too many pots and pans!

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Trish Trish
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too many pots and pans!

Hello all-  I am trying to reduce the number of pots and pans in the kitchen and wondering what you all have in your kitchens.  

Right now we are at a very excessive feeling count of 18 pots and pans including:
1 large stainless soup pot (for soup, as you may have inferred ;)  
1 med stainless pot (used mostly for boiling pasta or beans for salads)
1 small stainless sauce pan (sauces, steaming veggies with stainless colinder inside)
1 large stainless saute pan (big one-dish meals)
1 flat pan (pancakes, french toast, grilled cheese, etc.)

1 small cast iron skillet (chicken, ground beef, etc.)
1 large cast iron skillet (big one-dish meals)

3 white corning ware casserole dishes with oven-safe glass lids (casseroles and fridge storage)
1 9x13 pyrex (brownies)
2 pyrex pie dishes (pies, quiche in duplicate for big family meals)
2 pyrex loaf pans (banana bread, pumpkin bread, coconut bread, etc in duplicate for freezing)

2 half-sheet jelly roll pans with silpat mats (roasting veggies, baking cookies, making pizzas, baking chicken.  Two used at a time for Christmas baking)

1 muffin tin

Which would you get rid of, and how would you prepare the items listed without those pans?
Jay Jay
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Re: too many pots and pans!

Great thought exercise! I wouldn't dare try to advise as to how to reduce 'cause we recently dug out a couple of pots I had put away thinking I'd never use again! I noticed you didn't mention either a pressure cooker or slow cooker. Do you not use either?? A couple of adjustments we made was to use the pressure cooker as our large pot, for pasta, soup, etc.. That's helped in terms of space. The other was actually acquiring some old Corningware. Our microwave died, so needed something for warming on stovetop or in oven, plus our plastic and glass storage containers were failing, so did some lateral thinking aided by a score (saw a person walking in to the local Goodwill to donate some CW and just relieved her of the box), to add strategic pieces of Corning Ware, usable for stovetop/oven/fridge/freezer. My old slow cooker has a CW insert so we can multi-use that piece. I emphasize *old* not only for ZW reasons, but because apparently the newer stuff is just not as durable -similar to issues with newer pyrex.
I, too, like and have stainless steel and cast iron because of the stove+oven possibilities.
Trish Trish
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Re: too many pots and pans!

Thanks for the reply Jay,

We don't have a pressure cooker, but we do have a crock-pot. We use it at least once a week all year-round.  (I think I just omitted it because I had it listed as an appliance).  But you are right-- it makes the soup pot a bit redundant.  

I'm also thinking recipes/baking times could be reworked a bit and I could make banana bread or zucchini bread in the 9 x 13?  

My Corningware is only about 5 years old (wedding gift pre-ZW)  and we use ours all of the time.  I love that the glass oven-safe lids have eliminated the majority our need for foil and plastic wrap!  I am pretty cautious about heating or cooling too quickly, so hopefully they will last a very long time.  If not I will be looking at garage sales for replacements!

Trish Trish
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Re: too many pots and pans!

In reply to this post by Trish
Anybody else have any tips on getting by with fewer pots and pans?  It seems to be one of my hang-ups as far as minimalism goes!
Reed Reed
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Re: too many pots and pans!

This has been a tough area for me too.  It’s always handy to have the right tool for the right job, and when you do a lot of cooking, as in our house anyway, I have had to grudgingly accept that might mean having a lot of different tools.  
However, looking at your list, could you use your large cast iron in lieu of these 2?
   1 large stainless saute pan (big one-dish meals)
   1 flat pan (pancakes, french toast, grilled cheese, etc.)
Before getting rid of anything, you could tuck it away and see if you end up missing it.  That way, nothing lost :)
Jay Jay
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Re: too many pots and pans!

Totally agree. Stash a few pieces, rework recipes, live without *at least* a year before getting rid of something as classic or basic as stainless or cast iron (or CorningWare)… also agree could maybe do with less flat bottomed pieces, but again, experiment. The other thing I've learned is that while I could do without a certain piece, other "cooks" in the house would claim it as an essential -am thinking specifically of a small, nonstick skillet I keep shuffling around :/
coldswim coldswim
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Re: too many pots and pans!

In reply to this post by Trish
Many of those pieces can be donated and in its place you can  buy one large and one smaller Creuset or other enameled/cast iron pots, as these can be used on the stove and in the oven.  The enameled CI also looks great going to the table if you serve at the table.  I have a 4 1/2- and a 2-quart Creuset and use both regularly.  If you don't mind using the oven for somewhat longer periods, they can be used instead of an electric slow cooker/crockpot by just putting them in the oven at 325.  It doesn't save money on gas/electricity, but it will save space since you won't need a crockpot anymore.  I cook beans from dry this way  and they come out really great, nice and creamy and all evenly cooked since they have excellent heat conductivity.  The biggest downside to CI is its weight, which is a factor for some people.  

There is used Creuset and Lodge on Ebay, and Amazon  runs specials on different brands of cast iron so check  around if you go this route, no need to spend big bucks on  the new Creuset.  I've had both of mine for about 18 years and pretty sure I found the small one at a garage sale for not much money.

Otherwise, I agree about simply putting stuff away  and taking out things as you need them. At the end of six months or a year, donate what's left.  I did this when I capsuled  my kitchen, just boxed everything up and took out stuff as I needed it. Donated the rest of it after about two months.  I've got empty cabinets and drawers in my kitchen now.  Good luck! Let us know what you do.  

Catherine Sultana Catherine Sultana
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Re: too many pots and pans!

If packing things up is too radical for you at this time, can you put things to use elsewhere in your home? For example, I have a muffin pan holding earings, it is feasible that on those rare occasions I need a muffin tin. I can just dump the contents on my bed or dresser, use the pan for cooking,  then replace the jewelry when done. Currently I am using a lidded roasting pan for a breadbox when we need to store a loaf. I also have used a jelly roll pan underneath things that either leak liquids (think planters, water dispensers, things in the fridge) or crumbs (bread machine, coffee maker, toaster, etc.) This way for those annual occasions when you're baking lots of cookies you will have that extra pan and the rest of the time you're keeping your counter/shelf/kitchen cart tidy. At some point you may find it is still excessive but you'll know what is excess from your own personal experience. Of course, this might not work for every pan you listed (how to multipurpose a Bundt pan?) but it may work for some. Pie plates work for eating off of, think corn on the cob, pasta, big salads, anything messy/bulky. I keep my one cookie sheet in my oven and use it as a liner in case whatever I am baking overflows, saves on clean up and it can still be available as a cookie sheet should we decide to make some cookies. When I didn't have a cookie sheet I just used two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil (which I no longer have on hand) on the wire rack/shelf that came with the oven. So it's up to you and how you want to function, make-dos and work-arounds will reveal themselves to you if you're open to new ways of doing things. My mom who taught me how to cook would never consider making cookies using my makeshift way, but I rarely make cookies so "makeshift" doesn't bother me.
Edward Charette Edward Charette
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Re: too many pots and pans!

In reply to this post by Jay
A kitchen needs almost all that you said. What one can do is to declutter using counters.
calendar, to-do-list, phone all can be hanged on the wall.
Another option is stuck items in an organizing rut.