Cookware Guide 101: Types of Cookware


When looking for new cookware, the first thing you should look for is the different types of cookware that are available. If you are a beginner, you most likely need an efficient and cost-effective solution for your cookware needs. Therefore let's start with the basics, there are four main types to consider when choosing a new cookware: Stock Pot, Fry Pan, Sauté Pan, and last but not least, Sauce Pan.

Stock Pot

The stock pot is a large, deep pot with a flat bottom. It is used for cooking liquid foods that do not need to be very close to the heat source. A stock pot allows you to sauté or fry and then add liquids when making soups or stews. Their high profile is great for keeping pasta submerged during the boiling process. There are a variety of sizes available for the stock pot. Keep in mind that multiple sizes could be useful when you have to cook for a small or large group of people.

Fry Pan

The fry pan also known as skillet is an essential kitchen workhorse and probably one of the most versatile cookware you have in the kitchen. Using the right fry pan, flipping omelets, stir-frying, and even searing protein is easy. These pans are designed with a flat bottom and curved sides, making them perfect for flipping foods or simmering with oil. So how hot can they get? It depends on what material your fry pan is made of. Nonstick pans should not go over low or medium heat to preserve their coating, while stainless steel is good for high heat. Frying pans also come in all sizes and usually come without a lid.

Cast Iron Skillet

Another form of frying pan is the cast iron skillet. Cast iron skillets are similar to frying pans, but the main difference is the care and materials they are made from. Given that these skillets are made of cast iron, they can be quite heavy. The best advice is, if you've never used a cast iron skillet, come and grab one before you buy. When choosing the cast iron skillet, make sure it's pre-seasoned. The problem with an unseasoned skillet is that the food will stick to it.

Sauté Pan

Sauté Pan is made for sautéing, which means being able to quickly move food around the pan while it is frying, and covered with the lid. Sauté pans are similar in design to frying pans, they also have flat bottoms, but the main difference between a frying pan and a sauté pan is that instead of rounded edges, a sauté pan has straight edges. Given that they are deeper than frying pans, sauté pans can be used for a variety of purposes other than sautéing. Some of these uses are deep-frying, searing and preparing certain sauces like marinara.

Sauce Pan

The sauce pan has a rounded bottom and tall, straight sides. This means they are a versatile cookware option for making a variety of sauces and soups. These pans can be used with or without a lid to control evaporation, which is why they are a must-have in any kitchen. It’s also ideal for many other uses, like reheating leftovers, preparing grains, boiling eggs or noodles.