The Basic Differences Between Saucepan vs Pot

For those of you who spend less time in the kitchen, you might consider the function of saucepans and pots the same while they aren’t. Ever wondered if there is any difference to the use of both? Unless of course if you’re a seasoned chef, you’ll then understand that saucepans and pots are used for different tasks to bring about different advantages.

Cookware’s, in general, are made differently and meant to be used for specific functions. It’s fair to think that the significant differences between a pot and a saucepan are only seen in the shape and size. But you have to admit it! There is more than that.

In this article, you’ll learn the differences, advantages, and functions of a pot as opposed to a saucepan.

What is The Difference between a Pot and a Saucepan?

Before we dive in, let’s face it. A saucepan is not the same as a pan although they may look and sound similar. You might think that a saucepan is a pan in disguise, but it is not. Certain principles tend to apply that help us differentiate between a pot and a saucepan and also between a saucepan and a pan.

Although there are clear proofs to distinguish between them the names tend to be confusing. History itself gives a room for debate with the lack of abundant archaeological evidence.

Human-made cookware’s can date back to 24,000 BC when clay was first used to develop cookwares. And since from the discovery of fire, metalworking skills, and development of bronze, cookware’s have evolved into different things apart.

Below we will consider the differences of both as they continue to evolve.


Boil vegetables using pot

A pot is specially dedicated for liquids. Pots are used by chefs to boil water for cooking pasta, rice, boiling vegetables, etc. At the same time pots are used for making stews, boil tofu and soups. The ability of pots to evenly distribute heat around the body makes them great for slowly cooked meals.

Saucepan are used to heat sauces
Saucepan are used to heat sauces

Meanwhile, saucepans are closely related to pots in terms of usability. Saucepan’s are best used to cook sauces and other liquids. The steep sides of saucepans give them the ability to evenly heat sauces.

Material Made

Pots and saucepans can be made from varieties of material. It’s very common that you may find a pot made of the same material as a saucepan. Although there is no best material for making a pot or a saucepan cooks can have their pots and pans made from different combinations of materials.

Pots are usually made of stainless steel or aluminum. Saucepans can also be made from these materials with some made out of cast iron for a better flavor.

Safety for Health

Generally, we can’t say that it is either healthier to cook with a pot or a saucepan. It all depends on the type of material used in making the cookware.

Saucepans made from cast iron do not go well with acidic foods. Cast iron tends to be reactive when in contact with acidic foods. The cookware’s made of stainless offer the safest and healthiest option for non-reactivity with ingredients during cooking. Aluminum as well tends to react with some foods.

Easy to Clean

This is yet another factor that depends on the type of material used in making the pot and the saucepan. Saucepans made of cast iron take time and are not easy to clean. Foods tend to get stuck at the bottom of the saucepan, and they have to be manually scraped off.

Stainless steel is the easiest material that can be cleaned after cooking your dinner. There is little tendency of food being stuck on stainless steel, and it is dishwasher safe. Aluminum is also an excellent choice for ease of cleaning even though it causes browning in sweet baked foods.

Can You Use a Pot As a Saucepan?

Saucepans are actually can be considered as pots. This might make you think that pots can also be used as saucepans while it’s not. Although saucepans can be used for the same purpose of heating liquids with their steep sides just like pots.

The long handle in the front will not mean any difference as far as boiling water is concerned. You might one day be lurking in the cabinets of your kitchen and end up using a saucepan in place of a pot.

Pros and Cons of a Pot

  • It helps for even distribution of heat for seamless heating of liquids.
  • The high sides of pots help sink pasta during cooking.
  • Pots can’t be used for frying and searing of foods.
  • Pots made out of stainless steel do not conduct heat very well.

Pros and Cons of a Saucepan

  • It allows thin layers of food to cook evenly and on time.
  • It can also be used as pots while pots can’t be used as saucepans.
  • A saucepan has only a single handle making it harder to carry around.
  • Saucepans made with cast iron are heavy to carry and hard to clean.

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