Drew Barrymore’s New 5-in-1 Skillet Is the Small-Space Cooking Gadget I Didn’t Know I Needed
For those not familiar, apartments in New York City are, to put it nicely, small. (To put it more realistically, they’re comically tiny, and unless you have a spare key to the treasury, city living is usually a touch cramped.) Now, I’m lucky enough to not have an apartment that gets a front-page treatment, but I do have a tiny stove and minuscule kitchen. Even though my sink is so small, I love doing big one-pot meals, and while Dutch ovens and braisers are great, sometimes I don’t feel like hoisting those heavy pots out from the cabinet, waiting for them to heat up, then having to constantly monitor the flame on my gas-powered range so I don’t torch the bottom of the dish (or burn my apartment down). I’m a big fan of slow cookers, but the only issue with those are that they’re, well, slow. Plus, it’s almost impossible to get a good sear, and while they’re undoubtedly great for stews and braises, I often find myself having to sear and sauté ingredients in a separate pan before adding it to the pot. Translation: more dirty dishes and more hassle. That’s why I was so excited when I heard about the Beautiful Stainless Steel 5-in-1 Expandable Skillet from none other than Drew Barrymore.
Now, I know it’s in the name, but this skillet is, in fact, beautiful. (It’s also not too flashy, and having a low profile is definitely something I look for in my cookware.) Basically, it functions as five pieces of cookware at once: a sauté pan, a steamer, a simmering pot, a slow cooker, and a pan to boil water in. It also has a 7-quart capacity and features an expandable collar that rests on top of the cooking surface, giving you a little extra depth for stews, soups, and sauces. It’s complete with a highly effective, PFOA- and PFOS-free nonstick coating, and comes with a glass lid and removable lid holder, which comes in clutch, since I’m working with minimal counter space. The steamer tray is also a huge plus, and takes all of the fuss out of knocking out healthy weeknight meals. Just toss in some seasoned proteins and veggies, turn it on to one of the five heat settings, and boom — dinner is served.
What I like most about it, though, is that it gets hot — fast. Like, within 30 seconds of turning the easy-to-use temperature knob to “high,” I could almost fry an egg on it. That’s exactly what I was looking for, too: something that I can sear meat in, then saute veggies, then simmer stock, and finally slow-cook the whole thing for hours in just one pan. It’s pretty much everything you could ask for in a piece of cookware, and while I (thankfully) have a full stove and oven, I wish I had this bad boy when I was living in a dorm room or my first apartment in New York, when all I had to cook with was a microwave and what was essentially an Easy-Bake Oven. However, it’s not just great for small spaces and tiny kitchens — I’ll definitely be whipping this out to warm up soup, stock, and other side dishes while I cook on my stove or prep ingredients. It’s also pretty enough to serve in, and since the power cord detaches from the base, there’s no hassle.
If you’re short on space, or just looking for a sweet addition to your (hopefully) stocked kitchen arsenal ahead of the holiday cooking season, there’s no more versatile piece than this.
Buy: Beautiful Stainless Steel 5-in-1 Expandable Skillet, $59.00