Put simply, a double boiler pan is actually two pans. One that sits on top of your stove and heats water, the other that sits above that and can be used to slowly heat, without actually cooking, your chosen dishes. These are perfect for delicate cooking tasks that can’t tolerate too much heat such as melting chocolate, hollandaise sauce, custards, cheese for fondues, and other dishes.
Although they might not be an everyday necessity, having a double boiler for chocolate or other dishes will massively improve your cooking and baking skills and will ensure the best results every time.
If you’re ready to improve your kitchen experience, check out our buying guide filled with the 12 best double boilers available. If you’re still unsure, read on below to discover the answers to commonly asked questions regarding double boilers as well as some of the features you should look out for.
The Best Double Boiler
Our favorite of the best double boilers you can get is Cuisinart MCP111 20N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel Universal Double Boiler. Renowned as one of the best cookware specialists around, this is an awesome balance between top performance and isn’t too harsh on your budget either! The specially designed and upgraded stainless steel handle stays cool to the touch throughout use. It is riveted for the strength you need to lift and carry the double boiler pot around your kitchen. Not only that, but the rips have been carefully tapered to ensure you can pour out your sauce without dripping. What’s more, the double boiler pan is dishwasher safe and can even be used in the oven up to 550 degrees. For some more must-have kitchen products, check out our list of the best slow cookers on the market right now.
Aluminium core heats and cools quickly for ultimate precision temperate control
Heat surround technology provides even heat distribution
Tapered rip for drip-free pouring
Cool Grip handle stays cool on the stovetop.
- Weight1 pound
Covering a wide range from affordable to luxury cookware, our Premium Pick of the best double boilers also comes from Cuisinart with their stunning French Classic 3-Piece Double Boiler Pan Set. Featuring a 3-quart saucepan, cover, and double boiler pot, this set is great for a whole range of kitchen tasks to get you cooking like a pro. Utilizing the top Heat Surround Technology, the double boiler pan allows heat to be evenly distributed along the bottom and sides of the cookware and the tight-fitting lid keeps the heat carefully trapped inside for dishes that don’t need constant stirring. The saucepan can be used with the double boiler pot or on its own so that you can enjoy the French Classic style and quality design every day. Our guide on best electric skillets features some more amazing kitchen products.
Includes a 3-quart saucepan with cover and double boiler pot
Uses the latest Heat Surround Technology for even heat distribution
Incorporated Stay-Cool handles
Made of Tri-ply stainless steel
- Weight5.15 pounds
If you’re not looking for a double boiler for chocolate or other melting tasks, you might want to consider something along the lines of this stainless-steel casserole pan with a steamer insert and clear lid. The bottom of this double boiler pan is a little shorter than standard-sized pots, so it easily stores away even when stacked. The encapsulated stainless-steel base provides quality, even heating and the vented, tempered glass lid allows you to monitor the progress of your dish without lifting and allows steam to escape while keeping the heat inside the pan. Use both together to cook two dishes at once or just use the bottom half as a Dutch oven. The lid fits both halves effortlessly and the entire Oster Sangerfield Stainless Steel Cookware set is dishwasher safe.
Made of stainless steel
Clear, vented, tempered glass lid
Stackable measurements = 8.5”(diameter) x 6.2”(height)
Comes with a 3-quart saucepan, stainless-steel steamer insert, and lid.
- Weight2.72 pounds
When you don’t want to fork out the cash for an entire double boiler for chocolate melting or other irregular dishes, you might want to consider this incredibly affordable SONGZIMING Stainless Steel Double Boiler Pot Universal Insert. This ingenious piece of cookware from SONGSIMING offers a generous 600ml capacity and is designed to fit inside your existing saucepans and smaller pots so you can steam, melt, and cook smaller quantities with ease. The elongated handle is great for keeping your hands away from the hot stove and boiling liquids while the front hook tightly grips the bottom pan so your makeshift double boiler pot won’t slip while stirring. What’s more, the insert features a pour spout on both sides so that you can use either hand for spill-free pouring. If you want to try something a bit diffferent in the kitchen, here is our list of the top sous-vides you might like.
Made of 18/8 rust-resistant stainless steel
Large capacity of 600ml
Double pouring spouts on both sides
Dimensions = 11”(L) x 6.1”(W) x 2.8”(H)
Heat-resistant, extra-long handle
- Weight7.2 ounces
If you’re looking to save space with a premium product, you can’t go far wrong with Calphalon Premier Space-Saving Nonstick Sauce Pan with Double Boiler. This stylish and functional option is able to stack and nest in any order for easy storage and claims to save up to 30% more space in your cupboards. The durable construction of this set is made from hard, anodized aluminum and metal utensil non-stick covering to allow even heat distribution without polluting your food while remaining dishwasher safe for your convenience. The stainless-steel handles stay cool to the touch during cooking and the flat tempered glass lids are great for watching your food cook without needing to let the heat escape. If you want to cook like a real pro, check out these handy kitchen torches as well.
Stacks and nests in any order
Made of hard-anodized aluminum and 3-layer non-stick interior
Features stainless-steel heat-resistant handles
8″ diameter products
- Weight9.81 pounds
Specially designed with superior aluminum construction and non-stick interior to evenly distribute heat and make clean-up a breeze, T-fal B1399663 Speciality Stainless Steel Double Boilers are a great addition to any kitchen. Whether you’re a master chef or are learning a new skill, you’ll surely appreciate their quality. The ergonomic handle has been carefully designed to offer a safe and secure grip. At the same time, the even heat base and stainless-steel double boiler pot insert make any dish easier than ever to master. The tempered glass lid fits both the bottom saucepan and top double boiler pot so they can be used separately or together for a wider range of cooking tasks. Besides which, the top pot fits snuggly on the bottom, so you don’t need to worry about spillages or fighting to keep the pan still while stirring, or you can use an automatic pot stirrer.
Aluminium construction with non-stick interior
Tempered glass lid fits both pans
- Weight2 pounds
With an iconic, timeless style that adds a level of sophistication to any kitchen, these Faberware Classic Stainless Steel 2-Quart Covered Double Boilers are incredibly attractive. Plus, with a full cap base that features a thick aluminum core surrounded by stainless-steel to ensure fast, even heating, they’re suitable for use with even the most sophisticated of recipes. The double boiler pan, pot, and lid are all dishwasher safe and can even be used in the oven up to 350 degrees. The “iconic” handles have been carefully designed to ensure a secure grip. Whether you’re looking for a double boiler for chocolate melting or want to use the saucepan without the double boiler pot, the stainless-steel lid offers an attractive and functional fit on both parts. It allows you to experiment with a wider range of cooking possibilities, just like any of these quality air fryers.
Useable in the oven up to 350 degrees
Aluminium core surrounded by stainless steel
- Weight2.86 pounds
Okay, so this isn’t technically a double boiler for chocolate or sauces, as the holes would allow anything liquid to fall through! That said, Mockins 3-Piece Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Steamer Set is made it onto our list of the best double boilers thanks to the quality materials and range of functions this item offers. This set includes a 2-quart steamer basket that fits comfortably into a 3-quart saucepan. It also features a tight-fitting vented glass lid to keep the steam in and help you cook the perfect dishes every time. Not only that, but this 3-piece steaming set is made with the highest quality heavy-duty stainless steel, featuring an aluminum core to help ensure even heat distribution. The thick rolled pot rims allow you to pour without any risk of spillages and the Bakelite handles stay cool while cooking. If it definitely a cool kitchen gadget to have at hand.
Made of high-quality, heavy-duty stainless steel with an aluminum core base
Thick, durable pot rims allow spill-free pouring
Bakelite handles stay cool while cooking
Oven safe up to 350 degrees
- Weight4.79 pounds
Sysmie clearly knows what you need when cooking with double boilers, as this stainless-steel melting pot comes with a heat-resistant handle and even includes a stylish silicone spatula in a matching color for all your chocolate melting/sauce making needs. The double pour spout on each side allows you to enjoy spill-free pouring whichever hand you prefer to use and the durable, rust-resistant stainless steel construction allows for a strong grip and even heating. The entire Sysmie Double Boiler with Silicone Spatula has been created from a single sheet of steel, so there are no seams or cracks to trap your food and the front hook allows the pot to grip onto any wok, pot or saucepan easily.
304 stainless-steel construction
Silicone grip handle and included spatula
Double pouring spouts on both sides
- Weight9.6 ounces
One of the most expensive double boilers on our list, this Premier Saucepan And Double Boiler Pot Set from Calphalon, is designed to save space when storing as well as providing you with the ultimate cooking potential in every dish. Made of a triple-layer aluminum core surrounded by high-quality stainless steel, this set provides truly even heating for predictable, controlled cooking results. It is even oven safe up to 450 degrees. The long stainless-steel handle is incredibly strong and sturdy and allows you to hold the pan without getting your hands too close to the heat while the unique shape of Calphalon cookware is designed to stack and nest with a wide range of other cookware to save up to 30% more space. This is a perfect tool to always have in your kitchen, just each of these electric pressure cookers.
Triple-layer aluminum core with stainless-steel construction
Long and sturdy stainless-steel handle
Stackable and nestable to save up to 30% more space
- Weight10.23 pounds
The perfect double boiler for chocolate or fondue, these Classic Cuisine Double Boilers are made from high-quality stainless-steel with a mirror finish on the outside and satin finish inside for a sleek and stylish look perfect for any kitchen. The materials are all incredibly long-lasting and designed to make clean-up simple while ensuring an even and controlled heat distribution no matter what you’re cooking. The creators are clearly cooking themselves, as they’ve included really convenient quart and liter measurements on the inside of the pot, so you know exactly how much of each ingredient you’re adding to your recipe. In contrast, the double boiler pot can be used individually for a wide range of cooking tasks, just like these indoor grills.
Includes bottom saucepan, top double boiler pot, and tempered glass lid
Measurements in quarts and liters included on the inside of the double boiler pan
Made of stainless steel with a mirror finish on the outside and satin finish inside for an attractive look
- BrandClassic Cuisine
- Weight3.5 pounds
A bright and stylish multi-pot, this Double Boiler Pan from Rachel Ray Brights is the perfect addition to a vibrant kitchen and is great for soups, stews, seafood, pasta, and so much more. The durable aluminum saucepot heats quickly and evenly for controlled cooking. It is coated with a long-lasting non-stick finish to make every dish and clean-up easier than ever. The steamer basket fits comfortably inside with an easy-clean stainless-steel construction. The tempered lid fits both parts of the double boiler so you can use the whole thing together or separately and the saucepot is even oven safe up to 350 degrees. What’s more, the carefully designed handles are easy to grip and comfortable in your hand, as well as being double-riveted to provide you with the strength and stability you need when lifting and moving the pan cast iron skillet.
Durable aluminum and stainless steel construction
Long-lasting non-stick coating
Grippy, comfortable handles
Oven safe up to 350 degrees
Includes 3-quart saucepot, stainless steel steamer insert, and tempered glass lid
- BrandRachael Ray
- Weight3.6 pounds
Double Boiler Buying Guide & FAQ
Now we've seen some of the best double boilers on the market today, let's take a look at some of the features you should think about when shopping and answer some of those common queries you might have about double boilers…
Features To Look For In Double Boilers
Size - Although this seems silly, one of the most important things to think about when looking at double boilers is the size! Obviously, it needs to fit on your stovetop, so if your hobs are particularly small, this is something that will need to be considered. Equally, there's little point in buying a double boiler pot that's too small for the intended use.
Stainless Steel - You should also give some thought to the materials used. The best double boilers will usually be stainless steel or even glass as these materials are excellent for evenly distributing heat, are non-sticking, don't add taste or particles to your food. Not only that, but stainless steel is almost indestructible, so a stainless steel double boiler pan can last in your kitchen for years.
Lid - Although it's not necessary for a double boiler pot to come with a lid as most recipes calling for a double boiler will require constant stirring, you might find that some will include one as a way of increasing the versatility of your double boiler. Seeing as it's relatively unusual for someone to use double boilers every day, having a lid and dual function makes the best double boilers far more useful in your everyday life.
Handles - As we all know, pretty much anything that's cooked is going to get hot! Look out for handles when shopping for double boilers to avoid burns or discomfort when you're cooking.
Heat-resistant handles are best, not only for when you're done with cooking but also for holding your pan still while stirring with an oven mitt! Think about how the handle has been designed, whether it's going to sit too close to the heat source and whether it's large and strong enough to comfortably hold and lift the pan. It's a good idea to keep an eye out for clear lids, as these will let you check the progress of your dish without having to lift it every few minutes.
Pan - Along with size, you're going to want to be sure your double boiler pan offers the right capacities to cook your desired dishes comfortably. In particular, make sure the bottom pan is large enough to contain a few inches of water without the top pan touching it. Check the heat conductivity, size, accessories, and practicalities of your double boiler pot before purchasing to ensure you get the best.
Double Boiler FAQ
Q: What is a double boiler?
A: A double boiler is an incredibly useful kitchen tool that's designed to help with delicate cooking tasks such as melting chocolate, making hollandaise sauce, and other aspects of cooking where the food or sauce in question needs to be slightly further away from direct heat. It's a bit like steaming, but without the steam!
The double boiler itself is basically two metal pots, one deep that sits on top of your stove, and the other a smaller, shallower pan that sits on the bottom layer so you can make your favorite delicate dishes without ruining it with too much intense heat.
Q: Can I use a double boiler to make fudge and candy?
A: You sure can! Using a double boiler to make fudge and candy is an excellent idea as it stops the ingredients from getting too hot and cooking too quickly, while also ensuring that no steam or other things that might ruin your mixture are able to penetrate. There are loads of recipes online for how to make fudge or candy using double boilers. And even when the recipe doesn't specifically call for it, we found that every time we used a double boiler in our candy-making, the results were far better than they were before we invested!
Q: How much water should I use in my double boiler?
A: Usually, a couple of inches of water in the bottom pan is plenty to get you cooking with a double boiler. You want to make sure there's enough to get the water hot, but not so much that the steam can escape. The top pan should never actually touch the water, but sit a few inches above it for the best results.
Q: How does a double boiler melt chocolate?
A: Melting chocolate over a double boiler is probably the best way to ensure smooth, silky, burn-free melted chocolate every time. By heating the water in the bottom double boiler pot and placing the chocolate in the top pan, the water will gradually heat up the space between the pans to create a slow, controlled heat that will slowly melt the chocolate. For best results, slowly stir the chocolate using a plastic spatula while melting to ensure an even and thorough outcome.