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How To Buy Stainless Steel Cookware

Updated on January 16, 2012

Why Choose Stainless Steel Cookware?

Stainless Steel Cookware has long been the favorite of professional chefs and home-cooks, alike, and it can be found in almost any kitchen.

There are many alternatives when it comes to choosing the best cookware for your cooking needs, and every well-equipped kitchen should have at least a few pieces of stainless steel cookware. A stainless steel pan is ideally suited for some cooking needs, and there some things that just cannot be done with any other style of cookware. Even if you already own a complete set of non-stick cookware, the addition of just a few pieces of stainless steel cookware can open up all new possibilities in the kitchen!

Cooking with stainless steel cookware can present a learning curve for those who have only ever used non-stick, but there are so many great advantages to stainless that you owe it to yourself to give it a try!

Buy Stainless Steel Cookware Online


Cooking with stainless steel cookware can present a learning curve for those who have only ever used non-stick, but there are so many great advantages to stainless that you owe it to yourself to give it a try!

A stainless pan is better for:

  • Browning and searing meat
  • Developing flavor bases for sauces and gravies
  • Deep frying in oil

How To Cook A Simple Pan Sauce

Cooking With Stainless Steel Cookware

Many home cooks are reluctant to use a stainless steel skillet or frying pan, usually because they aren't aware of the benefits of using a stainless steel pan when the task calls for it!

Non-stick cookware has its place in every kitchen, but there are some things that it just is not suited for. A non-stick pan can be used to sear beef, for example, but it cannot match a stainless steel skillet when you want to make a simple pan sauce to go with it!

The basis of a good pan sauce is called fond, which is a fancy word for those little brown bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. The fond is full of rich flavor, but a non-stick pan can never develop a proper fond, because those delicious little bits can't stick to the pan!

Cooking Eggs with Stainless Steel Cookware

Healthy Stainless Steel Cooking

While it is true that many foods require more fat to cook properly in a stainless steel skillet, that doesn't have to be a bad thing! You can use healthy alternatives when choosing cooking fats, like olive oil or sunflower oil, instead of butter.

A stainless steel saucepan can also take much higher heat than its non-stick counterpart. Most non-stick pans are not recommended for use with high heat or in the oven - exposure to these higher temperatures can cause the pans to deform, and can even cause the possibly-toxic non-stick coating to flake off into your food!

Stainless Steel Cleaning Tip!

If you find that food has stuck to the pan during cooking, simply de-glaze the pan with water: fill the pan about half-way with water and bring to a boil, then carefully scrape the stuck-on food off the pan with a wooden spoon

Benefits of Cooking With Stainless Steel Cookware

  • Durability: A stainless steel saucepan can last virtually forever! A quality pan will not deform even under high heat, and the metal itself is designed to avoid corrosion
  • Non-Reactive: Some types of cookware can absorb flavors and odors from the food they dome in contact with. Since stainless steel is non-porous, it cannot absorb and retain flavors from food
  • Browning & De-glazing: When making sauces and gravies, the best way to develop flavors is with a stainless pan. You can build a terrific fond in the pan while cooking, and then de-glaze the pan with wine or another liquid for an easy and delicious pan sauce.
  • Cleaning: Unlike non-stick cookware, a stainless steel pan is always dishwasher-safe
  • Health Benefits: Without diligent care, any cookware with a non-stick coating runs the risk of having that coating leech out or even flake off into your food. While there has not been any definitive evidence that these coatings are harmful, there is also no proof that they are harmless! The main components of Stainless Steel Cookware - iron and chromium - are actually beneficial to the human body in small amounts, so even in the unlikely event that something leeches into your food, it won't hurt you

How To Buy The Best Stainless Steel Cookware For Your Kitchen

  • Because it can last nearly forever, you should buy the best stainless steel cookware that you can afford! A high-quality stainless steel saucepan might cost $100, but it could quite possibly be the last saucepan you will ever buy, so it'll be worth the extra cost in the long run
  • Stainless steel is actually a terrible heat conductor! For that reason, it is essential that you only buy stainless steel cookware that has a copper or aluminum "core" in its base. Copper-core stainless pans are a little more expensive, but they give provide more even heat distribution. A stainless pan without a copper or aluminum core will develop "hot spots", which will cause food to cook unevenly and can even warp a low-quality stainless steel pan
  • If you have the choice between a pan with a lid and one without, choose the one that comes with a lid! Glass lids are better, in my opinion, because you can see the food while it cooks, and they tend to be a little heavier and so keep a tighter fit when placed over the pan

Choosing Between A Stainless Steel Cookware Set or Individual Pieces

If you already have a full set of non-stick cookware, you probably don't need a whole set of new stainless steel cookware, but you should certainly have a few essential pieces in your well-equipped kitchen.

If you're setting up a new kitchen, you could save a lot of money by buying a fully-stocked stainless steel cooking set with several varieties of pots and pans.

At the very least, every well-stocked kitchen should have at least these stainless steel cooking pans:

12 Inch Stainless Steel Skillet

Whether you're making an omelet or searing a steak, the stainless steel skillet should be in every cook's arsenal! Its sloped sides make it easy to turn something like an omelet, and when it's time to transform that fond into a nice pan sauce, there are no hard corners for the sauce to stick.

Stainless Steel Sauté Pan

With its high, straight sides, a Stainless Sauté Pan (also called a Frying Pan) is ideal both for braising and for deep frying. You can sear some stew beef, sauté some veggies and then de-glaze with stock to make an easy one-pan pot roast that braises in the oven, or you can fry some chicken without fear of mysterious non-stick coating chemicals seeping into your food!

Stainless Chef's Pan

For gravies and soups, nothing beats a stainless chef's pan. It rounded edges ensure that food doesn't stick and burn while you're whisking, and its larger capacity is perfect for a quick batch of homemade chicken soup!

Round Out You Cookware Collection

Stainless Steel Roasting Pan

When holiday time rolls around, use a stainless steel roasting pan to cook your holiday turkey, then de-glaze the pan with some white wine or chicken stock to make an amazing gravy, right in the roasting pan!

Stainless Steel Soup Pot

Cooking large quantities of soup or pasta sauce calls for a stainless pan that is on the larger side, and a soup pot comes in handy for a variety of cooking tasks. The excellent heat transfer of a copper core means that you can boil water for pasta quickly, and the stainless steel surface means you can move a whole pot of stew right into the oven to slow-cook for a delicious entree!

Buy a Set of Stainless Steel Cooking Pans

If you find yourself eyeing several pieces of stainless steel cookware, you might save some money by buying a stainless steel cooking set. You can usually find a well-rounded collection of pots, pans and lids all in one box for much less than the cost of buying each piece individually. And since stainless pans last forever, you'll probably never to buy another one, so purchase the best set you can afford!

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