COOKWARE 101: FIVE COOKWARE PIECES EVERY KITCHEN SHOULD HAVE
Whether you are just starting on your culinary journey or you’ve been sautéing and simmering for years, there are a few cookware tools no kitchen should be without. According to cookbook author and restaurateur Jan D’Atri, having the right tool for the right task is as important as having all of the ingredients for your recipe.
“A good pot, a sharp knife and the correct size cutting board will make the job much easier and cooking more fun,” said D’Atri, who graciously shared a few of her cookware must-haves.
“Many chefs have an arsenal of pots and pans from which to choose, but they often reach for the same ones time and time again. In my kitchen, there’s always something simmering, sautéing, boiling or baking, so I’ve put together a list of my favorite go-to tools that have made the kitchen, for me, the greatest room on earth.”
Jan’s Cookware Must-Haves:
The standard kitchen pot is available in sizes ranging from 1 to 3 quarts and is designed for cooking almost anything. While the name obviously suggests that this pot is perfect for cooking sauces, it is also great for vegetables, soups and stews. For households of one or two people, a set of two or three saucepans will cover most cooking needs.
Sauté and Fry Pans
I like having a few small sauté pans (8-inch) for making dishes like Veal Scaloppini and one larger pan (3-5 quarts), which is great for things like Chicken Cacciatore. I also find that flat-bottom pans tend to work better with contemporary electric cooktops. The key is to find pieces that will heat evenly across the bottom. The Signature Gourmet Cookware Collection by Dacor® features a unique “Hot Dots” technology, which provides quick and even heat conduction to the entire pan for the best cooking performance. Additionally, the pan’s brilliant finish makes it easy to see the true color of your ingredients, which is especially important in de-glazing.
This is the big bad boy of the kitchen. A good stock pot can be pricey, but well worth it. I have a 12-quart multi-pot, which is great for soups, stews, risotto, chili, steaming fish and veggies, as well as boiling pasta for a hungry clan. If I’m going to go through the trouble of making homemade chicken soup, I usually make a big batch and save some in the freezer for chilly days.
My large stovetop griddle has become an everyday cooking tool. I use the griddle for everything from toasting bread and making crustini toast, to heating up fresh uncooked tortillas and grilling marinated chicken breasts. I have often produced an entire Sunday meal of pancakes, eggs, bacon and toast using just my griddle. Most cooktops and ranges today come with a griddle accessory, but Dacor’s innovative Epicure® Dual-Fuel Range features a removable griddle that can be easily cleaned and stored away when not in use, so it doesn’t take up valuable cooking space.
It doesn’t matter if you are just heating up a box of frozen fish sticks or baking 300 gingerbread men, every kitchen needs baking sheets. When using the Dacor cookie sheets that take up the entire width of the baking rack, there’s no wasted space, which means you can bake more cookies at one time. I use the 18” x 13” baking sheets with the lip and I have discovered an alternate way to use the sheets when baking decorative cookies during the holidays. Many of the cookie cutters are oversized and, as a result, the cookies are hard to remove from the sheet, so I simply turn the baking sheet upside down and place my larger decorator cookies on the underside. When the cookies are done, they slide off with ease.
For more information about Dacor cookware and accessories, visit www.everythingdacor.com.
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