Small saute versus large saucier

I have a 3.5 quart saucier. I also have an 11 inch saute pan. The bottom of the saucier is 7.1 inches in diameter, so the saucier offers about half the floor area.

I am not convinced I need a smaller saute pan. If I went that route, it would be 9.5 inches in diameter. In terms of floor space that would split the difference between the two pans I have now.

The saucier is more versatile, in theory.

If you interbreed a saute pan with a saucepan, you get the saucier. LOL.

I used to think of the saucier as a pan that does double duty as a saucepan. But it takes up so much real estate on the stove that I am finding that doesn’t really work well when things get busy. But when I conceive of the saucer as a smaller, deeper saute pan, then things get more interesting–except they still take up a lot of space.

Which leads me to the conclusion that sauciers are multitaskers only if they don’t have to share space on the stove. They don’t play well with other pots and pans. Such prima donnas.

I used to think of sauciers as multitaskers, but these days I’m changing my mind.

Hi, Hiracer:

Yes, welcome to conventional thinking. Sauciers’ lack of floorspace (relative to sautes) and lack of volume (compared to both saucepans and sautes of the same diameter) can be a pain. I resold a very good straightwall 20cm saucepan because I found a great 20cm Windsor. I wish I hadn’t–now there’s too great a capacity “hole” between 18cm and 22cm.

“Saucier” was mostly a sales job perpetrated on Americans in modern times. It still sells a lot of them, especially among those who buy into the whisks-in-corners theory. And they’re OK for overall versatility–if you have enough sizes of them or must get by with 1 or 2 pans total. Where they (at least the Windsors) really shine is with reductions–you can reduce larger volumes without changing out saucepans as much, because they keep something closer to a constant surface:volume ratio as the liquid is reduced.

The nomenclature tends to get in the way. We would be better off to distinguish between a splayed saucepan (what most of us think of as a Windsor) and a splayed saute (what some of us call a “sauteuse evasee”, others lumping the evasee with Windsor or Lyonnaise). The former is an excellent reduction pan but usually a cramped, too-high saute. The latter is usually a good saute, albeit with higher sides, but with too high a surface:volume ratio to make a good saucepan. Then there are the curved-wall pans, which are called everything under the sun, but which are also confusingly and indiscriminately called “sauciers”, and tend to have high sides regardless of diameter–bowls with handles. Better we should call those bombees, I think.

Part of the confusion (and makers’ crazy license with language) stems from the fact that there never was a “saucier” in a classical French batterie. And to me, these curved-wall pans, whatever they’re called, are just as bad as Windsors at saute, and worse than Windsors at maintaining constant surface:volume. But man, do those whisks “fit into the corners”, and “saucier” sound tres French (Non?), so it makes us think we’ll be better cooks! Similar dishonest marketry happens with the “Everyday”, “Essential”, “Perfect”, etc. BS the makers spew.

Interestingly, American pans of the 1880s-1930s commonly included a geometry which were true splayed sautes (some of which have cool, swoopy-rimmed canted walls, higher opposite the handle to facilitate jumping), and there are vintage European sauteuse evasees as well. But modern industry has sort of lost the thread along with the nomenclature, and the result is frustration and disappointment like you voiced, else a further departure from traditional meanings.


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Great post. Thanks.

I intentionally went with the sauciers (two) with the idea in mind that I could make them multitask. And for that they’re great. Until I started cooking more complex meals for larger groups. Then, all in a sudden I was running out of stove space where I would not have if I had limited myself to just saucepans.

So now I probably will pull the trigger on a copper saucepan and get rid of the larger saucier. GF has already prohibited deletion of the smaller saucier, so I am stuck with it.

I would have been better off sticking to sautes and saucepans. I am a minimalist at heart, you just can’t tell it yet because I am still at the learning stage, still figuring out my perfect quiver of pots and pans.

Thanks, Hiracer:

The siren song of “saucier” is seductive.

If you are a scrounger like me, keep an eye out for the rare vintage French saucepans that have the vertical handles. These really save room on the stovetop! I once made the mistake of passing on a really nice 4-pc. set of Gaillards and have always regretted that choice.


Give in to the siren song! :smiling_imp: Traditional or not, I like the shape for thick dishes like grains and risotto.

My 4qt non-stick saucier got more use than any other pan I have used in my over 4 decades of home cooking. When it wore out, I replaced it with a 6-quart model. That’s in a kitchen which serves just 1 or 2 people. If I could have just one pan, it would be a saucier. Since it gets so much use, it is usually kept on the stovetop but otherwise, is stashed in the oven or empty dishwasher. Mine is not a teeny kitchen - I have more pans than I actually need. The saucier is my first choice for most of my cooking.

Plus one on this grey. I use this daily for pasta sauces, curries, stewed chicken, chili con carne etc. etc.

The Stones, Lear Jets, Mouton '82, 24 cm Sauciers, they all rock a fat one:

A sauteuse makes sense to me for risotto. Less so what is mostly being sold now as sauciers.

My desert island pan would be a rondeau, but I’d do fine with the Italianate round-shouldered version–much like a sauteuse.

Changing gears here, does anybody else wish that the rondeau by Brooklyn Copper was more like 3 or 3.25" deep instead of the 2.75" which parallels their sauté? I almost like their casserole at 5" deep better.

My Mauviel rondeau, which I like a lot, is 3.7" x 11.25" for an aspect ratio of .33 which if executed in a 9.5 diameter would call for a depth of 3.1." This is a bit more than the 2.75" offered by Brooklyn Coppper Cookware.

Yeah, I would’ve preferred to see it stand 3" or more tall. Even a well-trimmed brisket can stand too tall for that flat cover to fit.

I recently did a 9-lb brisket as a long braise in my 14" rondeau. This pan’s sides are a full 4" tall, and there still wasn’t enough height to do the prep as intended.

Anyone know of a coppersmith who can make domed covers to fit existing pans?

I’ve noticed that the modern copper curved sauciers seem to flatten out as they get larger. As an example, the Falk 28cm. saucier is relatively a shallow pan, at 3.43 inches (8.7 cm).

As far as a taller rondeau goes, those Ruffoni copper tri-ply that are 26 cm in diameter read 9.3 cm tall- not including a slightly domed lid. Dramatically taller than the 24 cm (9.5" diameter ) Mauviel (7.5 cm.) and just shy of the 11" Mauviel (9.7 cm.)

The stainless lined Bourgeat are shallower still, about the same as the silver lined Soy Turkiye rondeau @ 8 cm tall for the 28 cm. diameters… In case someone was curious.

The utility of these “sauciers” is inversely related to the number of (useful) pans you own. Sure, that 3 quart “chefs pan” is great if you only have room or money for a handful of pans, but even a moderate batterie will render it as one of your least efficient vessels. We have one saucier, which my wife uses for chocolate and a few other dessert items. Beyond that, I am down to a single rounded casserole if I feel like making a large batch of risotto. I do 90% of my sauce work in straight sided vessels. I find having room for an extra saucepan is worth more than the convenience of sloped sidewalls. Further, a small sauté makes a great saucepan and is much more versatile than a rounded pan of equal diameter.

This is why I am a big fan of Sitram Catering rondeaux. They have the perfect dimensions, IMO.

Just to clarify, the 13.5" rondeau is 4.8" high, and gives you a whopping 11.4 quarts. My feeling is that anything over 12 inches is going to dominate your cooktop and better be able to handle just about anything.

The issue for me isn’t so much which pan is the most versatile. In the beginning, that was the issue for me, and that’s how I talked myself into a couple is sauciers.

I will concede that the saucier is a very versatile pan/pot. Moreover, it’s fun to use. Easy, in fact.

But it doesn’t play well with other pots on a busy, tight stove. It takes up too much real estate relative to its volume. I discovered this the hard way last Turkey Day.

But it seems strange to me to have one set of pots that are preferred as solo players, and then another set used as concert pieces. My cabinetry is not adequate for that.

So, the sauciers will be relegated, eventually, to upstairs storage and, after feeling out the situation for about a year, perhaps up for sale. Or maybe not for sale. Undecided about that.

But for sure I am getting another medium sized saucepan that will work with my 11" rondeau and 11" saucepan (10 quarts). Those two are my center of gravity, and all other pots need to accommodate, stock pots excepted.

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I came back to this thread to rave over the 6qt chef’s pan I bought 2 mo9ths ago. It’s nonstick, with a heavy, induction-compatible base that heats fast and evenly, is quite affordable, and, IMO, rather pretty. I’ve been making stews in it, starting on the stovetop, where it sears well even with my weak old electric cooktop, and finishing in the oven to brown the exposed meat surfaces as the sauce reduces. It’s close to wok-shaped, and deep, so I am looking forward to using it for stir-fries.

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