The Cookalong Podcast

Your Cooking Companion

Posted in Tools & Equipment
November 11, 2018

Things You Should Have in your Kitchen–Part 2: Pans

This is the second of a four-part exploration of the essentials you need in your kitchen, when you are about to start cooking for yourself and/or others for the first time.  In Part 1, we talked about the tools you will absolutely need. And again, I’m not talking to potential chefs here, just anyone who needs to prepare even the most basic meals.

Mostly, you can start with stuff from your local thrift store, upgrading as you are able and as you figure out which tools are most important for the way you cook. This pan part will be short, because you can find additional info about what KIND of pans I recommend HERE.

Here’s what I think it would be hard to get along without:

  • Deep soup pot, for homemade soups, cooking bones down to broth, cooking pasta, making breakfast bars and Marshmallow Treats
  • Small saucepan (1 ½ quart), for canned soup, heating pizza sauce, taco sauce, oatmeal, hot cocoa, and a lot of other stuff. I recommend a non-stick surface, and preferably one that doesn’t flake off. You will want it to have a lid.
  • Large saucepan (3 quart), for recipes that say, “large saucepan”. There are a lot of them. This also should have a lid, and non-stick is more important for this than any of the other saucepans.
  • That being said, I probably use my 2 quart sauce pan more often than the other two combined. Mine is not non-stick, and that’s fine. If you get one, you will again want it to have a lid. But if you’re in a financial pinch, the other two saucepans will get you through.
  • 10-12 inch frying/saute pan. Stir fries, spaghetti sauce, browning things, prepping stuff for the slow cooker, breakfast for company, and on and on. Cast iron is great because it can go directly from stovetop to oven. Or stainless steel, which I love. Read more HERE.
  • 8-inch frying/saute pan. Frying or scrambling an egg, melting butter, sauteing garlic. Probably the pan you will use the most. Again, more info HERE.

Those are the basics. When you are able, or when you spot something great in the thrift shop or on sale somewhere, it’s really helpful to have more than one of each of the frying pans and of the soup pot.

There are a few pans tucked into the list of Tools, in Part 1, for things that go into the oven. Before you start shopping, look that list over, too.

For help with the other things your kitchen needs:

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