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How to Choose Stainless-Steel Cookware

Why choose stainless steel for your cookware? There are a number of factors that make stainless steel cookware a good option. It’s durable, shiny and versatile gear for every kitchen. If you want to the best stainless steel pots and pans keep in mind to look for 18/10, which is the chromium to nickel ratio. This is a key indicator of the quality of your stainless steel cookware.

Reviews show that chefs prefer stainless steel cookware to non-stick cookware. When stainless steel is wrapped around an aluminum or copper core, it will heat evenly. Stainless steel cookware does a superior job of browning food, although cooks have to use more fat or oil to prevent foods from clinging to the cookware.

What type of stainless steel cookware do you get?

Different cooking jobs require different attributes in cookware. A wide range of different types of stainless steel cookware are available, from low cost to professional high-end.

Encapsulated base stainless steel cookware

A disadvantage of stainless steel is that it does not transmit heat very well. If you want to find the right stainless steel cookware, look for quality stainless steel cookware that includes aluminium, copper or both in the base core with a stainless steel interior and exterior for superior heat distributions and less hot spots.

All-clad stainless steel cookware

This means the cladding goes up on the sides of the cookware. This is a costly process, but offers an excellent performance and is low maintenance. Although all-clad cookware has great properties it cannot equal a good cast iron pan for heat retention.

Tri- ply stainless steel cookware

Tri-ply stainless steel have 2 layers of stainless steel wrapped around an aluminium core, which delivers a slow steady heat and have superb conductivity. These pots are compatible with induction stoves and stove-tops, and will always be a good buy! Be aware that when copper is added it cannot be used on an induction stove. Tri-ply cookware retains heat better than base encapsulated cookware.

What about lids and handles?

Handles made from stainless steel does not spread heat well; and that is the reason for real stay-cool handles on most of the cookware. Some stainless steel cookware comes with glass lids, which are less durable than the stainless-steel lids, however many users consider glass lids a plus because they can keep an eye on the food as it cooks.

How do I clean and maintain it?

Stainless steel cookware’s great attributes are that it is easy to care for and has tremendous durability. Stainless steel is also non reactive, it is dishwasher friendly, it is very hard and does not bend easily.  However, stainless steel cookware does sometimes tend to scratch or discolor (known as rainbowing). Advice to restore the pot to the original shine is to use Bar Keepers Friend cleanser or lemon juice. Compared to other types of cookware, it doesn’t tarnish or react like copper and when it’s clean it’s beautiful!

Pros vs Cons

Pros:

  • Durable and lifetime lasting
  • Does not tarnish
  • Shines beautifully
  • Browns food easily
  • Low maintenance
  • Wide ranges available
  • Does not bend easily
  • Dishwasher friendly
  • Oven safe at 400 – 500 °F
  • Nonreactive nature that imparts no taste to the food

Cons:

  • Does not spread heat evenly
  • Need oil to cook with
  • Do not retain heat as well as cast iron

About Ryan K. Barrow

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