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Our Gadget Expert's Wedding Registry Recommendations: Pots and Pans Edition

Whether you’re attending or planning a wedding, here’s a comprehensive list of the pots, pans, and baking dishes every newlywed couple needs to equip their kitchen.
By Published Apr. 20, 2017

Wedding season is almost upon us, which means there's a good chance you'll be shopping for wedding gifts—or even registering for them. (In which case: congrats!) But with so many options, it's tough to know what a new couple actually needs to equip their kitchen. We've done the work for you. In our extensive testing of every type of equipment for home cooks, we've found the best, most essential gear that truly is worth the money. (They don't call me a gadget expert for nothing.) First up: my list of the pots, pans, and baking dishes that every newlywed couple should own.

First, a few words of warning: Resist the temptation to buy sets of pots and pans. Our testing has proven that you’ll spend more and get less with a set than buying open stock of the pieces that you really need. Manufacturers include lots of items you don’t need—in smaller sizes than are practical—so they can boast that the set offers a ton of pieces for what seems like a bargain price. Don’t be fooled, and don’t get stuck with a lot of stuff you won’t use.

Without further ado . . .

The Best Pots, Pans, and Baking Dishes

Dutch Oven: This classic multipurpose pot is perfect for stews, soups, deep frying, even baking bread. [Read Our Review | Buy on Amazon]

Nonstick 12-Inch Skillet: Best for delicate foods like fish and eggs—and perfect for a stir fry, since the fond sticks to the food instead of the pan—a great nonstick skillet should offer plenty of cooking surface, low flared walls, and a slippery surface that stays nonstick over time. [Read Our Review | Buy on Amazon]

Cast-Iron Skillet: This old-school pan is hot again, and for good reason. Its ability to get and stay very hot means you can sear a deep brown crust on foods like steaks and burgers, and it’s also terrific to bake cornbread and deep-dish pies, roast chicken, and more. [Read Our Review | Buy on Amazon]

Traditional 12-Inch Skillet: For perfect sautés that leave fond in the pan for a quick, flavorful pan sauce, you can’t beat a fully clad traditional skillet. [Read Our Review | Buy on Amazon]

Broiler-Safe 13 by 9-Inch Baking Dish: For casseroles, gratins, lasagna, and more, this baking dish won’t let you down. [Buy on Amazon]

DIY, Kitchen-Tested Baking Pan Set: Our favorite cake and loaf pans, pie plate and rectangular baking pan produce professional-level, perfectly browned baked goods every time.

     •Round Cake Pans: Read Our Review | Buy on Amazon


     •Loaf Pans: Read Our Review | Buy on Williams Sonoma


     •13 by 9-Inch Metal Baking Pans: Read Our Review | Buy on      Williams Sonoma


     •Square Cake Pans: Read Our Review | Buy on Williams Sonoma


     •Pie Plates: Read Our Review | Buy on Williams-Sonoma

Saucepan: Kitchen workhorses like saucepans don’t seem glamorous, but they’ll get used every day. Well-designed saucepans won’t scorch easily, and they’re designed to be easy to see into and stir ingredients (as well as lift and pour or scoop out finished food). [Read Our Review | Buy on Amazon]  

Rimmed Baking Sheet and Cooling Rack: This set of pans lets you do everything from baking cookies to roasting oven fries, meats, vegetables, and more.

     •Rimmed Baking Sheet: Read Our ReviewBuy on Amazon


     •Cooling Rack: Read Our ReviewBuy on Amazon