Stainless Steel

Best Stainless Steel Cookware Buying Guide

best stainless steel cookwareWhat is the best stainless steel cookware and exactly what is it made of? Surgical stainless steel cookware is a combination of metals called an alloy. Iron, chromium, nickel, and some minor metals are fused together to create stainless steel cookware. The chromium helps prevent rust and makes the pans more durable.

Nickel is also used as additional rust prevention, and it is what adds the “polished finish” that this cookware is well known for by culinary artists. The nickel is also a consideration for those that require nickel-free cookware due to nickel allergy. Often surgical steel cookware has aluminum or copper or both, on the bottom and sometimes even up the sides.

This assures that food will cook evenly and without hot spots since stainless pans are poor conductors of heat. It also helps the pots to respond rapidly to temperature changes with the turn of the knob.

The best stainless steel cookware and best quality will have copper or aluminum up the sides of the pot as well. You can’t go wrong with surgical stainless steel cookware. It is beautiful, durable, and smooth and won’t chip, pit, crack or tarnish. It is truly easy to cook with and easy to clean. Every kitchen should have a basic set of quality best stainless cookware.


  • • Durable
  • • Dishwasher safe
  • • Retains its finish
  • • Healthy
  • • Versatile


  • • Poor heat conductor
  • • Moderate to high cost
  • • Nickel allergies


  • • All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware
  • • Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless-Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
  • • Emerilware Cookware 10 piece set

Stainless Steel Cookware expert buying tips

Quality is important when picking out the best stainless cookware. There are some important points to look for when you buy stainless steel cookware. The best stainless steel cookware is made up of different metals. You might see it referred to as 18/10 stainless steel cookware. The 18 is the percentage of chromium and10 refers to the percentage of nickel. It must have at least these values of these metals to be a true “stainless steel”.

This ensures the pots won’t rust and will be a strong, durable, and quality product. It will even renew itself if the pot becomes marred. . T304 stainless is surgical grade. The nickel may be used as added corrosive resistance, but it mainly produces a brightly polished finish. It makes the pot harder and more temperature tolerant. Quality surgical stainless steel cookware contains 10% nickel. Don’t pick one with a lower percentage. Then there is the “ply” question. What does this mean? The method used to bond combinations of metals to form the pots.

  • • 2- Ply pans usually have some other metal on the outside and stainless steel inside.
  • • 3-ply pans usually have stainless steel on the outside and inside with another metal as the core.
  • • 5-ply pans usually have stainless steel on the outside and inside with 3 layers of aluminum forming the core.
  • • Bottom-clad pans are usually solid stainless steel with 3-ply conductor metal applied to the bottom. The attached disc bottoms do not perform as well as tri-ply bottoms.
  • • Up to 9 layers can be used but 3 to 5 is more common.

The best advice here is to not skimp when buying your stainless steel cookware set. Quality can make a huge difference in the long run. Waterless cookware is the highest grade stainless steel cookware on the market and it comes with a price to match the quality. However; it can’t be beaten for safe and healthy cooking.


Things to consider when buying the Best Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel cookware is very easy to clean. It is dishwasher safe and even if you leave it overnight a scrubby can shine it easily. Occasionally, some brands may discolor a tiny bit when used often under a broiler. No problem, clean-up is still easy with Barkeeper’s friend. Always remember to wash your new pots in warm soapy water before their first use. It is recommended to use nylon scrubby and mild soap with most all cookware. The only real culprit to these pots is long-term exposure to saltwater. This could cause pitting.

Generally speaking, if you are roasting, browning, or frying food, the best stainless steel cookware with do all of this ideally. These pots work best by design to cook on medium to low heat. They are known for their stainless steel cookware safety and healthy cooking. This metal does not interact with tomatoes or acidic foods. You can feel confident that your food will never taste like a pot. It does not interact with the food and ensures wholesome fresh flavorful healthy food.

The best stainless steel cookware won’t warp, scratch, dent, tarnish, or crack and is not pours. It is so easy to keep new looking and will last for generations. The one thing to be aware of is the handles and lids. They will give you trouble long before the pot. If the handles are not metal also, then they are probably attached with screws that can come loose.

Also, be sure the handles are temperature-proof for your cooking needs. Make sure the handles are comfortable to hold. The lids should fit tight enough not to rattle and lose too much steam, but loose enough to not lock and allow a little steam to escape. It is great to find a set that has interchangeable lids. The rims of the pots also vary and it is important to consider them for your needs. Some have straight edges and others are rounded, where some may have a lip.

Consider the difficulty in pouring from the pot and your personal needs. Surgical stainless steel cookware sets are light in weight for quality and can be moderate to expensively priced. It is virtually nonstick when used with a pre-seasoned preparation. A little butter or oil in the pan or a spray of cooking oil will do the trick. Some professional chefs season with heat and salt. Every pot will need to be seasoned with each use. Since there is a trace amount of nickel in the best stainless steel cookware, people who may have a rare allergy to nickel should not eat food cooked in these pots. There are safe nickel-free alternatives.

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