Video:Tips Before You Buy Pots and Saucepanswith Heidi Dehncke
Every kitchen needs at least one good pot or saucepan, but cooking enthusiasts can find pots for every cooking need. Here are some helpful tips to help you buy pots and saucepans for your kitchen.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips Before You Buy Pots and SaucepansHi, I'm Heidi Dehncke-Fisher and welcome to About.com.
Today I am focusing on cooking basics, particularly buying saucepans and pots.
Cooking NeedsThe first thing to consider, when you are looking to buy a saucepan or stock or soup pot is what kind of a cook you are. Are you just cooking for yourself? And do you like to cook? Or are you cooking for an entire family. This will influence your needs and usage of whatever pots and pans you purchase.
Most cookware sets come with several (usually 3) saucepans which can hold anywhere from 1-3 quarts. Most sets also include a 6 or 8 quart stock or soup pot.
These sets range in price as much as they range in materials. Though it is usually more cost effective to buy a whole set rather than purchase items piece by piece. Unless you can afford top quality and don't care how long it takes you to get everything that's needed.
What to Look For in a SaucepanSaucepans are a workhorse in a kitchen. They are not only used for making sauces, but also can be used for making veggies, rice, soup, mashed potatoes, and the list goes on. The traditional saucepan has a round bottom, tall straight sides and a tight fitting lid. The handle should feel comfortable in your hand, and look and feel safe and secure.
Saucepan DesignThe design of the saucepan is related to its purpose in evenly heating the food it contains. So you want a sauce pan constructed out of materials that conduct heat evenly and effectively. The bottom of the pan should be thick, and while copper is recommended as the best heat conductor, because of cost issues many people opt for either anodized aluminum or stainless steel. Hard anodized aluminum was invented by NASA and the cookware companies that utilize this have developed cookware that is harder than stainless steel and non-reactive to acids
Stock PotsAs far as soup or stock pots go, a heavy thick bottom is very important to help prevent burning. Again, the construction of the pot plays into the conductivity as does the construction materials. These pots are kind of a larger version of sauce pans and you again should be looking for quality construction (handles that are securely attached), and should be comfortable when picked up, using pot holders.
What pans and pots you buy depend on individual needs. If you can't afford a whole set by all means by the versatile 4-quart saucepan that will allow you to make both soups and sauces, and a whole lot of other stuff too.
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