If you’re stocking your new kitchen on a budget, don’t feel as though you have to buy everything at once. These are the most important pots and pans you’ll need to start out; everything else can follow.
Cast iron pan
Any time you want intense heat that lasts, the cast iron pan is your pan of choice. It’s the best choice for searing steaks, giving fish fillets perfectly crisp skin, frying chicken, making the crispiest bacon, and any recipe that requires a pan to move effortlessly from hob to oven.
Our tip: Do some research online before you buy your first pan, as their maintenance needs are different to those of other pans.
Nest of saucepans
Buying saucepans in a few different sizes will cover many of your kitchen needs. Many shops will sell sets of 2-3 saucepans in a range of sizes. These will be used for making sauces, warming milk, blanching vegetables, poaching eggs or fish and cooking pasta or rice.
Our tip: Saucepans with glass lids will allow you to keep an eye on your food without losing heat from the pan.
You’ll need at least one versatile baking dish, whether made of aluminium, glass or ceramic. This is the dish to turn to for making pasta bakes or lasagnes, roasting vegetables or baking brownies. If you don’t yet own a roasting tin, you can also use this for roasting chickens and other meats.
Our tip: Check the size of your oven before buying a baking dish — making sure it will fit is a priority!
This is ideal for slow-cooking and braising. Its strength lies in the fact that it can handle both initial searing and the gentle, even cooking that follows. Use your casserole for pulled pork or barbacoa, braises, soups, chillies, or dishes like this spring chicken stew. It’s also perfect for deep-frying.
Our tip: A good-quality casserole dish can last for a lifetime, so this is one place where it’s worth investing; look for an enamel-coated cast iron version.
What’s in a name?
To avoid confusion when looking at websites from the other side of the pond, remember that, in the States, casserole dishes are known as Dutch ovens, while baking dishes are called casserole dishes!
Large stock pot
Every kitchen should have at least one really large pot for big jobs. Use it to make stock, boil a ham, cook pasta for a crowd or make enough pasta sauce from fresh, ripe tomatoes to last you through the winter.
Our tip: Ensure that the metal is heavy and thick, especially on the bottom.
Still got money to spend? These additions will make your kitchen even more functional.
- Roasting tin
- Baking trays
- Non-stick frying pan
- Muffin tin
- Loaf tins