A small sauté pan is an essential kitchen tool. In F&W Test Kitchen trials of pans $40 and under, these five proved to be the best; they're all 8 inches in diameter unless otherwise noted.
Anolon Advanced; $20
A heavy pan that cooks food evenly at any heat level.
The silicon handle is oven safe up to 375°.
KitchenAid Cookware Gourmet Essentials; $30
The tapered silicon handle is easy to grip and is oven safe to 400°.
The porcelain enamel exterior is easy to clean.
T-Fal Perfection Deluxe Edition 8 1/4-inch; $22
The nonstick surface is scratch-resistant and dishwasher safe.
The red "Thermo-Spot'" darkens when the pan is hot enough for cooking.
Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick Daily Sizzle; $40
The pan has the biggest cooking surface of any we tested.
A full-capacity mark at the top helps prevent overfilling.
Emerilware All-Clad Frypan; $30
The thick base (5 mm) helps the pan heat evenly.
The edge is flared, so sauces don't drip when they're poured.