Skip to main content

Essential Pots & Pans

Having a good set of pots and pans is a must for those who like to cook every day.  I would be lost without my essential pots, and if you must know, I'm partial to All-Clad.  Their superb product line comes in many shapes and sizes.  From their tri-ply (they come in five-ply now) construction to their stay cool handles, these pots and pans will not disappoint; it helps to have pans that are oven safe.   Not only are they durable and made to last a lifetime, they're also easy to clean.  Admittedly, they are quite an investment to make initially, but are worth every bit in the long run.  There are other comparable brands available to the consumer and it really is up to you and your budget what you end up buying.  Use the following list of pots and pans merely as a guide.  There are a few other essential vessels that you should have in your kitchen which aren't from All-Clad.  Take a look at what I use in my kitchen. 

  • 1 qt.: this little pan is great for melting butter, making small amounts of rice, reheating single-servings, heating small amounts of stock & scalding milk.
  • 2 qt.: the high sides of this pot are perfect for caramels, boiling sugar, heating stocks, steaming rice and as a double-boiler base.
  • 4 qt.: this large saucepan is essential for making pasta sauces, small amounts of risotto, boiling small quantities of pasta, poaching & hardboiling eggs, heating stocks or broth.

Saute Pans

  • 3qt. or 4qt.: sauteing cutlets, searing steaks, making risotto, poaching fish fillets or making one pan meals.
  • 6qt. (wide): essential when cooking for a crowd, sauteing several cutlets, large batches of leafy greens, making quick pasta sauces, frying fritters.

Frying Pans

  • 8" (nonstick & stainless): perfect for frying eggs, making omelets, crepes, small frittatas, toasting spices or making one person dishes.
  • 10" with lid (nonstick & stainless): for larger frittatas, sauteing chops, cutlets, steaks, vegetables, making paninis, rice pilafs or for heating up tortillas.
  • 12" with lid (nonstick & stainless): can be used to stir fry, saute vegetables, make larger one dish meals for at least 4-6 servings and very suitable for perfect rice pilafs. 


  • 7qt. or 8qt.: the pot to use when boiling pasta, making soups and stews.  Having a pasta insert is a bonus because it strains in the same pot. 
  • 12qt.: designed for making large batches of stock. It's also helpful for cooking lobster, making crab & shrimp boils, making soups & cassoulets for a crowd. 

Dutch Oven & Roasting Pan
  • 5qt. Dutch Oven: great for making stews, chilis, chicken & dumplings, steaming vegetables or fish.
  • Roasting Pan: essential for roasting chicken, turkey, roasts, pork loins & vegetables.  Choose one that suits your cooking (get a larger one if you roast larger birds or a smaller one if you only roast small ones). I also like this type of pan for poaching large pieces of fish, such as an entire side of salmon.
Useful Extras (from top to bottom, left to right)

  • 2qt. Saute Pan: this one is useful for making rice pilafs, steaming small portions of rice, quinoa, barley or wheat berries.  It's also great for heating stocks & reheating leftovers. 
  • 3qt. Saucier: a must for making an array of sauces.  I use it for lemon curd, pastry cream and many other dessert sauces.  It's also great for making creamed spinach and bechamel.  The rounded edges allow for a whisk to make full contact with the pot.
  • Double Boiler Insert: designed to fit over a saucepan to melt chocolate, heat sauces (like hollandaise), hold freshly made mashed potatoes and a must for french scrambled eggs.
  • 4 qt. Braiser: the pan to use for paellas, steaming dumplings, hot smoking fish fillets and making a large batch of ratatouille or other vegetables and risottos.
  • Grill Pan: for grilling chicken, steaks, fish fillets, sandwiches & vegetables

Carbon Steel Wok & Cast Iron Frying Pans

  • Wok (carbon steel): the vessel of choice for stir frying.  It is very responsive to heat. Get one that is at least 14" in diameter  
  • 10" Frying Pan:  This pan is versatile.  Use it to bake cornbread, deep fry chicken, roast an entire chicken, make paninis, or fry potatoes.
  • 12" Frying Pan:  The larger pan allows you to make chicken under a brick, fry larger batches of fritters, fish or vegetables.  It's also great for making hash.

It isn't necessary to have every one of these pans in your kitchen, but it is helpful to have the right tool for the task.  As I've said, choose according to your cooking style and the size of your family.  Many cookware stores will sell you sets with some of the essentials, which are a great value, but it's also great to have the option to buy individually.  Invest in high quality pots & pans that will last you a lifetime and you'll be enjoying them for generations.  Enjoy your cooking endeavors! 


  1. I have old Wagner ware cast iron skillets. Wonderfully seasoned and so usefull. My mother inlaw has a very lg one she makes a homemade pineapple upside down cake in. And it comes right out onto a serving plate. Simplistic and delicious! Nothing like a good old seasoned iron skillet!

  2. I love good iron skillets too! My mom has this ginormous cast iron griddle that everyone in the family wants! Someday, maybe. :)

  3. WOW! lovely like this post.its really amazing .Thanks for sharing this!Nice cooking utensil range with smart quality, and therefore the promotion appearance thus attractive.This ceramic cookware with an aluminum base is essentially a great heat conductor. currently, whereas I make some tomato sauce, cooking within the smallest pot for Pillsbury dough pizza, it starts effervescent on a low heat. thus basically, I believe these pans and pots are better than others on the market.I always prefer this cookware set in my kitchen .


Post a Comment

Thank You for Posting!

Popular posts from this blog

Antique Salt Cellars

There was a time when salt cellars played an important role on the dining table for the host or hostess.  As a result of it being such an expensive commodity several hundred years ago, salt was seen as a luxury and it was the well to do that made salt cellars quite fashionable & a status symbol for the home.  A single salt cellar usually sat at the head of the table and was passed around throughout the meal.  The closer one sat to the salt cellar, the more important one was deemed by the head of the household.  Smaller cellars that were more accessible and with an open top became a part of Victorian table settings.  Fast forward to the 20th century when salt was no longer a luxury and when anti caking agents were added to make salt free-flowing, and one begins to see salt cellars fall out of fashion.  Luckily for the collector and for those of us who like to set a table with Good Things , this can prove to be a boon. Salt cellars for the table come in silver, porcelain, cut glass

How to Paint a Chair

If you have ever felt the need to spruce up a set of chairs or give them a new look, why not try a little bit of paint?  Our tastes in decor and color will probably alter throughout our lives, and at some point, we may find ourselves wanting to change the look of our furniture without having to spend a lot of money.  That's where a few handy tips, some tools from the hardware store, and good-quality paint come in handy.   I know I'm not alone in paying visits to local antique shops, antique fairs and flea markets, and falling in love with pieces of furniture that would be perfect if they were just a different color.  You don't have to walk away from a good purchase simply because it's the wrong color.   My dear friend, Jeffrey, is forever enhancing his home with collectibles from flea markets and tag sales.  However, certain items aren't always up to Jeffrey's tastes when he brings them home.  He is the type of person who won't hesitate to chang

Vintage Wilton Wedding Cakes

Wedding cakes have certainly evolved over the decades just as tastes and styles have in our American way of life.  There was a time when elaborate & very formal towering feats of sweetness were the standard for every bride & groom.  Growing up in a household where I witnessed several wedding cakes take shape from start to finish, I can tell you  that every single one of these was a true labor of love.  For mom, Wilton was the go-to supplier in every aspect of cake baking, including the wedding cakes which flew out of our house every single year for friends & family.   Vintage Wedding Cake Toppers It’s fun going back and looking at Wilton’s methods and styles for wedding cakes during the 1960s and 1970s.  Back then, the shapely cakes were not simply stacked and covered in perfect fondant the way they are these days, but were iced and decorated with real buttercream, along with a multitude of accessories.  There was even a working fountain available that could b