Just like most newlyweds, I registered for a “one-size-fits-all” set of Cuisinart pots and pans when we got married. Don’t get me wrong – those box sets are awesome! And, I use many of those pots frequently. But, the truth is, there are really only a few pots and pans you need in a kitchen. And, the ones I use most, didn’t come with my boxed set.
In fact, I use only about 4 different kinds of pots and pans 99% of the time. So, I thought I’d welcome you into my kitchen and show you the most essential pots and pans to have around! Come take a tour with me and meet my favorite pots and pans :).
1. A 12″ Nonstick Saute Pan
I use this pan for EVERYTHING. We bought this 12″ Calphalon Saute Pan with wedding money when we got married. At the time, I thought spending $100 for a pan was a little expensive, but I use this pan about 4-5 times a week – and have never regretted this purchase.
It is big enough for a one-pan meal of pasta or vegetables + meat. It is perfect for scrambled eggs on the weekend. It is the right size for just sauteing onions and tomatoes for a good tomato sauce. I use it to pan-fry burgers – and even deep-fry okra! It also doubles well as a WOK. It is a heavy-duty pan that is SUPER easy to clean, and after 6+ years doesn’t show signs of wear at all. If you only buy one pan for your kitchen – buy this pan! (I don’t put this in the dishwasher, as the instructions say you can. It’s easy to clean, so I just hand-clean it myself.)
by Calphalon [Calphalon]
2. A 2 Quart Saucepan
This is the basic saucepan that came with my boxed set – and it is definitely my most-used saucepan! It’s the perfect size – and I use it more than my 1 quart pot. It’s perfect for cooked oatmeal, steaming vegetables (see below), simmering tomato sauce, cooking pasta – just about anything! I actually have two of these pots, because I often use two at a time – the size is perfect!
by Calphalon [Calphalon Cookware]
3. An Enamel Stockpot
I have Emily to thank for introducing this to me! My aunt gave it to me a couple of years ago – and LOVE it! This one is so pretty, I keep it on my counter at all times. I usually use it for soup, sauces, large batches of pasta – it’s so nice to have a big pretty pot that I love. Emily also has an awesome bread recipe that uses this pot – I hope she shares it soon! (This is the one I have from Belk.)
4. A Steamer
I don’t make a ton of side dishes – instead I make 95% of our vegetables using a steamer. Instead of heating up the oven and creating new recipes for vegetables, I just throw fresh or frozen vegetables into my steamer and let it cook the vegetables – super easy. My steamer is made by Cuisinart, and fits into my Cuisinart pots perfectly. But, below is an easy steamer that can fit in any pot! Vegetables I steam: broccoli, green beans, Veggie mixes, Stir Fry Veggies, Asparagus, and other frozen vegetables.
by Sunsella [Sunsella]
5. Honorable Mention
If you want to branch out from these 4 basic pan types – here are my other favorites!
1. A Cast Iron Skillet – This is a favorite for skillet apples, searing pieces of meat, stir fry, and eggs. Just be careful how you wash it!
2. An 8″ Omelette Pan – This is a recent addition to my pots and pans, and love it for my eggs for breakfast in the morning. It’s perfect for one person! It’s also nice to pan fry up an addition to a larger dish.
3. A 1.5 Quart Saucepan – If you need a smaller saucepan, this one is perfect! I use mine less than the 2 quart – but it’s a great size for smaller amounts of vegetables and sauces. Mine also fits with my steamer so I can steam veggies with it.
Let us know your favorite pots and pans! I am always looking for new things to add to my kitchen ;-).