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Why Does the Handle of a Saucepan Get Hot When It is on the Stove?

As you know, when cooking food on the stove or in the oven, it is important to keep an eye on your pans. Heat rises and if there is something in the pan which is heated directly, it can cause serious burns to your skin. Other than cooking meat during a cookout at a BBQ there are few times that you would need to use a pot or pan that gets very hot on a stove. In this article we will discuss why a saucepan or small pot on the stove gets hot when it is turned on.

The simple answer to this question is that it is normal when cooking food in a pan to have some heat rise from the bottom of the pan. For example, if you are cooking a soup it is normal to have a bit of steam rising from the bottom of a saucepan or a baking dish. When using a pan there are several things going on.

Should Saucepan Handle Get Hot?

Steel handles gets heat up faster than wood handles. Heat rises because hot air is less dense than cool air. As it rises it becomes cooler and heavier, which means that it will not rise as much as the hotter air before. This creates a convection current, which is the process by which hot/warm/cold air will move within different spaces. The longer the saucepan on the stove the more hot steel handles become

The best way to avoid saucepan handled getting hot is to use a potholder or a towel, or a pair of gloves that protect your hand from the handle.

Do all the Handles of Saucepan Get Hot?

Saucepan handles should not get as hot as they used to, because it is quite common for manufacturers to apply a protective coating of silicone on them. In addition to this coating, there are other materials that can be used as an insulator to prevent heat from being transferred from the pan.

How to Prevent Saucepan Handles from Getting hot

If you have an older saucepan, it might be wise to purchase a new one made of aluminum or copper. Another option is to invest in a panhandle cover.

Steel handles are typically coated with silicone or another protective layer to prevent the handles from getting hot in the first place. If you do not have a protective covering on your saucepan handles, be sure to use an oven mitt, towel, or pot holder when handling them when cooking on the stovetop.

Steel Handles Alternatives

1. Copper Handles:

The copper handles could be the best way to prevent a saucepan handle from getting hot. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat, but it is also an excellent conductor of electricity. The best way to protect your hands from burns is to use protective gloves.

2. Wooden Handles

Wooden handles are another great way to protect your hands from the burn of saucepan handle, because wood can absorb more heat than metal, so your hands are less likely to feel the same amount of heat on them.

3. Iron Handles:

If you have a cast-iron saucepan, you will have to take extra measures to protect your hands from the heat of the handle on the stove.

4. Plastic Handles:

Plastic handles are great because they are often used on saucepans, and they won’t get hot when on the stove. However, they have been known to melt on some pots or pans. It is best to use plastic handles that do not melt when in a pan of a stovetop on a low setting.

Summary of why the handle of a saucepan gets hot when on the stove.

The handle of a saucepan gets hot because heat is transferred from the pan into the handle, causing it to heat up. The heat then continues to rise until it has risen high enough to leave the area, which is why steam will rise from a saucepan when cooking soup on the stove. The longer you leave it on, or have food in it on direct heat, or have no protective layer over your handles, the hotter they will get.


The handle of a saucepan gets hot when on the stove is a common question we see here at Ask Jason. The reason why it does is very simple and should not be too hard to understand. If you don’t want your handles getting warm, just take care of them and you won’t have any problem.

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