A chef using a black pan over a gas stove, while mixing a stir fry dish.

What Cookware Do Professional Chefs Use At Home?

Cooking is an art, and like any other form of art, it requires the right tools to be executed properly (like cooking ninja assassins). Just as a professional painter would never try to mix colors on a canvas with a shoe, a professional chef wouldn’t try to cook a gourmet meal using nothing but a straw.

I don’t know about you, but I love to watch cooking shows, videos and clips (if it is about food then I will watch it). I am always so intrigued by the amazing dishes the chefs create and I am always tempted to try them out myself.

One question I always have is: what cookware do these professional chefs use at home? Do they have a set of special pots and pans or do they just use whatever? They might have a couple of specialty pieces that they only pull out for certain recipes, but for the most part, they rely on regular old pots and pans to make their amazing dishes.

Hence, if you’re looking to upgrade your cooking arsenal (don’t think guns, think knives), don’t go out and buy all new pots and pans – just get the few mentioned below!

What pans do Michelin chefs use at home?

Okay, for clarity sake, Michelin chefs are professional cooks who have been awarded one, two, or three Michelin stars by the Michelin guide [1]. The guide is published by the tire company Michelin and rates restaurants around the world.

While it’s true that many Michelin star chefs have access to the best cookware money can buy, they don’t necessarily use it all the time. In fact, most professional chefs will tell you that the key to great cooking is simplicity. That’s why the majority of Michelin star chefs use only a few basic pots and pans in their home kitchens.

A Michelin chef wearing black gloves, while pouring salt into a black sauté pan with a small wooden spoon.

The most important pan in a chef’s arsenal is the sauté pan. This type of pan is essential for cooking anything from vegetables to proteins. It has a wide surface area which allows for even cooking, and it also has tall sides which prevent food from spilling out while you’re cooking. If you’re only going to buy one pan for your kitchen, make it a sauté pan.

Another pan that every chef should have is a saucepan. Saucepans are great for making sauces, stews, and soups. They typically have a smaller surface area than a sauté pan, but they also have taller sides. This allows for a more concentrated flavor in your sauces and soups.

Last but not least, every chef needs a good stock pot. Stock pots are essential for making large batches of soup, stew, or stock. They have a wide surface area and tall sides, just like a saucepan however; they’re much larger in size, so they’re perfect for cooking large quantities of food.

These are the three essential pans that every chef needs in their kitchen; of course, there are other specialty pans that you can buy depending on your specific needs. But if you’re just getting started, stick to these three and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Michelin star chef (well, we can dream, can’t we).

What cookware do professional chefs use at home

A chef dressed in a white apron, checking on a meal being cooked in a black pan on a heated stove top.

Different chefs have different preferences though; there are definitely some brands and types of cookware that are more popular among professionals than others. Some of the most popular professional-grade cookware brands include All-Clad, Le Creuset, Lodge, Mauviel, and Staub. These brands are known for their high-quality construction, even heating and durability.

While some chefs prefer to stick with tried-and-true stainless steel pots and pans, others prefer the unique look plus feel of enameled cast iron or copper cookware. Ultimately, it depends on the chef’s individual preferences and partiality (or mood).

Do professional chefs use non stick pans?

Nonstick cookware has come a long way in recent years and is now used by many professional chefs. While it was once thought to be inferior to traditional pots and pans, nonstick cookware now offers many of the same benefits, including even heating and easy cleanup. If you’re concerned about the safety of non-stick cookware, look for pans that are made with ceramic or silicone coatings, these materials are much safer than traditional non-stick coatings.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that nonstick cookware does require different cooking techniques than traditional cookware. For example, you should never use metal utensils on nonstick pots and pans, as this can damage the surface. In addition, nonstick cookware should always be used over low or medium heat to avoid damaging the surface [2].

What pots and pans do chefs recommend?

A black cast iron skillet used to make a pasta dish, with baby tomatoes and olive oil in the background.

Essential in any kitchen, regardless of the chef’s personal preferences include saucepan, stockpot (as mentioned above), a good quality skillet and a Dutch oven. A good quality skillet is essential for cooking things like delicious pasta to just about anything, even steaks and saucepan is perfect for simmering while a stockpot is ideal for making large batches.  A Dutch oven is a versatile pot that can be used for braising, roasting, and even baking.

In addition to these basics, many chefs also recommend having a few specialty pots and pans on hand, such as a wok, sauté pan (also mentioned above), or crepe pan. These can be great for cooking specific dishes or for expanding your culinary repertoire.

Types of pots and pans

An infographic illustrating and answering the question of what cookware do professional chefs use at home.
  • Sauté pan – A shallow pan used for browning, frying, and sautéing
  • Saucepan – A deep pan used for simmering and making sauces
  • Stock pot – A large pot used for making stocks and soups
  • Frying pan – A shallow pan used for frying
  • Roasting pan – A deep pan used for roasting meats

What cookware is used on top chef?

On the TV show Top Chef, the cooks use a variety of different cookware brands and types.  While the show often features sponsors, the cooks are free to use whatever brands and types of cookware they prefer. Some of the most popular cookware brands used on Top Chef includes All-Clad, Anolon, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Le Creuset, Lodge, Mauviel, Scanpan, and Staub.

As with professional chefs, the cooks on Top Chef have different preferences when it comes to cookware, some prefer traditional stainless steel pots and pans, while others prefer more unique pieces like enameled cast iron or copper cookware.

In the end, it all comes down to the individual chef’s favorites; certain chefs prefer simpler cookware while others prefer more specialized pieces. Ultimately, the best cookware is the cookware that works best for the individual chef.

Why do chefs use stainless steel pans?

A professional chef using a stainless steel pan and a silver spoon to stir a meal being cooked, while holding the pan with a white towel.

First, they are very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, so they will last for many years with proper care. Second, they conduct heat evenly, which is important for consistent results. Third, they are relatively easy to clean and maintain, even if you happen to burn something on the bottom of the pan.

For these reasons, stainless steel pans are a good choice for any chef, whether they are just starting out or have been cooking for years. They are a versatile option that can be used for a variety of different recipes and dishes.

Why do restaurants use aluminum pans?

Aluminum is a very good conductor of heat, meaning that it heats up quickly and evenly, which is important in a busy restaurant kitchen. Also, aluminum pans are relatively inexpensive; this is important for restaurants because they have to buy so many pots and pans.  Additionally, aluminum pans are lightweight, which makes them easy for chefs to handle and maneuver.

They are non-reactive, meaning they won’t affect the taste of food cooked in them, for example if an aluminum roasting pan was used to make maple glazed ham then the ham, will have hits of thyme instead of metal. All these factors make aluminum one of the most popular choices for restaurant cookware.

Why do chefs use cast iron pans?

A chef using a stainless steel utensil to flip a flat bread in a black cast iron pan.

Cast iron pans are popular among chefs because they are very durable and have excellent heat retention properties, meaning it is an excellent conductor of heat. Cast iron pans can also be used on a variety of different cooking surfaces, including stovetops, grills, and even campfires.

Chefs also like cast iron pans because they develop a natural non-stick surface over time and with proper care, a cast iron pan can last for many years.

Types of knives

An infographic of different types of knives used in kitchens when cooking.
  • Bread knife – A serrated knife used for slicing bread
  • Chef’s knife – A versatile all-purpose knife
  • Paring knife – A small knife used for peeling and other small tasks
  • Santoku knife – A Japanese-style all-purpose knife
  • Steak knives – Sharp knives used for cutting steak

What knives do professional chefs use at home?

Just like with cookware, different chefs have different preferences when it comes to knives. Some of the most popular knife brands among professional chefs include Shun, Wüsthof, and Zwilling J.A. Henckels. These brands are known for their high-quality construction, sharpness, and durability. While some chefs prefer to stick with tried-and-true stainless steel knives, others prefer the unique look and feel of carbon steel knives.

Final thoughts

I may not have a Michelin star but to my family I am a star cook. That been said, as you can guess I’ve been cooking for a long time (my oven is tired of being used, so please don’t ask it out). In that time, I’ve come to realize one thing – there isn’t one perfect pot or pan for all occasions. What works great for making pasta might not be the best for frying chicken, and vice versa.

So if you want to be a successful home chef like me (taking a bow and tripping on my modesty), you need to try out different cookware and find what works best for you. It might take some trial and error, but eventually you’ll figure out which pots and pans make your culinary masterpieces shine.

Also finding out how your different machinery works or function from your stove to your instant pot capabilities. Experimenting with your tools can be fun, but at the end of the day you just want to get dinner on the table without any fuss. As always, let me know how it goes and remember: ‘Food doesn’t ask silly questions, food UNDERSTANDS’… Happy cooking 🙂

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Charlene Gallant

Charlene is a lover of good food. She enjoys nothing more than cooking up a storm in the kitchen and sharing her favourite recipes with her readers. She also enjoys reading a good book.

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