The Great British Baking Gear

Great British Baking Show Pots & Pans

May 12, 2021

(Update October 3, 2021 - Season 12 returns to Green Pan!)

TLDR: The bakers on The Great British Baking Show have used multiple sets of pots and pans. Over the seasons they've had access to:

My personal preferences:

What The Bakers Use

Tower TruStone - Saucepans Violet Black (Amazon Link - UK)

If you're working in a kitchen you'd better have some pots and pans, or you're not going to be making much. Well - I guess you could be exclusively baking, in which case, good for you! Get your cake on.

Throughout the seasons, the bakers on The Great British Baking Show used a few different sets of pots and pans. My normal blog format showcases what the bakers use, the company that makes them, and then I add my suggestions regarding products I've really loved cooking with. I will try to follow the same format(ish) but in a more compact season by season method. Here I'll try to cover all of the pots and pans that have been utilized - and then some of my personal favorites from the kitchen!

As the seasons progress, and as I notice one-off pots and pans I'll try to add them to this post, in that way this may be an evolving list. But first...

Know (and love) Your Pots & Pans

For the sake of keeping things clear I'm going to categorize pots and pans into three different categories, one of which I've not seen used on The Great British Baking show. Cast iron pans, non-stick pans, and stainless steel pans.

Cast Iron - Old Reliable

First, to get them out of the way are cast iron pans. These are the pans used to cook the tart tatins on The Great British Baking Show. Cast iron pans are iron that has been cast in a mold to make a pan - simple. They are HEAVY, heat up slow, and hold their heat. There are some fabulous cast iron pans out there, all the way from custom artesian pans, to mass produced things you'll find everywhere.

The Great British Baking Show bakers use the 10.25" Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet With Assist Handle (Amazon Link - UK). This pan is clocking in with 82% of 92,000+ 5 star reviews! Even my brother-in-law wanted one of these for Christmas!

The bakers put a silicone handle grip over the handle to help with removal from the oven, which you'll have to find separately. This pan is especially nice because of the "Assist Handle" which helps you lift it with 2 hands once it gets heavy. I can attest to the necessity of this.

Personally I have an 11-inch, Red, Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Skillet (Amazon UK). I love pan cause I can throw it into the oven, and if I'm so inclined bake sweet or sticky buns, or tear and share garlic bread in it. Also when I sous vide steak, I tend to sear the outside of the steak with a MAP gas torch in the pan to save my everything else (pots, pans, counter, grill, stove... anything that does not like fire).

If you have the time and patience to 'season' your pan (you should) and it is not 'pre-seasoned', eventually you'll build up what amounts to an enameled (polymerized) layer of oil on the surface of the pan that is fairly non-stick. There are some good YouTube videos on this - I like the one by Alex the French Guy Cooking.

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Skillet, 11-inch, Red (Amazon Link - UK))

Non-Stick - So Slick

GreenPan Venice Pro Noir - I think these are beautiful (Amazon Link)

Next up you're bound to come across non-stick pans. Starting in the 1950's these became prevalent. Back then and into the 00's the surface was commonly a plastic or PTFE (Teflon) that was deposited in some sort of (normally) toxic process. Yea - egads.

There are a couple problems with the plastic (name your flavor) surface. The first is these can not get very hot, if you put them on medium-high to high heat the inside is going to scorch. At which point it is going to flake off and into your food. These ... um... additives, into your food are really not good for you! That is to say if you have a non-stick pan that is flaking apart PLEASE throw it away. Even today's non-stick pans with new surface compounds, are unclear about what is exactly in the surface composition. While a stainless steel pan is going to be iron and some other trace elements, the non-stick surface can be anything. My best advice is to look into what the surface is made of and get the least toxic one you can find! To their credit The Great British Baking Show does a good job of this!

The second downside of the non-stick coating is that it scratches really easily. For this reason you should only use plastic or wood utensils in them. If you have a brother-in-law that decides to cut meat in them, you're going to have some ruined pans.

Lastly, you're going to want to hand wash these guys. Like. Every. Time. This will greatly increase the lifetime of your pans. Go for it, baby them, and enjoy them for like 4 times as long!

So why get one of these soft, heat-phobic, hand-wash pans? Because food does not stick to them! If you're frying up eggs or cooking with very little oil you're going to want this. It is great for cooking and for clean up.

Stainless Steel - All the non-coatings... and some coatings

Stainless Steel pans come constructed may different ways at this point in time. The construction of your stainless pots and pans makes all the difference in how they perform. The 1/16 inch single ply pans from the discount department store? Probably not going to last. The triple ply $200 pan your parents had? Your grand children will like them too.

Basically steel conducts heat really slowly. On the other hand, copper and aluminum conduct heat really well, like 4 times faster. So you'll see a lot of "triple-ply" stainless steel options. Basically, the inside and base of the pan is steel while it has an aluminum or copper core. The core lets the entire pan heat up quicker and more evenly.

Stainless steel pans are great workhorse pans. You can get them fairly non-stick by preheating them with butter or oil in them. The foods seared in them then 'pop off' or 'release' quite easily. Clean up is a breeze, you can put them in the dishwasher, you can use harder utensils in them (please don't cut in them its just not worth the scratches - I beg you). You can put them in the oven, and cook dang near anything in them (I just hate cooking eggs in them).

If you pick up a nice triple-ply stainless steel pot or pan you like holding, and working with you're going to be a happy camper. You don't need to baby it, but at least be kind, and it will last you a tremendously long time.

Recently there have been some strides in coating stainless pots and pans. In particular Hestan coated theirs in a 'nano-bond' - woo marketing. Branding aside, it is an ultra-hard titanium deposition that can go up to 1050 F (~550 C). If you're cooking in an oven above that... I'm amazed. It also reduces pours in the surface so things release much easier - it is not non-stick but it is much less... sticky.

On a side note, most of the time the Bakers on The Great British Baking Show are making caramel they are successful when they use the stainless steel pans. Mary Berry and Prue Leith have both said as much. I've tried researching the science behind why - and its pretty sparse, but its a fairly popular and tested hypothesis that stainless is just much better for the caramel. Something about retaining the heat needed to keep it from nucleating - or something.

Hestan - NanoBond Collection - Stainless Steel 5-Piece Titanium Essential Cookware Set - The pictures do not do justice to how beautiful these pans are in real life. (Amazon Link)

And Now ... The Great British Baking Show Pots and Pans

More to come as I identify them, but for now these will get you started!

Green Pan Valencia Pro - Great British Baking Show Pots and Pans - Season 12

In season 12 The Great British Baking Show has gone back to Green Pan! I for one am very excited as I've been using the Venice Pro Noir (Amazon Link) for a few months and love them.

While in previous seasons The Great British Baking show used the Venice model of Green Pan pots and pans, in season 12 they have changed to Green Pan Valencia Pro (Amazon Link).

The Valencia Pro (Amazon Link) are Green Pan's best selling pans and in general are slightly more affordable than the Venice Pro pans from previous seasons.

These vary from the Venice Pro in a few ways. First of all, the exterior has an "armored design" of anodized aluminum to help prevent scratches. This also allows for the pan to have a color to it, in particular the Valencia Pro is a dark slate. On the show I've noticed that they have a green tint - which could be a variation of the normal Valencia Pro, or just a color grading in the video's post processing.

Secondly, the new Valencia Pro have a "Magneto Induction Base" which allows for maximum efficiency on induction heating surfaces (stove tops, ranges, hobs... what ever word makes you feel happy). I'm not sure how much credence I give to this claim and would love to see some information on how much more 'efficient' it is, until then it feels like marketing.

The interior has Green Pan's "Thermolon Minerals Pro" non-toxic coating. This varies from their "Thermalon Diamond Advanced" coating, but how - I am unsure - I've reached out to them to no avail. They claim that the "Thermolon Minerals Pro" coating is durable enough to take abuse from metal utensils - but I would just avoid them because history says this claim will eventually fall short.

The Valencia Pro pans can withstand up to 600 F in the oven, the lid can go up to 425 F, and they claim that it is dishwasher safe. Again my skepticism kicks in here and I would wash them by hand to ensure their longest life time.

Green Pan Valencia Pro Ceramic Nonstick 8" and 10" Frying Pan Set (Amazon Link)

Tower Trustone - Great British Baking Show Pots and Pans - Season 11

Tower TruStone - Saucepans Violet Black (Amazon Link)

In season 11 The Great British Baking Show introduced the Tower TruStone - Saucepans Violet Black (Amazon Link) and the Tower TruStone - Frying Pan Violet Black (Amazon Link). Tower is a British company, over 100 years old - so this makes a lot of sense.

The pots are multilayered with the core being aluminum. This allows for really good heat transfer while the bottom is made of a thinner layer of stainless steel to avoid easily scratching and makes them work on induction ranges. The outer visible layers are non-stick "stone," and probably their best claim to fame.

The "stone" finish which is impregnated with titanium which claims to be 7 times more durable than other non-stick surfaces. Additionally, the "stone" finish looks really nice, it has a traditional mottled stone look, almost like a dark granite.

These guys clock in oven safe up to 280 degrees (F? C? it does not say!) and dishwasher safe on the top rack, though they recommend hand washing.

Having not used these, I'm not 100% sold on them yet. They have 800+ 5 star reviews on Amazon. So I'm sure you could do much worse. Additionally the 5 piece set is like $140 - so even if they die within a year or 2, it was not a huge outlay.

Le Creuset Stainless Steel Sauce Pans

In every season I've noticed that the bakers have access to the Le Creuset Stainless Steel Saucepans (Amazon Link). These are triple-ply 2 quart sauce pans with internal markings for both quarts and liters.

These pans are wonderful and for making sauces, jams, melting chocolate, and making caramel. Because they're not non-stick (just stick?), they do a bit better with caramel, but also will have things... stick. Made of a high quality triple-ply stainless steel, maintenance is a breeze, they are dishwasher safe, and can be used with metal utensils and take temperatures up to 500 F (260 C). They even clock in with a 92% 5 star rating on Amazon, that is crazy good.

When I think of Le Creuset I primarily think of their Dutch ovens. Heavy cast-iron beasts robed in a colorful enamel. If you're going to have a Dutch oven, these are second to none (Le Creuset Amazon Store). They are 100% built well, and 100% iconic.

This is very much on purpose. In 1925 Le Creuset was started in northern France by Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq, casting and enameling specialists. All other cookware at the time was cast iron and thus very monochromatic. They seized the opportunity and made the first enameled cookware - the original color was "Flame" which is still my favorite followed by "Azure."

So it makes sense that The Great British Baking Show would provide Le Creuset wares for the bakers. However, I'm surprised they chose to provide their stainless steel options, as they're relatively expensive, and not what Le Creuset is famous for.

On a side note - I'm actually very surprised I've never seen one of the bakers use a Dutch oven on bread week. Apparently baking in them traps steam and creates wonderful crust a la Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza by Ken Forkish (with a name like that you must be a professional cook).

Le Creuset Stainless Steel Saucepans (Amazon Link)

ProCook Professional Stainless Steel Cookware (all seasons)

ProCook Professional Stainless Steel Cookware Set (Uncoated) (Amazon Link)

ProCook looks to be the Bed Bath & Beyond of the UK except they're their own brand. So imagine a Bed Bath & Beyond where everything is branded "Bed Bath & Beyond." They've been around for about 20 years and make nearly everything you'd find in a kitchen.

Throughout the seasons of The Great British Baking Show they use the ProCook Professional Stainless Steel Saucepans. They pans are standard 18/10 stainless steel construction. The base is 7mm thick for 'even heat distribution,' the pots can go into the oven up to 260C (500F), and are dishwasher safe. Additionally they have a pretty slick 25 year warranty.

The dead give away to identify these pots and pans is the highly polished bands on the top and bottom of the pans. Also they say in a huge font "ProCook" on the handles. I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on the design.

The reviews of these pots come in really high, mostly 5 stars, so people seem to like them. Additionally, they're fairly affordable if you can get your hands on them. If you're looking for the entry level stainless steel pots and pans from The Great British Baking Show you can feel fairly confident in this pick.

My only reservation here is the construction. They say they're stainless steel, but they don't talk about any bonding process or layers. So as far as I can tell the base is 7mm+ of stainless steel. Steel does not conduct heat very quickly, and thus why most "triple ply" pots and pans have a core of aluminum or copper. The core of aluminum or copper really does allow for better heat distribution. Yay science.

Clocking in at ~$150 I really doubt these are triple ply or have a decent core. This does not really fit the bill if you're looking for a high quality 'professional' level set of cookware. However, for the price they're a good starter option.

Also special thanks to Reddit user Dsarma for finding these on US Amazon! I thought they were only on the UK Amazon! Thanks!

Green Pan Venice Pro - Seasons 1-10

For quite a few seasons the bakers had access to the Green Pan Venice Pro (Amazon Link) sauce pans and frying pans. These pans have changed color a couple times with the outside remaining stainless while the interior color has changed from white, to an off white, to a black.

The Green Pan is a Belgian company started by 2 friends trying to make a non-stick coating that was free of plastics and heavy metals. In 2007 they started doing just that. Basically their ceramic interior is similar in composition to sand. (Apparently they have a lawsuit pending against them that they're not completely non-toxic, but rather just omit most of the most common toxic components).

Additionally the pans have forged (as opposed to stamped) bases which helps prevent warping. Their exterior is an anodized aluminum with some sort of pretreatment that makes it less prone to scratching. Lastly their stainless steel surfaces are also treated to help prevent tarnishing.

Like most other non-stick pans these days, they will survive quite a bit longer being babied. Green pan suggests cooking on low to medium heat, using soft utensils, and handing washing their pans to make them last. You should not use spray oils or extra virgin olive oil in the because they oils will carbonize on the surface. Basically, if you're investing in these pans, baby them and keep them for much longer.

I have some friends who own these pans and like every other non-stick pan they're starting to show their age after about 6 months of babying... on the bottom! The interior surface is still great! They 100% love them and have totally sold me on them.

If you're looking for the pots and pans that were used for a long time on the show, go with the Green Pan Venice Pro (Amazon Link) pans. As far as non-stick pans go they seem to be quite liked and fairly durable. Also Green Pan has a ton of different colors and materials in other collections. I particularly am fond of the look of the Green Pan Venice Pro Noir (Amazon Link) which is similar in colors (minus the black handle) to the pans used in Season 10 (2020). For what it is worth, their Green Pan Valencia Pro (Amazon Link)set is their best selling set.

Green Pan Venice Pro (Amazon Link)

My Preferences

Green Pan Premiere Ceramic Nonstick (exclusively at Williams-Sonoma)

I guess if you've made it this far - hello!

In my kitchen I don't buy a full set of pots and pans, it is far too expensive and I tend to just use a few, and I want them to be the perfect pot or pan for the job - much like my working theory on knives. That said, which pots and pans do I own and how have they treated me?

Well first of all we have a Lenox stock pot that we use for big soups, chili, and large batches of noodles. I also use it for sous vide, as it works wonderfully. Its 14 quart, beautiful, triple-ply stainless steel, and apparently discontinued.

As mentioned before I have a fun Lodge red enameled cast iron pan (Amazon Link). This guy gets quite a bit of use. We use it for baking things that go in pans - think tear and share breads in a fun way, and for anything that is crazy high heat.

The newest addition and my favorite right now is our Hestan 5 Quart Saute Pan (Amazon Link). It was a pretty penny, but I wholly expect to give this to my children one day, and they can give it to their children, etc. The Hestan pans come with a lifetime warranty, are crazy nice, have wonderful handles, are triple ply, go up to 1050 F... it goes on an on. If you're looking for something to last forever give it a whirl.

Speaking of stainless steel options the runner up in my books is All Clad (Amazon Link). They're an American company and about 100 years old. These were my number 2 choice behind the Hestan. They have similar construction, quality and warranty. They're also a bit more affordable and crazy durable. Everyone I know that has them loves them. However, when lifting the heavier pots and pans, the handle hurt my hands, while the Hestan was glorious.

Lastly I have a random copper bottom 3 quart stainless steel sauce pan for cooking most every sauce I ever make and smaller quantities of pasta. I have no idea who made it and the label is long since gone but its lasted me since 2007 and still looks new. Someone out there made an amazing pan!

"But wait," you say, "what about your non-stick pan?" Honestly, I'm skeptical of every non-stick pan. Since college I've purchased low to midgrade pans - the "most affordable bang for your buck" option. I've always been disappointed. The most recent one was the TFal Nonstick dishwasher safe pan (Amazon Link). It has like 14,000 reviews of which 85% are 5 star. People apparently love this pan. I've had it for just under 2 years and the middle is flaking apart. I've never cooked on anything but medium with it and hand washed it every time - and here we are another non-stick pan falling apart.

So what will I do next? Well I'm glad you asked. I just ordered the Green Pan Venice Pro Noir (Amazon Link) 8 and 10 inch pan, which has the newer 'Thermolon Diamond Advanced' non-stick coating. That will cover me for eggs and frying up anything that does not merit the size of the Hestan Pan or the cast Iron.

Update September 19, 2021. I went with the Green Pan Venice Pro Noir pans in May of 2021. So far - 4 months in - I am thoroughly impressed! They are incredibly non-stick, pancakes, eggs, the occasional sautee, all lift right out. I'm keeping the heat under them at most set to "medium," and so far everything has cooked really well and they remain flawless. We'll see how long that lasts, but for now I'm a fan!

Another option I looked at was the Green Pan Premiere Ceramic Nonstick 8" & 10" Fry Pan Set. This is slightly cheaper and also has the newer coating. I've reached out to Green Pan for info on this to see how it differs from their original Thermolon coating, but I figure with 13 years of research they could have done something cool. If they get back to me I'll toss the info in here. Just a heads up the Green Pan Premiere seems is exclusive to Williams-Sonoma.