A sauté pan is a shallow pan with straight, vertical sidewalls. Although the term is sometimes used interchangeably with skillet or fry pan - pans that typically have slanted or rounded sides - a sauté pan’s vertical sides make it uniquely suited for certain cooking tasks, including liquid cooking techniques (which is why sauté pans are usually sized by volume rather than length).
For instance, a sauté pan is great for shallow frying – a technique that involves cooking foods that are typically battered or breaded in hot oil, such as Chicken Milanese, crispy fish tacos, or potato pancakes. The vertical side walls allow a sauté pan to hold liquid in a way that a skillet, with slanted sides, can’t.Shop Sauté Pan
For this same reason, a sauté pan is great for braising, a technique that involves searing an ingredient - often a protein - at a high temperature to add depth of flavor and then finishing the cooking process in a braising liquid, which helps the meat become melt-in-your-mouth tender.
A sauté pan is also great for dishes prepared both on the stove and in the oven (assuming the pan is oven-safe, of course), such as pan roasting and braising. A sauté pan can also be used to sauté, stir-fry, or sear in the same way that a skillet can. While slanted sides are sometimes preferred for sautéing and stir-frying, the benefit of sautéing in a sauté pan is that the vertical sides help keep the ingredients from escaping the pan.
For all these reasons, a sauté pans is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware available and is a must-have for any well-equipped kitchen.
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