What is a Saucepan? Everything You Need to Know
You may be thinking to yourself that a saucepan is used for making and creating sauces, right? Well, you would be correct in that statement, but a saucepan can be used for much more than just making sauces. Ideally, a saucepan is used to cook any type of liquid or heat up any type of food with fluids included in the meal. The saucepan has been constructed to cook and heat most all types of fluids and then some. Some other types have been designed to do a little more though as well.
In this article, we will go over what to look for when purchasing a new saucepan as well as some of the types of designs and materials used to construct them. So, keep reading to find out what is the best saucepan that will work for you.
What is a saucepan used for?
Essentially, a saucepan is used to cook or heat up anything with a liquid base or containing fluids within the food. The size of a saucepan does come into play with some cooking methods and the amount of actual water or liquid the pot can actually hold which may prevent it from doing some tasks such as boiling water for cooking pasta or stewing or braising a meat for soup or stew. But what it is really meant to be used for is smaller amount of liquid such as sauces for pasta or entrees, heating up a bowl of soup or heat liquids to cook side dishes such as rice, instant mashed potatoes or small serving size noodles.
What to look for when purchasing a new saucepan?
When looking for a new saucepan, you want to make sure you are buying a quality product. There are a lot of different styles and types of saucepans out there and some are not made all that great. You want to make sure the saucepan you purchase is going to last so make sure it is constructed with quality materials.
To further that note, make sure that you have your bases covered with some kind of manufacturers guarantee or at least a warranty to protect the saucepan in the off case that any damages or defects that may occur while in use or during the shipping process. Moreover, make sure the pan is easy to use and you feel comfortable using it for anything. Most pots and pans need to be cleaned by hand but if you happen to get a saucepan that can be placed in the dishwasher, then that will always be a bonus to help with the cleanup.
The Perfect Construction and Design styles
There are plenty of different styles of saucepans available to you out there and each one will work better than the next. You need to decide what you will be using the saucepan for in order to make the right decision on which will be best for you and your cooking needs.
While they do come in many different sizes, the most common size is going to be right around 3 quarts. This will be the perfect size for anyone to go with. They do make them smaller and much larger but those are for more specific cooking applications and methods. A 3-quart sized saucepan will work for just about anything in the kitchen you are trying to cook.
Next, you want to make sure the pan is constructed with quality materials. The most common will be stainless steel. It should be able to withstand the test of time due to its weight and durability. Plus, it is easy to clean and should be rust and corrosion preventive.
Some pans also have an aluminum core to help with the even heat distribution on the bottom of the pan. This will eliminate hot spots and make sure everything cooks evenly in the pan. Some pans also have copper bottoms on them. This will help to heat the pan up faster as well as help with the heat distribution in the pan. Overall, you want to make sure the pan is not flimsy but is sturdy and will not break very easily.
The handles should also be comfortable in your hand. While they may be plain and simple, some do come with grips that are soft and comfortable and prevent any slipping that may occur while in use. There are also some handles that are heat resistant or cool to touch.
This will help a lot in the long run. Try to stay away from plastic or aluminum handles as they will conduct the heat from pan and become very hot. Sometimes they will also have a ring or a loop on the end of the handle if you want to hand the pot of the wall, but this isn’t always necessary.
Some saucepans also come with a lid. If you can get one that is vented, it will help with the allocation of steam and heat within the pan.
Also, if the lid is made of tempered glass or is see through, this will help a lot to see how the cooking is going on inside without having to remove the lid and release heat or moisture while it cooks.
All in all, you want to make sure the saucepan you go with is easy for you to use and will last a long time. You should only have to buy one saucepan in your lifetime instead of replacing one every year or so. They do make plenty of them that will last, so spend the extra money to ensure that happens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the handle of a saucepan get hot when it is on the stove?
This is because the handle is not cool to touch or because it is not heat resistant. Some handles that are constructed of plastic or aluminum will conduct the heat from the pan while it is in use and transfer the heat to the handle. Try to avoid these materials to solve this problem.
What is a non-reactive saucepan?
This means the saucepan will not react with foods that are cooked in the pan that may either harm the pan or the food you are cooking. Usually, food that are acidic will react with materials like cast iron or aluminum. Stainless steel pans are almost always non-reactive materials and the best route to take when purchasing a pan.
What is the difference between a large and a medium saucepan?
The only difference is going to be the actual size of the pan or how much liquid the pan can hold. A medium sauce pan will hold anywhere between 2-3 quarts of fluid while a large sauce pan can hold 4 quarts or more.
How do you clean a burnt saucepan?
The best way to clean burnt bottoms of pans is to let them soak in hot water with soap over a series of times with some elbow grease and a scratch pad. If that does not work, try boiling water in the pan to help release some of the burnt food on the bottom of the pan and switch back and forth between scrubbing the pan with a scratch pad and boiling water.