Being somewhat of a collector of pots and pans, it seems that I have a different one for each and every occasion.
From hand hammered copper pots from France to five cast iron pans I found nested in the trash outside a relative’s home, I just love cooking things. I have owned most of my cookware for at least 15 years now and have only purchased two new items (a gorgeous Staub Dutch oven and a hand hammered copper soup pot from France both at 75% off) in the past 10 years.
For obvious reasons, copper from France ranks up at the top but like most things French it is high maintenance (the pot will need retinning every five years or so) and there is so much they don’t tolerate; like anything acidy, (think tomatoes) and dishwashers. Also, the copper needs to be polished regularly if you want to keep it shiny.
Next in the collection is the All-Clad line-up. These are hard to beat for great all-round pots and pans. I have about eight different sizes and styles I love them all. They are mid priced and you just can’t go wrong with this company. TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Tuesday Morning all sell All-Clad at huge discounts.
The smallest collection within my collection is my emanelled cast iron Le Creuset and Staub Dutch ovens and pots. I LOVE these pots and use them whenever a good one-pot meal is called for. They are VERY heavy but NOTHING sticks to them. You probably couldn’t burn a meal in one if you tried but you also couldn’t carry one using one hand. Staub makes their Dutch ovens with little bumps on the bottoms of the lids for constant basting during cooking. These Dutch Ovens are perfect for the No Knead bread recipes circulating on the internet but you must remove the handles from the older Le Cruesset pots before taking the temperature up to 500F. I love to throw a chicken, duck or roast in with baby potatoes and carrots, Fines Herbes, butter, a bit of wine and salt and pepper. It never comes out wrong.
At the bottom of the group are my cast iron pans, griddle and cornbread pan. Even though these are the cheapest of all my skillets they are the ones that stay on the stove for easy access. The overused phrase “lasts a lifetime” is for once, no exaggeration. Here is an item that was passed down from generation to generation, and for good reason. These pans warm up evenly but very slowly. They also cool down slowly so be careful not to get burned.
I try to tell myself that I have to buy all of these different lines just to test them out so I can rate them for my customers but the truth is that I for the past 22 years I have cooked almost every meal from scratch and having the right tools for the right job really helps. Truly though I couldn’t pick a favorite one to save my life, they all have their uses in the kitchen. It helps me to know that I won’t have to ever buy another pot, pan or skillet and that someday Rhayna will have a wonderful collection that was well loved and lovingly used.