Silly question, but is the term saute pan simply an abbreviated version of the word Sautuese pan?

Joined Sep 26, 2015
I was having a convo with a cook friend and he was pretty convinced that a saute pan was actually a skillet and that a Sauteuse pan HAD to have an almost bowl shape to it. The CIA Student handbook was my reference and it indicated that a saute pan is a sauteuse.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
There's not an official delineation, after all, who would that official authority be? 

I've seen pans labeled sauteuse with bowl shapes and those like a large cut down pot with straight sides, or conversely a skillet with straight taller sides. It's what ever the manufacturer wants to call it. 

I have two "sauteuse" labeled pans. one is from Ikea, 2.5 L capacity and bowlish shaped though the sides don't curve particularly as much as flare out a straight angle. The other is just under 12 inches across, with high sides, from Tramontina--not sure on it's capacity, probably 4 quarts?  The Ikea pan is probably my favorite sauce pan as it's easy to work a whisk in and clean the corners. The Tramontina is my go to pan for braising and even one dish cooking/casseroles. 

The ikea pan is an older version of this I think with a disk base, not clad.

The Tramontina looks like this, disk based and they describe it as 5 quarts? (maybe it's bigger than mine, but it looks the same in a small picture)

I have them both, they're both called sauteuse pans. And they're clearly different from each other. 
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Joined May 14, 2014
I was taught "sauteuse" and "sautoir" for different shapes. That's french; "saute pan" is english- a pan you saute in. Skillet is also english, unrelated and applicable to all of the above to my way of thinking.
Joined May 14, 2014
Don't pay attention to the Cooks Illustrated definitioneither; they just made it up.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Well.... Authoritively speaking, "saute" is to "jump" in French. Classic cuisine dictates that to "saute" is to toss or jump in a pan. Any European cook will tell you a sautoir is striaght sided, and sauteuse is flared sided, heck even C.I.A.s cook books will tell you this*.

You can't toss or swing small items in a straight sided pan, but you can in a flared sided pan. A sautoir is ideal for searing a steak, or chixbrst, its ideal for braises, but almost impossible to saute, say... Mushrooms, or glazed carrots.

N. American cookware companies, adverisers, and media will call anything whatever they want to call it, regardless of history, logic, or intelligence ( see my rants ofnthe use/abuse of the word "chef" of using "chef " as a verb, "culinarian", etc, etc.).

Now, with Cooks Illustrated I have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, many articles are well writen and well researched, and sound science is explained in some techniques. On the other hand, the most basic technique--that of using scale is never mentioned. C.I. acknowledges that using a scale for weighing flour is a practical approach, yet will never acknowledge that using a scale for every other ingredient is as well. This approach is beyond stupid, and borders on arrogance and ignorance. Basically, who gives a (deleted) what C.I. calls a pot or pan.

*C.I.A. books do indeed identify sautoir as sgraight sided and sauteuse asq flared sided.HOWEVER to really muddy things up, they also state that each pan is generically referred to as a "saute pan".
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