Sauté your way to home-cooked deliciousness with our hand-picked selection of the top 3 sauté pans for every household.
Ah, the delicious aroma of a sautéed dish! There’s nothing quite like it.
Whether you’re preparing a vegetable meal on a dreary day or cooking up small cuts of meat, poultry, or seafood to crispy golden-brown perfection, the successful sauté requires three elements: fresh ingredients, good technique, and the proper cooking vessel.
As for the latter, the right sauté pan can make all the difference.
That’s why we’ve scoured the market to bring you our top picks for the best sauté pans for every kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned pro — or you’re just starting to find your footing in the culinary world — these pans will help you elevate your sauté game to new heights.
From the durability of stainless steel to the release of ceramic and non-stick coatings, we’ve considered all the factors and rounded up the very best sauté pans for every preference. We’ve done the due diligence so that you can focus on the cooking. Check out our picks below.
Best Sauté Pans
Fully clad, five-ply stainless steel construction for quick and even heating and great heat retention. Plenty of cooking space and enough capacity for most family cooks. Made in Italy.
Our top pick, the Made In Cookware 3.5-Qt Saute Pan, is a clad stainless steel sauté pan with a capacity of 3.5 quarts, making it an excellent choice for a variety of sautées and other dishes.
Its five-ply construction has 5 layers of 4 different metals — 18/10 stainless steel, pure aluminum, aluminum alloy, and ferritic 430-grade steel for compatibility with induction tops — which ensure the pan heats quickly and holds onto that heat for a long time, without hot spots that burn your food or scorch your sauces.
This sauté pan’s thick and weighty body evens out the constant cycling of your stovetop if you cook on an electric or induction stovetop, allowing you to cook your food with precision.
Measuring in at a diameter of 10.5 inches (the cooking surface diameter is 9.5 inches), a height of 4 inches, and a depth of 2.5 inches, this sauté pan is versatile enough to handle a wide range of recipes and spacious enough for comfortably cooking up a meal for a household of 2 to 4.
With its uncoated, stainless steel cooking surface, the Made In Cookware 3.5-Qt Saute Pan is ideal for high-heat searing and can move freely from stovetop to oven (and back). Its maximum operating temperature of 800°F is significantly higher than the highest heat level of any domestic oven.
The long, stay-cool handle keeps your hands safely away from the heat — a real boon for those who cook with gas — while the helper handle helps you carry the pan around even when it’s full of liquid.
All in all, the Made In Cookware 3.5-Qt Saute Pan gives the best value for the money for any home cook.
Disc-bottomed sauté pan with an aluminum body and a stainless steel bottom. The non-stick coating cooks foods without sticking and cleans easily, but can only be used at temperatures of up to 450°F and will eventually wear out.
The Misen 3-Qt. Non-Stick Sauté Pan is a great option for home cooks who want the convenience of non-stick cooking for their sautéing.
This pan’s aluminum base ensures quick heating, and the stainless steel disc attached to the bottom allows for compatibility with induction cooktops. The non-stick cooking surface is the pan’s standout feature, making it easy to prepare and release even the stickiest of foods.
Misen claims the multi-layer coating is intended to be long-lasting, with three layers of PTFE applied over a titanium-infused primer. The pan also has a long, ergonomic handle that stays cool to the touch, making it comfortable to use even on gas stoves. There’s also an auxiliary handle to help you carry the pan when it’s full.
The Misen 3-Qt. Non-Stick Sauté Pan is suitable for use on all types of cooktops, including gas, electric, and induction. However, it is not suitable for high-heat cooking, with a maximum operating temperature of 450°F.
As with any non-stick cooking vessel, the PTFE coating will eventually wear out, and the pan will need to be replaced. Familiarize yourself with the usage and care instructions and use the pan as intended so it can serve you faithfully for as long as its lifespan allows.
Roomy sauté pan with a ceramic coating, diameter of 11.8 inches, and capacity of 4.5 quarts for your home cooking needs. Stylish design, easy cleaning, and comfortable stainless steel handles.
If you’re looking for a coating that doesn’t stick and cleans easily but want to avoid non-stick options, the Caraway 4.5-Qt. Ceramic Sauté Pan is a great choice.
This roomy, 4.5-quart sauté pan has a diameter of 11.8 inches and features a ceramic coating that keeps foods from sticking and is a cinch to clean (with soapy water and a soft sponge, after the pan has cooled off for enough time to prevent warping).
The pan’s construction also incorporates ferromagnetic metals, making it compatible with induction stovetops. Not only is this sauté pan practical, but it also boasts beautiful looks and a thought-out design that make cooking easy and enjoyable. It comes in several color options to suit any kitchen aesthetic.
With that said, it’s worth noting that the maximum operating temperature of the Caraway 4.5-Qt. Ceramic Sauté Pan is 550°F, and it should only be used over low to medium heat lest the ceramic coating damage. Despite this limitation, we consider it a good option for the home cook who wants a ceramic coating.
Unlike non-stick coatings, ceramic coatings don’t flake off when they wear out. However, tests by America’s Test Kitchen reveals that most ceramic coatings tend to lose their slickness over time — they develop tiny cracks with normal use, and they eventually become sticky.
Which Sauté Pan Is Right for You?
To choose cookware is to endure the sweet, sweet agony of decision making to make trade-offs. Do we go for the durable stainless steel that’ll last a lifetime, even if it requires a bit more oil to prevent sticking? Or do we opt for the convenience of a non-stick or ceramic coating, even if it means replacing our pan every few years?
If you choose stainless steel, you’ll have a sauté pan that’ll stick with you through thick and thin. Just be prepared to use a bit more oil to keep the food from sticking.
Non-stick pans offer the convenience of easily releasing foods and a cooking surface that cleans like a dream. Pour in soapy water, scrub the residue off, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry for storage. As simple as one, two, three. The trade-off? Well, they only last a few years before the PTFE coating starts to flake off — and you have to replace them.
And then there are ceramic-coated pans. These pans have an aluminum body sprayed with sol-gel ceramic. They technically last as long as you want to keep using them, but their surface will accumulate tiny scratches with normal use and eventually become sticky. At that point, you’ll have to start using oil to prevent sticking.
So which one is the right choice for you?
Only you can decide. We’ve given you a few good contenders, and they’re likely to serve you well if you take care of them properly and don’t expose them to too high a heat or warp them.
How We Picked
We spent 17 hours searching for products, reading through owner’s manuals, and scruitizing customer reviews to get to our final list of sauté pans for any kitchen. We had a few criteria in mind when rounding up the vessels along the way.
To give you the long and the short of it, we looked for pans with a sturdy build, high-quality materials, and great customer ratings. We know that a good sauté pan is an investment, so we wanted to make sure we were suggesting products that give the best value for the money. We also gave preference to known brands with a proven track record of producing much-beloved cookware.
All the sauté pans on our list have lids. A lid is a must-have when you want to trap the moisture — and the heat — inside the pan instead of letting it escape in the air in your kitchen.
We only considered sauté pans with metal handles. Bakelite, silicone, or wooden handles may look nice, but they don’t fare well with the flames of a gas burner and they have a tendency to damage in the oven. No thank you! We want our sauté pans to stand the test of time and heat.
After much consideration, we’ve determined that stainless steel with a clad construction is our top pick for the best sauté pan. Sure, it may be a bit more expensive upfront, but with a little tender loving care, it can last a lifetime. And let’s be real, is there anything more satisfying than a piece of cookware that stands the test of time?
That tender loving care is hand washing.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “But wait, can’t I just throw my stainless steel sauté pan in the dishwasher like all my other cookware?”
In a word, you could. But if you want to avoid discoloration on the steel or erosion of the rivets, it’s best to wash your sauté pan by hand. Trust us, a little elbow grease goes a long way in keeping your sauté pan in tip-top shape.
We hope you find our picks as delightful to use as we had pleasure in researching them.