Pots and pans are the meat and potatoes for boiling, sautéing, tempering, and simmering various foods. When choosing a pot or pan, you have some options. You can opt to choose something non-stick coated, stainless steel, cast iron, or copper. Each of these materials will offer you some pros and cons for the type of food you are trying to cook, and range in quality and price. Copper pots offer near-perfect balance of heat distribution. Copper pots are very pricey but last a lifetime of use. A happier medium is the stainless steel pot, with a copper bottom. You can find high-end pots with copper, at stores such as Williams-Sonoma, or Sur Le Table. Feel free to venture online as well, via Amazon, eBay, or Overstock.com to scoop up discounted items, or secondhand cookware from professionals.
Stainless steel pots and pans are typical designer in many kitchens. Stainless steel allows for fairly even heat distribution, is easy to clean and maintain, and is moderately priced for affordability. The weight of these pots and pans is in the middle, being heavier than copper, but lighter than cast iron. Non-stick coated pans are typically made of a stainless steel base. Some like them for ease of use and cleaning, while other chefs may eschew them over their personal feelings toward Teflon coating. Crepes are made quite easily within a 14” non-stick sauté pan, and they are usually a fairly inexpensive purchase.
Cast iron skillets are perfect for baking and deep frying. These pans are made to last, very heavy, but very durable. Chances are your grandparents had one of these trusty utensils, and for a very good reason. Cast iron holds onto heat very well, long after it has been pulled out of the oven, or off the range. One of the best features of cast iron skillets is the seasoning. Caring for this item is tedious and troublesome to many, but for those who know the benefits to be reaped, it is well worth it. Whatever you cook in cast iron, the flavors will be absorbed by the metal, adding a unique quality to your food. You don’t ever wash these pans with soap and water, but coat with mineral oil, after cleaning out any debris left behind. They are susceptible to rust if allowed to get wet and stand without cleaning and drying, but that can be remedied fairly easily by elbow grease. To protect your sink from grease, fat and oils, order grease trap.