When it comes to cooking on the stovetop, having the right pan for the job can make all the difference. While most pan bodies are designed with a basic round silhouette, there are a variety of styles and designs to choose from, each with its own unique features and benefits.
In this post, we'll cover some of the most popular pan styles and what they're best used for, so you can choose the right pan for your next cooking project. Whether you're looking for a sauté pan for searing meat, a saucepan for making sauces and soups, or a skillet for frying eggs and pancakes, we've got you covered.
So, the next time you're wondering which pan to use for a certain recipe, check out this guide for some helpful tips and recommendations. With the right pan and a little bit of culinary know-how, you'll be cooking like a pro in no time.
Saucepans are one of the most versatile and essential tools in any kitchen. They are the workhorse of the stovetop, used for everything from simmering soups and stews to boiling pasta and vegetables. Additionally, saucepans are perfect for melting butter or chocolate, heating milk, and creating sauces of all kinds.
Saucepans come in a variety of sizes, from small 14cm (0.9L) milk pans, which often come with indented lips for easy pouring, to large 20cm (3.8L) pans that can hold enough food for a family. The size of the saucepan you need will depend on your family size and cooking style.
If you're cooking for a large family or like to entertain guests, it's a good idea to have a few different sizes of saucepans on hand. This will give you the flexibility to cook a variety of dishes and prepare different amounts of food.
When choosing a saucepan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid. This will help ensure even heating and prevent liquids from evaporating too quickly. Additionally, consider investing in a set of high-quality saucepans that will last for years and make your cooking experience more enjoyable.
If you're looking for a versatile and functional alternative to the classic saucepan, a saucepot might be just what you need. These pots have the same body shape as a saucepan, but with two handles close to the pot instead of one long handle. This makes them easier to lift when full and heavy, as you can grip them with both hands.
Saucepots can be used in the same way as saucepans, for simmering, boiling, melting, and creating sauces. However, their two-handle design offers some unique benefits. For example, when making large batches of soup or stew, a saucepot can be easier to lift and pour than a traditional saucepan. The two handles also make it easier to move the pot from the stovetop to the oven, as you can hold onto both handles securely.
Saucepots come in a variety of sizes, from small pots suitable for heating up a can of soup to large ones that can hold enough food for a crowd.
The frying pan, also known as a frypan or a French skillet, is one of the most versatile pieces of cookware in any kitchen. With their curved sides and flat bottom, frying pans are perfect for sautéing, frying, and searing a wide variety of foods.
Frying pans come in a range of sizes, from small 20cm frying pans suitable for cooking a single egg to large 30cm frying pans that can handle a family-sized stir-fry. They are also available in a range of materials, such as stainless steel, non-stick coatings, and cast iron.
One of the great things about frying pans is their versatility. They can be used for almost anything, from braising meat to frying off an omelette. Frying pans are perfect for cooking delicate foods like fish and eggs, as well as heartier dishes like stir-fries and fajitas.
When choosing a frying pan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a comfortable handle. A heavy bottom will help distribute heat evenly, while a comfortable handle will make it easier to maneuver the pan on the stovetop. Additionally, consider investing in a set of high-quality frying pans in different sizes, so you have the flexibility to cook a variety of dishes.
Overall, a good frying pan is an essential tool for any home cook. With its versatility and range of sizes, it's the perfect pan for a wide variety of cooking tasks.
A stockpot is a pan with a large capacity and sides that are at least as tall as their diameter. The tall sides of a stockpot are perfect for simmering stocks and broths for extended periods without reducing too much. This makes them ideal for making soups and stews.
In addition to making stocks and broths, a stockpot's large size makes it great for boiling spaghetti pasta and preparing large quantities of food. Whether you're cooking for a big family or entertaining guests, a stockpot can help you prepare delicious and satisfying meals with ease.
When choosing a stockpot, look for one with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid. This will help ensure even heating and prevent liquids from evaporating too quickly.
Overall, a stockpot is a versatile and essential tool for any home cook. Its large size and tall sides make it perfect for simmering stocks and preparing large quantities of food, making it a must-have in any kitchen.
A grill pan is a unique addition to any kitchen, with its non-round silhouette and raised horizontal lines that create perfect grill marks on your food. Unlike traditional round pans, grill pans have low sides and a square shape that makes them perfect for hob top grilling in small quantities.
One of the great things about grill pans is their versatility. You can grill anything in these pans, from vegetables like peppers to meats like steak and chicken. The ribbed base of the grill pan allows for great searing and char lines on your food, giving it a delicious, smoky flavor.
Not only does a grill pan give your food a great flavor, but it's also a healthier way of frying. The ribbed base allows much of the fat to drain away from the food, which can help reduce the calorie content of your meals.
A stir-fry pan is a versatile piece of cookware that's perfect for creating quick and healthy meals. Similar to a wok, a stir-fry pan has deep, curved sides that allow you to easily stir and turn your food during cooking. This makes it ideal for stir-frying vegetables, meats, and other ingredients.
Unlike a traditional wok, which has a curved base and must be used with a separate supporting frame, a stir-fry pan has a flat base that can be used on conventional hobs. This makes it more versatile and easier to use than a wok, as it can be used on any stovetop.
When choosing a stir-fry pan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a non-stick coating. This will help ensure even heating and prevent your food from sticking to the pan.
A wok is a versatile and essential tool for anyone who loves Chinese or Thai cuisine. With its large, curved sides and bowl-like shape, a wok is perfect for stir-frying small pieces of food quickly and efficiently.
One of the unique features of a wok is its shape, which allows a small pool of cooking oil to gather in the middle and heat using relatively little fuel. This makes it an energy-efficient way to fry foods and helps to keep your kitchen cool by reducing the amount of heat generated during cooking.
The warm sides of the wok are also useful for keeping cooked food warm while you finish preparing other ingredients. Simply push the cooked food up the sides of the wok and it will stay warm until you're ready to serve.
When choosing a wok, look for one made from high-quality materials, such as carbon steel or cast iron. These materials are durable, heat quickly and evenly, and allow you to achieve the high temperatures needed for stir-frying. Additionally, consider investing in a wok with a lid, which can help trap heat and steam to cook your food more quickly and evenly.
Overall, a wok is a versatile and essential tool for any home cook who loves to stir-fry. With its unique shape and efficient heating, it's perfect for quickly cooking a wide range of ingredients and can help you create delicious and healthy meals with ease..
A sauté pan, also called a sauteuse, is a deep frying pan with upright sides that's perfect for quick frying and sautéing. The French verb "sauter" means "to jump", which describes the cooking technique used with this pan. The low sides of a sauté pan allow steam to escape while the food cooks, and also permit the chef to toss the food easily.
One of the great things about a sauté pan is its versatility. It's perfect for cooking a wide range of ingredients, from vegetables and meats to fish and poultry. The upright sides of the pan make it ideal for sautéing foods that require a bit more liquid, such as onions or mushrooms.
A chef's pan is a versatile piece of cookware that combines elements of a frying pan, sauté pan, and saucepan. The pan is similar to a sauté pan, with the exception that the sides are curved instead of straight. This makes the pan more versatile and allows for greater flexibility in cooking a wider range of dishes.
A chef's pan is an excellent choice for anyone with limited kitchen space or who cooks regularly for one or two people. It's perfect for making risotto, cooking grains and rice, and reducing sauces. The curved sides make it easy to stir and toss ingredients, while the flat bottom ensures even heating and cooking.
One of the great things about a chef's pan is its versatility. It can be used for a variety of cooking tasks, from searing meats and sautéing vegetables to making soups and stews. Its combination of a wide base and curved sides makes it ideal for cooking dishes that require frequent stirring or tossing, such as stir-fries and pasta dishes.
When choosing a chef's pan, look for one with a heavy bottom and a comfortable handle. A heavy bottom will help distribute heat evenly, while a comfortable handle will make it easier to maneuver the pan on the stovetop. Additionally, consider investing in a high-quality chef's pan with a lid, which can help trap heat and steam to cook your food more quickly and evenly.
Overall, a chef's pan is a versatile and essential tool for any home cook. Its combination of a wide base and curved sides makes it perfect for a wide range of cooking tasks, and it's an excellent addition to any cookware collection.
If you're interested in learning more about specialty pans and bakeware, stay tuned for our upcoming guides. We'll cover everything from griddles and roasting pans to cake pans and muffin tins, giving you the tools you need to create delicious meals and treats at home.