Are you considering investing in a stainless-steel cookware set? Maybe you’ve heard conflicting reports about them, so you’re hesitating. Let’s talk about this pots and pans material so that you can make an informed decision.
Our cookware has come a long way over the centuries. From the humble earthenware cookware of 6,000 years ago, we now have a fantastic array of metal and metal alloy cookware available.
This is thanks to advances in technology, manufacturing, our understanding of health and hygiene, and what we eat and the way we cook our food.
Older metal cookware, such as cast iron and copper, still have their place and fans. But, stainless-steel—discovered in 1913—has become the go-to cookware material in a significant number of domestic and commercial kitchens. Why?
We will look at the answer to that question by discussing what stainless-steel is, and why it’s such a popular cookware material. Also, what the cookware is made of, the best sets, what to look for, and how to maintain it.
So, this article aims to guide you to decide whether a stainless-steel cookware set is right for you. Also, if it is a good choice for you, which set should you go for?
What is Stainless Steel?
We are so used to seeing and/or using stainless-steel cookware—many of us grew up with it in the family kitchen—that we don’t question what it really is.
Stainless steel isn’t a metal. It’s an alloy made up of several different metals that combine to make a durable, sturdy material. Stainless steel contains a combination of carbon, iron, nickel, and chromium. Each element provides a valuable quality such as strength, resistance to corrosion, or shine.
There are also an astonishing 150 varieties and multiple grades of stainless steel. Each variety and grade have different qualities and uses. One of the popular applications is cookware in which several types of food-grade stainless steel are used.
The types of stainless steel are:
- 200 series: This is low-quality material as it contains manganese instead of nickel. This means it’s affordable, but it’s not ideal for cookware as it may corrode or rust. It is food-safe, though.
- 300 series: There are two primary grades:
- 304 is the most common stainless steel in cookware. It has high levels of both chromium and nickel, which means it’s highly resistant to corrosion unless it’s exposed to salt often and for a long time. It also has a beautiful shine.
- 316 is a high-end (and more expensive) type of stainless steel. It contains chromium, nickel, and titanium or molybdenum, which means that this stainless steel can be exposed to salt and chemicals without corroding or rusting.
- 400 series: as with the 300 series, there are two grades. However, only one is used in cookware.
- 430 stainless steel only contains a small percentage of nickel. This makes it far less corrosion-resistant and less suitable for cookware although it is used in some induction-ready cookware.
- 440 includes a high level of carbon and is very strong. It’s also corrosion-resistant. However, it’s not used for cookware.
A good rule of thumb is that stainless steel must be food grade and contain a minimum of 10.5% chromium, and amounts of nickel, titanium, and other elements.
What Is Stainless Steel Cookware Made Of?
This is a more complicated question than one expects as the answer is not, “Stainless steel.” The alloy on its own is a poor conductor of heat. This would make it less than ideal for cookware as it would have hot spots and cold spots.
The solution to this problem is to (a) have different grades of stainless steel, as discussed in the previous section, and (b) combine it with metals that are good conductors of heat. The questions then become: what grade is the best, and what are the combination structures?
What is the Best Food Grade Stainless Steel?
Any stainless steel used in cookware must, first and foremost, be food grade. You also want cookware that has an optimal thickness, and weight as this improves durability and responsiveness to heat.
While there are no fewer than 150 grades of stainless steel, there is one that is considered the best and to possess the ideal properties to use in cookware. The optimal type is what is known as 18/10 stainless steel. This figure indicates that it contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. That creates an item that is very strong, highly resistant to corrosion, and extremely unlikely to leach either nickel or chromium into food.
You may encounter pans and other cookware that is designated as 18/8 stainless steel. That’s acceptable, but don’t go any lower as these items are not as sturdy and hard-wearing.
What is a layered structure of a Stainless Steel Cookware?
Fully Clad option
Fully clad or layered cookware usually contains three layers of material. You can get 5- and 7-ply, but it’s not necessary for most of us. These alternating layers are generally of either copper or aluminum and stainless steel. Why?
Both metals are excellent conductors of heat, and they allow even heat distribution throughout the cookware. Copper is more effective than aluminum, but it is more expensive. As a result, cookware containing copper will cost more.
With fully clad cookware the layers of metal and stainless steel run throughout the piece and are not limited to one area. This results in uniform thickness in the base and sides. It gives you much more control over the cooking process because the temperature is even and the cookware responds very quickly to adjustments to the heat.
Fully clad cookware is ideal for any cooking that doesn’t have a very high liquid content. Something that requires heating from the bottom and sides, or something you want to cook over low heat. Saucepans, Dutch ovens, and roasting pans should ideally be fully clad.
Bottom Only base material option
Unlike with clad or ply cookware, these pieces only have a disc or layer of metal on the base. There is a stainless steel layer over the bottom, and the alloy is used for the sides of the pot or pan.
As a result of this construction, the base heats very well and evenly. However, the sides don’t heat up much at all. These cookware pieces are ideal for steaming and heating liquids such as stocks, soups, or cooking pasta or other foods that are boiled in water or stock. In other words, bottom only construction is excellent for stock pots, fry pans, and skillets.
You can decide what grade and construction best suits your needs, cooking, and budget.
What Is A Stainless Steel Cookware Set?
Now that we know what stainless steel is, it’s time to talk specifically about cookware sets that are made from this versatile and popular alloy.
Stainless steel cookware is usually constructed using layers or plies. These consist of layers of copper or aluminum and stainless steel. The reasons for this are:
- Stainless steel is not the best conductor of heat. Combining it with a good conductor such as aluminum or copper allows the cookware to heat evenly and quickly.
- Using combinations of metals and alloys adds strength and durability to the item.
Because the copper or aluminum form the base and/or internal layers, there is ordinarily no danger that they will come into contact with food and contaminate it. The only way there may be a problem is if there is a deep groove or scratch inside the pot or pan. Then the underlying metal could leach into food.
The stainless steel layers inside the cookware are inert. In other words, they won’t react with food, no matter how acidic it is. Stainless steel, therefore, won’t affect how your food tastes.
The practicality and strength of this alloy don’t mean that you must compromise on looks; stainless steel cookware is also right to look at. It is available in either mirror polished or brushed finish.
Why Cook with Stainless Steel Cookware?
There are several reasons why stainless steel cookware is so popular:
- Conducts Heat Evenly: Although stainless steel is not the best heat conductor when compared to other metal cookware materials, it does have the advantage of heating evenly. With other metals, there can be ‘hot spots’ which cause problems when cooking.
- Durability: This alloy is far harder than metals like copper or aluminum, so it takes knocks and scrubbing well without weakening. It’s also got it a much higher melting point so it can take high heat and for longer than many other cookware materials. Finally, it lasts a long time because it is rust and corrosion-resistant.
- Non-Reactive: The fact that stainless silver does not react with acidic foods such as tomatoes is one of its most important and valuable properties. If metals react to food, it affects the taste and can damage the surface of the metal.
- Looks Good: No doubt having shiny, gleaming cookware that looks attractive and clean is a plus.
- Easy to Maintain: This cookware is simple to clean and—if it looks a little streaky or even loses a little shine—all it takes is a wipe with a mixture of water and vinegar.
- Versatile: Cookware made of stainless steel can be used for any cooking method. It is used for items used for boiling, steaming, frying, braising, stewing, etc.
- Excellent for Searing: Because it conducts heat evenly, and can take high temperatures, it is a unique cooking surface on which to sear food.
- Layered with Aluminum or Copper Core: Unlike some other alloys or metals, stainless steel can be combined with a core of either copper or aluminum. This gives you the best qualities of all of them: durable, non-reactive, excellent conductor, and easy to maintain.
- Safe Cookware: Stainless steel is probably the most harmless of any cookware currently on the market. This is in part due to its inert or non-reactive nature. Secondly, it doesn’t become scratched or grooved to the degree that would allow bacterial growth.
- Excellent Value for Money: The relative cost of stainless steel, even a high-quality grade, is modest, so it’s an affordable option for most of us. Besides, a cookware set will last many, many years, thanks to its durability.
That constitutes a lot of excellent reasons to opt for stainless steel when you next buy a cookware set or add to your existing set.
Best Stainless Steel Sets
So, we know that stainless steel is the right cookware set choice, but which one? There is a wide range of options available; let’s look at my top ten’s key features:
Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Set
This cookware set consists of twelve items: saucepans, skillets, a sauté pan, a stockpot, a steamer insert, and five lids for use with the pans, pot, and steamer insert.
The Cuisinart MCP-12N cookware set features triple-ply construction with an aluminum core covered by a brushed stainless steel outer layer. The construction ensures that all the items in the set offer excellent heat conductivity, and there are no problematic hot spots. They are also suitable for use on induction cooktops.
You can put this cookware into the oven at any temperature up to 550F. They also all feature useful cool grip handles, and the tight lids fit which seals in moisture and nutrients. In terms of additional convenience and ease of use, this Cuisinart set also offers drip-free pouring rims, and all the items and lids are dishwasher safe.
Chef’s Star Premium Set – 17 Piece Stainless Steel Induction Cookware Set
The Chef’s Star commercial grade set contains 17 pieces, all of which have impact-bonded aluminum bases. This results in excellent, even heat conduction. The items in this large cookware set are fry pans, saucepans, pots including a stockpot, and a full complement of lids.
As the name suggests, this set can be used on induction stoves. However, it can also be placed on electric, gas, ceramic, glass, and infrared stovetops. These cookware pieces offer you the added convenience of being dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 550F. What’s more, you can place food in the cookware directly into the freezer.
The manufacturer offers a 1-year ‘no questions asked’ warranty on all the items in this set.
Cooks Standard 10 Piece Multi-Ply Clad Set, Stainless Steel
The ten pieces in the Cooks Standard cookware set are two saucepans, a stockpot, a sauté pan, a steamer insert, and lids to fit each piece.
This cookware is a multiply. It has an aluminum core throughout each piece and stainless steel covering both the interior and exterior, which provides quick and steady heat distribution. The stainless steel offers durability and shine.
The lids fit tightly to seal in moisture, which in turn retains nutrients and flavor in the food. There are cool-grip, riveted handles to make carrying pots or saucepans easy and safe.
This set can be used on induction, electric, gas, ceramic, glass, and infrared stovetops. They are all dishwasher safe and oven safe up to 500F.
Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel Induction Cookware Set Impact-bonded Technology 10-pc Set
With the Duxtop cookware set, you will receive two saucepans, a casserole pot, and a stockpot. Each of these pieces has a snug-fitting lid. There is also a steamer basket and a boiler basket.
The bottom of these pieces of cookware (except the baskets) have impacted-bonded aluminum bases and commercial grade stainless steel bodies. The non-slip and ergonomically designed handles are riveted on to increase strength and durability.
This cookware can be used on induction, electric, gas, ceramic, glass, and infrared stovetops. They are also a dishwasher, freezer, and oven safe to 550F. It is even more affordable than some other sets.
The manufacturer provides a 30-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime limited warranty.
T-Fal C836SC Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Cookware Set, 12-Pieces
This set from T-Fal includes two fry pans, a Dutch oven, two saucepans, and a griddle, all with lids. Some accessories are also included: a slotted spatula, a spoon, and a ladle. These pieces have a multi-layer construction with copper in the base. This allows the cookware to heat fast and evenly.
Unlike most stainless steel items, these come with glass lids with vent holes to allow steam to escape and preventing pots boiling over. The glass lets you see what is happening in the pot or saucepan without removing the lid and losing heat.
The most unique feature, however, is the T-Fal Thermo-Spot heat indicator. When this becomes red, you know the cookware is perfectly preheated, and you can begin cooking.
Finally, these pieces are oven safe to 500F, dishwasher safe, and can be used on all cooktops except induction ones.
Calphalon Classic Set, 10-Piece Cookware Set, Stainless Steel
This Calphalon set includes two fry pans, two saucepans, a sauté pan, and a stockpot. Each item comes with a lid except for the fry pans.
In terms of structure, there is an impact-bonded aluminum base, so heating is even and fast. All the pieces can safely be used on stovetops, in the oven, and with a broiler. Handles are stay-cool, double riveted, and ergonomic in design.
Very convenient features are that there are fill lines inside the cookware pieces. Also, there are draining holes in the covers that can be lined up with pouring spouts. This makes draining food easy, and you don’t need to use a sieve or a colander, which saves on the washing up. Cleaning is a breeze because this set is dishwasher safe.
The manufacturer offers a full lifetime guarantee on this set.
Made-In Cookware’s Starter Stainless Steel 3-Piece Cookware Kit
The three items in this set are a frying pan, a saucepan with a lid, and a stockpot with a lid.
The design of these items is a 5-ply composition which provides excellent durability and an effective cooking surface. The thicker walls improve even heating within the cookware and make the material quickly respond when you increase or decrease the heat.
The stainless steel exterior has a brushed finish. This means the shine is not as high as with some other sets. However, the texture does look good, and it ‘hides’ fingerprints and small scratches.
This cookware can be used on any cooking top, including induction, and it is also oven safe. For additional convenience, the items are all dishwasher safe, and for peace of mind, there is a lifetime guarantee.
Farberware 75653 Millennium Cookware Set, 10-Piece
If you invest in a Farberware 75653 set you will get two saucepans, two skillets, a sauté pan, and a stockpot made from highly polished stainless steel. The remaining four of the ten pieces are the covers.
This cookware can be used on induction, electric, gas, ceramic, glass, and infrared stovetops. It’s also oven safe up to 500F. Like the T-Fal C836SC set, the lids are glass, so you don’t have to lift the covers to see what’s happening inside.
The handles are also made of stainless steel, but they are made using cool grip technology, so you won’t get burnt. The handles are riveted onto the cookware which makes them strong and durable.
Cleaning this cookware is easy as all the items are dishwasher safe.
All-Clad BD005710-R D5 5-Ply Bonded, 10-Piece
The All-Clad BD005710-R D5 cookware set consists of two fry pans, two saucepans with covers, a sauté pan with lid, plus a large stockpot with cover.
This set is also made with 5-ply bonded construction: stainless steel layers alternating with conductive aluminum layers. This results in exceptional strength and heat conduction throughout. The cooking surfaces are highly polished, which makes cleaning easier.
The handles are riveted on and utilize cool grip technology, so you won’t get burned. The lids are also stainless steel, and the pans and pot have flared pouring rims which reduces mess and spills.
This cookware can be used on gas, electric, glass, ceramic, and infrared stovetops. However, it’s optimized for use with induction cooking surfaces. This cookware is oven safe up to 500F, dishwasher safe, and there is a limited lifetime guarantee.
Cook N Home NC-00250 12-Piece Set
With the Cook N Home cookware set, you will be buying a saucepan, three casserole pots, a stockpot, and a frying pan. Each of these has a fitted glass cover or lid.
The base of each piece is made of an aluminum disc between layers of steel. This composition allows the cookware to heat evenly and quickly. The flat bottom is designed to make the cookware both stable and easy to store.
The body of each pot and pan is made of mirror-polished stainless steel. This both looks good and makes cleaning easy. The glass lids allow you to see into the pot, and they incorporate a vent to allow steam to escape so that pots don’t boil over. The handles stay cool and are riveted into place.
This set pieces can be used on induction, electric, gas, ceramic, glass, and infrared stovetops, and they are also oven safe up to 500F. The covers are oven safe to 350F. All the pieces in this set are dishwasher safe.
What to Look for in a Stainless Steel Cookware Set?
There is a dizzying array of cookware sets available. How do you know which to opt for? Well, here are some features to look for:
- Grade of stainless steel: Look out for 18/10 or 18/8 stainless steel. With cookware, you really shouldn’t go any lower than 18/8. The number indicating the composition is usually stamped on the bottom of the cookware. This information should be provided, along with the other specifications, on the packaging.
- The material used in the core: The material used must be one that is a good conductor of heat. The common ones are copper or aluminum. Also, the thicker the core, the better. This is especially true of aluminum cores because copper is a much better conductor. So, a copper core can be thinner than an aluminum one and will still conduct heat very well.
- The number of Pots & Pans: It can be easy to be dazzled by large, gleaming sets of stainless steel cookware with lots of ‘free’ accessories. You need to ask yourself a couple of questions regarding practicalities before you decide. Firstly, how much cooking do you do? What kinds of food and dishes do you cook? Thirdly, do you have the space to store all the new cookware?
If you live on your own or with a partner and you don’t cook every day, a smaller set might be more appropriate. If you are a passionate cook, have a large family, or entertain a lot, then you need a more extensive range of cookware. If your kitchen is small, an extensive cookware set may create a real storage challenge.
- Size of Pots and Pans: Again, this should be dictated by the amount of cooking you do with regards to food volumes. Obviously, large families or those who entertain guests regularly will need much bigger cookware pieces than reluctant cooks, single people, or couples.
- Ergonomic Design: When applied to pots and pans, ergonomics relate to a couple of features. Cookware should be balanced. When you pick it up by the handle, it should not be heavier on one side. It should also be stable on the cooking surface. Secondly, handles should be sturdy, easy, and comfortable to grip, and should remain cool during cooking. Lastly, rims should make pouring easy and should not have sharp edges.
- Lid material: These cookware sets are currently manufactured with either glass or stainless steel lids. You may have a personal preference (I quite like glass lids). The bottom line is that it probably does matter what they are made of if the lids fit snuggly and are heat resistant.
- Match the Cookware Set to Your Cooktop: Stainless steel cookware is increasingly being made to cope with any kind of stove or cooktop. However, it doesn’t mean all work with everything.
This is especially true with induction cooktops as these require magnetic material. If your kitchen has this kind of cooktop, make sure that the specs for the cookware specify they are induction compatible/contain magnetic stainless steel or metal.
Also, flat-based cookware is better suited to smooth surfaces, while those with more rounded edges to the base are better designed for ring burners like on gas stoves.
- The Brand Reputation: This is not an important consideration at all for some people. While knowing that a brand is established and reputable can generate confidence in their product, these cookware sets can have a higher price tag.
Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?
The short answer is yes, it is. However, it’s never that simple, is it? The longer answer is that stainless steel cookware is very safe if:
- It is made of high quality, food-grade stainless steel
- It is well constructed so that the metal used in the cladding or base does not leach into the food
- It is correctly cleaned so that the interior surface is clean and not scratched or worn down
- You don’t use metal cooking implements which can also wear down and scratch the cooking surface.
Stainless steel cookware has a reputation of being safer, or healthier, than other surfaces such as Teflon or other non-stick surfaces. Because it doesn’t leach or flake or releases chemicals or toxins into food.
Stainless Steel Cookware Vs. Ceramic Vs. Nonstick Vs. Hard-Anodized
Another area of comparison to consider is other types of cookware. Which is better, both generally and especially for you?
Stainless Steel Cookware vs. Ceramic Cookware:
- Stainless steel cookware: this cookware is durable, can be used on most (and in some cases all) cooktops, and for a range of types of cooking (boiling, broiling, frying, etc.). Stainless steel heats quickly and steadily are highly corrosion resistant, and very simple to clean. On the downside, it is not a non-stick surface unless you cook with fat/oil and keep the heat low.
- Ceramic cookware: this type of cookware comes in a range of bright colors. The surface layer of fired clay makes it non-stick. Ceramic cookware can tolerate higher temperatures: almost 700F! They can also be used on most cooktops except induction. Modern ceramic cookware is also effortless to clean.
Stainless Steel Cookware vs. Non-stick Cookware:
- Stainless steel cookware: one of the major criticisms of stainless steel is that food sticks to it unless you use a lot of fat when you cook and keep the heat low. For some, this is not an issue, but for the more health-conscious consumer, it’s a big negative.
Stainless steel cookware has a much longer life than non-stick cookware as it’s much stronger and the cooking surface is more durable. It’s also better at browning or searing foods.
- Non-stick cookware: food will not stick to this cookware even if you don’t use any butter, oil, or other cooking fat. Non-stick cookware pieces can withstand very high temperatures, can be used on all cooking surfaces, and are dishwasher safe.
However, they do not have the durability of stainless steel cookware; the non-stick coating breaks down or wears out. Furthermore, there are reports that non-stick surfaces made of Teflon/ Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) release minute amounts of toxins as they heat up. These toxins accumulate in the body, causing health issues later.
Hard-Anodized Cookware vs. Stainless Steel Cookware:
- Hard anodized cookware: this type of cookware is made of bonded materials such as aluminum. This makes the surface non-stick. To preserve the surface, you must use utensils made of wood, bamboo, or silicone. There is a possibility that these surfaces also release toxins that are unhealthy.
- Stainless steel cookware: this cookware is not by nature non-stick, but it can cope with harsher treatment. However, you must avoid deep scratches or interior surface wear. A stainless steel surface does not release any metal or toxins unless there is very marked damage.
How to care for stainless steel cookware?
One of the joys of stainless steel cookware is how easy it is to clean and maintain compared to other cookware. Some general guidelines will make this task even more straightforward:
- Read the care manual that comes with your gleaming new cookware set as it will contain useful tips for that make or brand.
- Make sure food does not catch or stick during cooking as it will be tough to clean off.
- Don’t soak or wash your pot or pan until it has cooled down entirely or it could warp.
- Use warm, soapy water if you need to soak a pot or pan.
- Avoid using harsh cleaning agents and techniques as they could damage the surface. Dishwashing soap and a sponge should work well and avoid things like steel wool or abrasive cleaning agents.
- Don’t leave a pan or pot to soak for hours as it may cause pitting of the interior, cooking surface.
- Stains or deposits can be removed using vinegar diluted with water. This gets the stainless steel both clean and gleaming.
- Don’t store acidic foods in stainless steel cookware as they may damage the surface.
- Dry the cookware after you have washed it so that watermarks don’t form. If they do, just use a damp cloth to remove them before drying.
These will keep your stainless steel cookware looking good and ensure that it lasts a very long time.
What is the Stainless Steel Cookware Cleaning Process?
There are several issues and points to consider here:
- Before you use your stainless steel cookware for the very first time you need to wash it, rinse it well, and then dry it thoroughly. This removes any dust or dirt that may be present.
- Unlike some cookware, stainless steel does not need to be “seasoned” (treated with oil to make it non-stick).
- Remove food scraps from the cookware before you wash it either by hand or in the dishwasher.
- Your stainless steel cookware is dishwasher safe, but you may find that cleaning it by hand keeps handles, rivets, and the exterior cleaner than a dishwasher will.
- Burnt-on food can be removed by soaking the pot or pan with a dishwasher and warm water for about 30 minutes and then using a baking soda paste, warm water, and a kitchen sponge.
- White spots are caused by calcium buildup. Place a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water in the pot or pan and bring it to the boil slowly. When the solution and pot have cooled completely, you can remove the marks with a sponge.
- Discoloration of other kinds can also be removed with vinegar or even lemon juice.
- Always dry your cookware thoroughly after cleaning and before you put it away.
With the right care and cleaning procedures, your stainless steel cookware may outlive you!
Price: Is Stainless Steel Cookware Expensive?
There is an excellent range of quality and composition of stainless steel cookware. Both factors impact directly on price. In addition to these, other aspects can affect the price tag.
- Cookware manufactured in countries where manufacturing is expensive and quality control is tight will cost more. For example, the USA or European-made goods will cost more than those made in China.
- The higher the grade of stainless steel, the more a set will cost.
- Construction also makes a difference. Fully clad stainless steel is more expensive, and heavier, thicker pots and pans will also cost more. Cookware that uses copper will cost more than a set that includes aluminum.
- Sometimes a set will cost more because it has a brand name attached to it.
Decide what is important to you. But remember that a good cookware set is an investment in equipment that will last a long time if you take care of it.
Q. What is Stainless Steel Cookware Good For?
A. This type of cookware is extremely versatile as it can be used on most if not all stovetops and to boil, fry, sauté, grill, sear, slow cook, simmer, bake, or roast foods. It’s also suitable for those who want cookware that’s healthy and easy to clean and maintain.
Q. Do I need to season my stainless steel pans when I get them?
A. No, you don’t. New stainless steel cookware just needs to be washed in warm soapy water to remove dust and manufacturing dirt and debris. Rinse it off and dry it and you are good to go.
Q. Is Stainless Steel Cookware Considered Non-Stick?
A. No, it is not a non-stick cooking surface. You can make it a little more non-stick by using cooking fats or oils and low heat. However, not dealing with toxins from non-stick surfaces usually more than makes up for this.
Q. Can you make eggs in a stainless steel skillet?
A. You can cook eggs or anything else. However, eggs are notorious for sticking and being tough to clean off cookware. Personally, I don’t like eggs cooked in too much fat, and they always stick in a stainless steel skillet or pan without a lot of cooking fat or oil.
Q. Is Stainless Steel Cookware Dishwasher and Oven Safe?
A. Yes, it is, with a few exceptions. If you need to be able to place your cookware in an oven, dishwasher, and fridge or freezer, check by reading the box or manual before you buy a set.
Q. Does Stainless Steel Cookware Handles Get Hot?
A. Because stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat on its own, handles made of the alloy don’t get hot. However, they may get warm, so be cautious. Handles that are coated with a substance such as silicone will remain cool.
Q. Is stainless steel cookware induction ready?
A. That depends on what brand and construction of cookware you buy. Induction cooktops only work if they can transfer magnetic energy to the cookware. So, you need cookware that contains magnetic stainless steel. For stainless steel to be magnetic, it must be free of nickel. So long as the exterior base layer is magnetic, the cookware is induction compatible. Again, packaging should specify whether cookware can be used on induction cooktops.
Q. What utensils can you use with stainless steel?
A. Stainless steel cookware can handle any material utensils because it is so strong. However, you don’t want to risk scratches or grooves caused by metal implements. Instead use non-scratch materials such as silicone, wood, nylon, or heat resistant BPA-free plastic.
Q. Does stainless steel cookware rust?
A. Stainless steel is one of the most corrosion and rust-resistant alloys we use. You may get spots of rust, but only if you allow the surface of the stainless steel become damaged. By caring for your cookware, you will have rust-free pots and pans for a very long time.
Q. What Is Surgical Stainless Steel Cookware?
A. The term “surgical stainless steel” refers to the grade and quality of the alloy. This type is 316 stainless steel and has an 18/10 composition. In other words, it’s a very high-quality stainless steel.
Q. Is Stainless Steel considered as a Healthy Cookware?
A. Stainless steel cookware is considered healthy because the cooking surface is not treated with any substance that could contaminate food. The only risk is, as discussed earlier if the inner layers on copper or aluminum become exposed and cause leaching. A tiny percentage of people react badly to nickel. If you are one of them, you can select a cookware set that doesn’t contain nickel.
Q. What’s the Future of Stainless Steel Cookware?
Stainless steel already has an excellent reputation with domestic and commercial consumers. The fact that induction cooking is becoming more mainstream is accommodated by stainless steel because it contains nickel. Finally, research and development are being done by some manufacturers so that stainless steel cookware with a non-stick cooking surface and colorful enamel exterior can be produced.
Conclusion: What Stainless Steel Cookware Set is the Best for You?
Stainless steel has valuable properties. It is reliable, non-reactive, corrosion-resistant, durable, shiny, and can be magnetic. All of these make it ideal for cookware. This, combined with its reputation for being a healthy cooking material, has understandably led to cookware made from this gleaming alloy becoming very popular.
The drawbacks of stainless steel—such as poor conductivity—have been overcome by combining it with metals such as copper and aluminum which conduct heat quickly and evenly. The only downside that remains is the fact that food can stick.
I don’t think any kitchen should be without several stainless steel pots and pans. I would recommend that you opt for 18/10 stainless steel if you can afford it, but 18/8 grade is also excellent. Fully clad cookware is the best, but cookware with a metal disc on the base would be an excellent second choice. Don’t buy cookware, that is 100% stainless steel.
If I had the storage space, I would invest in the Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro. However, the one that fits best with my kitchen, my lifestyle, and my budget is the Calphalon Classic Cookware Set. If you are setting up a kitchen, the Made-In set is a good option, and you can add to it over time.
So, decide what you need based on what and how much you cook, the storage you have, and what your budget can accommodate. Once you know, buy yourself the best stainless steel cookware set you can afford. Remember these are not just pots and pans: they are an investment that will last for years!