In the past several years stainless steel cookware has become a great eco-friendly alternative to pans that are coated in Teflon. Teflon is unstable at high temperatures releasing harmful contagions into your food. No wonder top chefs prefer to use stainless cookware! Additionally, stainless steel is durable, low maintenance and rust resistant. It may not be non-stick, so more oil is required for the cooking process, but these pots and pans tend to be much kinder towards your health, I know I don’t want Teflon chips in the food myself and family are consuming.
When looking to purchase stainless steel cookware one should note a few things. First, investigate the quality of the stainless steel. Look for pots and pans with an 18/10 chromium to nickel ratio. This ratio indicates a good quality of stainless steel and while it may be slightly more expensive, it’s worth it. Pots and pans with this ratio tend to have better rust resistance, hardness and shine than those with a ratio or 18/0 or 18/8.
Also, note that alone stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat. Because of this, plain stainless steel cookware causes hot spots in the bottoms of the pots and pans which makes cooking food without burning it quite difficult. The solution to this issue is clad cookware, which means there is a layer of metal that is a good heat conductor sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel. The best metals for the job are aluminum and copper. These metals heat up evenly on an electric or gas cooking surface and distribute the heat evenly for uniform cooking of food and less burning.
Currently the best stainless-steel cookware is All-Clad’s Tri Ply cookware. The pots and pans are stainless steel wrapped around an aluminum core which extends up the sides helping transfer heat better and preventing burning and sticking on the sides of the pan. The pieces are a little pricier than other brands, but they are incredibly durable. They tend to be a bit on the larger, heavier side, so if you do not need something that big you will be able to get away with one of the other brands, which still perform well.
Cuisinart also makes a great eco friendly stainless steel set that is a bit easier on the wallet. These pans still contain an aluminum core and sides for even heat distribution and they also boast solid cast stainless steel handles that stay cool on the stove top, tight-fitting stainless steel lids and drip free pouring lids. They are oven and broiler safe as well.
If you are budget shopping eco friendly stainless cookware, then T-fal has a great set that will not break the bank. There’s boasts an aluminum core and copper bottom for great cooking performance. The pans are shiny and look great on display in your kitchen and provide a great balance between cost and performance.
So, if you are in the market for a healthier option to non-stick cookware, which is coated with harmful chemicals, know that there are better options. Top performing chefs have had great success with stainless cookware and with just a little bit of lemon juice and care these pans can be a great looking addition to your kitchen. Remember to choose a high quality stainless steel with the proper core for conducting heat so that you are pleased with the performance, but know that you do not have to spend a fortune on a set of cookware there are many sets available for affordable prices.