Hi I am minimizing my kitchen to quality, essential items after some years of a break from cooking. Everyone on this forum is so knowledgeable and passionate and I have spent days poring over the forum discussions, so thank you!
I've decided to stick to stainless steel & enameled cast iron. My cooking situation: I cook for one, and I don't freeze leftovers, hardly ever eat meat, so cook mostly fish and veggies. I don't bake bread, and I use my Cuckoo pressure rice cooker for grains, so won't be making rice in these. I would like to expand my cooking, curious to try tagine or paella but those are sharing food, so maybe once the pandemic passes when I could invite friends over.
Currently, after throwing out a bunch of old, superfluous cookware, what's in my kitchen:
ENAMELED CAST IRON:
5.5 qt Le Creuset Dutch oven
4 qt LC Legumier (it's a type of Dutch Oven)
2.5 LC Multi Pot (it's an ECI sauce pan with an 8 inch skillet as its cover)
2 qt LC Dutch oven
9 inch LC skillet
18/10 STAINLESS STEEL:
12 inches All Clad skillet
10 inches AC skillet (bought, so will soon arrive)
3 qt AC saucepan (bought, so will soon arrive)
3 qt AC cassoulet pot (bought, so will soon arrive)
3 qt Calphalon tri ply saute pan
5 qt Tramontina tri ply pot
My most recent purchases which I gave away / returned were: 4.2 qt Silga Casserole pot, 2.25 LC braiser & 3.5 Staub braiser. I loved Silga, but didn't think I needed that size, and a braiser, not braising meat ever, I thought perhaps a waste (and on odd occasions I make meat based soup, I could use my other DOs), which is why instead, I ordered the AC cassoulet pot, only because I happened upon the AC online Factory sale at decent prices.
The pot I regret is the Tramontina 5 qt triply, a brand I have had a bad experience with, but it was bought years ago and hardly used since so will just fill the gap of boiling pasta.
My questions: I am not really sure when to use cast iron vs stainless steel. I understand that ECI is for slow cooking and braising meat and SS is for everything else, but if you don't cook meat, there isn't really much difference? Like if I were to make fish curry, I usually use my LC legumier or multi pot, but I could do it just as well in my AC skillet (or the cassoulet pot) -- The only reason I can see why I would choose one over the other is if I am sick of handling heavy ECI, because the results seem to taste the same? So why would I own both, or is this a case where once I cook more and more, I will find a way where each pot serves a unique purpose, and whether to turn to ECI or Stainless Steel?
Sorry for the long post, but organizing kitchen has been confusing: Do I still too many cookware I don't need, (i.e. my new AC orders, those are not returnable so I have to figure out a way to make use of them)? Is there some essential thing I am missing?
Thank you for your thoughts!
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