Category: Fundamental Equipment

Bakeware

Glass, ceramic, and metal are the three most popular picks for bakeware, with metal being the obvious choice for baking sheets. Light-colored metal makes for even browning (darker metal can cause over browning), and aluminum is best at conducting heat and reliably produces evenly baked goods. Glass is also a […]

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Roasting Pan

Look for a sturdy, heavy roasting pan that performs equally well on the stovetop as in the oven; handles for ease in lifting are a big plus. Choose a size that accommodates the joint of meat you roast most often. Pass on nonstick roasting pans, as you’ll miss out on […]

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Saute Pan

This pan differs from a skillet in that it has straight or slightly curved sides, which provides you with a larger cooking surface and better contains your food as it “jumps” over the heat (the translation of the French word sauter is “to jump”). It’s used for searing meat and […]

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Skillet

Also known as a frying pan, this flat-bottomed pan with slanted sides is required for tasks from frying or scrambling eggs to stir-frying and toasting nuts and seeds. A 10- to 12-inch skillet will suit most needs; if omelets are your typical breakfast, an 8-inch skillet will come in handy. […]

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Saucepan

The workhorse of the stove top, required for everything from blanching vegetables to cooking risotto. A 4-quart pan will serve many of your needs. A second, smaller pan—1 to 1½ quarts—is extremely handy to have around. Depending on how busy you get in the kitchen, another pot or two in […]

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Stockpot

Using homemade stock instead of stock from a box elevates your recipes, so a decent-sized stockpot at least 6-quart capacity is recommended for your collection of pots and pans. You’ll use it for boiling pasta and making soups as well.

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Dutch Oven

A heavy metal pot, typically made from cast iron, often passed down from your grandmother. You’ll find them coated in porcelain enamel in a range of colors; the coating makes the pot nonreactive and easy to care for. The classic Dutch oven dish is a long braise that goes from […]

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