Stainless steel is the most common type of cookware material. Stainless steel is an alloy of steel, carbon, nickel, and chromium, and is “stainless” because it resists corrosion. It is heavy, non-reactive (meaning you can cook any kind of food in it), durable and dishwasher safe. However, it does not conduct heat well, so high quality stainless steel cookware manufacturers include an aluminum or copper core to improve conductivity.
Thing you should look for when buying stainless steel
1. Buy stainless steel cookware that has either an aluminum or copper core
2. Ensure the aluminum or copper runs up the sides of the pans
Our Top Picks for Best Stainless Steel Cookware:
- Cuisinart MCP-12N MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set – Best value for money, affordable and durable.
- All-Clad 401488R – High-end stainless steel cookware, expensive but will last a lifetime.
The Pros of Stainless Steel Cookware
There are numerous reason why stainless steel cookware is a very popular type in homes across the country and throughout the world.
- Dishwasher Safe – Stainless steel cookware is simple and easy to clean, and it can be put right into the dishwasher, as well as the oven, without worry about ruining the finish or causing rust. Materials such as anodized aluminum pots are not dishwasher safe and will begin to deteriorate if washed in dishwasher. The versatility of stainless steel allows the user to save time when it comes to cleaning and cooking.
- Affordability — most stainless steel cookware is very affordable and can be purchased at your local grocery or nearest big-box retailer. Also, there is a wide range of quality on the market when it comes to stainless steel. There are budget sets for under $100, all the way to high-end sets that will last a lifetime for around $800.
- Aesthetics — Stainless is attractive and looks nice and shiny when in the kitchen.
It is no surprise that stainless steel cookware is often the number one cookware pick when it comes to home cooking. Very little maintenance is needed, it is dishwasher safe, scratch proof, and continues to look good with very little effort. These are the things that most home cooks care about.
The Cons of Stainless Steel Cookware
- Conductivity – Stainless steel is not known for having great conductivity or heat retention. It is not nearly as consistent at transferring heat as some materials like aluminum or copper. You can solve this problem by buying better quality stainless steel cookware with an added inner core made of copper or aluminum, which improves the heat conductivity.
- Not ‘non–stick’ – Stainless steel will not offer the non-stick option when it comes to cooking. The food will stick if warm oil or butter is not used. Also, while cooking the food, it will need to be moved around and rotated often to get an even cook and to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Not ‘energy-efficient’ – Stainless steel heats up much slower than other materials, so it ultimately requires more energy to use. Same is true with its heat retention, it does not retain heat as well as some materials, so more energy will be used over time when cooking with stainless steel. However, this problem can be solved to a great extent by purchasing better quality stainless steel cookware with an added inner core made of copper or aluminum.