The size of America’s families is changing. According to several reports, the average size has gone done from 3.67 in the 60s to 3.14 as of 2015. That is, if you can wrap your mind around a person who is less than whole.
So rounding this off to real people, we can think of the average size of today’s family as 3. Other reports state that the average number of kids per household today is 2. since numbers can’t seem to add up, and for the sake of clarity, let’s just say the average family today consists of 2 adults and 2 kids.
Statistics aside, whatever the number of people you cook for, you need cookware. I have already written about the benefits of stainless steel cooking ware that you can check out here. Now it’s time to look at what are the best pieces to own when cooking for a family of four.
Frying Pan – Skillet
These terms are interchangeable. When we think of them, we of course think of frying foods. They are also good for browning and searing and other tasks that will mostly use oil to cook the food.
An 8 inch and 10 inch pan should serve the needs of this family. The 8 inch size for foods like omelets and the 10 inch should fit four pieces or more of meat like chicken legs. A 12 inch pan is the largest size you can get in most brands.
These are quite versatile. Usually saucepans are used when cooking foods with a liquid base. Boiling is an example.
All cookware sets come with at least one. I have found the 3 quart size to be perfect. One quart holds 4 cups of liquid so a 3 quart would hold 12 ounces. This should cook enough vegetables for the average family of four as well as small families or use these figures to determine what would be best for your family.
However, families of all sizes will need at least two and it’s always a good idea to go for larger rather than smaller when thinking of everyday use. The smaller ones are good for occasional times when you need to cook just one portion.
The stock pot is supposedly used to make “stock” but I like to think of these as being large saucepans. For example, if I am cooking for guests and need to make larger quantities of food involving liquid than I normally do, I use these.
They are also good for boiling rice and pasta. Most are larger sizes than the saucepan so they really come in handy. Several cookware sets include 8 and 9 quart stock pots.
A saute pan is similar to the frying pan. It has straight sides whereas a frying pan has sides that are more flared or extend outward. Its surface is flatter. A saute pan can easily be used to fry foods so it is a good choice when having to choose between the two.
They also hold more food than an equivalent size in a frying pan. You can use it to make one pot meals which would be more difficult in a frying pan.
Having at least one gives you many options for preparing food. A 3 quart or larger size should accommodate enough food for a family of four.
These are the basic items that should be in every kitchen where preparing meals is a frequent occurrence. There are many types of cookware you can add to the mix that will make your cooking experience more pleasurable.