These 7 Pieces of Cookware Are The Ones You’ll Use Most

The versatile pots and pans that should be on your list—plus how to use 'em. (Some of these recipes you won't see coming!)
by Aja Frost
eggs and muffins

When we consider what goes into a meal, we typically think about its ingredients. But no matter how gourmet, fresh or rare a dish's components are, it won't come together without the right equipment. Check out these seven awesome and versatile cooking tools and what you can make in them—then add them to your registry and start planning your next concoction!

  1. In a Muffin Pan...

    You probably know you can make muffins, cupcakes and other desserts in a muffin tin—but that's just the beginning. Use this multitasking kitchen tool to whip up egg breakfast cups, lasagna bites and crab cakes. With such easy hors d'oeuvres, you'll be throwing parties left and right.

    12-cup muffin pan, $24,

  2. In a Slow Cooker...

    A slow cooker has endless culinary possibilities—especially one that's also a multicooker. Yes, it can prepare delicious dishes overnight, from french toast casserole to rice pudding. But it can also brown meat, steam fish or roast and sauté veggies. Does a recipe call for searing first, then slow cooking? No prob: Switch from one mode to the other with just the touch of a button.

    Cook Central multicooker, $199,

  3. In a Saute Pan...

    Saute pans and skillets are not created equal, even though they're used almost interchangeably. Thanks to the former's deep, straight sides, it's perfect for searing, frying or braising meat. This pan type also works well for recipes with lots of liquid, like curry and pasta sauce. But our favorite saute pan dish? Pan pizza.

    5-qt. sauté pan with handle and glass cover, $60,

  4. In a Nonstick Skillet...

    True to its name, this nonstick skillet will allow you to prepare oozy, runny (in other words, delicious) food with minimal clean-up. Nonstick pans are traditionally used for egg dishes; they're also great for making quesadillas, breaded chicken and delicate fish such as sole, tilapia and flounder.

    12" nonstick skillet, $80,

  5. In a Cast Iron Pan...

    The cast iron pan is the Rocky Balboa of the pan world: durable, tough and reliable. Grab it when you want to bake eggs, fry chicken or make a cobbler. Craving Southern comfort food? Corn bread is a classic cast iron recipe.

    10-inch round fry pan, $40,

  6. In a Stockpot...

    Add un-popped kernels and some veggie oil to a stockpot and in a few minutes, you'll have movie-theater-worthy popcorn (with half the calories). Stockpots are also great for boiled crabs, steamed veggies and family-size portions of soup or pasta.

    20-qt. enamel stockpot set, $130,

  7. In a Roast Pan...

    cuisinart roast pan

    Once you've got a roast pan, you'll wonder how you survived a single pot luck, celebratory dinner or holiday party without it. These roasters are fantastic for cooking chicken, turkey and other large birds. Veggie lovers will also love using them: Cooking root vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, squash, onions and beets) in a roast pan will turn them soft, sweet and caramelized.

    16-inch roasting pan with rack, $60,

    The Knot and Cuisinart have partnered to bring you Registry for Real Life, a sponsored series showcasing real-life tips to getting everything you want (and more!) from the registry process. To check out more awesome products, visit

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