Pots and Pans
There’s no need to collect every style of pot or
pan that’s ever been made. A few carefully selected, high-quality pans
will last you a lifetime.
Look for triple-ply pans with
tight-fitting lids and riveted handles, made preferably of metal, not
wood or plastic, so they can go into the oven. Triple-ply means there
are three layers of metal, one that conducts heat well, like aluminum
or copper, sandwiched between two layers of another metal chosen
mainly for its looks, durability, or usefulness.
Whether or not the
interior is nonstick is up to you, but it’s nice to have at least one
or two sauté pans with a nonstick surface, especially for cooking
eggs. Here are a few pans that you’ll be happy you have:
Frying pans: One 8- and one 10-inch slope-sided
pan. Classically speaking, frying pans don’t come with lids, but
lately, manufacturers have been including them, which is great. Those
lids come in handy. The 8-inch pan is perfect for omelets.
Sauté pan: A straight-sided shallow pan with a lid.
A large sauté pan is best—14 inches is good. Sauté pans are perfect
for longer simmered dishes, sauces and braises.
Saucier: A slope-sided saucepan. Since saucers have
no corners, stirring is a snap, making this a perfect pan for
preparing risotto. Depending on the size of your family, a 3- or
4-quart should be fine.
Saucepan: Straight-sided deep pan good for boiling
vegetables, grains and sauces.
Dutch oven: Similar to a stockpot, a Dutch oven
should be heavy and have a tight-fitting lid for long, slow braises in
the oven. Dutch ovens can also be used for cooking pasta.
Double boiler: A double boiler is a two-part
double-decker pot. The bottom pot is filled with water, and the second
pot rests snugly on top. Double boilers reduce the risk of burning
delicate sauces and chocolate, because they rely on indirect heat. The
heat comes from steam that comes from the boiling water in the bottom
Stockpot: A 12-quart stockpot is handy for soups,
stews, chilies, pasta, corn on the cob—and other big batches of food.
Choose a heavy-bottomed pot to minimize scorching.
Page 1 off 1