7 Essential Pots and Pans Every Kitchen Needs

Our test kitchen-approved toolkit for the skillets, saucepans, and stockpots we’d give to everyone

By Max Falkowitz and Stacy Adimando

Published on April 5, 2017

On any given week, our test kitchen is putting a dozen or so recipes through the ringer: testing, measuring, re-testing, cross-checking, and plenty of tasting. For one, that means our dishwasher gets a lot of use. But it also means we're running our kitchen equipment through the ringer, and as a result have some pretty strong opinions about what makes good cookware—and what doesn't. Here are our top picks for what we'd call our pot and pan essentials: the skillets, saucepans, and stockpots that we'd reach for before anything else, and that we'd happily give to anyone.

Planning an upgrade for your kitchen? Giving a gift to someone who's just starting out with their own? These are what you want.

The Must-Haves

Lodge Cast Iron Pan

    All-Clad fry pan
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      Calphalon Omelette Pan
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        All-Clad sauce pan
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          Enameled French Oven
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            The Nice-to-Haves

            Stainless Steel Stock Pot
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              All-Clad sauté pan
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