The Only 5 Pots and Pans You Really Need—These Are My Favorites

And yes, they’re all nontoxic.

By Isabelle Eyman

Text convos with my friends run the gamut. We fire messages back and forth emoji-crying over the season two conclusion of Firefly Lane. The hours we’ve spent sending the swoon-worthy results of our “cats for adoption near me” queries would shock some (though perhaps you can find it relatable?). And when I rambled off my kitchen essentials list, I was happy to know that my top contenders (Caraway, Our Place, and Staub) were met with a curious, captivated audience.

Thankfully too, when you work at Camille Styles, your obsession with kitchen tools is shared and supported. We love blending aesthetics with functionality in every area of our lives—and treasure those tools that sit at the intersection of this (sometimes hard-to-find) crossover.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

Camille Shares Her Kitchen Essentials List

In the spirit of not gate-keeping our kitchen essentials list, we went to the ultimate source for finding the best culinary products out there. Camille, of course! As a dinner party-planning maven herself, Camille knows a thing or two (or everything) about stocking your kitchen to fully prepare for whatever a recipe throws at you.

Below, Camille is sharing all of her must-have kitchen tools. Some of these are certainly investment pieces, but they’ll last you for years, perhaps even generations. They’re the hard-working products that you’ll pull out night after night and that play a key role in bringing your favorite recipes from concept to delicious fruition. So let’s dive in and make some space in the cabinets for the goodies below.

p.s. If you want to get a behind-the-scenes peek at how Camille stylishly stores all of her kitchen goodies, check out her kitchen tour!

braising meat in dutch oven
Image by Michelle Nash

A Sturdy and Reliable Dutch Oven

A Dutch oven is key for making soups and stews (essentially what we’re living on all winter long). When you purchase a well-made Dutch oven, your investment will pay back dividends. The best options—see below—are carefully designed to ensure incomparable heat retention and some even feature non-reactive cooking surfaces (i.e., you don’t have to spend time upfront seasoning your Dutch oven).

Staub 5-Quart Matte Black Tall Round Cocotte

u003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eCamille’s Pick:u003c/strongu003e When I asked Camille for her go-to Dutch oven, her eyes lit up in preparation to tell me just how much she loves this pick. She loves Staub for its quality French design (and names it a kitchen essential particularly when it comes to braising and browning meats—it plays a key role in her u003ca href=u0022 Short Ribs recipeu003c/au003e!). And when your Dutch oven looks this good, you won’t hesitate to serve straight from the table.u003c/pu003e

Le Creuset Signature 7.25-Quart Flame Orange Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

u003cpu003eMy mom gave me this pot for a birthday present a few years back and it’s been the ultimate game-changer in my u0022adultingu0022 arsenal. When I say I use it for everything, I mean u003cemu003eeverythingu003c/emu003e. It’s currently housing a beef stew that I have simmering away on the stove and is the vessel for all of my boyfriend’s sourdough loaves. Plus, it’s pretty enough to keep on display at all times.u003c/pu003e

Our Place The Perfect Pot

u003cpu003eIn true Our Place fashion, the Perfect Pot does it all—from boiling to baking, crisping to steaming. This is a solid choice if you’re not ready to shell out for some of the pricier options. It comes in at under $200 and is the ultimate multitasker for small spaces.u003c/pu003e
Camille Styles studio kitchen essentials
Image of Camille’s studio kitchen by Michelle Nash

A Non-Toxic Ceramic Skillet

The non-stick capabilities of Caraway’s entire cookware collection are unmatched. Seriously, we just got the Fry Pan and the adorable Minis Duo for Christmas and I can’t stop cooking eggs—and obsessively watching them slip from pan to plate. If you haven’t yet jumped on the non-toxic cookware bandwagon, now’s the time to make it happen. Many cookware brands can house toxic chemicals and contribute to our body’s toxic load. So in the spirit of doing a worthwhile detox, shop our favorites below.

Caraway Fry Pan

u003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eCamille’s Pick: u003c/strongu003eAs Caraway notes, this pan was made for healthy cooking minus the harmful chemicals. It’s durable and easy (re: enjoyable) to clean. Can your fry pan say that?u003c/pu003e

GreenPan Reserve Ceramic Nonstick 10u0022 and 12u0022 Fry pan Set

u003cpu003eWith a fry pan duo this pretty, you might be worried that your Iron Chef-level of cooking expertise and vigor might merit a few scratches. But beautiful u003cemu003eandu003c/emu003e sturdy, this pair of pans was made for whatever the kitchen throws your way.u003c/pu003e

Xtrema Signature Skillet

u003cpu003eI love a little alliteration when it comes to the capabilities of my favorite skillets—and this one can sear, sauté, and sizzle with the best of them. It’s a solid choice for an everyday skillet that you’ll be happy to pull out for every meal. If you’re looking for an option that can withstand the trends, save room on the shelf for this timeless, non-toxic, low-maintenance pick.u003c/pu003e
Ashley Robertson modern white kitchen with marbled countertop
Image of Ashley Robertson’s kitchen by Matti Gresham

An Heirloom-Quality Cast Iron Skillet

There’s nothing like cooking with cast iron. Pro chefs and home cooks alike swear by them and are sure to include a few in their own kitchen essentials list. Seriously, don’t be intimidated! Yes, they’re heavy, and yes they require a few specific cleaning needs (step away from the soap!). But if you’re looking for a tool that will last a lifetime, only the best cast iron pans and skillets will do.

Staub Cast Iron 10-inch Fry Pan

u003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eCamille’s Pick:u003c/strongu003e u0022Staub is my fave and they last forever,u0022 she says. While we’d recommend opting for a few pans in different sizes, if you start with just one, go for a 10-inch. Camille swears by it for a good, multipurpose size.u003c/pu003e

Great Jones King Sear

u003cpu003eA pre-seasoned cast iron pan is a thing of beauty—and thankfully, this stunner of a skillet has done the hard work for you. The 12u0022 size is great to pull out for a dinner party, with enough room to cook a big batch of crispy-skin chicken or caramelize u003cemu003eallu003c/emu003e the onions for u003ca href=u0022 best pizzau003c/au003e your guests will ever devour.u003c/pu003e

Our Place Cast Iron Always Pan

u003cpu003eI don’t have to introduce you to the absolutely iconic (and Instagram-famous) Always Pan. But… I’m excited to share that the colorful cutie has a new upgrade—cast iron! Expect the same 8-in-1 multifunctionality you love (grill, sear, braise, fry, sauté, roast, bake, broil… ) and u003cemu003eallu003c/emu003e the pretty colors. What’s not to love?u003c/pu003e
Diana Ryu kitchen essentials
Image of Diana Ryu’s kitchen by Teal Thomsen

A Stainless Steel Stockpot for All Your Big-Batch Needs

Even if you have a small kitchen (well, maybe not NYC small… ) it’s likely that you’ll need a stockpot from time to time. Sure, most of us might associate its use with a big lobster boil, but trust me: it’s way more versatile than that. The best stockpots can handle everything from your prized pasta recipe, corn in the summertime, and of course, the many batches of broth you’ll be making all winter long. Don’t sleep on this kitchen essential—it’s a necessity.

Hestan NanoBond Stainless Steel 8-Quart Stock Pot with Lid

u003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eCamille’s Pick:u003c/strongu003e This stock pot was designed with all the details in mind. It’s totally free of toxins, pretty as can be, and features ergonomic handles. I’ll throw in this final, efficient hook: it’ll boil water faster than any pot you’ve ever met.u003c/pu003e

Sardel 8-Quart Stock Pot

u003cpu003eNo kitchen is complete without a stunning, Italian-made, and oven-safe stock pot. This beauty comes with a lifetime warranty. Yes, they’re that proud of their pots.u003c/pu003e

GreenPan Barcelona Evershine Ceramic Nonstick 6-Quart Stockpot With Lid

u003cpu003eThis pot heats quickly and will never discolor. Bonus: you can rest easy knowing it’s dishwasher-safe.u003c/pu003e
woman stocking kitchen shelves
Image by Michelle Nash

An Affordable, High-Performing Saucepan

While we’d consider everything on our kitchen essentials list essential, nothing is perhaps more important than a hard-working saucepan. Small but mighty, saucepans take care of everything from reducing sauces to cooking small batches of grains for weeknight meals. A good, sturdy saucepan will be the most versatile tool in your kitchen. Don’t overlook the importance of this tiny tool.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels 1-Quart Clad Xtreme Ceramic Saucepan with Lid

u003cpu003eu003cstrongu003eCamille’s Pick:u003c/strongu003e Mirror-polished stainless steel is one of life’s little luxuries. This saucepan’s non-stick ceramic coating saves you the hassle of cleaning late into the night. The biggest selling point? The stay-cool handle ensures you won’t accidentally burn your hand (who else has done it?).u003c/pu003e

Caraway Sauce Pan

u003cpu003eComplete your aesthetic Caraway set with the brand’s saucepan. Because risotto is a common occurrence in my weeknight rotation, I’m forever grateful for this pan’s non-stick capabilities that save me the arborio rice-induced scraping.u003c/pu003e

Material Kitchen The Sauce Pot

u003cpu003eHaven’t heard of Material Kitchen? For those in the culinary know, it’s one of the most buzzed-about brands. Their simple, well-designed products will be the tools you gravitate to most—this sauce pot included. With a copper core, the pot heats up quickly and evenly. And I’ll never stop marveling at the dishwasher-safe construction.u003c/pu003e