Saucepan Vs Saucier – What’s The Difference?

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It can be incredibly easy to confuse a saucepan and a saucier, especially if you don’t spend too much time in the kitchen! They look fairly similar, and sound pretty much the same, so:

What’s the difference between a saucepan vs a saucier? The difference between a saucepan and a saucier is mainly in the way they are shaped; a saucepan has straight sides and a flat bottom, whereas a saucier has rounded sides and a rounded bottom. Other differences pertain to ease of use, versatility, and cooking surface area.

If you are looking to purchase a saucepan or a saucier, and don’t know which one will be the right addition to your kitchen, here is everything you need to know!

The Differences Between A Saucepan And A Saucier

Below are all the differences between a saucepan and saucier.

They might look and sound similar, but they have different uses and functions, along with a few minor differences that separate them.

1. Shape, Size, and Design


You can differentiate between a saucepan and a saucier by looking at their shape.

A standard saucepan is relatively small and made with straight sides and a flat bottom. It can have a lid or come without one and may have pouring spouts on its rim.

From the side, a saucepan will have a square or rectangular profile.

A saucier, on the other hand, is shaped like a bowl with a rounded bottom and edges. From the side, a saucier will have the profile of a half-circle.


The curve inside a saucier is more bowl-like than in a saucepan, where the edges go straight down to meet the bottom of the pan.

Sauciers can range from being the same size as saucepans to being much wider and slightly flatter, more like a deep and rounded frying pan or wok.

2. Ease of Use

Saucepans and sauciers are easy to use, and both can perform quite a few functions in the kitchen.

However, when it comes to ease of use, most people do find it easier to use a saucier pan compared to a saucepan.

This is mainly because a saucier has sloped edges, so that food or sauce does not get stuck on the side of the pan like it would where the straight edges of a saucepan meet the bottom.

Due to the curved edges, food is cooked more evenly, and there is a lesser chance of burning. You can whisk and mix food easier as well. A lesser chance of burning is a huge advantage, as even a little burning can ruin a dish!

On the other hand, some saucier pans can be too curved or too short to be used with a steamer basket.

If you use a steamer basket regularly in the kitchen, you might be better off with a saucepan, or you might need to put some extra effort into finding a saucier to fit your steamer basket.

Try to find a saucier which is not too curved, and which does not have rivets, to allow for the full insertion of a steamer basket.

A saucepan should easily fit a steamer basket, but then again, it is not always as easy to use as a saucier, due to the straight sides. However, it is still a very useful pan to have in the kitchen!

3. Cleaning

With the straight edges of a saucepan and a higher chance of burning, they are more difficult to clean than a saucier. Food and burnt bits can sometimes get stuck in the bottom edges of the pan, and these take some scrubbing to remove.

Many people opt to soak their saucepans to get rid of the burnt bits, but it is not always a good idea to soak metal pans.

Even stainless steel pans can suffer irreversible damage if they are soaked often and for longer periods, and this can significantly reduce the lifespan of the pan.

The curved walls if a saucier lessen the risk of burning, and as a result of this, make the pan much easier to clean afterward.

You don’t have to get into the small edges and corners to scrub away food and burns, and without needing to soak the pan, it will last much longer.

4. Versatility

Both a saucier and a saucepan can be used to perform many different tasks in the kitchen, but the saucier pan can come in a little handier than a saucepan, in some cases.

These pots are typically used to handle stews, soups, risottos, and, of course, sauces.

A saucier is great for many dishes that require lots of stirring, whisking, and tossing, as the rounded bottom allows you to reach the ingredients better and more easily.

While a saucepan and a saucier can be used for essentially the same things, it is easier to use a saucier, all thanks to those rounded edges!

5. Cooking Surface Area

It is so important to consider the cooking surface area when deciding on the right pan to buy.

The cooking surface size affects the evaporation process that happens when cooking. The larger the cooking surface area, the faster the moisture will evaporate from the food you are cooking.

The straight sides of the saucepan reduce the cooking surface area, no matter how much liquid or food you put into the saucepan.

A saucier has a larger surface area, which results in faster evaporation of the food. The bonus of a larger surface area is that you can simmer your food quickly and thoroughly to help concentrate the flavors more.

Comparison Chart

Differences Saucepan Saucier
Shape, Size, Design Straight edges, flat bottom, square profileCurved sides, curved bottom, half-circle profile
Ease of Use Slight chance of burning, less room for stirringCurved edges prevent burning, more room for stirring
Cleaning Food might get stuck in edges Easy to clean due to sloped bottom
Versatility Can be used for many functions in the kitchen Can be used for many functions, but may not be compatible with steaming baskets
Cooking Surface Area Limited surface area due to straight edges Increased surface area from curved edges

Buying A Saucepan Or Saucier

Once you understand the differences between a saucepan and a saucier, you will know which one would be better for you.

Here are some buying tips to consider when choosing the perfect pan:

  • Balance – Make sure that the pan you plan on purchasing balances well. Saucepans and saucier pans are usually quite small in size but with long handles, so if the handle is heavy, the pan might lose balance quite easily.
  • Oven-Safety – Check to see if the pan is oven-safe if you are planning on broiling. If you do not plan to use the pan in the oven, then you can skip this step and you will have more options to choose from.
  • Pan Weight – The weight of the pan will be more of a personal choice, but it is something to consider. Heavy pans are more difficult to carry around and use, but lighter pans might topple over easily when you are cooking. Try to find a good medium between the two, and one that feels comfortable when you hold it.
  • Non-Reactivity – Saucepans and saucier pans are usually used for cooking liquids, which are often acidic, such as certain soups. Therefore, it ‘s a good idea to choose a pan that is non-reactive, to ensure it lasts longer.

If you’re considering buying a saucier, we have another article dedicated to bringing you the 5 best sauciers on the market today.

Related Questions

What Is a Saucier Pan Used for?

A saucier pan has a handle, a curved bottom, and a lid. A saucier pan can be used to cook pretty much anything a saucepan cooks. You can reduce sauces, cook pasta, boil potatoes, braise some foods, or make a stew.

What Size Saucier Pan Do I Need?

A good size saucier pan to use would be 3qts. It might seem a little large at first, but it will be able to perform quite a few functions in the kitchen.

It is better to have a pan that is too large than a pan that is too small and doesn’t fit all your food. You can always make leftovers for later as well!

However, if you live alone and don’t often have guests over, a smaller size may do just fine for you. A smaller pan may also make it easier to cook several foods at once, giving you more space on the stovetop to work with.

It all depends on your own needs and preferences.

Should I Look for a Stainless Steel Pan?

Stainless steel pans are always a good choice. They are able to perform at a higher temperature, more so than non-stick pans.

However, it can be quite difficult to get used to using a stainless steel pan compared to non-stick pans. Although, once you get the hang of them, they’re great!

Up Next: 5 Best Pots For Boiling Water

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