what does a medium saucepan look like

What Does A Medium Saucepan Look Like? Size & More

What does a medium saucepan look like? I would say that it’s not exactly about how it looks, it’s mostly about the size of a medium saucepan.

The definition of a saucepan is the same, whether it’s small, medium-sized or large.

The look is pretty much the same for all sizes. What makes saucepans different is their size, which is measured in quarts.

The most important part of any saucepan, no matter its size, is its height.

The tall straight sides allow us to cook or heat up a high volume of liquid in a small area. And the heat is evenly distributed through the liquid. It’s efficient.

Moreover, these tall and straight sides prevent the liquid from spilling.

Stockpots are quite similar, they’re just much bigger and taller saucepans. And they have two small round handles instead of a long handle, like the one we found on frying pans.

What Does A Medium Saucepan Look Like? Saucepan Sizes

medium saucepan size

A saucepan has a flat, circular base. The sides are tall and straight.

Most will come with a lid.

And most saucepans will have an extended handle, which is similar to that of a frying pan.

Moreover, some will have a pouring spot.

However, the pouring spot is not a feature that characterizes all saucepans. Some will, some definitely will just have a round lid with no pouring spot in sight.

Thus, a medium saucepan is basically a big, tall bowl with a handle and a lid. It has tall, straight sides and a flat, circular base. It will come with a lid and a handle.

Since almost all saucepans look the same, we mainly categorize them by size:

  • small saucepans: 16 ounces (0,5 quart) up to 1 quart, which is the equivalent of 2 cups or 4 cups of liquid respectively and these are also known as a butter warmer or a milk pot
  • medium saucepans: 1,5 quart or 2 quart pans, which is the equivalent of 6 cups or 8 cups of liquid respectively
  • large saucepans: 3 quart or 4 quart pans, which is the equivalent of 12 cups or 16 cups of liquid respectively

I am aware that most people consider that 1.5 quart is a small saucepan but I actually think that it’s better classified as a medium saucepan because the difference between 1.5 and 2 quarts is only 2 cups. 6 cups, the equivalent of 1.5 quart, is quite a medium quantity of liquid.

2.5 quart pans (10 cups) are also medium saucepans but they’re not as easy to find.

Saucepans buying guide

Since we’re already established what saucepans look like, let’s see what other things we must pay attention to when we’re buying one.

By the way, saucepans are some of the most frequently used pots in the kitchen. They’re incredibly versatile.

That’s why I prefer to use a few in different sizes, depending on what I’m cooking or warming up.

A saucepan is quite irreplaceable in any kitchen.

We use saucepans to warm up or boil milk, boil water, melt butter, make roux, make hot chocolate, soups, stews, sauces, cook rice, pasta, make custards and puddings, and the list can go on.

Thus, really good saucepans will boil, steam, simmer, sear at a controlled, steady pace.

The high sides and straight edges creates a surface area that is small relative to its height. That allows the heat to be evenly distributed through the liquid in the pan.

The handle is also important because it allows us to handle a topfull pan without spilling the liquid and without the considerable weight becoming uncomfortable.

A pouring spot can be an essential feature if we want to use one primarily for heating up milk or for making hot chocolate.


The most popular saucepans are made of stainless steel. These also tend to be a bit more expensive. But they are among the best.

After all, the price range of saucepans can range from $13 to $200-$300.

Usually, stainless steel pans will also be fully clad. That means that the cooking surface and walls are made of three or more layers of bonded metal.

One of the most common configurations you’ll come across is one layer of highly heat-conductive aluminum between two layers of stainless. Thus, we get three layers

We can also buy enameled cast iron saucepans. Le Creuset is a popular brand in this area. However, the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Saucepan, 2.25 qt costs almost $300. It’s one of the most expensive ones I’ve ever come across.

Other pans will be made of anodized aluminum. These tend to be more affordable, they’re quite cheap actually. Some will cost $20 or less.

Or regular nonstick-coated aluminum.

We also get ceramic-coated saucepans for those who want PFOA/PTFE-free cookware but don’t have the budget for an expensive stainless steel saucepan. However, pay attention to the fact that ceramic cookware is not always induction compatible.

Last but not least, we have granite saucepans, which are also PFOA/PTFE-free. Usually, these are totally induction compatible. They’re usually made of aluminum coated with porcelain enamel.


Besides other features, one important feature that will influence our choice is the size of the saucepan.

After all, we’ve already established that the answer to the question what does a medium saucepan look like is that it looks like any saucepan, only its size makes it different from the other pans, which fall in the category of small and large saucepans.

We’ve already talked about the saucepan sizes, which fall into 3 categories: small, medium, and large.

With their equivalent in cups, you can choose the one that will work best for your needs quite easily.

It depends whether you’re cooking or warming up food for one or for a small family or you need a large size because you have a large family.

There’s also one more thing that I wanted to mention.

I already told you that saucepans have tall and straight sides with a flat and circular base. They can also come with a lid, a handle like a frying pan, and some even have a pouring spot.

One of my favorite saucepans, the one that I also reviewed in my recommendations for the best pan to boil milk in, is the Dcigna Saucepan with Pour Spout, 1.5 Quart.

I wanted to mention it because it looks a bit different than all the other medium saucepans. The sides are a lot taller and the handle is also slightly different. It looks more like a much smaller stockpot with a lid and a handle.

Thus, there are always exceptions, even when we’re answering the question what does a medium saucepan look like.