What is a Stainless Cookware Set?

A stainless cookware set is made of stainless steel.  Stainless steel is used in environments where regular steel would corrode, rust and stain.  You definitely wouldn't want your cookware doing any of that. 

The resistance to staining, rusting and corroding comes from mixing chromium with a carbon iron alloy (which is steel).  Stainless steel used in producing cookware is typically a mixture of steel, chromium and nickel, with the nickel added to retain the structure.



All Stainless Steel is Not Created Equal 

The quality of the cookware is dependent on composition of the material that it is made of.  The best stainless steel cookware set, in terms of quality, is known as 18/10 stainless.  Stainless cookware is also available in 18/0 stainless, which is of lower quality.

Advantages of Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Stainless steel cookware has many advantages, and in fact, it is a preference of many professional chefs.  It is a common type of cookware used in homes as well.

Durability

Stainless steel cookware is very durable.  It is not easy to destroy.  It is resistant to staining, rusting and corrosion, of course.  It is also resistant to scratching, dings, dents, and warping – the higher the quality the more resistant.  It is definitely a long-lasting cookware set that you can enjoy for years. 

Flexibility

Some cookware interacts with certain food, especially foods that are considered acidy.  This limits the use of the cookware with certain dishes.  Stainless steel is non-reactive, which makes it makes is more versatile.  That's a good thing.

Ease of Care

Stainless steel pans are very easy to care for.  You can wash them with soap and water, or even in the dishwasher.  If you accidently burn something in it, which I have done, you can soak the pan to soften everything up and give it a good scrub with a standard scouring pad without destroying the pan..    

Reasonably Priced

When compared to other types of high-quality cookware, a stainless cookware set is relatively inexpensive.  Considering the price paid and the length of time that the set lasts, it boils down to a good deal.

Overall, when it comes to cookware, stainless steel is an excellent choice.

Disadvantages of a Stainless Steel Cookware Set

When it comes to disadvantages, the reputation of stainless steel is not tarnished.  The only disadvantage of stainless steel is that it is a poor conductor of heat.  That may sound tragic at first, being that you are planning to cook with it, but the problem has been solved.

Stainless steel alone does not distribute heat evenly.  That means that hot spots develop likely burning food in some places while leaving it 'not done' in other spots.  This doesn't go over well with the cook.

he resolution to the problem is the addition of an inlay of copper or aluminum to the core of cookware.  This material increases the heat conducting ability while regulating the distribution of heat to avoid hot spots.

It is good to know that there are some cheap stainless steel sets out there that do not have the heat conducting material added to it.  Some cookware has problems with the handles coming off, so it makes good sense to review they way that the handles are attached before deciding a set.  It is always best to check it out before sinking your money into a set that cooks poorly because of the lack of attention to heat conductivity or poor handle attachment.

Use, Care and Safety of a Stainless Cookware Set

What I really like about stainless steel cookware is that there are no limits on using it as far as food goes, because it is non-reactive.  It's scratch resistant, so you don't have worry about using metal utensils.  It is perfectly safe to use on an electric or gas stove top.  Some are even made for induction cooking, although that is not standard at this time.

Stainless steel can be washed with soap and water, and soaked and scrubbed with a scouring pad when needed.  You should avoid using steel wool or metal-based scrubbers.  It is scratch resistant, but why take the chance when a regular scouring pad will do the job.  It can also be washed in a dishwasher.

If pans from your stainless cookware set get burn marks, the marks can be easily removed with a baking soda and water paste.  Bar Keeper's Friend is mild-abrasive cleaner that will also do the job.  It is frequently used for cookware that requires polishing, which stainless does not unless it has copper bottoms, but it can be used to take care of marks like these.

Another problem you might encounter is water spots.  This is a result of minerals in the water.  Drying the pans promptly usually keeps them from forming, but if they do they are easily taken off with a little bit of vinegar, rinsing and drying.

Is a Stainless Cookware Set Best for You?  

When purchasing cookware, it is best to know that not all stainless steel cookware is created equally.  Pans made of 18/10 stainless are the best if they have a core of copper or aluminum added.  Lower quality stainless is not as good and without the copper or aluminum core it will be a poor heat conductor, although they are more affordable.

Put your knowledge to work in identifying the best stainless steel cookware set, and in determining whether or not stainless steel is the best cookware set for you.

Reading product descriptions and cookware set reviews will assist you in making an educated decision in regard to which cookware set to decide upon.



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