Autumn’s cool days and longer nights are perfect for cooking. After the heat and bustle of summer it is a treat to relax and enjoy the pleasure of creating delicious food. Think soups and stews, casseroles, roasts… all those delightful, warming dishes it was simply too hot to eat for the last few months. Stock your cupboard with this essential cookware and release your inner chef!
Heavy-bottom soup pot
This is perhaps the Number 1 autumn cooking essential. A large, heavy-bottom pot can be used to make stew, soup, ratatouille, poached chicken, stroganoff or even popcorn. We love LeCreuset, made from enamelled cast iron. If you can’t afford (or lift) one of their large pots look for one in sturdy stainless steel with a well-fitting lid.
Large casserole dish
This is the perfect time of year for hearty meals like casserole, lasagne, or the American classic mac’n’cheese, all of which call for a sturdy glass casserole dish for baking. These are ideal for making food to share, as they are a cooking and serving dish in one. You can also use them for sweet treats like fruit crumbles or brownies.
A large metal roasting tin is essential for making crunchy roast potatoes, slow-cooking lamb or pork, making a beef Wellington, or delivering perfect caramelised roast carrots and parsnips. It is also useful for roasting tomatoes and peppers for use in other dishes.
Add local flair to your kitchen with terracotta ramekins, the essential dish for tapas. They are great for making portion-sized meals and are a great vessel for melting cheese to enjoy as a dip. You can also use them to serve hot or cold snacks.
Cast-iron skillet or griddle
A good cast-iron skillet lasts forever and gives food a unique character. The weight of it ensures even cooking, critical for making beautiful crepes or flatbreads. It is the iconic way to prepare and serve American-style breakfasts of bacon, eggs, and pancakes.
Some cooks turn their noses up at garlic presses (pun intended) but we disagree. A well-made garlic press saves loads of time, not to mention stinky hands and the danger of losing a finger trying to get your cloves finely chopped. Invest in a solid one that is easy to clean and you’ll never look back.
Whether you’re shredding cheese to garnish pasta, or shredding lettuce for a salad, a good grater is another superb time-saver. Our go-to is the humble IKEA model that lets you shred the food directly into a neat oval container for immediate use, or storage.
What’s your best autumn cooking tip? Share in the comments!