The Well Stocked Kitchen
By James Brown
Every cook dreams of having a kitchen like those you see on TV complete with
a pot rack full of gleaming cookware in every shape and size. While this
daydream probably isn’t entirely realistic, it is possible to have a well
stocked kitchen that will fit your every cooking desire. Before you run out and
purchase a set of pots and pans, get a working knowledge of what types of
cookware are best suited to your needs. Use this handy checklist to see what
your kitchen is missing.
Skillets: A skillet is simply a low sided, long handled pan often called a
frying pan, Generally skillets come in four sizes, extra large (12 Inches),
large (10 Inches), medium (8 inches), and small(6 inches). Cookbooks often refer
you to certain size skillets, so it is important to know the measurement of each
one. Occasionally you will have a recipe that requires you to place a skillet in
the oven, so it is important to purchase skillets with handles that can
withstand the heat of baking. You can also purchase skillets with removable
Saucepans: Saucepans come in three sizes (1-, 2-, and 3-quart) and it is a
good idea to have a few in each style for warming soups and making sauces.
Saucepans have long handles and tight fitting lids.
Dutch oven or Kettle: A Dutch oven or kettle is a large heavy stock pot with
a tight fitting lid. Unlike a sauce pan, these pots don’t have a long handle;
rather they have two tight fitting handles along the rim on opposite sides.
Dutch ovens are perfect for soups, stews, and braising meats. Kettles are good
when you have a large stew or pot of soup to make or if you enjoy home canning.
Vegetable steamer: A vegetable steamer is a perforated basket that holds
food over boiling water in a pan in order to steam it rather than boil it. They
are available as collapsible units or solid baskets.
Double boiler: A double broiler is two pans doing the job of one. When using
a double broiler, simply place one on top of the other. Water in the bottom pan
simmers gently to cook or melt the contents in the top pan. This is a great
piece of cookware for preparing delicate sauces or melting candy to make
Griddles: A griddle is a flat, rimless pan that converts your stove burner
into a smooth surface for preparing things like pancakes and crepes. The rimless
design also makes flipping pancakes an easy task.
Omelet pans: An omelet pan has specially sloped sides that help to form your
egg into the right shape. This pan also comes with a nonstick surface make it
easy to fold and slide your omelet right from the pan onto your plate.
Grill pans: A grill pan is a special skillet that has deep groves that allow
fat to drain away from your food. The grooves also add lines to the items you
cook, making them look like they have been seared on the barbeque grill. A grill
pan also comes in the flat rimless shape of a skillet.
Woks: A wok is a pan with deep, sloping sides that help keep food pieces in
the pan when you are stir-frying. They are available with rounded or flat
bottoms, and sometimes come in electric versions.
James Brown writes about
Saving on Cookware and Cookware