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Essential Pieces of Cookware for Your Home
April 15, 2015 | By Noelle de Vera

There are a lot of things you need when it comes to making things work faster and easier in your home kitchen. You have to think of what kind of cookware you need, from skillets/fry pans, sauce pans, stock pots, and slow cooker, even woks if you're fond of making authentic Chinese dishes and it has its health advantage, especially when cooking vegetables with it. Consider also the kind of material you want for your cookware to be made of: aluminum, stainless steel, non-stick, etc.


My advice: Buy cookware that will best suit your family's lifestyle and needs. Start from the basics, and then slowly invest on expensive/unconventional cookware when the opportunity presents itself.


Below are some of the essential/basic cookware you might need or want for your kitchen at home.


1. SAUCE PAN



A sauce pan is a cooking vessel that is very important for your home. You can choose from various sizes and it can be based on how big your family is or what kind of cooking range you have at home. This is usually used for heating food, reducing sauces, boiling water, blanching your vegetables, cooking grains, and all sorts of different things you can think of.


2. STOCK POT



A stock pot is used for cooking stocks, soups, and pasta. It is better to have a stainless steel pot that has a double bottom with an aluminum disk. Aluminum is a good conductor of heat that will make the heat spread out evenly. Soups and stocks are usually cooked for long hours, depending on the volume. That is why it is highly recommended that you use a heavy duty type of stock pot.


3. SKILLET OR FRYING PAN



A skillet and a frying pan are almost identical and have the same use. The difference between the two is: a skillet has lower sides while the frying pan has higher sides. Both have flat bottoms, can be used for frying, searing, and browning food. Frying pans often tend to be very oily and food residue sticks to the bottom of the pan. For this reason, I recommend using a Teflon type pan at home because it is best for some quick cooking and is easy to clean. NOTE: when cleaning Teflon pans, make sure NOT to use abrasive sponges as it can damage your pan.


4. SLOW COOKER



A slow cooker, in my opinion, is very useful at home. It can tenderize your meat in just minutes. It is very easy to use when you are on the go all day. Just toss everything inside when making soups, casseroles, and to tender your meat. It works magic inside your kitchen.


5. WOK



If you are a fan of Chinese cooking, it is best for you to get a wok for your home. This versatile cookware can do a lot of things: stir-fry, steam, deep-fry, poach, boil, braise, sear, stew, make soups, roast nuts, smoke, or practically anything you want to do with it. Stir-frying with a wok has its health advantage, especially when cooking vegetables. Because of its high heat retention, the vegetables are cooked faster and keep their nutrients. When using a wok, you will need a Chinese spatula, which is called a Chahn, or a Chinese ladle, called a Hoak. The utensils are used so that the cook can concentrate and work on the food without letting the food burn.


Noelle de Vera is a former corporate chef of a group of restaurants focused on Italian and Japanese cuisine and a cafe that serves comfort food. Now a full-time mother of two equally bright boys and a wife to a hardworking husband.

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