A good quality sauté pan will help you take your culinary skills to the next level and will also make a great addition to your pan collection.
If you’re not quite getting the results from frying or browning off ingredients in your usual frying pan, then maybe it’s time to take the plunge and replace or upgrade with a sauté pan.
Cuisinart Classic Stainless 5 ½ Quart Sauté Pan
A sauté pan will allow you to sear your ingredients on high heat quickly, perfect for charring the edges of ingredients before popping them in the oven to cook through.
Best Selling Saute Pans
You’ll also be able to praise, poach and simmer your recipes with the help of the lid that comes with it, providing a multitude of cooking possibilities.
We’ve tried and tested a plethora of sauté pans on the market to find the best ones to recommend to you today.
Whilst reviewing a selection of sauté pans to find the best one, we used the points below as our form of evaluation criteria so we could nail down the best pans out there.
Sauté pans come in various sizes and what size you buy will depend on how many people you plan on typically cooking for and what sort of things you’ll be cooking in there. As a general rule, we’d opt for something generous in size to accommodate any larger dinner parties with more ease.
Overcrowding food in the pan won’t allow you to sauté it properly, so buying one that is large enough so you can toss and cook your food properly on high heat is important.
You’ll be sautéing your foods in your pan at high heat so it’s important that the material of your pan has a good level of heat conductivity and is highly responsive to temperature changes.
Most manufacturers will use stainless steel, aluminum, and ceramic to construct their sauté pans as these often have the best heat retention and will produce minimum hotspots so will prevent uneven cooking.
They will also use other materials to create a non-stick finish on the surface of the pan to prevent food from sticking during cooking.
It’s a no-brainer that all sauté pans should have a handle to be able to toss the food on high heats and distributé it evenly across the pan. However, what we wanted to critique was how ergonomic the handles are and how good the grip is when you’re holding and carrying the pan around the kitchen.
Any handle that didn’t get hot when on the stovetop won bonus points as well as any sauté pan that had an additional carry handle that made it easier when carrying large portions and pouring any excess liquids out of the pan.
Sauté pans will almost always come with a lid, and so they should, but strangely enough, the lids are never used when you’re sautéing and tossing your food on the stove.
The lids will be used when you’re just cooking or braising foods in your pan on the stove and will help to seal in moisture so it doesn’t dry out.
A glass lid is great for this as you can monitor your food as it’s cooking and make sure it’s not burning. However, you won’t be able to put a pan with a glass lid in the oven as it’ll shatter at high heat, although if you don’t plan on using your pan for this function then it won’t be too much of a problem.
A lid that is the same material as the rest of your pan is functional as it can be put into the oven as well. However, you won’t be able to see your food as it cooks on the stove.
If you spend a lot of time cooking in your kitchen, then you probably don’t want to spend more time cleaning up afterward, so finding a dishwasher-safe pan is a good idea if you want to save yourself the chore of having to scrub your pans at the sink.
We want to recommend products that come from great companies that value their customers and have quality products, so this was one of the things we looked into when reviewing individual sauté pans from the brands.
Best Saute Pan
1. Best Overall: Cuisinart Chef's Classic Nonstick Sauté Pan
Our top pick for the best sauté pan is the Classic Nonstick one by Cuisinart that has a hard-anodized exterior, a lid, and two handles to make pouring and handling easier.
We love the darker color of the pan as it often retains its quality better as time goes on and doesn’t show food stains or burn marks as much as you would with a stainless steel or aluminum pan.
It’s generously sized (3 ½ quart) so you’ll be able to cook meals big enough to serve the whole family in just one pan without the quality being reduced due to overcrowding.
It comes with a non-stick surface so you’ll be able to use minimum oil (if any) when sautéing foods like meat, fish, or vegetables.
For more versatile cooking, the Cuisinart sauté pan offers great heat distribution throughout the pan to evenly cook foods slowly without stirring due to the minimal hot spots.
The tempered glass lid seals the pan perfectly and will still allow you to see your food whilst it’s cooking. As the cover is made from tempered glass, if you happen to drop the lid and knock it off the worktop, it’ll be less likely to break as it is stronger than regular glass.
Both handles are cool to the touch when the pan is on the heat. There'll be no issues when it comes to tossing your ingredients or transferring them to the plate for serving.
Unfortunately, the pan is hand wash only but due to the non-stick surface, a simple rinse with mild detergent and warm water will get rid of any food residue.
Cuisinart is also a highly reputable and popular American home appliance and cookware brand that we own many products from, so we had no doubt about recommending them to our readers.
- Darker surface: Doesn’t show stains or burn marks as much
- Non-stick surface: Will reduce the amount of oil needed to cook with
- Tempered glass lid: Can see food whilst cooking and won’t crack or break easily
- Cool-touch handles: Handling and serving from the pan is easy
- Hand wash only: Won’t be able to go in the dishwasher so will take longer to clean
- Hard anodized exterior
- Interior pan Measurement markings
- Unsurpassed heat distribution
- Quantanium non-stick for professional results
- Cool grip handle.Drip-free pouring.Tempered glass cover.Lifetime.Measures 20" By 10" By 5. 6" (Note, Height includes handle); interior of pan Height is 3"
2. Runner Up: Farberware 6 Quart Non-Stick Sauté Pan
Our runner-up for best overall sauté pan is the Farberware 6 quart non-stick one, so if you loved the features of our top pick above but need one that’s bigger to regularly feed more people than this 6-quart one will be better for you.
The pan is constructed with heavy-duty aluminum which heats up super quickly and evenly distributés the heat so the food won’t burn.
The non-stick interior also makes it superb when cooking on high heat without oil as it prevents any food from sticking or burning to the bottom of the pan.
The handles are double riveted for a confident grip, which makes it so convenient when pouring out excess liquid from the pan or when tossing some ingredients in the pan on the stove.
It also makes it easier when transferring the ingredients from the pan into a serving bowl as you won’t experience any drips and it’ll also prevent you from using a uténsil to transfer it over.
This sauté pan also comes with a shatter-resistant lid that is oven safe for up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so ideal if you want to use the pan to make some tasty casseroles.
The Farberware brand is a good balance of quality and affordable products that have become popular with the everyday cook in the home.
They’re owned by the parent company Meyer Corporation who also look after Breville Cookware, SilverStone, and many more appliance and cookware reputable cookware companies.
- Dishwasher safe: Will save much time when cleaning up
- Double riveted handles: Improves functionality for serving, transferring, and draining
- Large capacity: Will be able to large portions of food without overcrowding
- Oven safe: Can be used on the stove and to cook foods in the oven
- The surface of the pan scratches easily: Will start to look old very quickly
- DURABLE, DISHWASHER SAFE COOKING PAN: This dishwasher safe nonstick jumbo cooker's heavy-duty construction heats fast and evenly
- PREMIUM NONSTICK CHEF PAN: Durable, top-quality nonstick interior provides easy food release and fast cleanup
- STURDY HELPER HANDLE: Double-riveted handles provide a confident grip; helper handle aids in moving the extra large nonstick pan
- OVEN SAFE: Oven safe to 350°F, this nonstick jumbo cooker includes a shatter-resistant glass lid
- COMPLIMENTS OTHER FARBERWARE COOKWARE: This nonstick jumbo cooker complements skillets, sets and other items throughout the Farberware collection
3. Best Budget: Goodful Aluminium Non-Stick Sauté Pan
Buying new pans for your kitchen can be an expensive job, especially if you’re buying a collection of them. There’s no need to panic though, as we’ve nailed down the best budget sauté pan that doesn’t skimp on quality or functionality.
This Goodful aluminum non-stick pan is a joy to cook with and perfect for cooking meals for our family and friends due to the 5-quart jumbo size.
It comes with a tempered glass lid, with a steam vent and an ergonomic soft-touch handle which makes it so easy to remove to check and stir your food without burning yourself.
It also has the typical long handle which is great when sautéeing your food on high heat and the helper handle that is also ergonomic making pouring and serving food out of your pan an easy task.
It has a non-stick surface which is so convenient when cooking at high heat but without oil, but surprisingly is also dishwasher safe which saves us a heck load of time when cleaning up after large meals.
Goodful is not a brand we would typically use but their cookware range that is made up of PFOA free materials drew us in and we’re happy to recommend them as a budget-friendly but still a great quality option for sauté pans and any other cookware equipment.
- The glass lid comes with an ergonomic handle: Ideal for checking and stirring food without burning hand on the glass
- Non-stick surface: Can cook food on high heat without oil
- Helper handle: Makes it easier when transferring food
- Non-stick surface will begin to fade after a few months: Will need to season pan yourself
- SET INCLUDES: 5 quart jumbo cooker sauté pan with tempered glass lid
- EFFORTLESS NON-STICK COATING: This sauté pan features a durable non-stick coating that allows food to easily slide out of the pan.
- HEALTH-MINDED COOKING: The non-stick coating on this sauté pan is manufactured without PFOA, so you can cook your favorite foods with confidence.
- QUALITY COOKWARE: Aluminum pan guarantees optimum heat distribution for fast and even cooking.
- DISHWASHER SAFE: This sauté pan is as easy to clean as it is to use. It's dishwasher safe for fast and easy clean-up. No more struggling to do the dishes- with the smooth non-stick coating and ability to go in the dishwasher, clean-up couldn't be easier.
4. Best Premium: All-Clad Stainless Steel Sauté Pan
If you’re feeling boujee and wanting to go all out with a new sauté pan, then this All-Clad stainless steel pan is an absoluté beauty.
The durable stainless steel complete construction is ideal for sautéing, braising, and even roasting ingredients in the oven. Its 3-ply construction produces even heating so you won’t have any hot spots and burnt food when cooking with it.
It’s also compatible with gas, electric, ceramic, and induction stovetops so whatever you have in your kitchen will work with this pan.
It is dishwasher safe and it came out fine when we put it in there, however, they do recommend hand-washing for the majority of the time to keep it in top condition.
You’ll have the regular stainless steel handle to help toss your food on the heat but also a helper handle which comes in handy when pouring juices out of the pan.
The regular handle can get warm when simmering foods on the stove for a long time, so we recommend using a protective glove when lifting the pan from the handle in this case.
They are very attractive and professional-looking pans and will add a touch of class to your pan collection if you choose to get them.
All-Clad cookware is used in both professional and casual settings and we do think their premium cookware is worth it if you’re a keen chef (professional or at home) however, those who are just looking for a pan based on functionality will find what they need with our best overall pick.
- Premium looking pan: Will look professional in your kitchen
- Even heat distribution: No hot spots on the surface which prevents burnt food
- Versatile functionality: Can be used on any stovetop and even in the oven
- Regular and helper handle does get hot when simmering for a long time: Will need to use a protective heat glove
- A versatile piece featuring a large surface area for searing, with straight sides to hold in liquid and prevent splattering and lid to lock in moisture
- Classic tri-ply construction, made with a responsive aluminum core bonded together with 2 layers of durable, stainless steel all the way around for maximum durability and fast, even heat distribution
- Secured with riveted stainless-steel handles to ensure a safe grip and to add a bit of style with stainless-steel lid to match
- Compatible with all cooktops including induction, and oven and broiler-safe up to 600°F
- 3-Ply bonded construction
5. Best For Large Portions: Cuisinart Classic Stainless 5 ½ Quart Sauté Pan
If you’ve got a large family, or frequently host dinner parties for extended family and friends, then you’ll need a sauté pan big enough to serve everyone at once.
This Cuisinart sauté pan is one of the best around for large portions, not only due to it being 5 ½ quartz but also due to the stainless steel construction which provides unparalleled heat distribution so you’ll be able to cook a large amount of food without continuously stirring all the time to make sure everything is cooked evenly.
Very much like the All-Clad pan in appearance, the Cuisinart Classic pan has the same stainless high-class finish that’ll look great permanently placed on the stovetop.
It comes with a considerably long cool grip handle which is great for holding with two hands when transferring heavy food to be served. There is also the additional helper handle which provides extra support when lifting and pouring.
The tight-fitting lid locks in moisture when cooking food on the stove so your ingredients won’t dry out and it is also safe to use the lid for cooking food in the pan in the oven.
Cooking for lots of people means lots of washing up, but luckily this sauté pan is dishwasher safe so will save you the endless scrubbing at the sink.
- The high-quality appearance doesn’t discolor: Stays looking new for longer
- Large capacity: Perfect for cooking big portions for big groups of people
- Long cool grip handle: Can use two hands to carry the pan
- Dishwasher safe: Minimum clean up after cooking for lots of people
- The surface is not non-stick: May need to use some oil to prevent food from sticking
- EXCEPTIONAL DESIGN: The 5.5-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Flavor Lock Lid has straight high sides and a flat cooking surface to maximise capacity. Measurement markings provide you with ease of use every time with Drip-Free pouring
- COOKING AND CLEANING: Experience professional performance with an aluminum encapsulated base that heats quickly and spreads heat evenly, eliminating any hot spots. The cooking surface does not discolor, react with food or alter flavors, providing professional results. Dishwasher safe.
- EXCEPTIONAL HANDLING: This piece has a cool grip handle which are solid stainless steel riveted stick handles that stay cool on the stove top and provide a safe a solid grip
- WARRANTY: Lifetime warranty– Refer to user manual for troubleshooting steps and questions surrounding warranty policies – this product is BPA free
Frequently Asked Questions
The name of the sauté pan comes from the french word ‘sauter’ which means to jump, which refers to the action of tossing your food that is normally associated with sauté pans.
Food is normally cooked on high heat with minimal oil or fat in the sauté pan and then tossed in the air to evenly cook and brown the ingredients.
A sauté pan can be used for cooking anything from meat to sautéing vegetables, but also used to braise foods with liquid when the lid is on.
Frying pans are a lot more lightweight than sauté pans which makes them easier to carry around the kitchen, they also offer less surface area due to the sloped sides which means you won’t be able to use as many ingredients as you would in a sauté pan.
Sauté pans tend to heat up very quickly but don't stay hot for long when taken off the heat, whereas frying pans are slower to heat up but take longer to cool down after cooking.
Sauté pans also come with lids whereas frying pans do not. You can use the two different pans interchangeably for certain jobs in the kitchen as they’ll do a similar job however for other cooking techniques like braising using a frying pan in place of a sauté pan would be seen as a cooking faux pas.