Six Different Types of Pots and Pans That Are Essential in Any Kitchen
Starting a restaurant can be an overwhelming task. There are so many things to remember and take care of before opening your doors. Every restaurant owner knows how important the right tools, kitchen equipment, and ingredients are.
Pots and pans in particular are extremely important because, without them, you wouldn’t be able to get much cooking done! Sure, there’s sous vide cooking to fall back on, but no respectable or functioning kitchen is complete without a variety of cooking pan types and various-sized posts. But there are so many types of pans to choose from. How do you decide on what types of pots and pans are best for your kitchen?
Here are 6 of the best types of pots and pans you’ll definitely want in your restaurant kitchen arsenal!
1. Stock Pot
The stock pot is the ultimate multi-purpose pot and any kitchen would be remiss to not have one.
This particular pot has tall sides and a wide top. It's built to fit large quantities of whatever you're cooking. Many stock pots come with lids that are useful for steaming and boiling with ease.
Stock pots work for a myriad of recipes and foods. They're perfect for pasta, soup, and broth because large amounts of liquid can fill the pot.
Stews and other boiled recipes work well in a stock pot. It can be used to steam shellfish and vegetables.
These pots come in different sizes and materials. One might be made of aluminum or stainless steel. All stock pots can feed a crowd of people, but the size you choose will depend on your needs.
The skillet, sometimes also called a frying pan, is an essential kitchen tool you can't live without. It’s one of the best and most popular types of pans for a reason.
A cast-iron skillet, in particular, is multi-functional. Its nonstick surface that’s developed from a coating of “seasoning” makes it perfect for a variety of foods.
Your basic cast-iron skillet has a flat bottom and slanted short sides. On a stovetop, a skillet can be used for searing, baking, frying, and so much more. Because it retains heat well, it cooks foods evenly.
This pot is often used to cook meat, especially chicken. It can also grill sandwiches such as paninis. Even some desserts will bake well in a skillet.
Another different type of pan in the skillet family is the carbon-steel skillet. Like a cast iron skillet, the carbon steel skillet builds up a layer of seasoning over time, but unlike the cast iron skillet, the carbon steel skillet is cheaper and more easily replaceable, not to mention lighter in weight. Carbon steel is still a great conductor of heat though, resulting in great sears on items like meat and poultry.
Most kitchens need to make a sauce at some point. That's why the classic saucier is a necessity for any prepared cook.
Made with rounded edges, the saucier has a bowl shape and shallow sides, as opposed to the saucepan, which has flat sides and a flat bottom.
This small pot keeps sauces and sauteed items separate during the cooking process. A saucier makes whisking, stirring, and simmering easier. Making sauces for all different recipes is more manageable with this technology.
Sauciers are also wider than regular saucepans. Because of their design, keeping sauces and other foods from burning is easier. It's simpler for chefs to access what's in the pan compared to the design of the traditional saucepan.
Certain appetizers and soups can go in a saucier, as well. Gravy, risotto, and pastry cream are just a couple of other worthy dishes for a saucier pan.
4. Dutch Oven
The Dutch oven shares similarities with the stock pot, but is usually shorter and wider. This is a heavier pot with thick sides, often made of cast iron.
A great Dutch oven can bake and cook just about anything. It can also be used for deep-frying because of its sturdy material.
This tool is great for raised meats, bread, chili, and other hearty meals. You can also cook risotto, stock, and certain kinds of pasta such as lasagna.
One great aspect of this particular pot is that it works for slow cooking. Thicker meals are often cooked for longer periods of time to retain flavor. The Dutch oven is the perfect way to put a recipe on the stove and still be able to attend to other meals at the same time.
5. Grill Pan
What restaurant cook doesn't need to grill at some point? The grill pan is your best friend in the kitchen when it comes to cooking meat.
A grill pan sometimes called a griddle pan, is flat, wide, and shallow. Some of these pans don't have any sides, but most have a ridged bottom for grilling. The grill pan is the perfect substitute for your standard outdoor grill.
Anything you would normally cook on a grill can be made in this pan. This includes meats such as burgers and chicken. You can also cook certain fish and vegetables on a grill pan to create a charred effect and flavor.
This pan also works well for pancakes and waffles. In general, you can make most breakfast-oriented items on the grill pan. For a restaurant that serves breakfast, this is a must-have utensil.
Some griddles come equipped with a press, which can also help you make some types of sandwiches. Paninis and grilled cheeses have never been simpler to make.
The wok is another must-have item for the serious restaurant cook.
A typical wok is wide with sloped sides and a long, convenient handle. Because woks are so large, they can fit a lot of food at one time. Large quantities work great in a wok.
The handle prevents burns from heat and the structure of the wok allows for easy stirring.
Woks originated in China and are a popular pot in most Asian countries. They've since become one of the most well-used kitchen utensils in the world. They're perfect for stir-frys, dumplings, and roasted foods.
Many different types of pasta dishes can also be made in a wok.
In fact, the wok is incredibly multi-faceted. It can steam, boil, and pan fry recipes. There's no end to the cooking techniques you can use with the right wok.
Most woks are either made of cast-iron or steel.
More Types of Pans
The number of pots and pans out there can make your head spin. But with these 6 basics, you'll be on your way to making any recipe under the sun.
Of course, there are many more types of pans you can use in your culinary adventures. Depending on your specialty, a braiser, roasting pan, or jelly pan may be useful.