What do you picture when you think of the word, “pan?” If someone wants you to give them a pot or a pan, do they want a wok, a skillet or stock pot.
Kitchen cupboards are usually filled with a wide variety of pots and pans. If you go to the store to purchase more pans, you may find new innovative designs that you have never seen before.
What are they designed for? Are some better than others or do they all serve the same purpose?
Whether you’re filling out your wedding registry, stocking your first home or seeking the perfect gift, you will want to explore the multiple types of pans that are available and how their designs are suitable for specific cooking tasks.
1. Cast-iron Skillet
A cast-iron skillet is a type of frying pan that is made of cast iron material. This is a heavier frying pan best used for cooking seasoned foods. Not only does the cast iron retain more heat for cooking, but the oils and seasoning create a nonstick surface in the pan.
2. Frying Pan
The frying pan is one of the main pans used for cooking foods on the stove. Frying pans can be made from aluminium, copper, stainless steel or cast iron. More recently, we have seen the introduction of non-stick and high-quality ceramic frying pans.
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They feature a long stick-like handle and a flat bottom. If you are frying hamburgers, vegetables, or anything that needs to be turned or flipped, then the frying pan is the best choice.
3. Stock Pot
A stockpot is a very tall and deep pot which is traditionally used to make things like sauces, stock, pasta, chilli, stew and soup.
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The height of the pot will prevent liquid from splattering out of the pot and causing a mess on the stove. There are stockpots made from copper, stainless steel, aluminium, and multiple layers of metals.
The saucepan is also tall and rounded on the bottom, although it is not as tall as a stock pot. It comes with a lid that can be used to control evaporation and retain more heat.
If you wanted to heat or reheat your favourite soups or sauces in less time, go with a saucepan. Take note, however, that the portion size will be smaller than what you could cook in a stock pot.
A wok is a version of a frying pan that has high inclining sides. You will find woks frequently used in Asian-style restaurants. These pans are made from carbon steel.
The design of something like a combination wok allows the sides to remain cool while the bottom surface is very hot. You can use this pan for deep frying, stir-frying or even steaming your foods.
6. Saute Pan
A sauté pan is the type of pan that is designed for frying food by covering it and moving the pan very quickly. This will toss and turn all the food repeatedly so that you don’t have to turn over each individual piece to cook it evenly from every angle.
The brazier is a wider and shorter pot, but technically not a pan. Chefs use braziers to slowly cook their foods so that the liquids can soak into them and add more flavour.
It is common to cook vegetables and meats in braziers. The liquids you add could be sauces, butter, gravy or any other liquid flavouring that you have.
8. Sauce Pot
A sauce pot features a wide bottom that supports maximum heat conduction. If you want to slow cook foods like roasts, casseroles, soups and stews, then you will want to try a sauce pot. It has two handles on the sides so that it is easier to pour the contents.
9. Roasting Pan
A roasting pan is a longer pan with short sides. It is constructed with heavy duty material so that you can cook larger food items, such as turkey, roast and ham.
You will, of course, cook these foods in the oven while they are in the pan. There are handles on the sides of a roasting pan to make the heavier dishes easier to carry.
A griddle is a completely flat pan with hardly any sides at all. It has a long flat surface that usually is finished with a nonstick substance. A griddle will allow you to cook a large number of foods on the stove at once, including pancakes, grilled cheese, eggs, bacon and thin steaks.
11. Dutch Oven
The vertical sides of this large pot are a little bit shorter than its diameter. It has a heavy lid and two durable handles on the sides. A Dutch oven is great for slow cooking roasts, stews and braises in your favourite sauces.
12. Bread Pan
A long pan with a deep surface and tall sides, a bread pan is designed to cook dessert foods like pudding, bread and cake.
13. Sheet Pan
A sheet pan commonly is found in most bakeries. It is used to cook rolls, breads, cookies and any other smaller foods that don’t generate too much liquid.
14. Cake Pan
A circular pan with straight walls on the sides, a cake pan is ideal for baking deep dish pizzas and your average cake.
15. Muffin Pan
Designed with cup holders for baking cupcakes and muffins, some muffin pans have six cups while others have as many as 48 cups. It all depends on the volume and size that you want to produce.
16. Pie Pan
Pie pans are meant for cooking pies. They have angled sides that keeps the crust inside and prevents it from falling out of the pan.
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