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Stainless Steel Cookware: Everything You Must Know

Everything you need to know to before buying stainless steel cookware. I made the switch to stainless steel after I noticed my nonstick pans peeling into my food. It scared me, so I got rid of them immediately and purchased a new set of pots and pans.

Tips to Buying a Set of Stainless Steel Cookware

It can feel overwhelming buying a set of pots and pans because they can be expensive and there are so many options.

I decided to make the switch to stainless steel after I noticed the nonstick coating peeling off. The coating on nonstick is typically durable, but it is not meant to last forever.

Stainless steel can last you forever, if you buy a quality set and properly take care of them.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Budget: Before you start shopping, determine a budget that you would like to keep in mind.

18/10 SS: Look for pots and pans that are 18/10 stainless steel stainless steel. When you see the 18/10 stamped on the bottom of the pan, it means the pan is 18% chromium and 10 nickel.

Clad: Buy a set with a copper or an aluminum clad core as these both heat quickly and evenly. The core is a disc on the bottom of the pan and the clad is the layer on the sides and the base.

all clad copper core

Benefits to Cooking with Stainless Steel

At first cooking stainless steel can feel overwhelming because we are all so used to the nonstick pans.

There are so many great benefits to cooking with stainless steel, so it is worth learning how to use them.

Best Seared Steak Ever: Cooking with stainless steel or cast iron will give a NY strip steak the best sear. Even pork chops or burgers will taste better after cooked in stainless steel.

Non- Toxic: Stainless steel pots and pans do not contain a nonstick coating, so they are consider non-toxic.

Durable: Unlike cookware with a nonstick coating that peels and scratches over time, stainless steel will last forever. If cared for properly a set of good quality stainless steel pans can last for many years.

Overtime your pans may look like this, but don’t worry you did not ruin them. You can polish them up with some of the tips below.

Stainless Steel pans

How to Wash Stainless Steels Pots and Pans

Never put your pots and pans in the dishwasher, even if the instructions that came with the pans say you can.

Putting any pan in the dishwasher is a bad idea because overtime it can damage the pan.

Allow the cookware to completely cool before cleaning them to avoid warping the pan.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Hand Wash: It is always best to hand wash pots and pans with warm soapy water and a nonabrasive brush or sponge.

Soaking Pans: Avoid soaking the pans overnight as this can cause pitting. Allow the pan to cool completely then soak for a couple of hours if needed.

Stainless steel wool: Steel wool or any abrasive cleaners are not recommended as it can scratch.

Bar Keepers Friend: To give your pots and pans a polish, use Bar Keepers Friend. Overtime the pans will show signs of use, but Bar Keepers Friend will shine them right up again.

Vinegar and Dish Soap: If you have a burnt spot on the inside of the pan that just won’t budge, you can mix a little soap and vinegar into the pan. Scrub the mixture then let it soak for about 30 minutes before washing the pan. You may need to repeat the process a couple of times to completely clean the pan.

Baking Soda: Another at home cleaning option is to use baking soda. Make a paste with water and baking soda then coat your pan and allow it to sit. Scrub the pan with a brush and gloves to give the pan a good cleaning.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Seasoning Stainless Steel

Typically a cast iron skillet is seasoned, but there can be benefits to seasoning stainless steel too.

Stainless steel pans will be nonstick and easier to clean after seasoning them.

Even if you stainless steel pans are seasoned, you should still follow the steps to heat the pan then add oil to the pan.

There are mixed reviews about stainless steel as some feel there are no benefit and some feel that you must season the pans.

Seasoning stainless steel is optional, so you can skip this step if you prefer not to do this.

If you decided seasoning is not for you, you will still cook great food in the pans as long as you heat the pan correctly and take care of them properly.

Steps to Season Stainless Steel Pans

Before you season stainless steel cookware, make sure to read the manufactures instructions. Some manufactures may advise against seasoning, so double check the instructions before seasoning pans.

Heat the Pan: To season pans first heat the pan to medium high heat.

Add Oil: Pour about a tablespoon of avocado oil or another oil with a high smoke point. Spread the oil around with a paper towel to coat the whole inside of the pan. Carefully discard the paper towel in the trash.

Smoking: Allow the pan to heat up until it starts to smoke then immediately remove from heat.

Seasoned Pan: After the pan has cooled, wipe additional oil from the pan with a paper towel. Now you have a seasoned pan!

How to Cook With Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is not nonstick, so you will always have to grease your pan before cooking. Cook with your pans on medium or low heat until you get used to cooking with the pans.

If you follow these steps, you can even cook eggs in stainless steel pans without it sticking.

Always Heat the Pan First: Before you do anything always heat your pan.

Add Oil to Hot Pan: Never add oil to a cold pan. Once the pan is hot, add your cooking oil to the pan.

Heat the Oil: Allow the oil to heat up before cooking. The oil should be hot, but not smoking.

Cooking: Now that your pan and oil have been properly heated you can add the food to the pan.

Don’t Add Salt: Do not add salt until the water has been boiled as this can cause pitting. Always allow the water to boil before adding salt.

Best Utensils to Use

I typically use wood, nylon, or silicone utensils when cooking with my stainless steel pots and pans.

You can use a metal spatulas or spoons, but be careful as this could cause minor scratching to the pan.

Tips to Cooking Meat

Stainless steel pans will give meat such a good sear that you will wonder why you never used these pans before.

Before adding meat to a stainless steel pan it is recommended to let the meat come close to room temperature before putting it on a pan.

The reason for this is when you put a piece of cold meat on a pan it will decrease the temperature of the pan.

Follow the steps above to heat your pan and oil properly. Also, make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point such as Avocado oil or refined olive oil.

Once the meat has come as close to room temperature as possible and the pan is heated with oil, it is time to add the meat.

Preventing a Burn: Carefully add the meat to the pan by laying it down closest to you first then placing the back half of the meat down. This will prevent the hot oil from splattering up and possibly burning you.

Creating the Sear: Meat will stick on the stainless steel pan until the pan has heated up again, but don’t worry you want this to happen. This process is what creates a nice sear on meat, so don’t try to scrape the meat from the pan prematurely.

Time to Flip: The meat will release from the pan on its own after the pan has heated back up. Once the meat has released from the pan, it can be flipped and cooked on the other side.

Additional Tips to Cooking Meat

Flipping the meat depends on how you prefer it to be cooked, so keep that in mind before flipping to meat too.

If you prefer a rare steak then flip it right away or leave it for an extra couple of minutes for a more well done steak.

After the meat has been cooked to your preference, remove it from the pan and let it rest.

Remove the pan from the hot burner and allow the pan to cool completely before soaking the pan.

A hot pan could warp if immediately submerged in cold water, so let the pan cool first.

Can Stainless Steel Be Use in the Oven?

The pots and pans that I purchased cannot be used in the oven like a cast iron skillet. I don’t typically cook on the stove then immediately in the oven, so I did not need this feature.

If I ever need to put a pan in the oven, I just use my cast iron skillet to cook this meal.

I purchased my stainless steel cookware set a few years ago and I still love them.

The price for my cookware set is reasonable and they are good quality as well as durable.

My pots and pans are holding up great and I highly recommended them!

There are higher end pots and pans that are oven and broiler safe up to 600°F. So, if you prefer to put a pan in the oven then you would like this cookware set.

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