Ina Garten has a how-easy-is-that? method of keeping her pots and pans looking brand new. The Food Network star spends a lot of time in the kitchen. She tests cookbook recipes and films Barefoot Contessa in a “barn” next to her house in East Hampton, New York. But Garten’s cookware doesn’t show it.

What pots and pans does Ina Garten use? 

First, what cookware gets a stamp of approval from the cookbook author? There’s an entire section dedicated to Garten recommended cookware on the official Barefoot Contessa website. 

The 73-year-old recommends a variety of products she uses over and over again. There are half-sheet pans, cast iron skillets (mini and regular size), white baking dishes, tart pans, All-Clad cookware, and Le Creuset dutch ovens. 

Here’s what Garten suggests everyone have in their kitchen. 

“Have sheet pans, have a good set of knives,” she once told Food & Wine. “I love a Kitchenaid mixer, but a hand mixer does the same job, you just have to stand there.”

Also get “a good set of pots.”

“If you can’t afford a good set of pots, you can go to a restaurant supply store,” she said. “Simple, really good equipment that you can have forever is really the best.”

The Barefoot Contessa soaks pots and pans overnight

Here are Garten’s guidelines for cookware that has a like-new sparkle. As part of the “Ask Ina” section of her Barefoot Contessa website, she shared her tips with a fan who asked, “How do you keep your pans so clean and shiny?” Garten started off by saying she uses “good-quality All-Clad and LeCreuset cookware.” 

Then Garten gave the details on how exactly she keeps her cookware looking brand new.

“I never put a dirty pot or pan into the dishwasher; the heat bakes it on permanently,” she said. It’s worth noting here that almost everything goes in Garten’s dishwasher.

“Instead, if a pot has food caked on, I fill it with the hottest tap water and dish soap and allow it to soak in the sink overnight,” she explained. “In the morning, the pots come out clean with either a sponge or a quick steel scrubber.”

“My cookware is expensive but I take good care of it,” Garten added. “And so far, many of the pans have lasted for almost 40 years!”

The cookbook author and her husband, Jeffrey Garten, do the dishes when they have people over

The Barefoot Contessa doesn’t let anyone do the dishes when she hosts a dinner party. She told Kitchn in 2015 while promoting her cookbook, Make It Ahead, she and her husband, Jeffrey Garten, always do the washing up. 

“Everyone’s allowed to help with anything except the dishes,” Garten said. “I do the dishes that night. We have a system. Jeffrey clears the table — he stacks them neatly and I fill the dishwasher with the dishes and soak any pans overnight.”

How easy is that?

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