Kitchen Basics: Pots, Pans and Skillets

Every cook is different, some are meatier and some are more veggie friendly – which will ultimately determine cookware inventory. First and foremost, evaluate what type of cook you are and purchase cookware accordingly. Don’t bake often? Then a cake pan shouldn’t be in your kitchen. Do you feed a large crowd only every blue moon? Then tons of large and extra-large pots should definitely not be in your kitchen. However, there are basic styles of pots and pans that should be in every kitchen since they can be used by any type of cook.

Stockpot:

Large 4 quarter to 2 gallon stainless with lid.

A large part is essential to a kitchen and can be used for much more than your quick weeknight spaghetti. Think of soups, stocks, stews, sauce, and boiling meats or veggies with this pot. And since this pot is most likely to be on the move (think draining pasta and etc.) a light weight one will do. Just make sure it’s not too light that it may burn whatever goodies are inside.

Sauté Pan:

Medium 10 to 14 inch stainless with lid.

Large enough to handle those ‘one pan’ meals – this sauté pan will become your best friend in the kitchen. Great for frying, sautéing or searing meats and veggies. And don’t forget for breakfast items such as pancakes, French toast, and scrambled eggs.

Saucepan:

Small 2 to 3 quart stainless with lid

This little saucepan is great for cooking rice, pasta and reheating soups and sauces.

Cast Iron Skillet:

Medium 10 to 12 inch with lid

This one is your best friend – a two for one. Can be used on the stove or in the oven and will be with you forever.

Non-stick Skillet

10in without lid

Consider this your cast iron back up when you’re in need of something quick whether its scrambled eggs or roasting meat and still jump from the stove into the oven. Just remember that non-stick skillets don’t care too much for being over high heat and will lose their coating, so it won’t be there with you forever like your cast iron skillet.

Cookie sheets (Rimmed baking sheets)

We all probably have too many of these – too many of the cheap ones that is. Invest in two to three good cookie sheets and use them for beyond just baking cookies. They’re great for roasting veggies, baking fries, broiling hamburgers and much more.

Those were the basics, here are a few ‘add ons’ IF they fit into your cooking style:

Dutch Oven with lid: Chili lovers unite and also great for popping popcorn kernels! Goes from stove to oven with ease and is long lasting.

Casserole Dish: For those once in a blue moon nights you do cook for others, a large casserole dish moves from stove to table to keep your entre together in an attractive serving dish.

Here are some cookware that is recommended not to buy:

Double-boiler: Unless you’re in the commercial industry or you just have money to spend, a heat-proof bowl over a sauce pot works just as well.

Aluminum Pots and Pans: These are not durable and doesn’t transfer heat evenly of efficiently.

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