Stainless Steel Cookware Overview

Stainless Steel cookware has been around since the early 20th century and still remains one of the most popular choices in cookware. Through this informational article you will be provided with some of the primary benefits and drawbacks that stainless steel cookware presents. With this knowledge you should be in a good position to determine whether purchasing stainless steel cookware makes sense for you.

To understand the different qualities of stainless steel cookware we must first understand what goes into making the alloy stainless steel. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, stainless steel is an alloy of steel and chromium. Most stainless steel cookware contains 18% chromium and must contain at least 12% chromium or it is not considered stainless. The amount of chromium that the stainless steel contains affects the corrosion, stain and rust resistance of the alloy. Chromium also gives stainless steel its shiny finish. There are three main mixtures of stainless steel cookware, these include 18/10, 18/8 and 18/0.

The first number represents the percentage of chromium in the mixture and the second represents the percentage of nickel. Nickel is added to increase the durability of the cookware. 18/10 stainless cookware is the highest quality of the three types, the higher amount of nickel increases the cookwares durability, temperature tolerance and of course the price tag. Cookware made of 18/8 stainless steel is usually considered mid grade but is still durable enough to stand up to most abuse. Cookware that contains 18/0 stainless steel is considered low grade and is not very durable. Steel is not a good conductor of heat therefore most stainless steel cookware also contains aluminum or copper which are better conductors. The price of a stainless steel cookware sets can verify depending on the grade however these sets are in most cases less costly than buying cookware crafted from other materials such as copper and cast iron.

A problem than can be found with some other types of cookware is that the materials used to create these products can affect the tastes of the food being prepared. Stainless steel cookware does not react or interact with either acidic or alkaline foods therefore it will not affect your final product. While stainless steel should not affect the taste of foods prepared in it, small traces of the metals used in crafting the cookware can sometimes be found in the food. Most agree the amount of metal that goes into the food is very small and therefore negligible, However some cooks may stray to anodized aluminum or ceramic cookware to prevent any metals from being absorbed by the food.

A popular trait of stainless steel is that it is easy to clean and maintain as long as you follow some general guidelines. When preparing food do not use metal utensils, using synthetic utensils will minimize scratching. When cleaning, it is believed best to hand wash because dishwasher detergent could affect the finish. When hand washing you should use a synthetic scour to minimize the scratching. It is best to dry by hand immediately after washing as this will reduce spotting caused by air drying.

Stainless steel can be crafted into pretty much any cookware piece you need so it should be pretty easy to complete a set with all of the pieces you desire. You can easily find 8-13 piece sets of stainless steel cookware manufactured by some of the top names in cookware including Calphalon, Cuisinart and All-Clad.

Perhaps the most well known trait associated with stainless steel cookware is the elegant look that it portrays. Stainless steel is famous for its shine and stainless steel cookware can easily multitask as a kitchen decoration as well as being used to create wonderful dishes. Remember that the chromium and nickel percentage used in the stainless steel will affect the shine that the cookware displays.

Stainless steel cookware is less expensive than a lot of other cookware types while still being durable and elegant. This fact makes stainless steel a must to consider in making your next cookware purchase. Read more about stainless steel cookware reviews to get in depth knowledge.