Stainless steel is one of the hottest and the most widely used substance when it comes to making cookware. From kitchen appliances to pots and pans, you will find stainless steel dominating every single field related to the kitchen.
Utensils, flatware, mixing bowls all are currently being manufactured in stainless steel. If it is bound for kitchen, chances are it contains stainless steel. But why is stainless steel such a good option for cookware? Because of its potential health benefits.
What are the health benefits of using stainless steel cookware? For starters, it is non-toxic and if used properly, it is not going to harm your body by releasing dangerous chemicals.
Furthermore, stainless steel cookware is easy to clean and sanitize, does not corrode, and protects you from germs as well. Its exceptional properties provide you with properly-cooked food too. In fact, stainless steel is said to be among the safest materials to be used in cookware and on top of all, it is virtually indestructible.
There are so many options when it comes to cooking materials. While stainless steel is quite popular, other materials like aluminum, cast iron, and copper are there to give it a tough competition.
In this article, we will help you explore the details regarding the benefits of stainless steel cookware and why should you choose it.
Top Health Benefits of Using Stainless Steel Cookware
Stainless steel has been associated with numerous health benefits some of which are mentioned below in detail.
It Contains No Dangerous Material
Unlike the usual non-stick pans that contain lots of dangerous chemicals, stainless steel is quite safe. The most dangerous chemicals normally found in kitchenware include PTFE and PFOA. These chemicals have been proven as toxic to animals in numerous experiments. Both of them have been known to cause diseases of the bladder and kidneys if used for a prolonged period of time.
You must also be aware of the fact that whenever you are using a non-stick pan, it must never be overheated as it may release harmful chemicals that may get into your food and cause different diseases. This is especially true in the case of aluminum cookware. Aluminum cookware has been associated with the incidence of Alzheimer’s diseases. Further research is being conducted to check the authenticity of these claims.
Nevertheless, if you wish to be on the safe side, it is better to stick to stainless steel cookware.
It Doesn’t corrode Easily
Another benefit of using stainless steel cookware is that it does not corrode so easily. This is why whatever you cook in these utensils is going to be much safer than anything cooked in rust-prone cookware.
How does corrosion affect your health? Cooking in a corroded pan or pot may cause a change of taste and releases harmful substances into your body. Some experts strongly believe it to be a cause of cancer as well. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about any of this as long as you are using stainless steel cookware.
Research has successfully proven the anti-corrosive property of stainless steel. In fact, one of these researches found how an implant made of stainless steel survived inside the human body for 40 years with no corrosion.
It is Resistant towards Chemical Reaction
Cookware made up of stainless steel has been proven to possess resistance towards chemical reaction. This chemical reaction may be caused by salt, alkali or acid present in the food being prepared. These chemical reactions can alter the nutrition profile of the food and ultimately damage your health.
Therefore, it is important to use cookware that does not react with any food item
Stainless steel cookware has been scientifically proved over research that it is resistant toward chemical reaction of salt, acid or alkali within the foods that are being prepared. Therefore, mommies do not have to worry since this research ensures that the food might not contain any content of metal caused by a chemical reaction in the cooking process.
It is Easier to Sanitize
Many people who use stainless steel cookware swear by the ease with which they can be sanitized. It is quite easy to remove the stains from cookware made up of stainless steel as compared to copper and aluminum. Because of this property, it is hard for germs or bacteria to grow inside this cookware. Additionally, cleaning up stainless steel on a regular basis also ensures its durability.
In addition to the health benefits explained above, stainless steel cookware also offers other properties that you may find useful such as:
It is Non-sticky
It is important to mention the non-sticky property of stainless steel cookware. Most non-stick cookware usually has an additional coating to prevent the food from sticking. Additionally, such cookware is also a lot easier to maintain. The stainless steel cookware, for example, can be easily sanitized using a simple cleaning detergent.
For these reasons, non-stick cookware is recommended by many nutritionists, scientists, environmentalists, and health-conscious chefs.
It is Easier to Handle Food in Stainless Steel Cookware
Most of the people prefer using a plastic or a wooden spatula to cook the food while keeping it tension-free and preventing flaking. In many cases, those who are cooking using these spatulas end up melting them and completely waste the food. Not only this, if the plastic from your spatula melts down on your food, it is said to be extremely dangerous for your health.
Fortunately, using non-stick stainless steel cookware keeps you tension free and does not need you to worry about constant stirring and melting of the spatulas on the food.
It Helps Retain the Taste
Another benefit of using stainless steel cookware is that it helps retain the taste of the food you are cooking. When you are cooking in a plan made of non-stick stainless steel, the taste and flavor are bound to remain exactly the way you want them to be.
Moreover, this type of cookware does not add any additional metallic taste to the food nor does it react with acidic and alkaline foods ensuring maximum safety.
So by introducing stainless steel cookware in your kitchen, you can maintain food safety and hence, maintain the value and nutrition of whatever you are consuming.
It is Adaptable
The cookware made of stainless steel does not interact with any other chemical substances and resultantly, it possesses no risk of making food acidic. This is in contrast to other popular cookware such as that made from aluminum may react with acidic food and increase their acidity.
Consequently, you may develop acidity after consuming such food. The increased levels of acidity in food normally occur due to the metal absorption from the cookware. But if it is stainless steel cookware you are using, the problem does not occur at all. The taste and quality of the food remain fresh and your health status remains unaffected.
It Saves Time
The stainless steel cookware is generally not a good conductor of heat. To overcome this problem, aluminum or copper is added to the bottom of the pans and pots in order to ensure maximum heat conduction. This ensures that the food is cooked evenly and at a much faster rate than usual.
Therefore, it can be rightly said that using stainless steel cookware saves time. Additionally, such cookware can easily tolerate high-temperature cooking as well.
It Makes Kitchen Look Great
Stainless steel cookware is a great way to make your kitchen timeless. It gives your kitchen an amazing, classy look while introducing an element of elegance.
This together with minimum cleaning time, you can use the stainless steel cookware to obtain a mirror shine look. So stop putting it behind cupboards and shelves and bring all the pots and pans out to enhance the beauty of your kitchen.
It is Easy to Maintain
Stainless steel is a tough, non-porous substance which possesses various properties. It is leak-proof, crack-proof and great for cooking. For these reasons, it is easy to maintain it for longer durations of time. You can easily put all your stainless steel cookware in the dishwasher too.
Stainless steel cookware can be used by everyone with ease. The cleaning only requires plain water with a bit of soap and very little effort. There is no need to soak the pots beforehand or scrub them hard.
Are there any Disadvantages of Using Stainless Steel Cookware?
As with other types of cookware, stainless steel definitely has its own disadvantages. Some of them have been mentioned below.
It is a Poor Heat Conductor on its Own
Stainless steel alone does not have the capacity to conduct heat properly. It changes its temperatures very slowly and extremely unevenly due to which cooking can be greatly disturbed.
However, this disadvantage has been greatly overcome by the manufacturers who have started adding a layer of aluminum and copper in every pot and pan made from stainless steel. This greatly improves the conductibility of heat and ensures quality cooking.
It May Not be Non-stick
The biggest and the most classic issue faced by people using stainless steel cookware is that it does not have non-stick properties on its own. The cookware is great when it comes to boiling, frying, browning, and sautéing, however, delicate foods cannot be cooked in it, for example, tofu, fish, and eggs.
However, just like the problem with heat conduction, this issue has also been resolved to a great extent by adding a non-stick layer to most stainless steel cookware. So all you need to do now is make sure you buy high-quality cookware with a non-stick property.
It May Discolor
Stainless steel can greatly discolor and pit, sometimes acquiring a rainbow hue when exposed to saltwater or acidic foods at high temperatures. However, this can be dealt with by taking certain precautionary steps and avoid putting saltwater or acidic food in it at high flames.
Is stainless steel cookware safe for health?
In most cases, the answer is yes. However, you must keep in mind that different brands manufacturing stainless steel cookware do so in different ways. Therefore, there are different types of stainless steel cookware coming from different manufacturers and possessing different qualities and compositions. For example, different types of stainless steel cookware may have varying ratios of metal alloys like chromium and nickel. The ones with high nickel content are definitely more harmful as compared to the nickel-free varieties.
Despite the controversies surrounding the metal alloys used in stainless steel cookware such as nickel, the fact is these alloys actually make the cookware quite strong and help the metals leach into the foods. For this reason, stainless steel is said to be a lot safer than other non-stick surfaces which contain highly toxic material such as PTFE and TEFLON.
The biggest risk associated with stainless steel is the small amount of nickel that it may release in the food, however, the chances are extremely minimal. To make sure you do not experience this risk, keep the following two points in mind.
Getting high-quality stainless steel cookware will ensure that it contains the safest materials as compared to its low-quality alternatives. It will also provide a safe cooking surface that would not react with food, cause flaking, or let harmful materials leach into it.
Care and Maintenance
It is also important to use your stainless steel pots properly. Use utensils and spatulas that do not scratch the surface and clean the pots properly so that the quality does not compromise.
How should you prepare stainless steel cookware?
First, wash your cookware using warm water with soap and ¼ cup of vinegar. This will ensure the removal of all traces of the manufacturing oils. Now wash the pots properly and use a soft towel to dry.
In the case of non-stick varieties, use 5 ml of vegetable oil to condition it properly before washing. Use a soft cloth to remove this oil later. Remember to repeat this process every three months.
Do not use non-stick sprays on non-stick pans as they start accumulating and form a layer hindering the non-stick property.
How do you cook using stainless steel utensils?
For non-stick stainless steel cookware, you must be using low to medium heat only. The center of most of these pans contains aluminum which conducts heat really well. If you start your cooking at low temperatures, discoloring the pans, scorching the food, or damaging the nonstick coating can be prevented.
Be sure that you preheat all the pans completely using low to medium flames. Check the temperature of the pans by adding a few drops of water. If they slip with ease without evaporating and bubbling, it means the pan is ready.
How do you clean stainless steel cookware?
Cleaning stainless steel cookware involves clever tips some of which are mentioned below:
- Cooldown your cookware to room temperature before cleaning the pans. This is because sudden changes in the metal may cause the pans to warp leading to an uneven base. Similarly, do not put frozen food or cold water in a hot pan and never plunge a hot pan in cold water
- Rinse the pan properly with plain water followed by washing it with soapy water in order to remove stains
- To get rid of discoloration or stubborn stains, use water and non-chlorine, non-abrasive stainless steel cleaner to form a paste. Rub it on the pan in circular motion followed by washing it with soapy water.
How do you care for the lids and glass covers of stainless steel cookware?
To care for the glass covers and lids, follow these tips:
- Never place the glass covers on a burner, under a broiler, in a toaster oven, or the microwave. The heat is going to harm the cover.
- Avoid striking the glass cover while cooking, cleaning, serving, or storing.
- Steer clear of using covers that are cracked, chipped, or scratched.
- Never try to repair the covers that have been broken or chipped
To conclude, everyone should own at least one good piece of high-quality stainless steel cookware. These pots and pans made of shiny stainless steel are amazingly versatile and practical. You can easily use them for almost all types of cooking. Whether you want to simmer the broth for a couple of hours or saute some veggies, stainless steel cookware is your friend.
While purchasing stainless steel cookware, ensure the quality. Stick to grade 304 stainless steel as it works best for everyday use. However, if you wish to go even higher in terms of quality, try finding surgical steel cookware. Don’t forget to choose the correct shapes and sizes according to your individual needs.
In any case, investing in some high-quality stainless steel cookware will be a decision that you would not ever regret.