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Feb 16, 2005 07:13 PM

What's the difference between sauce pan and casserole?

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I know that the sauce pan has a handle and the casserole pot doesn't, but besides that, what's the difference? Is the base different? Does it affect the way food cooks? Thanks!

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  1. saucepan is taller than wide. it usually has a long handle as the capacity increases it may have a helper handle

    casserole wider than tall. sides not as short as a saute pan but not as tall as a saucepan. also usually has 2 short handles.

    thats how I understand it anyway.

    1. Here in England the main deifference is that a saucepan is used on top of the stove - e.g. making rice, veg etc where as a casserole is used in the oven, to make stews, casseroles etc.

      There's no reason why you can't use a casserole on the stove, but it is unlikely you would use a saucepan in the oven - mainly because it has not be designed for this, so the materials used may not be able to cope with oven temperatures.

      Come to think of it saucepans will have a base constructed differently to a casserole as all the heat is coming from below rather than all around.

      Hope this helps

      1 Reply
      1. re: yumyum

        I agree with this take. I have a perfectly adequate casserole that I tried using on the stovetop once and it was a total disaster. (Think charred material, lots of smoke and a completely inedible product).

        Just to add one more layer of confusion. I always thought that a "casserole" that you could also use on the stovetop was called a "Dutch oven." How does a Dutch oven fit into this scheme?