Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Newlyweds Guide to Pots and Pans

Pots and Pans!  What kind should I buy?? What do I need?? Almost everyone is perplexed by this question, but it isn't that difficult.The bottom line is---  What you need depends on what you cook.  I fell into this trap and have pots I never use but am too guilty to discard.   The pots I don't use were part of a  large set I bought.  So my first suggestion: STAY AWAY FROM THE BOXED SET  WITH OVER 8 PIECES.
1. The 8 piece set usually comes with  2 fry pans (1 being an omelet pan), 1 stockpot with lid,1 saute pan with lid and 1 saucepan with lid. This should be adequate with a few open stock additions.
Non Stick, All Clad ,Multi Clad, Copper,Enamel. Iron???
1. If you are weight watching or cooking fat free  You can use very little oil or none to achieve great results. The non stick saucepan is also great for oatmeal ,rice, puddings, hot cocoa, melting chocolate, soups or anything you cook that tends to stick to the pan.
2. Omelets come out great in a non stick fry pan--they don't break up and slide right out of the pan.
3. If you are an average cook this may be your best bet, but only use WOOD or NYLON utensils!!!
4.  Works on traditional gas, electric and ceramic cook tops NOT the newer INDUCTION cook top.


1. It's all about the heat conductivity here.  These pans provide even heat to be distributed throughout the pan to eliminate hot spots and uneven cooking. Some of these will work with INDUCTION .If you are a more advanced cook this is for you.

1. Similar to the All Clad with heat conductivity.  This was the cooks choice for years before non stick,all clad and multi clad.  It's beautiful but needs to be polished.  If you love the look--go for it!

1.Enamel cast iron is known for its intense heat retention without the hot spots.  Its great for stews, soups, briskets, slow roasting and stove to oven cooking. The name synonymous with this type of cookware is
"Le Creuset" made in France.
2. It can be used on ALL types of cook tops
1. Holds high heat for searing,blackening and DEEP browning.  Gives food intense color from the high heat it generates. Nothing gives steak and chops a deep crust like an iron skillet. It also makes great corn bread. The name synonymous with cast iron is LODGE. This is a MUST in every kitchen.
2. Inexpensive

Roaster Pan with Rack
NON Stick Griddle/grill
Pasta Pot
                                                             Le Creuset Dutch Oven

So let's get our pans!
1. Select your 8 piece set
2. If you are selecting All Clad, Multi Clad,Copper
    Non Stick 8" omelet pan
    Non Stick saucepan
    12" cast iron Lodge Skillet for the searing ,blackening steaks, chops, fish, vegetables
    Double Reversible Griddle for steaks, chops,pancakes
    Le Creuset Dutch Oven for stew, chili, brisket, pot roast
    Large Non Stick Roasting Pan  with rack for Turkey, Chicken  Calphalon has a great one
    Large All Clad pasta cooker steamer for soups, pastas, vegetables
3. If you are selecting Non Stick
    ADD all of the above except the non stick omelet and sauce pans
4. If you are selecting the Le Creuset
    ADD all of the above except the Dutch Oven (unless it is not part of your set)

Electric Fondue Pot
It's fun--make cheese or meat fondues and don't forget chocolate fondue dessert!

Non Stick Wok
If you love stir fry this is a  must have addition

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