How to choose the right size of your pots and pans?
Most people are inclined to buy sets because it is cheaper than buying pieces individually. However buying a cooking set involves a compromise. Most manufacturers cut corners by including smaller pot and pan sizes in a set to reduce the overall price. Therefore it’s worth to pay attention to sizing of the pots and pans in each set. Remember, what seems like a minor issue and a big saving at the time of purchase, can easily turn other way round and become a small savings and a major issues in the kitchen later. Smaller pot and pan sizes will require you to cook in batches and can slow you down in the kitchen.
Also, sets often sell you pieces that you will never need, which leads to further purchases of additional individual pieces later on. These additional purchases mean spending the saved money, often paying more at the end.
In general it is better to buy a small, but useful set of optimal sizing rather than large set with many pots and pans of useless sizes. Many of the pots and pans in those larger sets are just fillers, or even worse a clutter in your kitchen.
Remember: you can always purchase other essential pieces, such as Copenhagen tray, a dutch oven, a cast iron skillet, or a Sub-Zero cooking stone later. That’s not an issue. Exactly opposite, doing so means that you will not end up with a useless clutter in your kitchen.
Many experts agree that you’re better off getting a few individual pieces, each chosen carefully. Focus on fewer pieces of a better-quality and you’ll enjoy using them in your kitchen again and again.
Following is the quick guide to choosing an optimal size for your cookware.
- 1.5- to 2-quart saucepan with a lid: Ideal for reheating a small amount of soup or melting butter.
- 3- to 4-quart saucepan with a lid: This size is suitable for making sauces or reheating stocks and soups.
- 8- and 10-inch or 10- and 12-inch skillets: These are great for searing meats and sautéing vegetables.
- 3- to 4-quart skillet with a lid: If you need to quickly reduce sauces, make roux, or prepare shallow brais, this is the right skillet size.
- 8-quart (or larger) stockpot with a lid: Perfect for boiling water for pasta, handling large-batch sauces, or making stocks, soups, and stews.
To sum it up for skillets, we recommend 10- and 12-inch versions because they offer a larger surface area for cooking more at once. As for stockpots, you should aim for 8-quart or larger as it is best for preparing stocks and provide ample room for boiling pasta.
The smaller pan sizes offered in most sets are the biggest deal-breaker. Always go for larger options, or buy them individually in addition to your cooking set.
It’s better to buy a small, but useful set of optimal sizing rather than large set with many pots and pans of useless size. Many of the pots and pans in those larger sets are just a filler.