Matching the best cookware with the proper cooking technique is tricky, especially when you have to choose from different types of pans and pots. Each cookware is manufactured with distinctive advantages that can improve every dish when used correctly. However, differentiating between the cookware can be confusing. For instance, a saucepan and pot may appear similar at first glance, but they have completely different functions. The comparison of Saucepan vs. pot can help to understand the similarities and differences between them.
Saucepan vs. Pot- Similarities and Differences
In simple words, a saucepan is a combination of a frypan and a pot. It is commonly used for cooking and minimizing sauces. Featuring a circular shape with a long handle and high straight sides, the saucepan is a bit deeper than a typical sauté pan but shallower than a stockpot. It comes with a glass or stainless steel lid to trap the heat inside.
The diameter of this pan evens out heat distribution inside while the high straight edges prevent the liquid from spilling outside. Just like other kitchenware, saucepans are manufactured from different materials, including cast iron, copper, or dishwasher-safe stainless steel.
Uses of Saucepans
It’s the high sides of the saucepan, which makes it an excellent choice for sauces, liquids, and cooking foods that need liquid. Another benefit is that it helps to lock the moisture inside and prevent too much evaporation. Take a look at the different uses of saucepans.
- Boiling Liquids
A saucepan is used to bring liquids quickly to the high heat. That’s why it is an ideal choice for boiling water for dishes including pasta, quinoa, or rice much quicker than a regular pot. Foods that are liquid or have some liquid component can be cooked in a saucepan.
- Cooking sauce
The most popular use of this pan is cooking sauces. One can easily prepare small quantities of different soups, gravies, stews, and foods such as mashed potatoes or custard. The relative shallowness of this pan makes it excellent for thickening sauces or dishes, including risotto.
Just like simmering and boiling, poaching is a moist heat cooking technique that involves submerging food in liquid without using fat. Various saucepans are deep enough to conveniently poach foods like pears or eggs.
- Blanching vegetables
It involves cooking the vegetables quickly in generously salted water to draw the vibrant colors and flavors. Large or medium-sized saucepans provide good enough space to fit vegetables in boiling water before blanching them in an ice bath.
- Helps thin layers of food to cook evenly
- It can be used as pots
- Comes with a single handle which makes it difficult to carry around
- Cast iron saucepans are heavy and hard to clean
Pots are large cooking vessels featuring high, deep sides along with the narrow bottom and two looped handles on both sides. Pans and pots may be used interchangeably when cooking different quantities of liquid. A pot is similar to a pan but has much deeper sides making it more cylindrical and has two loop handles.
A pot can easily hold a large amount of liquid and are best for longer cooking times which makes them best for dishes like stews, sauces, and soups. Gumbo pots are the best example of this cookware.
Types of Pots
Pots are available in different sizes and shapes that complement different dishes and cooking procedures. Take a look at the most popular types of pots.
Just like a saucepan, sauce pots have tall sides with a large base. However, the evaporation takes longer due to its high volume, which makes it an ideal option for reductions or slow-cooked dishes.
A large pot that can be used for different types of cooking, including long stewing or simmering, is known as a stockpot. They are used for making broths and stocks and also many other kinds of liquid-rich dishes. A stockpot has a round bottom, steeper sides than a saucepan, and two loop handles at the lid.
- Double Boiler
This type of pot involves one pot placed over the large pot filled with simmering water. These pots allow for indirect, gentle heat and offer a much lower risk of burning.
- Dutch oven
This heavy-bottomed pot is widely used for slow cooking braises and stews. Some models can travel from the stovetop to the oven, which makes them excellent for dishes that must be browned first and then cooked slowly in an oven. They are typically manufactured with enameled cast iron or oven-safe cast iron.
Uses of Pots
Although pots can be used as a saucepan, they are usually strictly dedicated to a large number of liquids. Take a look at the most common uses of pots.
- Making stocks
A stockpot has a large size and is mostly used to simmer numerous ingredients at length for making stock or broth.
This is a combination cooking procedure that begins with a pan-searing following by slow cooking in a liquid. Typically the method is used in a slow cooker or Dutch oven until all the ingredients become tender.
- Cooking large quantities
Pots are ideal when you are cooking large quantities of dishes as they allow fitting more ingredients easily and cooking them for a long time without paying such close attention.
- Slow cooking
With its quick heating cooking surface and tall sides, a pot traps moisture inside for ideal slow cooking vegetables and meats.
Difference between Saucepan and Pot
Besides many similarities, there are some prime differences between the saucepan and pot.
Pots are especially dedicated to liquids and are used by chefs to boil water for cooking rice, pasta, boiling vegetables, etc. Also, a pot can be used to boil tofu, soups, and making stews. It’s the even distribution of heat around the body which makes the pot the best choice for slow-cooking meals.
On the other hand, a saucepan is used to heat sauces. However, it is also related to a pot in terms of usability. Saucepans are excellent for cooking sauces and other liquids. Their steep side helps to evenly heat sauces.
- Manufacturing Material
Saucepans and pots are manufactured from different materials. You may find the same material used in both cookwares.
Pots are commonly made with aluminum and stainless steel material.
Both materials are also used in saucepans, but some are also made of cast iron to give a better flavor to your food.
- Easy to Clean
It’s the type of material used in the manufacturing of pots and saucepans that determine the cleaning. Iron-made saucepans take time and are difficult to clean. Food may get stuck to its bottom, and you need to manually scrape it off.
The easiest material to clean after cooking is stainless steel. There are few chances of food sticking to this material, and it is also dishwasher safe.
Another great choice for effortless cleaning is aluminum, but it may cause browning in sweet baked foods.
- Safety to health
The health safety also depends on the manufacturing material of the cookware. Cast iron saucepans are not good with acidic foods as the material tends to be reactive when it comes in contact with such types of foods.
The stainless steel cookware is safe and healthy choice for non-reactivity with ingredients during cooking. Cookware made with aluminum tends to react with various foods.
Deciding which one is best between saucepan and pot is difficult because both cookwares have a different purpose, and selecting the right one depends on your needs. For instance, if you are a steak lover, the best pans for cooking steak are the ideal choice for you. A nice stockpot is ideal for making soups and stews. The size of the cookware also depends on the number of foods you want to cook. Every cook and kitchen is different, and you are the only one who knows what is best for your cabinets.