Saucepan vs Saucier: Unraveling the Key Distinctions

Saucepan vs. Saucier – What’s the difference?

If you’ve ever been confused between a saucepan and a saucier, you’re not alone. These two kitchen utensils may look similar at first glance, but they have distinct differences in shape, design, ease of use, cleaning, versatility, and cooking surface. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between a saucepan and a saucier to help you understand which one is the right addition to your kitchen.

1. Shape, size and design

A saucepan is relatively small and typically has straight sides and a flat bottom. It may or may not have a lid and often has pouring spout on the rim. From the side, a saucepan has a square or rectangular profile.
On the other hand, a saucier has rounded sides and a rounded bottom, resembling a bowl. When viewed from the side, a saucier has the profile of a semicircle. Sauciers can range in size from the same size as saucepans to wider and slightly flatter, resembling a deep and rounded pan or wok.

2. Ease of use

Both saucepans and sauciers are generally easy to use and can perform a variety of functions in the kitchen. However, when it comes to ease of use, many people find sauciers to be more convenient. The slanted edges of a saucier prevent food or sauce from sticking to the sides of the pan, which often happens with the straight edges of a saucepan. The slanted edges of a saucier also contribute to more even cooking and reduce the risk of burning. Whisking and mixing food is also easier in a saucier. However, some sauciers may be too curved or short to be compatible with a steamer basket, so if you frequently use a steamer, a saucepan may be a better choice.

3. Cleaning instructions

Cleaning a steamer is generally easier than cleaning a saucepan. The straight edges of a saucepan and the higher risk of burning can make it more difficult to clean, as food and burnt bits can get stuck in the bottom edges. While many people choose to soak their pots to remove burnt bits, it’s not always recommended for metal pots, as frequent soaking can cause irreversible damage. Sauciers, with their curved walls, are less prone to burning, making them easier to clean. Their sloped bottoms eliminate the need to scrub food and burns from small edges and corners.

4. Versatility

Both saucepans and sauciers can be used for a variety of tasks in the kitchen, including stews, soups, risottos and sauces. However, sauciers tend to be more versatile in certain cases. The rounded bottom of a saucier allows for better and easier stirring, whisking and tossing of ingredients. The rounded edges also make it easier to reach ingredients in a saucier. While saucepans and sauciers can be used for similar purposes, the rounded edges of a saucier offer an advantage in terms of ease of use.

5. Cooking surface

Cooking surface area is an important factor to consider when choosing between a saucepan and a saucier. The straight sides of a pot reduce the cooking surface area, regardless of the amount of liquid or food in the pot. In contrast, the curved sides of a saucier create a larger surface area, resulting in faster evaporation of moisture from the food. The larger surface area of a saucier allows for faster and more thorough cooking, which enhances the concentration of flavors.

Bottom line

In summary, the main differences between a saucepan and a saucier are their shape, ease of use, cleaning, versatility and cooking surface. While saucepans have straight sides and a flat bottom, sauciers have rounded sides and a rounded bottom. Sauciers are generally easier to use and clean because of their curved sides and sloped bottoms. They also offer greater versatility for stirring, whisking and tossing ingredients. In addition, saucepans have a larger cooking surface, which allows for faster evaporation and better flavor concentration.
When deciding between a saucepan and a saucier, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Both have their advantages, so choose the one that best suits your cooking style and the dishes you prepare most often.


What is the main difference between a pot and a saucier?

The main difference is in their shape and design. A saucepan has straight sides and a flat bottom, while a saucier has rounded sides and a rounded bottom.

Can a saucepan and a saucier be used interchangeably?

Yes, to some extent. Both utensils can perform similar tasks in the kitchen, but the design differences affect their performance. A saucier’s rounded shape and beveled edges make it more suitable for tasks that involve stirring, whisking and tossing ingredients.

Which is easier to clean, a saucepan or a saucier?

A saucier is generally easier to clean. The curved walls and sloped bottom reduce the chance of food and burnt bits getting stuck in the corners. However, proper cleaning techniques should be followed for both utensils to maintain their longevity.

Are casseroles and saucepans suitable for different cooking techniques?

Both saucepans and saucers can be used for different cooking techniques, such as simmering, boiling and sautéing. However, differences in shape and design can affect the cooking process. Sauciers, with their larger surface area, allow for faster evaporation and concentration of flavors.

Can a saucier be used with a steamer?

Some sauciers may not be compatible with a steamer basket due to their curved shape. If you frequently use a steamer basket, it may be more convenient to choose a pot with straight sides that will easily accommodate the basket.

Which should I choose, a pot or a saucier?

The choice between a saucepan and a saucier depends on your cooking preferences and needs. If you value ease of use, even cooking, and versatility in stirring and tossing ingredients, a saucier may be the better option. On the other hand, if you need a utensil that fits into a steamer basket or prefer straight sides for certain cooking techniques, a pot may be more appropriate. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice based on your specific cooking style and needs.