For all your culinary needs
Stocking a kitchen with basic cookware is necessary for ease and convenience in meal preparation. In addition, you want to make sure that your kitchen cookware is suited to your specific needs. There are different materials to consider when choosing pots and pans, for example, and you want to make sure you have the right tools for the cooking job. There are several different types of cookware and each cook has their own personal preferences.
Some of the most popular types of cookware include:
- Cast iron cookware. This is classic, indestructible cookware, and after seasoning (oiling and heating in the oven repeatedly) it’s essentially non-stick. While heavy, cast iron conducts heat wonderfully and allows iron to be transferred into the food, especially acidic items such as tomatoes and sauces.
- Copper cookware. Copper also conducts heat well and is often the professional cookware of choice because of its strength and ability to cook food evenly. Copper is on the high end of the price range for cookware, but offers great quality and longevity.
- Non-stick cookware. Non-stick cookware sets still enjoy popularity for their convenience and easy clean up. They are affordable and allow you to reduce the fat used to fry foods. They are not as durable as the metals, and you must not use metal utensils in them, but they do have many useful applications for foods that tend to stick such as cookies and eggs.
- Stainless steel cookware. Stainless steel pots and pans are light and easy to clean, however it will not conduct heat well unless also used in combination with other metals such as aluminum and copper. Stainless steel with an aluminum core makes for great, easy-to-maintain cookware.
Now that you have an overview of the main choices available in cookware, you might wonder about which kinds of pans you really need. This will depend upon several factors such as how frequently you cook and what kinds of meals you typically make. For the average family, the following is a guide to the bare essentials:
- Two 10-inch or larger frying pans (preferably one cast iron) and one small frying pan
- One Dutch oven
- One pasta pot (a medium to large aluminum pot is usually sufficient)
- Two saucepans – one medium, one small (cast iron is good for one of these pans)
- Two cookie sheets
- One rectangular cake pan (usually 9 x 13 inches)
Whether you are furnishing your first kitchen or simply restocking it after years of odds and ends and worn-out cookware, you will find that buying the right cookware will renew your enthusiasm in cooking and make it a pleasure to prepare your favorite meals.