Saucier vs Saucepan: Which One Should You Invest In?
saucier vs saucepan

For two reasons, sauciers and saucepans can easily be confused for the same cookware, especially by kitchen newbies. First, they sound the same, and as if that is not enough, they kind of look similar. If you still get kitchen utensils and whatnot mixed up, click here to learn more.

It can only mean you love sauce if you are in the kitchen and dealing with a saucier vs saucepan dilemma. We all do, and the fact that it goes well with every dish doesn’t help the situation. So how do the two cookware pieces tie in? You guessed it right. They are essential for making sauces.

However, each item has different purposes and should not be used interchangeably. This article will explore their distinct differences to help you decide if you will invest in one of them or both of them.

What is a Saucier?

saucier pan

A saucier is a bowl-like type of pan used to make and reduce the sauce. They were traditionally used by French cooks in professional kitchens but are currently taking over every kitchen across the globe.

Their rounded bottoms, sloped walls, and sloped edges make them resemble bowls with handles. Unlike saucepans, they have a wider opening and shallow edges making it easier for frequent stirring. Its slanted sides keep ingredients at the bottom, making it easier to whisk and stir ingredients. 

The shallow edges and wider bases prevent food from sticking and burning. They are great for shallow frying and can be used for other dishes like cooking risotto and oatmeal. They come in diverse sizes.

What is a Saucepan?

saucepan

A saucepan is a cylindrical-shaped type of pan designed primarily for making and reduction of sauces. However, it is versatile and can be used for braising, deep frying, and boiling water.

They have flat bases with high and straight sides and long handles. They are tall with narrow bases, unlike sauciers which are short with wider diameter bases. Its height ensures that your food doesn’t spill over, while the flat base maximizes contact with the source of heat.

Saucepans are designed with fitting lids that ensure heat and steam are retained during the cooking process. The feature makes them suitable for boiling hot liquids, simmering sauces and braising food. Just like sauciers, they come in diverse sizes.

Can They be Used Interchangeably?

Yes, sauciers and saucepans can be used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t substitute each other because they have specific functions. Each pan has benefits and limitations that directly affect the cooking experience and the outcome.

For instance, a saucier would be perfect if your dish requires frequent stirring, while a saucepan would be more efficient for liquid retention. Therefore, having both pans would revolutionize your cooking experience by promoting efficiency and versatility. Let us look at their distinct differences.

Key Differences

Shape

A saucier and a saucepan’s most basic difference is their unique shapes. Saucepans resemble a cylinder with a handle, while saucier resembles a bowl with handles.

A saucepan has a flat base, a narrow opening, long and straight sides, and a long handle or two loop handles. The height is essential for preventing food spillage. Their structure gives them a small cooking surface area.

On the other hand, a saucier has a curved base, a wider opening, slanted and shallow sides, and long handles. Its walls are also thicker and often have a domed lid. Some people say sauciers look like bowls with handles and lids, while others say they look like pans with taller sides.

Unlike saucepans, their structure gives them a larger surface area for cooking.

Usability

chef preparing food

Sauciers and saucepans can be used for similar functions. They are both easy to use, but the saucier is much easier. A Saucier has slanted edges that ensure food does not get stuck to the sides of the pan, a feature that saucepans substitute with straight edges prone to stickiness. The edges also ensure your quick sauce does not burn as it will cook more evenly and allows you to stir and whisk your food quickly.

However, if you use a steamer basket regularly, you would be better off with a saucepan because a saucier’s curved sidewalls and short structure may make it hard to fit the basket. You could also try to get a less curved saucier since sauciers are easier to use than saucepans.

Cleaning

Do you think saucepans are harder to clean? It is a no-brainer given their straight sides that make them more susceptible to burning and thus harder to clean than sauciers. Food may also stick to the sharp corners and bottom, making you put more effort into scrubbing this cookware.

On the contrary, the shallow and curved nature of sauciers poses less risk of food sticking or burning, thus making cleaning easier. You can easily reach its edges and curved corners to scrub food residue, and you will not have to soak them to get rid of tough debris.

You may opt to soak your saucepan to loosen burnt or stuck food, but soaking is detrimental to metal pans. The cookware tends to suffer bad damage and may not last long.

Storage

They are both easy to store, but the cookware sets are stored differently. Saucepans have a uniform cylindrical shape from rim to base. Therefore, they are easy to stick from large to small ones, and since they are tall, they will occupy more space vertically.

On the other hand, sauciers have wider openings but may not be suitable to stick them together, but you store other pieces of cookware inside them. They occupy more space horizontally.

Materials

The other distinction between the two types of pans is the materials used to make them. Both can be made with cast iron, stainless steel, enameled cast iron, non-stick ceramic, and aluminum.

Sauciers are made with copper or stainless steel. There are a few pieces made with non-stick aluminum. Most saucepans are made with stainless steel and aluminum with a stainless steel interior or coated with non-stick material.

Stainless steel is excellent for the durability of cookware but is a poor conductor compared to aluminum which is a good heat conductor.

Versatility

A saucier and saucepan are versatile pieces that perform almost the same functions, but the saucier performs better in most cases. The cookware can be used to prepare dishes that require constant stirring, whisking, and tossing because of its rounded base. It offers easy reach while cooking,

Saucepans may be bigger and perfect tools for cooking large volumes of food, but it limits the user when it comes to whisking their food. They also tend to overheat.

Cost

As aforementioned, sauciers are gaining popularity, unlike saucepans which are common. Sauciers are produced and distributed by high-end option brands and thus are more expensive. Other factors like materials, size, quality, and other features also play a role in pricing.

Sauciers also tend to have a less affordable price because they are easy to use and offer a greater cooking surface area ratio.

Tips for Buying 

Now that you know the differences between the two kinds of cookware, here are insights for buying each one.

Balance

Always check the balance of your chosen pan to avoid buying a faulty pan. Sauciers and saucepans feature a long handle. Check to ensure that the handle is not heavier than the rest of the pan because it affects how your pan will balance.

Unbalanced pans may lead to terrible accidents, particularly in a busy kitchen.

Non-reactivity

Sauciers and saucepans are often exposed to liquids and acidic foods that may be corrosive, like tomato sauce. Ensure that your cookware is non-reactive and get value for your money.

Pans made from stainless steel are generally durable and non-reactive but conduct heat poorly. You can solve the issue by buying fully-clad pans as they enhance heat conduction for even cooking of meals.

Weight

Sauciers and saucepans are used frequently in the kitchen. Heavy cookware is generally difficult to handle and use. However, lighter ones may lose balance quickly and fall over while cooking. Pay attention when shopping to ensure you purchase a perfect size pan for easy usability.

Oven-use

If you plan to broil and braise using your cookware, you should consider its oven safety before buying it. However, if you don’t plan to use your pan in the oven, it will leave a wide range of pans to choose from during the purchasing process.

Material 

coated saucepan

Materials used to make the pans dictate their usability and other factors. Pans made from steel are generally durable but are poor heat conductors.

You can substitute such by buying pans made from aluminum to improve heat distribution, even though they may not be as durable. They may also overheat, so you should look for pans coated with non-stick material to prevent sticking.

Pans coated with non-stick materials are also easier to clean, and if you are buying a saucepan, this is your number one tip.

Conclusion

So are you buying a saucier and saucepan? Or do you need only one of them? Both are convenient and perform similar functions, but the saucier vs saucepan verdict favors the saucier.

If you are strapped for cash or have limited options and have to choose one of them, a saucier is a perfect choice. It does the same job as a saucepan but is easier to use and clean. A saucepan’s only advantage over a saucier is spillage management, but you can easily achieve this by reducing the quantity of fluid.

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