"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Best Cookware Chefs Use

Paul Gonzalez
• Thursday, 15 October, 2020
• 13 min read

So we asked a handful of chefs from some of our favorite restaurants to share their tips on the very best pots and pans for daily cooking. In the incredibly wide world of cast-iron skillets, only one is consistently touted over Lodge, and that’s Joan from Butter Pat Industries.

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No less than six chefs we spoke with declared their unending love for Lodge, and if you already own its skillet, consider stocking up on its equally beloved griddle and its “double” Dutch oven. “Bacon, eggs, hash browns, handmade tortillas, pressed sandwiches, searing meat and fish.

If you’re the kind of person who likes a quick, no-fuss breakfast that you can clean up in a jiffy, you’re going to need a dependable nonstick frying pan. Robert Guion, the chef and owner of restaurant Public Display of Affection in Brooklyn, swears by his All-Clad.

“I use the All-Clad three-quart because it’s perfect to cook one or two portions of risotto,” says chef Jamie Knot of the Saddle River Inn & Cellar. Chef Brandon Jew of Mister Jim’s and Mamahuhu loves the Camacho, which has been produced in Japan by Tuamotu Pottery since 1864.

“The pot can go over a low flame on the stove, but recently I took it camping with me and was able to cook rice over an indirect campfire. “A large sauté pan with two-thirds-inch sides is the most important pot you should own,” says chef Tony Palace of Jackson’s Eatery.

If you are one of those people who love watching cooking shows like Master Chef or Hell’s Kitchen, you might be wondering what kind of cookware these world-class chefs use. Therefore, only with the best type of professional cookware can you successfully make a truly gourmet meal.

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Whereas a single frying pan and a couple of pots is usually enough to meet the needs of a single person, a professional chef will have a wide range of pots and pans, each designed for a specific cooking skill. Professional chefs themselves admit that all you really need is a few nice saucepans, a large stock pots and the perfect skillet.

Skillets are bigger, heavier, and thicker versions of frying pan and are designed to cook food at a high temperature. Pro Tip: One of the favorite cookware of chefs is a cast-iron skillet, made up of an alloy or iron and carbon.

Additionally, cast iron skillets should never be washed with soap as that can erode its protective surface. Over time, your cast iron pan will give you that distinctive seasoning that imparts a unique flavoring to your food.

Pro-Tip: Professional chefs recommend copper sauté pans as the material heats up quickly and evenly, cooking dishes at the right temperature. Pro-Tip: Pros recommend using saucepans made of ceramic or ceramic-coated material, which are naturally non-stick, or copper, which heats food evenly.

They are a versatile cookware and can be used to slow-cook, braise, roast, sauté or proof food inside an oven or on a stove top. The pans are beautifully made so that you can use them to serve food straight from the oven to the table.

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Pro-Tip: Professional chefs recommend using stainless steel brazier pots, which are durable and have a large capacity. These pans are versatile and can be used to make eggs, pancakes and hot dogs as well as grill chicken, sausages and hamburgers.

Pro-Tip: Most chefs are unanimous that you should steer clear away from Teflon, which emits toxic fumes and leaves flakes of coating behind when the temperature reaches 500 degrees. A safer choice is cast iron griddles that need to be seasoned to create a non-stick patina.

Pro-Tip: Many pros use non-stick carbon steel woks to cook as they are light weight and easy to clean. A pressure cooker is a deep-bottomed pan and comes with a lid that seals tight and prevents water vapor from escaping during the cooking process.

This type of pot is used to tenderize tough meat and can reduce cooking time to over 50 percent. Food in pressure cookers requires a lot of water to generate steam and needs to be cooked in high temperature.

It is highly durable, tough and can withstand a lot of impact, making it great for the bustling life of a professional kitchen. Most chefs prefer stainless steel brazier pans and stock pots.

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The best part is that most aluminum cookware is quite affordable, making it a great choice for professional kitchens which see heavy wear. However, they do not recommend using cookware with artificial nonstick coatings, like Teflon, that can be harmful to your health.

If you want your kitchen to look like a professional one, take your time going through the merits of the different type of cookware, match them up with your style of cooking, and make the right choice while shopping. This has caused me to be reluctant in spending a higher amount on better quality cookware sets.

In the professional kitchen, longevity and durability are the requirements for cookware. They are abused, exposed to high heat and direct flame, and washed with harsh cleaning chemicals.

Quick Navigation For your home use, standing up to this type of abuse is not nearly as important. For instance, I never buy a frying pan or pot that cannot be moved from stove top to oven because that is an important feature to have that many advanced dishes call for such as duck or reverse searing a steak.

Proper cookware is the difference between simple recipes and disaster. On the other hand, over the top expensive models can lose their versatility because of perceived fragility.

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Choosing the proper cookware set doesn’t have to be hard. My time as a professional cook has given me the opportunity to use both commercial and consumer sets.

We will go over several sets that I would recommend for all skill levels and price points. As with most things, it is best to find the right price point for the best value and that is our goal with this comprehensive cookware set guide.

Be mindful when making your purchasing decision that you do not opt for a cheaper set that will cause grief down the line. So take my experience as a 20-year chef in both high end and mom-and-pop shops on which sets to choose.

Cuisinart MCP-12 N Multi clad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set It has a reasonable price, clocking in at $214.99 USD for the 12-piece set.

It is always the dream of the chef to have these types of high-quality products in the kitchen but due to price, it is usually left for consumer buyers. It is layered alternately with aluminum and stainless steel, providing an unmatched conductive and even heating product.

cookware types cons choosing pros popular right
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Much of what you end up paying for in high-end cookware is the layering and quality of the material. All-American Made 5-ply Alternating Stainless Steel/Aluminum construction Lifetime Warranty 10- or 14-piece set Warp-Free 500’F Max Temp.

Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set Another Cuisinart cookware set, but this one is on the lower end of the spectrum.

It is very hard to find quality cookware set at entry-level pricing that I can be confident in recommending. This means a thin cookware set will require careful management of temperature.

Caraway makes an elegant and high-quality ceramic cookware set that is functional, practical, and beautiful Upon receiving the set, you are greeted with a brilliantly laid out packaging that slowly introduces you to each new piece, like unraveling layers of surprises.

It comes with a very practical cloth hanger that solves the problem of finding a place to store your lids. Another addition is the vertical storage option available to store your pots and pans upright on a counter.

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The set is heavy, with a very solid core and heats evenly. The long handles provide important leverage for heavier cooking.

Their cookware is prevalent in professional kitchens, and they are thought of as a low-cost option. If you are looking for a bit better product than the Rachael Ray version, the Cap halon cookware set 1876788 is a fantastic alternative.

The hammered aesthetic is beautiful and is backed by durable stainless steel to bolster strength and longevity. Others options are just too ambiguous and often are copper for show only with aluminum or pure stainless steel bottoms.

Copper, Aluminum, Stainless steel core Triple Ply Beautiful design Excellent conductivity The reason being is that the level of abuse pots and pans tend to go through can be large.

Many of the companies that we choose to have built their reputations through commercial cookware sets and products. Cookware needs to be useful for many applications such as stove-to-oven use, high heat, and cleaning resistant.

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Although material plays a big role in these things, quality and durability impact a much larger scale. Getting the best bang for your buck can be difficult when choosing the right cookware set.

Copper pan set cookware is unsurpassed when you are cooking sugar and fruit mixtures. If you are a restaurateur who is cooking with sugars or desserts, copper cookware may be a good investment.

Copper is a beautiful material that has significant weight, but unmatched heat transfer. Because copper reacts with some foods, it typically has a tin lining which is soft and can easily be scratched.

Because of these deficiencies in copper cookware, you will find products layered. Aluminum is a soft metal and it is important that it handled properly to avoid dents.

Many essential kitchen tools guides include stainless steel pots and pans. Such cookware gives the rapid, uniform heat conductivity of copper and aluminum.

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Cast Iron Cast-iron cookware distributes heat evenly and holds high temperatures very well. If using in a commercial kitchen, keep it properly conditioned and dry to prevent rust.

Tempered glass is suitable for microwave cooking, as long as it does not have any metal on it. Thorough cleaning and total shut down occurs if glass breaks in a commercial kitchen.

Quick temperature changes can cause the ceramic cookware to crack or shatter. The enamel can chip or crack easily, providing areas for bacteria to grow.

Also, chemicals used to bond the enamel to the cookware can cause food poisoning if ingested. Non-stick Coatings Without affecting a metal’s ability to conduct heat, a plastic known as Teflon and Silverstone may be applied to many types of cookware.

It provides a slippery, nonreactive finish that prevents food from sticking and allows the use of less fat in cooking. Do not use non-stick cookware on high heat and be mindful not to use metal utensils as it can scratch or chip the coating.

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Maybe you think that their greatest secret probably lies on the equipment they use or you are probably starting your journey in the culinary field and you want to know a thing or two about what they use. This is a good step to take because they despite them being able to follow a recipe and getting an amazing finished product, they are the leaders in the field and set new trends daily.

The cookware is definitely durable and impact resistant as possible as there is rarely to no time at all to care for them. When it comes to the professional cookware the material is very important than even the aesthetic look.

This is quite a common choice for many professional chefs because it does not react to food in any way and is also rust resistant. It is able to withstand high temperatures reasonably well too and virtually indestructible which makes it perfect for a busy life as a professional chef.

Another advantage that makes them quite favorable is that they are dishwasher friendly so quite easy to clean up. It also can’t be washed in a dishwasher and needs to be handled carefully which makes it unpopular with the chefs.

There have been claims that it is reactive with food but there isn’t substantial proof to prove that yet. If you want to cook like a pro then another cookware that you need should be made of carbon steel since it is on top of the list.

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Next, we will look at some equipment in chef’s cupboards that are a must-have in the restaurant kitchen and the have them at home too. Newer ones are lighter and of high quality and are used to sear, fry and pan roast meat.

Some people do not distinguish between a frying pan and this but the skillet is more suitable for cooking a larger amount or volume of food. This kind of pan is for moving the food around during the process of frying and does not require much oil.

It is deeper compared to the frying pan and is considered the right one to use when cooking tender pieces of meat and veggies. For this the chefs recommend sauté pans made of copper because it doesn’t form any hot spots.

This one is more versatile and can be used to cook pasta, soup, sauce, vegetables and even boil eggs. Brazier pans are always present in commercial kitchens and if you are an aspiring home chef who wants to get that professional equipment, you should definitely invest in getting one.

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