What is a saucepan used for in cooking?

Saucepans are versatile cooking tools, used for anything that has a primarily liquid base, such as soups, broths, stews, and unsurprisingly, sauces. They usually have a capacity of at least one litre and up to four, making them useful in everyday cooking, but not always when cooking for a crowd.

The high walls of a saucepan prevent liquids from splattering over the cooktop and also minimise direct contact with the heat source to avoid too much browning.

What size saucepan do I need?

Saucepan sizes are measured by how much liquid they hold, or in other words, their capacity. They usually come in 1L, 2L, 3L and 4L+. The size saucepan you need will ultimately come down to your intended cooking application.

For boiling an egg or two, for example, you’ll only need a saucepan with a 1L capacity. If you’re making a soup for dinner, choose something bigger, such as a 4L saucepan. Most people have a few saucepans in a range of sizes in their kitchen.

How do I pick a saucepan?

Picking the best saucepan for your household is as easy as one, two and three:

1. Pick a size

: Consider the size of your household and how many people you’ll normally cook for when considering the capacity you’ll require.

2. Consider material:

Aluminium has better temperature control, but stainless steel holds more heat so your food stays warm for longer in the pan.

3. Check whether it’s non-stick:

If you’ll be sautéing vegetables and meats before simmering in liquid, a non-stick pan may make for easier cleanup.

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