If you’re investing in some new pans for your kitchen soon, you may be wondering what professional chefs use in their kitchens.
After all, if you are trying to recreate meals you’ve had in amazing restaurants or are a very passionate home chef, surely using the same as the pros is the best way of making food like them too?
So, do professional chefs use non-stick pans? And, if not, why not? Well, that is what this cookware article is all about.
It is a fairly common fact that most professional chefs do not use non-stick pans. Most pros prefer cast iron, copper, or carbon steel pans. In fact, the majority of professional chefs use carbon steel pans over any other type of pan.
Why Don’t Professional Chefs Use Non-Stick Pans?
Why don’t professional chefs use non-stick pans? Here are the two main reasons.
1. Fragile coating
Well, one reason many professional chefs don’t use non-stick pans is because of how fragile non-stick coatings are. Remember, these pans are in constant use. They are heating them and cooling them many times throughout the night in a restaurant.
Chefs also pretty much exclusively use metal utensils and often transfer pans from the stove to the oven. Basically, professional chefs use pans in pretty much every way that you shouldn’t use a non-stick pan.
Non-stick pans should only be used on the hob. And they work best when used on electric hobs; most pros use gas hobs. While some can cope with the oven, most non-stick coatings will peel at the temperatures that pro chefs work at.
The use of metal utensils in non-stick pans is also a no, no. There is nothing more detrimental to a non-stick coating than metal utensils. Plus, rapidly heating and cooling non-stick pans isn’t a good idea either.
Secondly, a big reason why professional chefs use carbon steel pans over non-stick pans is price. Carbon steel pans are nice and cheap, and this is great in a busy restaurant.
Most pans in a restaurant have a short lifespan, so why spend more on pans that are going to get damaged very quickly.
If professional chefs were to use non-stick pans, this damage would also increase because of the damage to the coating that would occur from the dents and bumps from regular service.
So, No Non-Stick Pans in My Kitchen?
So, if the pros don’t use non-stick pans, should you? Well, something to remember about pro chefs is that they are cooking perhaps 50 meals a night. So, they need pans that are robust and versatile. That is why they use carbon steel.
If you’re planning on cooking that many meals a night, then carbon steel is a great option for you. If you aren’t and you intend to use non-stick coating-safe utensils and don’t plan on putting pans in the oven, non-stick is a great addition to your kitchen.
You can still cook like a professional chef in your kitchen with non-stick pans. And these pans will likely last you ten times as long as the pans in a professional kitchen. Just know that non-stick coatings do have restrictions with temperatures and the utensils you can use.
If you do want a very robust pan for the kitchen, consider a cast-iron skillet or one made from carbon steel. They don’t have the same non-stick properties, but they will last a very long time in a home kitchen.
So, no, professional chefs don’t tend to use non-stick pans. The temperatures and speeds that chefs work at really aren’t conducive to non-stick coatings.
However, most home chefs can use non-stick pans and still achieve fantastic meals that they could easily serve in a restaurant.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.