Saucepans, Stock Pots and Frying Pans
Pots and pans
Here is a category of products that you should not just rush out and buy straight away, please take
time and care to choose wisely before you buy. Its very important
that you purchase a material suitable for your hob, if you have induction,
please be sure that you buy the right ones as some of the hard coated enamel
and aluminium based pans are not suitable.
Saucepans should be bought carefully, only buying the most appropriate
sizes, paying as much as you can afford to get really good quality. Please
don’t be tempted to go for a cheap bargain and a construction with thin bases,
and sides, ill-fitting lids or a cheap non-stick coating which will peel, food will stick and burn on to them, and
you’ll have to spend hours cleaning them.
It is never a good idea to buy a full set of saucepans, if some of them
you will never, ever use, partly because they are not deep enough and also
because they will probably be far too small to hold a decent quantity of
liquid. You would be far better buying pans individually, tailoring them to your own specific needs, by handling
them first. You will be able to Make sure that the plastic coated (phenolic) handles
are firmly riveted, checking that there is a minimum of metal exposed, where they
meet the pan. You will be able to make sure that the lids fit firmly, yet still being easy to remove, and that the knobs are of a good size and can
be easily located. To estimate their suitability,
simulate a hob situation. Try putting a
pan on a flat surface, hold the handle in one hand, then reach over with your free
hand to lift the lid making sure that you locate the knob first time. There is nothing more painful or potentially
dangerous than grabbing a hot saucepan handle or lid by mistake, particularly
if it has not been designed well in the first place. Hold the pan by the handle with its lid on with both hands and
try to imagine how it would feel if it were full of liquid. Don’t be worried if you see pans with tempered
or toughened glass lids, these are practically shatterproof. Although they are a bit heavier, they stay
in place really well and many contain adjustable vents so that you can let out
the steam, stopping the lids bouncing up and down while your veg are
boiling. In fact, I have found these really good, the steam only comes out in one place and, with one hand on the
handle to monitor the slight vibration created as the pan comes to the boil, it
is quite easy to turn the heat down, listening to the gentle whistling as the
steam is released, adjusting the heat until it is quieter, knowing that you
have reached simmering point.
I can equate this to a gentle wind coming in
through a tiny crack in a window or door!
For a professional look and sheer durability, You simply can’t beat, 18-10 heavy duty stainless steel
bodied, non-stick scratch resistant, interior, Dupont or Teflon coated, saucepans,
with tempered toughened glass lids and copper bonded
bases for even heat distribution.
Its now possible to buy hard-coated enamel non-stick interior, cookware in various colours to
match your kitchen decor and other electricals too! Some are also
designed to be used in your oven up to a medium heat. Others are dishwasher safe as well. Buying a branded name like Tefal, Prima, or the renowned Le Creuset, and paying a good price for individual items, gradually building up your range, will stand you in good stead for practically a life time or at
least many years to come.
The most popular sizes for everyday saucepans are: Approximately between 5 and 6 inches, (14
cm), for a lipped milk pan, and for lidded pans, approx. 6 and a half, 7 and 8
inches, (16, 18, and 20 cms) In diameter.
Stock pots and casserole dishes
Stock pot – I was bought a 30 cm diameter, non-stick, Teflon-coated, deep stock pot with a toughened glass lid for
Christmas and its absolutely fantastic and comes completely clean with just a
rinse in hot soapy water. I have
already made several stews and soups, therefore, I can highly recommend
Lidded Casserole Dish
Buy a lidded, heavy duty stainless steel casserole if you are going to transfer dishes between hob
and oven, something in the region of between 9 to 10 inches, (24 to 26 cms) in diameter should be adequate for most
Pottery, earthenware or ovenproof porcelain – Invaluable, of course,
if you are going to prepare casseroles or other baked hot-pots, shepherd’s pies
or even rice puddings etc., are either glass, Pyrex, pot or earthenware
ovenproof casserole dishes. When they are empty, they shouldn’t weigh an absolute ton, or lifting them in and out of
the oven might be a problem! The lids should sit on firmly, with a good large easy to find knob so you can lift them,
even when wearing oven gloves, but if you prefer unlidded versions check that
the rims will accommodate a sheet of baking foil to cover them.
Handles on either side are vital so they’re safe.
Look for a pan that suits your particular purpose, e.g. if you want a good professional quality frying
pan, 18-10 stainless steel outer, non-stick, scratch resistant interior with a thick
copper thermo base (where layers of material are sandwiched together), will give
good, even heat distribution. For everyday use.
Look at something that’s about 8 inches (20 cm), in diameter. A larger family-sized pan with deep sides
and a tightly-fitting lid would be suitable for sauteing and stir-frying too, 12inches,
30 cm in diameter. A 15 inch, (6 cm) omelette
pan would be helpful for frying small quantities, or if you’re cooking for
Look out for heat resistant, sturdy phenolic handles with a good grip and the minimum of metal exposed where they join