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Essential Kitchen Cookware

Last Updated Jun 27, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

Quality cookware may cost more to buy but it will last you for years and make cooking much more pleasurable.  How can you argue with that?!  You don’t have to rush out and buy an entire store’s worth. Here are the pieces that we think that you should start with – the essential cookware that every kitchen should stock.  For more tips or ideas on cookware, have a chat to your local cookware supplier.

Frying Pans

Frying pans are the one piece of cookware that absolutely every household uses and you can choose between stainless steel and non stick, although most people will recommend that you have one of each. Use them for eggs, omelettes, meats, stir fries, fried rice, vegetables, pancakes, crepes, and just about anything else you can think of. They really are a “workhorse!”

A Sauté Pan

Sauté pans are like frying pans only they have a flat bottom and short straight sides, along with two handles for easier lifting.  They are perfect for sautéing off garlic, mushrooms, onions, diced bacon and the like but they are also really good for cooking one pan meals in or even casseroles.


It’s a good idea to get a few saucepans in varying sizes from small through to large.  Saucepans are so versatile – use them for making sauces, cooking rice or pasta, boiling vegetables, making soups and much more.  Look for saucepans made from stainless steel as they won’t react with your food.  As well, look for a heavy based saucepan as they tend to conduct heat more evenly, making for better cooking and no burning on hot spots!

A Stock Pot

A stock pot is essentially a very large saucepan and it is incredibly useful in the kitchen.  If you’re so inclined, you can use it to make your own chicken, beef, fish or veggie stock but it also be used for many other things such as cooking pasta, boiling potatoes, steaming vegetables (if it has a steamer insert), and even cooking lobsters and other large foods.

A Roasting Pan

A roasting pan or two is an essential addition to your cookware collection.  You’ll not only find yourself cooking up delicious roast meats, you’ll also find yourself cooking roast vegetables, lasagnes, potato bakes and more.  Make sure you know the dimensions of your oven before you purchase as some roasting pans are so large, they won’t fit in smaller ovens!  You also have the option of stainless steel or a non stick material but this choice is purely one of personal preference.

A Dutch Oven or Casserole Dish

Finally, if you like to cook lots of casseroles, stews, and chilli, a Dutch oven or casserole dish is essential. Many of these are beautiful to look at and can go from oven to table, saving you buying an additional serving dish.  As far as materials go, earthenware or cast iron is recommended for best results.

Tip: While we understand that not everyone has the budget to buy top of the line cookware, we do recommend that you get the best that you can afford.  Good quality cookware will actually work out to be cheaper over time as you don’t have to replace it anywhere near as often as the cheaper alternatives.
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