The Saucepan

When we come to speak of the Saucepan, we have to consider the claims of a very large, ancient, and useful family. There are large saucepans, dignified with the name of Boilers, and small saucepans, which come under the denomination of Stewpans. There are few kinds of meat or fish which the Saucepan will not receive, and dispose of in a satisfactory manner; and few vegetables for which it is not adapted.

When rightly used, it is a very economical servant, allowing nothing to be lost; that which escapes from the meat while in its charge forms broth, or may be made the basis of soups. Fat rises upon the surface of the water, and may be skimmed off; while in various stews it combines, in an eminent degree, what we may term the fragrance  of cookery, and the piquancy  of taste. The French are perfect masters of the use of the Stewpan. And we shall find that, as all cookery is but an aid to digestion, the operations of the Stewpan resemble the action of the stomach very closely. The stomach is a close sac, in which solids and fluids are mixed together, macerated in the gastric juice, and dissolved by the aid of heat and motion, occasioned by the continual contractions and relaxations of the coats of the stomach during the action of digestion. This is more closely resembled by the process of stewing than by any other of our culinary methods.