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Old 10-26-2006, 08:46 AM   #1
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One pot/pan or ?? you can't do without?

Hi folks,

Someone who is close to me is in a situation where she may be making a big move. Up to this point she has always shared a kitchen--including cookware--with another person. If this move happens, she will be in a situation where her lifestyle may be volatile for a few years, and easy mobility is necessary.

At this point, she has a set of 4 good kitchen knives, one cast-iron skillet, and a couple of mixing/serving/eating bowls. And tableware for 2.

My question to all you wonderful cooking folks is this: what *one* item would you add to this mix to help make a good kitchen?

(I'm guessing one more cooking pot or pan would be helpful, which is why I posted in this forum. I'm looking for gift ideas, obviously! And I'd like this to be a surprise...)

Sorry to "post and run", but I have to get to school soon. I'll be checking back this evening. (Maybe there will be some answers by then?)

Hope y'all have a wonderful day!


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Old 10-26-2006, 08:48 AM   #2
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I think I'd add an 8-quart stock pot with lid. that's good for soup, chili and other bean dishes, boiling water for pasta, and other basic things.

However, that "one more thing" might be different for a different person.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:00 AM   #3
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You are right. That's why I thought I'd get a variety of opinions!
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:05 AM   #4
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A large le creuset casserole dish. She could use it for stock or for preparing stews/casseroles/boiling water for pasta etc.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:08 AM   #5
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I might go with a large Dutch Oven. It can be used for boiling water, making soups, stews, braises, sauces, and a number of other things.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexanFrench
At this point, she has a set of 4 good kitchen knives, one cast-iron skillet, and a couple of mixing/serving/eating bowls. And tableware for 2.

My question to all you wonderful cooking folks is this: what *one* item would you add to this mix to help make a good kitchen?
If I had only what she has and could only add one item it would be a good quality, thick bottomed, four quart, stainless steel, lidded, straight sided sauce pot. It's big enough to make a decent size batch of soup, chille, beans etc., but small enough that you can still cook veggies or mashed potatoes for one or two, or even, perish the thought, heat a single can of something. A good one will last a lifetime.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:15 AM   #7
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Another vote for the 8 quart, clad bottomed, stock pot with lid, very versatile.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:23 AM   #8
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I agree a saucepan/stockpot is a good addition. However, since there are only two of them, I think an 8-quart is too big. A 4- or 6-quart will be big enough to do all the things listed for two people.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
If I had only what she has and could only add one item it would be a good quality, thick bottomed, four quart, stainless steel, lidded, straight sided sauce pot. It's big enough to make a decent size batch of soup, chille, beans etc., but small enough that you can still cook veggies or mashed potatoes for one or two, or even, perish the thought, heat a single can of something. A good one will last a lifetime.
This one gets my vote.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:35 AM   #10
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Wait a minute -- she doesn't have any "regular" pots or pans.

Before I'd get her a dutch oven or a stock pot, I'd get her what skilletlicker and andy and con suggest-- a 4 quart sauce pan.

That way she can heat up soup and canned goods, steam veggies, cook ramen and mac and cheese, make sauces, etc, etc, etc.

8 quarts is way too big for simple everyday tasks.

The next thing I'd suggest is a 10 inch nonstick skillet.

Then I'd move on to stockpots and dutch ovens.
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:42 AM   #11
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I have to agree with jennyema, 4 quarts is plenty big for 2 people, and I might even get a good skillet before that. While you can't boil water in a skillet (practically), I do use my 10in. non-stick skillet more than anything else in the kitchen.

After the essential pots and pans, I'd reccommend a cutting board.
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:13 PM   #12
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oppppssss....something happened.

Four quart sauce pan with a tight fitting lid.
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:22 PM   #13
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I'd go for the 4 QT too. In addition to that my Calphalon "everyday" pan w/lid is a frequently used pan. It can be a saute pan, you could scramble some eggs, bake a gratin in it, use it as a fry pan, or simmer something on stovetop. I'd also want a 1 1/2 or 2 qt sauce pan. That would be the basics. (oh, a couple wooden spoons, a silicon spatula, and a whisk!)
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwitch
In addition to that my Calphalon "everyday" pan w/lid is a frequently used pan. It can be a saute pan, you could scramble some eggs, bake a gratin in it, use it as a fry pan, or simmer something on stovetop.
You're right, Sharon, that is a very versatile pan... but I would want a pot to cook pasta in!
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ChefJune
You're right, Sharon, that is a very versatile pan... but I would want a pot to cook pasta in!
The girl only has two plates. I think two servings of pasta would cook okay in a four quart pot.
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Old 10-26-2006, 02:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I might go with a large Dutch Oven. It can be used for boiling water, making soups, stews, braises, sauces, and a number of other things.

+1

I couldn't get along with out mine. I use it for 99% of my in house cooking.
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Old 10-26-2006, 02:12 PM   #17
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I'd have to agree with jennyema and Harborwitch. Definitely a 4-quart sauce pan with a lid and a 10-inch skillet with a lid.

If your friend is only cooking for 2, these should be quite adequate to take care of just about any task.

If she could handle another piece, I would suggest a 5-quart Dutch oven. I never put mine away.
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Old 10-26-2006, 02:37 PM   #18
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My choice would be a 4 qt lided pot, without a non stick coating. Depending on the size of th cast iron fry pan, along with a 4 qt pot, you could cook just about anything.
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:05 PM   #19
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Hi again! Thank you all for your suggestions. I should know by mid-December what is happening with my friend. And I will quietly check out her cooking and storage preferences. I know whenever she is in my kitchen she loves to use my big pans, but she has been sharing a tiny apartment where the long-term leaseholder, her "housemate," objects to anything that takes up too much space.
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:25 PM   #20
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At the risk of being redundant, I would reccomend some pot--dutch oven or sauce pan--in the 4 to 6 qt. range. Within reason, a larger pot can be used for smaller cooking amounts. Le Creuset offers both a 4.5 and a 5.5 quart round Dutch/French oven. Either would be up to a multitude of tasks. All-clad has a 4.5 qt. sauce pan in a (relatively, for them) inexpensive MC2. You can also get AC seconds for a substantial discount. (Much of my cookware is AC seconds.) Regardless, if this pan is going to do nearly everything, get a good one.
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