The best sauté pans on test

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.

Saute pan with chicken and sauce inside

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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. 

Read on to discover our top buys. For over 200 buyer’s guides, visit our product review section and find guides to everything from griddle pans to food processors.

Black saute pan with silver lid

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.

 

greenspan saute pan with no lid

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.


Buy from Amazon (£55)
Purple and aluminium saute pan

Morphy Richards non-stick 28cm sauté pan

Best mid-range sauté pan

Best bits: Comes in a range of colours and has quantites etched onto the inside of the pan. Comes with a lid.

This pan is a generous size and depth, comes in plum, red, cream and black and has a glass lid. The interior is coated in non-stick Bakelite and can be used on all hobs including induction. The only drawback is its weight – it was one of the heavier pans we tested.

 

 

Black saute pan

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.


Buy from Aga Cookshop (from £90)

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Visit our product review section for over 200 expert buyer's guides

This review was last updated in August 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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