Comforting Southern Food No Matter Where You Live

It’s hard to resist the comfort of Southern cuisine. From buttery cornbread to flavorful fish stew, these recipes have truly earned a spot in our hearts.

We’re excited to pay tribute to Southern cooking this week with Southern Favorites, a special collection packed with 91 delicious, soul-satisfying recipes. We’ve also collected the equipment you’ll need to cook them all to perfection. With our recommended tools in hand and our foolproof recipes, the comfort of Southern cuisine is closer than you think.

This pan came slick and stayed that way—we stopped both fried egg tests after 50 eggs. It cooked and released food perfectly, thanks to its darker finish and excellent nonstick coating. Its gently flared sides and lightweight design made it easy to load, unload, and move. Its grippy stay-cool handle was flawless and its cooking surface vast. It showed some light knife marks but otherwise emerged from testing unscathed.  More on this test

With an exceptionally broad cooking surface and low, straight sides, this 7-quart pot had the same advantageous shape as the Le Creuset. It was heavier but not prohibitively so. The looped handles were comfortable to hold, though slightly smaller than ideal. The rim and lid chipped cosmetically when we repeatedly slammed the lid onto the pot, so it's slightly less durable than our winner.  More on this test

Although the grid pattern on this rack is slightly larger than on the other two models, it’s reinforced with an extra support bar that runs perpendicular to the three main bars. It had a touch more wiggle room in the baking sheets, but it kept pace with the other racks during recipe and durability testing.   More on this test

With an ergonomic Santoprene rubber handle and a balanced, lightweight feel, this whisk was like an extension of a hand. It whipped cream and egg whites quickly, thanks to 10 wires that were thin enough to move through the liquid quickly but thick enough to push through heavy mixtures and blend pan sauces to smoothness.  More on this test

We loved how deeply this pan browned foods—the cornbread had an all-over golden brown crust, and almonds emerged from the skillet evenly toasted. Its high sides kept scrambled eggs in the skillet even when we stirred vigorously. However, even though it came preseasoned, some eggs stuck to the surface and a chunk of the cornbread tore off when we removed it from the skillet. (It’s worth noting that, unlike the enameled skillet, this pan will become more nonstick over time.) It also requires maintenance (thoroughly drying and rubbing with a tiny bit of oil) after every use. These are minor quibbles, though—it’s a great pan at an excellent price and will last a lifetime with proper care.  More on this test

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.  More on this test

Coming in a variety of useful sizes that nest for compact storage, our winning set performed ably on almost every test. Its wide, shallow bowls were easy to hold, fill, empty, and clean. They can be used in the microwave and the oven. While the bowls in this set were the only ones to break when dropped, the heaviness of the glass with which they’re made makes it unlikely that they’ll easily fly off the counter.  More on this test