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Favorite piece of cookware in your kitchen?

Is there one pot, pan or other item you turn to again and again? It need not be fancy - just one you always find yourself reaching for?

For me it's my vintage cast iron deep black skillet with matching cast iron lid. I always leave it on the stove because I seem to use it almost everyday. Because it's deeper than a traditional skillet it works for things (like sauces or large batches of things) that a shallow or traditional skillet might not work for. It's certainly not my "fanciest" piece of cookware - but is the most used and loved.

what about you?

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  1. All my cast irons different sizes for different uses, my 10 and my 6" mostly and my 8" saute pan from Target. I couldn't cook without them.

    1. My Santoku knife. It cuts just about everything and it's the one I find myself reaching for the most.

      1. Hmm...I love my knives--10" Sabatier chef's knife, a Chinese cleaver I use from time to time, another 10" chef's knife.

        I also love my Microplane grater, which I bought long enough ago that it's the original model.

        There's somethign really satisfying about using a well-designed tool!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Howard_2

          I also got a microplane grater 8 years ago at a garage sale, $1, perfect shape I don't think they ever used it. Brand new looking. Nice heavy duty. I never really do garage sales except for antiques but it was a neighbor so I walked over. She had great expensive kitchen utensils and never used them but I had no room so this was my only purchase.

        2. 5 quart enameled dutch oven! soups...stews...braising...sauces...even just making pasta (it holds so well the water returns to a boil quickly after adding pasta)...

          1. It used to be a runoff between my cast iron skillet or chef's knife.

            But my favorite toy is either my pepper grinder or Microplane.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jaykayen

              jaykayen, have you found a pepper grinder that is worthy of love? Every pepper grinder that we ever have used has had colorful language unsuitable for the ears of children directed its way. What kind of pepper grinder is yours?

            2. Hard to choose just one - I love my kitchen but I agree with the Microplane and my Global chef's knife

              1. What's a microplane?

                Mine is either my knives or my dutch oven - although that's 4 things o___O

                9 Replies
                1. re: Soop

                  Microplanes are mini graters based on the planing tools from the woodshop:

                  To answer the OP's question, it varies considerably. Ancient cast iron pans, inexpensive roasting pan, good knives, steel measuring cup, 40 year old dutch oven, 18" tile for making flatbreads and pizza, the hibachi, $1 tongs, cutting boards, wooden spoons, immersion blender (all things I couldn't live without and use weekly if not daily).

                  1. re: Caralien

                    You sound about like me. My roasting pan was grandmas, although I do admit to owning a very nice large one I use when making 20+ lb turkey or whole leg of lamb and a few other large items. I don't use tiles, but my Walmart pizza stone probably didn't cost much more and 8-10 yrs old and still perfect. I love wooden spoons, immersion absolutely and my grill pan. Nothing fancy, 25 bucks had it for almost 5 years, love it.

                    I guess I am frugal when it comes to buying kitchen appliances or utensils. But I truly believe the cook is what makes the food, not the resources. I am sure there is other opinions, but this is just mine. No offense to anyone. Quality equipment can make life and cooking easier I am sure, I have just never felt the need to buy any. The nice pieces I have, have all been gifts.

                    1. re: kchurchill5

                      Hah, wooden spoons - I wouldn't have believed I could covet a wooden spoon so much!

                      1. re: Soop

                        ^^Good addition Soop. I have a flat wooden "spoon" with an angled edge, I use it for everything!

                        1. re: beauxgoris

                          Ditto, I have 2 which I love. Couldn't cook without them.

                  2. re: Soop

                    In case you're tempted I saw some Microplane's in John Lewis recently. Still have a terrible kitchen department but they definitely had some microplane's in stock!

                    1. re: knet

                      Just between you and me... isn't it just a grater?

                      1. re: Soop

                        Soop--it's a grater with razor blade sharpness that takes no effort whatsoever. You can even shave the rinds of hard cheeses easily (which becomes a fluffy mound instead of big pieces, half of which are still stuck to the traditional grater). They're very sharp, and I've nicked myself in the kitchen with them because they're so much faster than any other graters I've used.

                        I thought it was a silly gimmick (I still have my cheap handled grater), but decided to register for a few as wedding gifts. They're wonderful, and sharp enough to grate truffles without bruising them.

                        1. re: Caralien

                          I use mine for very very fine parm or any hard cheese and especially ginger, nutmeg and fruit zests. I love it.

                  3. My #8 Griswold skillet and its matching "self basting" lid, my 4 quart All-Clad stainless saucepan, this cool silicon double-headed half flexible, half rigid spatula, and my "Ove Gloves" for both hands. :-)

                    1. And because I just used it ( and realized that I use it daily!) my spider.

                      I picked up the stainless steel version at a restaurant supply place years ago and still use it daily

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: knet

                        What's that? Do you have a link?

                        1. re: Soop

                          Microplane and Spider - well, yes a microplane IS just a grater but it is the King of Graters. I came to it pretty slowly because I didn't think it would make such a difference to me. I hate box graters so I went to a paddle and then inevitably to the Microplane and I am still amazed by it each time I use it.
                          Spider - long handled, woven steel or wire basket ( not really a basket as it is usually flat or only slightly concave) used to retrieve food from cooking oil or boiling water. Usually found in rest. supply or in Asian shops. Tremendously cheap and tremendously useful!

                          1. re: knet

                            Thanks - I use a paddle grater right now - easier to clean, and seems to work just... better. I'm not sure a microplanes for me though, not till I need to replace it.

                            1. re: Soop

                              Yes I really liked the paddle grater too and only got to the Microplane when I did have to replace it - unfortunately mine did not stay sharp as long as I'd have hoped, esp as it was only used for parmigiano, citrus zest, etc and I used a rasp for things like hard spices. Not sure why my paddle grater didn't stay sharp but it's early death brought the Microplane and now I love it

                      2. My Zojirushi induction rice cooker. If it ever broke, I'd have to run out an buy another one right away.

                        1. My Demeyee conical sauteuse. It is about 3 plus quarts, and is of heavy clad construction. I use it nearly every day.

                          1. I am with you beauxgoris. It's my cast iron with which I'm in love forever. I am born and bred in the Northeast so cast iron was not something with which I was familiar as are Southern or Midwest cooks. My family heirlooms were cheap enamel covered aluminum from the 1940s. I don't remember why I bought my first cast iron but I do know I didn't know how to care for it. It took me a couple of years to learn about cleaning and seasoning it properly but once I did, I realized what I'd been missing. Now I'm hooked seriously. I recently ditched every piece of teflon and T-fal in favor of mostly naked cast iron and a couple of enamel pieces and have never looked back.

                            1. My 11" Vollrath Carbon Steel Wok. It is indespensible, quick sautes of any meats and vegetables,