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Ready for a hot take? Unless you're whipping up a multi-course meal or lots of sides on the regular, you really don't a massive cookware set that'll hog up precious real estate in your cabinets. Instead, you should just buy one really, really good pan. Over the past few years, a handful of companies have released their viral versions of a do-it-all, use-for-anything pan—and I've tested (and generally liked) most of them. However, I recently received Cooking Light's My Favorite Pan Cast Aluminum Pan — and it's officially game over.
I'll admit that when I first heard about QVC's dupe for those buzzier, pricier pans, I was really skeptical. Dupes might be a great way to save money—which I'm always down for—but the quality can be hit or miss. But, after using this pan for a few weeks, I've completely changed my tune. This, my friends, is the only pan you should own. Clocking in at 4.25 quarts, it's considerably larger (and deeper!) than my other multi-purpose pans, making it great for frying tofu cubes, making a creamy cacio e pepe, or cooking shrimp in a buttery garlic sauce. (In fact, it even comes with a deep steam basket that's perfect for veggies.)
Want to diversify your recipe repertoire beyond sauces and steams? The non-stick, cast aluminum interior heats quickly and evenly, making it perfect for pan-searing salmon or cooking up some quesadillas. In fact, its non-stick interior is actually my favorite thing about the pan. Unlike the other do-everything pans I've tried—which are initially non-stick but lose their luster after a few washes—Cooking Light's pan has actually stayed non-stick. Leftover ingredients glide off easily, and I have yet to scrape off any stubborn food particles. (And, since this pan and lid combo is dishwasher friendly, I don't even have to.) Don't believe me? Just look at how pristine mine is!
Combined with its five colorways, soft handle grip, and a glass lid that actually lets you see the food you're cooking, Cooking Light's pan is the only pan I want to use. And, if you're not already sold on this dupe, I should mention that it's a total steal. While most of the buzzy multi-purpose pans cost well over $100, Cooking Light's iteration is only $44. Affordable and awesome?! Trust me, you'll be wondering why you didn't buy this pan sooner.
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