Risotto is one of those classic dishes which does require a little bit of time and care, but the result is completely worth it. Creating a creamy, oozy risotto requires a good pan with a particular set of attributes.
Keep reading, as we have created a little guide to what you should look for in a pan for cooking risotto. We’ll show you 3 pans which exemplify all of these attributes for a perfect, easy and hassle-free risotto.
We think you’re going to really love our picks for the best pan for risotto.
Table of Contents
- 1 Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan with Cover (5qt)
- 2 Cooks Standard 11-inch/5-quart Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Deep Saute Pan with Lid
- 3 Circulon Infinite Hard-Anodized Non-Stick Covered Chef Pan (6-Quart)
- 4 What to look for in a pan for cooking risotto
- 5 Conclusion
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan with Cover (5qt)
The Calphalon Classic is a fantastic risotto-pan with deep sides. It ticks all of the boxes on our checklist, plus a few great extras. Calphalon is a well-loved, highly-rated American brand.
Their main material of choice is hard-anodized aluminum, which they treat with a non-stick coating. This is not only a practical pan but it’s rather good-looking too, with a brushed outer in a deep charcoal shade.
Why we chose this one
- Deep-sided: this pan has deep, straight sides which means you can stir, stir, stir that risotto without spilling or splattering it everywhere. Risotto requires you to pour liquid (i.e. wine and stock) into the dish so you need those deep sides to prevent spatter and mess. You can also cook plenty of other dishes in here such as casseroles, chicken dishes and slow-cooked stews in the oven.
- Non-stick: non-stick isn’t a super crucial feature, but it is recommended. You’ll likely be softening your onions and garlic before adding the rice. There’s nothing worse than stuck, burnt garlic turning bitter on the bottom of the pan.The non-stick surface of this Calphalon saute pan means your veggies will move freely as you nudge them around the pan. What’s more, rice loves to stick, even in risottos. It has that starchy stickiness which can congeal and become hard at the bottom of the pan. The non-stick surface of this pan means your wooden spoon will easily be able to keep the rice moving and free.
- Helper handle: we love the little helper handle on this saute pan. If you do happen to use the oven at any point in your risotto process, you can get a sturdy grip on the pan on both sides. Use the main handle and the helper handle to safely move the hot pan from one element to another, or off the heat to rest. Much easier than trying to carry a heavy pan full of hot risotto with just one handle.
- Cool-touch handle: the main handle is made from stainless steel and remains cool (or warm) while the pan is in action. This is fantastic for risotto as you’ll be clutching that handle a lot!
- Glass lid: we couldn’t choose a saute pan without ensuring it has a decent lid, and this one absolutely delivers. The lid is made from sturdy tempered glass, and is transparent so you can peep at your risotto as it rests. This is also great for cooking food in the oven as the lid can prevent drying or over browning. When your risotto has been served up and there’s some leftover, you can keep it hygienic and safe by popping the lid over the pan till you’re ready for seconds.
- Oven-safe: and finally, our wonder pan is oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Abandon the stove and pop the whole thing into the oven to finish off your risotto. Or stash it in the oven at a low temperature to keep the risotto warm as you prep the rest of the meal. This just gives the pan a whole new dimension of practicality and versatility.
- Dual-layer nonstick for easy food release, and quick cleanup
- Tempered glass lid
- Durable hard-anodized aluminum construction
- Cast stay-cool stainless steel long handles
- Oven safe up to 450ºF
Cooks Standard 11-inch/5-quart Multi-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Deep Saute Pan with Lid
Cooks Standard is sometimes referred to as the cheaper version of All-Clad. But hey, that’s not a bad thing. And Cooks Standard has a pretty stellar record of high ratings, so why question it? Cooks Standard is a brand under the umbrella company of Neway International Inc.
Why this one?
- Affordable: considering the beauty and incredible features of this pan, the price is pretty fantastic. Some other brands would charge an arm and a leg for a similar piece of cookware. Great for home cooks on a budget but with a high standard.
- Good-looking: this doesn’t affect the risotto…but honestly, who doesn’t want a beautiful piece of shiny, silvery cookware to grace their kitchen? It has an expensive, high-end look to it and if you’re a bit of a magpie, you’ll be drawn to it.
- Safe for all cooktops: it is safe for use on all cooktops including induction.
- Dishwasher safe: it’s totally safe for the dishwasher for when your time and patience for handwashing has worn thin.
- Oven safe: you can pop this into the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which completely widens the opportunities for this pan. Make an oven risotto, use it for bread, make a slow-cooked chili…anything goes.
- Cool-touch handles and helper handle: the handle remains cool enough to touch when over a hot stove, and the helper handle gives you a steadier grip when transporting the pan from A to B.
- Great size and shape: the high sides are perfect for stirring a thick, abundant risotto without spillage or mess.
- Secure lid: and finally, it has that securely-fitting lid we require for a successful risotto (among other things). The lid also comes in handy when using the oven as it helps to prevent drying and overcooking.
- Multi-ply clad has 2 layers of 18/10 stainless steel and an aluminum core along base and walls
- Stainless steel for durability and appearance; Aluminum core for even/quick heat distribution
- Secure-fitting lid traps in heat and moisture; Straight sides and flat surface to hold a large amount
- Riveted handles stay cool/comfortable and helper handle for carrying; Tapered lip for pouring
- Works on Induction, gas, electric, glass, ceramic, halogen, etc.; Oven safe to 500F; Dishwasher safe
Circulon Infinite Hard-Anodized Non-Stick Covered Chef Pan (6-Quart)
Circulon is a brand under the umbrella company of American brand Meyer. They’ve been making hard-anodized cookware since the 1980s and are known for high quality and reliable technology.
Why this one?
Oven, induction and dishwasher safe: this saute pan is safe for everything. You can make a stovetop risotto on an induction cooktop, finish it off in the oven, then throw it in the dishwasher once the risotto has been eaten.
This gives us so many more cooking options with one pan. As well as risottos you could make slow-cooked stews and meat dishes in the oven after browning the meat on the stovetop.
- High sides: we love the shape and size of this pan for making risottos. The sides are nice and high so you can get a really good stir going without spilling or having to be too gentle.
- Great lid: the stainless steel lid sits firmly and snuggly on the pan, great for holding in heat. As we now know, the lid is crucial to the creamiest risotto as we leave it to rest, covered before serving.
- Cool-touch handle: the stainless steel handle is designed to stay cool when in use on the stovetop. This is great because risotto does require a fair bit of handle holding.
- Hardy and long-wearing: you can use metal utensils with this pan, as Circulon have perfected their non-stick surface with 3 tough layers and a riveted design. It’s just a very durable piece of cookware overall, which will last you a long, long time.
- UNMATCHED DURABILITY: Hard anodized aluminum construction is twice as hard as stainless steel for built-to-last durability
- EXTRAORDINARY NONSTICK: Chef pan features TOTAL Nonstick System of raised circles and premium-quality nonstick to resist scratching and provide extraordinary food release
- PREMIUM HANDLING: Double riveted cast stainless steel handle offers a confident grip and a shatter resistant glass lid seals in heat and moisture
- INDUCTION PAN: Stainless steel base for exceptional performance on induction, ceramic or glass cooktops and oven safe to 500 degrees F
- EASY CLEANUP: Chef pan is dishwasher safe for fast, easy cleaning
What to look for in a pan for cooking risotto
Deep sides: risotto requires a lot of stirring. No matter the quantity you are making, you are going to be stirring liquids into your pan.
This requires a pan with deep sides to contain everything. You want to be able to give your risotto a good, confident stir without fear of spilling or slopping over the sides.
A lid: one of the best tricks for an incredible risotto is to put the lid over the pot and leave the risotto to relax for 5 or so minutes before serving. You need a tight-fitting lid for this.
A transparent glass lid is also very handy because it simply lets you know what’s going on inside the pan.
- Oven-safe: this one isn’t crucial, but it sure makes things a lot handier. It means you can make oven risottos if you’re too busy to stand over the stove (yes, oven risottos are a thing!). It also means that the pan will be versatile for other dishes and therefore more value for money.
- Cool-touch handles: since you’ll be standing at the stove adding liquids and stirring for a while, you want a friendly handle. A handle which has been designed to remain cool (or not scalding hot, at least) will make the process far easier.
We love our picks for the best pan for risotto, as they cover every requirement needed for a fabulous, easy risotto. Those little details such as deep sides, a good lid, a non-stick surface and practical handles make all the difference.
Calphalon is a trustworthy brand and this particular pan has been given the 5-star rating of approval by many, many customers. And hey, it’s actually really affordable considering the quality and multitude of uses you’ll get out of it.
Also check out the fabulous Circulon and Cooks Standard saute pans as they are equally as worthy of your risottos. Good luck on your next risotto venture!