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Advantages & Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless Steel is the most popular type of cookware available – and with good reason.

Durability – The physical properties of stainless steel makes it resistant to scratches, dings, and dents.  This means that your cookware will last for many years to come.

Appearance – Stainless steel holds its shine with a minimum of cleaning, keeping it bright and sparkling through years of use.  

Versatility – Because stainless steel cookware does not react with acids or with alkaline foods, meaning that it can be used for all sorts of cooking without fear that the metal will pit or corrode.

Easy Maintenance – Forget about costly specialized cleaning solutions or dainty handling.  Stainless steel can be washed with soap or water, or even run through a dishwasher, making it easy to clean and to maintain.

– For all of its advantages, it is still reasonably priced.  Good cookware sets are available with mid-range prices.

Every form of cookware has pros and cons.  Stainless steel is probably the best choice for everyday cookware due to its low cost and high durability.

The Good News…And The Bad News!

Stainless steel cookware is easily affordable and whole sets of it can be bought for a reasonable price.  You can happily put it into the dishwasher or give it a good scrub as it’s non-porous and resistant to dents and scratches.  It’s lightweight which makes it easy to work with and it won’t corrode, chip, rust or tarnish – keeping its good-looking shine for many years.  And stainless steel is inert, which means that it doesn’t change the taste or color of most acidic foods.  It’s even eco friendly – over half of all new stainless steel is made from scrap metal that has been melted down and recycled.

It sounds great, doesn’t it?  But it has two major downsides as a material for cookware – it’s a poor conductor of heat and it doesn’t distribute heat evenly.

Why Is It So Popular If It’s Bad At Conducting Heat?

This problem is surmounted by giving stainless steel cookware an inner core of copper or aluminium, which keeps it durable and easy to care for, while increasing the heat conductivity. 

The very cheapest stainless steel cookware has no inner core which is why it doesn’t wear well and food burns easily in it.  In the next price level, cookware just has a core disc of copper or
aluminum in the base.  The more expensive ranges have added cores in their sides, halfway or the full height of the cookware.

So, as with most things, you get what you pay for.  How many of us have ‘made do’ with a succession of cheap cookware that doesn’t seem to last five minutes? 

cookware is concerned, it really does make sense to buy the very best that you can afford.  The more expensive cookware comes with a lifetime guarantee – so although it probably hurts to part with so much cash, you only have to do it once.

Further Reading...

The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set


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