Cookware is extremely important as it plays a vital role in the day to day restaurant operations. There is a variety of cookware to choose from, each of which can be used to prepare different meals. Below is a list of ten common pieces of commercial cookware:
Fry pans can be used to cook an assortment of meals, making them an essential piece of cookware for restaurants. They are designed with flat bottoms and rounded sides that make it easy to mix ingredients while cooking. The rounded sides also prevent steam from building up in the pan. Below are some additional benefits of fry pans:
- Ideal for cooking with oils.
- Best for scrambling and sautéeing.
Similar to fry pans, sautée pans are used in various aspects of meal preparation. The main difference between the two is the fact that sautée pans have straight sides as opposed to rounded sides. Because of this, sautée pans deeper than fry pans, which makes them better suited for searing and deep-frying ingredients.
- Wide bottom with tall sides which helps contain food and allows for a wider cooking area.
- Straight sides expose all sides of food to heat allowing for an even cook.
Purchasing a stock pot allows for greater versatility in the kitchen. They can be used to prepare liquid foods as their tall sides ensure that ingredients are fully submerged when cooking. You can also sautée ingredients in stock pots before adding soups or stocks for added flavor. Commercial stock pots come in different sizes, ranging from 8- to 120-quarts making them perfect bulk preparation as well. Below are some additional benefits of stock pots:
- Thick base that is highly conductive and transfers heat evenly.
- Best for simmering vegetables, soups, stews, stocks, or boiling pasta.
- The small diameter and tall sides help to keep liquids from evaporating while forcing them to boil through ingredients, maximizing flavor.
A commercial roasting pan is used with a rack in order to collect juices and fat from meats that you are cooking. The rectangular shape allows the oven’s heat to reach as much food as possible which makes them a critical piece of equipment to use when cooking with dry heat. When shopping for roasting pans be sure to look for pans that are able to withstand the heat from an oven for long periods of time. Some additional benefit of roasting pans include:
- Used for roasting poultry or meat in an oven.
- Accommodates larger meals such as turkeys, roasts, and hams.
Straight Sided Sauce Pan
Straight sided sauce pans have a round bottom with tall sides and a handle which makes them excellent conductors of heat. They can be used to make different soups and sauces and come with a lid so you can easily control evaporation when reducing. You can also boil ingredients in straight sided sauce pans making them a versatile piece of kitchen equipment.
Here are some of the benefits of straight sided sauce pans:
- Round bottom with tall sides and a handle.
- Can be used with a lid to control evaporation.
- Ideal for making sauces and boiling ingredients.
Curved Sauce Pan
Sometimes as a saucier, curved sauce pans have curved sides that make it easier to evenly cook ingredients. Due to the temperature control they offer, these pans are ideal when cooking on low temperatures for a long period of time. Some additional benefits of curved sauce pans include:
- Allows for easier stirring with whisks and spatulas.
- Best for cooking at low temperatures for a long period of time.
- Faster evaporation when reducing sauces.
Sauce pots generally have a wider base than sauce pans making them the ideal choice for larger stews soups. They are also equipped with handles making them easy and safe to transport. Here are some of the benefits of sauce pots:
- Wide bottom which allows for even heat distribution.
- Best for reducing ingredients over long cook times.
A brazier is a staple in most kitchens as it can be used for searing, frying, poaching, simmering, and braising. Most braziers come with a lid so that moisture remains trapped when cooking, helping to add flavor to your meals. When shopping for a brazier make sure the base isn’t too wide or your meals will not be heated properly. Here are some benefits of braizers:
- The heavy base that conducts heat very well.
- Ideal for slow-cooking meats and stews.
Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron skillets are excellent conductors of heat that allow you to keep food warm for longer periods of time. Additionally, these can be used to bake goods in the oven making them an extremely versatile piece of equipment. When shopping for a cast iron skillet, make sure they are preseasoned so that food does not stick it when cooking. Some additional benefits of cast iron skillets include:
- Evenly distributes heat across the surface reducing the chances of scorching.
- Extremely durable and long-lasting.
- Great for frying, searing, and sautéeing.
A Dutch oven is a large thick-walled cooking pot with a tight seal lid, making them ideal for slow-cooked meals. They can be made from aluminum, but are usually made from cast iron and coded in enamel to limit rusting. They are also equipped with handles so that lifting and moving is easy and safe. Here are some of the benefits of dutch ovens:
- The tight seal allows for condensation, keeping contents moist.
- Can be used in the oven or on a stovetop.
- Maintains temperature very well, especially over long periods of time.
When choosing which cookware to purchase consider your menu items as well as the space you have available in your kitchen. These factors will determine which pieces of equipment you invest in and will influence the quality of your meals.