Get familiar with the different types of pans and pots and learn how to use them for your culinary creations. Not only will the proper kinds of pans improve your cooking experience, but using the right cookware will also enhance the taste and presentation of your dishes. Our guide breaks down the various types of pots and pans and their ideal uses, ensuring impeccable results every time.
If you want to prepare succulent meats or rich one-pot meals, a brazier, or brasier, is the ideal cooking tool. This type of pan has a shallow height and a broad cooking surface, making it perfect for braising meats, vegetables and legumes. It is ideal for long, slow cooking because it allows the liquid to add juices and flavour.
The stockpot is an essential, versatile tool in the kitchen, suitable for cooking a wide range of dishes. Its tall profile makes it perfect for simmering liquids for extended periods, while its thick base promotes slow cooking. Stock pots feature a wide base ideal for browning and tall sides that reduce evaporation. Steam baskets are often used in stock pots for steam cooking. They are perfect for cooking stews, soups, pasta, bulk vegetables and seafood.
A frying pan is an essential cookware that should be in every foodie's arsenal. Its round shape and slightly sloped sides make it ideal for cooking food evenly, as it can be easily tossed within the pan. The curved side walls make it easy to stir and slide the food out of the pan. It is ideal for frying, browning, scrambling, sauteing, or searing. The long handle of the frying pan allows for easy manoeuvring on the stovetop, keeping your hands out of reach of heat.
Cast iron skillet
Cast iron skillets are a versatile and essential piece of cookware suitable for cooking a wide range of foods. They are ideal for sauteing, searing, frying and baking. Whether you want to steam, simmer, braise, poach, fry or bake anything from vegetables and chicken to brownies and bread, cast iron has got you covered. One of the benefits of using cast iron is its ability to go from stovetop to oven to table, reducing the need for multiple cookware pieces. Cast iron heats evenly and consistently, ensuring your food is perfectly cooked. A cast iron skillet can last a lifetime with proper cleaning and maintenance.
A sauté pan has a wide, flat bottom and high, vertical sides that maximise its cooking surface area while containing food and preventing liquids from spilling over the sides. The wide bottom area ensures maximum heat conduction and even cooking. The long handle keeps your hands out of reach of heat and provides easy manoeuvring of food. A sauté pan suits various cooking techniques, including sauteing, searing, braising, deglazing, poaching and stir-frying.
Saucepans are designed with tall sides and narrow bases, which allow liquid ingredients to be heated from all sides, promoting reduction. Saucepans are the best choice for creating and reducing sauces but are also suitable for simmering and boiling liquids. They are ideal for cooking at lower temperatures for longer, allowing flavours to meld and develop.
A grill pan is perfect for creating that charred, smoky flavour on your favourite meats and vegetables right from the stovetop. With a grill pan, you can sear and sizzle your food to perfection without having to fire up the outdoor grill. These pans have a flat, ribbed grilling surface and are made from cast iron, making them capable of withstanding high temperatures.
A wok is a perfect cookware for stir-frying Asian dishes. It features a deep bowl with steep, high walls that allow food to be cooked from all sides. The deep curved sides of a wok make it effortless to toss foods around. One of the many advantages of using a wok is its ability to cook food quickly and thoroughly due to the even heat distribution. These types of pans come in round or flat bottoms that concentrate heat to the centre. Mandarin woks come with a single handle, while Cantonese woks feature two loop handles. For Asian cuisine enthusiasts who love stir fry, curry, pad thai, noodle dishes and more, a wok is a necessary kitchen tool.
Dutch ovens are heavy, wide and relatively shallow pots with thick, curved walls and tight-fitting lids. They are great for braising tough cuts of meat and making no-knead bread, soups and stews. Thanks to their heavy weight, they maintain constant temperatures for a long time, allowing food to cook evenly. Dutch ovens are ideal for braising, searing, simmering and baking. They are typically made from cast iron and can be easily used on both the stovetop and in the oven, which makes Dutch ovens perfect for preparing casseroles and roasts, as well as soups, stews and bread.