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The vast assortment of pots and pans available at any given cooking store is dizzying and picking a pan can be a personal matter. To figure out what's best for you, ask yourself a few pertinent questions: What do I like to cook? How many people do I usually feed? How much am I willing to spend? Answers to the first two questions will tell you what shape and size pots and pans you require and the last will help you figure out what materials and brands will work. Following is a list of pots and pans that you will use over and over again.
Stock Pot/ Pasta Pot (8 qt.): This large deep pot is perfect for boiling noodles, preparing soups and simmering stocks. Make sure to find one with a fitted lid for versatility. Use it as a Dutch oven or braising pan as well.
Sauce Pan (4 qt.): A mid-sized pot is great for a variety of kitchen tasks including cooking vegetables, heating side dishes and creating sauces. Make sure your pot has a fitted lid.
12-inch high sided sauté pan (4 qt.): Large sauté pans are perfect when cooking for crowds. In addition, they're great for braising and pan frying when standard sized sauté pans would be too small. Look for one with an oven proof handle, so that you can transfer it from stovetop to oven.
9-inch sauté or frying pan: Easily the most popular pan in a cook's kitchen, the 9-inch sauté pan is perfect for browning meats, sautéing vegetables, pan frying, scrambling eggs, rendering bacon and more. Once again, whenever possible, purchase one with an oven proof handle for even more uses.
Roasting Pan: Purchase one that's approximately 16-inches by 13-inches and you'll be able to accommodate most holiday hams, and it will still fit inside a standard oven. Throw in a rack and it's great for roasting chicken, turkey, beef and other oven friendly cuts. Place a heavy-bottomed roasting pan on the stove top and it's excellent for browning and braising ribs, pork shoulder, brisket and chicken legs.
Omelet Pan: Omelet pans are small 6-8 inch sauté pans with evenly sloping sides. They heat evenly for scrambling and frying eggs or for sautéing small quantities of vegetables. They are easy to manage because of their small size, but make sure not to overcrowd them with too much food.
Griddle: The best flat griddles fit over two burners. They have a wide surface and hardly any vertical around their sides, making it easy to manipulate the food on the stovetop with a spatula. They make grilled sandwiches, quesadillas and pancakes a breeze. Dinnertime favorites like cutlets and thin fish fillets also brown wonderfully on this surface.
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I really enjoyed this article because I was looking to buy a new set of pans and wanted to know if the ones i wanted were going to accommodate all my needs. I found that i am going to have all that I need with my new set of pans!