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What’s the difference between a cast-iron skillet and a stainless steel one? What’s the best pan for beginners? Yes, it matters what pots and pans you use, so we asked top chefs to share their top recommendations.

Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Oven $350

Chef Silvia Baldini of Strawberry and Sage recommends the good ol’ Le Creuset. “It’s the perfect size for most recipes and it has a higher-quality enamel finish that’s less likely to chip over time,” she says.

All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Cookware Set $349.99

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned chef, Chef Baldini recommends All-Clad’s line of cookware. The five-piece set includes a 10-inch fry pan, a three-quart saucepan, and a three-quart saute pan — all made from a durable, stick-resistant stainless steel encapsulating an aluminum core for even heating.

Lodge Logic 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet $17.99

For a more affordable option, chef Ashton Keefe recommends this sturdy, pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet. “It can literally do anything, it lasts forever, and it’s affordable,” she says.

Scanpan CTQ Nonstick Skillet $99.99

“The absolute best thing about the Scanpan CS+ and CTQ series is the handle. Not only does it stay pretty cool, but it’s perfectly curved to your palm and rounded for a substantial heft and support for your wrists,” says Judith Warren, former assistant pastry chef at Campanile.

Dansk Kobenstyle Midnight Blue Casserole $59.99

This hefty pot is private chef Blaine Arin’s go-to. She raves, “It’s the perfect blend of stylish and practical as it goes from stove to oven to table. [Plus], the lid doubles as a trivet! It’s an investment, but you’ll use it and love it for many years.”

xx, The FabFitFun Team