All pots and pans are not created equal, and if you love to make creamy risottos and silky reduced sauces, a saucier is a must-have. The best sauciers are made from stainless steel, come with tightly fitting lids, and have a capacity of between 2 and 3.5 quarts.
To learn more about what makes a great saucier, I reached out to a professional chef who knows a thing or two about kitchen equipment. Before Ellen Bennett founded her apron company, Hedley & Bennett, she was a line cook with an entrepreneurial spirit and an eye for quality.
When shopping for a saucier, Bennett recommends choosing a stainless steel option that comes with a lid. Stainless steel is a durable, rust-resistant material that can handle high temperatures and high-volume cooking, which is one of the reasons why professional cooks love it. Since sauces and other things you make in a saucier often require vigorous whisking or stirring, stainless steel is a great option because you can use it with metal utensils, and it won’t get scratched up, even after whisking a luscious custard. Many sauciers are made with 3- or 5-ply bonded stainless steel, in which steel is layered with either aluminum or copper for better heat control.
Sauciers typically have both lids and elongated, ergonomic handles, but those aren’t the most important design features. Look instead at the shape of the pan itself, which should be wide on top, with gently curved sides.
“The shape of the handle isn't nearly as important as the actual shape of the pan that allows you to be able to make things like sauces, custards, etc. a bit easier than in a normal 4-quart pan,” Bennett advises. “The reason it’s better is because it’s wider while the edges slope up, so your liquid gets to evaporate a bit faster.”
Choosing a saucier with a smaller capacity than the typical 4-quart pan will not only help you reduce liquids more quickly, but it’s also great for making smaller batches of things like gravy and pastry cream. On the smaller side, a 2-quart pan will be perfectly fine for many home cooks, though a 3- or 3.5-quart saucier will be more versatile.
Once you find a saucier that you love, you’ll want to take good care of it — which is easier than you might think.
“It doesn't require anything fancy to clean,” Bennett notes, “Clean it like any other pan! I love using steel wool.”
If you’re ready to upgrade your batterie de cuisine, here are the three best sauciers that you can buy on Amazon.
1. The Best Overall
This All-Clad saucier pan is Bennett’s personal pick, and it’s easy to see why. The wide-mouth, 2-quart pan has shallow, sloping sides that make it easy to whisk and stir, and it’s made from 3-ply stainless steel with an aluminum core that allows this pan to heat quickly and evenly, which is essential for sauces. Both the handle and lid are also made from stainless steel, and the whole thing is oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This saucier is dishwasher-friendly, compatible with all stovetops, and comes with a lifetime warranty.
One fan raved: “It's a little pricey, but it's a high quality piece of cookware. I use mine all the time. If you make a lot of sauces, or anything that needs to be reduced, this style of pan will do it faster than a traditional, straight-sided saucepan. This is the third piece of All-Clad cookware I've bought, and I think they make great products. I recommend it.”
2. The Best Budget Saucier
If you’re looking for an inexpensive saucier pan, this is one of the best options out there. It’s made from stainless steel with a five-layered base that has a copper core for even heating. The 2.5-quart size is great for everything from gravies to custards and won’t take up too much space in your kitchen. Both the lid and the ergonomic handle are also made from stainless steel, and the whole pan is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also dishwasher-safe and compatible with gas, electric, and induction cooktops.
One fan raved: “This pan has several superior features: the copper bottom adds the extra weight and heat distribution needed for sauces, and the overall quality of the piece is exceptional. My husband is a retired chef and uses the pan nearly every day. I also like the fact that it's a beautiful thing to see: elegantly curved and graceful. We are enjoying a great deal of pleasure from using it.”
3. The Splurge-Worthy Saucier
This luxe stainless steel saucier pan from Le Creuset isn’t cheap, but it does boast a near-perfect 4.8-star overall rating on Amazon. If you’re a fan of this iconic brand’s cookware, you won’t be disappointed in their 3.5-quart saucier, which is also the largest option on this list. It features tri-ply construction with an aluminum core and is compatible with all cooktops, including induction. The ergonomic handle has a stay-cool feature, and the lid has the same classic Le Creuset aesthetic as their enameled cast iron pieces. The whole pan, including the lid, is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and the interior features etched measurement markings. It’s also dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
One fan raved: “Great pan, love Le Creuset brand. Bought this on the recommendation of an episode of America's Test Kitchen, who claimed this is a kitchen 'must have'. I purchased the 3.5 quart size which seemed really large when I first opened the box. However, I've used it twice and am glad I chose the bigger size. I'm looking forward to using it for making tart fillings. The rounded sides makes it easier to whisk while cooking.”
Ellen Bennett, author, Founder & CEO of Hedley & Bennett