My Most Used Pots & Pans

For the past two weeks I have been part of several conversations about pots, pans and dutch ovens. Specifically, what the best ones are and what I use and love. Another friend asked me again this morning and I figured it was time for a blog post! I think it is the time of year. We are all getting ready to cook feasts for the holidays and maybe hibernate for Winter and crack open some of those cookbooks. The truth is you don’t need that many pots and pans to create amazing meals. You just need a few spectacular ones (note: not all need to be expensive!), four to be exact. Here is the list of what I use the most in my kitchen and why!

(note: I left out a muffin pan which I do use often, but doesn’t everyone already have a muffin pan if they like making muffins?)

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  1. ALL-CLAD D3 STAINLESS STEEL COVERED SAUTÉ PAN 4 Quart – My every day saute pan, you only need one, so this should be a good high quality one. I love that the sides are higher which reduces splatter and also is big enough to make a one pan meal (ie: pasta or fried rice!). I use this to make stir fry, a quick ragu, fried rice, chicken cutlets, sauteed leafy greens, sausage pasta etc etc.Try making Breakfast Bowls and Sweet & Sour Meatballs!

  2. Half Sheet Pans – Every kitchen needs half sheet pans. Obviously for cookies, but also for roasting! Any vegetable under the sun, sausages, filet of beef, a whole chicken or pork tenderloins. Don’t forget it can also be used for cakes! That is what I use to make my (amazing!) Texas Sheath Cake. Oh and also Sweet & Spicy Pecans, S’mores Oreo Bark & Roasted Gnocchi!
  3. Le Creuset 6.75 Qt. Signature Oval Dutch Oven – This is an investment and it is so worth it! I cook everything in here. Chili, stews, meat sauce, risotto, sauce with meatballs, soups, Shepherd’s pie, a whole roast chicken, a loaf of bread… I could go on… It is great for browning your meats or vegetables before adding in the sauce or broth to make a soup. Terrific from stove top to oven… and then into the fridge for storage. Try making Sloppy Joes in here and also Pork Ragu.
  4. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – This is what I learned to cook with. The original non stick pan, in my opinion. They now come preseasoned which makes life so much easier… just remember NOT to wash with soap. This pan needs to stay oiled to stay magical- hot water and a sponge or steel wool is all you need. I use this for fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hamburgers, taco meat, cornbread, caramelized onions… and the other beautiful thing about this pan is it goes straight into the oven from the stove. I actually have this pan in three sizes but I use the 12 inch most. Try out my classic Roasted Tomatoes & Sausage or The Perfect Frittata or Chipolte-Lime Caramelized Tomatoes.

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