Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Top 10 Best Saucepans for Making Candy

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When you are making candy, you need a sturdy saucepan that’s deep enough to keep it from boiling out and which heats evenly enough to avoid hotspots. So, where do you find the best saucepans for making candy, anyways?

In today’s article, we’re going to tackle that question by first addressing your preferred metal for candy making and then showing you some of the best saucepans on the market to help you get the best representation of that preference.

Whether you’re part of the stainless steel, copper, or aluminum crowd, there’s a little something for everyone, and we’ll share the pros and cons of each option, as well as some handy tips along the way.

Let’s talk about the best saucepans for making candy and what you need to know to find your new favorite candy-making cookware!

Our Top 3 picks at a glance

Before we get this party started, we realize that some of our readers might be in a hurry and want to skip ahead to see which saucepans were our top 3. For those folks, we have a quick ‘sneak peek’ and you can always bookmark the page to read more about these 3 and the other models later when you’ve got a little more free time.

These were our 3 favorites from today’s list and a quick synopsis of what we liked (and we’ll elaborate more in the ‘Verdict’ section at the end of this article):  

Best Saucepans for Making CandyWhy We Like It
Mauviel Made In France M'Passion 2194.14 Copper 1.2-Quart Sugar Saucepan with Copper Handle1. Cuisinart 4-quart multiclad pan with lid Most robust choice – With a pure aluminum core that is bonded with stainless steel, you’ve got even heating with this Cuisinart 4-quart but also a little more of a barrier to help keep you from scorching your candy! It’s also Cuisinart, so it comes with a lifetime warranty, but it’s built SOLID so you’ll probably never need it!
Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Butter Warmer/Small Saucepan, 0.75 Quart, Cranberry Red2. Anolon 82524 4-quart Nouvelle Copper, Aluminum, and Stainless Steel Best hybrid-metals option – Amazing aesthetics aside, the Anolon gives you a copper core, sandwiched between an aluminum layer and a magnetic stainless steel layer. The end result is excellent heat distribution and when it’s time to pour your candy on a slab, you’ve got 2 pour spots built into the pan to use.
Caraway 3-quart Nonstick Ceramic Saucepan with Lid3. Caraway 3-quart Nonstick Ceramic Saucepan with Lid Best ‘Style and Substance’ saucepan – The Caraway 3-quart gives you a little piece of art that you can cook amazingly well in. Made of aluminum with a non-stick ceramic coat, it’s also heat resistant up to 550 degrees. With 8 colors so that you can accessorize it perfectly in your kitchen, this Caraway might just be your new favorite piece of cookware!

Finding the best saucepans for candy-making

If you have a lot of friends who like to cook and ask them what kind of saucepan is best for candy making, you’ll get a lot of different answers. Some prefer stainless steel as it is slow to heat and harder to scorch your candy.

Others prefer copper since it heats evenly and cools down quickly, helping your candy to set better. Other folks swear by aluminum since it heats very fast and it’s lightweight, making it easier for a skillful cook to manipulate where the heat is going.

Then you have modern hybrids that check boxes across the board, giving you the benefits of many different metals… So how do you choose?

Let’s take a closer look at the perks of each and then we’ll show you some actual examples of the best from each of these categories so that you can narrow down your options to a saucepan that reflects your needs and your unique cooking style.

Stainless-Steel

Stainless steel definitely has some perks that make it a favorite option for many candy makers. For one thing, it’s robust – a good stainless-steel saucepan has a bit of heft to it, so you know that the pan won’t need replacing anytime soon in the foreseeable future.

They also work on induction stoves, as well as any other cooking surface, while copper and aluminum will not. That said, candy makers who prefer stainless steel will usually get TWO saucepans – one with a thin base, and the other with a thicker, reinforced base.

This is because candy-cooking needs can vary – some candies are easily burnt, and will benefit from a slower-heating, thicker base, while other candies need to be heated and cooled very quickly, which is where the thin base comes in handy.

As with all cookware, there’s a big ‘personal preference’ factor that comes into play, but those are the perks of stainless steel in a nutshell to help you narrow your options down.

Copper

Copper is a traditional candy making option and also one that has enormous aesthetic value to boot. A hammered copper pan looks amazing, but it also brings even heating and fast cooldown to the table. Unfortunately, unless you go with a hybrid option, obtaining a traditional copper candy making saucepan can be a little pricey and what’s more, they aren’t as versatile as other saucepans.

You can still cook a lot of things in them, mind you, so they aren’t limited to candy only, BUT you have to remember that you can’t cook anything acidic in them. That is because acidic ingredients can cause the copper to tarnish on you, requiring a little extra upkeep to maintain the pans integrity and good looks.

As mentioned previously, copper pans won’t work on induction stoves unless they are of the hybrid variety that incorporates layering and stainless steel at the base.

Aluminum

Aluminum is another favorite of candy makers, although you need to choose your saucepan carefully. The lightweight metal of the pan is nice, but if it’s too thin on the bottom then you can easily burn your candy if you’re not careful.

If you go with a thicker anodized or cast aluminum, however, then you can make candy quickly and have much less chance of burning it if you’ve got a little skill on your side.

The light weight makes the saucepans easy to move around so that a skilled candy maker can have a lot more control over the heat than they would with a metal that retains it longer.

Aluminum saucepans, unless they have a hybrid base incorporating stainless steel, will NOT work on induction stoves, so this is something to keep in mind if you have one.

Hybrid options

A final option takes a little bit from each of these offerings and combines them into something more. Hybrid pans can give you the even heating and quick cooling of copper and aluminum alloys, while also incorporating stainless steel for durability and compatibility with induction stoves.

As a result, they heat and cool quickly, although not as fast as an aluminum or copper option on their own.

With that said, these hybrid options are great to make candy with and often bring some nice aesthetics to the table, to the point that these saucepans are becoming the go-to favorite for many new and experienced cooks alike and the unique perks of these pans make this a worthwhile option.

Now that you know a little of what each of these saucepans brings to the table, let’s look at some solid examples available on the market today that let you get the most out of the perks that each has to offer.

If you are just getting started, Spice Candies has a great article on some other gear that can help you as you learn your candy making craft – it’s well worth a look when you’re done here!

The Best Saucepans for Making Candy

In this section, we’ve compiled 10 of the best saucepans for making candy, and we’ve tried to include a little something for everyone. You’ll find stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and hybrid options here, and for each, we’ll tell you important information, including a brief assessment of the pros and cons.

Later in the article, we’ll elaborate on our favorites but if they don’t match your own, then don’t worry – all of the saucepans showcased here are high quality and simply there to help you find the pan that best matches your cooking style and needs, so there’s really no ‘wrong’ choice.

With that said, let’s take a look and by the time we’re done, you should have a pretty good idea of exactly what perks are out there that match what you’re looking for!

Protip: When you are still getting used to a new pan, it definitely pays to have your thermometer handy until you’ve cooked a few batches and it’s intuitive. Find out more in the Best Candy Thermometers!

1. Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 3-Quart Covered Straining Saucepan

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 3-Quart Covered Straining Saucepan - - Silver

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Our first saucepan is this Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 3-quart covered straining saucepan and it’s a solid piece of cookware that’s built to last. Measuring in at 6.75″D x 14.25″W x 9″H and weighing approximately 3 pounds, it’s got just the right amount of weight to it and features an aluminum core for quick and even heating.

Suitable for induction, gas, glass, and electric stoves, it’s also oven-safe up to 350 degrees, and the stylish phenolic handle is both ergonomically and stylishly shaped.

Aside from a solid saucepan, you’ve also got an easy pour spout and when you’re not making candy, the self-basting style lid can also be rotated to use the strainer holes to take the headache out of straining. All in all, it’s a versatile saucepan that is great for candy or whatever else you feel like whipping up!

Pros:

Farberware has been producing cookware since 1900 and this saucepan is a good example of what you can expect. It’s durable, well-made, gives you plenty of room, and heats evenly. The rest, as they say, is up to you!

Cons:

We would have liked measurements stamped inside – it’s a small complaint, but they come in handy when you are learning a new recipe.

2. All-Clad D3 3 -3-quart 3-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan

All-Clad D3 3-Ply Stainless Steel Sauce Pan 3 Quart Induction Oven Broiler Safe 600F Pots and Pans, Cookware Silver

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This shiny number is the All-Clad D3 3-quart and 3-ply stainless steel saucepan and it’s ready for candy making, soups, sauces, and more! Measuring 8.25″D x 16.63″W x 6.88″H and weighing approximately 3 pounds, it features 18/10 stainless steel with a triple-ply construction that incorporates an aluminum layer for quick and even heating.

Good for induction, gas, glass, or electric, and oven safe up to 600 degrees, the handles are also securely riveted, so they won’t be wiggling loose on you – a real comfort in this day and age!

Pros:

It’s really a robust saucepan and once you get that tri-ply heated up to the candy ‘sweet spot’, it’s a lot harder to burn a batch. Plus that 600-degree rating means that you can make some fun stuff in the oven when the candy making is out of the way.

Cons:

The lid is stainless steel through and through, so you can’t cover the pot and peek inside. This won’t be a dealbreaker to most, but some folks won’t like it.

3. AVACRAFT 3.5 quart Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Lid

AVACRAFT Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Lid, Strainer Lid, Two Side Spouts for Easy Pour with Ergonomic Handle, Multipurpose Sauce Pan with Lid, Sauce Pot (Tri-Ply Capsule Bottom, 3.5 Quart)

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Speaking of lids you can peek through, this Avacraft 3.5-quart stainless steel saucepan makes our list and it’s got a shatterproof glass lid so that you can cover and monitor your cooking if you like.

Measuring in at 8.5″D x 15″W x 5.25″H and weighing about 3.9 pounds, it’s got 5 ply construction at the base that incorporates 18/10 stainless steel, along with 2 aluminum layers with a heat retention layer sandwiched between them, and a magnetic stainless steel exterior.

Needless to say, this is a saucepan that can take a beating, and those layers do a fine job of keeping ‘hot spots’ at bay when you’re making candy.

Finally, it works on any cooking surface (induction included) and the lid also features straining holes, just in case you want to make a little pasta or rice when the candy making is done.

Pros:

This is a nice saucepan and the layering really does work as advertised – you get quick and even heating, so you’ll be less likely to burn your candy batch and the heft of it tells you that it’s not going to need replacement anytime soon.

Cons:

Some folks prefer a single layer base for candy making, so the 5-ply base won’t be a good fit for everyone.

4. Cuisinart 4-quart  Cookware Multiclad Pro Triple-Ply Saucepan w/Cover

Cuisinart 4-Quart Skillet, Stainless Steel Cookware Multiclad Pro Triple Ply Saucepan w/Cover, MCP194-20N

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If you’ve got a lot of candy to make, you can get 4-quart capacity from a name you trust with this Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Triple-ply saucepan with a cover.

Measuring 8.86″D x 15.55″W x 6.3″H and weighing 4.91 pounds, this saucepan features a pure aluminum core sandwiched between stainless steel for nice, even heating with a quickness on induction, glass, gas, and electric stovetops.

Speaking of even heating, the ‘Heat Surround’ technology in this saucepan means that the sidewalls and the base have superior heat distribution, which should help make those vicious hotspots that burn your candy into a thing of the past. Finally, it’s heat resistant up to 500 degrees and has a lifetime warranty.

If you want a reliable saucepan with no unpleasant surprises, you really can’t go wrong with this Cuisinart!

Pros:

Cuisinart has been providing excellent cookware since 1971 and this robust saucepan is no exception to that rule. It’s durable, heats quickly and evenly, and you can feel that it’s well made just by taking it out of the box.

Cons:

No measure marks inside and if there were, you couldn’t see them with the stainless-steel lid. That lid is a plus if you want to bake anything inside of the oven, but if you were hoping to cover up some bubbling candy then another model might be better.

5. Pentole Agnelli 2.74 quart polished copper saucepan

Pentole Agnelli Copper Saucepan With 1 Handle, Diameter 18 Cm.

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We wanted to include some copper and copper-containing pots, as these are favorites of candy makers around the world, and with that in mind, we’d like to introduce you to the Pentole Agnelli 2.74 quart.

Made of polished copper, this is a good fit for folks who want a ‘candy only’ pot – although you can cook other things in it as long as they are not acidic. It’s also made in Italy, so if you are looking for a charming copper pot for making candy the traditional way, then the Pentole Agnelli might just be a perfect fit.

We should note – copper pans will NOT work on induction stoves, only gas and electric!

Pros:

Traditional candy making in a copper saucepan is something that a few of us grew up with and aside from the nostalgic value, copper definitely has its perks. It heats evenly and you’re much less likely to scorch a candy batch.

It’s also beautiful and having a good-looking saucepan like this that also performs well is a real treat.

Cons:

Copper pans can be a little cost-prohibitive if you don’t make a lot of candy. Some folks may also prefer stainless steel or aluminum, as they are more versatile and won’t tarnish on you if you forget and cook something acidic inside.

6. Anolon 77448 3.5-quart Nouvelle Copper and Stainless Steel Saucepan

Anolon 77448 Nouvelle Stainless Steel Sauce Pan/Saucepan with Straining and Lid, 3.5 Quart, Silver

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Next up we have this Anolon 77448 Nouvelle Copper and Stainless-Steel saucepan that gives you a taste of the best of both worlds. Measuring at 16 x 8.75 x 8 inches and weighing a mere 3.9 pounds, this saucepan has a copper core sandwiched between aluminum and magnetic stainless steel.

This ensures excellent heat distribution and also gives the pan a unique and beautiful look. Aside from this, you’ve got a glass lid so that you can ‘cover and peek’ if you like and it also features two pour spots and a locking, straining lid. It also works on induction and all other cooking surfaces!

If you’re looking for a fantastic pan that doesn’t look like those ‘cookie cutter’ pots flooding the market, then the Anolon might be your new favorite saucepan.

Pros:

The Anolon pan gives you a next-level blend of copper and aluminum for heating, along with the durability of stainless steel. The aesthetics are also a definite plus – this is one good-looking saucepan.

Cons:

If you are set on a solid copper pot, then the copper layer in the Anolon might not cut it for you, but that’s a judgment call that you’ll need to make on your own!

7. Anolon 82524 4-quart Nouvelle Copper, Aluminum, and Stainless Steel Hard Anodized Nonstick Saucepan

Anolon 82524 Nouvelle Copper Hard Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan/Soup Pot with Lid, 4 Quart, Gray

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Anolon makes our list twice for another one of their copper/aluminum/stainless steel medleys and this pan ups the ante with a 4-quart capacity! Measuring in at 10.5 x 10.25 x 6.75 inches and weighing about 4.8 pounds, this saucepan also has two handles instead of a standard, long-handle design.

Non-stick, sturdily riveted, and oven-safe to 500 degrees, the combination of anodized aluminum, stainless steel, and the copper layer helps to ensure fast and even heating and excellent heat retention – just be sure to have your mitts handy when you make your candy!

Pros:

This is a beautiful and robust saucepan and we liked the dual handles, rather than the long, single handle that can be knocked about if you’re not careful. It also doubles as a fantastic soup pot for when you’re not making candy and that’s never a bad thing!

Cons:

Not everyone will like the dual handles or lack of a glass lid, so this is definitely going to be a ‘love it or hate it’ saucepan for a lot of folks out there.

8. Rachael Ray Brights 3-quart Hard Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Saucepan with Lid

Rachael Ray Brights Hard Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan/Saucepan with Lid, 3 Quart, Gray with orange handles

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If you haven’t seen Rachael Ray’s line of cookware, then you are in for a treat! This Rachael Ray Brights 3-quart anodized aluminum nonstick saucepan measures 8″D x 14.25″W x 7.75″H, weighs a lightweight 2.4 pounds, and if you need something bigger it also comes in 5 and 8-quart sizes!

Featuring a durable non-stick coating, these saucepans also come with a rubberized grip that’s safe in the oven up to 350 degrees, and on the stovetop they’ll stay nice and cool for safe handling. Speaking of stove tops, as this is aluminum, it will work on all cooking surfaces EXCEPT induction.

The handles on this saucepan are also wide and double-riveted, so that if you DO don your mitts against the heat then the pan is still easy and comfortable to handle. All in all, it’s a pretty sweet saucepan for whipping up your sweets!

Pros:

Rachael Ray’s cookware is well-made and looks fantastic – if orange isn’t your color, you can also find them in red, blue, and other hues so that you can color coordinate and they’re really a pleasure to work with in the kitchen.

Cons:

A lot of folks are on the fence about non-stick coating, especially with candy-making, so not everyone will be keen on that feature.

9. MICHELANGELO 3-Quart Aluminum Saucepan with Lid

MICHELANGELO 3 Quart Saucepan with Lid, Ultra Nonstick Coppper Sauce Pan with Lid, Small Pot with Lid, Ceramic Nonstick Saucepan 3 quart, Small Sauce Pot, Copper Pot 3 Qt, Ceramic Sauce Pan 3 Quart

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This Michelangelo 3-quart Aluminum saucepan has a nonstick coat that is strong and multilayered, and a pleasant copper color to boot!

Measuring 15 x 8 x 6 inches and weighing about 3.2 pounds, this saucepan is made of an aluminum alloy with a ceramic and titanium interior, and features a handy glass lid in case you want to cover (but watch) your candy.

What this means for you is that the heat is well-distributed, to help you avoid hotspots burning your candy, and it’s also heat resistant up to 450 degrees in the oven.

Just remember that as it’s aluminum, it will NOT work for induction stoves, but if that isn’t a dealbreaker then this is a saucepan that definitely checks all the right boxes for your candy-cooking needs!

Pros:

Michelangelo makes aesthetically pleasing cookware and their non-stick coatings are heavy-duty, which is a huge relief if you’ve ever had a problem with a coat before.

Cons:

Measurement marks would have been nice, but otherwise, we found this to be a charming little saucepan.

10. Caraway 3-quart Nonstick Ceramic Saucepan with Lid

Caraway Nonstick Ceramic Sauce Pan with Lid (3 qt) - Non Toxic, PTFE & PFOA Free - Oven Safe & Compatible with All Stovetops (Gas, Electric & Induction) - Navy

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Our final entry is this handsome Caraway 3-quart Nonstick Ceramic saucepan with lid and it comes in 8 amazing colors so that you can accessorize it perfectly with your kitchen décor.

Measuring 17.72 x 10.43 x 5.83 inches and weighing 4 pounds, you can get this saucepan in navy, black, cream, gray, marigold, perracotta, sage, and white, but these saucepans have a lot more to offer than just their amazing aesthetics.

Made of lightweight aluminum with a non-stick ceramic coating, these pans are oven-safe up to 550 degrees and will work on any cooking surface EXCEPT induction. If you’re looking for a candy pan that brings style and substance to the table, then this Caraway really fits the bill!

Pros:

The ceramic coat is robust and fantastic and you get excellent, even heating without those pesky hotspots. It almost feels unfair that they look so good AND perform well, so kudos to the folks at Caraway – this is one of those pans you’ll want to use in front of friends, just to show off a little!

Cons:

As they are aluminum, induction stoves won’t work with these saucepans, but if that’s not a dealbreaker then you might want to give the Caraway line a closer look – they definitely stand apart!

FAQs

It’s almost time for us to wrap things up and deliver the verdict on our favorite 3 saucepans, but before we do, we’ve got a few frequently asked questions that we thought we’d address on our way out. Let’s take a look!

What is the best surface for candy making?

Interestingly enough, it’s not so much the pan with some candies, but rather where you put the candy to cool.

For this reason, a marble slab is the best surface for your candy making. You can stick it in the fridge and it will get cooler and stay that way for a long time, allowing you to quickly cool and shape candy as you like.

What is the best saucepan for making fudge?

With fudge, it’s good to go with a pan that uses stainless steel or anodized aluminum, along with a copper or an aluminum core. It will heat quickly, but not so quickly that you’ll need to worry too much about burning your creamy fudge.

As far as size, it’s best to go with a minimum of 3-quart capacity and you want the sidewalls to be deep, so that when your fudge starts boiling and bubbling you won’t have to worry about splashes.

Want to learn more? Be sure to check out the Best saucepan for making fudge when you’re done here for lots of useful info on the subject.

Why use copper pots for candy making?

Chocolatiers and other candy makers LOVE copper because it heats up quickly and evenly, and it also cools down pretty fast as well! While this will take a little getting used to if you haven’t used copper before, once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll have a lot more control over the heating of your candy.

Copper saucepans are a little more expensive, but if you love making candy, they’re a fantastic investment that you can really get a lot of mileage out of (and it doesn’t hurt that they look fantastic in your kitchen!).

The Verdict

It’s time to wrap things up and call it a day, and so to conclude this article properly, we’d like to share our 3 favorites and a quick rundown on what we felt made them stick out from the crowd. Let’s take a look and you can see if you agree!

Most robust choice – Cuisinart 4-quart Cookware Multiclad Pro Triple-Ply Saucepan w/Cover

If you’re looking for a SOLID saucepan that you can use as often as you like for many years to come, then this Cuisinart 4-quart Triple-ply saucepan is the right kind of robust to deliver exactly that.

With a triple-ply construction that combines a pure aluminum core sandwiched between stainless steel layers on each side, you get superior heat distribution at both the base and the sidewalls.

As an added bonus, it’s also dishwasher safe and they throw in a lifetime warranty to boot.- it’s the kind of quality you’ve come to expect from Cuisinart!

Best hybrid-metals option – Anolon 82524 4-quart Nouvelle Copper, Aluminum, and Stainless Steel Hard Anodized Nonstick Saucepan

The Anolon 82524 gives you a 4-quart capacity to work with and also the perks of a copper core, sandwiched between aluminum and stainless steel.

That means you’ll get superior heating and quicker cooling, in a medium that will work fine on an induction stove and also happens to look quite stylish in the kitchen.

If you want a great-looking saucepan that gives you some of the benefits of copper without spending a fortune, this Anolon is a fantastic option.

Best ‘Style and Substance’ saucepan – Caraway 3-quart Nonstick Ceramic Saucepan with Lid

Our final favorite is this Caraway 3-quart non-stick aluminum saucepan with ceramic lining and not only can you accessorize it with a palette of 8 different colors, but it does an amazing job with candy making and more!

Oven safe up to 550 degrees, the ceramic lining is good enough that you can use less oils or butter and still have a slippery interior to keep your candy from sticking, and it will work on any cooking surface- induction included!

If you like cookware that marries style and substance, this Caraway definitely delivers the goods.

We’d like to thank you for visiting us today and if your favorites weren’t the same as ours, then don’t worry – all of the saucepans reviewed today are excellent and well worth your while.

Until next time, Happy Candy Making, and we wish you the very best!

Fancy a candy pot to go with that saucepan or maybe just looking for a few good recipes? We’ve got you covered!

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

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