A saucier is hardly essential equipment for your kitchen, but if you make a lot of sauces, gravy, reductions or just like to cook creamy dishes like risotto, you could learn a thing or two from how they're designed. America's Test Kitchen put these pans to the test, and looked at what makes a good one worth your money. There were a few big considerations among the pans, things that apply to just about anything in your kitchen: How easy it was to clean, how likely your food would get stuck around the edges and how easy the pan was to handle — when cleaning or cooking, especially when the pan was hot. Ultimately, here's what they came down to:
- Performance-wise, you want a model that has a wide cooking surface and smooth, curved, gently flared walls. Nothing too L-shaped, or bits of food will get caught and burn, which sucks taste-wise and cleanup-wise.
- A well designed handle that won't get too hot even after the pan's been on the heat for a while, without too sharp an angle away from the pan. The handle should also be sturdy and well attached, so the pan is weighted well to hold when moving between burners or from the stove to a prep area.
- A moderately heavy pan that won't move around your cooking surface when you stir in it, but also won't be a nightmare to carry from the stove or oven to a prep surface or serving area, especially when it's hot.
You can see all of these points, and the Test Kitchen favourites in the video above, and read more about why they think a saucier is a smart buy for the at-home chef at the link below.
Why You Should Buy a Saucier [Cooks' Illustrated]