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Bakers & Chefs is a brand of cookware that is aimed at the professional kitchen, but is readily available to the public through club stores and some discount stores.
In my overall assessment in this review, I’ve found that the quality of Bakers & Chefs products is moderate. It is about the same quality of good quality professional gear that you might find at a restaurant supply, such as Vollrath, and the construction techniques are solid and the pans are resistant to the dishwasher.
Bakers & Chefs pans come in natural aluminum or with a nonstick finish. Given that even the best nonstick pans are, essentially, disposable, these are a great bargain, especially in the club store multi-packs.
These nonstick models come in sizes ranging from the 8″ egg pan up to a huge 14″ model that is too big for most household stoves. The size reviewed here is the versatile 10″ model, suitable for eggs or omelets or for a couple of pieces of delicate fish – which is exactly what I’m using it for.
This pan looks and feels like aluminum, but the labeling states that it is an aluminum alloy. Nonetheless, it has the quick heating and cooling characteristics of aluminum, making it a perfect pan for delicacies such as eggs or fish or anything where precision is essential.
The handle on the 10″ skillet is a rough cast stainless steel, finished in a bright polish. It comes with a silicone handle protector that limits the amount of heat transferred from the stove top to the cook. The handle is solidly affixed to the pan by means of three low-profile rivets that, through four years of steady use, remain stiff. There is no perceptible wobble to the pan despite daily use. As is true of most professional grade cookware, the handle is fixed at a fairly flat angle, giving the cook a strong position from which to sauté or to handle the pan in general.
As is true of most modern nonstick finishes, the nonstick lining of the skillets is tough and resistant to metal tools, though to maximize its longevity it is wise to stick to silicone or wood tools. I did have one of these pans show a scar across the bottom of the pan coming out of the sink, but otherwise, with minimal care, the finish has been rock solid and resistant to any damage with regular use.
The outer finishes of these pans are not made for beauty. They are plain, un-treated aluminum alloy in a brushed finish. They tend to stain and darken with use. This is part of the character of the pans, and part of the reason that they are so modestly priced, but many people find that the brownish finish that they take on looks permanently “dirty”. This is the nature of unfinished aluminum.
A Few Clad Stainless Models Are Available
The brand does offer a couple of clad stainless models; I haven’t gotten the chance to try these out as I really have had no need for a new stainless model as I already have individual All-Clad Pieces. Therefore, I can’t really attest to the quality of the clad line although a reviewer on Amazon seemed to like the 10″ Tri-Ply model really well.
In this review and testing (of the 10″ nonstick), I’ve found that theBakers & Chefs nonstick skillets are solid and reliable pans in the household kitchen. They are not decorative, but they do the work that is necessary well. Every kitchen needs a nonstick skillet, but spending the money on a premium brand may not be in your best interests because nonstick finishes, even the best of them, have a limited lifespan. Bakers & Chefs products are inexpensive and they fulfill the need for nonstick perfectly.
About Lynne Jaques
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!