A saucepan is a cooking vessel
generally used on top of a range for heating food and/ or reducing
Saucepans can be made of a variety of
materials, like aluminum and stainless steel, and the cooking surface
can have a non-stick coating, like Teflon. As with all pans the heavier
the gauge of the metal the better (especially at the base); it enables
more even heat distribution, which makes sticking and burning less
likely. Some saucepans have a thick sheet of thermally conductive aluminum
laminated into their base for that purpose (like the one shown). A
coating of copper on the base allegedly has the same effect, but it
would need to be reasonably thick to have any real benefit.
High-sided sauce pans are most useful
for heating foods with high liquid content. Low-sided and flare-sided
(called Windsor pans) saucepans are most effective for reducing sauces
and other liquids.