A Guide to Essential Cookware for your Kitchen

Written by on April 2010

All-Clad Cookware

“What are the basic pieces of cookware I should have in my kitchen?”, is a frequently asked question received in our customer service department.  MetroKitchen has compiled a list of “must have” cookware pieces that we promise, you will reach for daily, no matter what cooking skills you may have.  From dutch ovens to All-Clad fry pans, this list will help you decide what you need.

Here are the essential cookware pieces we recommend you invest in:
1. Stainless Fry Pan- It is best to have a fry pan that will serve many different purposes, in essence, become the workhorse of your kitchen. Our first recommended piece of cookware is a stainless fry pan, preferably 12″. A fry pan, also known as a skillet or omelet pan, can be used to cook vegetables, eggs and meats. Cooks Illustrated Magazine, picked the All-Clad stainless 12 inch fry pan as their favorite choice of stainless fry pan. The fry pan should be stainless, lightweight, and have an extended handle, great for comfort while you cook. Stainless fry pans, such as All-Clad are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

2. Non-stick Fry Pan-We recommend a non stick fry pan for your home, such as the Scanpan fry pan. The non stick fry pan, best to buy 12″ size, is great for cooking delicate foods that would normal stick to stainless fry pans, such as eggs, pancakes or stir fry. It is really easy to cooking healthy recipes with the non stick fry pan, because little butter or oil is required for desired cooking results.

3. Stainless Saute Pan-The stainless steel saute pan is a versatile pan, usually one that can go from the stove top to the oven. Saute pans are usually constructed with two handles, one long extended handle and one shorter helper handle, for easy lifting and maneuvering. They also have wide flat Saute pans are different than fry pans and skillets, they have wide flat bottoms and short straight sides, which are great for even heating when cooking casseroles and one pan meals. It is best to get a larger size saute pan, such as the All-Clad 3.5 quart with domed lid.

4. Stainless Sauce Pan-Another must have cookware essential is the stainless steel sauce pan, preferably 3 quarts. Stainless steel sauce pan is necessary when cooking soups, sauces or rice. We think a stainless steel sauce pan is a must, because it wont react with your sauce or soup recipes.

5. Stainless Stock Pot- You will find a stock pot can serve many purposes, but will mostly be used for boiling water for pasta or boiling larger foods such as lobsters or potatoes. Some stock pots come with inserts such as a steam basket, so you can steam vegetables with ease. A great pot is the All-Clad 12 quart disc bottom multi-cooker stock pot. This pot includes a steamer basket and colander insert.

6. Stainless Roasting Pan- Roasters come in many shapes and sizes, and are great for holiday cooking such as turkey or ham, and daily cooking for lasagnas, chicken and potatoes. You will get a lot of use out of a roasting pan, so it is important to pick a durable one, such as All-Clad stainless roasting pan. Most roasting pans include wire rack. A stainless roasting pan is roomy in size, and have dual helper handles for easy lifting, out of your oven onto your counter-top or table top. A good roasting pan needs to be able to handle 500 degrees temperature in the oven.

7. Cast Iron Dutch Oven: Also called a coquette or french oven, the cast iron dutch oven is not only a versatile piece of cookware, but also stylish one that looks great on a stovetop or as a serving piece on your table top. The cast iron dutch oven is perfect for slow cooking recipes such as chilli and stews. It can be used for sauces and casserole dishes as well. Cast iron is a heavier pan than the others we recommend, but the cooking performance and results are worth it. Cast iron dutch ovens are available in many sizes and colors. We recommend at least a 6 quart dutch oven for your kitchen, and one that includes a lid.

Every piece of cookware serves a purpose, and sometimes serves several.  Today you can find a piece of cookware or kitchen equipment that can  fulfill every kitchen task to perfection. Beyond the basics is another blog all together, with other pieces of cookware that are great to have as well!

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