Hi there cuties! This week, I’m excited to turn your attention to a room that I consider to really be the heart of the home: The kitchen! Specifically, I want to share my shopping tips and favorite product picks when it comes to kitchenware (and if you’re looking tips on dishware, see our recent guide to that category HERE).
“Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to cook, so this is a category near and dear to my heart. I want this guide to be your ultimate checklist for all things luxury kitchenware–from the perfect rustic cutting board to the most heirloom-quality bakeware sets!”
Here at KKH, we offer a lovely assortment of kitchenware–including bakeware, cookware, cutlery, and cutting boards. If you’re just starting to build out your kitchen essentials–maybe you’re building a wedding registry or you just moved to a new home–or you’re looking to upgrade your older pieces, it can be overwhelming to sort out what you need and what certain niche kitchenware terms mean. Read on for all the info you need to shop for your dream kitchen!
Cookware and bakeware are the backbones of any person’s kitchenware collection. Quality and design should be the top two factors in your choice, and you should also look at your habits and lifestyle. How often to you cook and bake? How elaborate are your dishes and for how many people. The answers to these questions will inform your shopping choices.
Below, we’ve broken down the basics of some of the most popular and versatile cookware and bakeware pieces across the subcategories of pots, pans, and baking dishes.
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Cocotte Pot: A cocotte pot is French-style cooking pot that is usually round, and usually crafted from cats iron with an enamel exterior. These versatile (and eye catching pots are also known as Dutch ovens, and work well for a number of cooking techniques, including braising, baking, and stewing.
Stew Pot: Ideal for large volumes of liquid, like soups and stews, a stew pot is usually made from copper or stainless steel and has a height that is about half its diameter.
Stock Pot: The main feature of a stock pot is that its height and width are equal. These pots also tend to be crafted from copper or stainless steel and are perfect for stock (of course) and for cooking in large batches.
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Frying Pan: Frying pans are a staple of any kitchen–whether you prefer a cast iron frying pan or a non-stick. Perfect for–what else?–frying any number of foods, these are pans you may want to invest in multiple sizes of, depending on your cooking habits. Typically, frying pans are flat bottomed and do not come with a lid.
Sauce Pan: The name says it all–to craft the perfect sauces at home you’ll want to invest in the perfect sauce pan. A sauce pan is small but deep (it’ll be shallower than a stock pot, but deeper than a sauté pan).
Sauté Pan: Like it’s cousin the sauce pan, a sauté pan is named for what it’s for–sautéing your favorite proteins and veggies! As a rule, these pans will be shallower than a sauce pan, though both sauce pans and sauté pans will have straight vertical sides. Sauté pans usually also feature lids.
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Types of Baking Dishes
Casserole Dish: Though named for casserole specifically, a classic casserole dish is designed for any kind of baked dish involving ingredients with a think liquid or sauce. They’re designed to be durable and versatile and to go directly in the oven. They can be made from glass or stoneware and sometimes feature a lid.
Loaf Pan: Again, it’s all in the name! If you love baking quick breads and tasty cakes, this type of narrow and rectangular baking pan is a must. These dishes are often ceramic and do not require a lid.
Pie Dish: Invest in a top-tier pie dish and, trust me, your family and friends will be lining up around the block to help sample your home-baked pies. Pie dishes are round and shallow with slightly sloping sides. They’re often crafted from stoneware.
High quality cutlery and cutting boards are as essential to dreamy meals at home as the proper pots and pans are! Every kitchen needs a sturdy cutting board to protect your countertops and keep your ingredients organized during meal prep, and of course a full set of knives makes all the difference in efficiently slicing and dicing.
Here are some handy tips to keep in mind as you shop for cutlery and cutting boards in your kitchenware quest!
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Shopping for Cutting Boards
Material: When considering wooden cutting boards, you’ll typically see boards crafted from cherry, walnut, beech, and teak. These woods are dense and very hard, which means that they’re durable and that they contain inherent antimicrobial properties that are beneficial for food prep. Your choice of wood will likely come down to which you like the look of most, though some experts say that walnut wood is easier on your knives.
Maintenance: Consider how much time, money, and effort you want to put into your cutting board. Some wooden boards are particularly beautiful, but are recommended to be treated with oil over time. For most hard wood cutting boards, it is advised that you not put them in the dishwasher, so that’s a consideration as well.
Grain: Wooden cutting boards will either be edge grain or end grain. Edge grain cutting boards are made with wood cut with the grain, while end grain boards are crafted by fusing cross-section pieces of wood together (so you see the rings of the wood rather than the side). End grain boards are more difficult to make and have more give, which makes them easier on knives, as well as more durable over time. That said, edge grain boards are easier to care for and require less maintenance.
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When it comes to knives to complete your kitchenware collection, we recommend buying a full set of knives so that you’re covered for all food prep scenarios. I personally love the look and the convenience of having a full block of knives tucked within easy reach on my counter top. If meat is part of your regular diet at home, we’d also recommend a set of classic steak knives as well.
That said, if you’re looking to purchase individual knives instead of a set, you’ll at least want to make sure you have the following types on-hand:
Chef’s Knife: A chef’s knife is going to be like your jack-of-all-trades knife. Larger in size (6-14 inches, usually) with a broad and sharp blade, this knife is perfect for cutting meats, dicing veggies and chopping nuts and herbs.dear
Paring Knife: A paring knife is going to be smaller (6-8 inches) and the perfect pick for fine slices. Use your paring knife for cutting sandwiches, and for slicing fruits, veggies, and meats into thin slices.
Serrated Knife: A serrated knife is longer and has a blade with visible serrated grooves rather than a straight edge. The top function here is for slicing bread and other items with a tough crust or exterior.