No wonder if professional chefs love using stainless steel cookware due to the variety of feature and benefits. Speaking of the feature, stainless steel cookware is similar to other kinds of cookware. It comes with advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before choosing one.
What is Stainless Steel Cookware?
Stainless steel is a kind of metal alloy. It is made of a combination of steel and other metals including nickel and chromium. The composition of the metal alloy used in stainless steel determines the grades or level of the stainless steel cookware. The grades of stainless steel vary from low to high which refers to quality, durability, and also temperature resistance.
Stainless steel is the primary material of the cookware is very durable and strong. However, it has low resistance to rust and corrosion. Other metals added to stainless steel usually chromium, nickel, aluminum, and copper. Chromium is mainly used to enhance the durability and also make its rust resistance. While nickel mainly provides corrosion protection, it also adds silver polished finish. Even though stainless steel is very durable, but it is a bad heat conductor. That is why aluminum or copper alloy is added to the base of the pots or pans to increase the heat conductivity.
Features of Stainless Steel Cookware
Compared to other cookware such as non-stick or cast iron, stainless steel gives lots of brilliant features. Some of the features are:
- High-quality product
- Extremely durable and sturdy
- Corrosion and rust resistant
- The surface is scratch proof, smooth, and non-porous
- Beautiful shine silver and polished appearance
- Long lifespan
- Easy to handle
- Stainless steel cookware usually comes in set
Every coin has two sides and so does stainless steel cookware. There are some stainless steel cookware pros and cons as described below.
Stainless Steel Cookware Pros
- Classic product – stainless steel cookware is indeed a timeless classic product. The sparkling, bright, and silver appearance will never outdated. Even after years of use, stainless steel cookware will still keep its beautiful shine. It will make your kitchen looks beautiful as always and there is no need to trade them with the new cookware.
- Auto-healing power – the unique advantages of stainless steel cookware is it has auto healing power thanks to the chromium alloy. Added in the form of transparent chromium oxide sheet, it becomes the agent to protect the surface of stainless steel cookware. With the help of small amount of oxygen, the cookware is able to heal itself.
- Corrosion and rust resistant – stainless steel is famous for the corrosion and rust resistant. It is also resistant to dents, scratches, stain, and dings due to the metal properties. There is no chance for stainless steel cookware to develop rust or corrode. Besides the natural character of stainless steel, other added metals such as nitrogen, nickel, and chromium also increase the corrosion resistant properties.
- Heat transfer – even though stainless steel has poor heat transfer ability, but it is mostly added other metals to enhance the heat transfer. Copper and aluminum are mostly used for the below surface of the cookware to increase heat transfer ability and reduce cooking time. It helps the food to evenly cook in short time.
- Extreme sturdy and strength – stainless steel cookware have significant strength because of the weight. This gives you huge benefits for it can be used for a really long time.
- Easy clean and handle – the best thing about stainless steel cooking ware is it is very easy to clean and handle. It literary needs little maintenance for you to comfortably use it. For cleaning purpose, you can use ceramic cleaner or stainless steel cleaner that are available at on Amazon.com.
- Recyclable and eco-friendly – if you concerned about the environment, the stainless steel is your good friends. The fact is more than half of stainless steel in these modern days is the result of melted and recycled metal scrap.
Stainless Steel Cookware Cons
- Expensive – the price of stainless steel varies depending on the grade and level. The higher grade of stainless steel means the quality of the product is high as well. High-quality stainless steel cookware can be expensive. But if you can afford it, high-quality stainless steel cookware can serve you better because it is made of higher quality material as well.
- Poor heat conductivity – stainless steel is a poor heat conductor. That is why it is always paired with copper and aluminum base to enhance the heat transfer ability. If a stainless steel cookware does not use aluminum or copper base, you have to have the patience to get your dish cooked.
- No zero-fat cooking – stainless steel cookware is different from non-stick cookware. You cannot omit oil or butter when cooking with this cookware because the food may stick to the pans.
- Potential for heavy metal poisoning – as stainless steel cookware adds heavy metals such as nickel and chromium, it may leach heavy metal poisoning. This may happen when the surface of the cookware is a scratch or damage. Once the stainless steel pot or pans are scratched or damaged, you need trade it with the new one to avoid the potential nickel or chromium leaches to the food and cause health issues. It is also important to choose stainless steel cookware which contains a minimal amount of nickel and chromium.