A Survey

I’ve been given the go-ahead to replace some of our more battered cookware…and now I don’t know what to buy!  We have the following, in descending order of use:

Lodge Cast Iron 12″ skillet with lid, a gift from Kevin and Jill, our cast iron gurus

Calphalon Contemporary 8 quart stockpot with steamer and pasta inserts

An absolutely indestructible Magnalite 10″ skillet, handed down from my parents

All-Clad 2 qt sauce pan

Martha Stewart 3.5 quart enameled cast iron casserole which, oh hey! has been recalled!

Lodge Cast Iron grill pan

IKEA 5 quart cast iron casserole

We also have – and very rarely use – a square non-stick griddle and an All-Clad 2 burner non-stick griddle.

The items I want to toss and/or replace include:

– 4.5 quart, scratched to hell sauce pan with wooden handles held on by screws so stripped that they can’t be tightened down any longer. When I pour anything out of this pot, I have to rotate my hands in opposite directions to keep it from wobbling. Imagine that with 4 quarts of boiling water or bubbly peach butter!

– 3 quart saucepan that has been similarly abused

– 12″ non-stick skillet that I bought for about $10 at Target at least 5 years ago and is more like ‘stick’ than ‘non-stick’ at this point

So I ask you: what the essentials in your cookware stable? I want to hear your case for specific sizes, brands, and coatings. If you read this site, you probably have a decent idea of what we cook – lots of meat, soups, and the occasional pasta, most of which can be accommodated by what we already have – but also jams, jellies, and tomato sauces that require non-reactive cookware. Canning necessitates at least two saucepans plus the giant pressure cooker. I’m ready to spend the money. I just need you to tell me what to get. So help!


0 thoughts on “A Survey

  1. Besides the cast iron skillet, the two pieces of cookware I use most often are an 8in omelette pan (Kitchenaid, anodyzed) and a two-quart saucepan (stainless steel, but shallower than the one you have). I find that the saucepan is great for boiling – rice, beans, short pasta. The omelette pan is great for eggs, and for sauteing aromatics. Make sure you get a nice heavy pan – they hold their heat better.



  2. We have an 8 in omelette and a 12. I use the smaller when cooking just for me, or a little one, and the larger when I’m cooking for more. Like Kevin, we rely heavily on our 2q saucepan. We also have a 3q that came with spouts on either end and a funky strainer lid that we use for pasta, potatoes, etc. etc. allllll the time. Finally, we have a little 1q that I love. It’s perfect for heating up veggies, making a little rice, oatmeal, etc.


  3. Solid Adivse from Kevin & Ryan. Heavy gauage pans is key holding and controling even heat. There’s a million brands and sub-brands today. I use Calphalon hard-annadized commercial grade, but Alclad is also great.

    My must have list is:

    1) 8″ Saute pan (Omlette) – Non-Stick

    * A cover for the 8″ is great for poaching, but rare to find – I have a great generic cover sold seperately

    2) Large Saute pan (12″?)

    3) Small Sauce pan (1 or 1.5 qt)

    4) Medium sauce pan 2-3 Qt

    5) Medium Steamer insert (key that it fits your 2-3 qt)

    6) Medium Double Boiler Insert (Key to fit 2-3 qt)

    7) Large Stock Pot (8 Qt or more)

    Nice to have:

    3 Qt Saute pan with Cover


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