What Cookware Do Professional Chefs Use At Home

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Cooking without the right kind of cookware is basically like singing with a broken mic or a bad guitar. No matter how hard you try, the outcome is never perfect. And that’s not how professionals do it.

See, as a home chef having the right kind of cookware is the key. If you are searching for reliable cookware, you must be wondering what cookware do professional chefs use at home?

We scoured the internet looking for real cases where professional chefs shared their cookware experiences. You must remember that the choice of cookware also depends on the level of ease. While some chefs love using stainless steel and carbon steel pans, others may stick to wrought iron or ceramic cookware. At the end of the day, it all depends on one’s personal preference and style.

So let’s see what are the most preferred options of professional chefs when it comes to cookware?

what cookware do professional chefs use at home

Aluminum Cookware

Professional chefs favor aluminum pots and pans, whether working in a restaurant’s kitchen or cooking in their home. And rightly so, because aluminum is an excellent heat conductor, which means a pan heats up in a jiffy.

This is an important factor to consider since most chefs are running against time when customers are waiting. At home, too, you can’t keep your family waiting for food when hunger pangs strike, right?

Unlike non-stick pans, aluminum pans can take high temperatures. Moreover, aluminum pans spread heat evenly, which means cutting back on cooking time. Isn’t that just perfect? Hard anodized aluminum pans are also quite popular because of their longevity and value for money. And not to forget, they are pretty lightweight too! Here you’ll find more information on how to clean aluminum pans and how to season an aluminum pan.


  • Pocket friendly
  • Durable
  • Suitable for high flame cooking


  • Reactive to acidic food

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel cookware has been favored by the pros for a long time as well. Similar to cast iron, carbon steel is a mixture of carbon and iron, although the proportions differ. And because of that, carbon steel is heavy-duty and non-breakable. That is precisely what makes it the most cherished item in a pro’s kitchen.

Not only that, carbon steel is lightweight compared to cast iron. The heat conduction is superior, and when professional chefs are cooking at peak hours, it makes all the difference.

New carbon steel pans look silvery and shiny, but as time passes and you use them more and more, they turn black as charcoal. This means they are now well-seasoned and have become non-stick. You can use them for frying eggs or making a steak without any worries. You can use carbon steel on all types of stoves, making it an extremely versatile and adaptive cookware choice.


  • Non-toxic
  • Non-stick performance
  • Unbreakable
  • Seasons well
  • Suitable for all stoves


  • Costly
  • Not suitable for the dishwasher

What Cookware Do Professional Chefs Use At Home: All-Clad

As for cookware brands, All-Clad cookware is a darling to most professional chefs. Made from top-notch stainless steel, All-Clad cookware is being manufactured by an American company since 1971.

All-Clad cookware is made of layered stainless steel. The two layers of stainless steel are covering the aluminum layer in the middle. This cookware provides brilliant heat conduction and is well worth the money, even though the cookware is expensive to purchase. But in the end, you get real value for your money.

Professional chefs have been using All-Clad cookware for over 40 years and are pretty satisfied with the performance. This is proof that All-Clad cookware is well worth the hype and investment. With a non-toxic, non-stick surface, All-Clad cookware is well equipped to meet all your culinary needs at font foot. Read more on how to clean All-Clad cookware.


  • Non-stick
  • Immensely durable
  • Looks classy
  • Oven-friendly


  • Expensive

Stainless Steel

Due to stainless steel pans’ multiple benefits, professional chefs love cooking in stainless steel pots and pans. Stainless steel pans are free of non-toxic material hence they are the best option for home and restaurant use. Stainless steel is easy to clean and also prone to rust.

A professional chef does not have time to baby the cookware. They have customers to attend and a restaurant to run. They need cookware like stainless steel that can handle high temperatures and deliver quick results.

In a restaurant where a chef needs many pots and pans, stainless steel cookware is an excellent option since it’s affordable. And on top of that, it lasts a long time and is pretty easy to clean.

Although stainless steel is a popular choice, there is a downside to it. It does not conduct heat properly, so food and grease may start sticking. But to avoid that, chefs season their pans turning stainless steel into non-stick. Here is an excellent article about how to season a stainless steel pan.


  • Rust-resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Free of toxic material
  • Affordable and sturdy
  • Dishwasher friendly


  • Heat conduction is below average

Cast Iron

Many chefs have favorite cast iron skillets or pans that they have used over the years. Cast iron is an excellent choice if you want a pan that will last for generations. Some chefs also inherit their pans from their ancestors and then pass them down to their kids. That’s how much professional chefs like cast iron.

Unlike stainless steel, cast iron offers impressive heat distribution. But cast iron pans are bulky, so it’s hard to handle them while working in a busy kitchen. Moreover, they are not easy to clean, and you can’t put them in the dishwasher. If not handled carefully, they can rust quickly. While the cooking performance of cast iron pans is outstanding, the maintenance makes it an unpopular choice for daily cooking.


  • Extremely sturdy
  • Cheap
  • Lasts long
  • Excellent heat conduction


  • Heavy
  • High maintenance

What Cookware Do Professional Chefs Use At Home: Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is the inspiration for professional and home chefs all around the world. According to him, cooking delicious food is not always dependent on buying fancy cookware. He suggests investing in a few good-quality pans and taking good care of them. He recommends buying a large and a small saucepan. This will take care of most of your cooking needs.

Unlike other professional chefs, you will often find him cooking in a non-stick pan. He also loves copper and stainless steel pans because of their heat conduction and long life span. If you are a fan of Gordon Ramsay, you only have to invest in a few high-quality pans to take your cooking skills to the next level.

Why Don’t Professional Chefs Use Non-Stick Cookware?

Non-stick has dominated the home cookware market for decades. It’s a popular choice of most home chefs. But you won’t find many professional chefs using non-stick, and there are plenty of reasons for that.

  • Heat conduction is not impressive, therefore non-stick pans are slow to heat up. For a professional chef, time is of essence while cooking in a restaurant.
  • Recent research has exposed how non-stick cookware contains toxins that can be hazardous to your health. There are so many cookware options like cast iron, carbon steel, aluminum, and ceramic pans which are free of toxic materials and promote healthy eating.
  • The non-stick coating is prone to destruction. The coating can get damaged by scrubbing or by using a dishwasher. You cannot use metal utensils, and you cannot cook on high heat either.

Final Words

Regarding the question of what cookware do professional chefs use at home, the answer is mostly aluminum and carbon steel cookware, sometimes stainless steel, and for specific uses cast iron cookware. Non-stick cookware is not a favorite for many professional chefs, but it is a great help to many home chefs. If you’re looking for more information or pointers on specific pans, check out our product reviews to help you choose the best options for you!

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