When and How to Use a Sauté Pan

Sauté Pans

A sauté pan is not something that you will see in every kitchen. To those who are not keen cooks, their purpose may not be immediately obvious. Surely everything I can cook in a sauté pan, I can already do in a frying pan? Surprisingly, this is not the case.

Saute pans are a sort of hybrid between a saucepan and a frying pan. An extremely versatile addition to a kitchen, it can be used for a huge variety of dishes and you will likely use it a lot more than you think.

If you are unconvinced of their greatness, please read on for some for some stellar advice on when and how to use one.

Sauté Pan or Frying Pan?

When put side by side, the differences between a sauté pan and a frying pan are perhaps quite subtle. They look similar; fairly shallow, large diameter and a long handle. There are however a few key differences that set sautés apart that make them better suited to certain tasks.

The most obvious of these is the lid, something you will almost certainly get when buying a sauté pan but never with a frying pan. The purpose of a lid, as with any cooking vessel, is to lock in heat and, more importantly, moisture. When frying, moisture is something you want to remove as quickly as possible as it will prevent caramelisation and a crispy texture. Conversely, when simmering a casserole for half an hour with no lid you run the risk of it drying out. That is where our sauté pan with it’s snugly fitting lid comes in.

Another significant difference are the sides of the pan. Sauté pans have vertical sides and frying pan’s tend to taper out. This makes frying pans ideal for quick cooking methods like stir frying as you can easily keep things moving. Straight sides do come in handy for other things though.

Searing Meat

Thanks to its straight sides, a sauté pan has a greater usable surface area than a frying pan of equal diameter. This come in particularly useful with tasks such as searing a large steak or browning chicken thighs. It would be by no means wrong to use a frying pan for this but a sauté will provide much more space to work with.

Saucy Dishes

If cooking something with a sauce, whether is be a curry, chilli or a casserole, you are far less likely to slosh is all over your hob if the pan you are using has straight sides and bit of depth. A sauté pan may be preferential over say a large saucepan or stock pot because you not only have the depth but also the space to brown meat.

Oven Cooking

Another area in which sauté pans prove their versatility is their capacity to go from the hob top to the oven. A great way to finish off meat, a frittata or even a quick toad-in-the-hole. All the ProWare sauté pans are oven safe to at least 200°C.

Straight to the Table

Beetroot and goats cheese risotto

If you hate washing up because, hey, who doesn’t?, serving at the table straight from the pan is a great way to cut down on dirty dishes. Because the ProWare range are handsome devils they look perfectly at home as a centrepiece on a dining table.


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