Updated February 20, 2020 – For creating the most delicious caramel, you’ll need the perfect saucepan for the job. With autumn right around the corner, you’ll be making many more caramel treats for yourself, friends, and family. Its warm, sumptuous taste just begs to be drizzled over a freshly picked apple or made into solid candies.
But considering the delicate process of making caramel, it requires the right tools. You need the right saucepan for the primary cooking and caramelizing operation. Read on about all of the various aspects to consider when buying a saucepan for making caramel. And then I’ll share my recommendations.
Depth and Size
There is much speculation online about the best pot/pan size for making caramel. Some people say that regular flat pans do the job well, but others say you need a narrow pot-like pan in order to get the best results.
The reason you need tall walls for making caramel is that it tends to bubble up during the heating process. No protection will result in a sticky mess all over your counters and stove.
Saucepans are best
Therefore, a saucepan is your best bet for making caramel. Unless you’re an avid baker or own a candy shop, you probably won’t need more than a 2-quart capacity. Some online caramel lovers have developed a “rule” of having the height of your pan at least an inch or two taller than the diameter of the bottom, but the typical walls of any saucepan will probably work fine for you, so don’t worry about the guesswork.
This is one of the most important elements of considering which saucepan to buy for your caramel. You’ll want a material that holds heat well and distributes it through the ingredients evenly so that you get a perfectly smooth result. This includes materials like stainless steel.
Go for Stainless
Although some cooks get frustrated with how long stainless steel can take to heat up initially, it’ll save you loads of batches in the long run. Other materials like aluminum, which conduct heat very well, can actually heat up too quickly for your caramel needs. As mentioned above, making caramel is a very delicate process. If you have too much heat, it could easily get burnt and become inedible. Not to mention the mess of trying to clean burnt on caramel off of your pan.
Non-Stick vs. Regular
That idea brings us to the heated debate of nonstick versus regular saucepans. For making caramel, there actually isn’t much of a difference here. People worry that the non-stick coating will get mixed into the caramel itself but this only happens after many uses when the non-stick coating breaks down. If you notice chips in your non-stick saucepan, it’s time to retire it. While it lasts, the nonstick surface actually makes it easier to pour out/drizzle the caramel once it’s done!
Soaking is key
In terms of cleaning, while it may be slightly easier to clean the leftover caramel off of a nonstick pan, you can’t really go wrong either way. It’s all crystallized sugar material. Soaking the pan in warm water for a while will allow you to clean away any stuck-on material.
Scanpan Classic 2-Quart Covered Saucepan
This is a cult favorite among caramel makers. It has all the features you could want and need out of a small saucepan and makes caramel cooking a breeze. It holds 2 quarts, which can make a decent amount of caramel at a time.
It’s the best pan for browning and searing, and it easy to clean since you can immerse in water. It has an aluminum body ensuring optimum heat distribution to produce perfect caramel sauce. The non-stick coating is scratch resistant and harder compared to the stainless steel. It’s both oven safe and stovetop, and it can withstand a temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also deep enough to accommodate any bubbling up of the sugar. It comes with two pour spouts on either side – and it’s non-stick. Now before you worry about the non-stick getting into your caramel, this is Scanpan’s patented non-stick coating that is guaranteed to last a lifetime. The Scanpan can withstand up to 500℉ of heat. Made in Denmark, this one is on the pricier side, but it will give you great caramel.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro 2-Quart Saucepan
This is another 2 quart, relatively small but deep saucepan that’s perfectly suited for your caramel cooking. It comes in at a fraction of the price of the Scanpan. While it doesn’t have specific pour spouts, the Cuisinart has a bent lip around the perimeter of the pan to allow for smooth pouring. It also has a large handle for pouring control. With tri-ply for even heat distribution, this is another great saucepan for making caramel.
This pan is perfect in making caramel. It has its body made of stainless steel and a core of solid aluminum for heat distribution. The riveted handle is made of stainless steel thus it’s safe to handle after cooking. The tapered rims prevent dripping while transferring the sauce from the saucepan. It is easy to clean, grill and oven safe and can handle the temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Saucepan
Another great option is this cheaper saucepan from Cuisinart. This one has an aluminum base encapsulated between stainless. The aluminum heats up much faster than the materials in the other two picks, and the stainless steel retains that heat, just be cautious to avoid overcooking or even burning your caramel.
It has a pour spout rim that enhances draining. Also, the interior and exterior are made of mirror finish stainless steel for classic and professional performance. It’s an excellent caramel making pan because it has encapsulated aluminum base and grip handle provides balance and support when lifting and pouring. It’s a dishwasher-safe pan that provides easy and quick cleanup.
If you’re on a budget and looking for a saucepan that will do the job of caramel making, this is a great option for you.
New Metro Rose Levy Beranbaum Caramel Pot, 1 Quart
The New Metro Rose Levy Beranbaum (Amazon) cookware is a quality product that you can trust for its performance in cooking and baking. It has multi-functions, i.e., baking, sautéing, cooking, grilling pancakes, making caramel and making sauces. It has a stainless steel surface coated with aluminum thus making it a good conductor of heat.
It has a non-stick ceramic lining to ensure that your food doesn’t stick in the surface while cleaning. It’s a dishwasher safe and comes with a ten-year warranty.
Mauviel Made In France M’Passion Saucepan
The pan is known for the past two or three decades. This product is made of pure copper making it two times more conductive than aluminum and ten times more conductive than stainless steel.
A professional cook can attest that copper is the best material for making cookware since it can heat and cool rapidly allowing maximum control thus producing excellent results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference in texture and taste for a caramel made on regular pan versus a non-stick pan?
The essential thing when making caramel is heating. You will not be able to stir if there are hot spots. To make a tasty caramel, you need a responsive pan that conducts heat well. A good pan should hold heat and distribute it evenly through the ingredients to get perfect results. However, apart from heat conduction, there shouldn’t be much different. People think that the non-stick coating of the pan would peel off and mix with the caramel, but it only happens after using the pan for an extended period. If it has chips on the surface, it’s time to dispose of it and purchase a new one.
How do I choose the best saucepan for making caramel?
I would advise you to choose a saucepan that holds and conducts heat evenly through the ingredients for better results. Consider a pan made of stainless steel since it’s a good conductor of heat. Also, go for non-stick pan because it’s easy to drizzle out the caramel out of the pan when you’re done with the cooking. Besides, choose a pan that is easy to clean. For easy and quick cleaning, it should be immersed in the dishwasher and scrubbed clean.
What are the qualities of Cuisinart MultiClad Pro 2-Quart Saucepan that makes it one of the best in making caramel?
The product consists of a bond of aluminum and stainless steel cooking surface that conducts heat uniformly to the ingredients of the caramel without creating hot spots. Also, the surface does not react with the food flavors thus offering best cooking techniques like browning, searing and sautéing. It is large enough to accommodate massive caramel for a vast crowd and easy to clean since you can immerse it in a dishwasher for a thorough cleanup.
Can I use coke to clean my burnt saucepan
If your saucepan is completely burnt, you can fill Coca-Cola in it. Allow it to settle in the pan until the debris is loosened. You can now scrap off the residue using the plastic scrubber. Immerse it in the dishwasher and clean it as usual.
Last month my saucepan became wholly scorched. I have tried to clean it with using plastic scrubber but the spot still persists. Can I dispose of it or how can I get rid of the black spot?
You need to re-season your pan if it’s made of cast iron it. Otherwise, you can use sugar cube to scrub it off. Sugar cube and some splash of water will remove burnt hot spot on the surface of your pan without damaging the coating. The process is simple and easy. Splash some water on the affected area and then use the sugar cube to rub on the burnt food. Repeat the process if the spot remains. With continued rubbing and scraping, you will have your pan ready for cooking caramel.
Making caramel, like anything in the kitchen, works better when you have the right tools. In my opinion, the right tool for this job is the ScanPan from Amazon. The price range is high, but it’s a pan that is going to last and outperform any other pan. If you’re serious about caramel making, the ScanPan will help you make perfect caramel this fall and beyond.