Here Are The Pots and Pans You Actually Need

"Cookware manufacturers try to sell you sets of pots of pans in all different sizes. But you really only need a few basics. Here's a guide to the pots and pans you will actually use."

Skip the Big Cookware Sets and Pick Up a Few Good Pieces

Cookware manufacturers try to sell you sets of pots of pans in all different sizes. But you really only need a few basics, a frying pan or two, a saucepan or soup pot, and a bigger stock pot or pasta pot. Here's a guide to the pots and pans you will actually use.

1) Look for thick heavy-gauge pans that will hold heat even if you throw in a couple of cold steaks.

2) Look for pans that heat evenly with minimal hotspots.

2) You want something that will last without warping, denting, or pitting when you cook with acids or salts.

3) You don't want a handle that can melt if you stick the pan on the grill or in the oven.

4) Easy to clean.

5) Rust resistant.

Stainless steel is a good all-around choice because it's durable, easy to maintain, and not too expensive. For better heat conduction, look for clad pans, which have a stainless steel exterior sandwiched around inner layers of either copper or aluminum, both of which conduct heat faster than steel.

Elegant Stainless Steel and Glass Universal Lid
The Nordic Ware 12-Inch Universal Pan Lid is a vented pot lid you should keep handy when cooking. It fits most frying pans and saucepans and is much less expensive than the lids from high end manufacturers like All Clad. read more
Bayou Classic Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Forget the fancy high end pricey Le Creuset French Oven when selecting a cast iron Dutch Oven. This is the one you want for cowboy cooking and camping. It's perfect for whole chickens or slow braising in the oven or in the grill. Add coals to the lid and it's great for baking. It also comes in handy around the house.. read more
Wok with lid and handles
A wok is best for stir fries because of the high sides. Go for a flat bottom wok so it works well on American stovetop burners. This carbon steel wok set has everything you need to turn out tasty Chinese food. read more
Calphalon Tri-Ply 1-quart saucepan
When it comes to saucepans, you really only need 3 basic sizes: small, medium and large. The large is essentially a stockpot that you can use to boil pasta and to make stocks and large quantities of stews and BBQ sauce. The small and medium pans are for smaller quantities of soup and everything else. read more
All-Clad 8 Inch Stainless Steel Frying Pan
An assortment of pans for frying and sauteing is essential for a functional kitchen. Stainless steel with a core of aluminum is best for most sauteing and frying. Buy the best you can. It's also helpful to have a couple nonstick pans on hand. For those, buy them cheap and replace them when they wear out. read more
Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Frying Pan
Cast iron provides intense even heat and can be used on a stovetop, in the oven, on the grill and is great for camping. Use a cast iron pan to press sandwiches, smash potatoes, and crush spices or nuts, too. read more
Norpro Silicone 9" steamer basket
A steamer basket is much less expensive than a steamer pot and can be used in almost any 1 or 2 quart pot you already have. Silicone cleans easier than the old fashioned metal ones. read more
OXO Good Grips Splatter Screen with Folding Handle
A simple metal splatter guard helps keep your stovetop and other cookware cleaner so you don't have to spend as much time washing up. read more

All Clad frying pan

About Our Ratings, Reviews, Buying Guides

We use third party services to sell ads and our reviewers are never involved in the process. We disclose our material relationships, policies, and business practices. We do not do sponsored articles, paid articles, or accept junkets. We always present our honest opinions to the best of our ability. We own our words. Even if we occasionally have to eat them. No ketchup allowed.


Start Your Shopping Here


Large Searchable Databases

  • Grills And Smokers. This searchable database has hundreds of cookers tested by our full-time grill and smoker tester.
  • Food, Grill, Oven Thermometers. More than 150 of these crucial safety and quality control tools have been tested by our electrical engineer and our cooks.

Ratings & Reviews Of Tools, Toys, Accessories, More


What You Need To Know Before You Buy A Grill Or Smoker

Placeholder

Placeholder

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our links and purchase from them. On Amazon it works on everything from grills to diapers, they never tell us what you bought, and it has zero impact on the price you pay, but has a major impact on our ability to improve this site! And remember, we only recommend products we love. If you like AmazingRibs.com, please save this link and use it every time you go to Amazonhttps://tinyurl.com/amazingribs

...some HTML for the first variant...

Placeholder

Placeholder

Get Smoke Signals, our free e-letter. No spam. Guaranteed

Enter your email:

If you love barbecue and grilling you do our FREE 30-day membership in our Pitmaster Club. We can up your game.

  • FREE 30 day trial membership.
  • Sneak previews of Meathead’s new book.
  • We block ads from members.
  • Real community. No politics. No flame wars.
  • Monthly newsletter.
  • Video seminars with famous pitmasters.
  • Weekly podcasts with Greg Rempe.
  • Weekly BBQ cartoons by Jerry King.
  • Comprehensive Temperature Guide Magnet ($10 retail).
  • Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers worth up to $2000.
  • Discounts on products we love.
  • Support for AmazingRibs.com!

Post comments and questions below

Placeholder

1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

 

Click to ask questions and make comments