Tag Archives: cookware

Cookware guide

Choosing Cookware: Which Material is Right for Your Kitchen?

In the kitchen, it’s important to have the right type of cookware to fit your kitchen needs. However, there are so many choices out there, it can be a struggle to understand which material works best for you. With some help from our vendor partner Vollrath, here is a look at a few different types of cookware, and the benefits they bring to the table.

AluminumCookware guide

Aluminum cookware can be used on both gas and electric surfaces. Aluminum is a porous metal, which means it is very responsive to temperature changes, heating up or cooling down quickly. According to Vollrath’s construction materials guide, this type of cookware is lightweight, but may be susceptible to warping and denting. Aluminum cookware is highly reactive to acidic foods, which may alter the flavor and color of some foods. Aluminum is more affordable, and can be cleaned with low alkaline detergents. Find aluminum cookware here.

Stainless SteelCookware Guide

Stainless steel is a non-porous metal. It heats and cools slower and more unevenly than aluminum. However, stainless steel is a great option because it is a non-reactive surface, thus providing flavor neutrality. Also, stainless steel will not pit from the use of heavily acidic foods. According to Vollrath, many chefs feel like they can release more of the caramelized fat on the bottom of a pan back into the sauce they are preparing, which makes the sauce more flavorful. It is recommended to wash stainless steel pans by hand in hot, soapy water. You can find stainless steel pans here.

Cast IronCookware guide

When you talk heavy duty, look no further. Cast iron pans conduct heat more slowly than stainless steel. However, they maintain heat well. Vollrath states it is a favorite for braising or stewing meats. Cast iron must be hand washed and dried thoroughly to prevent rust, and it requires constant seasoning to create a non-stick surface on the pan. Seasoning is done by applying oil or fat to the pan and heating through to bond the fat to the metal. The biggest benefit of cast iron is that if it is taken care of and seasoned properly, the cookware can last almost a lifetime. Find cast iron pans here.

Carbon SteelCookware Guide

Carbon steel cookware is designed for high heat applications. It is thinner and lighter than cast iron, and transmits heat quickly. It is a ferrous metal, so it works well with induction cooking. Carbon steel cookware can typically be used in an oven or under a broiler. Like cast iron, however, carbon steel pans need to be seasoned. Find carbon steel pans here.

Clad CookwareCookware Guide

Clad cookware combines the advantages of stainless steel with that of aluminum. Typically, clad cookware is made of aluminum sandwiched by a stainless steel interior for flavor protection, and a layer of stainless steel on the outside for induction capabilities. There are two types of cookware: fully clad and clad bottom. Vollrath says that fully clad cookware spreads the heat evenly at the bottom and up the side walls. Clad bottom heats primarily at the base of the pan. Both types need to be washed by hand in hot, soapy water.

Find Cookware at Central

You can find all of these types of cookware and more at Central Restaurant Products. Click here to see our full offering.

Manufacturer Spotlight: Vollrath

The Vollrath Company has been a leader in the foodservice equipment industry dating back to 1874. Tough, durable and inexpensive products helped transform a small company into a worldwide corporation. Products ranging from cookware to mobile carts and kiosks are manufactured with the Vollrath mission and promise in mind to serve the foodservice industry.


In 1874, Jacob J. Vollrath established Vollrath Co. in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and first manufactured cast iron utensils. He expanded the business in 1892 with sheet stamped wire. In the 1900’s sales offices opened up in Chicago, New York and San Francisco distributing items across the United States. Vollrath established their Original Equipment Manufacturer department in 1937. During World War II they manufactured stainless steel canteens and other military utensils for the troops. From 1951 to 1975, Vollrath lead the market for deep drawn stainless steel products for hospitals, restaurants and the home. They also celebrated 100 years as a company. By 1976, their foodservice product line expanded with the addition of plastic cookware, aluminum cookware in 1989 and food warmers in 1994. Vollrath is also present around the globe with locations in North America, Mexico, Europe, China and Latin America. Vollrath provides products for restaurants, health care, education, colleges, universities, lodging, resorts and supermarkets.


Now over 138 years old, Vollrath continues to make innovative and creative products to supply the foodservice industry around the globe. Their products encompass everything an operation would need to successfully conduct business. Vollrath Steam Table Pans and Accessories help save energy. They come in heavy gauge stainless steel, high and low temperature plastic, perforated stainless steel and non-stick coated finishes. Vollrath Cookware comes with or without non-stick coatings, and the Jacob’s Pride line offers a lifetime guarantee. Their Kitchen Essentials vary from dishers, spoons and ladles to their own innovative Spoodle utensils. They also ensure exact portion control. If you need hot foods hot, and cold foods cold, Vollrath’s line of buffets and tabletops are meant for you. Vollrath’s Heating and Warming units hold food at safe temperatures and feature energy saving designs. Utility carts, equipment and merchandising carts give you flexibility to meet your function and style requirements. Vollrath also offers Original Equipment Manufacturer custom products.

If you’re looking for products with quality and durability in mind, then Vollrath is for you. Vollrath always provides for what the customer needs. They state this in their promise:

“Setting the Standard.  That is what Vollrath is all about.  This stretches from our superior designed, innovative products, to our world class manufacturing facilities, to our top rated sales force and customer support.  You’ll see precisely how Setting the Standard manifests itself in cookware that cleans up easily, warmers that conserve energy, pans that won’t stick together, dishers that operate smoothly and efficiently, and more.  The fact is, we’ve been Setting the Standard for over 136 years, and plan to continue for another 136 more. It is our goal to incorporate great ideas into new and existing products as well as new ways to serve you better.”

You can research and shop for Vollrath products by going to our website. Vollrath also has great creative YouTube videos to help you learn more about their products and what they have to offer. Visit their YouTube page here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Vollrath University Slideshow

From Wednesday June 20 through Friday June 22, Central Content Coordinator Tracey Rector and Product Data Coordinator Autumn Faust attended Vollrath‘s “Vollrath University” in Sheboygan, Wis.

The training included both classroom presentations and hands-on exercises to help members of the foodservice industry gain more product knowledge on equipment and smallwares.  The event concluded with a trip through Vollrath’s facilities to show how their products are made.

Below is a photo slideshow from the event.  (For more information on any of these pictures, click image to view captions).