Chef Recommended: Essential Pans For Your Kitchen
Any home cook knows that the tools that you use in the kitchen can have a huge impact on the finished result that ends up on your plate. While we often talk about which knives you should use for different tasks and the importance of picking the right one, it’s also important that you have the most suitable pans.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common pans and what they are most often used for so you can make the best choices in the kitchen.
In this guide:
- The Intro
- Frying Pan
- Sauté Pan
- Casserole Pan
Available in a range of different sizes and depths, saucepans are absolutely essential in the kitchen. They are likely to be the pans that you use the most often as they are suitable for a number of different jobs such as boiling vegetables, making sauces, and cooking pasta and rice.
It’s a good idea to invest in a few different sizes so you’re prepared for a number of different tasks as well as cooking different quantities.
A skillet is most commonly used for tasks such as chargrilling fish and vegetables, and searing meat. Their flat or ribbed base makes them perfect for these tasks as they can withstand plenty of dry heat.
Skillets tend to have slanted sides which make it easy to move ingredients around when you’re cooking, so this is a good all-rounder.
Although frying pans are particularly similar to skillet pans, there are some small differences that give these pans different uses. As frying pans have shallow sides and a large surface area, they allow the food to sit close to the heat, making them ideally suited for tasks such as frying eggs, making frittatas and omelettes, and stir-frying ingredients.
Unlike frying pans, sauté pans have straight sides and a lid, so they are perfect for quick temperature changes and moving ingredients around. They are often used for sauces and sautéing ingredients such as onions. As they have a lid and tall sides, you can work with liquid ingredients that may otherwise be unsuitable in a shallow pan.
If you enjoy making soups, a stockpot may be essential for your kitchen. This large pan has tall sides and holds plenty inside it. The size of the pan makes it ideal for making large quantities of things such as soup. You can also use these pans for tasks such as braising, steaming, and poaching.
Most often used in oriental cooking, woks are perfectly designed to hold a lot of ingredients while moving them around the pan. They have tall, sloped sides which are perfect for tossing ingredients around, ensuring that they’re all cooked evenly as well as coated in whatever sauce you may be using.
Also known as a stew pot or a Dutch oven, these pots are often made of cast iron and are perfect for making stews and casseroles. They can also be made of the same metals as your other pans, such as stainless steel and aluminium, so you can choose which one works best for you. It’s worth noting that if you’re cooking meat, you’ll need a metal pan to brown the meat, so if you’re using a pot made of cast iron, you’ll need a separate pan to do this.
Choosing the right pans for your kitchen really depends on what you most often cook. Saucepans and frying pans are probably the most common, but you may find that you don’t really have much use for other pans if you don’t often cook certain foods. You can take a look at our selection of pans and if you want something to get you off to a good start, why not check out this 6-piece cookware set which features some of the most common pans.