or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Understanding Cooking Terminology
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Understanding Cooking Terminology

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

I'm just starting out and according to the book "Joy of Cooking" I should get a large pan set Now, I don't understand what they mean by that. I know what a pan is, but is this set they are recommending a set of only pans? If so shouldn't I be getting what I know as a cookware set which comes with pots AND pans?

I guess what I'm trying to find out is what is the difference between a pan set and a cookware set? I suppose terminology is confusing me. If someone could explain, I'd really appriciate it.

Thanks a lot,

Mumu the new cook :chef:
post #2 of 10
Mumu, there's a lot of terminology to get acquainted with. One thing that complicates it is that in various cultures, people use different words for the same item.

I went to Google and typed in, "pan set", then clicked on the "images" link at the top of the page. There were numerous examples. Some of what was there I would call "pots" because they have high sides and are used to cook mostly on top of the stove. Others have low sides (or no sides, like a cookie sheet) and are used to bake or roast in an oven; I would call those pans.

Have a look: http://images.google.com/images?sour...et&sa=N&tab=wi

Take a look and see for yourself. Choosing the right item for the job is more important than what you- or anyone else- calls it.
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #3 of 10

Haven't we answered this question already?


Cookware = Items used for cooking
Pot/Pan Set = Items to cook in/on
Bakeware = Items used for baking in/on

I hope this helps.:talk:
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!

Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
post #4 of 10
IMHO, you ought get a set of pans with handles that not only you can use on the stovetop, but you can throw them in the oven too, if need be.
post #5 of 10

I agree with Dr. Z

I love my SS pots and pans. Grew up with them and they haven't let me down. My mom had a wonderful copper bottomed set. You have to do a minor version of seasoning like with cast iron but it's worth it.

I got an annodized set from my son for x-mas. Don't really like it. It's heavy, the annodization WILL scratch off (you can't always use plastic and it scratched even when using other types of utensils gently) and it has some funky handles that are made out of some kind of rubber so I can't just make an omelette and bake it off in the oven. However, I would recommend a small saute pan that is annodized (or good quality non-stick) to make eggs or an omelette that you will just flip and don't intend to bake off.

Buy a good quality ALL stainless set (Including handles...riveted, not welded) and as many potholders as you need...They have thermal gloves that are made out of kevlar/something and can withstand over 400 degrees. I have a cheap Walmart version that are toasty but I have a high pain threshhold.

Typically I just grab a kitchen towel to deal with hot handles. OF COURSE at the moment I have an electric oven (which I HATE) so I don't necessarily recommend a towel with little flappy edges falling into open flames.

Shop around. I personally like the heavier thickness (it still doesn't weigh as much as the annodized set) and stay away from the types that have a thin lip around the top. You can tell because if you run your finger around the lip it feels like it could give you the equivalent of a steel paper cut if you weren't paying attention.

Overall just envision what you intend to cook over time. You can be safe with the standard sets they sell to start and add from there. (A few different sized saute/fry pans and pots)

You could go nuts with all the wonderful widgets and cooking items that are available. Depends on how much room you have in your house.

post #6 of 10
Yes, you need both pots AND pans. A cookware set will give you both.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Understanding cooking terminology

Thanks everyone. The thing that is confusing is the cookware you get, is this now i am talking about the whole set also just called pans. So pans refer to pots and pans here?

post #8 of 10
Yes. It's an American Thang. :) My grandma used to call a pan a flat wok, literally.
post #9 of 10

Maybe this might help???????

Of pots and pans
DENNISE WILLIAMS, Observer staff reporter
Sunday, March 16, 2003

Cheryl Chambers, store manager at Azan's, shows a small pot from the range of sizes. In everything there must be beauty. This includes pots and pans -- the workhorses of the kitchen. You use them everyday, but have you stopped to appreciate how much a good cooking set contributes to your enjoyment while cooking and to the overall taste and presentation of your dishes? In fact, maybe it's time to replace the old, burned-out pots and pans you are battering with each evening with a beautiful, new set.
Although most people stick to the dutch pot and reliable pressure cooker, there is more to the world of cookware. Consider these:
For the person with a family who needs the basics to prepare a tasty meal each night. Shown are fryers and double steamers. This stainless steel pot set costs around $10,000.Double boiler: Two pans that work together; one fits on top of the other. Water in the bottom pan simmers gently to cook the contents in the top pan. If you do not own a double boiler, substitute a metal or heat-resistant glass bowl and a saucepan. The bowl should be wide enough so it fits in the pan but doesn't touch the simmering water.
Dutch oven or kettle: These large, heavy pots with tight-fitting lids and handles on opposite sides of the rim are used for soups, stews, and braising meats. When canning, a kettle is often used.
The single person can get away with smaller pots that is just enough for one- person meals. This featured set costs $3,000.Saucepans (one- two- and three-quart, with lids): It's best to have a few different sizes of these versatile, long-handled pans.
Skillets: Sometimes referred to as a frying pan, a skillet is a long-handled, low-sided pan. Often the sides gently slope to allow steam to escape the pan. Large (10-inch) and extra-large (12-inch) skillets are most useful. A 10-inch non-stick skillet will also come in handy. Other sizes include small (six-inch) and medium (eight-inch). If you need to use the skillet in the oven, make sure the handle can withstand high heat; if in doubt, wrap handle in a couple of layers of heavy-duty foil or select a skillet with a removable handle.
For the person who loves to cook, this display demonstrates the variety of utensils and cookware that contribute to a memorable meal. Prices start from $8,000. Some of the pieces shown are a wok, colander, cutting board, sauce pot, seasoning dish, utensils, meat tenderiser.
Vegetable steamer (collapsible or insert): A perforated basket that holds food over boiling water in a pan in order to steam it rather than boil it.
Specialty pans
While not essential for most of our recipes, these specialty pans offer features that make preparing a specific food easier:
Griddles: This flat, often rimless pan makes flipping pancakes a cinch. Nonstick griddles also help you cook with a minimum amount of fat.
Grill pan: The grooves of this heavy, stove-top, griddle-type pan allow fat to drain away from food and add appetising grill marks to the cooked items.
Omelet pans: Sloped sides and a nonstick surface makes it easy to fold and slide omelets from the pan.
Woks: Available with rounded or flat bottoms, these pans offer deep, sloping sides that help keep food pieces in the pan when stir-frying.
But don't think you have to go to 'foriegn' for all of these pots and pans to help perfect your cooking. Home & Decor visited Azan's in the Springs plaza and was shown a wide variety of cookware by store manager, Cheryl Chambers and Elaine Jackson, the purchasing manager.
According to Jackson, there are pots that range from 20 gallons to seven ounces designed with specific dishes in mind. There are also fryers with domed lids to allow steaming and tiny pots that are just the right size to boil an egg. "The largest pot is the 20 gallon. It is bought for large functions and is really good to cook 'mannish water' and soup. From that size, the big pots range down from 18 to 12 gallons. Next is the flatter large pots for cooking curry goat. The little pots can be used for sauces, vegetables and boiling eggs. They are also very convenient. You can use them to heat up portions of previously cooked food. These pots are very popular with elderly and single people."
The next set of pots shown are the fryers in a variety of large sizes for dealing with chicken and browning oxtail and can also hold up to six lbs of curry goat. Chambers stressed that the majority of pots they sell are made here in Jamaica. But an interesting point came out of the discussion.
Interestingly however, while locally made iron and aluminium pots are sold by Azan's, it is largely visitors who purchase the old iron pots or 'dutch pots' and Jamaicans on the other hand, buy the imported Teflon pots. Both shared the same opinion as to why this is so.
"The dutch pot gives a sweeter taste. When you are overseas, it makes the food taste like home," concurred Chambers and Jackson.
Jackson explained how the 'dutchy' is made. "These pots are made out of ground iron and melted and poured into the shape of a yabba. It is then rubbed down with sandpaper." She added that the metal gives a special flavour. "You get a sweeter taste because more heat is held inside of the pot so it gives off more steam, and less water used. You also don't need plenty fire under the pot. The steam is held in." However, there are health concerns related to cooking with untreated metal. Because people want to get away from exposing their food to aluminium or iron, the stainless steel and Teflon pots are popular, not just because they are made overseas. "These are non-stick pots that prevent food from burning. The food will only get crisp. But there are special requirements to use Teflon. If you use scotch brite to clean the pot the Teflon coating will come off. You must wipe the pot clean," said Jackson explaining the benefits of Teflon.

Now I will not validate the accuracy of the prices in this article since it was taken from a paper called the Jamaica Observer but it does list certain pans, pots, cooking vessels or what ever you wish to call them and their respective uses.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Understanding cooking terminology

thank you.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Understanding Cooking Terminology