COOKWARE SHAPE AND THICKNESS
The cylinder became the most popular cookware shape due to its practical proportions–it’s easiest to fabricate, and the straight sides make the interior easy to reach with cooking and cleaning utensils. A convex pot’s curved walls, on the other hand, require less liquid for cooking, which results in more concentrated flavors throughout the foods. Beyond these two basic shapes, there are specialized alternative shapes created for particular cooking methods such as oven cooking and double boiler cooking.
HEIGHT OF THE POT
Cooking cultures, volume, and methods have shaped the need for height in a pot. Fast cooking requires less height; slow cooking more. The Moroccan tagine, for example, is a tall cone because the height helps build heat and steam and direct it back into the pot.
Curved sides are fundamental to certain cookware shapes such as frying and sauté pans. The curve enables the tossing and turning of foods both with and within the pan. In certain pots and cookware shapes such as casseroles a straighter side is prized to improve heat absorption during cooking.
Must be appropriate according to the use of the item. The pot should be solid but not too heavy; the casserole with 2 handles should be resistant; the frying pan should be lighter weight and handy in order to keep temperature under constant control while cooking.
Pot and pan capacity and designated technique determine handle shape and configuration. Experienced cooks use single-handled pans to keep one hand free for utensils and other processes. An expert cook can even maneuver two separate pans in each hand, if necessary. Single handle pans are also easy to hang for accessibility and storage. A large, heavy pot requires two handles for additional support, especially as ingredients add weight and volume. Likewise, the addition of a helper handle on a single-handled pan or pot gives home and professional cooks greater confidence and control.
CONTAINER TYPE AND USE
Deep double-handled lidded vessel about as wide as its height. Used for boiling, simmering, blanching, steaming, stewing. Essential for preparing soups and broths, it allows excellent temperature control while retaining aromas and flavors.
Double-handled lidded vessel about half as wide as its height. Used for braising, stewing, blanching, roasting, and poaching. Multipurpose, and one of the best cookware pieces for uniform heat distribution throughout food.
Single-handled vessel, often lidded, about 1/3 as tall as its width. Usually used for sauces, poaching, heating liquids. Especially useful for preparations requiring closely monitored temperatures.
Single-handled vessel about half as tall as its width. Used for sauces, poaching, heating liquids. Especially useful for preparations requiring closely monitored temperatures.
Double-handled lidded vessel about ? as tall as its width. Used for boiling, simmering, blanching, steaming, stewing. Especially useful for heating and serving finished soups and stew.
Double-handled lidded vessel, about 1/3 as tall as its width. Used for braising, naturally, as well as poaching, blanching, steaming, stewing. A braiser can also be used as a shallow casserole or as a small roasting pan.
Single-handled vessel, often lidded, about half as tall as its width, with sides that gently curve inward at the base. In combination with its capacity and single handle, this makes this pan a versatile hybrid that unites some of the most useful features of a skillet, a saucepan, and a braiser.
Double-handled vessel about half as tall as its width. Used for braising, stewing, glazing, oven roasting, and gratins. It is perfect for preparations requiring fast liquid evaporation and for meat, fish, and vegetable stews.
COVERED OVAL DISH
Double-handled oval lidded vessel with a wide bottom. Used for braising, stewing, and roasting. Made for even distribution of heat through food, and excellent for roasting meats, chicken, game, and rounded whole fish.
Single-handled vessel about one third as tall as it is wide. Used for roasting, browning, stewing, searing, glazing. Ideal for meats and poultry parts that require all-over surface cooking such as pork chops, veal shanks, chicken thighs, and other cuts.
FRYING PAN / SKILLET
Single-handled low round pan with curved sides. Used for browning, searing, pan-frying, and sautéing. Essential for griddle-type stovetop cooking of foods like eggs, hash browns, burgers, sandwiches, and for tossing sauces with cooked pastas.
OVAL SAUTÉ PAN
Double-handled oval vessel with a low, curved edge that can be used with or without a lid. Used for roasting, glazing, frying and gratins. Particularly suited to frying breaded whole or filleted fish and other meats. It also makes for impressive oven-to-table presentation.
Low-sided rectangular pan used for roasting, gratins, and oven baking. Used for roasted foods and other baked dishes.
Long oval lidded pan sized to accommodate large whole fish, and suitable for shellfish and other meats. The grill-like insert enables steaming and poaching. Also used for boiling, simmering, and steaming.
GRATIN PAN/GRATIN DISH
Also called an au gratin dish, the typical pan used to gratinée a dish in the oven or under the broiler. Double-handled, with low curved sides.
Single-handled lidded vessel, its height equal to about 1/3 of the width. Thanks to its large heating surface, the pan’s cooking temperature remains uniform to complement risotto cooking. The pan is also useful for other cooking techniques and recipes.
Wide and double-handled with extremely low sides, this lidded pan is designed especially for the preparation of paellas. The shallow shape helps create plenty of the flavorful rice crust considered essential by paella aficionados.
FONDUE SET/FONDUE MICHELLE
Temperature control is essential for perfect fondue–to cook, heat, and blend the ingredients, and to maintain the consistency and flavor integrity. Copper heats beautifully for oil-based and broth-based fondue, and the porcelain insert enables the fine heating needed for excellent cheese and dessert fondue preparation.