Difference Between a Sauteuse Pan & a Saute Pan

By Katrina Arthurs

Saute and sauteuse pans often get confused because their names and functions are similar. They are even made of the same metals, with the one significant difference being that sauteuse pans can also be made from cast iron. When choosing the right pan for a particular dish, it is important to note that slight differences in the design of the side shape and height, as well as handling, will determine whether a saute or sauteuse pan will be better-suited to the task.

Snow Peas Sauteing in a Frying Pan
credit: EccentricCanvas/iStock/Getty Images
The word saute is from the French for "fry pan."

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Saute Pan Design

Saute pans are made of a layer of anodized aluminum positioned between two layers of stainless steel. The aluminum effectively transfers heat to the highly conductive steel, which then distributes the heat for more even sauteing. The saute pan has straight, short sides designed to keep food inside the pan while flipping, and large cooking surfaces for better heat distribution. They feature a long handle on one side for easy flipping, and a large hoop handle for grabbing and pouring. Saute pans come in several sizes and can also come with tight-fitting lids comprised of glass and metal.

Saute Pan Uses

Saute pans are ideal for simmering and braising, and dishes that only require one pot preparation. The larger cooking surface of the saute pan makes it ideal for searing meats and reducing sauces. The straight side design prevents food and liquid from sloshing out, making the saute pan ideal for dishes that require flipping.

Sauteuse Pan Design

Sauteuse pans are made much like saute pans, with a layer of anodized aluminum sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. A sauteuse pan resembles a soup pot in that it has high, slopping sides designed for better simmering reduction, while combining the larger cooking area of a saute pan for more even heat distribution. Unlike the saute pan, the sauteuse pan features two hoop handles on either side of the pot for easier transferring and pouring. Sauteuse pans range in size from 2.5 quarts to 7 quarts and come with a slightly domed lid made of metal and glass.

Sauteuse Pan Uses

Sometimes referred to as a fry pan, the sauteuse pan performs many of the same functions as a saute pan, with the primary exception being food flipping. In addition, the deeper cooking surface makes the sauteuse pan ideal for deep frying and pan searing. The soup bowl shape accommodates pastas, stews and casseroles, while the domed lid makes it ideal for slow roasting and braising.