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I need a versatile all-in-one pan - skillet, saute pan, or french skillet?

dnullify | Dec 2, 201408:25 PM

Hi all,

I'm a senior in college whose decided to learn how to cook this last year. I've been having fun following recipes, but recently decided to learn more about various cooking techniques rather than blindly following instructions.

Anyway I somehow started doing research on cookware, and decided i should try to get a good stainless steel pan. Over thanksgiving i inadvertently talked my dad into buying an All clad 12" skillet we found at TJ Max for $75, and after playing with it I've more or less confirmed I need a good pan for myself to use in my apartment.

I've been using the Macy's "tools of the trade" set for the last two years, and it's no longer cutting it.

Problem is I can't figure which pan would be the most versatile? I'd like to get good at sauted dishes and pan sauces, but i'd also like to tackle:
-healthy veggie dishes
-pan seared chicken and steak
-Curries (Indian)
-Brazed meat

I'm trying to decide between buying myself a 12" skillet with a lid, or a 3 Quart saute pan, or a large french skillet. However there are so many more pan types (saussier, weeknight pan, ect).

What would you recommend?

Edit: It might be worth mentioning that I already have a well-seasoned lodge 12" cast iron skillet, that i use for high-heat searing and frying. It's just a bit of a pain in the butt to use because i don't always have the time for cooking and immediate cleanup at school.

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