Why Are Saucepan Handles Often Made of Wood or Plastic?

Saucepan with plastic handle on hob

Have you ever wondered why your saucepans have wooden or plastic handles? Well, the answer to this saucepan riddle is pretty simple.

You see, for hundreds of years, saucepans had metal handles that would heat up as the pan heated up. Of course, some saucepans do still have metal handles so that they can be used on the hob and in the oven too. Still, most saucepans on the market nowadays have plastic or wooden handles.

A good quality saucepan will likely have a metal handle that is wrapped in plastic. Or a metal handle with wood fitted on to it. But you can find saucepans that just have plastic or wooden handles riveted or screwed to the pan itself.

The reason that most saucepan handles are now made with plastic or wood is because of the heat of the hob.

Saucepan with plastic handles

Do Wooden and Plastic Handles on Saucepans Restrict How You Can Cook with Them?

Yes. Most wooden and plastic handles cannot handle (excuse the pun) the heat of an oven. This means that if your saucepan has a plastic or wooden handle, you can only really use it on the hob.

Some plastic handles can cope with the heat of an oven. But only up to certain temperatures which often means you can’t get the desired results when you transfer your saucepan to the oven because the handle may melt.

This means, of course, that pretty much every saucepan with a plastic or wooden handle is destined to be used on the hob for the whole of its life.

I have used plastic handled saucepans all of my life and never really run into these restrictions, but I am very much a home cook.

I love cooking, but I am not a pro; the meals I make are simple. However, if you love experimenting in the kitchen and would like a saucepan that can handle the heat of the oven, you may find the restrictions of a plastic handle on your saucepan too much to handle.

If you would like a saucepan with more versatility, then I would recommend buying a saucepan with a metal handle.

There are some fantastic saucepans available with metal handles (we have covered a few of these saucepans on our site before). The only downside to a metal handle on a saucepan is that it heats up, of course. So, anytime you’re cooking on the hob, you’ll have to be careful when handling the handle of your saucepan.

The saucepan handle situation is a give and take one. A plastic handled saucepan gives you the freedom of cooking on a hob without being burnt. But it takes away your ability to use your saucepan in the oven.

A metal handled saucepan gives you the ability to use it in the oven, but it heats up on the stove.

If you’re looking for the perfect saucepan for your kitchen, we have them on here. Check out our other saucepan articles for all of the juicy gossip about wooden and plastic handled saucepans and saucepans with metal handles too.