Sauté and sauteuse pans often get confused because their names and functions are similar. They're even made of the same metals, with the one significant difference being that sauteuse pans can also be made from cast iron. Slight differences in the design and handling determine which is best for particular dishes.
Sauté Pan Design
Sauté pans are made of a layer of anodized aluminum between two layers of stainless steel. The aluminum transfers heat to the highly conductive steel, which then distributes the heat for more even sautéing. The sauté pan has straight, short sides designed to keep food inside the pan while flipping, and large cooking surfaces for better heat distribution. It has a long handle on one side for easy flipping, and a large hoop handle on the other side for grabbing and pouring. Sauté pans come in several sizes and can also come with tight-fitting lids made of glass and metal.
Sauté Pan Uses
Sauté pans are ideal for simmering, braising, and dishes that only require one-pot preparation. The larger cooking surface makes them ideal for searing meats and reducing sauces. The straight sides prevent food and liquid from sloshing out.
Sauteuse Pan Design
Sauteuse pans are made much like sauté 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, sloping sides designed for better simmering reduction, but it also has a large cooking surface for even heat distribution. It 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 frying pan, the sauteuse pan performs many of the same functions as a sauté pan, but it's not ideal for flipping food. The deeper cooking surface makes it great for deep frying and pan searing, though. The soup bowl shape accommodates pastas, stews and casseroles, while the domed lid makes it good for slow roasting and braising.