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Cookware - Saucepans

A guide on choosing and buying saucepans

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Jump to:      What you need  |  Types of SaucepansHow Much to spend


If you are interested in cooking and want to stock your kitchen correctly, selecting the right pots and pans is an important first step. However, the sheer variety of cookware shapes and sizes can be overwhelming.


This guide will demonstrate some of the most popular saucepans to help you decide what you need, types to buy and how much to spend. -


Ivonne Wierink -


 Peter Galbraith -
Stainless Steel

 David Smith -

Cast Iron



What saucepans do you need?

Large Stockpot
A 2 gallon (8 quart) stockpot is very useful when cooking for guests or making large batches of soup or chilli to freeze and reheat later. You can also use it as the bottom part of a double boiler, for melting chocolate or mixing up a rich Hollandaise sauce. A large stockpot is also a great addition in a large family for cooking up stews and casseroles.

Mid-Sized Saucepans
Saucepans come in every size from tiny to enormous, but since you already have a large stockpot, it’s a good idea to pick a smaller saucepan. A 1 quart saucepan is ideal for cooking small portions of vegetables or using with your large stockpot as the top part of a double boiler. If that seems a little small for you or you have a large family, then select a 2 quart saucepan instead.


Large Sauté Pan
Whether it’s cooking chicken breasts for a dinner party or preparing a one-pan breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes all in one pan, a large sauté pan will come in handy. A fourteen-inch pan that is also safe for use in the oven is a good, flexible addition to your cookware.


Small Frying Pan
If you want to whip up something small and simple, such as a grilled cheese sandwich or a single serving of seared salmon, a small frying pan is an essential item to have in your kitchen. Eight inches is a good size for this purpose.


Flame Proof Casserole Dish
Whilst not strictly a saucepan, to round out your cooking ensemble, select a medium-sized flame proof casserole dish for those favourite tuna casseroles or chicken dishes. For maximum flexibility, select one that can be used on the stove top (flame proof not just heat proof), in the microwave as well as in the oven.


With these five items, you’ll be well on your way to a well-stocked kitchen with all of the cookware that you need to cook your favourite meals.

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What type of saucepan should you buy?

Now that you have a list of items to buy your next step is to decide on the type of cookware material that will best suit your needs. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each type to help with your decision making:

Stainless Steel Cookware
• Durable
• Scratch resistant
• Reasonably priced
• Easy to maintain

• Not a good heat conductor



Cast Iron Cookware
• Durable
• Reasonably priced
• Good heat retention

• Requires regular seasoning
• Reacts with some foods
• Can rust if not properly seasoned
• Can be heavy

Aluminium Cookware
• Reasonably priced
• Good heat conductivity

• Reacts with some foods

• Scratches and dents easily (buy anodized

    aluminium to overcome this problem)

Copper Cookware
• Excellent heat conduction
• Beautiful appearance

• Reacts with some foods

• Requires a bit of maintenance to keep its 

    shiny appearance

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How much should you spend on your cookware?

This is a question that is often asked but the answer is simple – spend as much as you can afford. It doesn’t matter whether you decide on stainless steel, copper, aluminium or cast iron cookware, there is no point purchasing it simply because it is cheap. Poor quality cookware will deteriorate quickly and in many cases your cooking results will not be spectacular since the metal may be thin and heat quickly causing your meals to burn and the metal to warp.

Take your time searching for the right cookware for you and you will be rewarded with not only outstanding cooking results but with cookware that will last a lifetime.

Article provided courtesy of Only Cookware - a resource for

pots and pans, stainless cookware and enamel cast iron cookware.



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