What Are the Most Important Pots and Pans to Keep When Downsizing?

published Feb 5, 2016
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: I just moved to a new apartment with roommates. While it has a great location and size, the kitchen is ancient (like Victorian, last remodeled in the 40s ancient) and postage stamp-sized. In addition, the oven in our giant enamel gas stove doesn’t work.

So we’ve got two working gas burners, a medium-sized toaster oven, and a microwave.

I’m happy for most of my more esoteric stuff to live at my folks’ for a while, since they use the rice cooker more and I can’t bake at my new place anyway. But I am hoping you can recommend the most important pans and pots to bring to my new place. What’s the bare minimum to make great stovetop meals? I will fully admit that I’m spoiled in terms of always having had a large kitchen (even in my crappy grad school rental), and I need help figuring out what’s most necessary.

Sent by Whitney

Editor: Sounds likes you’re up for the challenge of cooking in this new space — kudos to you for the enthusiasm! Skillet and one-pot recipes are going to be really useful during this time, so I’d suggest you bring along those two items, stat. And because you want them to be multi-purpose, go stainless steel or cast iron for the skillet and bring along a Dutch oven as well. Need to make a big pot of soup or stew something all day the Dutch oven can deliver. Plus you can serve food in it, too.

I’m on the fence on a small nonstick skillet since a well-seasoned cast iron skillet can really occupy this role. A small saucepan will come in handy too for making smaller portions of soup, pasta, or sauce.

And a really amazing knife! Get a really sharp knife you enjoy working with. No matter how tiny your kitchen is, a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board will make the prep far more enjoyable.

Kitchn readers, what kitchen items would you bring along to a much, much smaller kitchen?