Menu
Search
Menu
Close

Essential Cookware

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2009

Here are the core pots and pans we rely on in the test kitchen and recommend for yours.

1. All-Clad Stainless Steel 12-Inch Fry Pan

Price:$134.95 This roomy skillet can cook a family-sized meal. The traditional finish allows food to stick, developing the crusty brown bits of fond that contribute flavor.

2. All-Clad Stainless Steel 4-Quart Saucepan (with lid)

Price: $184.95 For even cooking, we prefer saucepans made of stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core in a style of construction known as "tri-ply." A 4-quart saucepan is just the right size for making rice or blanching vegetables.

3. All-Clad Stainless Steel 2-Quart Saucepan (with lid)

Price:$139.95 For even cooking, we prefer saucepans made of stainless steel sandwiching an aluminum core in a style of construction known as "tri-ply." A 2-quart saucepan is good for smaller jobs like heating milk or melting butter. For a cheaper alternative, consider nonstick. Best Buy Alternative: Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 2 1/2-Quart Shallow Saucepan ($39.95)

4. T-Fal Professional Total Nonstick Fry Pan, 12.5 inches

Price:$34.99 This pan had the slickest, most durable nonstick coating, releasing perfectly throughout testing. It is well proportioned, with a comfy handle and generous cooking surface.

5. Lodge 12" Cast Iron Skillet

Price:$33.95 Nothing tops cast iron when it comes to creating a flavorful, deeply browned crust on steaks and other foods.

6. Le Creuset 7 1/4-Quart Round French Oven (with lid)

Price:$269.95 This incredibly versatile Dutch oven made of enameled cast iron is ideal for soups, stews, stocks, braises-even frying and baking. Best Buy Alternative: Tramontina 6 1/2-Quart Enameled Cast-Iron Dutch Oven ($44.97)

7. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Stainless Steel 12-Quart Stockpot (with lid)

Price:$69.95 Lighter than a Dutch oven, a 12-quart stockpot is used mainly for boiling water for pasta, corn, and lobster. This brand's inexpensive price tag is just right for a pot with limited use.

8. Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Rack

Price:$119.95 Don't buy nonstick; the dark finish camouflages the crusty brown bits you need to make gravy for roasted meats. This pan's gently flared shape makes stirring and deglazing easy.

Done in 281 ms! 61.385 KiB - 7.5% = 56.776 KiB