Professional chefs look like magicians who can whip up an entire meal out of thin air, don’t they?
They are extremely talented and good at what they do, of course! But there is more to that story.
When the heat is on(literally!), even the award-winning top chefs face tremendous pressure to get food on the table.
Still, they manage to feed their hungry customers right on time. Ever wondered how?
Well, the secret often lies in the type of cookware they use!
Working in a restaurant kitchen means you have to be prepared to cook at high temperatures to meet the rush of the day.
And not all kitchenware can stand up to that challenge! You need pots and skillets that can take extreme heat and roll with it like a champ.
Today we are going to discuss what brand of cookware do professional chefs use and give you some clues on how to run your kitchen like the pros you admire!
Table Of Contents
- 1 Chef Cookware Recommendations
- 2 Cookware Brands That Chefs Love
- 3 Professional Chef’s Cookware Characteristics
- 4 What Cookware Do Chefs Use In Their Personal Kitchen?
- 5 What Are Some Common Materials Used In Chef Recommended Cookware?
Chef Cookware Recommendations
Typically, professional cooks are seen using the same types of kitchenware both at work and at home.
Simply, because they produce the best results a culinary expert can dream of!
Interestingly, every chef has a personal preference that differs from the others.
For instance, if you ask what cookware does Gordon Ramsay use at home and on shows like “MasterChef”, the answer would be Scanpan!
While Alton Brown, a celebrity cook who was on “Host Of Good Eats” likes to use a mix of different brands e.g. Viking, Lodge, Calphalon, All-Clad etc. to explore different options.
Jamie Oliver, who is a TV personality, author and cook, has taken a step up and teamed up with T-fal to create his own signature brand of kitchenware based on his years of experience!
Everyone has their unique choices that make their journey in the food world so special!
Below are some of the pros we all admire a lot on the TV and their favorite brands that help them create the buzz around the world!
|Chef’s Name||Known As||Cookware Brand||Why Is It The Chef’s Favorite?|
|Gordon Ramsay||Michelin Star Chef||Scanpan||Distributes Heat Evenly, Nonstick Surface.|
|Nigella Lawson||Food Writer, T.V. Show Host.||Le Creuset||Conducts Heat Quickly, Gets Cleaned Easily.|
|Buddy Valastro||Owner Of Carlo’s Bakery, Star Of The Reality T.V. Series ‘Cake Boss’||Cake Boss Bakeware||Wear-Resistant, Provides Beautiful Browning, Last A Long Time.|
|Jamie Oliver||British Chef||T-fal Jamie Oliver Series||Extreme Durability.|
|Justin Woodward||Executive Chef Of Castagna In Portland||Lodge||Lightweight, Comfortable, Versatile.|
|Alton Brown||American Chef, Food Author||Viking, All-Clad, Calphalon, Lodge||Heavy-duty Solid Build, Nonstick Surface, Easy-To-Use.|
|Rachael Ray||American Celebrity Cook, Author||Rachael Ray Cookware||Heat-Resistant, Oven-Safe, Colorful Variations.|
|Heston Blumenthal||British Celebrity Chef||Staub||Highly Durable, Keeps Flavor Intact.|
|Gus Silivos||Executive Chef Of Multiple Restaurants||All-Clad||Even-Heat Distribution, Lightweight, Easy-To-Use.|
|Marcus Wareing||Michelin Star Chef||Le Creuset||Easy To Clean, Heats Up Quickly.|
|Irv Miller||Executive Chef At Jackson's Steakhouse||Lodge||Conducts Heat Nicely, Lightweight, Easy To Lift.|
|Ayesha Curry||Canadian-American Actress, Celebrity Chef||Ayesha Curry Cookware||Versatile Colors, Stylish, Provides Easy Release, Heat-Resistant.|
Cookware Brands That Chefs Love
From the above chart, we can see some brand names come popping up repeatedly!
Among them, Le Creuset, All-Clad, Lodge, Calphalon, Staub, T-fal, Scanpan, Viking are some of the most popular brands that professional cooks use for their meal preparations. Let’s give you a brief overview of each set and why they are such a favorite to the chefs!
We are starting the list with Le Creuset, which is a French manufacturer that’s known for its colorful collections.
Unlike typical mass-market pots and pans, Le Creuset sets the benchmark high with its heavy-duty enamel exterior that never chips or gets cracked after use. Although the sets are a bit high on the price level, it more than compensates for it with its quality material.
Another well-known brand is All-Clad.
All-Clad is a U.S. manufacturer that’s determined to produce a superior line of kitchenware that performs well even under heavy pressure.
Usually, the cookware from All-Clad is made of type 304 stainless steel that lasts for a long time. On top of this layer, you will find a nonstick coating that keeps food from sticking to the bottom.
Lighter than other brands, Lodge is an excellent choice for people who hate lifting heavy pots and pans!
Manufactured by the U.S.A., Lodge is popular for making cast-iron pots and pans that can sear, fry, braise and many more tasks with utmost precision!
The pots and pans can easily conduct heat all through the surface and becomes naturally nonstick over time with regular use.
Calphalon began its journey way back in the early 1960s under the name Commercial Aluminum Cookware.
Founded by Ronald M. Kasperzak, Calphalon is created with a vision to provide premium-quality kitchenware, cutlery, bakeware and other appliances for the cooks.
The prime feature of this brand lies in its versatility. You will find a wide variety of pots and pans that come in different styles, sizes and cooking surfaces. Professional cooks LOVE having a Calphalon set in their collection as it’s durable, made of high-quality material and designed to make your life easier!
Thanks to Zwilling J.A. Henckels, a premium-quality French enameled cast-iron kitchenware and bakeware was born to serve chefs and home cooks all over the world.
The first piece from this manufacturer was a Classic Dutch Oven, which was designed by Francis Staub in 1974. And that’s where the brand got its signature name from.
Combined with cast-iron and enamel coating material, every piece from Staub is a delight to cook in! The best part about this brand is that it doesn’t get corroded even after years of use and is pretty easy to clean.
T-fal is a French-based manufacturer that serves beautiful kitchenware all over the world.
In 2003, T-fal joined in a partnership program with Jamie Oliver under the name of Jamie Oliver T-fal Brand. The program launched a variety collection that consists of premium-grade stainless-steel frying pans.
Over the years, the chef’s style and elegant choice managed to win a lot of hearts and secured a place in many restaurant kitchens as well.
Scanpan is a family-owned business that started its journey in Ryomgaard, Denmark.
One thing that’s really amazing about Scanpan is that it’s super environment-friendly. All the die-cast aluminum products from this manufacturer is made of recycled aluminum mold in an eco-friendly process.
The Danish-owned company is distributing its cookware to more than 50 countries in total. The pans made by this manufacturer come with a PFOA-free nonstick finish that’s safe for human health and doesn’t pose any risk to the environment.
Viking Range is an American company that elevates your culinary experience by offering solutions for cookware, ventilation, clean-up and refrigeration appliances.
Over 40 years, the company has been working hard to create kitchen items that are required for a modern household. The elegant design and stunning performance of this brand have managed to convince even the pickiest professionals to use it for commercial use as well!
While the company dominates the industry like a champ, it believes that the good chapters are only beginning to unfold. They are determined to bring more innovative technologies, play with bold designs and give their best performance to win more hearts around the world!
Personal Brand Of Cookware
Apart from the most common brands, we also see some celebrity cook making their own line of cookware e.g. Racheal Ray, Ayesha Curry, Cake Boss. Having a personal brand like these, allow the chefs to create their own identity and show their culinary creativity to others.
Keep in mind, these are the products they recommend exclusively, however, all chefs most likely use a mix of different brands for the best result.
Professional Chef’s Cookware Characteristics
While analyzing different brands of professional chef cookware, we found some patterns that are note-worthy and is common in almost every chef’s preference.
For instance, they use pans that are super-easy to heat up.
And for pots, professional cooks prefer having one that has a big surface and quickly evaporates liquid while preparing meals in it.
To know more standard characteristics for chef’s cookware, follow our guideline down below:
What Pans Do Chefs Use?
Whereas most home cooks prefer to have Teflon pans for their nonstick nature, professional cooks don’t care about that at all.
In fact, they tend to avoid Teflon if possible!
The reason behind this particular preference lies in the pan’s surface. Typically, Teflon-coated pans don’t get that much hot easily for safety reasons. And when you are a cook at a Michelin-star restaurant, you got to keep the heat high to serve foods on the table as soon as possible!
Most of the time, you will see carbon-steel, cast-iron cookware or copper sauté pan that heats up quickly in a chef’s kitchen for this reason.
What Type Of Pots Do Chefs Prefer?
When it comes to pots, round casserole dishes (Dutch Oven) are all chef’s favorite!
While any type of pot should do your job, to make things more comfortable, professional cooks like to use the ones that come with a tight-fitted lid to get their desired result. A well-fitted lid helps braise your meat to perfection.
Also, pots with enamel interior is a popular choice. As the metal is pretty neutral, it doesn’t react with foods and keep the flavor intact which plays an essential role in a chef’s cooking.
Is Instant Pot A Good Option For The Professionals?
An instant pot is a really popular item for home cooks.
However, you will rarely see a chef using this product in a commercial-grade kitchen!
The main reason is perhaps the fact that these pots are designed and certified for household use mostly. At a commercial kitchen, you need to prepare a large volume of foods at a time, which can’t be done even in the largest size of an instant pot(8-quart)!
Still, a few chefs like Johnny Hunter (Owner of Madison’s Underground Food Collective) use this pot in his restaurant kitchen for the ease of cooking. The chef likes having these compressed devices so much that he owns 5 of them in his restaurant!
Season Vs. No Season
Season all the way!
Professional cooks love pans that comes nicely pre-seasoned. Even cast-iron skillets (which usually needed to be used for a few months before it could get properly seasoned) are pre-seasoned out of the box these days!
Ergo, the hard part is already done for and you can start cooking right away!
According to Amanda Chantal (Owner of Moon Juice in Venice), the Lodge cast-iron skillet she uses is a pretty impressive one! “It’s affordable, comes pre-seasoned, and will last for decades”, she says.
What Cookware Do Chefs Use In Their Personal Kitchen?
While you and I can do perfectly fine with a single skillet and a couple of other cookware, chefs’ pots and pans are quite versatile.
Professional cooks require a wide range of kitchenware to meet their everyday needs. From a regular frying pan to a large-size Dutch oven, you will find various types of appliances in a chef’s kitchen!
Let’s take a look at some of the essential items a chef can’t live without!
A flat-bottomed frying pan with rounded edges is a must-have item for any chef. From frying delicate fish, eggs, crepes to searing a chicken breast perfectly, a frying pan makes life a lot easier to deal with!
Professional chef pans usually have a longer handle than the average ones. That way the handle stays cool even the pan is on the stove still cooking.
A wok is a bowl-shaped frying pan that comes with a smooth slope, round bottom and is typically used in Chinese cooking.
Using a wok to prepare stir-fried veggies and noodles is a common concept in Asian culture. Wok prevents the ingredients from getting soggy and promotes healthy eating. You can also use a wok for pan-frying, deep-frying, braising, roasting and stewing purposes.
Sauté pan is used for mixing ingredients in the pan properly. The straight high sides of the sauté pans make it ideal for recipes like pasta, stews and sauce-based dishes.
To cook at the right temperature, chefs recommend using copper sauté pans for the best result.
Most professionals keep a set of small, medium and large saucepans to cover their needs. From preparing gravy, desserts, stews to making delicious sauces, a saucepan set comes in handy all the time!
Instead of the regular pots, chefs prefer using saucepans that are made of ceramic or ceramic-coated materials. These materials keep the saucepan nonstick and help heat up the food evenly.
Brazier pans are flat-bottomed cookware that comes with a lid on top.
The main reason why a chef LOVE to have a couple of brazier pans is that they are super versatile! You can slow-cook, braise, roast and even sauté your favorite veggie dishes in these pans quite easily.
Also, brazier pans are easy to clean and can be used for preparing a large number of food items.
Have you seen the square-shaped pans that have all those raised ridges inside?
That’s a griddle pan right there!
Griddle pans can be used for preparing regular food items like eggs, pancakes, burger patty, fish etc.
As griddles are used at high temperatures, it’s a good idea to stay away from the Teflon-coated ones. Chefs prefer to use cast-iron griddles that come pre-seasoned for their convenience.
Skillet is a bit larger version of the frying pan.
The difference is it can tolerate a much higher temperature than a frying pan!
From searing the perfect steak to sautéing the onions properly, a skillet is a must-have tool for any restaurant. Traditionally, chefs prefer to use a cast-iron skillet that has a protective seasoning beforehand to make it nonstick.
Some cooks also like to use carbon steel skillet since they are lighter and a bit easier to handle, especially for older people.
What Are Some Common Materials Used In Chef Recommended Cookware?
From analyzing the professional cookware brands that chefs prefer, we have found some materials that are common in most manufacturers.
Let’s give you a brief overview of each material and how they help the cooks to get their desired results!
Chefs are quite biased when it comes to cast-iron material!
A cast-iron skillet is suited for a wide range of cooking. The chemical-free material gives the users to enjoy the end products without risking their health while keeping the original food flavor intact.
Cast-iron is a bit heavy to handle. This also means, it’s very durable and lasts for a long time without much maintenance.
While searing meat/veggies on this skillet, cast-iron develops a special seasoning over time that adds a delicious flavor to your meal every time you cook in it! Le Creuset, Lodge, Atlanta Stove Works, Griswold are some of the popular brands that pro cooks love to use for commercial and personal uses.
Carbon steel is very much popular because of its similarities with cast-iron material.
In fact, it’s made of 99% of actual iron whereas the cast-iron contains 98% of the same component! The remaining 1% is made of carbon material.
While a carbon steel pan or pot shows all promising features of cast-iron kitchenware, it’s way lighter, harder and easier to handle as a bonus. The smooth surface of a carbon steel pans heats up more quickly and cooks evenly when properly seasoned and maintained.
Brands like Lodge, Mauviel, De Buyer manufacture carbon steel kitchenware that’s getting rave reviews from chefs all over the world!
Want something that heats up in a second and cools down as soon as you turn the stove off?
Copper is dream material for pro cooks just for this reason! In addition, copper brings a stylish look to the kitchen that many chefs that host T.V. shows can’t resist.
However, one thing for sure, copper is pretty high-maintenance. To keep the pots in tip-top condition, you must clean and polish the kitchenware regularly as well as avoid harsh detergents at any cost.
Some of the well-known copper kitchenware for professional use include Lagostina, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Shinueri etc.
More than any other type of kitchenware, stainless-steel is the one that’s found in almost every corner of the world!
Stainless-steel material comes with a high resistance to staining, which makes it easier to clean afterward. In addition, it provides strong protection against rust and corrosion. Ergo, it looks brand-new even after years of use!
For professionals who cook on high temperature, using a bare stainless-steel pan pose a problem as it doesn’t conduct heat evenly. That’s why they prefer steel kitchenware that’s covered with copper/aluminum coating to get the desired result.
Among many other brands, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Cook N Home are the most popular ones,
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully, now you know what brand of cookware do professional chefs use and can gather your ultimate set accordingly.
A professional cook knows what equipment works best even under tough conditions. He/she knows better than anybody that a good set of kitchenware is as important as a cook’s talent and he treats the matter as such!
So, trust the experienced ones in the culinary field, get some ideas, and create your own personalized chef-approved cookware set starting from now!
Hopefully, our article has given you the clues to get moving with your shopping list and helped you custom-create a collection that suits your exact needs.
Happy cooking, everyone!