You need more than on skillet and a saucepan; here are some of the essentials.
We have already discussed the elemental qualities of cookware - aluminum/steel clad, copper, non-stick, cast iron, glass, and enamel. You can choose among the many materials for pieces that will fit your budget, of course.
However, you may also be in a quandary as to which cookware shapes and sizes will provide the best service, especially if you're searching for extra pieces to fill in a set. If you've cooked for many years, you'll have your favorites. You may have multiples because they're so practical and, well, you need more than one at the same time - almost always.
Here are the favorites we use in our kitchen:
The skillet lineup
Sauté skillets are better for holding liquids and oils, of course. You don't have to worry about them reaching the edge and spilling over - unless it's filled to the brim. You can simmer a good batch of spaghetti sauce in these without worries.
Smaller saucepans are perfect for boiling water and steeping a pitcher-sized tea bag, as I hate using the microwave. It is also less hassle than getting out our handy little plug-in model. There are plenty of other uses for the small stuff, but it just isn't as versatile.
Larger pots will always come in handy. Standard large pots are great for an entire box of any pasta, a pot of chili or Cuban black bean soup, and for simmering a small chicken for casseroles and stock. We usually make a double batch of chili so our two pots are always at the ready.
Our stock pots are deeper and will do a great indoor shrimp boil for two. They can't be too large or the large stovetop burner can't handle it. We also have a turkey fryer - used not for poultry, but for larger shrimp boils.
Cast iron griddle
At the end of our list are items that most great cooks simply can't do without. However, we tend to skimp here, but highly recommend them if you have the space to store.
2005-2006 C.K. Kennedy
Pittsburg, TX 75686
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