what kinds of skillets do the professional kitchens such as craft steak use for searing their steak ?
i have lodge's cast iron skillet that i usually use for roasting steaks. but since i had seen the skillets tom collichio and gordon ramsay use in their tv program or web instructions of cooking, i found stunning the mine was quite diffrent in its look with those of them. they looks also dark black like that of lodges i have. are the pans they do use for steak or other searing method of cooking also made of cast iron?
could anyone tell me what kinds of saute pan do they use?
I think it might be important to keep in mind that the heat sources available in a professional kitchen are also a factor for the success of the professional chef. It is rare for the household kitchen to be equipped with a range/oven/grill etc. capable of producing the BTUs that are available in the professional kitchen. When I get the opportunity to cook on high end professional equipment I always take time to evaluate the recipe as it might be affected by the differences in the appliances I will be using in the new environment.
A good saute pan must can offer a number of features that allow for even heating and good control of the food being cooked, but if does not weight enough to maintain good contact with the heating surface (note that many chefs saute in a pan resting on a heavy steel grill) the results will be disappointing.
Don't know about Craft, but if you watch a few episodes of RecipeTV you'll find that the "steak skillets" many professional chefs use are often ancient, misshapen and may have a lot of burnt grease build up. I've seen a couple of recipes where I wondered if the chef was stark raving out of his gourd for using such a pan in front of a camera. Many of them look to be aluminum, but some may be stainless. For home cooking, cast iron works too, but I prefer a lighter pan with faster response time to temperature changes if I'm planning on making a pan sauce while the steak is resting. I have seen TV chefs use non-stick pans for steaks, but I don't like getting the non-stick finishes that hot. It's not a good thing!
When not finishing a steak in a hot oven, I use a large (two burner) cast iron grill on my cook top. Spatters grease all over kingdom come, but hey, that's what kitchens are for!
professional kitchens almost never use cast iron. it's too heavy and cannot be cleaned to suit the health department, since running it through the dishwasher will ruin its "seasoning". there is not a special brand, just what sam says, plain heavy steel, which can be purchased in restaurant supply shops. yeah, the bottoms and sides are always black from heavy usage, lot of oil and high flames.
many food network shows have cookware company sponsors, so that's what they use. not a true indication of what goes on during service in an actual restaurant.
Good points all around, hotoynoodle. I hadn't thought about the health dept. standards -- silly when you think about it, given the heat required for cast-iron-friendly dishes. How could salmonella stand up to a glowing-hot cast iron skillet? ;)
FWIW, cast iron is my steak prep vehicle of choice, because you can get such even, high heat.