The 5 Pots and Pans Kitchn Editors Feel Like They’re Constantly Washing While in Quarantine

updated Apr 16, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

For the Kitchn team, all this time spent staying at home has resulted in an unintended consequence: so many dirty dishes. And we know we’re not alone. We’d wager to guess that a lot of our readers are experiencing a deluge in dishes too.

When Lisa Freedman, Kitchn’s lifestyle director, made the following observation, truer words had never been spoken: “Does anyone else here feel like they’re washing the same pot over and over again?” As our hands get prunier and prunier, we started to take stock of the pots and pans we seem to be washing non-stop. Here are the most used — and, consequentially, the most washed — pots and pans in our kitchens these days.

1. Staub Round Cast Iron Dutch Oven

“I am constantly washing my Dutch oven and its lid. (I’m not really complaining because lifting the heavy pot in my sink is like a mini workout every time.) Between the multiple batches of chili, mac and cheese, one-pot pasta dishes, braised chicken, and this mushroom soup, my Dutch oven is now being used at least once a day. In fact, I’ve stopped putting away in the cabinet and I think, even once this is all over, it will continue to sit on my stove when not in use. I’m used to seeing it there now, and it’d be weird if it wasn’t there.” Lisa Freedman, Lifestyle Director

Buy: Staub Round 5.5-Quart Dutch Oven, $260 at Williams Sonoma

Credit: Joe Lingeman

2. Mauviel M’steel Carbon Steel Skillet

“I find myself washing my carbon steel skillet over and over again. It’s deep enough that I can cook splatter-y things in it — like a quick meaty sauce — yet shallow enough to easily pan-fry things in it. I use it for everything!” Jesse Szewczyk, Studio Food Editor

Buy now: 8-Inch Mauviel M’steel Carbon Steel Skillet, $50 at Sur la Table

Credit: Joe Lingeman

3. Instant Pot Liner

“My Instant Pot is in almost constant use these days. I love that it can cook hands-off, but also of course keep dinner hot. My husband does all the dishes (and makes me coffee — yes, I’m bragging!) and he has resigned himself to a nightly cleanup routine on the exterior and edges of the Instant Pot. The liner and sealing ring can go in the dishwasher, but more often than usual, he has to wash that liner by hand. Sorry!”— Faith Durand, Editor-in-Chief

Buy: Instant Pot Stainless Steel 6-Quart Inner Pot, $30 at Target

Credit: Sur La Table

4. Nordic Ware Sheet Pans

“More than any other pans in our kitchen, we seem to be using our half sheet and quarter sheet pans the most. The bigger sheet pans are helping us make everything from sheet pan pancakes to cookies, and the quarter sheets are a lifesaver for keeping kid crafts and painting projects contained right now.” — Meghan Splawn, Associate Food Editor

Buy: Nordic Ware Naturals Half Sheet Pans, $37 for two at Sur la Table

Credit: Sur La Table

5. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

“Washing a few dishes throughout the day is a task I expect as a work-from-home parent, but the volume of dishes quickly has become insurmountable under quarantine. Since I noticed this uptick, I remembered I can use my favorite cast iron skillet for every thing from fried eggs in the morning to skillet dinners at night. Because I don’t technically “wash” my cast iron in the traditional sense (I simply wipe it down between each use), I feel like I’m giving myself a break!” — Patty Catalano, Contributing Editor

Buy: Lodge 8-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, $19 at Sur la Table

What’s the piece of cookware that you’re washing every day, at least once a day?