The reason to get a good stainless steel cookware is simple: It is said to last you a lifetime. Sure the cost may be a little high, but it will more than pay for itself, especially when you consider the need to replace the cookware often with other materials. For stainless steel cookware sets that have greater durability and longevity as well as offer you greater versatility in the kitchen, these selections here will quite simply match your needs.
Click on a link below to quickly know what to get, or read on to learn more about stainless steel and its cookware.
- Best Budget Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- Best Value Stainless Steel Cookware Set
- Best Stainless Steel Saucepan
- Best Stainless Steel Fry Pan
- Best Stainless Steel Saute Pan
- Best Stainless Steel Sauce Pot
- Best Stainless Steel Roaster
- Best Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
What is Stainless Steel
This question may sound like something you are too embarrassed to ask, but let’s ask, together, and know the answer to it once and for all. Very simply, stainless steel is an alloy—meaning a metal made by combining two or more metallic elements—of carbon and iron. This type of metal is very resistant to rust, staining, and corrosion. In addition, it’s also very easy to maintain which when taken everything into consideration makes it ideal for a variety of applications for a variety of industries.
Especially when there is prolonged exposure to water, air, heat, and moisture, the usage of stainless steel is particularly suitable. Also due to its polished reflective appearance, it has become a popular design element, used in sculptures and modern furniture, for example. To create a certain desired effect on top of what’s already inherent in the steel, most metallurgical engineers will also manipulate the properties by adding nickel, titanium, aluminum, or other elements.
Stainless Steel Cookware
It goes without saying due to the desired characteristics of stainless steel, it is very suitable for cookware use. Not only is it very strong, rust- and corrosion- resistant but easy to care for, which thereby makes it easy for you. After cooking with it, if you would so prefer, you can also dump everything into the dishwasher, as the durability of the steel makes it able to withstand the water pressure and washing cycles of the machine.
Accordingly, it is also in this durability that makes the stainless steel cookware able to tolerate high levels of heat. Unlike nonstick cookware which you are required to use it safely, under 500 degrees Fahrenheit, you can otherwise cook over high heat with this cookware, without damaging the pieces. Cooking over high heat in particular is great for getting a good sear on meats; therefore, if you do this often along with stir-frying and pan-frying, then this material type will be perfect for you.
While nonstick cookware can indeed be healthier, as you have the option to use less or no oil when cooking with it, it is not great in creating better fond (browned bits of vegetables or meats stuck to the bottom of pots and pans) though. For this, it is said that stainless steel is a better material for the task, as well as giving your food a richer color for more flavor. Most stainless steel cookware sets will also often be magnetic, making them induction compatible, and they will also be oven- and broiler-safe (depending on the handle material.)
Pros of Stainless Steel Cookware
- Very long lasting—it resists dings, dents, scratches, rust, and corrosion very well.
- Very versatile—can be used over high heat; can be used directly from the stovetop to the oven; can be used in the refrigerator.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Often magnetic, and can be used with induction cooktops.
- Nonreactive—won’t react to acidic foods.
Cons of Stainless Steel Cookware
- Pure stainless steel cookware does not conduct heat well and evenly, which is why it’s often fused with higher thermal conductivity metals.
- Usually more pricey than other materials.
- Tend to discolor under high heat.
How to Clean Stainless Steel Cookware
If used improperly, stainless steel cookware is said to present some tough cleaning challenges. Brown spots may appear or discoloration may occur which can be very difficult to remove, especially with regular cleaning alone. This will not affect the performance of the cookware, but presumably you, like us, would like to keep your cookware looking bright and shiny most of the time. To do this, simply follow the instructions below and learn how to clean various types of tough stains. Also, say hello to Bar Keepers Friend, a non-bleach, non-abrasive cleaner, that you would love to call on for every tough stain removal. You can get it here.
1: How to clean food residue or buildup from the cookware. If bits of food has stuck and crusted onto your cookware, soak it in warm, soapy water for several hours. After that, drain the water and then use a scouring pad to scrub off the built-up food. If possible, do no use steel wool pads, although effective, as they are very harsh on the surface of the cookware.
2. How to clean brown spots or discolored areas from the cookware. Brown spots or discolored areas are largely caused by constant high heat. In this respect, the higher the chrome content in the stainless steel, the less prone it is to happen, according to the Cookware Manufacturers Association. So whenever possible, try and get the 18/10 stainless steel, which numbers refer to the composition of the steel with 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Usually in cookware use, 10% nickel will be the highest amount as opposed to 18/8 or 18/0.
But anyway if brown spots occur, simply sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friends along with a little water, and then use a good scrubbing pad to remove them. Optionally, you may also use a combination of baking soda and warm water, and then a dry cloth or sponge to scrub them off.
3. How to clean any water spots from the cookware. Water spots can occur if there is high mineral content in your water, also known as hard water, or if your cookware has been exposed to added compounds like fluoride. If they occur, simply douse the pots and pans with some club soda (yes you heard us right), rinse them off, and then use a clean cloth to wipe them dry. If possible, try hand drying your pieces, as this will most likely prevent the water spots from occurring in the first place.
How to Choose Stainless Steel Cookware
There are all kinds of stainless steel cookware that range from skillets to baking trays. So once you master the art of cooking with stainless steel cookware, there’s nothing you can’t master. Stainless steel cookware allows cooking techniques such as searing, frying or even sauteing.
Tasty Fond, Anyone?
A neat addition that you get from using stainless steel cookware is that you’d be able to make fond from the bits and pieces of ingredients stuck to the base of the stainless steel pan or pot. It’s a simple process, simple deglaze your stainless steel cookware with some wine of your choosing and you’ll end up having some really tasty gravy to go with your dish.
Get Surgical Grade Stainless Steel
Your only concern when it comes to stainless steel cookware is that if exposed to salt water or very high heat, discoloration and pitting may occur. So despite being tough and hardy, salt water and extreme temperatures are like kryptonite to these cookware.
There are also various grades of stainless steel cookware which is why I advise you to get a well-recognized brand like All Clad or Cuisinart. Well, you can rest assured that the brands and cookware sets I recommend only use the best surgical grade stainless steel. This means you don’t have to worry about nickel and chrome bleeding into your food because this only happens in low grade stainless steel cookware.
Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Cooks More Evenly
Stainless steel cookware shows its weakness when the dish I’m cooking requires quick temperature changes or needs really even cooking. I would opt for bonded or clad cookware with a stainless steel surface for cooking sauces.
Stainless steel cookware are often clad with aluminum or copper. This really fixes the heat transmission and hot spots issues so food cooks efficiently and evenly.
With stainless steel cookware, hand washing is kind of a chore because most of the time scrubbing is required, but luckily they are always dishwasher friendly.
Stainless Steel Cookware Reviews 2017
Best Budget Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Calphalon Classic 10-Pc Set
For a cheaper set with the best value, try the Calphalon Classic 10-Piece set. This is seriously a steal and it’s my top pick best cookware set 2017. For the price, I feel the Calphalon Classic 10-piece set eliminated the competition in the same range.
This stainless steel cookware set consists of a 3-quart saute pan with straight deep sides for deep frying, 2 skillets and 2 saucepans, all of different sizes, and an ever useful stock pot.
The quality of the stainless steel and riveted handles can’t be beat for the price, and I absolutely love the glass lids. The lids have strainers in them so you could pour liquids out from the spouts on both sides of the pots.
What’s more, there’s a 10-year warranty for the set which, considering the quality of the set, I feel the manufacturer would never have to fulfill.
Best Stainless Steel Cookware Set – All Clad 10-Pc Set
If you are looking for the best stainless steel cookware set, definitely go for the All Clad 10-Piece set. This stainless steel cookware set is enhanced by an aluminium core with excellent heat transmission. Bonded between two layers of stainless steel, aluminium improves heat transfer. This drastically improves the evenness of your cooking.
Besides the improved heating features, this stainless steel set gives you all the perks of stainless steel cookware. The workmanship is splendid, and this cookware set is dishwasher safe. The best part about this set is that it can be used on induction cook tops too. This means if you’re planning to get a wedding gift and are unsure what cook tops the couple in mind has, the All Clad 10-Piece stainless steel cookware set would be a safe choice.
Best Value Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Cuisinart Multiclad Pro 12-Pc Set
The All Clad stainless steel cookware sets are extremely pricey and not everyone can afford them so a more affordable choice would be the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro cookware set.
I love cookware with some weight to them and this 12-piece set has just the right size to weight ratio so it doesn’t appear too flimsy and light. Thanks to the weight this Multiclad set has a tough and solid feel to it.
Thanks to the simplistic design the 12-piece set carries, it could also be used as a serving dish so you’ll have less to clean up at the end of a meal. Just remember to use a coaster so you don’t accidentally burn your tablecloth.
Best Stainless Steel Saucepan – Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 2-Quart Saucepan
If you’re looking for a Saucepan that is versatile enough to handle just about anything, take a peek at the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Stainless Steel 2-Quart Saucepan. I believe that this is a piece of cookware that is designed to meet the needs and demands of every chef and home cook.
An ideal saucepan has to do one thing; distribute heat evenly. Whether you’re boiling ingredients or making sauce, a saucepan that has hotspots will ruin your dishes.
The heat distribution on the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro really impressed me. This saucepan has an exceptional steel stainless exterior that is fixed to a unique triple-ply construction. In layman’s terms, this piece of cookware harbours less hotspots compared to conventional cookware. Thanks to this very feature I noticed that all my dishes were cooked evenly with it’s flavour intact.
Best Stainless Steel Fry Pan – All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Fry Pan
The All-Clad Stainless Steel Frying pan is the best stainless steel skillet on the market. There are many reasons why avid cookers would love it. For one, the aluminum sandwiched between the stainless retains heat whilst the stainless steel on the surface of the pan cooks food evenly.
Any foodie out there knows how important evenly cooked food is. Besides it’s stellar heat retention and even heating, this frying pan has a wide surface for you to cook on. Who wouldn’t want the extra room. This frying pan is also one of the lightest pans I have used.
All in all, the All Clad Stainless Steel frying pan is strong; it does not warp, can be used in the oven and it is safe to use in the dishwasher. In addition to all that its high polished surface makes it look good in any kitchen.
Best Stainless Steel Saute Pan – Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan
The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan makes me feel like a professional gourmet chef in my kitchen. This saute pan is nothing like the other saute pans that I have used. It distributes heat efficiently and perfectly due to its large, flat and heavy aluminum core.
There are a few special nuances that keep me so attached to this saute pan. The feel of the pan, the construction of the pan and even the handles on the pan assure me that this pan will last a lifetime. The handle on this pan is also very sturdy. I wasn’t ever worried when I was sauteing or braising any of my ingredients.
Both the pan and lid are well insulated as they never get to a point when they are too hot to hold with my bare hands.
Best Stainless Steel Saucepot – Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 3-Quart Saucepot
Everything about Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 3-Quart Saucepot is awesome. The thickness of this saucepot makes steaming fun because it heats up effortlessly.
I believe I got value for my money when I bought this pot because it is very durable. Besides the convenience of the fitted handles on top of the pot, both the weight and size of this pot makes steaming an easy chore for me.
Besides steaming, stewing and making sauces was a delight because once hot, the pot retains heat and stays that way. It slowly yet evenly simmers and heats whatever you cook in it.
Best Stainless Steel Roaster – Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster
I am glad I spent my cash on the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster. This kitchen cookware has made roasting fun. It has a curved rack that holds and supports my chicken and turkey and it is also large enough to accommodate a larger roast.
It has stainless steel handles that are well riveted. This gives me a much easier time to place the roaster in the oven. The solid and durable cookware also circulates heat evenly, which allows my chicken or turkey to drain well as it cooks.
The Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Rectangular Roaster is dishwasher friendly but I also find it very easy to hand wash. If any alteration was to be made to the roaster, I would suggest that the manufacturer fits the handles straight out of the roaster rather than on the sideways.
Best Stainless Steel Dutch Oven – Calphalon 5-Quart Stainless Steel Dutch Oven
Are you looking for the perfect dutch oven? Well,look no further.This calphalon stainless steel dutch oven is the best that there is! On the pan’s exterior are beautiful long handles that see to a firm grip, even when the pot is full. On top of that, these handles remain cool even when the pan is hot !
This dutch oven has an aluminum base that ensures the pan heats fast for efficient cooking. This base is also safe for use on a broiler,oven and stove. While using this 5-quart dutch oven you need not worry about draining your liquids. Its covers have straining holes that fall in line with pour spouts. his makes your draining,easy breezy! You don’t need to use a separate colander.
If you wish to sear, braise meat or just make the most delicious soups this classic cookware is just the piece. Being made of stainless steel you can be rest assured all your food will retain its natural flavor!