Why Don’t Professional Chefs Use Non-stick Cookware?

Non-stick cookware is a go-to at home kitchens. Whether we are talking about frying foods or grilling them, a lot of people prefer non-stick pans.

These pans come with a lot of benefits that make them a must-have in many kitchens. Meals can be cooked with ease on them; cleaning or greasing them isn’t very hassle-some either.

But, they are not used by professional chefs, and that raises an important question- why don't chefs use them?

Well, there are a lot of answers to it, and we are here to talk about them all. We will also focus on their features and the cookware that chefs prefer. All of these will give you a better insight into the world of cooking.

What Is Non-Stick Cookware? 

You can already tell a lot by the name. Non-stick cookware contains surfaces to which food doesn't stick. Whether they burn or whether there isn’t enough grease doesn’t matter. Food will simply slide off it.

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The surface of such pans is coated with Teflon to ensure its non-stick feature. Although, in ancient times, anodized aluminum or copper cookware often fell under this category.

The Teflon coating is not permanent, although it does last for a pretty long time based on how the pan is used. Overall, this cookware will not disappoint you.

Why Are They Not Used By Chefs? 

Despite being popular cookware in home kitchens, non-stick pans are not preferred by professional chefs. There are some valid reasons behind this, which we will be providing a list of.

However, this should not discourage you from getting one to fry your eggs or fishes, because they are great nonetheless.

The Pans Are Slow to Heat up

When it comes to cookware, professional chefs are always looking for ones that can heat up fast- that is, pans with optimal thermal conductivity. That is one aspect missing from non-stick pots.

Due to their Teflon coating, proper heat transfer is inhibited, which means that you will need to wait for a bit before you get started. This also implies that the food cannot be cooked evenly in such pans.

Since they have a hard time with heat distribution, some parts of the pan will be hotter than the others. For instance, parts that are in contact with the burner will surely be more heated up due to poor energy transfer.

Non-stick Cookware Is Very Fragile

Every cookware needs maintenance to some extent. Especially the non-stick ones. That is because such pans are very fragile and can get damaged easily. This is part of the reason why they are replaced so often.

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Taking care of these pots is not easy. You need to be very careful with them; being reckless is not an option. For instance, you can never dish-wash them or scrub them roughly when cleaning.

Moreover, you cannot cook with really high temperatures since that might damage the coating. Also, make sure not to run cold water on a hot pan. There surely is a lot to keep in mind when using these.

And the worst part is that, even if you follow all these rules, the coating of the pan will still come off after a while of use. Of course, chefs wouldn’t want to serve their dishes with a side of Teflon coating.

Cannot be Used with Metal Utensils or Ovens

Unfortunately, you cannot use these pans with metal spatulas. That is because the Teflon coating is not as hard-wearing as it seems to be. It can very easily get scratched.

To avoid that from happening, you should never use metal utensils with them. You should rather use Teflon lined spatulas, to keep your cookware scratch-free.

Using them in the oven isn’t a good idea either. It can damage the lining of the cookware and should be avoided at all costs. However, they can be a good option for glass stoves.

Teflon Coating is Harmful

If you regularly cook in such pans or even accidentally eat a bit of the coating, then that will not be harmful to your health. However, if you overheat them, they will give off toxic fumes.

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These are potentially harmful to human health. For instance, they can cause flu-like symptoms. So, chefs tend to avoid them to steer clear of such risks as well.

Is Not Suitable for Making Certain Dishes

Some recipes require a bit of stickiness in the pan. With this feature missing, a lot of dishes cannot be perfected. Caramelized onions and seared steaks are two examples of this.

In other pans, as these meals are cooked, fond forms at the bottom of the cookware. In this case, the sugar particles in the ingredients break down and turn into the fond. Without some stickiness, this is impossible.

As a result, such dishes cannot be cooked in non-stick pans. And chefs would not prefer something that prohibits them from perfecting their meals.

What Do Chefs Prefer? 

Professional chefs mostly prefer metal cookware, ones that last long and provide optimal heat distribution. Such cookware lets them perfect their dishes. And with a uniform heat spreading process, they will not be wasting any of their time or energy.

For longevity, they usually go for stainless steel, carbon steel, or cast iron cookware. These pans last for a long time and don't require a lot of maintenance. They are all suited for their specific tasks; for instance, cast iron is ideal for frying or grilling.

Copper cookware is usually the most preferred by chefs when it comes to proper heat distribution. No material can match its conductivity, although aluminum is also a good option in this case, at an affordable price range. 

Chefs also don't like to opt for toxic materials. Therefore, when purchasing copper or aluminum cookware, they always tend to select lined or anodized ones.

Final Words

It is understandable as to why would anyone like to choose non-stick pans. You surely wouldn’t want delicate fishes to stick on your cookware. However, with a little bit of practice and patience, you can replace these with metal pans.

These Teflon coated cookware needs to be replaced now and then. So, they might not seem like a worthy option at some point.

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