Pots and Pans
Dabl At Home Dec 2020
Presented By
Dabl at Home

Learn How You Should Really Be Using Your Pots and Pans

We are clearing up your confusion in the kitchen with this guide for when to use different pots and pans!

Each product has been independently selected by our editorial team. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.

Pots and pans are an essential for any home, whether cooking is your passion or you only use your stove once a month. However, it can be hard to keep track of the different purposes each pot and pan serves, and when to use each kind. This is important to know, because if you consistently use your pots and pans incorrectly, you’ll see the effects of wear and tear much sooner. This means you may have to spend more money replacing them more frequently than you should, and nobody wants to deal with that added cost year-over-year. If you are preparing to go shopping for your kitchen, or if you simply need a refresher course on which pots and pans to use and when, we are here to help! 

More from Rachael Ray: Easier than delivery, use a cast-iron skillet to make pizza at home! 

Once you have the 411 on when to use pots and pans, you may also want to conduct some research into the best materials for you to use for your cooking purposes. Pots and pans are typically sold as aluminum, copper, stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel, clad, ceramic and nonstick. The material you choose may impact your pot or pan’s durability, affordability, versatility, weight, maintenance and ease of cleanup. 

Without any further ado, here is a comprehensive guide of the pots and pans you need in your kitchen: 

Sauté Pan

Every kitchen should have at least one sauté pan. As the name states, the purpose of this pan is sautéing, although it can also be used for deep-frying, searing, and preparing sauces. Most people tend to use this pan for cooking meat and sautéing vegetables. As far as appearance, sauté pans have straight sides and a flat bottom, which provides a large surface area for heating. Ultimately, sauté pans will be the most versatile and basic pan you will own. 


Sauté Pan with Cover

This sauté pan comes from Cuisinart’s Forever Collection. It holds 5.5 quarts and is made of stainless steel. This versatile kitchen essential is safe for all stovetops and induction ready. 

$51 on Amazon

Buy now!


Skillet or Frying Pan

Skillets, which are also known as frying pans, look a lot like sauté pans. The biggest difference is that skillets have curved sides instead of flat sides, although both pans have similar flat bottoms. Another versatile pan, skillets are great for cooking meals where you want to mix and heat at the same time, such as when making omelettes or stir fry. Skillets can also be great for cooking foods that need to be turned, simmered in oils, or for searing proteins such as steak or chicken. Frying pans and skillets can be purchased in a variety of sizes and materials, which will impact how hot it can get and what type of food you can cook. 


Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 14-Inch Open Skillet

This 14-inch skillet from Cuisinart has a non-stick, hard anodized exterior that is more durable than even the toughest stainless steel! The non-stick interior has a patented nonstick cooking surface, which is reinforced with titanium that provides lasting food release, healthy nonfat cooking options, and easy clean up. This skillet is safe for any stovetop, and can handle oven cooking with temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

$40 on Amazon

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If you and your family enjoy Italian food, a saucepan is absolutely essential. This pan is characterized by its tall, straight sides and rounded bottom. It can be used with or without a lid to control water evaporation. It is perfect for boiling water and cooking pasta, and for making sauces and reductions. It is also a useful tool for heating up liquids, reheating leftovers, simmering vegetables, preparing grains, and even hard boiling eggs. 


Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid

This multi-purpose stainless steel sauce pan set can be purchased in 4 different sizes, and comes with a shatterproof glass strainer lid and 2 spouts. Plus, the lid handle is covered in silicone to provide protection from accidental burns. What’s more, there is a clearly visible measuring scale inside the pan to bring ease to your cooking. 

$48 on Amazon.com

Buy now!


Grill Pan

If you love the taste of outdoor grilling but don’t have the space for your own BBQ, you will definitely want to own a grill pan. Bring the taste of the outdoors inside! It can be used to give your meat and vegetables a smoky taste, and can leave sear marks characteristic of grilling. 


Forged Deep Square Griddle Pan

The SKY LIGHT 11-inch Grill Pan is a best seller on Amazon, and perfect for cooking steak, fish, and BBQ. This pan is lightweight and easy to carry, yet still very durable with a formidable wooden handle. It is made of high-quality cast aluminum with outstanding corrosion resistance, and has high temperature resistance. It should be used on stovetops and is designed to ensure quick and even heating. Plus, this pan is chemical free, and has a non-stick coating that allows for easy clean up and prevents food from becoming stuck. 

$30 on Amazon

Buy now!



A griddle may look similar to a grill pan in that both have large, flat or ridged surfaces. But instead of grilling vegetables and steak for dinner, griddles are typically used to cook breakfast! Add a small amount of oil, and you are ready to cook pancakes, hash browns, eggs, and other delicious breakfast foods. 


Ceramic Titanium Griddle

Let BELLA make breakfast for you! This hardworking griddle features an efficient heating system, cool touch handles, and an easy to use dial for precise temperature control. The non-stick coating used on this electric griddle cooks your breakfast up to 30% faster than standard non-stick coatings, and is 8 times more durable than typical non-stick materials. The base even has a built-in ledge designed to make pancake flipping easier than ever!

$30 on Amazon

Buy now!


Stock Pot

While stock pots can come in a variety of sizes, they are known as large, tall pots with a flat bottom. Typically, stock pots have thinner metal than other pots and pans. They are most frequently used for cooking liquid foods that do not need to be extremely close to the heat source. Stockpots also allow you to sauté or brown, and then add liquids when making stocks, soups, or stews. These pots are especially great for cooking large foods or large portions, such as when making a bigger than normal batch of sauce, or for submerging spaghetti or large vegetables during boiling. 


16 Quart Stockpot with Lid

This stainless steel stock pot from Cook N’ Home can be ordered in 3 different sizes, and is an essential item that should be in every kitchen. It is suitable for all types of stovetops, from gas to induction, and is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. Plus, the tempered glass lid has a steam vent that allows you to check on your food while it cooks. This stock pot can also be used in the oven, and can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

$41 on Amazon

Buy now!


Dutch Oven

Dutch ovens are useful, but they are heavy, lidded pots that may take up a lot of cabinet space. They are just a bit smaller than the average stock pot, and are made from thicker material. They are typically round in shape, and meant for slow cooking meals. If you don’t cook often, you may be fine simply owning a stock pot. However, Dutch ovens are extremely versatile and an asset to keep in your kitchen. Dutch ovens can be used on the stove top or in your oven, and can be used to cook delicious stews, meat, vegetables, and even some breads. 

Dutch ovens can also be referred to as French ovens. French ovens are similar to Dutch ovens in every way, aside from the fact that they have an interior lined with enamel. This means seasoning is not required, and that the interior of the oven is better protected from rust. Just like standard Dutch ovens, French ovens are a great tool for cooking many dishes, such as beef, pork, roasts, briskets, poultry, and more. 

Amazon BasicsAmazon Basics

Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven

The Amazon Basics Dutch Oven can be ordered in 4 vibrant colors, and holds 6 quarts. This medium size can easily feed up to 6 people. It is made of cast iron to evenly heat food and retain heat, and has easy-to-grip side handles that makes this Dutch oven very portable. It can withstand temperatures of up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven.

$47 on Amazon.com

Buy now!


Roasting Pan

A roasting pan is what you’ll need if you are in charge of hosting the annual Thanksgiving dinner feast, or if you enjoy cooking roasted chicken or other proteins for date nights or family dinners. Roasting pans are large and rectangular, and are meant for cooking food with dry heat in the oven. They should have low sides that allow heat from the oven to reach as much of the food as possible at one time, and can withstand high temperatures. Many people also utilize a roasting rack along with roasting pans, which elevates the food above the bottom of the pan or the cooking surface. 

Rachael RayRachael Ray

Nonstick Roasting Pan with Reversible Rack

This roasting kit from Rachael Ray is large, sturdy, and durable. The reversible rack and pan can be used to cook roast beef, chicken, and turkeys up to 20 pounds. If you like cooking large portions of lasagna or casseroles for a crowd or meal preparation, this multi-purpose roasting pan can do that, too! This roasting pan just keeps getting better with how easy it is to clean and handle, and how it can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven.

$40 on Amazon.com

Buy now!


Braiser Pan

Braiser pans are a great addition to your kitchen if you enjoy cooking a lot, or if you are looking to expand your current collection of pots and pans. Braiser pans are large with flat bottoms, and come with a moisture-locking lid. They have earned a reputation in the culinary world as being great multitaskers. For example, you can use the same braiser pan for browning food on the stove top, and transfer it directly to slow cook in the oven. Some braiser pans are designed to both cook and serve, so that you can take your food straight from the oven to the table. 


Cast Iron Casserole Braiser Pan

The Puricon Braiser comes in either red or blue, and has a heavy-duty cast iron core with vegetable oil coating. The porcelain enamel surface will not react to food, nor absorb the smell, which makes this pan and it’s perfectly fitting lid ideal for cooking, sousing and storing food. It can also be used for braising, baking, broiling, sautéing, simmering and roasting. It is compatible with all cooking surfaces, and can withstand oven temperatures of over 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

$61 on Amazon.com

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Last but not least, woks are all-purpose, Asian pans that have become extremely popular. Woks are larger pans and typically made of carbon steel. These pans have a hot cooking surface on the bottom, while the sides remain a bit cooler. Ingredients can be lightly tossed and moved around the pan, which provides great control and versatility over the temperature. These pans are very useful for cooking stir fry, or thin cuts of protein and vegetables that should be tossed quickly when placed over heat. In addition, woks can be used for steaming and deep-frying. 

Kenmore HammondKenmore Hammond

Flat Bottom Carbon Steel Wok

The Kenmore Wok is 14 inches and made of carbon steel, as is traditional in Asian cuisine. Kenmore has over 100 years of experience making high quality, durable products, and this Wok is no exception. The wok has a non-toxic, non-stick interior that is heat resistant up to 500 degrees fahrenheit. The versatile flat-bottom of the wok makes it perfect for stir fry, steaming, deep-frying, or even heating up leftovers. 

$30 on Amazon.com

Buy now!
Rachael Ray CucinaRachael Ray Cucina

Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set

If you are due for a whole new set of pots and pans, and don’t want to waste time buying each pot and pan individually, let Rachael Ray take care of you! This 12 piece set has a beautiful design and is extremely durable to last for a long time. All the cookware is non-stick and dishwasher safe for easy clean up, and is oven safe up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

$160 on Amazon.com

Buy now!

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