What is a sauté pan, and do you need one? We asked ELLE Gourmet’s Contributing Culinary Director Soo Kim, and this is what she told us.
A sauté pan, often confused for a skillet, is a long handle, straight-sided pan to accommodate a good volume of liquid, avoiding a splashing mess when transferring from stovetop to oven, shallow-frying or braising. A skillet is a shallow, sloped single-handle pan; think broader on top than the bottom. Surprisingly, a skillet is better suited for sautéing over a sauté pan – the sloped design allows for easy shaking and jumping ingredients to ensure even cooking without burning.
If you’re a Gordon Ramsay fan, you might recognize the SCANPAN. Ramsay is a firm believer in the power of nonstick – a lesson that one Hell’s Kitchen contestant learned the hard way when she cooked scallops in a stainless steel pan. A dedicated sauté pan is a must for the serious chef, though, and this one has Chef Ramsay’s stamp of approval.
SCANPAN is from Denmark and has been showing the world the wonders of Danish cookware since 1956. They use a unique casting technique: after the aluminum is hand-poured into a mold, it’s cast with over 250 tonnes of pressure to ensure an even heat distribution.
Caraway Sauté Pan in Sage
Sage is en vogue this spring, and we’re not complaining (if you haven’t yet, check out the new sage finish for True Residential appliances – we’re obsessed).
Caraway’s ceramic-coated Sauté Pans are made without chemical components such as Teflon coatings to keep your cooking pure, which makes how nonstick and easy-to-clean they are all the more impressive. You can buy them individually or in a matching cookware set on their website, or Indigo.com.
Crate & Barrel EvenCook Core Stainless Steel Sauté Pan
Crate & Barrel’s EvenCook stainless steel sauté pan has a copper core and brushed stainless steel cooking surface for an even and high-quality heat. It’s oven-safe, too – so if your breakfast menu features frittatas, this one is a must.
Stainless steel has its pros and cons in the sauté game: it may be slightly trickier to clean, but stainless steel cookware can take a significantly higher heat level than many pans that have a nonstick coating. If you’re browning or searing, stainless steel is the way to go.
Goop x GreenPan 3QT Sauté Pan
Who better to trust with cookware than Miss Pepper Potts? goop’s collab with GreenPan is as eco-friendly as it is stylish – the natural ceramic coating is derived from sand to give it heat resistance without the use of chemicals and the pans themselves are made of upcycled materials. The full set goes for $392 and includes Our favourite part? It’s dishwasher-safe, cutting back on that post-sauté scrub time.
Carote Nonstick Sauté Pan
Sometimes a couple of quarts just doesn’t cut it. If you’re meal prepping or cooking for a large crowd, Carote’s 6.5QT sauté pan is high-capacity without being unwieldy, and has a pour spout on the side to make transfers easy.
This one’s made of granite, which is an up-and-comer in the cookware game: it’s nonstick, but also hard to scratch and less sensitive to acidic foods like tomatoes and lemons. The handles are replaceable and go for 5 bucks a pop, so your pan can get maximum use. If you’re looking to go big or go home, granite might just be your new best friend.