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Kitchen Clues: Picking the Right Pans for Your Kitchen

May 15, 2012 Le Cordon Bleu Atlanta 0 Comments

Kitchen Clues: Picking the Right Pans for Your Kitchen

Whether you are just supplying your first home kitchen or you want to restock with better quality or purpose-built cookware, a little advice is always helpful. Standing at the kitchen supply store and looking at aisle after aisle of pots and pans can be overwhelming. Georgia culinary schools teach their students how to use these and many other types of cookware.

To help you on your way, we’ve put together this list of the types of pans that you should consider for your home kitchen.

Frying Pan

Also called a skillet, this will be your everyday workhorse for general frying. Skillets are great for grilled cheese sandwiches, eggs, burgers, and pork chops. The sides are flared to give easy access for spatulas and other utensils. Consider both non-stick and stainless steel. Useful sizes include 6-inches, 10-inches, and 12 inches. Don’t go cheap on this one. You will regret it.

Sauté Pan

This special frying pan has a flat bottom and straight sides that gives more surface area for quick sautés of vegetables and seafood and for making pan sauces. Cooking school students learn how to use these useful pans to make the most of their skills and ingredients. The most popular sizes are 8- and 12-inches. They also have lids which quickly turns them into excellent braising pans.

Sauce Pan

Saucepans are extremely versatile and come in a variety of sizes. They are best for what their name implies: making sauces. They are also excellent for reheating, boiling, or deep frying. The best sizes are 1-quart, 3-quarts, and 5-quarts, although a 5-quart is technically speaking a sauce pot, but that’s a topic for another article.

Roasting Pan

Roasting a turkey, rib roast, or ham? Then you need a roasting pan. Look for a thick-bottomed and sturdy model with 4-inch sides. You want to catch all of those drippings, right? Just like your frying pan, you shouldn’t skimp on a roaster. A good one will last your entire life. It may even become a family heirloom.

Speciality Pans

In addition to the must have listed above, you should also consider a few of the pans below, especially if you are serious home cook:

  • Spring Form Pan–Perfect for cheesecakes and deep-dish pies, a spring form pan has spring loaded sides that make removal of delicate cheesecakes, well … a piece of cake.
  • Cast Iron Skillet – This is in this group only because you don’t need one, but should have one, or two. From cooking steakhouse style steaks to Southern fried chicken and frittatas, a cast iron skillet is the kitchen champion. While clean up can sometimes be difficult, these iron workhorses can handle any heavy-duty kitchen task. They work as well in the oven as on the stovetop.
  • Griddle Pan – Griddle pans have rows of raised surfaces that turn your stove top into a grill. Griddles give those beautiful grill marks while allowing the food to be separated from dripping fats while cooking.
  • Broiler Pan–This two-piece pan is for your oven broiler, the heating element on the top of the oven. Oven broilers can make great substitutes for your gas grill in the winter, and a grill pan is the tool of choice for them. Like a griddle pan, a broiler pan keeps foods separated from dripping fats.

This article is presented by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta.Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Atlanta offers culinary arts and pâtisserie and baking training programs in the Atlanta, Georgia area. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Atlanta for more information. 

Find disclosures on graduation rates, student financial obligations and more at www.chefs.edu/disclosures.  Le Cordon Bleu® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation. Le Cordon Bleu cannot guarantee employment or salary. Credits earned are unlikely to transfer.

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