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12 Petite Cookware Pieces That Bring Us *Big* Joy

The teeniest cast iron skillets, loaf pans, and pie dishes you ever did see.

October 29, 2020
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Did you know our brains are actually hardwired to find small things cute? Scientists call it a “cuteness trigger” (a term that is pretty cute in and of itself), and we’re happy to know there’s a reason we regularly find ourselves fawning over teeny-tiny kitchen tools.

If you’re a sucker for all things small, there are a lot—and we mean a lot—of undersized cookware pieces you can add to your kitchen. The best part? They are just as functional as they are precious, so you can justify the purchase by putting your new mini cocottes to use as serving vessels at your next dinner party or impress your friends with their own personal butter warmer to go with their shellfish.

We're especially excited about small-scale kitchenware because our new Five Two 1.5 quart saucepan is hot off the presses—a mini version of "the only saucepan you'll ever need," according to the New York Times. So, okay, it's the only other saucepan you'll ever need, since it's made with smaller tasks (such as: boiling just one egg) in mind.

If you, too, find these concepts absolutely irresistible, here are our favorite pieces of petite cookware.

1. Five Two Essential 1.5-Quart Sauce Pan, $69

Ask and you shall receive! Many of our community members have been requesting an undersized saucepan for melting butter, boiling an egg or two, or making a single serving of pasta, and the Five Two Essential 1.5-Quart Sauce Pan is the perfect vehicle for all those tasks—and more! Despite its small stature, this pan is big on features, boasting a sturdy tri-ply stainless steel build, short stay-cool handle for better stability, and glass lid with a built-in strainer.

Photo by Ty Mecham

2. Lodge Cast Iron Sauce Pot, $19.95

How adorable is this itty bitty cast iron pot? It has a super small 4.5-inch diameter that’s perfect for whipping up homemade BBQ sauces, serving guac, or even boiling an egg. Plus, the cast iron comes pre-seasoned, so you’ll be able to quickly build up a fabulous nonstick coating on the teeny pan.

3. Wilton Recipe Right Mini Loaf Pan Set, $7.29

The only thing better than a loaf of freshly made pumpkin bread? Several mini loaves that you can share with your friends… or freeze to eat later. This set of three mini pans yields adorable 6-by-3-inches loaves of your favorite bread, and they’re a must-have if you want to try baking in an air fryer or Instant Pot.

4. Staub Mini Cast Iron Fry Pan, $79

Naturally, you’re going to need a mini fry pan to go with your mini sauce pan, and we can’t think of a better option than this one from Staub. It’s just 6 inches in diameter, and while that might be too small for a stir fry, it is the ideal size for a personal-size pizza, deep-dish cookie, or cobbler for two.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

5. Lodge Cast Iron Wonder Skillet, $9.99

Grilled cheese lovers, prepare to have your minds blown! This “Wonder”-ful skillet is a compact 5-inch square, making it the perfect size for toasting up a single ooey-gooey sandwich. It’s made from pre-seasoned cast iron for unbeatable heat retention, and it single-handedly proves that good things do indeed come in small packages.

6. Food52 x Dansk Kobenstyle Butter Warmer, $55

These cool, colorful pans will get ample use in your kitchen, especially if you regularly indulge in lobster! The 0.59-quart pan is just big enough to melt a few tablespoons of butter, and its adorable wooden handle makes it easy to manage. Plus, the matching lid does double-duty as a trivet, helping to protect your counters or table while serving.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

7. Blue Diamond Mini Ceramic Egg Pan, $21.43

One fried egg, coming right up! It may look too small to be practical, but the Blue Diamond Mini Egg Pan’s teeny 4-inch diameter is designed especially for cooking a single egg—without making a mess in your larger pans. Plus, its durable nonstick finish will make flipping your breakfast a whole lot easier.

8. Lodge Square Cast Iron Mini Server, $12.95

Roasted veggies? Indoor s’mores? No matter what you’re serving, it will look better in these Lodge Mini Servers. The sweet square dishes have a 6.5-inch width and two convenient handles, and they’re sure to add a rustic flair to any dinner presentation.

9. Staub Mini Pumpkin Cocottes, $34

If you’re a sucker for all things fall (guilty!), these pumpkin-shaped cocottes are sure to set your heart a-flutter. The festive dishes come in burnt orange, black, or white finishes, and you can even choose between small 24-ounce or smaller 16-ounce options. Either way, your guests will swoon when they’re served soup or dessert in the precious gourds.

Photo by Ty Mecham

10. Emile Henry Mini Ruffled Pie Dishes, $29.95

Who could say no to a personal pie? These mini ceramic dishes come in a set of two, and they have a 6-inch diameter that’s ideal for individual portions of pie or cobbler. The ruffled edges lend an elegant touch to the presentation of any dessert, and aside from their good looks, these dishes are also made from high-end ceramic that delivers a gorgeous even bake every time.

11. Le Creuset Mini Round Cocotte, $26

Whether you’re making soufflé or individual-sized shepherd’s pie, the Le Creuset Mini Round Cocottes will help you cook and serve your dish in style. These colorful containers and their lids are made from stoneware with a vibrant and durable enamel exterior, and they can be used in the oven, broiler, freezer, and microwave—it doesn’t get more versatile than that!

12. Pillivuyt Eden Individual Casseroles, $66

These single-serving casserole dishes are so cute that you’ll want to use them for everything. Each dish in the set of two has a 9-ounce capacity, and we think their 4.5-inch form is the ideal vehicle for baked pasta, teeny lasagnas, and so much more.

Photo by James Ransom

Do you have any miniature items you absolutely adore? Tell us about them in the comments!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate and Skimlinks affiliate, Food52 earns a commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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Freelance writer, product tester & baking enthusiast.

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