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What are the Different Saucepan Sizes?

The right size saucepan can make a difference.

By Sasha Weilbaker
Jul 12, 2023
saucepan on camp stove
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Whether you’re found in the kitchen more often than not or can barely cook rice without it burning, you’re likely familiar with just how essential of a tool the saucepan is. Coming in a range of sizes, this culinary backbone can handle anything from grains to sauces—but finding the best size for you and your needs can be tricky. Here’s what you need to know about saucepan sizes, along with how to pick the best one.

What are the Different Saucepan Sizes?

saucepan on stove

Typically, saucepans will come in a range of sizes between 1 to 4 quarts. There are also smaller (see: the Butter Warmer) or larger options, but these are the most common.

Small: 1–2 QT

1 to 2 QT saucepans are ideal for preparing a single serving of rice or heating up a can of soup. Its compact size allows for quick heating and easy storage, although it might not suffice for larger meal preparations.

On the other hand, experienced chefs value small saucepans when crafting sauces and reductions. At just a ¾ QT capacity, our Butter Warmer is one of our most popular tools among our chef customers. If this sounds like you, it may be worth checking out—you may want to also consider the Saucier.

Medium: 2.5–3.5 QT

This saucepan size is flexible enough to handle two servings of grains or a decent amount of sauce, and are often a go-to choice for those who require a bit more volume in their cooking but don't necessarily need a large saucepan.

Even if you’re a member of a small household, you may want to consider adding a larger sized saucepan, if only for the sake of hosting. The same is true if you frequently spend your Sundays meal-prepping lunch or dinner for the week. While you might only be cooking for yourself, batch preparing your favorite grain for a week of lunches might be easier in a large saucepan.

Large: 4 QT and Above

For families or individuals who frequently host guests, a large 4 QT (or above) saucepan is an essential kitchen companion. It's perfect for making 4 to 5 servings of sauce, and for cooking meals in larger quantities. The ample volume gives you the freedom to cook a variety of dishes. But keep in mind, it may take up more storage space.

Deciding Which Size Is Right for You

sauce in copper saucepan

While shopping for a new saucepan, consider the volume of food you usually cook and the number of people you’re cooking for. Consider your lifestyle, the dishes you like to make, and the storage space you have available.

Remember, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, the “right” size is subjective—it's about what best fits your individual cooking needs and preferences. For most cooks, it’s an assortment of a few sizes to offer maximum flexibility.

Finding a High-Quality Saucepan

saucepan in use

Apart from size, there are other factors to consider when shopping for a saucepan. A saucepan’s material, for example, can influence heat distribution and longevity. A stainless steel saucepan can be a durable and versatile option, while non-stick versions provide easy food release and a quick cleanup.

Enameled Cast Iron saucepans, on the other hand, are known for their superior heat retention, durability, and non stick surface. Each material has its pros and cons, so weigh them according to your cooking style and preferences.

Ready to Shop?

No matter what you're cooking up, there's a saucepan designed to do the job—and we’re here to help you find the one best for you. So, whether you’re looking for a small Stainless Clad saucepan or a larger-sized Enameled Cast Iron piece, be sure to check out our collection.

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