The importance of good cookware
Cast iron cookware is my go-to in both my home and school kitchens. If you like to browse through second-hand stores, antique stores or garage sales, keep your eyes open for used ones. Even if they’re dirty and rusty, they can easily be cleaned up to become beautiful pans once again. Because cast iron isn’t a non-stick surface, you may have to season your pot or pan (some brands are pre-seasoned); this will also help prevent rust. To season your pan, coat it in cooking oil, coconut oil or animal fat (such as bacon grease) and bake it in the oven at 350°F for one hour. You’ll need to season a cast iron pot or pan a few times in the beginning, but over time a non-stick coating will form and you’ll need to season it only occasionally.
A bonus: The iron in these pans will leach into some of the foods cooked in them, upping your iron intake.
Stainless steel pot sets are also a must-have, and are frequently on sale in big-box stores and other large department stores. When buying, be sure to take the pans out of the box to get a sense of how well-made they feel: Are the handles strong and sturdy? Are the pans weighty? A heavy bottom will help with even heat distribution.