I'm starting a new kitchen (moving from overseas, left most of our stuff in the U.K.). I'd like to stick to three or four pots to start. What sizes would be a good small-medium-large combination? Looking online, I don't know what a 2-quart or 3-quart pot is!

David Gooblar


allie October 30, 2010
You might end up buying online, but I think you'll be happier if you go to store and see the items/feel if they are heavyweight enough, etc. I do buy cookware online, but only usually after I have seen it in person first and know what I am getting.
Bevi October 30, 2010
A sheet pan for roasting vegetables!
CarlaCooks October 30, 2010
I moved from the US to France then Denmark, so I understand your dilemma! I have moved three things with me for each move: my Le Creuset Dutch oven (circular, 7.25 quart), and two oven-safe saute pans. These three things have saved my cooking life! I think the trick is to buy a few good quality pots and pans and then add to your collection as you go. Good luck!
pierino October 29, 2010
A 2 quart pot even for cooking on a boat is pretty damn small. I will concur with the observations about a 5 quart dutch oven. And a 12" pan (hopefully with a copper core). And don't forget about the 8" to 10" chefs knife, which you will keep very sharp, right?
anyone October 29, 2010
Mr. Vittles is got it right. although I do use a 3qt sauce pan more than 4 qt. either way if you need a reference to size a 3qt sauce pan is 8inches wide and 3 1/2 inches deep. Or 200mm X 75mm and hold just under 3 liters. A skillet would depend on the amount of people your cooking for on a regular basis. For my family of four I regularly cook protiens in a 14inch (350mm) skillet. This holds 4 hamburger patties or four chicken breast nicely or even Four New Yorks with out ove crowding the pan. I use an 8 in (200mm) skillet for scrambled eggs for four (8-10 eggs). So after all this rambling I guess my recommendation for cooking for four would be an 8 or 10 in skillet and a 14 inch skillet and a 3qt or 4qt sauce pan and a 7.25 dutch oven. Those are my most used pieces. I hope this helps more than confuses! Good luck!
Kayb October 29, 2010
I've got to second Mr. Vittles' recommendation, although I don't know how I'd survive without my cast iron skillet and my grill pan, too.
phyllis October 29, 2010
Everyone is going to give you a different opinion. I agree with Jon Palmer, above. I use my Le Creuset for stews, braises, soups, etc. I also have a 10 qt stainless steel french pot with a pasta insert, which I use for soup also. I would recommend a 10-12inch cast iron skillet, 10-12 skillet, both non-stick and regular (mine are all-clad); 4qt, 2 qt, and simmer pots as well (again, mine are all-clad). I also have two smaller skillets, and a few other sized pots. Good luck!!!
Mr_Vittles October 29, 2010
If I were to suggest three pans I would say 10 in skillet, stainless steel, 4 quart sauce pan, and 7-8 qt Dutch Oven. IF you want to spend big bucks get a Le Creuset, but really Lodge makes an excellent Dutch Oven for much less (available on Amazon, if you can't find one locally). With those three utensils you can cook a lot of stuff.
healthierkitchen October 29, 2010
I agree with Jon Palmer. The pot I use most is my 7.25 round Le Creuset. You can make most soups, stews, braises, in it. I use my three small graduated saucepans - the largest has a steamer insert - for rice, quinoa, farro, sauces, fake double boiler, etc. I would think about a 3 quart would be most useful, though. I bought a 20 quart, not fancy stockpot a couple of years ago which is useful if you like to make big batches of stock. If you eat pasta, a large pasta pot is useful and can also double for soup and stock. And you'd probably need a frying or saute pan or two. There is a foodpickle question somewhere here with suggestions on type - non-stick or not, cast iron, scanpan, etc. Am helping a friend figure out the same thing for a part-time move to Curacao.
Jon P. October 29, 2010
If you're starting a kitchen, I can't recommend a better tool than a dutch oven.

Good ones are expensive (Le Creuset is my recommendation), but are more useful than almost anything else in my kitchen. The variety of uses it offers, along with the excellent heat distribution and retention, make it (in my mind) pretty much the best thing a person can have in his or her kitchen.
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