What Is the Best Saute Pan?
Our top pick for performing saute pan is the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-Stick Cookware because of its large capacity, durability, and ease-of-use. You can place it in the dishwasher, so it’s low-maintenance. Plus, it’s oven-safe for extra versatility. And it’s designed for optimal safety and comfort when handling it.
You might be thinking that having the top saute pan is only important for professional chefs at 5-star restaurants, but it’s important for home cooks of all experience levels too.
High-quality cookware has quite an impact on how your food will “pan out.” In our search for the high quality saute pan, we looked at scores of items, considering the pros and cons of each.
Top 9 Best Saute Pans: Our Picks & Recommendations
- Best Overall: Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-Stick Sauteuse Pan
- Best Budget: T-Fal B3629064 Jumbo Cooker Saute Pan
- Best Pan with Lid: T-Fal E91898 Ultimate Hard-Anodized Saute Pan (With Lid)
- Best Nonstick Saute Pan: Rachel Ray Hard-Anodized Non-Stick 5-Quart Covered Oval Saute Pan
- Best Stainless Steel Saute Pan: All-Clad 4403 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe 3-Quart Pan With Lid
- Best Ceramic Saute Pan: GreenLife Everyday Value 5-Quart Ceramic Non-Stick Jumbo Saute Pan With Handle Helper
- Best Hard-Anodized Saute pan: Calphalon Classic Non-Stick Saute Pan
- Best Deep Saute Pan: Bialetti Granito Non-Stick Deep Saute Pan, 11-Inch
- Best Professional Saute Pan: ZYLISS Cookware 11″ Nonstick Saute Pan With Covered Lid
Why Do You Need the Top Saute Pan for Your Kitchen?
Having the leading saute pan, whether for your home or professional-grade kitchen, can make all the difference in preparing your favorite meats, vegetables, sauces, and more.
The best cookware is durable and versatile. Oven-safe pans are especially beneficial for those times when you want to add a final touch to a dish, such as when you’re par-boiling meat and want to top it with a caramelized sauce.
You can bake it without having to transfer it to another pan or baking sheet. Using fewer dishes means less clean-up. Other qualities to look for include ergonomic stay-cool pan and lid handles and sturdy bases that allow for quick, even heating.
Also, pay attention to whether the pan works with the type of stove you have.
How to Choose the Right Saute Pan?
Choosing the right saute pan for your kitchen can be overwhelming, considering how many options are on the market. If you’re not sure what to look for, here are some factors to consider.
Saute Pan vs. Skillet
Some people use the words “saute pan” and “skillet” interchangeably, so is there really a difference? The answer is “yes.”Skillets, also known as traditional frying pans, tend to have low sides and often come without a lid.
Saute pans, on the other hand, usually have straighter, higher sides to reduce spills when simmering, flipping, or stirring food.
Saute pans, used for braising, searing, and shallow frying, generally also come with a lid to lock in heat and moisture when simmering sauces and the like.
Handle Design: Stainless-steel vs. Rubberized vs. Bakelite
Pans with well-designed handles make them easy to lift and carry. Stainless steel is especially sturdy, heat-resistant, and easy to clean, while rubber may give you more traction for gripping.
While it’s very easy to clean, rubber is less sturdy and damage-resistant than stainless steel. Bakelite is a type of plastic that is lightweight, durable, and heat-resistant.
Materials: Hard-anodized aluminum vs. Thermolon
Hard-anodized aluminum cookware is highly-durable and doesn’t react with acidic foods, reducing corrosion. It’s also a good heat-conductor and relatively inexpensive.
Aluminum surfaces aren’t completely non-stick though, so they’re best for liquids and foods that must be stirred frequently.
Thermelon is a ceramic coating (applied to metal) that can withstand higher temperatures than Teflon and doesn’t contain the potentially toxic compounds (PTFE/PFOA) typically found in Teflon. Therefore, ceramic is a healthier and more eco-friendly option.
What Size Saute Pan Should You Buy?
The size you select depends on how much food you typically expect to prepare at one time. A smaller pan is ideal if you only need to cook for one or two people.
If you’re cooking for the whole family or host large gatherings in your home, a larger pan is probably in order.
How much you spend depends on your needs and budget. If you only want the best for the occasional searing or shallow frying, you may not want to spend a lot on your cookery.
But if you plan to use the pan frequently, you’ll likely reap a greater return on your investment if you purchase a higher-end item.
9 Best Saute Pan Reviews
To Find the best, we compared hundreds of customer reviews, from amateurs and cookware connoisseurs alike. We narrowed it down to the top nine leading saute pans, based on durability, ease-of-use, and overall quality.
What You Will Love: Large capacity, high-durability, and overall ease-of-use.
We selected the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Non-stick Sauteuse Pan as the best because of its large capacity (7 quarts), durability, and ease-of-use.
It’s ideal for sauteing and braising, since there’s plenty of room to stir the food or turn it over, with the minimal likelihood that it will spill over the sides of the pan.
With its non-stick coating, you don’t have to use as much fat as you normally would for frying. The coating is composed of three layers; the bottom two are designed for durability, while the top one optimizes the cookware’s performance.
The pan’s exterior is constructed from hard-anodized, heavy-gauge aluminum for durability and even heating. Loop handles allow for easy maneuvering.
Plus, the pan and cover are oven-safe, so you can use them to put the finishing touch on casseroles and other dishes.
If you don’t like to spend much time on clean-up, you’ll be happy to know that this superior home cookware is dishwasher-safe.
- Hassle-free maintenance
- Allows for healthier cooking
- Non-stick coating is prone to peeling
What You Will Love: Large-capacity minimizes spills, oven-safe.
If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck when it comes to the best brand, the T-fal B3629064 Specialty Non-stick Dishwasher-Safe Oven Safe Jumbo Cooker Saute Pan (also available in forged and copper ceramic) may be just what you have in mind.
At 5 quart-capacity, it gives you plenty of room to cook for your whole family. Since it’s completely non-stick, clean-up is a snap, especially since the cookware is dishwasher-safe.
Also, you can cook without using a lot of fat and oils, allowing for healthier meal-prep with less mess. With its aluminum construction, it distributes heat quickly and consistently.
With its glass cover, you can monitor your cooking without removing the lid. And it’s equipped with a vent, allowing steam to escape and preventing the contents from boiling over.
Another plus: It’s oven-safe for temperatures up to 350°F, so it can be your go-to cookware for finishing up casseroles and other dishes.
- Some buyers reported that the pan is not level on the bottom or is prone to warping.
Best Pan with Lid
What You Will Love: Durable, designed for optimal cooking performance, heat indicator for preheating.
When simmering sauces and other foods, the saute pan with a lid is a must, and we selected the T-fal E91898 Ultimate Hard-Anodized Saute Pan (with lid) as best in its class.
Constructed of hard-anodized aluminum, this superior cookware is sturdy and durable. Properly preheating a saute pan is key in optimizing its performance, and this one comes with a one-of-a-kind Thermo-Spot heat indicator, so you can do just that.
The pan’s interior consists of hard titanium, a long-lasting non-stick surface that makes it possible to get the most out of your cookware for a long time. Riveted handles make for easy, comfortable maneuvering.
Additionally, this pan is equipped with a high-quality TechnoResist base, making it warp-proof.
Another plus: This cookware can withstand temperatures up to 400°F, enabling you to prepare a variety of foods just the way you like them.
- Good for temperatures up to 400°F
- A few complaints about non-stick coating scratching and peeling, and that the bottom isn’t flat.
Best Non-stick Saute Pan
What You Will Love: Superior non-stick surface, see-through lid, easy-to-grip handle.
The award for best with a non-stick surface goes to the Rachel Ray Hard-Anodized Non-stick 5-Quart Covered Oval Saute Pan because its surface is of higher quality than other cookware of its kind.
Its unique oval shape keeps it from taking up more than one burner. Its hard-anodized construction allows for even heating to prevent food from burning in some places while being undercooked in others.
With a superior non-stick interior, this pan is especially long lasting; food slides off effortlessly. Plus, the pan comes with a “fun” rubber handle, giving you plenty of leverage to grip and lift it without burning your hand.
The glass-tempered lid allows you to monitor every step of the cooking process at a glance. This cookware can handle temperatures up to 350F if you want to put it in the oven.
- Allows you to watch your cooking
- Only a few complaints that this pan is less durable than customers had expected.
Best Stainless Steel Saute Pan
What You Will Love: Deep capacity to prevent splattering, compatible with virtually all stovetops, durable design.
When it comes to the saute pan made of stainless steel, we chose the All-Clad 4403 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe 3-Quart Saute Pan with Lid.
Because of its sturdy ply-bonded construction, it’s not only durable, but also compatible with induction as well as traditional stovetops. With the pan’s large surface area and tall, straight sides, it’s especially easy to stir food or turn it over without spilling.
With its non-stick stainless steel surface and aluminum core, this high-quality cookware can prove to be an excellent addition to your kitchen because it ensures even heating.
Its riveted stick handle and loop handle give it stability and the lid locks in heat and controls evaporation. Equipped with capacity markings, this pan is designed for browning, sauteing, and searing.
Although it’s dishwasher-safe, the manufacturer recommends that you hand-wash the pan to keep it in optimal condition.
- A few customers didn’t like the style and alignment of the handles.
Best Ceramic Saute Pan
What You Will Love: Designed without synthetic materials for healthy cooking, large capacity, easy-to-handle.
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to traditional home cookware, consider the GreenLife Everyday Value 5-Quart Ceramic Non-Stick Jumbo Saute Pan with Handle Helper.
One thing that sets this saute pan apart from others we looked at is its Thermalon non-stick PFOA- and PFAS-free ceramic coating, eliminating any concerns about synthetic compounds peeling and mixing with food.
Since the GreenLife pan’s sturdy aluminum body doesn’t contain lead or cadnium, you don’t have to worry about coming into contact with these potentially hazardous metals when using the cookware.
Designed with comfort and safety in mind, this high-quality pan comes with a Stay-cool Bakelite handle that can hold up when subjected to temperatures of up to 350°F– a plus when you’re baking. This cookware is also dishwasher-safe, making clean-up as simple as possible.
- Allows for healthier cooking
- Easy to clean
- Customers reported that the ceramic coating is very thin and may be prone to chipping.
Best Hard-Anodized Saute Pan
What You Will Love: Heavy-duty construction, non-stick surface.
Our pick for the best pan of hard-anodized construction is the Calphalon Classic Non-Stick Saute Pan because of its highly-durable design and dual-layer nonstick surface that makes clean-up incredibly easy.
It’s wide, flat bottom gives you maximum surface area for cooking and allows for quick, consistent heating. With low sides, turning food over is as hassle-free as possible.
The tempered glass lid locks in heat and moisture while allowing you to conveniently keep an eye on your cooking. With cast stay-cool stainless steel handles, this superior saute pan allows for comfortable, safe maneuvering.
Additionally, it’s designed not just for stovetop use; you can place it in the oven at up to 450°F to put the finishing touches on meats, casseroles, and other dishes.
- Easy to clean
- A small number of customers reported design flaws such as ill-fitting lids, and that the pan may be prone to warping.
Best Deep Saute Pan
What You Will Love: Plenty of depth for stirring and turning, triple-layer non-stick surface.
Deep saute pans allow for seamless turning and stirring of food, reducing spillage. The pan for this purpose is, hands-down, the Baletti Granito Non-Stick Deep (11-inch) Saute Pan.
With its thick, even-heat base, it’s designed to optimize your cooking experience– minimizing the likelihood of hotspots and burning. Its 3-layer non-stick coating is built to last and allows for easy food release and seamless clean-up.
Another advantage of this pan is its potential for healthier cooking.
The non-stick surface means you can use less fat and oil when frying, and it is PFOA-free, so you can rest assured that you won’t come into contact with this harmful material when cooking or consuming food made in the pan.
Finally, you can also place this cookware in the oven at up to 400°F.
- Not dishwasher-safe and incompatible with induction stoves, coating may be prone to chipping
Best Professional Saute Pan
What You Will Love: Durable, design, non-stick surface, versatility.
Whether you’re a novice home cook or a professional chef, the ZYLISS Cookware 11″ Nonstick Saute Pan with Covered Lid gives you the ability to enjoy restaurant-quality results.
Its heavy-duty forged aluminum design allows for maximum durability. Like other saute pans, this one comes with a non-stick surface that is reinforced with a high-quality ceramic coating— you can even use metal utensils on it.
But unlike others of its kind, this pan is BFOA-free, which translates to healthier cooking– and eating. Another thing you’ll appreciate about this ZYLISS cookware is that it’s dishwasher-safe, taking much of the time and trouble out of clean-up.
With its ergonomic handle, this pan enables convenient balancing. Since it’s heat-resistant, you can safely and comfortably maneuver the pan even when it’s hot.
Last but not least, this sauteing skillet is compatible with virtually all types of cooking surfaces, induction stoves included. And you can stick it in the oven, provided that the temperature doesn’t exceed 356°F.
- Safe for all stovetops and some oven use,
- Made for easy food release and cleaning
- While a few customers complained of design flaws or the coating coming off, most people did not appear to experience these issues.
In our quest for the best saute pan, we discovered that, while they perform the same functions, they’re not all created equal. As you think about which one to purchase, consider what is a good fit your cooking needs and budget.
A pan that is durable, versatile, and easy to use and maintain can transform your cooking experience and give you extra incentive to keep improving your culinary craft and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
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