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Choosing a Silverware Set

Updated on January 11, 2010

Flatware

Every kitchen deserves a good set of silverware. You don't want to invite guests over and use mis-matched silverware or even plastic-ware, especially if you're having a more fancy dinner or party. A good silverware set will match, first and foremost.

When it's time to look for a silverware set, you'll want to consider durability, luster, and any corrosive properties that may make the pieces have a shorter lifespan. A good set of silverware will last you a long time. Some brands of flatware will actually offer a lifetime warranty with its product, which is something that you may want to look for.

Choosing silverware

You want to find a silverware set that is made of stainless steel, which is an alloy that is composed of iron and about 8 other metals, but a good stainless steel flatware set will be made of at least 10.5% of chromium, which will react to the oxygen in the air and will prevent rusting.

You want to be careful of what grade the silverware is. Lower grade silverware will not last nearly as long as higher grades. Generally, the grade will be denoted as 18/0 or 18/10. The 18 represents the percent of chromium mixed into the steel, and the 0 or 10 represents the percent of nickel that it contains. (Chromium gives the durability properties, and nickel provides the luster and resistance of the alloy.)

The box should tell you whether the silverware is 18/0 or 18/10. The 18/0 grade silverware is a lower grade, which will stick to a magnet is you place a magnet up to it. The 18/10 grade flatware is higher quality silverware, which is a much better option that will last you much longer; it offers more protection against corrosion. Sometimes, you may even see an 18/8 grade flatware, which is nearly the same as the 18/10 grade.

As for what size set you'll want, that will depend on how often you'll want to wash dishes and how many people you have in your family. As for cleaning, you'll find that cleaning your flatware as soon as you finish using it, will help keep its longevity.

Otherwise, most sets will come in a 45 or 20 piece set. The 20 piece flatware sets are for 4 people, whereas the 45 piece set is made for 8 people.

Most 20 piece sets will include: 4 each of a place set (table knife, dinner forks, teaspoon, salad forks, and tablespoons)

Most 45 piece sets will include: 5 each of a place set (table knife, dinner forks, teaspoon, salad forks, and tablespoons); the other 5 pieces will usually be a 5 piece serving set, which can vary between 2 serving spoons, 1 serving fork, 1 sugar spoon, and 1 butter knife.

Caring for Flatware

Just remember to follow the below tips to make sure that you keep your flatware in the best shape possible:

  • Hand wash your flatware; do not wash in the dishwasher.
  • Use the silverware daily, as over time the silver will oxidize and will gain a natural luster where you won't have to polish it.
  • As soon as you're finished, rinse off the flatware, especially when used with egg, tomato, or citric fruits because the acid can damage the stainless steel.
  • Don't soak the stainless steel silverware becuase prolonged exposure to water can cause rust no matter how high quality grade you purchased.

Comments

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    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 8 years ago from Jaipur

      Whitney,

      These are very good and fortunately I have some. However, these are very expensive with rising price of silver.

      Thanks,

      Jyoti Kothari

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