It's one of the most useful pans in your kitchen, so it's worth investing in one that will last. Browse our pick of the best sauté pans for browning, searing and frying food.
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A sauté pan is a specialist piece of kit but one you'll use very regularly. While you can use a standard frying pan to brown, sear and fry ingredients like vegetables and meat, investing in something that's designed to do the job could result in a better finish.
So what is a sauté pan and how does it differ from a frying pan? The main difference is the shape: a sauté pan has a large, flat surface area and tall sides at a 90 degrees angle. A frying pan tends to have flared sides. This subtle difference in shape means a sauté pan is more efficient at heat evaporation.
A sauté pan is also likely to come with a lid that fits snugly on top. This is ideal for slowly frying when you don't want to lose too much moisture.
When thinking about which sauté pan to buy, consider the overall engineering of the pan – like with any pan, you want something made of quality, layered stainless steel or aluminium. A pan that's 'hard anodised' is extra reinforced. You should also look for comfortable, riveted handles, and a non-stick coating is a bonus.
Best sauté pans to buy
Circulon Infinite 24cm hard anodised sauté pan
Best sauté pan for healthy cooks
Best bits: Ultra non-stick and comes with a lid.
This is a solid pan that feels like it'll really stand the test of time. It's super non-stick to the point of needing little or no fat, meaning it's great for browning ingredients and healthier cooking. You can pop it in the oven, so a good companion throughout various stages of a recipe, plus it's suitable for the dishwasher. The only drawback is its weight – some may find they need two hands to carry it, especially with the lid on.
AGA cast aluminum 24cm sauté pan
Best investment sauté pan
Best bits: Lightweight and has a useful detachable handle.
This pan is non-stick, ovenproof and dishwasher-proof, and comes with a detachable handle so it will fit inside an Aga (or other ovens) and you can buy an additional glass lid. It heats very evenly and the non-stick means you can cook with less oil.
Greenpan 24cm Venice skillet
Best eco-friendly sauté pan
Best bits: The mineral-based coating means the pan is better for you and the environment.
Greenpan's hard-anodised pan omits 60% less CO2 during production. It's suitable for all hobs, is ovenproof up to 250C and can go in the dishwasher.
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