Whether you live in a mansion or a studio apartment, your kitchen has limited real estate. So, every piece of cookware and every kitchen tool you select needs to earn its place. When there are various pots, pans, and different sizes of pans, it can be tough to determine which ones you'll use and which will simply end up taking up precious storage space in your kitchen cupboards.
Read through this guide to figure out which pots, pans, and saucepans you need and which sizes of the most popular will undoubtedly earn their place in your kitchen and your regular cooking routine.
Quick Guide to Different Pots and Pans and Their Uses
Saucepans (sometimes, sauce pans) are round and have straight, tall sides, a long handle, and usually come with a lid. They range in sizes, with the most popular running from one to four quarts. These pans are incredibly versatile, as they're used for cooking small amounts of just about everything. They can simmer sauces, heat cans of soup or vegetables, boil eggs, create sweet treats, and so much more.
Another popular piece of cookware is the sauté pan, which features a wide, fairly deep circular construction with straight sides. It comes with a fitted lid and has a long handle on one side and a small looped handle on the other, making moving the pan on and off the heat easy. This pan is the right choice when you want to sauté food or prepare a meal in a sauce. It's also an excellent choice for a stir fry if you don't own a wok.
Stock pots are large, deep pots with straight sides, two small handles, and a lid. They're typically found in 6 and 8-quart sizes and are most commonly used for cooking soups, boiling potatoes, or making large batches of boiled eggs.
A frying pan, also called a skillet, is a perfect choice for food that needs to be flipped (eggs, pancakes, fish, and steak), as it has a wide cooking surface and slanted sides to accommodate your snazzy spatula work. These pans come in various materials, including stainless steel, non-stick, carbon steel, and cast iron.
Which Saucepan Size Is Right for You?
Saucepans come in a variety of sizes. The most popular are 2 Quart (medium) and 4 Quart saucepans (large). You can find even smaller saucepans, too, but 1-quart saucepans aren't quite as commonly used. Most home cooks working in a kitchen will find that having a medium and a larger-sized saucepan on hand will satisfy most of their needs – without using too much of their precious kitchen storage space.
How to Find a High-Quality Saucepan
The most important thing to look for when shopping for saucepans is quality. A great saucepan will be constructed of a 5-ply stainless clad material that is featured on the entire pot – not just on the bottom. Cheaper saucepans of a lower quality only feature layered metals on the bottom of the pot. As a result, the pot's sides become much hotter than its bottom. Like that of Made In's, a layered construction will ensure anything simmering in a saucepan cooks evenly and doesn't burn along the sides of the pan.
No matter what you're cooking up, there's a pot or pan explicitly designed to do the job. When you choose the right size and shape of a high-quality pot or pan, you'll find that your recipes turn out perfect just about every time!