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Types of Cooking Pans and Pots

Ankana Dey Choudhury Nov 25, 2018
With cooking food taking up such a lot of our time, it would be really unfair to not strive to attain perfection in it. Want to know the most awesome types of cooking pans and pots? Read on!
Cooking is an art form and few on earth will deny that. So, since a painter never compromises on the best quality paint brushes or easel-canvases and a writer doesn't opt for writing with twigs on sand, you shouldn't be cringing when it comes to purchasing the suitable cookware, if cooking's your talent.
A thumb rule in the culinary world states that, like a kitchen is incomplete without a razor-sharp all-purpose knife, it is also ill-equipped sans pots and pans suitable for varied cooking methods.
A thumb rule in the culinary world states that, like a kitchen is incomplete without a razor-sharp all-purpose knife, it is also ill-equipped sans pots and pans suitable for varied cooking methods.
So, here is a guide of the cooking pans and pots that make for must-have kitchen appliances and that you should definitely invest in, so that your culinary skills do not suffer just because you didn't have the prescribed loaf pan and had to make do with a square pan.


Commonly known as frying pans, skillets are primarily used to fry items of all sorts. These are generally metallic pans with a flattened base and slightly flared brims. The practically-sized skillets are the 8", 10", and 12'' ones.
Since these frypans need to be not only efficient in heat conduction but more importantly in uniform heat consumption, especially when it comes to deep-frying, the best skillets are those with either basal copper coatings, cast iron, anodized aluminum, or of stainless steel. A cast iron skillet can also double as an indoor grill.
It does require special maintenance and often ruins the hue of light-colored food. While using a skillet, make sure to lower the flame when frying heavy, large items, so as to avoid superficial searing, while the insides remain raw. Also, it is of utmost importance that a skillet should have a thick bottom so as to prevent the food from getting scorched.
Since frying involves movements, the handle should not only be strong but made of a material that doesn't conduct heat. Thermosetting resin or phenolic grips as well as silicone handles which can withstand heat up to 400 °F are good choices. Frying pans with ribs are especially handy as they automatically allow the excess oil to drain out of the food items.

Saute Pan

Springing from the French verb sauter or to jump, these pans were made for sautéing or light frying items. They resemble a frypan with low walls, vertically straight, not flared in order to avoid toppling over of the food, and a flat bottom bigger in diameter.
They facilitate the frying of onions, spices, other vegetables, and meat with minimum use of oil, lard, or other cooking lubricants. You can also make condiments in these. Choose a three-quart sauté pan with a firm handgrip, replete with non-erosive rivets and a good heat-conducting bottom. Sauté pans make the best omelets ever when coupled with olive oil.


This is essentially a basin-shaped cross between a skillet and a sauté pan, with 2 looped handles on two sides. It is used for steaming, stewing, and smoking purposes.
You however, need to be careful while purchasing a wok as some of them conduct heat unevenly only in patches like some Chinese stainless steel woks tend to do.


Ideal for making large quantities of food, stockpots are deep and straight-walled vessels for boiling, stewing, and blanching. Make pastas, stews, broths, soups, and sauces in substantial amounts in these pots which has brims equal to diameter of the base.
However, it is pragmatic to buy a stockpot with sturdy handles attached to the pot with heavy screws, with a spigot to drain liquids with ease and which is not made from a very heavy metal, as that will make it difficult to lift it when full. Pick a stockpot which has a flat lid and not a vaulted one.
This will enable you to cover it partly to let out steam when necessary. A convex lid will keep slipping off and not provide you with this facility. While the Hispanics use a metallic stockpot to boil rice referred to as 'caldero', particular stockpots for the purpose of making lobsters specifically are also commercially available.


These are ideal for making soups. These are smaller versions of stockpots and used mainly for boiling and simmering liquids like milk.
Replete with a nip like jugs to facilitate easy decanting the liquid afterwards, saucepans must have strong, secure handles so that they can hold the weight of the vessel when lifted for pouring. Buy one made in copper, given copper's immediate adaptation to temperature fluctuations, in a two-quart size.
It will make for one of the best cooking pans to buy then, as copper heats up and cools down as per the requirement of the dish, as soon as you adjust the flame.

Dutch Oven

Buy yourself a 4-6 quart Dutch oven and make slow cooking both, on the stove as well as the microwave easy. You can make stews, soups, and braises in these glazed enamel or borosilicate glass containers.
The best cooking pans and pots are those which fit the bill of your requirements. Only your cooking patterns and food habits can determine which ones are best suited for your purpose. So, look around before you finalize on a particular utensil or set for that matter. Every variety has its own set of pros and cons.
For instance, cast iron cookware add iron to your food but also requires elaborate care, so as to fill all the pores that crop up with cooking in them. Copper vessels need to be polished regularly to maintain their sheeny look. So, choose wisely, not hurriedly and see your dishes improving taste and texture wise.