Every chef needs a good set of equipment, and very few cooking tools are as important as your pans. Trying to cook all of your meals in one or two pans is going to result in second-rate dishes and unsatisfied guests.
Enhance cooking skills with just 4 pans in your kitchen
Here is a closer look at four types of pans that every chef should have in their cabinets.
A skillet to last for generations
For most chefs, the skillet is an indispensable piece of cookware. These pans are relatively large, and that makes them perfect for cooking multiple cuts of meat or large portions of vegetables at the same time. A skillet also has slanted sides that allow you to easily flip food with a single hand. A good cast iron skillet will last for generations as long as you clean it after every use and regularly season it with some type of lard or oil. Steel skillets are easier to care for, but they rarely last for more than a decade.
Building layers of flavor with a saucepan
When used correctly, a saucepan can take your meals to the next level. These pans are usually quite deep to prevent liquids from splashing out. Just as the name implies, they are perfect for cooking sauces and other liquids. When choosing a saucepan, you will most likely want to go with a copper product like those from Weston Table. Many ingredients need specific cooking temperatures. Professional chefs use high-end copper pans, because they are excellent conductors of heat.
Searing cuts of meat with a large sauté pan
A sauté pan is about the same size as a traditional skillet, but the sides are perfectly straight. The large surface area of a sauté pan will allow you to quickly sear multiple servings of food. If you are going to add any liquids to the foods that you are searing, then you will probably want to choose a sauté pan over a skillet. The angled sides of a skillet could result in spills and burns whenever you move the pan around.
Cooking at high heats with a Wok
Single pieces of carbon are stamped into a specific sizes, creating most professional-grade woks. Woks are often used for cooking stir-fry dishes because they have long handles protecting chefs from burns. They also have curved sides that allow you to quickly move food around so that it doesn’t stick or burn. If you plan on using your wok to cook at high heats, then you should choose a pan that is made from nonstick aluminum.
A set of high-quality pans can be a sizable investment, but these tools will last a lifetime with the proper maintenance. Once you have your first set of good cookware, you must learn how to care for all of the different pans if you want to avoid scratches, dents, rust, and warped metal.
Author bio: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.