Consider the following factors before purchasing a smaller saucepan: how you will use it, how the handle is attached (look for screws, not glue or welding), and whether or not you want a nonstick surface. Several small skillets may be needed by home cooks for a variety of tasks, so you may wish to buy a couple. We’ve researched the best small saucepans for your cooking needs.
Best Overall: Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Sauce Pan
There is nothing to complain about with this saucepan. The classic material is not too heavy, and the long handle is comfortable to grip and stays cool while you cook. Additionally, the bonded aluminum base heats up quickly and evenly.
Because of this saucepan’s shape-narrow with tall sides-it minimizes evaporation, which is important if you want to prevent meats from drying out or sauces from reducing too much. Furthermore, the bottom features rounded corners, so nothing gets missed and scorched when you stir. A rolled pouring lip around the edge (and a spout!) allows for drip-free serving. It is oven and broiler safe and can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher.
Best Straining: Anolon Advanced Hard-Anodized Nonstick 2-Quart Straining Saucepan
Anolon’s small saucepan may have what you need if you’re looking for something with a few more features. Due to its 2-quart capacity, its compact size makes it ideal for warming leftover soup or making morning oatmeal, but it offers much more. The handle is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand, and it includes two strainers, one with smaller slots and one with larger ones. Despite its heavy-duty construction, it’s still lightweight. It may be a little more expensive than some other small saucepans, but our product tester says the features make it worthwhile.
Best Ceramic: GreenPan Rio 2-Quart Ceramic Non-Stick Covered Saucepan
Despite their popularity, nonstick pans are easy to use, easy to clean, and won’t stick to even your fish, eggs, tofu, and other clingy foods. Some people, however, prefer nonstick coatings other than traditional ones. The GreenPan uses an alternative nonstick coating called Thermolon, which is made from ceramic and just as slick.
It has a cool, comfortable handle, and foods release easily from its surface. It can be heated up to 350 degrees, and the clear lid lets you see what’s going on without letting steam escape. A limited lifetime warranty is included with this saucepan.
Best High-End: All-Clad Stainless 1.5-Qt Sauce Pan
This luxury saucepan is perfect for home cooks who want one that will last a lifetime. There are, indeed, lifetime warranties offered by All-Clad. Made in the USA, this saucepan features 3-ply bonded construction. A stainless steel sandwich surrounds an aluminum core for rapid, even heating. Here there is no Teflon, but the surface is extra polished for an ultra-smooth interior that provides some stick resistance. You can take it hot from the stovetop and plunge it into an ice bath without having to worry about warping.
Best Mini: Rachael Ray Hard Enamel Butter Warmer
There are small saucepans and smaller saucepans. It is the perfect size for warming up a single serving of soup or pasta. As its name suggests, it’s the perfect pot for melting butter to drizzle over freshly popped popcorn. You can also use it to heat up hot fudge or caramel sauce to pour over ice cream.
Coffee lovers prefer adding hot milk to their morning brew—not refrigerator-cold milk—and this is the ideal tool for the job. The nonstick interior is easy to clean and the handle is extra comfortable. The small saucepan shouldn’t be the only one in your collection, but once you have one, you’ll find yourself reaching for it over and over again.
Best for Induction: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Saucepan
An increasing number of cooktops use induction technology. Magnets heat up the iron molecules in your cookware by using a powerful magnetic field. Induction ranges are energy-efficient and safer than gas ranges. Also, these high-tech stovetops cook more evenly than electric ones.
It’s not immediately apparent what cookware is induction compatible. It is hard to know for sure what will work when you get it home, especially if you shop online. Le Creuset’s enameled cast iron saucepan works well with induction, so you can’t go wrong with it. It’s available in 13 colors, so you’re sure to find one that matches your home decor.
Best Budget: Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 1-Quart Covered Straining Saucepan
One-quart pan from the Classic Stainless Steel collection, a popular Farberware line for many years. Made from stainless steel with an aluminum core, this pan heats up quickly and evenly, and has a self-basting lid to prevent its contents from evaporating. Its lid can be turned to reveal the strainer holes and pouring spout, removing the need for a separate colander for draining liquid from pasta and vegetables.
The reviewers praise this pan’s versatility and performance, and note that it’s easy to clean, whether by hand or dishwasher. It is oven safe up to 350 degrees, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This is a great find that won’t break the bank.
We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose pots and pans for gas stove, if your are looking for the best one.