Worth spending on a good cookware

They say too many cooks spoil the broth. The wrong pots and pans do, too. That’s why when it comes to restaurant kitchen supplies, few decisions are as important as choosing the correct cookware for the job. Most pots and pans used in commercial kitchens are aluminum or stainless steel. Some chefs also use French steel and cast iron, but these items require special care that’s inefficient for most busy kitchens.

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Whether purchasing equipment for restaurants, catering businesses or even their own home kitchens, chefs opt for commercial pots and pans over what you would typically find in a housewares store. Commercial-grade cookware is tested for durability and heat consistency, so cooks know the solid construction will be reliable and durable to meet their needs.

We asked chefs and a food safety expert to share the pros and cons of stainless steel and aluminum cookware to help you choose. (More at www.staples.com)

Before You Buy

Luptowski suggests a quick check-in with your local health department, often a county or municipal agency, before purchasing any restaurant kitchen supplies. “Make sure that cookware has the appropriate certifications required,” she says. She recommends choosing pots and pans certified compliant with NSF/ANSI 2: Food Equipment standards.

It’s also important to size your pots and pans properly for the burners on your stove. “I wanted to use small sauce pans to heat up individual orders of sauce, and the pans were too small for the professional burners we were using,” Dolich says. “The only part of the pan that would get hot was the handle!”

Price and functionality are key considerations when choosing pots, pans and other cookware. Use this information to outfit your kitchen with the most cost-effective and functional items for your menu and your budget.

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