toss ingredients in the air without worrying about them landing on the floor or hot stovetop. The high sides also prevent spills from splattering all over your kitchen countertop and stovetop
3. It can be used to make thick sauces
Sauté pans can be used to make thick sauces that have a lot of solids in them, like gravy and béchamel. A sauté pan’s wide surface area allows these ingredients to spread out and reduce more quickly, which makes it easier to get the right consistency.
If you plan on cooking with wine or stock often, you should consider investing in a sauté pan with a lid. You can still use a separate lid if your pan doesn’t come with one, but it won’t fit as well as one designed specifically for that pan. A sauté pan with a lid is particularly useful when making risotto or dishes that involve deglazing.
4. Easy to clean
One of the biggest advantages of this type of pan is that it’s easy to clean. Most are dishwasher safe, but even if you have to wash them by hand, you won’t have to scrub burnt food off. After cooking on medium heat, you can usually just wipe the pan out with a paper towel or cloth and rinse it with hot water.
5. Non-stick properties
A good sauté pan will also have non-stick properties, which help keep food from sticking to the pan and burning during cooking. This makes it easier to cook delicate foods such as fish or seafood without worrying about them falling apart during cooking. It is also easier to clean a non-stick pan than one with sticky coating on it.
6. It’s also good for liquid cooking, because of its wide base and high sides.
The sloped sides do not create the same agitation as a round pot and will therefore not create a whirlpool in the cooking liquid. This means you can Braise meats in a sauté pan, but it does not make them as tender as they would be if cooked in a deeper vessel. The wide bottom surface of the pan is more likely to cause caramelization of sauces than round-bottom pots, because sauce ingredients are spread out to more contact points on the bottom surface.
6 Disadvantages Of Using A Saute Pan
Using a saute pan is great, but there are some disadvantages to using one that you need to be aware of. Here are 6 disadvantages of using a saute pan.
1. You cannot use a saute pan with a high heat.
You cannot use a saute pan with a high heat. When you need to cook on a high heat, you want to use a pan that will be able to withstand the heat, and this is not something that a saute pan can do. This means that if you are trying to sear meat or cook something quickly, you will want to use another type of pan.
The handle can get hot when cooking on high heat. A saute pan has only one handle, and it can get hot when cooking. This can make it difficult to move around or even hold onto it without burning yourself.
2. The handle can get hot when cooking on high heat
Saute pans are designed for heating liquids and sautéing foods quickly, although the wide flat bottom can also be used for reduction and frying. The straight sides of a saute pan usually allow upright cooking or searing of meat. However, the handle can get hot during cooking on high heat and they do not have covers.
3. The long handle makes it difficult to store
The long handle can make it awkward to store – you may find yourself in a weird contortion trying to stuff your saute pan into one of your cabinets. If you prefer the look of an all-clad saute pan but want something that’s a little more convenient to store, consider purchasing one of the same brand’s saucho pans.
4. Not all saute pans are oven-safe.
Since saute pans have sloped sides and a nonstick surface, they aren’t designed to be put in an oven. They also can’t be used over high heat because their handles are made of wood or plastic, which may lead to melting. If you do want a pan that’s oven-safe (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit), this 4-quart pan by Gotham comes with a glass lid, which is perfect for braising food or finishing it off in the oven.
5. Some saute pans are heavy, which makes flipping more difficult.
Like other durable cookware, the best saute pans are made with heavy-gauge metals that will last years. These materials are heavier than less durable materials and that can make flipping food more difficult when one hand is occupied holding the handle. If mobility and portability are important to you, then this may be a drawback to consider while shopping saute pans.
6. Not good for deep frying or pan-roasting
Because a saute pan is not very deep and has high sides, it’s not safe to use for deep frying large items. The oil can overflow onto the stovetop and cause a fire. It can also be dangerous when you’re pan-roasting meats like chicken because trying to pick up a large hot saute pan with one hand while holding on to the ears of the pan with tongs isn’t safe or easy.
Sauté Pan vs Skillet: Which is Better?
The sauté pan and the skillet look identical, so it is easy to get confused. However, there are some key differences between these pans that you should know before purchasing a new addition to your kitchen.
Sauté pans often have covers, while skillets rarely do. The cover is useful for trapping steam and moisture for cooking foods more quickly or evenly. Skillets usually don’t need covers because they’re used to fry and sear foods, which is done over high heat and doesn’t require a lid.
Sauté pans are more round and deep, which is great for cooking larger quantities of food, but not so great for searing or browning because it’s difficult to get all sides of the food to touch the bottom of the pan. On the other hand, skillets come in a variety of shapes, but they’re generally flatter with less depth than sauté pans and usually have sloped sides — perfect for getting food crispy without overcrowding (no flipping required).
A sauté pan has vertical sides that are usually at least three inches high. The high sides prevent food from splattering all over your workspace, especially when you’re working with oils. A shallow side allows for rapid evaporation of liquids, which means your food will cook faster and more efficiently.
The deeper walls of the sauté pan allow you to prepare larger amounts of food than a skillet. This is why sauté pans are perfect for preparing dishes that require more liquid such as risotto or stews. On the other hand, the lower walls and open design of the skillet allows excess fat and liquids to evaporate quickly so it is better for cooking foods like burgers or chicken breasts that release lots of juices as they cook.
The sauté pan is more versatile but the skillet is better for searing and browning. If you like having a lot of options when it comes to cooking, then the sauté pan is the way to go. It is ideal for a number of methods, including sautéing, frying, browning and searing.
It’s also great for simmering foods in liquid. The design of this pan allows you to toss foods easily, which makes flipping or turning them easier. This style of pan is also great for deglazing, as well as making sauces and gravies since you can easily scrape up any bits left in the bottom while reducing the liquid.
The skillet isn’t as versatile as a sauté pan because it doesn’t have the same design features that make tossing foods easy while cooking. However, skillets do have some advantages over their counterparts when it comes to cooking certain foods, especially meats.
1. Do I need a lid for my sauté pan?
The short answer is: not necessarily. A sauté pan can function without a lid. But a lid is useful if you plan on cooking with high heat, or if you want to retain moisture inside the pan.
2. Which material is best for a sauté pan?
Stainless steel and copper are two of the most popular materials for cookware, including sauté pans. The right choice depends on your cooking needs and budget. Cooks who prefer induction cooktops tend to invest in stainless steel sauté pans because they are magnetic, while those who want more precise temperature control should opt for copper because it’s a better conductor of heat.
3. What can you cook in a sauté pan?
Sauté pans are great for cooking stews, braises and other dishes that require browning meat first before slow-cooking them in broth or wine. You can also use a sauté pan to fry fish, eggs and other delicate foods that need quick cooking over high heat.
In a nutshell, a sauté pan or “sautéing pan” is an exceptionally versatile piece of cookware that can prepare almost any kind of food. In fact, regardless of what type of meal you make, having at least one sauté pan in your kitchen is essential for quick meals. You should choose the best sauté pan depending on your personal preferences and cooking style, as each one has different pros and cons.