Professional Cookware Materials – Which One is the Best?

Watching a cooking show can bring about more than your appetite: it can leave with a hunger for new cookware. But you shouldn’t think that the best professional cookware is the most expensive set. You never know what’s the best professional cookware until you understand what is being offered to you.

While the thought of owning top-shelf professional cookware can be enticing, it’s wise to be informed about all the different options available to you. This is because there are many different types of prices, materials, and styles to choose from when shopping for new cookware.

This guide is designed to help you gain a better understanding of what types of materials are used to make professional cookware. It will tell you why the material is the best for certain professional cookware pieces and will give you the pros and cons to help you make a decision.

  • Pots & Pans: Cookware Types

It’s recommended that you choose professional cookware material based on your cooking techniques. For instance, if you often sauté food, then you’re going to want a pan that transmits heat quickly; braised food needs a pan that retains heat over extended periods; and, you should avoid cooking tomato sauce in an unlined aluminum or copper cookware because the ingredients can have a chemical reaction to the metal.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a classic, long-lasting, uncoated professional cookware material that is a great option for braising and browning food. This type of professional cookware is commonly sold as sets and can be a workhorse in the kitchen because it can tackle anything from making a sauce to pickling.


  • Dishwasher-, broiler-, and oven-safe
  • Compatible with induction cooktops
  • Quick, even heating
  • Doesn’t react with food
  • Durable


  • Can be tough to clean
  • If you choose noncoated, you will probably want a couple of other pans and pots that have a nonstick coating


Professional cookware made from nonstick material effortlessly releases food, even delicate food like pancakes and eggs. There is little to no oil needed for nonstick pans, so if you want to make food that is low-fat or nonfat, these are the best type of professional cookware for you.


  • Cleanup is easy
  • Requires less oil to cook with
  • Most pieces can be used on any cooktop
  • Most pans are oven-safe up to 500 degrees F


  • Food doesn’t brown as well
  • You can’t use metal utensils on all nonstick pans
  • Most pieces aren’t dishwasher safe

Enameled Cast Iron

Enameled cast iron professional cookware is great for frying, browning, sautéing, and searing. Plus, this type of material can be easily moved from the stovetop to the oven to the dining room table. Pieces that have lids are also great for roasting, slow-cooking, stewing, and braising meat.


  • Retains heat
  • Heats evenly and slowly
  • The coating won’t react with acidic foods
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Oven safe up to 500 degrees F


  • Can be heavy
  • Enamel chips easily
  • The small handles make transporting from stove to oven difficult

Uncoated Cast Iron

Professional cookware made from uncoated cast iron is an excellent substitute for nonstick cookware. Plus, it can be preheated to high temperatures to brown meat and is extremely durable. It can also handle oven temperatures that are higher than what is safe for nonstick pans.


  • Durable
  • Can be used like a Dutch oven
  • Classic


  • Some can cook for unevenly
  • Impractical for daily cooking
  • Can be difficult to clean
  • Cannot be washed in the dishwasher
  • Must be seasoned to stay in great shape
  • If left in a damp environment, it will rust

Blue Steel & Carbon Steel

This type of professional cookware is very popular in professional kitchens. This is because they are extremely efficient, durable, and are designed for the fast pace of fast restaurant cooking.


  • Can be used on any cooktop
  • Preferred materials for woks, crepe pans, and omelet pans
  • Can be easily wiped down with paper towels


  • Must avoid washing these pans as much as possible
  • Single-purpose pans
  • Must be seasoned to prevent rusting
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Hand wash with mild soapy water and a soft brush


Copper professional cookware provides you with an even and quick cooking experience, while also providing you with maximum control. When shopping for professional copper cookware, you should look for heavy-gauge copper (1/16 to 1/8-inch-thick), this type of copper cookware will last the longest.


  • Great for every cooking technique, including searing, frying, and sautéing, to simmering sauces
  • Offers a beautiful kitchen-to-table presentation
  • Heavy pans with brass or iron handles are oven safe


  • Pricey
  • Dents easily
  • Copper is reactive, but most are now covered in nonreactive metal to make them safe to use
  • Not induction cooktop compatible
  • Hand-wash only
  • Copper takes on a patina with extended use that has to be removed with copper cleaner


Aluminum professional cookware is an excellent heat conductor, as well as being lightweight and reasonably priced. It can be prone to staining and can cause light-colored sauces and foods to change color and can create a bitter taste. However, you can get anodized aluminum that helps prevent these side effects.


  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Affordable


· Can leave a bitter taste to food and can discolor some foods

Final Word

Professional cookware can be appealing to any chef. But with so many different professional cookware materials, knowing which one is the best for your cooking habits can be hard. Each material is best used for certain types of cooking; for instance, nonstick pots and pans are best used if you cook sticky or delicate foods, and you want them to fall out of the pan.

But if you want professional cookware that is dishwasher safe, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. If you don’t want to worry about rusting, you should avoid getting a cast iron pan because it requires special seasoning to prevent rusting.

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