If you’re shopping for your next set of pots and pans, you may be considering stainless steel pans. Stainless steel pans have been highly popular with consumers since they hit the market a couple of decades ago. There are a few reasons that stainless steel pans grew in popularity so quickly, and why they remain a consumer favorite for cookware in the modern kitchen today.
If you’ve never bought pots and pans for yourself before, you might not really know where to start, either. With a little bit of research, though, you can learn the key elements and attributes of the most common pot and pan designs on the marketplace. To get started, this is a list of the main benefits that stem from cooking with stainless steel pots and pans in your kitchen.
1. Understanding Stainless Steel Pots And Pans
Before jumping straight into the benefits that stem from cooking with stainless steel pots and pans, it’s important to first understand the basic design of stainless steel pans. Steel, by itself, isn’t a very powerful conductor. In other words, it kind of sucks at heating things up quickly. So instead of relying on the stainless steel in steel pans to act as the heating element, stainless steel pans are built with an internal core.
The internal core is usually made of aluminum or copper, both of which are far better at conducting and distributing heat than steel. Then, the stainless steel finish is painted over the main heating element in order to give a certain aesthetic to the cookware.
The stainless steel finish is as easy on the eyes as it is to clean and maintain, too. The ease of cleaning and continual maintenance is one of the reasons stainless steel pans are so popular with modern home-chefs today.
When using stainless steel pots and pans, it’s important to know if the heating core is aluminum or copper, because even though these are both conductors, copper is an even stronger conductor than aluminum. This means it heats the pan up faster, but also limits how much heat the pan can handle. Not to mention, copper cored cookware is often more expensive than their aluminum counterparts.
2. Cooking Environments
Another great thing about stainless steel pans is that they’re relatively versatile when it comes to cooking environments. While cast-iron pots and pans generally take the cake in this category, no pun intended, stainless steel pans are a close second when it comes to versatile cooking environment compatibility.
Most stainless steel pans can be used on a stove-top with little-to-no fear, while some are also designed to withstand oven-temperatures from all sides. Going even further still, there are some stainless steel pans that can be used on a grill top.
All of that said, it’s likely not recommended to use stainless steel cookware with direct flame or over charcoal coals, like you could with cast iron.
3. Even Heat Distribution
Stainless steel pans also come with the benefit of a smooth and easy cooking experience. This is once again due to the crucial nature of the internal core. The aluminum or copper core of your stainless steel pan is responsible for absorbing and distributing the heat from the burner evenly across the cooking surface of the steel pan.
With even heat distribution, the cooking experience is also more even, steady, and easier to monitor from a chef’s perspective.
4. Easy To Clean And Maintain
As mentioned a little bit earlier, stainless steel pans are known for being easy to clean and maintain. The easiest and safest way to clean your stainless steel pans is with hot water and dish soap. This is also the best way to keep your pots and pans in top-condition for years and years to come.
It’s vital to note that you shouldn’t immediately expose your steel pots and pans to water after the cooking process, though. The cooking surface needs to cool off before being cleaned in order to avoid experiencing thermal shock. Thermal shock is the rapid change of temperature of the metal surface, and can result in severe warping, effectively making the pan non-functional.
There are also some modern stainless steel pots and pans that are even dishwasher safe, making it super easy and convenient for the modern home-chef.
5. Hybrid Stainless Steel Pans For The Modern Kitchen
There are a wide variety of stainless steel pans on the market, and they’re all ever so slightly different. Some of the best modern stainless steel pans, though, are hybrid pans that include sophisticated non-stick technology that is 100% PFOA free, a combination of high-quality aluminum, and magnetic steel for conduction oven cooking.
Being stainless steel just makes these modern pots and pans all that much easier to maintain.
A few Final Thoughts
No matter what you like to cook, a stainless steel pan set is a staple in most modern kitchens, so what’s stopping you from finding yours today?