There are many choices available to today’s professional chef, so it is important to be fluent in the myriad of options for different types of restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware. Depending on your style of cuisine, some of the following items may be of great necessity, whereas others are very specific in their use that may not fit your culinary needs. In this post we are providing basic explanations for the most common forms of restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware that you might find in a professional kitchen today. If you are interested in the differences between the most commonly used materials in making restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware, we suggest you view our post “Commercial Kitchen Cookware : Aluminum vs Stainless Steel

Restaurant Kitchen Stovetop Cookware Options


Stock Pot

A must have for any restaurant making stocks and soups from scratch. This heavy duty vessel is taller than it is wide to allow make skimming impurities easier by reducing the exposed surface area of the product being cooked.

rondeau restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware


This is a heavy bottom, wide and shallow pot that typically has two handles that is used to searing large cuts of meat and for braising foods in large volumes. When made out of cast iron, they are also known as “griswolds.”


Sauce Pot

The sauce pot is similar in shape as the stock pot, but is typically used for creating and concentrating sauces of varying quantities, depending on the size of the pot. This pot is usually fabricated with 2 handles for easy lifting.

bain marie restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware

Bain Marie

These nesting pots often come with a single or double handles, where the bottom pot is filled with water to delicately cook or hold food in the upper pot. The term bain marie is used generally in the professional kitchen and refers to simply the nesting of pots or pans, depending on the situation.

stovetop steamer


This set of stacked pots is typically made from stainless steel, or bamboo in a classic Chinese kitchen with both having tight fitting lids to prevent heat from escaping. The interior pots have perforated bottoms and are placed over simmering water, which allows the steam to envelop the food being cooked in the interior pots. Some styles, particularity the bamboo variety allow several level to be stacked on top of another, using a single heat source.

stovetop fish poacher

Fish Poacher

This long, narrow pot is fabricated with straight sided and a removable, perforated bottom to poach or steam whole fish.

restaurant kitchen tangine


Also called a “Couscousiere” this type of specialty restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware is specifically designed to prepare couscous in the traditional fashion by steaming the pasta in flavorful broth or liquid.


Sauce Pan

This pan can have straight, or flared sides and is used to rapidly reduce sauce volumes for concentrating flavors. It is also used to prepare smaller quantities of more delicate sauces that may not stand up to being held over long service periods.

sauteuse restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware


Commonly referred to as a saute pan, for the ease of “jumping” the food within it; this shallow skillet has sloping sides and is the most commonly used pan in commercial kitchens all over the world.

sautoir restaurant kitchen stovetop cookware


Ironically also referred to as a saute pan, this skillet has straight sides which make “jumping” the food within it much more challenging and is lesser used in most commercial kitchens today.

omelet-crepe pan

Omelet or Crepe Pan

This shallow skillet typically has very short sloping sided and is often made with steel that can withstand very high temperatures.

griddle pan

Griddle Pan

A griddle pan is flat, with very short, if any sides and may also be built directly into the stove. This pan is designed for quick and even browning of items such as grilled sandwiches or pancakes.

cast iron stovetop grill pan

Grill Pan

Typically made of cast iron, these pans are designed for high heat cooking and provide the ability to add decorative grill marks to meats, seafood and vegetables.

commercial wok


Classically used in Asian style cuisine, these high temperature cooking vessels are designed for rapid cooking and may be placed directly atop the heating source for intense searing capabilities.

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