When you need a new frying pan or stock pot, how do you determine which material is best for your needs? That leaves us with the question, which is the best industrial cookware material for your kitchen: stainless steel, aluminium, cast iron, or non-stick vs natural finish?
Whether you want to add to your existing cookware collection or start from scratch, this thorough guide will educate you about the most common materials used in professional pans, skillets, pots and more, as well as their advantages.
Commercial Cookware Must-Haves:
Stainless Steel Cookware
Commercial kitchens love stainless steel cookware. It is made to last, is easy to clean and can be used to prepare a variety of foods. Stainless steel is perfect for cooking acidic meals and sauces since it is non-reactive. Other materials have a reactive surface, such as cast iron and aluminium and can make acidic foods taste bitter or metallic
Preheating is an important step in cooking with stainless steel. Stainless steel saucepans have porous surfaces while cold (which aids in food adhesion), but as they heat up, the pores close and the surface smooths.
Pros of Stainless Steel Cookware
✅ Long-lasting, non-corrosive, non-reactive, and durable.
✅ Works great with acidic foods and sauces
✅ Non-reactive (so flavours don't change from one dish to the next).
✅ Clean – doesn’t hold onto bacteria/food.
✅ There are different metal coatings that can improve performance.
Cons of Stainless Steel Cookware
❌ Uneven distribution of heat
❌ Food can get stuck (unless using non-stick cookware)
❌ It takes longer to warm up than aluminium and copper.
Chef Inox Elite Stockpot with Lid is a professional grade 18/10 stainless steel, high impact banded heavy-duty base, sandwich multi-ply base technology stockpot.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is well-known for its durability. Because cast iron does not lose or absorb heat like other forms of cookware, it is ideal for cooking food at high temperatures (including in the oven). Cats iron is ideal for cooking juicy steaks and roasts because the surface imparts a deep brown colour to the food. Cast iron pans are especially excellent for roasting veggies, which turn out golden brown every time.
Although cast iron may be used to cook nearly anything, it should be avoided when cooking acidic dishes because it can alter the taste of the food.
Pros of Cast Iron Cookware
✅ Superior strength and durability
✅ Contains heat better than any other metal cookware.
✅ The more you use it, the better it operates.
✅ Naturally ready for induction
✅ Great for foods that are often cooked with oil
Cons of Cast Iron Cookware
❌ Needs time and dedication sometimes to season well.
❌ Not suitable for pancakes or tilapia, which are both soft foods.
❌ Not suitable for foods that are acidic
Skillet Cast Iron Ribbed Round with Handle is an easy care kitchen with great heat retention
and even heating.
Even with the disadvantages described above, a professionally used piece of cast iron cookware has essentially no disadvantages.
Acidic foods or sauces will not react with the pan when introduced at the end of a recipe because of the seasoned layer. Delicate foods can sometimes be added to a well-season pan, and clean is simple. Soap and water should do the trick unless the seasoning has been lost due to the overuse of acidic foods for an extended period of time.
If you feel as if your pan has lost its seasoning, res-seasoning will make your pan good as new. If you take care of your cast iron cookware, it will look after your kitchen crew for many years to come.
Because it is one of the lightest and most durable metals, aluminium is frequently used for pots and pans. Aluminium is highly beneficial in restaurants with a large number of customers as it usually heats up and cools down quickly. This makes it an excellent method for boiling water or cooking soups and stocks. Although it must be used with caution when used for cooking other meals.
Since aluminium is a porous material, the flavours and taste of one food can occasionally be transferred onto another (even if it has been thoroughly cleaned). We've already discussed acidic foods, and yes, aluminium is not the best material to use when cleaning them.
Pros of Aluminium Cookware
✅ Easy to handle because it's light.
✅ Great heat conductor, so pots and pans heat up quickly.
✅ Is almost always cheaper than other materials
✅ Great for eggs, omelettes, sautéing, and other foods that aren't acidic.
✅ Heavy-duty models heat evenly and don't warp.
Cons of Aluminium Cookware
❌ Can change that taste of the food
❌ Oxidation can cause the colour of the cookware to change.
❌ Acidic foods can damage aluminium by reacting with it.
Ballarini Mini Casserole Aluminium is designed and manufactured in Italy and is ideal for oven-to-table use. All pieces are PFOA-free and ideal for those with allergies to heavy metals and nickel but are not suitable for use in dishwashers.
Copper is the best at conducting heat. This material’s elegant pots and pans heat up faster and more evenly than any other material.
Copper also cools quickly, allowing chefs to braise and crisp food without overcooking it on the inside.
Although copper cookware does not function with induction ranges, it transmits heat so efficiently that it virtually makes a standard heat source work like an induction range.
Adding commercial copper cookware to your kitchen is usually expensive, but many chefs think that the benefits are well worth it.
Pros of Copper Cookware
✅ Superior heat conduction
✅ Unrivalled temperature control - great for sweets
✅ Copper makes a beautiful addition to a kitchen if it is taken care of.
✅ Even temperature distribution
✅ Great for putting thin sauces on display at the table.
Cons of Copper Cookware
❌ Requires a lot of maintenance
❌ Higher price and upfront investment
❌ Highly active.
❌ Not for use with acidic foods unless it is lined with another metal.
Ballarini Mini Frypan Aluminium/Copper is designed and manufactured in Italy and is ideal for oven-to-table use. All pieces are PFOA-free and ideal for those with allergies to heavy metals and nickel but are not suitable for use in dishwashers.
Carbon Steel Cookware
Even though it may be similar to cast iron cookware in some ways, carbon steel is a bit stronger in a commercial kitchen. It is known for being versatile, and able to cook everything from the perfect steak to delicate foods that need a non-stick surface.
Carbon steel cookware is also strong and can be moved safely from the stovetop to the oven. It is much lighter than cast iron and gets hotter and colder faster than stainless steel.
Carbon steel has been used in commercial kitchens to make stir fry dishes for a long time. Carbon steel is now used by more chefs and prep cooks since it offers a variety of advantages, such as being easy to use in the oven and being able to heat up and cool down rapidly, which is ideal for cooking delicate foods.
Pros of Carbon Steel Cookware
✅ Great alternative to cast iron for searing and browning food.
✅ Strong construction to keep the wood from warping
✅ Seasoned for natural cooking that doesn't stick
✅ Seasoned carbon steel is non-stick without the use of Teflon materials.
✅ It can be used for many things and heats up faster than stainless steel.
Cons of Aluminium Cookware
❌ Higher maintenance to keep the proper seasoning
❌ It's best to avoid acidic foods (like cast iron)
❌ Does not sustain heat like cast iron
Despite the fact that carbon steel does not retain heat as effectively as cast iron, it has a stable position in every industrial kitchen. A carbon steel pan can be used to cook salmon skin, sear chicken, or mix and fry vegetables with the correct seasoning.
If you need help choosing the right cookware for your kitchen, contact the team of experts at Cedar Hospitality.
At Cedar Hospitality, we believe that quality should come at an affordable price, and we serve all areas of hospitality, including restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars, clubs, health care, senior care, events, and a wide variety of products for the home. We are committed to giving our customers the best value for their money.
Reach out to us through our website or visit the Cedar Hospitality showroom in Brunswick, Victoria, for all your hospitality needs.