Stainless Steel For Cooking
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Stainless steel for cooking is gaining in popularity.
A long time it was all coated cookware because it was so easy to use and to cook in.
Nonstick and easy to clean cookware after the cooking was done.
The heal benefits of the nonstick cookware has been questioned now for a while and the Teflon that has been used for a long time now is linked to some serious health problems including cancer.
This is in my opinion a classic example of a product that was thought to be great and later to be found extremely unhealthy. Other examples are PVC and the used PBA in that that is now known to be connected to infertility and other health problems.
The only non-stick product I recommend is the Xtrema ceramic cookware that is considdered to be save.
Problem with the stainless steel cookware is that there are grades of stainless steel and some are not good for cookware.
The grade refers to the quality and also to the temperature it can be used at.
The grading contains of 2 numbers and they refer to the amount of chromium and nickel in the stainless steel.
The most used grades for food preparation
- The numbers 18/8 meaning 18% chromium and 8% nickel
- The numbers 18/10 mean 18% chrome and 10% nickel
- Those two types are also known as type 304, food grade
- This 304 grade also contains less than 0.8% Carbon and at least 50% iron
Heat transportation of stainless steel
Stainless steel itself is not too good in taking care of transporting the heat from your stove to the food.
That is why in most cases there is an aluminum layer sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel for the bottom of your stainless steel cookware.
The sandwiched aluminum does not come in touch with the food, because that would be very unhealthy.
Is all stainless steel safe for cooking, storage and drinking?
All food grade stainless steel is considered safe for any type of use for food.
How about stainless steel from China and India
I have done a lot of research and cannot find any problem with the stainless steel form India and China except that the price is lower.
I have found a forum where one of the members claimed that all stainless steel made in India and China for food products is tested by the US and European companies they produce their products for them.
This means that all stainless steel from those countries have to be manufactured by the same rules as in the European countries and the United States.
There was always a story going round about led in the stainless steel from China, but I have found no proof of that story.
The only thing is maybe that the way it is made could affect how long it will last, but that is a quality issues and not a food safety issue.
My experience with cookware
For years I have also used nonstick cookware under the impression that it was safe.
I even ignored the warnings about not to use metal utensils on it.
Oh my god, was I wrong. Why are companies still selling cookware with Teflon coating while we now know it is extremely unhealthy?
Years ago I had my own restaurant and even than I did not know much about the safety of cookware.
The anodize aluminum I used there, is not harmful because the aluminum is sealed and the aluminum does not come in contact with the food.
Recently my wife and I, have changed out our cookware for stainless steel and cast iron cookware.
The cast iron I love to buy at auctions and consignment stores and then scrub them and make them look like new with a little elbow grease.
Stainless steel however is a different story since it is hard to find in consignment stores or auctions.
My recommendations for stainless steel cookware
Decide what kind and sizes pots and pans you need and try to buy as less as you can, because they can be expensive.
Try to combine the use of pans for multiple purposes.
If you use a small sauce pan once in a while for example, just by a larger one that you can also use for other purposes.
What brand of stainless steel to use
There are several good brands and to be hones I do not think that any well-known brand in the United States will take the risk of selling a lesser quality and ruin their reputation.
There are however stores that have an excellent reputation.
Here are some of the stainless steel cookware I recommend as the most standard, but you can of course make your own choice.
Cuisinart 77-11G stainless steel cookware set
This set is available in 7, 10,11 and a 14 piece set.
Aluminum encapsulated in the bottom and break resistant glass covers that fit real snug on the pans.
See the price here on Amazon
Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Set, 10-Piece
Calphalon is a well know brand and this stainless steel set has the what they call impact bonded aluminum bases.
This set can be use even in the oven for broiling. There are fill lines on the inside to tel you how much is in there.
See the price here on Amazon
T-fal C836SC Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper Bottom
T-fal has been around for many years and always had great quality cookware.
This set is available in a 10 and 13 piece set.
The glass lids are very easy to see what is going in your pan without lifting the lid.
See the price here on Amazon.
I think there is a lot more to tell about stainless steel cookware and I might do that in an other post here.