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Today, nonstick rules the cookware industry. They are easy to use and easy to clean. Even professional chef use them. However, the main issue is that they are not durable. After a year or two, they need to be replaced. While they can be used for a lot of stuff, they are best reserved for delicate task. A better choice would be Stainless Steel Coowkare. They are non toxic and can last a lifetime. The Best Stainless Steel Cookware uses a combination of different metals. They take advantage of heating properties of better metal with the durability of stainless steel.
What is Stainless Steel Cookware?
Stainless Steel Cookware are cookware that incorporate stainless steel. Generally its very rare to have cookware that are made of all stainless steel. If they are, the quality is generally poor and the gauge very thin. As a result, performance is poor.
Another issue with stainless steel is that they are poor conductor of heat. They develop heat spots and generally take a while to heat up.
Why Use It?
Its not all doom and gloom for stainless steel. The main advantage that it has is its non reactive nature. They wont rust like carbon steel or cast iron. Generally, they last longer and maintain a better appearance. Putting metals like Aluminum into a dishwasher will cause it to turn to a matte grey. Flecks of the metal will also start to peel off.
Manufacturer also like to use stainless steel on nonstick cookware. They will stick a disc on the base so that it has a magnetic pull. When that happens, it adds extra heft and make it induction compatible.
Improving Stainless Steel Cookware
Since Stainless Steel is such a poor conductor of heat. Manufacturer utilize different metal to improve its performance. They sandwich two piece of stainless steel with Aluminum. This gives it the heating properties of Aluminum with the protective barrier of stainless steel. All Clad was the very first pioneer of this technology. Since their patent expired, most other manufacturer uses some form of this design.
Stainless Steel Cookware Safety
Stainless Steel is perhaps one of the safest cookware out there. Since there is no chemical involved, there is very little chance that you will get poisoned. There is also no nonstick coating that can release fumes or flake off. Manufacturing usually involve a sheet of metal being punched out with a hydraulic press.
How to Use Stainless Steel Cookware and Sticking
Using Stainless Steel cookware is a bit of a challenge. It performs very differently from nonstick cookware. Drop a piece of food onto it and it latches onto the pan. You can avoid this by heating it up to 400 degree Fahrenheit plus and add oil. This produces a leidenfrost effect and food wont stick. You can tell the pan is ready when you drop water on it and it starts dancing around.
Another way you can avoid sticking is by browning food before lifting. A lot of time, people like to shake and move the pan. When really, all you need to do is let it sit and watch it brown. Once it form a crust, it should lift off the pan. If you find that its not working, then a light splash of water will work as well.
Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set. There are a few different model to choose from, get one that best suits you.
All-Clad 600822 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set (Best Overall)
All Clad is the original fully cladded cookware. This set utilize the heating properties of copper for excellent heat control. It heats up faster than their other model and has excellent searing capability. The 10 piece set has most of the cookware you need for a standard kitchen. And they stand by their product with a lifetime warranty.
All-Clad D3 Stainless Cookware Set, Pots and Pans (Best Aluminum Core Model)
The Copper Core Series is All Clad top of the line model. However, its also the most expensive. Their basic D3 model has a simple Aluminum core. The performance is fantastic and a lot more affordable. The problem is that it still has the horrible handle. It can be uncomfortable to some but it does stay cool. Just be aware, it lack some features such as the rolled lip for easy pouring. But if you can get past that, its a good set.
Tramontina 80116/249DS Gourmet Stainless Steel Induction-Ready Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Cookware Set (Best Buy)
All Clad is the original inventor of the fully cladded cookware. However, other manufacturer has built very similar set. This gourmet series is the d3 equivalent at half the price. The handle feels more comfortable and you get more bang for your buck. While its not made in USA, its made in Brazil. Like All Clad, it has a lifetime warranty. If you want to get into stainless steel cookware without paying All Clad price. Tramontina is the way to go.
Stainless Steel Cookware is more durable and perform better your standard nonstick. Its better for searing food such as steaks but it does have sticking issue. However, once you master it, you can see the real benefit of stainless steel. All Clad Copper Core is the finest example of stainless steel cookware. It has the heating properties of copper with the protective property of Stainless steel. The issue with this is that its expensive. All Clad makes the d3 line for the entry level line. While it is entry level, it still performs really well. I argue that its one of the best set out there. If its still too expensive, then manufacturer like Tramontina makes a affordable alternative.
Looking for other cookware? Check out our article on the Best Cast Iron Wok.