A round cooking utensil with a relatively long handle and (usually) a tight-fitting cover. The sides can be straight or flared and deep (the standard shape) or as shallow as three inches. Depending on the style, the versatile saucepan has a multitude of uses including making soups and sauces, boiling vegetables and other foods, braising and even sautéing (in the low-sided models). Saucepans come in sizes ranging from 1 pint to 4 quarts. They are made from various materials including aluminum, anodized aluminum, ceramic, copper, enameled (cast iron or steel), glass and stainless steel. Choose saucepans that are well balanced, with handles that allow the pan to be easily lifted.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.