Bring out your inner chef by outfitting your kitchen with these basics.
Step 1: Set your budget Buy the best pans you can afford. They should be thick and sturdy enough to prevent dents and warping, with securely attached handles. Stainless steel is a versatile material – look for an aluminum core to help conduct heat. Other materials include copper, anodized aluminum, and cast iron.
TIP: Look for pots and pans you can use both on the stove and in the oven.
Step 2: Invest in a saucepan Invest in a 2- or 3-quart saucepan for heating soup, stews, and other liquids. A 1 1/2-quart saucepan is ideal for small or single-servings. Lidded cookware will make your pots and pans more versatile.
Step 3: Get a frying pan Get a frying pan, or omelet pan, for cooking eggs, frying fish, and sauteing food. A nonstick coating makes for easy cleanup and reduces oil and butter use.
TIP: Newly developed "green" nonstick cookware is made without petroleum and may reduce carbon emissions.
Step 4: Add a saute pan Add a 10-inch saute pan to your collection. It is wide and shallow but has higher sides than a fry pan, making it ideal for cooking meat dishes or making stews and other thick dishes.
Step 5: Finish with a stockpot Round out your collection with a large, 8-quart stockpot, which has a handle on either side. Use it to cook pasta, big batches of soup, chili, and to roast large cuts of meat.
Step 6: Add more pieces Add additional pieces, like a cast iron skillet for making fried chicken, or specialized cookware, like a wok, based on your cooking preferences and as storage space allows. Now get cooking!
FACT: Did you know? Teflon was accidentally discovered on April 6, 1938, by Roy Plunkett.