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What Cookware Do Chefs Use

What Cookware Do Chefs Use? – Find Out Here

By David Burke

What Cookware Do Chefs Use?

If you’ve ever watched a cooking show or followed a chef on Instagram, you might have noticed they use specific cookware to whip up delicious dishes. It turns out that chefs don’t just pick any old pot or pan—they have their own preferences centered around quality and functionality.

Whether you’re an aspiring home cook looking to elevate your dinner parties with restaurant-quality results, or an experienced professional taking their kitchen skills to the next level, knowing what the experts use can help guide your way in finding the best cookware for your culinary adventures.

What Cookware Do Chefs Use

The right cookware is an essential component of professional kitchens. It’s not just a matter of style or aesthetics – the right tools can make the difference between a passable dish and a culinary masterpiece. Chefs invest in high-quality cookware because it allows for precise heat control, ensuring even cooking and optimal flavor development.

Moreover, professional-grade cookware is designed to endure the rigors of a busy kitchen, offering longevity that’s crucial in a professional setting. Thus, the cookware chefs use directly impacts the quality and consistency of the dishes they create.

In this blog post, we’ll cover exactly what types of pots, pans, and other items professional chefs rely on! Keep reading to learn more about which products are preferred by top culinary magicians around the world.

What Cookware Do Chefs Use? – Based on Types

Frying Pans

Frying pans, sometimes also called skillet pans, are indispensable tools in any chef’s kitchen. These versatile utensils are used for a wide range of cooking techniques, from searing and sautéing to frying and braising, making them an essential staple in any culinary arsenal.

One of the key benefits of frying pans is their ability to distribute heat evenly across the surface, ensuring that food cooks uniformly and doesn’t burn or stick to the surface. This is achieved through a combination of materials and design features such as a flat bottom and sloping sides, which allow for easy stirring and tossing of ingredients while preventing spillage.

Frying pans come in a variety of materials, such as stainless steel, cast iron, and non-stick surfaces. Each material has its unique advantages, with cast iron being particularly popular for its durability and heat-retention properties, while non-stick surfaces are ideal for cooking delicate foods such as eggs or pancakes.

In addition to their cooking ability, frying pans also play an important role in the presentation. A well-executed sear or caramelization can add depth and flavor to a dish while also providing an attractive brown crust. Plus, their sleek design often makes them a standout piece in any kitchen.

Overall, frying pans are an essential and versatile tool for any chef, from beginners to professionals. With their ability to evenly distribute heat, a wide range of materials, and ability to enhance presentation, it’s no wonder they take pride of place in any commercial or domestic kitchen.


Saucepans are versatile kitchen tools that are used for a wide range of culinary tasks, from boiling water to cooking stews and soups. These containers are typically characterized by their tall, narrow design and their capacity to hold liquids. They come in a variety of sizes and are typically made of materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, or copper, which are known for their durability and heat-conductive properties.

One of the critical functions of a saucepan is to cook food evenly. The high sides and narrow bottom of the pot prevent the food from being directly exposed to the heat source, allowing the ingredients to cook at a consistent temperature. Additionally, many saucepans come with lids that are designed to seal in moisture and heat, helping to cook food evenly and quickly. This also makes them ideal for preparing delicate sauces or melting butter, as you can easily control the heat and prevent the food from burning.

Saucepans are also great tools for boiling water quickly and efficiently. Whether you need hot water for tea, or coffee, or cooking pasta, a saucepan will get the job done effortlessly. Additionally, their ability to heat liquids quickly and thoroughly allows them to be used for cooking all sorts of liquid-based dishes, including soups, stews, and even chili.

Furthermore, saucepans are easy to clean and store, making them essential for any kitchen. They are compact and can be stacked inside one another, making them ideal for small spaces or households with limited storage space. Most are dishwasher-safe, which makes cleaning them effortlessly, and their sturdy design ensures they will last for years if cared for correctly.

In summary, saucepans are a favorite amongst chefs for a variety of compelling reasons:

  1. Versatility: Saucepans are used in a wide range of culinary tasks, making them a multi-purpose tool in the kitchen. From simmering soups and stews to boiling water, saucepans can handle it all.
  2. Even Cooking: The design of these pots, characterized by their tall, narrow shape, allows for uniform heat distribution. This leads to consistent cooking results, which is crucial in professional cooking.
  3. Temperature Control: Saucepans often come with lids that effectively seal in heat and moisture. This feature offers chefs precise control over the cooking temperature, preventing food from burning and ensuring delicate sauces are perfectly prepared.
  4. Boiling Efficiency: Boiling water quickly and efficiently is a breeze with saucepans. Whether it’s for brewing tea or coffee, or cooking pasta, these pots excel at the task.
  5. Ideal for Liquid-based Dishes: Their ability to heat liquids thoroughly makes saucepans ideal for cooking all kinds of liquid-based dishes, including soups, stews, and chilis.
  6. Easy to Clean and Store: Saucepans are generally compact and stackable, making them ideal for kitchens with limited storage space. Plus, most of them are dishwasher-safe, facilitating effortless cleanup.
  7. Durability: Made from materials like stainless steel, aluminum, or copper, saucepans are built to endure the rigors of a busy kitchen, ensuring chefs can rely on them for years to come.

When talking about the features chefs look for in saucepans. One of the key features that chefs look for in saucepans is their ability to distribute heat evenly. Uneven heating can cause the food to burn or stick to the bottom, ruining the dish. Therefore, a good-quality saucepan should be made of a material that distributes heat uniformly, such as copper or aluminum. Non-stick pans are also widely preferred as they prevent food from sticking to the bottom.

Another important characteristic that chefs consider is the quality of the material used to make the saucepan. It is crucial that the pan be made of a durable material that can last for years. Chefs prefer pans made of stainless steel as they are strong, rust-resistant, and easy to maintain. In addition, they also retain heat well, allowing for better cooking and even heat distribution.

The size of the saucepan is also a critical factor that chefs take into account. Different dishes require different sizes of saucepans, so it is essential to have a collection of different-sized pans in the kitchen. A small saucepan is perfect for making sauces, while a larger one is better suited for stews or soups.

Lastly, a well-designed saucepan should have a comfortable handle that does not heat up during cooking. Some pans even have two handles for easy maneuvering. Chefs prefer saucepans with lids as they help retain moisture and prevent the food from drying out.

In conclusion, saucepans play a crucial role in culinary preparation, and chefs consider various features while selecting a pan that matches their specific requirements. A high-quality saucepan should be made of durable materials, distribute heat evenly and come in a size that matches the needs of the culinary preparation. Additionally, a well-designed saucepan should have a comfortable handle and a tight-fitting lid that helps retain moisture in the dish.

Sauté Pans

Sauté pans are essential kitchen tools that possess unique features that set them apart from other cookware. These specialized pans are designed to accommodate the quick and high-heat cooking method that allows one to brown, sear, and sauté food to perfection. The distinct shape of the pan is shallow and wide with gently sloping sides, making it ideal for tossing food, in comparison to the steep-sided skillet, which may not be efficient for this purpose.

One of the unique features of sauté pans is their ability to distribute heat evenly across the cooking surface. The pan’s thick base ensures that heat is evenly distributed, preventing hot spots that could result in unevenly cooked food. The type of material used for the pan’s construction is also crucial in determining its effectiveness. Stainless steel and aluminum are popular materials used for making sauté pans as they offer excellent thermal conductivity and prevent food from sticking to the surface.

Another feature of sauté pans is their long and sturdy handles. These handles are usually made from materials that do not conduct heat, such as cast stainless steel or silicone, and are securely attached to the pan. The long, sturdy handle provides a comfortable grip and ensures that the user is not at risk of burning their hand while cooking. The handle also makes it possible to maneuver the pan quickly while cooking and tossing food.

Sauté pans also feature a lid, which is essential for trapping steam and heat inside the pan. The lid helps to cook food evenly while locking in moisture and flavor. The see-through lid also enables one to monitor the food being cooked, allowing you to adjust the temperature or cooking time accordingly.

In summary, there are multiple reasons why sauté pans are an indispensable tool in the chef’s arsenal:

  1. Unique Design: The shallow, wide shape with gently sloping sides allows chefs to easily toss food during the cooking process.
  2. Heat Distribution: Sauté pans are known for their ability to evenly distribute heat across the cooking surface. This feature helps prevent hot spots that could lead to uneven cooking.
  3. Material Quality: Many sauté pans are made of stainless steel or aluminum, materials that not only distribute heat well but also prevent food from sticking to the surface.
  4. Comfortable and Safe Handles: The long and sturdy handles, usually made from heat-resistant materials, provide a comfortable grip and protect the user from potential burns.
  5. Lid Features: Sauté pans come with a lid that helps lock in steam and heat. This facilitates even cooking and enhances the flavor of the dish. The see-through feature also allows chefs to keep an eye on the cooking process without having to repeatedly lift the lid.

In conclusion, sauté pans are distinct and necessary cookware tools that cannot be replaced by other pans in the kitchen. Their unique features, including an even heat distribution, long and sturdy handles, and a tight-fitting lid, make them essential for cooking flavorful and evenly cooked dishes. With a sauté pan in your kitchen, you have a versatile tool that can create an array of delicious dishes, from stir-fries and caramelized vegetables to seared steaks and pan-fried fish.

most commonly used cookware


Skillets are considered one of the most versatile kitchen appliances, often being used for various cooking tasks due to their durability and non-stick surface. They come in different sizes and materials, including cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum, making them adaptable for different types of recipes.

Due to its flat and shallow shape, the skillet is perfect for searing, frying, and sautéing. It is also great for making omelets, frittatas, and pancakes as the even heat distribution ensures that the dish is cooked uniformly. The skillet’s non-stick surface is incredibly useful when cooking dishes that tend to stick, preventing food from getting burnt and destroying the pan’s surface.

In addition to its cooking flexibility, skillets are perfect for going from stovetop to oven, making them ideal for one-pot meals. They can act as a baking or roasting dish, making it possible to prepare delicious and healthy meals with fewer utensils to clean up afterward. The skillet’s ability to retain heat makes it a fantastic tool for cooking dishes that require browning, such as meat and vegetables.

Much like any kitchen tool, care is required when using and cleaning a skillet. Proper seasoning and oiling of cast iron skillets can offer a lifetime of use, whereas stainless steel and aluminum skillets can last for several years with proper maintenance. Overall, skillets have proven to be an indispensable tool in any kitchen due to their versatility, durability, and usefulness in various cooking styles.

In summary, the skillet is a chef’s favorite tool for a multitude of reasons:

  1. Versatility: The skillet is a jack-of-all-trades, capable of handling a wide variety of cooking tasks from searing and frying to sautéing.
  2. Non-Stick Surface: The skillet’s non-stick surface is perfect for cooking dishes that are prone to sticking, ensuring the integrity of the food and the pan.
  3. Oven-Safe: Skillets, especially those made of cast iron, can be transferred directly from stovetop to oven, making them perfect for one-pot meals.
  4. Even Heat Distribution: The flat and shallow shape of a skillet ensures even heat distribution for consistently cooked dishes.
  5. Material Variety: Skillets come in a variety of materials, including cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum, to cater to different cooking styles and preferences.
  6. Heat Retention: Skillets are fantastic at retaining heat, making them ideal for recipes that require browning or searing.
  7. Durability: With proper care and maintenance, skillets can last for a lifetime, making them a worthwhile investment for any kitchen.

These characteristics make the skillet an indispensable tool in any professional kitchen, and a favorite among chefs for its practicality, reliability, and versatility.

Brazier Pans

Brazier pans are a versatile and essential tool in any professional kitchen, as they are designed to accommodate slow-cooking dishes that require low heat and constant moisture. These pans typically feature a wide bottom and shallow sides, allowing chefs to maximize the surface area of the dish they are cooking.

One common use for brazier pans is for braising meats. Chefs will often sear the meat on high heat first, then lower the heat and add liquid to the pan before covering it with a lid. This method of cooking slowly breaks down tough cuts of meat, resulting in a flavorful and tender finished dish.

Brazier pans are also ideal for making stews, soups, and other dishes that require long, slow cooking. The wide surface area of the pan allows for better evaporation of liquids and greater concentration of flavors, while the shallow sides allow for easy stirring and browning of ingredients.

When it comes to choosing a brazier pan, chefs often consider the material it is made from, as well as its size and shape. Copper and stainless steel are popular choices due to their ability to conduct heat evenly, while cast iron pans provide a consistent temperature and excellent heat retention. The size of the pan will depend on the volume of the dishes being cooked, and the shape may vary depending on the type of food being prepared. Some brazier pans feature a rounded bottom, while others have a flatter bottom to accommodate different types of stovetops and cooking ranges.

To Summary, it’s clear that brazier pans are incredibly valuable to chefs for several reasons:

  1. Versatility: Brazier pans are designed to accommodate a variety of slow-cooking dishes. Their wide bottom and shallow sides make them suitable for a range of recipes.
  2. Ideal for Meat Dishes: Brazier pans are perfect for braising meats, enabling chefs to sear the meat on high heat initially, then slow cook it in liquid to achieve a tender and flavorful result.
  3. Wide Surface Area: The broad surface area of these pans promotes better evaporation of liquids, leading to a greater concentration of flavor in stews, soups, and other slow-cooked dishes.
  4. Easy Stirring and Browning: The shallow sides of brazier pans make stirring ingredients and browning meat more manageable, enhancing the overall cooking process.
  5. Material Variety: Brazier pans come in a range of materials, including copper, stainless steel, and cast iron, each offering unique benefits such as even heat conductance or excellent heat retention.
  6. Adaptable Size and Shape: Depending on the volume of food being prepared and the type of food, chefs can choose from various sizes and shapes of brazier pans.

In conclusion, brazier pans are an essential tool for chefs in a professional kitchen, as they allow for slow and steady cooking of a wide variety of dishes. The type of brazier pan chosen will depend on the chef’s preference for material, size, and shape, but all brazier pans share the common characteristics of a wide bottom and shallow sides, making them an ideal choice for slow-cooking dishes.

Griddle Pans

Griddle pans have become an indispensable tool in the kitchen of many professional chefs. These pans, also known as flat-top grills, offer a wide variety of benefits and applications, making them a popular choice for cooking different types of dishes.

One of the primary benefits of using a griddle pan is the ability to cook multiple items at the same time. The large surface area of the pan allows chefs to cook a variety of ingredients simultaneously, making it a time-efficient method of cooking. Additionally, griddle pans are versatile and can be used to cook a wide range of foods, from pancakes and eggs to seared steaks and burgers.

Griddle pans are also known for their ability to produce a delicious crust on the surface of meat, fish, and vegetables. This is due to the high heat retention of the pan, which enables it to sear the food properly. The uniform heat distribution across the pan also ensures that the food is cooked evenly, eliminating the risk of undercooked or overcooked dishes.

Another significant advantage of griddle pans is their ease of use and maintenance. Unlike traditional stovetop pans, griddle pans are typically non-stick and require minimal cleaning after use. Some models even have removable drip trays, making it easy to dispose of any excess grease or oil.

In addition to these benefits, griddle pans offer a range of unique applications in the kitchen. For example, many chefs use griddle pans to cook breakfast foods such as pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Others use them to sear steaks, chicken, or fish, producing a delicious charred flavor.

Overall, griddle pans have become a staple in the kitchen of many professional chefs due to their versatility, efficiency, and ease of use. Whether you’re cooking a simple breakfast or preparing an elaborate meal, a griddle pan can be a valuable addition to your culinary toolkit.

In summary, chefs love using griddle pans for a multitude of reasons:

  1. Multitasking Ability: The large surface area of griddle pans allows for the simultaneous cooking of multiple ingredients, which greatly enhances efficiency in a professional kitchen.
  2. Versatility: Griddle pans can be used to cook an array of dishes, ranging from breakfast items like pancakes and eggs to savory meals such as seared steaks, burgers, and fish.
  3. Delicious Crust Creation: The high heat retention of these pans enables the formation of a tasty crust on the surface of various foods, enhancing their overall flavor.
  4. Even Heat Distribution: Griddle pans ensure uniform heat across their surface, reducing the risk of undercooked or overcooked dishes, and resulting in evenly cooked food.
  5. Ease of Use and Maintenance: These pans are typically non-stick, which simplifies cleaning, and some models are equipped with removable drip trays for easy disposal of excess grease.
  6. Unique Applications: Griddle pans are ideal for creating traditional breakfast dishes and for searing meats and vegetables to achieve a charred flavor.

Owing to these benefits, griddle pans have become a vital tool in the arsenal of professional chefs across the globe. They offer a combination of efficiency, versatility, and convenience that makes them invaluable in the dynamic environment of a professional kitchen.

Cookware Materials Chefs Prefer

Chefs worldwide consider cookware material as one of the most crucial parameters when selecting their cooking utensils. Cooking a delicious dish requires proper heat control, durability, and a non-stick surface, and different cookware materials offer different properties. Hence, it’s essential to choose suitable cookware materials that meet your cooking requirements. Now, we’ll discuss some of the cookware materials that renowned chefs prefer.

Cookware Materials Chefs Prefer

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most commonly used cookware materials worldwide due to its durability, resistance to rust and corrosion, and non-reactive nature. Chefs prefer using stainless steel for preparing dishes that need browning, sautéing, or searing. Moreover, it’s easy to maintain and clean. On the other hand, stainless steel cookware takes longer to heat up, and it doesn’t distribute heat evenly across the surface. Therefore, chefs often prefer using a stainless steel pan with an aluminum or copper base to overcome heat distribution issues.

Read more about why stainless steel cookware is so popular.

Cast Iron

Cast iron has been around for centuries, and it’s still the most sought-after cookware material. Cast iron cookware is known for its exceptional heat retention, even cooking, and longevity. Cast iron pans are ideal for preparing dishes that require high heat, such as frying or roasting. Moreover, cast iron pans become better over time with proper seasoning, which not only enhances the flavor but also makes cooking and cleaning more manageable. However, cast iron pans are heavy, and they take longer to heat up. Hence, chefs use them on stovetops with gas burners or in ovens.


Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and distributes heat evenly across the surface. Copper cookware is ideal for preparing dishes that require more precise heat control, such as sauces or delicate dishes. Moreover, copper cookware is aesthetically pleasing due to its shiny appearance and provides a luxurious feel to the kitchen. However, copper cookware is expensive and requires maintenance. Moreover, it reacts with acidic ingredients and can alter the flavor.


Aluminum is an affordable cookware material that heats up quickly and evenly. Chefs often use aluminum cookware to prepare dishes that require quick cooking, such as omelets or stir-fries. Moreover, aluminum cookware is lightweight and easy to handle. However, aluminum reacts with acidic ingredients and can alter the food’s taste. Hence, chefs often opt for anodized aluminum cookware, which is treated with a protective layer that prevents chemical reactions.


Non-stick cookware is ideal for preparing dishes that require minimum oil or fat and are easy to cook and clean. The non-sticky surface prevents food from sticking to the pan, and hence, requires less oil or butter. Moreover, it’s easy to clean as the food residue doesn’t stick to the surface. However, non-stick cookware is not durable and can scratch or chip over time. Hence, chefs often opt for high-quality non-stick cookware, which has a more robust and scratch-resistant surface.

Cookware material is a crucial aspect of selecting the right cooking tools. Each cookware material has properties that offer unique cooking benefits. Chefs worldwide consider cookware materials as one of the essential parameters when selecting their cooking utensils. Stainless steel, cast iron, copper, aluminum, and non-stick are some of the most preferred cookware materials by chefs worldwide. Understanding the properties of each cookware material helps you choose the right cookware that meets your cooking requirements.


Q1: What types of cookware do professional chefs prefer?

A1: Professional chefs often prefer stainless steel or cast iron cookware for its durability, heat distribution, and retention capabilities.

Q2: Why do chefs use stainless steel pans?

A2: Chefs use stainless steel pans because they are resistant to rust, non-reactive with acidic or alkaline foods, and excellent for browning, braising, and deglazing.

Q3: Are non-stick pans used in professional kitchens?

A3: Non-stick pans are used in professional kitchens, but less frequently. They’re typically used for cooking delicate ingredients like fish or pancakes, which are prone to breaking or sticking.

Q4: Why do many chefs prefer cast iron skillets?

A4: Cast iron skillets are favored by chefs due to their excellent heat retention and even heating, making them ideal for searing, frying, and baking.

Q5: What is the significance of copper cookware in a professional kitchen?

A5: Copper cookware is prized in professional kitchens for its superior heat conductivity. It allows for precise temperature control, which is critical for delicate dishes.

Q6: How often do chefs replace their cookware?

A6: The frequency of replacing cookware in professional kitchens varies, depending on the type of cookware and frequency of usage. However, high-quality pieces can last for many years with proper care.

Q7: Do professional chefs use ceramic cookware?

A7: While ceramic cookware is less common in professional kitchens, some chefs use it for specific tasks such as slow cooking or baking, due to its heat retention properties.

Q8: What are the best brands of cookware for professional chefs?

A8: Some of the best brands preferred by professional chefs include All-Clad, Le Creuset, and Calphalon due to their premium quality and durability.

Q9: Is it worthwhile for home cooks to invest in professional-grade cookware?

A9: Investing in professional-grade cookware can enhance your cooking experience, improve results, and be more cost-effective in the long run as they tend to be more durable.

Q10: Do professional chefs prefer cookware sets or individual pieces?

A10: Many chefs prefer to handpick individual pieces based on their specific needs rather than buying a complete set. This allows for more flexibility and customization in their cookware collection.


From cast iron skillets to stainless steel pots and pans, chefs have a host of cookware choices available to them. It’s important for each chef to know the pros and cons of each material before buying and using it in the kitchen.

Each type of material has unique properties that can make certain items more suited for certain tasks than others. While some prefer nonstick or carbon steel materials, they must get in touch with their style of cooking to determine which sort of cookware is best suited for their kitchen.

Ultimately, no matter what type of cookware is chosen, having these items fully stocked in sight is helpful for any kitchen. Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this post – we hope it was enjoyable and insightful! For more useful information about cookware and kitchens, visit David Burke Cookware!

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