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How many pots and pans? How many slow cookers? etc....Essentials?!

How many things do you cook with on a regular basis? How many pots and pans? Slow cooker? These are the things I use almost daily.

6Q crock pot
deep 14" fry pan
2Q sauce pan
3 cup rice cooker
toaster oven
2 L electric kettle

(I have many other fry and sauce pans but I hardly ever use them. I don't use my processor, my mixer, pressure cookers, very much. My mandoline is still in the box. My bread maker, ice cream maker, electric griddle and electric skillet are used a couple times a year. I go on spurts when I do use my george foreman alot.)

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  1. Cookware:
    5 qt stainless dutch oven
    Smaller saucepan with lid (not sure of size... 1 quart? 2 quart? I dunno)
    12" non-stick skillet
    9" non-stick skillet
    12" cast iron skillet
    half sheet pan

    Chef's knife
    Thick wood cutting board
    garlic smasher

    I got a 6qt slow cooker recently so I've been trying to use it once a week, but I wouldn't call it an essential. I don't bake often, but when I do, my KitchenAid mixer is essential.

    1. Almost daily:
      3 qt saucepan
      1.5 qt saucepan
      12" cast iron skillet

      8" non-stick skillet
      6 qt ECI Dutch oven
      CI wok
      16" Roasting pan

      1. Used daily or almost-daily:
        Stovetop kettle (mainly water for French press coffee)
        Toaster oven (Breville Compact SmartOven, love it)
        10” heavy stainless saute pan

        Used multiple times weekly:
        Sanyo fuzzy logic rice cooker
        KitchenAid stand mixer, mainly just to knead bread dough. Mixer itself is a POS.
        Pizza stone that lives in my oven
        Immersion blender (soups, dressings, sauces, etc.)
        12” stainless pan
        7 qt enameled cast iron dutch oven

        Used once in a while but mostly takes up cabinet space:
        Slow cooker
        Cast iron pan and griddle
        Cuisinart Griddler (with waffle plates)
        Food processor

        1. Used daily:

          3 and 1.5 qt. saucepans
          12" cast iron skillet
          10" cast iron skillet
          8" nonstick fry pan
          box grater
          Multiple wood and plastic cutting boards
          8" chefs knife
          paring knife
          bread knife
          Tea kettle
          French press coffee pot

          Regularly used but not daily:
          Food processor
          Pressure cooker

          1. It's so hard to say daily... but with a frequency no less than several times weekly, these are the most-used items in my kitchen:

            10 Qt SS Stock pot
            7 1/4 qt ECI round french oven
            12" french skillet tri-ply SS
            10" skillet tri-ply SS
            5 QT deep saute tri-ply SS
            10" round CI griddle
            6 QT pressure cooker/slow cooker electric
            10 qt pressure cooker SS stovetop
            2 qt ceramic baker
            3 qt oval ECI gratin
            Duralex tempered glass nesting bowls
            Hamilton Beach Scoop Brewer
            Berard olivewood spoons/spatulas
            Kitchenaid 6 qt mixer
            Cuisinart Custom 14 FP
            Hamilton Beach Toastation (toaster/mini toaster oven)
            Parchment paper
            Press N Seal
            Lekue baggies
            Zojirushi breadmaker
            Breville Crispy pizza maker
            De Longhi gelato maker
            Weck jars
            salad spinner

            1. Used daily:
              deep 12" skillet
              3 qt saucepan
              Covered corningware casserole dishes (all sizes)

              Used many days per week:
              cookie sheet
              Dutch oven (5qt)
              Crockpot (8qt)
              Crockpot (5 qt)
              Small saucepan (1qt?)
              Pyrex measuring cups
              Aluminum foil

              1 Reply
              1. re: pinehurst

                Wow! These lists are fascinating! Its helping me decide what my next purchases should be! LOL!

              2. Cookware used daily:

                Stainless steel saucier - mainly using for boiling noodles and sauteing vegetables
                Cast iron skillet - used for searing then roasting meats
                A couple stainless pots - making soup and stock

                Used weekly:
                Carbon steel pan - relegated to pancake duty when the iron skillet is occupied
                Rice cooker - used to make a big batch of rice on Sunday which gets turned into fried rice throughout the week.
                The big carbon steel wokusually gets dragged out to cook Sunday dinners

                1. For my main utensils I tend to have a minimalist approach. I have a slow cooker that I use for making stock, and I keep the stock on low for several days and pull from it when needed. After 5 days or so, a fresh chicken gets broken down and fresh stock is made.

                  As for cookware:
                  12.5" Carbon steel fry pan (deBuyer Carbon Plus)
                  3Q stainless saucier
                  1.5Q stainless saucepan
                  7Q aluminum saucepan (restaurant supply)

                  There are a lot of other items that come out of hiding from time to time(and some greatly loved pieces), but the vast majority of my cooking is done in those 4 pans and crock pot. The saucier and fry pan pretty much live on the stove, I don't know why I bother putting them away sometimes :)

                  1. hourly:
                    blendtec high speed blender
                    cuisinart electric kettle

                    6" ceramic coated pan for eggs
                    SS 3 qt. pot for rice
                    12.5" debuyer CS country sauté OR
                    10" griswold CI
                    bread knife
                    6" chef's knife
                    stainless steel bowls
                    large salad bowl and tongs

                    various ECI dutch ovens
                    slow cooker
                    food processor
                    11" TFal pan
                    Big Green Egg grill
                    a motley crew of pans for baking, waffle iron, muffin tins and cooling racks, juicer, mandolin

                    1. Most-used cookware (daily or several times a week):

                      2-qt saucepan, stainless tri-ply
                      French press, glass/stainless
                      9.5" skillet, stainless-lined copper
                      4-qt boil pot/pressure cooker, stainless w/ aluminum disk base
                      9" crepe/omelet pan, cast aluminum
                      3-qt saucepan, stainless tri-ply (often w its fitted steamer insert)
                      11" rondeau/braiser (5 qt), stainless-lined copper
                      9" x 13" baking sheets, aluminum, w/ grid racks

                      small appliances: induction unit, toaster, microwave (warming up leftovers, cooking veg), immersion blender.

                      Second tier (used regularly - weekly or several times a month):

                      1.5-qt saucier, stainless-lined copper
                      12" skillet, stainless-lined aluminum
                      12" x 7" gratin pan, enameled cast iron
                      6-qt stock pot/pressure cooker, stainless w/ aluminum disk base
                      2-qt casserole, enameled cast iron
                      3-qt saucier/chef's pan, stainless-lined copper
                      9" skillet, cast iron
                      11" x 6" and 9.5" x 5.5" gratins, enameled cast iron

                      There's a third tier, items that get used somewhere between a couple of times a year to monthly -- most of the baking equipment, canning pots, and the only other small appliance in the kitchen, a coffee grinder.

                      Over the last few years, I've moved out everything that doesn't get used. Most recent removals: 2.5-qt saucier, stainless multi-ply; 11" x 14" stoneware rectangular baker. The only electric still here that isn't used is a big 7-qt slow cooker, stowed in the garage for a hypothetical event.

                      1. 12" Dutch oven
                        12" cast iron frying pan
                        10" saucepan
                        8" saucepan
                        18" x 9" glass roasting pan
                        9" x 9" glass roasting pan

                        Chef's knife
                        Bread knife
                        paring knife

                        Mortar and pestle

                        1. I use my wok almost daily. It isn't a "true" wok; it is a thing called a "Peking Pan" from Joyce Chen. There is a small flat surface in the centre, otherwise it looks like a normal carbon steel wok. I'll even make a burger in that.

                          Idem my cast iron frying pan, which is at least as old as I am, and was made in a town in Eastern Ontario, near Ottawa.

                          Tea kettle (electric, small), stovetop espresso pot, stainless.

                          A medium-sized chef's knife, a serrated bread knife, and my little Opinel knives. Microplane graters.

                          Several times a week: small and medium-sized saucpans.

                          Almost weekly: small crockpot, used above all to make stock.

                          Idem, grille pizza pan, not just for making pizza or empanadas, but reheating similar items.

                          Less often: large electric wok - I don't use this for real high-heat wok cooking, as I don't trust doing that with a nonstick surface. It is used mostly for braises. I didn't buy this - it was a present, but it is useful from time to time and I have room to store it.

                          Small baking pans (I don't do sweet baking) including my favourite, an oval enamelled cast-iron dish for fish, gratins etc.

                          I rarely cook for more than four people, here. Larger gatherings are more often chez friends with larger flats and kitchens, and I do certainly take over the cooking there sometimes.

                          I must be forgetting things, but those seem to be the most used items.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lagatta

                            Burger in a wok. I like the idea!

                          2. It all really depends on the individual.

                            If you do a lot of sauteeing you'll need skillets or saute pans.. That describes me.
                            Cooking for a large family? Big pots and pans, casseroles.
                            Baking pans for lasagna, brownies, quick breads.
                            Do a lot of reheating? Saucepans, or I suppose microwave.
                            Rice cookers if rice is a big thing for you.

                            As you can see from the replies, answers here are more like a Rorschach test for individual cooks. Maybe the OP is just curious about other folks' cooking styles.

                            1. The ten inch chef knife and the ten inch bread knife get 99% of the knife use. The steel gets used every time a non serrated knife is used. The big bread board gets most of the cutting board chores, but the small bamboo one gets used a lot too. The flat whisks get most whisk chores. The balloon and the copper bowl only come out for egg whites. The colander is out all the time. The wooden spatulas and spoons get a lot of use along with basic restaurant supply tongs and a sharp edges spatula/turner. The spider and the pasta fork get used weekly at least. The silicone spatulas are out all the time.

                              Frequently I use:
                              Large carbon steel fry pan
                              2 qt saucepan
                              10 qt stockpot
                              24 cm sauté
                              Electric kettle for press coffee and tea

                              Regularly but less than weekly I use:
                              1 qt saucepan
                              Oval fry pan
                              6 qt Dutch oven
                              Ceramic baking dish
                              Pommes vapeur
                              Omelet pan
                              Medium carbon steel fry pan

                              Maybe every month or two:
                              Roasting pan
                              Bain Marie
                              Large saucepan
                              Sugar pan
                              Slow cooker

                              Maybe (at least) annually or semiannually.
                              Fish poacher

                              The KA gets used at least weekly. The Breville toaster oven is in use a lot. It has become my primary oven. I wish it toasted faster, but it takes long enough I am thinking of a toaster. The Cuisinart maybe a couple of times a month. Ditto for the mandoline and the Chinois. The mortar and pestle is in action close to daily. The molcajete is active in guacamole season. The blender languishes, more or less replaced by the IB.

                              The madeleine plaque gets a lot of use. The brioche molds collect dust with the Bundt pan and cake pans. Mathew Charlotte mold gets a lot of action, as do soufflé dishes. Pie plates get heavy duty use at the holidays and in fruit season.

                              TMI is Tim spelled wrong!

                              1. drip coffeemaker
                                Toaster oven
                                2 cast iron skillets
                                cast iron griddle
                                3 qt Farberware saucepan
                                2 qt Farberware saucepan
                                big Revereware soup pot
                                generic tea kettle
                                9x9 pyrex baking pan
                                11x13 pyrex baking pan
                                2.5 qt. pyrex casserole
                                various pyrex mixing/serving bowls
                                Cuisinart food processor

                                8" Victorinox chef's knife
                                big restaurant supply plastic cutting board
                                cheapo paring knives
                                Zyliss vegetable peeler
                                microplane graters
                                big mesh strainer
                                several spatulas and whisks
                                measuring stuff

                                Have to have my KA mixer, slow cooker, electric skillet, blender, immersion blender, many more casserole dishes, some other big pans, cast iron chicken fryer, dutch oven, ... but certainly do not use them every week.

                                1. I can agree with you on the electric kettle and the deep frying pan, though mine are a bit smaller than yours. I also use a chef's knife, a bread knife, and a variety of cutting boards and wooden spoons regularly. Never had a rice cooker and the slow cooker is used mostly when DH takes over. Seems like my most used pans (4 of 'em) are about 3 quarts in size. They get a pretty even rotation.

                                  When I first started out, I had one skillet, one saucepan and a couple of baking dishes. Plus two knives that actually cut (out of a set of five that I received as a gift). I enjoy my time in the kitchen much more now, and I have a lot more equipment, but for everyday cooking, I do just stick with my favorites.

                                  1. I have lots more cooking stuff than I need I like to use all sorts of materials and shapes of skillets, sauce pans baking dishes etc but there are a few things i use most frequently - the first things i reach for. Generally they are not the prettiest or fanciest they are just the ones that I find work for task at hand and for the quantities I am cooking - the big stuff gets used less often and does not make this list but is no less loved.

                                    #8 Cast Iron Skillet - vintage smooth thin-walled type - This I use as my ultimate multi-tasker - I have a rack of cast iron over my stove but the #8 is the one I grab 9 out of 10 times definitely my most used pan

                                    9 qt SS stock pot for pasta mainly w a couple stacking steamer baskets - cuisinart with a thin copper disk bottom, pretty basic but it does what it needs to do

                                    2 Enameled cast iron DOs 5&6 qt approximately - older cousances and LC - they are really beat up but they nest and live on the cabinet next to my stove so they are always in reach - I dont worry about them so I use them for anything that may stain or scorch - go to for bread baking, risottos and pilafs and smaller batches of stews and braises

                                    4.5 Qt Saucepan - Calphalon Commercial - thick aluminum is great for "breakable" sauces - mainly use for béchamel etc and for rice

                                    1/2 Qt Saucepan - SS lined Aluminum - AC Cop-R-Chef - its copper like a "Chik'n" sandwich is Chicken LOL but the aluminum is think and it is a nice size for heating small amounts of liquid or melting fats

                                    Copper bowl for whisking eggs

                                    Stack of Pyrex 2.5qt mixing bows that I find perfect for many tasks as well as for a large bowl of soup like Pho

                                    long shallow corning ware "roaster" 13"x9" serves as both a good roasting pan for meats or veg an well as casserole dish for enchiladas or baked pasta dishes - it also fits nicely under the broiler which makes it great for browning the tops of these dishes and also a go to pan for fish.

                                    1 large and one small mesh strainers - commercial kitchen supply style

                                    ss colander

                                    Tea kettle and insulated Bodum SS French press for coffee