Cookware and bakeware: The workhorses of the home kitchen
Appliances large and small are what make a kitchen function, whether it is the ones in a Michelin-starred restaurant or a studio apartment's kitchen. However, the most important tools in the kitchen are the cookware and bakeware that chefs and cooks use to create their culinary masterpieces. Look to Walmart for the right pieces in your home kitchen so that you can make an array of complete meals, late-night snacks and delicious baked goods for your family and friends, all at Every Day Low Prices.
More than any other non-utensil you use in the kitchen, nothing gets more use than your pots and pans. Although there are sets that contain 8, 10, 12 or more pieces (including lids), there are usually two or three go-to pieces that you use for nearly every meal. These include a small or medium pot, large saut pan or skillet and a Dutch oven. With just those three pieces, you can cook nearly everything you might consider preparing in the kitchen. If you have room, additional pieces of cookware make for nice additions, which is why the sets of cookware that you can buy make so much sense. If you have the room, a good set of cookware should contain two different-sized saucepans (with lids), two or three different-sized skillets, a deep saucier pan for deep frying and a Dutch oven or stock pot. Lids for these pans may be interchangeable as many of them are the same diameter as each other.
The material that makes up the cookware is just as important as how many pieces you have.
- Stainless steel is very versatile and reliable as it can take high heat, easily going from the stove to the oven, and cleans up somewhat easily, although it requires cooking with some form of fat, such as oil or butter, to prevent food from sticking.
- Nonstick pans are ideal for those who are concerned about cleanup, but some of these pans are not suitable for oven use, and you must only use wooden or silicone utensils with them to prevent damaging the nonstick coating.
- Tri-ply pans that have a copper core encased between two layers of stainless steel, known as clad, are ideal cookware as these heat food more evenly.
- Other options available include aluminum, ceramic, copper and hard-anodized.
Other cookware items you may want to have on hand include cast-iron pans or carbon steel pans. These pans, after being seasoned, have a natural nonstick ability to them. Additional items to consider include:
- Grill pan ideal for those who cook meats like steak indoors and want to have grill marks on their food
- Double boiler makes it possible to create delicate sauces like Hollandaise sauce or temper items like chocolate without burning them
- Large stock pot makes it easy to boil long pasta or seafood like whole lobster
- Wok useful for cooking over flame at high temperatures, such as when stir-frying vegetables and meat
- Pressure cooker makes large cuts of meat in a shorter time as it uses steam and cooks under pressure, resulting in tender foods
- Roasting pan ideal for use in the oven to make large roast or fowl like a turkey
Although they are often used for baking breads and sweets, bakeware items are used quite often for general cooking purposes as well. One of the most important items to have are sheet pans. Sheet pans are great for making baked goods like cookies, but they also work well when roasting vegetables and broiling cuts of meat. They're also very handy when you need to hold food items in a warm oven while you finish the rest of the meal. Working hand in hand with sheet pans are silicone mats, which provide nonstick ability to pans that would have to be heavily oiled otherwise. Cookie sheets are like sheet pans except that have no raised edges, allowing bakers to remove baked items more easily.
There are many pans that can be part of the home bakeware arsenal. These include cake pans, which can be round, square or rectangular; springform pans, which are ideal for delicate baked goods like cheesecake; pie pans; loaf pans (for making bread or meat dishes like meatloaf); and a tube or Bundt pan. Many of these pans are metal, but there are also glass and silicone pans that serve the same purposes. Casserole dishes, especially one that is 13 inches by 9 inches, are ideal for making many things in the oven, such as casseroles, cakes and macaroni and cheese.
Other bakeware items to consider, depending on what you like to make at home, include: