What makes a good milk saucepan?

Stir it up 14 cm milk saucepan

A milk pan seems like a simple thing to design and get right, so why do so many manufacturers get them wrong?  Currently most milk saucepans are too shallow making it far too easy for the milk to boil over. Whether you are a home cook or a professional chef, chances are you have experienced milk boiling over on your stove and the subsequent clean up.

Design Flaws
Manufacturers of kitchen equipment rarely consult chefs about their designs and that is why far too many of the milk saucepans in the world are too shallow. Why designers haven’t figured that one out is hard to understand? After all milk and cream expand at a very rapid rate once they get close to boiling point.

Stir it up 14 cm milk saucepan copy

A Great Milk Saucepan that is no more!

Four and a half years a go, I bought a milk saucepan from a discount store in the UK called Wilko. The this stainless saucepan with a nonstick interior was the ideal height at 12 cm (about 5 inches). The saucepan came with a 10 year warrenty and was build to very high standards given the price of £10. The saucepan’s interior nonstick coating was a higher quality than many other milk saucepans, the handle was riveted on securely and the saucepan even had an encapsulated base (sandwich base) which allows even heat distribution.  It was also suitable for all types of hobs including induction.  

So what happened to this superhero of the milk saucepan world?  I told Wilko I intended to write a review of the saucepan and before I got chance to finish and publish the article Wilko had discontinued this range of pans. Here is a copy of the Ad on the website at the time.

Wilko Stainless Steel Milk Saucepan

Saucepans-Do’s and Don’ts
I don’t buy any saucepans that have a plastic type handle, wooden handle or handles that use screws full stop. I don’t care if the manufacturer say the handles are oven proof, etc. I prefer my handles to be all metal so I can transfer them into the oven if I wish.

In my forty plus years of working around the world I’ve seen and used lots of different types of saucepans, but the only type that never have problems with the handles are those that have welded ones, like this example. At home I have several stainless steel saucepans I bought in 1986; the handles are still tight and the bodies still look good because they are stainless steel.

Stainless steel Welded saucepan handle

So let’s look at a few of the current milk saucepans available in 2022

Buckingham Induction Deep Milk Pan 

7Buckingham Induction milkpan

This saucepan claims to be a deep saucepan but a depth of only 9.5 cm (3.75 inches) does not make it deep in my book. It does have a encapsulated base for even heat but the riveted handle looks flimsy. At £17.99 the price is okay but it is still too shallow. Often pans will advertise themselves as deep and give misleading diamensions which really refer to the diameter and not the depth.

Holipot 1 Quart Saucepan Pot with Lid

Holipot 1 Quart Saucepan Pot with Lid

This saucepan is good quality tri-ply 18/10 stainless steel milk saucepan that is listed as  5.6 inches high but that includes the lid so the actual depth is 3.6 so it is too shallow. When it comes to milk saucepans I prefer nonstick so the clean-up is easy.

Rocktanium 14cm Milk/Sauce Pot, Non-Stick

Rocktanium 14cm Milk Sauce Pot, Non-Stick

A few weeks ago I finally took the plunge and bought a new milk saucepan from Stellar. Readers of my blog might remember my glowing review of Stellar 7000 30cm non-stick frying pan back in 2020. 

Rocktanium is one of Stellar’s ranges and this milk saucepan has some features I like but others I don’t, so let’s talk first about the pluses.

Pluses: Solidly constructed in 4mm thick aluminium this milk saucepan looks like it is built to last. I love the 14 cm depth of this milk pan making it one of the deepest milk pans out there. As a chef, I can not understand why so many so-called milk saucepans are so shallow when milk expands so fast when it reaches boiling point. Don’t saucepan designers ever use their own products?? Another plus is the quality of the non-stick surface, making cleaning the saucepan very easy and is also PFOA free. It also comes with a 10 year guarantee which says a lot about the quality. I also ought to mention that even though the handle is stainless it stays cool.

Minuses:  Unfortunately, it has become fashionable for milk saucepans to have a jug style handle, why???  If I want a milk jug for frothing milk then this saucepan is not practical because it is too heavy.  I work out at the gym 3 days a week and this Rocktanium is heavy to lift when full and the “bent handle” makes it less balanced. The saucepan’s base is magnetized so you can use it on induction hobs but it doesn’t heat up as fast as an all stainless steel saucepan can on induction.

Overall, I would buy this Rocktanium milk saucepan again and do recommend it.

Last Thought: Remember when hunting for any saucepan check the dimensions thoroughly, 14 CM might just be the diameter, the depth or (height) of the saucepan maybe different.  I still have my Wilko milk saucepan and use it often. The non-stick surface has worn in places but give the price of £10 it was and still is the best milk saucepan I have ever owned.

18 thoughts on “What makes a good milk saucepan?

      1. Yes it is a shame you can’t attach a photo here in the comments. Although the interenet connects the world, when it comes to gazing at the range of products available in other parts of the world the access is fragmented and less accessible than it used to be.
        Best Wishes to you and your family 🙂

        Like

  1. I have a set of All Clad pots and pans. They are heavy stainless steel and I’ve had them for about 15 years. You can purchase them at Sur la Tab or William Sonoma. They have a good warranty also. My only complaint is the shine on the outside of the pan discolors. My mother has gotten them replaced for free. I haven’t tried.
    I don’t boil milk in pans often. I microwave my milk for my coffee after using immersion blender to add to my espresso every morning. Cause I don’t want to wait for machine to steam and froth the milk.

    Liked by 1 person

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