From searing meats to reducing a sauce for your favorite pasta dish, a sauté pan is a must in the kitchen. But many people stick to using other pans to get the job done, such as a skillet. Well, let me tell you this much – having a sauté pan in your inventory can change the way you cook for good.
With a round, flat surface complete with flat sides, you have a much lower risk of ingredients flowing off of the sides of the sauté pan. Is that not enough to get you thrilled about owning your very own sauté pan? If so, then you need to know which ones are the best on the market. After all, there are so many pots and pans to choose from. We’re making it easy for you with our top 8 picks.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
What Should I Look For When Buying Saute Pans?
Although there is a seemingly endless stream of high-quality sauté pans on the market, they aren’t all created equally. There are a few things that you need to consider when buying a sauté pan.
Criteria #1: How long is the handle?
Now, just because you’re not sizzling and tossing foods in the air as you would a regular skillet doesn’t mean you should ignore the handle. You will still need to shake and jiggle the sauté pan a bit when you’re cooking. If the handle is too short, then you might end up with a burn on your wrist. A good, long handle is also important when creating a recipe that requires you to move the sauté pan from the stovetop to the oven. Who wants to stick half their arm into the oven to finish dinner?
Criteria #2: How sturdy is the handle?
Aside from the length of the handle, you should also ensure it is sturdy too. Have you ever tried cooking with a weak handle? It feels like the pan is going to fall off and create one major mess in the kitchen. So, make sure that the handle is attached durably to the sauté pan.
Criteria #3: Does it come with a lid?
A lid is important for creating a large range of dishes, such as those that call for adequate braising. For that reason, your saute pan should come with a lid that fits securely. Even if you don’t end up using the lid too often, it will still be nice to have it onboard for just-in-case dinners.
Criteria #4: What is the saute pan made of?
If one thing is for sure, there are many different materials used to create saute pans, from stainless steel plans to those made with an anodized aluminum core. How can you know which one is best? Well, the main determination of good material is how it transfers heat. Some will tell you that a copper saute pan is the only way to go, while others recommended a nonstick anodized aluminum core. Well, it all comes down to price in the end and what you’re planning to cook.
Criteria #5: What is the size of the saute pan?
Just as there is a huge amount of materials to pick from, there are just as many sizes, too. Saute pans can range from 1 quart to 7 quarts. Obviously, a 1-quart saute pan would be recommended for a single individual that doesn’t need to create large quantities. Someone cooking for a crowd will want the biggest they can get. Unless you’re in a specific situation, most people will find that somewhere in the middle is just right – for example, a 4-5 quart saute pan.
Criteria #6: Is it dishwasher safe?
Dishwashers have one goal – to make our lives easier. Well, if you buy a pan that is not dishwasher safe, then you’re going to spend more time in the kitchen than you might prefer. For that reason, it might be best to find a pan that is dishwasher safe. However, keep in mind that the dishwasher safe designation isn’t always correct. Even though some of these pans might state that they are dishwasher safe, the nonstick coating is impacted by the dishwasher. Don’t worry, though. We have outlined whether a pan is truly dishwasher safe, so you don’t make a major mistake!
Criteria #7: Is it broiler and oven safe?
Another thing to keep in mind is whether or not the pan is broiler and oven safe. If it’s not oven-safe, then you might miss out on some of your favorite recipes as they will damage the pan too much. With that said, double-check these pans’ features to ensure they are oven-safe or not oven safe. From there, you can make the decision that’s right for you.
Criteria #8: Does it fit your budget?
The last thing to consider is whether or not the pan fits your budget. Most of the products on this list will range around $100, but several options are far below $100. The important thing is to know whether or not you want or need to splurge. Someone dealing with an induction stove, for example, will need to splurge a little more on a pan that can be used on an induction stove (not all can). Others on a tight budget might skip the first 5 entirely and dip down into our top budget picks.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Saute Pans
There are so many wonderful pans on the market. It can be challenging for consumers to know which one to purchase in the end. Well, that’s why we searched extensively through the sauté pans on the market. We looked at the sauté pans’ specific features in conjunction with the price. We also considered real-life reviews. With all of these aspects in mind, we came up with this list of the top 5 sauté pans and a few budget-friendly sauté pans that are still noteworthy.
When it comes to buying anything for your kitchen, one popular name in the game is Cuisinart. So, it’s no wonder why the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Saute Pan made our list. More importantly, it ranked number 1 when it comes to best value. Why? Because it’s a product that won’t break the bank yet still comes with a multitude of features that any amateur home-chef will enjoy.
12″ Pan, 5 1/2 Quarts
We mentioned earlier how size matters when it comes to the size of a saute pan. Well, this saute pan holds 5 1/2 quarts. This is the ideal size for one-dish meals that can feed the whole family, whether you’re braising a piece of steak or having a healthy fish dinner.
Made with Hard-Anodized Aluminum Exterior
As far as material is concerned, this saute pan is designed with a hard-anodized aluminum exterior. This material is notably one of the more nonstick materials, ensuring that all of your favorite foods slide off of the pan with ease.
Quantanium Nonstick Coating
Not only does the hard-anodized aluminum help this saute pan to be a nonstick saute pan, but thanks to a Quantanium nonstick coating throughout the top of the pan, sticking is no worry. Together, the material and the coating create a wonderful stick-resistant pan you can rely on when cooking.
Even Heat Distribution
Are you sick and tired of dealing with cold spots? Unfortunately, plenty of pots and pans leave cold spots that lead to unevenly cooked meats. In the end, you’re left with a steak that’s more overly cooked in some spots than others. Gross! Well, with this saute pan, you don’t have to worry about a lack of heat distribution. This saute pan is known to heat evenly while you’re cooking, making delicious dinners every time.
Cool Grip Handle
A cool grip handle is really just a cool way of saying heat-resistant handle. Created with a cool grip, you don’t have to suffer through undesirable burns on your hands while cooking. This makes cooking a breeze.
Final Thoughts: To put it frankly, this saute pan comes with all of the features you would ever want from a pan. Aside from these notable advantages, the pan also comes with drip-free pouring and a tempered glass cover. Combined with superior materials, nonstick coating, and even heat distribution, you can finally say goodbye to burnt and uneven dinners for good.
What Reviewers Had to Say: People have raved about this saute pan, with one reviewer commenting, “I love this pan!” It was hard to find anything negative about this top-rated pan. However, a few made comments that the lid is not an incredibly tight fit. You will want to hold onto it when shaking the pan around or moving it in any direction. Other than that, this pan with lid is a success.
#2: All-Clad 4406 Stainless Steel 3-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Saute Pan with Lid Cookware, 6-Quart, Silver (Best Saute Pan)
Some of us are on a budget when it comes to finding the best nonstick saute pan. Others, not so much. If you’re willing to spend more for added features you can trust, then I highly recommend the All-Clad Stainless Steel 3-Ply Bonded Saute Pan with Lid. This is the most superior saute pan on this list, and for a good reason, too. Let’s take a closer look at why this pan is the cream of the crop.
One of this particular pan’s biggest features is that it offers more cooking space for larger meals. Whether you’re sauteing, searing, or simply browning your favorite meats, you can get it done in this 6-quart saute pan. Plus, the pan itself is compatible with all cooktops, including being induction compatible, so you don’t have to worry about any damage happening to your new favorite pan.
Oven Safe and Broiler Safe Up to 600 Degrees F.
Another major standout feature of the All-Clad Stainless Steel 3-Ply Bonded Saute Pan with Lid is that it’s broiler and oven safe up to a whopping 600 degrees F. This is impressive because some pans can’t enter the oven at all, let alone an oven with extremely high temperatures such as 600 degrees F. Being broiler and oven safe, this pan allows you to venture into new and exciting recipes you may have never tried before.
Designed with Tri-Ply Construction of Stainless Steel and an Aluminum Core
Unlike other pans on this list, this 6-quart sauté pan is made with two popular materials to create a fully-functional and reliable pan. The high-quality pan comes complete with stainless steel tri-ply construction paired with an aluminum core.
The surface of this sauté pan is highly polished. In conjunction with the stainless steel and aluminum core, you can rest assured this sauté pan is entirely non-stick. Plus, the surface won’t interact with foods, which is a must-have for cooking meals. Some materials on others can transfer, which not only makes foods taste odd but can potentially be dangerous, too.
Even Heat Distribution
While many other pans can offer even heat transmission, none can quite do it like this sauté pan from All-Clad. Even after several uses, this superior sauté pan sticks (Or should we say – doesn’t stick?) to offering even heat dissipation making succulent meats everyone will enjoy.
Contoured and Secured Stainless Steel Handles
Earlier, I mentioned how important it is to find a reliable handle. Not only should it be comfortable, but sturdy and stuck-on tight to the pan. Well, that is exactly what this stainless steel tri-ply construction pan has to offer. The helper handle is designed with stainless steel material and is permanently secured to the saute pan using rivets. This gives the user complete confidence while cooking.
A lot of sauté pans on the market say that they are dishwasher safe. And while it’s true that they can enter the dishwasher without worry, the problem is when they come out. The nonstick coating typically is removed during the dishwashing cycle, rendering the “dishwasher safe” pan useless. Well, this sauté pan actually is dishwasher safe, and you don’t have to worry about ruining your beloved new pan.
Warranties matter when it comes to buying anything, and that includes purchasing a non-stick, stainless steel sauté pan. The good news is, this non-stick, stainless steel sauté pan comes with an incredible lifetime warranty. That is something you won’t find with most other saute pans on the market. So, you can sear, simmer, and saute to your heart’s content without worry.
Final Thoughts: This is the most ingenious non-stick, stainless steel sauté pan on the market. It comes with all of the must-have features, like being broiler and oven safe, while also having minor details like the helping handle which is 100% attached and contoured for comfort. If you want to spend more on stainless steel pans for sauteing and simmering, let this be your top choice.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Reviewers adore this pan. In fact, one reviewer made their comment very blunt: “I Love This Pan.” It was impossible to find any bad comments about this pan. So, you can feel confident about buying this best sauté pan for your kitchen too; that is, of course, if you’re willing to spend a little more than you’re used to on a sauté pan.
#3: SHINEURI Nonstick Ceramic Copper 12 Inch (Best Copper Pan)
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When you ask someone what their preferred material cookware is when cooking, many people will swear by copper. They love copper, and it’s not just because there are hundreds of commercials day in and day out about copper pans. They really can work wonders in your kitchen, and one standout copper pan is the SHINEURI Nonstick Ceramic Copper Pan. Here’s why.
12 Inches Long and 4 Inches Deep
One major advantage of this copper pan is that it’s big. With 12 inches of cooking space and 4 inches of cooking depth, it’s easy to cook for at least 4 people without trouble. If you need a bigger sauté pan to manage a larger family, then this copper pan might be the best sauté pan option for you.
Of course, one of the must-haves when it comes to buying sauté pans is a nonstick coating. Well, this is another nonstick saute pan you can rely on. It comes with a nonstick interior and exterior, which means you can enjoy your favorite meals using less oil and butter. Cooking is a breeze when working with this nonstick saute pan!
Durable Copper and Stainless Steel Induction Plate
This sauté pan is one you can depend on. It utilizes durable materials, including ceramic copper and stainless steel. Aside from being reliable and dependable, the materials used to create this sauté pan are dishwasher safe and provide ample heat distribution from one edge to the other.
Suitable for All Stoves and Oven Safe Up to 550 Degrees F.
This extra-deep saute pan can be used on all types of stoves for cooking. In fact, it is even induction compatible. The non-stick saute pan is also designed to be oven safe. The tempered glass lid can manage heat up to 350 degrees F. in the oven. The deep saute pan itself can handle oven heat up to 550 degrees F. This opens up a wider range of recipes to try.
The biggest plus to using this deep saute pan is that it can be used for various purposes, thanks to the depth of the sauté pan. For example, this deep saute pan can be used just as frying pans are, to make all your favorite fried foods, or as steamers are used for succulent veggies. But it doesn’t stop there. It can also be used for slow cooking and roasting. With such versatility, it’s no wonder why this is one of the best sauté pans!
Final Thoughts: If you’re part of the copper fan club or want to try a copper sauté pan for yourself, then consider this model from SHINEURI. It’s reliable, easy to clean, and can be used in several different cooking styles. Use it as one of your favorite frying pans or stick to sauteing and slow cooking.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Many people were happy with this copper saute pan purchase. However, a lot of users noted that the nonstick coating wore off after a while. To make sure this pan remains a nonstick saute pan, the best thing to do is to ditch the dishwasher. Although these pans claim to be dishwasher safe, sometimes the coating can be removed after too much harsh cleaning from the dishwasher.
#4: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet With Iron Cover and Assist Handle (Best Low Cost)
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On a tight budget? Your dreams of owning a reliable sauté pan don’t have to be thrown out of the window. In fact, you can get your hands on a top-notch sauté pan when you choose the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet with Iron Cover and Assist Handle. Why is this the sauté pan that provides the biggest bang for your buck? Let’s see.
Deep Cast Iron Saute Pan/Skillet
The one thing that changes this cast-iron sauté pan from being a skillet to something more like a saute pan is the depth. There is an inch more on this cast-iron pan than a typical skillet, making it a good choice for those who want a budget-friendly option with many uses. Plus, it comes with a cast-iron lid to seal the deal.
Speaking of many uses, this sauté pan is notably one of the best sauté pans when it comes to offering a lot of versatility when it comes to cooking. You’re not limited to simmering or sauteeing in this sauté pan. Instead, you can cover a wide range of cooking styles, including baking, broiling, braising, frying, and even grilling. In fact, this sauté pan can be used right over a campfire to make delicious meals out in nature.
Extra Helper Handle
Trying to take a pan out of the oven with a single grip, whether it’s a saute pan or a frying pan, can be challenging. Think about trying to unload a sauté pan with a 10-pound piece of meat inside! Well, this Lodge knows that this is a common struggle. That’s why they added a handy helper handle to ensure no issues when getting your pan out of the oven or broiler.
Excellent Heat Retention and Distribution
You want a pan that can keep the heat while distributing the heat thoroughly. And that’s exactly what this cast-iron, nonstick saute pan is all about. Whether you’re using it as a frying pan or a baking pan, you can rest assured that this pan can handle high heat and keep it. Not only that, but it heats evenly in a superior manner, ensuring every dinner is a success.
Final Thoughts: Those on a budget who still want a high-quality saute pan should highly consider this cast-iron, 5-quart model. It can be used as a fry pan or a saute pan, plus it works in ovens and broilers. With an extra handle, it’s easy to use these cast iron pans safely and securely. The only drawback is that it needs to be cleaned by hand, although it should be easy to clean even by hand.
What Reviewers Had to Say: A lot of the comments about this saute pan was excellent; however, it was referred to as a frying pan more often than not. Being called a frying pan isn’t necessarily a downside, though. This means that the pan can handle high heat without issue and provides some of the best fryings in town. But don’t worry – it is still a reliable saute pan, too.
#5: Calphalon Classic Nonstick 3 Quart Saute Pan and Cover (Best 3 Qt. Saute Pan)
I have met many people who have proclaimed, “I love my Calphalon pans and skillets”. Why? Because they are reliable and last for what seems like forever. I guess it’s no wonder why they made the top 5 best sauté pans on the market. But as a consumer, you want to know why it’s one of the best sauté pans. And we’re here to tell you.
3-Quart Saute Pan
Right off the bat, the biggest difference between this pan and the other pans is that this one is a 3-quart model. Keep this in mind when reading the rest of the review. A 3-quart pan is best for those who don’t need to make extra-large meals. If you need more room, then a 5-quart or above would be a better choice.
Hard-Anodized Construction and Non-stick Surface
This is why Calphalon products are so highly sought after – the hard-anodized construction. This material lasts for a very long time when taken care of properly. Plus, it’s durable and can handle heavy meats and plenty of use. Not only that, but it provides even heating and is fairly heat resistant, too, with the ability to handle high heat up to 450 degrees F. The non-stick coating is a definite plus, allowing foods to slide off easily and making the pan easy to clean.
Tempered Glass Lid with Cool-Touch Stainless Steel Handles
It’s not just the pan that will make you fall in love with the Calphalon pans. It’s the tempered glass lid, and cool-touch stainless steel handles, too. The tempered glass lid is known for staying on tight. With a glass lid, you can also easily see what’s going on inside the pan and know when you’re food is done cooking.
As far as the stainless steel handle is concerned, that’s a major bonus in itself. Stainless steel is obviously very reliable. Aside from being durable and reliable, though, stainless steel comes with cool-touch technology to keep you safe while cooking.
This is another pan that comes with a lifetime warranty. With a lifetime warranty, this model stands up against our number 1 choice as it, too, comes with a handy lifetime warranty. With a lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that you can continue to enjoy your pan even if something happened to it. Besides that fact, a company that offers a lifetime warranty is simply one that you can trust.
Final Thoughts: Tiny but mighty, there is a lot to love about this 3-quart pan. It is superior to other 3-quart pans on the market due to its wonderful heat resistant materials that provide heat distribution with ease. Plus, this design is dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime warranty. Need we say more?
What Reviewers Had to Say: It’s no secret that people love their Calphalon pan. This pan comes with plenty of wonderful reviews and a high star rating. There were no negatives to be found with this 3-quart model.
Budget-Friendly Sauté Pans
#1 Best Budget: Cuisinart 733-30H Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan
When you are on a strict budget when finding the 5-quart pan for your cooking needs, there is one brand you can always rely on – Cuisinart. They offer budget-friendly options for cooking appliances, and their classic stainless steel 5-quart saute pan is no different. It comes with its own variety of advantages, including the following.
- The Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Saute Pan comes with a classy and professional appearance.
- The stainless steel material ensures that the pan is entirely non-stick with even heat distribution. Plus, it comes with an aluminum encapsulated base that heats up quickly while eliminating undesirable hot spots.
- Comes complete with a cool grip. The grip is made entirely of stainless steel that is riveted to the pan to stay in place. This gives the home-chef superior confidence, knowing the grip won’t accidentally be released from the pan, causing a disaster in the kitchen.
- A tapered rim provides adequate drip-free pouring. This 5-quart and budget-friendly model comes designed with a tapered rim that ensures there is no dripping while pouring.
- Comes complete with a tight-fitting cover. With a tight-fitting tempered glass lid, you can rest assured that moisture is locked in. It is also safe to shift and jiggle the pan when necessary. The glass lid stays in place no matter what you’re doing, ensuring the nonstick pan delivers delicious and flavorful meals every time.
- Dishwasher safe. Made with classic stainless steel materials, you can safely place this nonstick pan in the dishwasher and feel confident that the brilliant nonstick finish will stick.
Final Thoughts: Although you’re spending less on this nonstick 5-quart pan, that doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing on features. The Chef s Classic one of the best stainless steel options for those on a budget because it comes with stainless steel for a nonstick surface area for cooking while straight sides keep everything in place.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Most reviewers were ecstatic about this purchase. Why? Because it came with everything they wanted from nonstick pans without the high price. One reviewer said, “FABULOUS pan!!!!! NON-stick when used PROPERLY!!!!!” What does this mean? Well, just because this 5-quart nonstick pan with lid says that it is dishwasher safe doesn’t mean it should be used constantly. Over time, the nonstick coating can come off of the surface area. Be careful when cleaning.
#2 Best Budget: BK Cookware Skillet Black Carbon Steel
Second on our best budget saute pans list is the BK Cookware Skillet Black Carbon Steel. If you’re looking for carbon steel, then this is the best pick. Here’s why.
- Won the 2019 Red Dot Award for design.
- It comes with a nonstick coating that develops over time.
- Lightweight and easy to use.
- Designed with black steel, which is more durable than typical carbon steel. It resists corrosion and stains and is also far denser than other materials such as aluminum.
- It can be used in ovens up to 600 degrees F. and over campfires.
- Safe for use with metal utensils.
- It can be used on all stovetops, including induction.
- Comes with a limited 2-year warranty.
- Hand wash and dry only.
Final Thoughts: As far as a budget-friendly saute pan is concerned, this is an incredible pick. The pan works in the oven with temperatures up to 600 degrees F., just as our number one pick does. However, this pan cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher and comes with a limited 2-year warranty.
What Reviewers Had to Say: This pan had many positive reviews about it, with comments ranging from the pan to the lid to ease of use. However, some people said that they had a problem with the holder not being reliable. Some had a grip that fell off entirely, leaving them with a far more difficult pan to use than before.
#3 Best Budget: T-fal, Ultimate Hard Anodized, Nonstick 5 Qt. Jumbo Cooker
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Looking to spend even less? Well, don’t panic. There is a nonstick pan option that comes with a variety of wonderful features. The best part is, it is guaranteed not to break the bank. It is far cheaper, especially than our number one pick. Certainly, it can’t handle extremely high temperatures up to 600 degrees F. or be made with stainless steel, but that doesn’t mean anything to this awesome budget-friendly pan.
- Made with hard-anodized aluminum. Just because it’s not made with stainless steel doesn’t mean it’s an automatic failure. Hard anodized aluminum is just as highly sought after as stainless steel. Why? Because it creates perfect heat for your favorite foods in no time while also providing even heating from start to finish. Plus, it’s scratch resistant. Metal utensils are no match for this pan!
- Designed with a heat mastery system. T-fal has created their own heat mastery system to ensure their customers are happy with their pan with every use. The heat mastery system ensures that the pan is entirely nonstick and anti-warping with an even heat base.
- Includes thermo-spot indicators. It can be hard to understand when your pan is ready for action. Well, that’s why this hard-anodized, 5-quart pan comes with a heat indicator. The rings inside of this 5-quart pan will turn red when it’s preheated and ready for use. This makes cooking that much easier.
- It can be used on all stovetops (except induction) and is oven safe up to 400 degrees F. This 5-quart pan can be used on a variety of stovetops, minus induction stovetops. However, it is oven safe up to 400 degrees F., a major bonus for those wanting to shake things up in the kitchen. I guess this 5-quart pan can handle high temperatures after all!
Final Thoughts: For those needing a 5-quart pan in the kitchen that can stand up to the big dogs, then let it be this excellent nonstick option. It’s just like any other saute pan on the market, from the straight sides to the ease of cooking. This 5-quart pan is built to last and make all of your cooking endeavors a cinch, whether you’re opting for the stove or oven.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Reviewers rave about this product, one buyer saying, “Could not buy a better pan for the money.” The only consideration is that the nonstick coating of this 5-quart pan can come off over time. It all boils down to how you handle the product, though. If you’re going at it with metal utensils constantly and being rough with it, it won’t be in use for as long as other pans.
Verdict: Your Best Saute Pans
With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to find the pan that is right for you. Well, we have narrowed it down to some simple sentences you can use to help you on your journey to locate the best pan.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Cuisinart 633-30H Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan.
If you want the best of the best, pick the All-Clad 4406 Stainless Steel 3-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Saute Pan with Lid.
If you want a copper pan, pick the SHINEURI Nonstick Ceramic Copper 12 Inch.
If you need a smaller, 3-quart pan, pick the Calphalon Classic Nonstick 3 Quart Saute Pan and Cover.
If you want to keep the spending under $50, pick the T-fal, Ultimate Hard Anodized, Nonstick 5 Qt. Jumbo Cooker.
Excited to start cooking with one of these saute pans? I certainly can’t blame you. There is a wide range of available saute pans to choose from. The most important thing to do is consider your wants and needs when deciding which pan to buy. Do you need a pan that can double as a fry pan? You’re in luck because the SHINEURI copper pan doubles as a fry pan with ease. Don’t care for a fry pan, but you definitely need a 5-quart model? The All-Clad stainless steel pan might be your best choice.
Take a good look at the different pans on this list, paying attention to even the smaller details such as the lid and ease of use. These will all come into play when finding the right pan.