Cookware is an integral part of the kitchen. Chefs invest time and money into buying the best possible cookware for their kitchens and restaurants. However, in the past, the specific choice of cookware material was not as important as it is today. This is because today, there is a lot of information readily available for all metals. Therefore, it is not only important for the chefs to make prudent choices to satisfy their interests, but the public also has an interest in the particular metals their food is prepared in.
Probably the most common metal used to make cooking equipment is stainless steel. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron and chromium and began to be developed in the early 1800s but was not synthesized for kitchen use until the early 1900s when the first usable alloys were developed. Until then, copper and iron were the most widely used metals for kitchenware. Since then, stainless steel has been used widely in the kitchen with most cutlery and cookware being composed of iron, chromium, and nickel, which makes for a better stainless steel product.
Stainless steel has been found to be a reliable material, and most of the cooking equipment in your average kitchen is made of stainless steel. Even when you purchase the best stainless steel cookware, there are advantages and disadvantages to being aware of.
Advantages of Stainless Steel Cookware
Like its name suggests, stainless steel does not stain or discolor easily which is a quality worth appreciating for any serious cook. It can resist corrosion and discoloration which means it can be used effectively even with foods that are acidic without the danger of damaging the pan. This quality makes it an easy favorite for most chefs. Stainless steel equipment is also rust-resistant which means it can be used for years while maintaining its shine and silvery color.
Durable and Firm
Stainless steel does not fold easily. It is a difficult metal to dent since the alloy is developed to be hard and strong. Stainless steel lasts years despite rigorous usage and will likely be passed on from generation to generation. Many cooks will attest to the fact that their oldest pots and pans are stainless steel and have survived generations of cooking them in good condition.
Easy to Clean and Maintain
Stainless steel is easy to clean with warm water and soap. It can also be cleaned safely in the dishwasher. Once dry, it does not require polishing and shining to maintain its shine. Stainless steel also does not discolor when not in use, so there is no additional work needed to keep your cookware clean and beautiful. Should food get overcooked, stainless steel can withstand being scrubbed and cleaned with the mildly corrosive soap needed to remove stuck and burnt food which a metal like copper would not withstand without being substantially damaged.
Compared to most other options currently available, stainless steel kitchenware is the possibly the cheapest. For the budget conscious cook, stainless steel is a bargain and comes in all shapes and sizes.
Newer Improved Models
For better heat conductivity and more superior shine, modern versions of stainless steel kitchenware are available. The best cookware is that with the highest nickel content. The chromium – nickel concentrations will usually be labeled numerically such that the first number refers to the chromium content while the second number refers to the nickel content. Chromium content will usually be at ’18′. This means that between 18/8 and 18/10, the superior quality pan is the latter. These pans last longer, cook better and require even less effort to maintain and care for.
Disadvantages of Stainless Steel Cookware
Probably owing to the fact that stainless steel is an alloy of different materials of varying characteristics, it does not conduct heat evenly along its surface. This implies that food does not cook evenly through in stainless steel pans. For most foods, this is not a vital concern, but for sensitive dishes such as foams and some sauces, stainless steel is not advisable. Modern stainless steel pots combat this by having a sheet of aluminum or copper in between two sheets of stainless steel, thereby improving conductivity.
Stainless steel cookware is highly prone to hot spots on its surface causing food to cook faster on these spots and even burn. These hot spots also contribute to wearing of the pot due to frequent and rigorous cleaning.
Chromium is one of the materials that comprise stainless steel and is considered to be quite toxic. Despite its considerable chemical stability, stainless steel kitchenware has been known to leak chromium into food, especially when exposed to very salty or acidic foods which gradually corrode the surface.
Stainless steel has always been cheap compared to the other materials, but improved pots lined with other metals and with higher nickel content are gradually replacing the traditional pots made purely of stainless steel. The newer, better pots are more expensive to buy. Cooks and chefs will still have to contend with rising stainless steel kitchenware prices for good quality stainless steel. Find the best cookware at http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/top-rated-ceramic-cookware-for-your-kitchen_us_57ea0432e4b095bd8969fe5e?timestamp=1474955169372