After moving into my own apartment and returning from my first Trader Joe's trip, I quickly came to the realization that I had nothing to cook the food on or with. And since I don't have a lot of storage room and cookware can be expensive, I wanted to be strategic about which items I invested in. Below is my basic collection of pots and pans which I find most useful. Together they can get almost any stovetop job done! Dream team!!
A family portrait!
1. Medium 10-inch Nonstick Skillet
This pan is a kitchen staple. It's good for breakfast dishes, like frittatas, omelettes, and pancakes, as well as for frying bacon and other meats. Just remember that this bad boy should never be used over high heat! I'm obsessed with this non-Teflon nonstick version from Williams-Sonoma's new Open Kitchen line below.
2. Medium 3- to 4-Quart Saucepan with Lid
This saucepan is your kitchen's workhorse! Use it for boiling or steaming vegetables, making sauces, or cooking grains and pasta.
3. Medium 10- to 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet
While a skillet and a sauté pan are almost interchangeable, a skillet has slanted sides instead of straight, which makes it perfect for quick cooking techniques like stir-frying. This type of pan gets extremely hot very quickly, so it is also good for searing meat. Also, remember to NEVER put cast iron in the dishwasher. Hand wash it with only warm water and salt.
4. Large 4-Quart to 2-Gallon Saucepan or Pot with Lid
Every kitchen should have at least one big pot! Use this guy for making pasta sauce, chicken stock, or a large pot of soup.
5. Small Fry Egg Frying Pan
If you love eggs as much as I do, this is an ESSENTIAL cookware item. He never looks happy but he's very useful and I love him!