Stocking your kitchen for the first time is, to put it bluntly, overwhelming. You’re standing in your first apartment out of college and how the heck are you supposed to know what you actually need? When you go to Target, they usually have pot ‘sets’ that you buy that include three sauté pans, two pots, a weird mid-sized pan and another pan that you will literally never touch. So, what do you probably do? You buy it.
But in my opinion, it’s much smarter to invest in a couple nice pots/pans instead of buying the cheap sets from the convenience store. So here’s my personal recommendations for your necessary pot/pan investments:
- A non-stick sauté pan. This is your go-to pan for scrambled eggs, sautéed veggies, heating up pasta sauce, etc. It’s your all-in-one dream maker. Feel free to get two sizes for different items, but for sure invest in a larger size one because it can handle anything and everything. Budget Friendly Sauté Pan // Higher Quality Sauté Pan
- A large stock pot. This is your pasta pot. Everyone eats pasta. It’s just a fact of life. If you’re gluten-free, you probably eat gluten-free pasta. You need a pot that will hold up for a big family meal or just a weeknight pasta dinner at home. Truth be told, I got mine from the hallway of my old apartment complex next to a ‘FREE’ sign that someone had put outside their door. In general, I’d gravitate towards a stainless steel pot because it will distribute heat and last longer than a non-stick stock pot. Budget Friendly Stock Pot // Higher Quality Stock Pot
- Cast Iron Skillet. Technically, you don’t need this and can get by with a sauté pan, but cast iron skillets are the best quality pans for meat and fish, and are super multi-purpose. Think cornbread, carne asada nachos, and a roast chicken. Need I say more? And running at an affordable price point (I use a Lodge one from Target), it’s a great addition to your starter collection. Budget Friendly Cast Iron Skillet // Higher Quality Cast Iron Skillet