Kitchen Basics | 5 Pans You Should Have

A well-equipped kitchen will enable you to make just about anything. It may get addicting adding new pots, pans, and kitchen equipment to your inventory, but it is best to stick to the basics. Once you know how to use your core base of pots and pans, you will never find yourself wanting to buy any more useless appliances and equipment.

5 Pots and Pans and Their Purposes

Depending on your skill set and desired dishes, you may end up buying more or less items than the equipment listed below. Although, you shouldn't need too many of them if you sharpen your skills with basic cooking tips for beginners.

1. A Basic Non-Stick Skillet

Kitchen Essentials | Non-Stick Pan

Source: Sur La Table | Zwilling Spirit Ceramic Nonstick Skillet

A non-stick skillet is one of the main kitchen essentials for a bright young foodie. The apprentice cook should start making basic dishes with skillets and especially one with a non-stick surface. Accidents are bound to happen by the newbie chef, so the non-stick coating will prevent embarrassing burns and sticking that easily happens with cast-iron or stainless steel surfaces. Cooking perfect scrambled eggs, crispy brown grilled cheese sandwiches, or pan-fried chicken breast should be a breeze in this pan.

2. Enameled Dutch Ovens

Kitchen Essential | Dutch Oven

Source: Sur La Table | Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven, 5.5 qt.

A large enameled Dutch oven is one of the most diverse pots you can have in your kitchen. The enamel coated Dutch oven is perfect for searing and preparing bases for sauces, gravies, soups, and stews. Cooking up a nice pot of chili from scratch will leave no sticking on the bottom thanks to the enamel. Equipping your pot with a stainless steel handle will make it safe for the oven so that you can make even more dishes, like bread or desserts.

3. Wok

Kitchen Essential | Wok

Source: Williams Sonoma | Calphalon Elite Nonstick Wok

Asian cuisine lovers will feel incomplete if they don't have a decent wok in their kitchens. Even if you do not plan on stir frying, this pan is versatile enough to be used for deep frying, boiling or steaming. If you use aluminium foil and a grilling rack, it is even possible to convert this into a meat smoker.

4. Straight-Sided Sauté Pans

Kitchen Essential | Straight-Sided Pan

Source: Williams Sonoma | All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel Essential Pan

Sauté pans appear as if they are a hybrid between a pot and a pan. They have high sides that prevent splashing or spilling as you cook. It is large enough so that you can put a lid on it and prepare braises, sauces, or for usage in the oven. It is also suitable for deep frying a huge batch of food.

5. Casserole Dish

Kitchen Essential | Casserole Dish

Source: Sur La Table | Emile Henry Modern Classics Rectangular Baker with Mini Baker

Moms that are in a hurry can throw together half-baked recipes and still create a great meal thanks to the casserole dish. Lasagnes, Frito pies, and even brownies end up perfectly formed with the smooth edges of the oven pan. It is only worth purchasing a casserole dish with a fine enameled surface to prevent sticking.

The above list doesn't even scratch the surface of cooking tools available, but it should be enough to get a newbie started. Your tastes in food may vary, so it is important to understand the pots and pans available to aid you in creating delicious dishes for your family. However, planning out your meals will be even simpler by using some of our meal kits.

Put Your New Pans to Good Use

Now that your kitchen is stocked with the five most important pots and pans, it’s time to put them to use! Shop our selection of over 700 meal kits now!