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A guide to buying pots and pans

Great cooking requires the right tools, and your choice of pots and pans can make all the difference. Should you go for a ‘basic’ set, or would an additional saucepan, casserole or wok be useful? Read our guide to find the pots and pans to suit your needs, whether you’re a brand-new foodie or a professional chef.

A frying pan with a handle in stainless steel is standing on a hob cooking meatballs in sauce. A wooden spoon is on the side.
A frying pan with a handle in stainless steel is standing on a hob cooking meatballs in sauce. A wooden spoon is on the side.

The basic set – a great start

For simple, everyday cooking, a big pot (3-5 l), a small saucepan (1.5-2 l), a medium-sized frying pan (28 cm) and a sauté pan should be enough to cope with most tasks. Cookware in stainless steel is a good buy as it’s suitable for most types of cooking, easy to clean, can be used on almost all hobs and is long lasting. Once you’ve assembled a basic set, add to it gradually as the need arises.

See the OUMBÄRLIG series
See the OUMBÄRLIG series

The essentials – pots

Pots are bigger than saucepans (they hold at least 2 litres) and have two lug-handles, making them easy to grip and move despite their size and weight. Use them to cook for the whole family, or when lots of water is necessary, for example when boiling pasta.

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See all pots

The essentials – saucepans

Saucepans are smaller pans that usually hold 0.5 to 2 litres, and have a long, straight handle. They are primarily used to cook smaller amounts of food, such as vegetables or sauces.

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See all sauce pans

The essentials – frying pans

An aluminium frying pan with a non-stick coating is a good choice as the coating reduces the risk of the food getting burnt, making it easy to clean and allowing you to use less fat. A cast iron frying pan will give you the most even browning as cast iron conducts heat evenly and retains the heat for a long time.

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See all frying pans

Sauté pans – for quick frying

Sauté pans are used to brown pieces of meat, fish or chicken, sauté vegetables or reduce liquids, and have high sides to prevent splashes and spills when turning or tossing food. Many sauté pans come with a lid so you can cover the pan completely or partially when the ingredients are ready-browned to allow the food to cook through.

See all sauté pans
See all sauté pans

Grill pans – an alternative to a traditional barbecue

When grilling, humidity contained in food is enclosed and the surface becomes crispy. This requires a relatively high temperature for a short time. The rippled surface of a grill pan gives the food an attractive, characteristic sear. It also keeps the food away from the fat collected in the bottom of the pan.

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See all grill pans

Woks – for healthier frying

Using a wok to stir-fry food reduces the need for fat and is therefore a lighter option. Woks have high, sloping sides that contribute to the efficient and even heat conduction, and ensure the ingredients fall to the bottom where the temperature is highest. Round-based woks are most suitable for use on an open flame (e.g. a gas hob), while more flat-based woks are better for electric and ceramic hobs.

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See all woks

Casseroles – the pot that does it all

Casseroles are usually made from cast iron so they can be used on hobs and in ovens, and are suitable for browning or frying meat, hotpots and other dishes that require slow simmering. Casseroles are usually big, and very heavy. On the other hand, they don’t have to be moved very much – once the casserole is placed on the hob or in the oven, the food will in principle cook itself. The large size can take a large amount of meat, vegetables and liquid. The best part? You can cook and serve in the same dish, so washing up is a breeze!

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See all casseroles