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Old 01-15-2008, 09:30 AM   #1
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ISO Essential Pots and Pans for my Kitchen

I posted a separate thread discussing the merits of a saute pan vs. a skillet. It looks like my first pan will be a saute pan.

What size pots are also important to have in your kitchen? I figured I'd need:

Something to boil pasta (not sure what size)
Pot to cook rice (possibly same pot as pasta)
A nonstick pan for omelettes (size/type?)
Pot to steam vegetables.

Those are some guidelines. What else would you guys recommend?

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Old 01-15-2008, 09:41 AM   #2
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You would need a larger pot to cook pasta. Depending on how many people you cook for. I'd say you need a minimum 4-quart saucepan to cook pasta. A little larger pot would be OK too. A 7-quart dutch oven would serve to cook the pasta and is a good size for pot roasts, soups and stews.

To cook rice, you would use a smaller pot. 2-3 quarts would cook a lot of rice.

An 8 or 10 inch nonstick skillet made of heavy aluminum would work for omlets and eggs. If you use two eggs per serving, an 8" is a good size. For 3 or 4 eggs, I'd go with a 10" skillet.

You can buy an inexpesive steamer insert for $5.00 or $6.00 that will fit into your larger pot for steaming veggies. You don't need a separate pan.

Of course, you can steam vegeies very well in the microwave.
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Old 01-15-2008, 10:59 AM   #3
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jstarr,

If you cook normally for 3 or less people, my recommendation is:
3 Qtr. Saute pan with lid.
2 Qtr. Saucepan with lid.
3 Qtr. Windsor pan with lid.
4 Qtr. Saucepan with colander lid.
A Steaming insert.
10" in. Stainless Steel Frying pan, not non-stick Aluminium.
5 Qtr. Cast Iron Dutch Oven.

You should get a lot of mileage out of this equipment.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:32 AM   #4
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You use stainless steel to cook your eggs?
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstarr View Post
You use stainless steel to cook your eggs?
I wouldn't. Although SS makes for great cookware, I would still keep a non-stick pan handy for eggs and pancakes.
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:42 PM   #6
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Hello jstar,

I have three types of frying pans: Stainless steel, lined cooper and a cast iron skillet. All my pans work great for cooking eggs.
Please note also that I don't use my dishwasher to clean any of my pants, I clean them all by hand using a sponge, hot water and a bit of detergent. For cast iron I only use the sponge and hot water.

When cooking eggs on the SS frying pan, the one thing I do to avoid ending up with eggs glued to the pan is heat up the pan thoroughly before adding the cooking oil. I tend to use just enough oil to coat the pan evenly, rarely in excess, I don't have any issues when frying or scrambling eggs.
The lined cooper pans don't require a special procedure when cooking eggs, I think is beacuse the cooper heats up the pan in seconds and the cast iron skillet feels like non-stick due to years of use.

Even if the SS pan would require extra cleaning, I would still recommend it over non-stick on Aluminium due to the potential health risk these materials may generate. I know this comment may create controversy, it is not my goal, it is just the way I feel.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:56 AM   #7
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Is a dutch oven the best pot to use to make chillis?
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Old 01-16-2008, 09:21 AM   #8
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A cast iron skillet is an absolutely great thing to have. If you have this, you won't need a non-stick teflon pan anymore. The CI skillet is not expensive and will last forever, while the non-stick pan won't last more than a year (or maybe just a couple years more for the more expensive ones).
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:42 AM   #9
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I think Lodge also makes skillets with more traditional omelet pan dimensions too.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:45 AM   #10
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First of all, we need to know how many you usually cook for. For example, a 4 or 5 quart saucepan might do if you never make pasta for more than 4. On the other hand, my biggest stew pot recently made chili for 45. I had an even larger one when I lived in Florida.

If you are single, just starting out, I'd recommend a large nonstick skillet, a small sauce pan, and a large pot for making stews and soups. Then a quart-sized pyrex measuring cup for heating things in the microwave. It can serve as a mixing bowl for things like pancakes, but then when you need to just heat up some leftovers or a can of soup, there it is. We all have opinions, and I've found real woks and cast iron more trouble than they are worth. But if you grew up with either, you probably would consider them indespensible.
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