We all know about stainless steel cookware and even some of us use it on a daily basis. Stainless steel is considered the best metal when it comes to cookware. Lots of households around the world, as well as professional chefs, use the stainless steel cookware for many different reasons. The stainless steel cookware we know is a combination of three layers of metal resulting in the highest construction. Stainless cookware comes in a silver shine appearance which makes it fit well in the kitchen. You will be able to make lots of tasty and healthy dishes for years and years and even from generation to generation.
No wonder professional chefs love using stainless steel cookware due to the variety of features and benefits. Speaking of the features, stainless steel cookware is similar to other kinds of cookware. It comes with advantages and disadvantages that should be considered before choosing the best 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 and it is very durable and strong. However, it has a low resistance to rust and corrosion. There are 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 a silver polished finish. Even though stainless steel is very durable, 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 a 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 be 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 in for a new cookware set.
- Auto-healing Power – The unique advantages of stainless steel cookware is it has auto healing power thanks to the chromium alloy. This is 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 a small amount of oxygen, the cookware is able to heal itself.
- Corrosion and Rust Resistant – Stainless steel is famous for being corrosion and rust-resistant. It is also resistant to dents, scratches, stain, and dings due to it’s 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 transferability, it is mostly added from 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 a short time.
- Extreme Sturdy and Strength – Stainless steel cookware has significant strength because of the weight. This gives you huge benefits for it and 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 to no maintenance for you to comfortably use it. For cleaning purpose, you can use a ceramic cleaner or stainless steel cleaner.
- Recyclable and Eco-friendly – If you are 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 scraps.
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 materials 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 transferability. If your stainless steel cookware does not use an 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.
- The 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 has a scratch or damaged spot. Once the stainless steel pot or pan is scratched or damaged, you need to trade it with the new one to avoid the potential nickel or chromium that could leach into the food and cause health issues. It is also important to choose stainless steel cookware which contains a minimal amount of nickel and chromium.