10 Best Saute Pans of 2020 – Stainless Steel Saute Pan Reviews

When you saute a dish, you’ll cut your food into thin slices and tiny pieces. Then you’ll fry it for minimal durations in very little oil. You’ll probably toss the food a few times so that it cooks evenly. This means saute pans are wide and often come with a tight lid.

The pan should also have a straight rim that makes it easy to toss your food and prevents your ingredients from spilling on the cooktop. So how can you tell you’ve bought the best saute pan for your needs? Let’s review the top models in this culinary category.

Quick Summary: Best Saute Pan

Product

Weight

Dimensions

Our Rating

best saute pan Cuisinart

Cuisinart 3.5 Quart Saute Pan

5.2 pounds

19.61 x 10.43 x 4.53 inches

best saute pan Calphalon

Calphalon 5 Quart Nonstick Saute Pan

7.3 pounds

24.38 x 15.5 x 4.25 inches

best saute pan Tramontina

Tramontina 3 Quart Stainless Steel Saute Pan

6 pounds

19.1 x 9.6 x 5.3 inches

best saute pan Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse 5 Quart Stainless Steel Sauté Pan

5.08 pounds

12.4 x 7.09 x 10.83 inches

best saute pan All-Clad

All-Clad  Quart Stainless SteelSaute Pan with Lid

4 pounds

21 x 11.3 x 2 inches

best saute pan Cooks Standard

Cooks Standard 5 Quart Saute Pan with Lid

7 pounds

21 x 11.5 x 3.5 inches

best saute pan Anolon

Anolon 5 Quart Nonstick Saute Pan with Helper Handle

8.08 pounds

21.5 x 14 x 4.5 inches

best saute pan T-fal

T-fal 6 Quart Square Saute Pan Pan with Lid

4.1 pounds

20.5 x 11.5 x 4 inches

best saute pan GreenPan

GreenPan Chatham Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Saute Pan

4.81 pounds

5.79 x 12.4 x 21.77 inches

best saute pan Le Creuset

Le Creuset 4.25 Quart NonstickSaute Pan and Glass Lid

5.2 pounds

21 x 10.23 x 6.5 inches

The Best Saute Pan Reviews 2020

1. Cuisinart 3.5 Quart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Saute Pan

OUR TOP PICK
Stainless Steel Saute Pan Cuisinart

  • It has a 3-ply stainless steel bowl with patented Heat Surround technology.
  • The helper handle and the main handle both have stay-cool construction.
  • The pan can hold 3.5 quarts of food.

It seems stainless steel pans are a favorite in the sauté space, and that can be confusing. How so? Because we keep being told stainless steel is a poor conductor – which is why we use it for the handle of the pan. So why is this suddenly an advisable material for a contact-cooking pan designed for sautéing? The answer is in the layering. Handles use a single sheet of stainless steel.

This steel of often curled, coiled or hollowed (with a neck vent) for enhanced insulation. But the stainless steel used for the bowl section of your pan uses multiple bonded sheets to enhance conductivity. Being a 3-ply sauté pan, this Cuisinart has 3 such layers. Others might have five layers or more, sometimes with different metals for every layer. This pan has a 10-inch diameter.

Its main handle is 9 inches long and the bowl is 4.53 inches deep. It’s suitable for all types of stovetops, including electric cookers and induction plates. The sides of this sauté pan are vertical, but the top few millimeters are tapered to create an easy-pour rim. This pan can broil in addition to searing and sautéing. It’s dishwasher-safe and low-maintenance.

As stainless steel kitchen implements go, this is a top contender for best sauté pan. It’s on the smaller side, but it heats quickly and evenly. It’s good to go on induction cooktops.

Pros:

  • It has a 3-ply stainless steel bowl with patented Heat Surround technology.
  • The helper handle and the main handle both have stay-cool construction.
  • The pan can hold 3.5 quarts of food.

Con:

  • The bottom of the pan isn’t completely flat, so it sometimes wobbles while you cook.

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2. Calphalon Classic 5 Quart Nonstick Saute Pan With Cover

Stainless Steel Saute Pan Calphalon

  • It has a large capacity of 5 quarts.
  • The safety glass lid lets you look at your food while you cook.
  • The pan has a long main handle plus a helper handle.

There are three main things that distinguish saute pans from other fry pans – fitted lids, flat vertical sides, and a deep bowl. Caphalon ticks all those boxes. The lid is made of clear tempered glass, so it can withstand high levels of both direct and indirect heat. Meaning you can safely use it in an oven (450°F) or on a stovetop. The pan is 15.5 inches in diameter and 4.25 inches deep.

The body of the pan is made of hard-anodized aluminum and has a distinctive brushed appearance on its exterior surfaces. The main handle is about 9 inches long. It’s made of slow-conducting stainless steel and has neck vent for further cooling. It’s attached to the body with 2 rivets. Inside the pan, a double layer of non-stick coating offers good results and long pan life.

The widened flat bottom makes your saute more effective because more of the food touches the pan simultaneously. And the pan comes with a lifetime warranty and need minimal care.

Pros:

  • It has a large capacity of 5 quarts.
  • The safety glass lid lets you look at your food while you cook.
  • The pan has a long main handle plus a helper handle.

Con:

  • The pan has a flat bottom, but it sometimes warps in extreme heat. Also, it doesn’t work with induction cookers.

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3. Le Creuset 4.25 Quart NonstickSaute Pan and Glass Lid

Stainless Steel Saute Pan Le Creuset

  • The pan has a stainless helper handle.
  • It’s oven-safe up to 500°F.
  • This Le Creuset pan is hot-forged so it will never warp.

Le Creuset pans are known for their colorful exterior, so this muted black one may surprise you. It matches the brand’s performance though. It’s on the smaller side at 10.23 inches but is quite deep at 6.25 inches. Given these dimensions, some may think it’s not a true saute pan, especially since it ships without a lid. But it has vertical sides to facilitate tossing and prevent spattering.

The pan has a long main handle (nearly 11 inches) with a neck vent. The air pocket on the vent slows the transfer of heat, preventing your hand from scalding, even if you’re not wearing and oven mitt. The helper handle is stainless steel too, and the main body is made of hardened aluminum. The handles are held in place by two stainless steel rivets per handle.

The pan has a cooking capacity of 4.5 quarts ad works with induction cookers. This is because while its aluminum pan, the bottom surface is forged with magnetized stainless steel. The reinforcement not only makes it suitable for contemporary cooktops, but it also prevents the pot from warping. The non-stick coating inside the pan is durable, dishwasher safe, and heats up quickly.

Despite its uncharacteristically subtle shade, the Le Creuset pan represents the brand well. It’s a little small for sufficient sauteing though, so only buy it you’re a one or two-person household.

Pros:

  • The pan has a stainless helper handle.
  • It’s oven-safe up to 500°F.
  • This Le Creuset pan is hot-forged so it will never warp.

Con:

  • The pan doesn’t come with a lid, and because the bowl is only 10 inches across, you’ll have to cook in tiny batches. That can get annoying.

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4. T-fal 6 Quart Square Saute Pan Pan with Lid

Stainless Steel Saute Pan T-fal

  • Its unique color and square silhouette are rather eye-catching.
  • The pan has a pretty copper bowl with ceramic non-stick cooking.
  • It’s a jumbo-sized pan that holds an impressive 6 quarts of food.

Copper is an extremely conductive and highly malleable metal, so it’s a good choice for cooking pots. But on its own, it’s susceptible to green oxidation. It can also get banged out of shape. So copper culinary tools are often reinforced. In the case of this T-fal copper pan, it has a stainless steel bottom. This makes the pan less likely to warp and facilitates induction cooking.

On the interior surface of the pan, a ceramic non-stick coat reduces your maintenance regime while easing your sauté process. The pan is square-shaped and measures 11 inches across, so it has a larger cooking surface than a round 11-inch pan. The difference is 25% to 27% more, which is a lot in terms of lightly fried food. The pan is also 4 inches deep with a massive 6-quart bowl.

It comes with a tempered glass lid, which is both helpful because getting a pan that’s an exact fit for a square pan is tricky. Why? Well, squares are universal, but each square pan has a slightly different curve on its rounded corners, so you can’t just mix and match pan lids. In between the copper layers, this pan has heavy-gauge aluminum. The pan has a limited lifetime warranty.

This T-fal pan is pretty and has a large capacity. It resists scratching and staining, and its non-stick coating has zero PFOA, lead, cadmium, or PTFE so it’s safe for kids and pet parrots.

Pros:

  • Its unique color and square silhouette are rather eye-catching.
  • The pan has a pretty copper bowl with ceramic non-stick cooking.
  • It’s a jumbo-sized pan that holds an impressive 6 quarts of food.

Con:

  • On the stovetop, the pan can withstand up to 700°F, but inside the oven, it only manages half that (350°F). This can be confusing and you may accidentally ruin the pan.

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5. All-Clad Quart Stainless Steel Saute Pan with Lid

Stainless Steel Saute Pan All-Clad

  • The pan has 3-ply cladding and can hold 3 quarts of food.
  • This All-Clad pan has a helper handle and lid.
  • It's safe in the dishwasher but will last longer if you wash it by hand.

All-Clad stainless steel pans pride themselves on ‘passing through 24 hands’ before it leaves the factory. This is a declaration of conscientious care and quality. The sauté pan is roughly 11 inches in diameter with a 10-inch handle. The pan also has an easy-grip helper handle with a conveniently shaped rectangular-shaped loop for easy lifting and carrying.

The pan also has a well-fitting stainless steel lid. The whole pan is stainless steel. But while the handles are 18/10 stainless steel to slow the spread of heat and maintain insulation, the bowl of your sauté pan is built in triple layers. Some pans have stainless steel on the top and bottom layers with aluminum or copper between. All-Clad uses aluminum as the center ply.

Thee bottom of the pan is magnetized stainless steel, which allows you to use this pan on an induction cooker. If you’re unsure of the pan size (especially in terms of food capacity), check the bottom. Its volume is conveniently stamped onto the metal. You can put this pan in a broiler, oven, or dishwasher, but for the latter, it’s better to wash the pan by hand.

All-Clad pans are bonded in Pennsylvania (well, the stainless steel ones are). This pan has a metal lid, two handles, and a 3-quart capacity. The center of its 3-ply cladding is aluminum.

Pros:

  • The pan has 3-ply cladding and can hold 3 quarts of food.
  • This All-Clad pan has a helper handle and lid.
  • It’s safe in the dishwasher but will last longer if you wash it by hand.

Con:

  • The pan is only 2 inches deep, which is on the shallower side for a sauté pan.

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6. Anolon 5 Quart Nonstick Saute Pan with Helper Handle

Stainless Steel Saute Pan Anolon

  • It comes in two color selections – bronze and gray.
  • The pan has three layers on non-toxic non-stick coating.
  • Anolon has a non-slip silicone handle that’s oven-safe.

While stainless steel is beloved for its sturdy construction and quick heating, anodized aluminum is even stronger. It offers up to double the hardness of stainless steel, with the one disadvantage of not being magnetic and therefore being unsuitable for induction cooking. This particular ban has an aluminum bowl and stainless steel handles with silicone grips.

These patented SureGrip silicone housings cover both the main handle and the helper handle. The silicone stays intact in ovens of up to 400°F, and the see-through glass lid does too. This pan is 14 inches in diameter, 4.5 inches deep, and holds 5 quarts of food. Its main handle is a little on the shorter side at 7.5 inches, but the helper handle takes up some of the slack.

Anolon saute pans are covered by a lifetime guarantee. Their glass lids are heatproof and shatterproof, giving you moist results every time. The pan’s inner surface is protected by three layers of non-stick film that has zero lead, cadmium, PTFE, or PFOA. The pan weighs a bit over 8 pounds.

If you want a pan that’s tough and you’re unimpressed by stainless steel, consider the Anolon. Being a hard-anodized pan, it’s twice as hard and has a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • It comes in two color selections – bronze and gray.
  • The pan has three layers on non-toxic non-stick coating.
  • Anolon has a non-slip silicone handle that’s oven-safe.

Con:

  • The main handle is rather short for a saute

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7. Tramontina 3 Quart Stainless Steel Saute Pan

Stainless Steel Saute Pan Tramontina

  • It’s a 3-ply stainless steel pan with an aluminum core.
  • The bottom layer is magnetized for use with induction cookers.
  • The pan is safe in ovens of up to 500°F.

Are you a fan of Brazilian pans? Then Tramontina may be the best saute pan for you. It’s a small pan that’s barely 10 inches in diameter (the actual dimensions are 9.6 inches and it holds 3 quarts). But it’s deep enough at 5.3 inches. The 9-inch handle is aptly long as well, and the pan has a helper handle. The pan also has a well-fitted metal lid for maximal sauteing results.

This multi-clad pan has an 18/10 stainless steel interior, an aluminum middle layer, and a magnetized steel base for induction cookers. The pan is made in Brazil – or rather its component pieces are. But the final assembly, packaging, and shipping are done within US borders. So you can trust the pan’s lifetime warranty. It’s usable in ovens up to 500°F.

The Tramontina pan weighs 6 pounds so it’s sufficiently hefty. But if you’re fussy about the provenance of your pan, it may worry you that while the pan is made in Brazil and assembled in the US, some of its parts are imported from China.

Pros:

  • It’s a 3-ply stainless steel pan with an aluminum core.
  • The bottom layer is magnetized for use with induction cookers.
  • The pan is safe in ovens of up to 500°F.

Con:

  • Its 9.6-inch diameter is the smallest we’ve seen so far and is rather sparse for saute

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8. Cooks Standard 5 Quart Saute Pan with Lid

Stainless Steel Saute Pan Cooks Standard

  • The pan’s quadruple neck vents keep the handle cool.
  • It has a tapered rim for easy pouring.
  • The pan comes with a metal lid included.

With a brand name like Cooks Standard, this saute pan has a lot to live up to. It’s a triple-clad pan with an 18/10 cooking surface and a magnetized bottom. The central cladding is aluminum for improved heat transfer. The handle is stainless steel, but it has multiple vents (four) to prevent it from getting uncomfortably hot while you cook. The pan can survive 500°F though.

And the handle is ergonomically shaped for comfortable use and low fatigue. The pan has a helper handle, and it has air-flow vents as well. But it has two vents on the sides rather than the four on the main handle. The sides of the pan are vertical and stand at 3.5 inches. The pan diameter is 11.5 inches and the handle is 9.5 inches. It weighs 7 pounds and holds 5 quarts.

The flat magnetized base makes this pan suitable for induction cookers. The company that makes these is headquartered in California. The v-shaped vents are great for safe tossing.

Pros:

  • The pan’s quadruple neck vents keep the handle cool.
  • It has a tapered rim for easy pouring.
  • The pan comes with a metal lid included.

Con:

  • Stainless steel pans sometimes pit and warp. You can resolve pits by heating water in the pan then adding salt once the water starts boiling. Cold salted water won’t work.

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9. GreenPan Chatham Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Saute Pan

Stainless Steel Saute Pan GreenPan

  • GreenPan can withstand superior heating up to 450°F to 600°F.
  • The brand’s Thermolon coating is toxin-free.
  • It’s anodized metal so its safe to use metal utensils.

The GreenPan brand picked its name based on its concern for the environment. Unlike potentially toxin Teflon, this company created a modified non-stick coating called Thermolon. It has no PFOA, PFAS, or PTFE. This ceramic coating is reinforced with diamond, so it won’t get damaged by metal utensils. As for the bowl of the saute pan, it’s made of anodized aluminum.

You can clean this pan in a dishwasher, and you can use it to bake or broil in ovens up to 600°F. But the glass lid can only survive up to 425°F, so consider that as you plan out your recipes. The lid is see-through glass, so at least while you’re sauteing on the stovetop, you can watch your food as you cook. And since you’re sauteing, you’ll be tossing the pan a lot, so this helps.

Some cooks like the shimmer of stainless steel while others prefer a dull, brushed finish. The handles on this pan are matte stainless steel and the pan is dark, so it suits a subtle household that doesn’t like too much flash. The handle has no venting, but it stays sufficiently cool while cooking. The pan is 12.4 inches in diameter, 5.79 inches deep, and has a 9-inch handle.

This 5-quart saute pan is friendlier to the environment than many of its competitors. Its patented non-stick layer has zero toxins and the handle has an ergonomic grip.

Pros:

  • GreenPan can withstand superior heating up to 450°F to 600°F.
  • The brand’s Thermolon coating is toxin-free.
  • It’s anodized metal so its safe to use metal utensils.

Con:

  • No matter how much you love your GreenPan, it’s still a ceramic coating, and ceramics don’t last as long as poly-based coatings.

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10. Emeril Lagasse 5 Quart Stainless Steel Sauté Pan

Stainless Steel Saute Pan Emeril Lagasse

  • The lid can withstand 350°F while the pan gets up to 550°F.
  • The pan has a stainless steel exterior that encapsulates an aluminum core.
  • The exterior is magnetized so it’s fine for induction cookers.

The fancy name already catches your attention. Then you might notice the distinctive curve towards the bottom of the pan. Some may see this as a flaw, but that generous curve actually makes it easier to toss and flip while you saute. And because the sides are straight and vertical beyond the curve, you can comfortably cook without spilling or wasting your food.

This model holds 5 quarts and has a tempered glass lid. The kid sits snug on the flared rim, which allows mess-free serving and pouring. The pan has a main handle and helper handle, but neither one is vented. Still, they’re stainless steel handles so you’re less likely to burn yourself.

This Emeril Lagasse pan measures 12.6 inches across and 5.23 inches deep. On the base the pan it says 10 inches, but that’s explained by the curves toward the bottom, meaning it’s 12 up-top and 10 down below. It weighs 8.03 pounds, which is on the heavier side for a stainless steel pan. It has a 9-inch handle and a helper handle too, so you can balance the weight as needed.

It turns out Emeril Lagasse is a person – a professional chef. And he designed this saute pan to fit his kitchen needs, so it’s sure to fit yours too. Check that your version has the right features.

Pros:

  • The lid can withstand 350°F while the pan gets up to 550°F.
  • The pan has a stainless steel exterior that encapsulates an aluminum core.
  • The exterior is magnetized so it’s fine for induction cookers.

Con:

  • Emeril pans have lots of variants, so double-check the features. Some have slotted lids and pour spouts while others just have flared rims for easier pouring.

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How To Choose A Saute Pan: A Buyer’s Guide

Best Saute Pan

We’ve touched on some of the basics of saute pan selection. Now let’s dig a little deeper and see the features you need to look for when you’re searching for the best saute pan.

Size

You may be focused on the number of people that regularly eat in your household. So you want to buy a pan that can feed you all in one serving. But tossing your food is a more important factor. Because sauteing involves contact cooking on dry heat, every part of the dish needs to touch the heated pan, preferably more than once. Also, you’re using very little oil to fry.

And you’re only cooking for a few minutes. So you want to stir and toss your food consistently, ensuring every part of the food hits the hot pan and gets coated with your limited oil. This means your pan has to be large enough for maximum contact. Plus, it should allow all the food to fit as a single layer inside your saute pan. If the pan is too small, you’ll have to cook in batches.

Most people will buy a pan that’s 12 inches or 14 inches wide. The depth of the pan should be 3 inches or more, and the pot should come with a fitting lid. The lid is a crucial element because pans have slight variations. For example, some square pans are rounded a third from the ‘corner’ while others start their curve right at the edge. So buy a pan with its own custom lid.

Material

Novice cooks don’t fully understand how sauteing works. Yes, there’s some oil involved, but it’s very little and mostly for lubrication. The bulk of actual cooking happens when your food grazes the hot pan. This means you want a pan that can withstand high temperatures, heats up evenly, and maintains that temperature even when the pan isn’t in contact with your cooktop.

This last factor is key because you’ll be tossing a lot, so heat retention matters. Cast iron saute pans retain heat for prolonged periods, but they warm up slowly and might be too heavy for repeated tossing. Stainless steel is a popular material for saute pans even though it spreads heat less efficiently than other types of metal. Aluminum and copper pans are good options as well.

Stainless steel pans are often clad in multiple layers of metal. So it might have a steel exterior, but the pan probably has several sheets of aluminum, copper, or even between the outer and inner steel surfaces. These ‘metal linings’ help your pan distribute heat faster and more evenly. Meanwhile, the stainless steel exterior makes your pan usable on induction cookers.

Handles

We’ve delved deep into the role of tossing when you’re cooking a saute meal. And just like pancakes, pizzas, and salads, the art of tossing food is all in the wrist. But this pan-flick is largely controlled by your pan handle. You want a pan with an elongated handle that’s easier to lift, balance, and flip. You also want it to be well riveted to sit doesn’t break off mid-toss.

Ergonomic handles are useful because they grip comfortably with less fatigue. You could also look for insulated handles. If your saute pan is cast iron or multi-ply, it may be heavier than a standard pan. In that case, you might want a pan with a helper handle. The extra handle is for moving your food and serving your meal. It doesn’t offer much help in the tossing department.

Summary

Our top suggestion for the best saute pan is Cuisinart Saute Pan. Here’s why:

  • It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
  • The handles of the pan stay cool even when the rest of the pan is hot.
  • The helper handle makes it easier to toss your saute.
  • It’s a medium-sized pan that holds 3. 5 quarts.
  • The bowl is 3-ply stainless steel.
  • The pan is low-maintenance and easy to clean.
  • It’s safe in the oven up to 550°F.
  • It comes with a tight-fitting metal lid.

Which saute pan do you have in your kitchen? Show us a photo in the comments!

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