Here’s a look at the pots and pans that I use every day and are currently in my cabinets. I’m sharing which are my favorites, the pros and cons and what brands I keep coming back to.
Before I give my recommendations and reviews, please know the following:
- I cook a lot. Not only do I cook 7 days a week (breakfast, lunch and dinner 5-6 days a week), I cook more for this blog and my business. I’m always testing recipes, and I’m always in the kitchen. Thus, my cookware goes the ringer! So, it’s both important to know that my cookware gets heavily used, SO I like to have more cookware, because frankly, there’s a lot of wear and tear.
- I have the luxury of space in my current home. I have enough room for multiple pots and pans, so I don’t take that into consideration when purchasing and keeping cookware.
- I don’t cook a lot of meat (hardly any, actually), so the pans I recommend and use are based off of that – I don’t need much cast iron, because I find that cast iron sears and cooks meat profoundly better than non stick, but I don’t cook meat, so I don’t need that feature.
- I’m married with two toddlers. AKA I’m cooking for four people (two are tiny.)
- Some of this cookware I’ve only been using for less than 2 months. It’s hard to give a full review if you haven’t owned cookware for 4-6+ months. But I know you want to hear my opinion, so I’m sharing it!
What Cookware I Currently Use Regularly
Another disclaimer. As you’ll see below, I use a lot of different cookware. I don’t think you should ever only have one line of cookware, just like you should never have one pair of shoes – there are different occasions when you’d want to wear different shoes, right?
Note: If you do decide to purchase the full Caraway set, make sure to purchase through my link for a discount!
Right now, the Caraway pans are my favorite. The sizing of the pans are exactly what I need for cooking (I have the entire set), they’re very sturdy (some may say they’re too heavy, but I like heavier pans, personally) and they’re just designed sleekly and beautifully. The handles are sleek and solid and the tops are very flat, which I love for easy storing and cleaning. Actually, when you purchase the cookware set, it comes with this AMAZING hanging top storage canvas rack that makes life so much easier. It’s almost worth it just for that storage system (which would only work with flat top pans!)
I love that all the pans have lids and in general, the sizing of the pots works well for me- whether I’m small batch cooking or cooking for my entire family. Of all the pans, if I’d have to choose one, the near 12-inch saute pan is my favorite. It’s wide and cooks everything.
In addition to that canvas lid rack, it comes with a magnetic storage system, which has helped me keep my pans in great condition, also (instead of just throwing them in my cabinets.) It comes in cute, chic colors and overall, has held up very nicely (again, it has only been a couple of months, so I can update this post!)
What: 12 inch frypan with cover
For what: when I’m cooking a big portion, I love this pan because it’s wide, deep, and 12-inch. Plus, it has a lid, so you can slow cook foods in there and let them steam (like rice, for example.) It’s an all around does-it-all pan.
I also have these beautiful blush ones, and I use the 8″ pan all the time to make quesadillas for the fam!
Before I started experimenting with older lines of non-stick cookware, I was exclusively GreenPan kinda gal. I’ve been using GreenPan for years, and I have many different versions of their lines (many of which have sold out or are no longer made.)
Here’s the truth: yes, GreenPan’s non-stick will diminish IF you don’t take care of your pans. I learned this the hard way for the first year or so I was using their pans and I was disappointed. However, recently, I have learned there’s an art to taking care of those types of pans, so I’m careful and these pans are standing up and it’s been about 7 months.
Our Place’s Always Pan
MANY questions on this pan. Before I start, if you do decide to purchase, it’s currently on sale (today is November 30, 2020) for $95 with code SUPERSALE. That’s incredible! Snag it now.
Here’s the deal. I keep this pan on my countertop because it’s light and pretty – very Instagrammable and goes with the decor of my kitchen, so I like keeping it out. There are a few features that I love:
- The spoon rest on the side – very clever and it helps keep mess less.
- The top handle doesn’t get hot, so you can uncover it at any time without a mitt.
- It’s wide enough to cook rice dishes or deep casserole-like meals (but per my point below, not a large portion.)
- It’s light, so it’s easy to work to clean.
- It comes with a steamer insert, which I use all the time for quick and easy steaming. That’s my favorite part!
- It’s obviously adorable.
And a couple of features that I don’t love:
- It’s small. We’re a family of four and I cook a lot of large meals, so it’s not practical when you’re cooking a larger meal.
- Since the sides are so high and deep (which is also a pro at the same time!) it’s hard to flip things, like if you’re cooking pancakes, burgers, veggie cakes, etc.
- It’s expensive! For $145, you could get a more complete cookware set, but again, if you’re not cooking for many people, $145 is pretty great and it will replace other cookware.
- It’s not oven safe, which is kind of a deal breaker for me.
Who would I recommend this pan to? Someone who doesn’t cook for many people and/or who doesn’t have room for a steamer basket and wants something that does both (steams and fries/sautés.) If you want to take pretty photos of your food, this pan is great for that too.
Since this pan lives on my countertop, I usually use it for simple things like steaming the kids’ veggies for lunch (if I’m not eating with them) or frying or scrambling eggs in the morning or making their grilled cheese sandwiches (it barely fits two slices of bread, but it does!) I definitely use it a lot and that’s probably because it sits on my countertop and is super light, so it’s easy to clean.
What: Le Creuset frying pan
Whenever I’m making something like a pork chop for my husband or a very slow cooking dish, I opt for my Le Creuset. You can’t get any better! It heats evenly (as all cast iron does) and thus, is so great for cooking meats. I love making single dish meals in my Le Creuset – like some pork chops with roasted brussels sprouts. You can cook it all in one pan and go in and out of the oven. I’ve made frittatas here, I love making home fries/breakfast potatoes in my Le Creuset too. I feel like everyone should own a cast iron fry pan, and I’m glad I do.
Staub 6 quart dutch oven
What: Staub 6 quart dutch oven
You can’t really mess with Staub or cast iron, but they’re very expensive! I love my Staub to death and I use it when making large portions for my family. I use it to sear meat in it when I do cook meat and I use it for casserole dishes that I want to transfer to the oven. It’s great for stews and roasts. It’s wonderful for searing chicken and transferring to the oven to bake and other meat dishes like that. I use it for pasta dishes a lot, too! It fits a full pound of pasta. I’ve made everything from jambalaya to chicken tagine in this!
I have no complaints about this pan and strongly recommend everyone owns one!
I hope this helps you find your next favorite pot or pan! I’m always happy to answer questions, just let me know….