A sauté pan is a cooking implement with a design centered on the art of sauté.
The design combines properties of a frying pan
(a large surface area on which to cook and a long handle) and a saucepan
(deep straight sides), many also have a loop handle
opposite the frying pan-style long handle.
Sizes range typically from 3-6 quarts, sauté pans are sized by capacity like a sauce pan not diameter
like a frying pan.
A good sauté pan rivals a wok
as a multi-purpose
cooking tool. It's larger capacity and ability to hold liquids makes it suitable for small quantities of soup
(although the largeer surface means that your liquid
will heat faster, so it's not suitable for slow-cooking dishes such as stews
), it is excellent for preparing sauces quickly, and of course for general purpose pan-frying.
All good sauté pans come with lids, this allows them to also be used for braised dishes.
buy a non-stick sauté pan
. part of the glory of sauté is the art of deglazing
. If your pan is non stick you will be left with nothing stuck to the pan to deglaze. This will result in watery and flavorless sauces
. Also sauté pans should conduct heat
well. When you sauté you work to create a brown outer coating on the food, without burning the dish. This is accomplished by keeping the food moving quickly on a high-heat surface
. Copper sauté pans are prized by chefs
, however many home cooks find that copper pans conduct heat a little too well and often end up with burnt dishes. Ideally an aluminium
pan is ideal. One which uses an aluminium core
to conduct heat, while the non-reactive
surface of stainless steel provides a safe cooking surface, is probably your best option
(and usually run a bit cheaper than the highly expensive french copper
models). Expect to spend $150-$250 on a good sauté pan, keeping in mind that if you care for it it will last your entire life. Also purchace a sauté pan with metal
handles. This allows easy transition from stove
-top to oven