Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils: How To Choose?

Understand, navigate, and choose the most suitable. As usual, we try to give you a lot of information to make the right choice, the one that suits you.

1- Understanding the different types of stainless steel

Is 18/8 stainless steel less good than 18/10 stainless steel? Is it necessary to buy stainless steel 18/10 (pledge quality?) Before answering these questions, it is important to know what stainless steel is.

Stainless steel is an iron alloy to which is added chromium. It is the proportion of chromium that comes first in the title of steel. In the culinary field, it is generally 18%.

Why this proportion? Simply because it offers steel a very high resistance to corrosion. It is chromium (more precisely chromium oxide) that allows the stainless steel to become stainless.

Now that we get Stainless steel kitchenware, we are faced with another problem: the impact resistance. Indeed, with this type of alloy, the steel becomes too hard and particularly brittle. That’s why we add nickel. Although this metal can cringe because it is particularly allergenic, it has a very important function to obtain quality steel. It makes it possible to give ductility to steel, that is to say of flexibility and therefore of resistance. It is how one can obtain particularly robust and durable kitchen utensils.

2- Stainless steel pans and stainless steel pans with integrated bottom: what to choose?

Above all, it is important to note that stainless steel is not an excellent heat conductor. Indeed, as we saw above, stainless steel is an alloy in which iron is associated with other components. Of course, the conductivity of the iron is diminished. That’s why, on quality stainless steel ranges, we can often see a very thick bottom called classic or encapsulated sandwich bottom.

Integrated and multilayered background

We talk about integrated bottom simply when the cookware is designed in one piece.

Several layers of metals are superimposed, pressed and stamped to form a single piece. This is the case of the copper and stainless steel ranges. But also steel utensils composed of alternating stainless steel-aluminum-stainless ranging from 3 to 7 layers.

3- How to choose my stainless steel cookware?

Even if you can cook everything in any stainless steel stove or saucepan, the difference in design will have a real impact on the types of cooking you want to do.

To cook in a classic way

Opt for a sufficiently thick utensil (skirt and bottom) to have a durable product that cooks evenly. In short, a classic range but quality, pro or guarantee 25 years.

To cook on a daily basis, optimizing its long cooking and low temperatures

Choose a high-end product, semi-pro bottom, and very thick skirt. Robust and durable, this type of cookware will also heat up a bit more slowly. On the other hand, it will store the heat optimally, and it will allow continuing cooking over low heat.

It is a perfect design for cooking long, braised or simmered. For fans of low-temperature cooking, this is by far the most appropriate. Of course, this type of kitchenware will also allow you to cook daily, in a classic way.

Kitchen Utensils: Which Materials Are Safe?

Steel is valid for all uses, wood not to burn and spoil pots, silicone is ideal for oven preparations, while aluminum is used to cook quickly and at high temperatures. Depending on the dish you want to prepare, choose the right utensil and pot to get a better result in complete safety.

Aluminum only for cooks

If you are not a skilled chef, do not use aluminum utensils because the risks of burning dinner are very high. Aluminum is the best conductor of heat and ensures rapid and optimal cooking for any preparation. This is why it is used in the kitchens of the restaurants: even if the aluminum pans have non-stick properties, the food tends to stick and cannot be put in the dishwasher. In addition, it is better not to use aluminum in prolonged contact with acidic foods such as tomatoes, lemon or vinegar, to avoid possible transmission of metal particles to foods.

Pots: thick bottom and stainless steel

Take the centimeter and measure the bottom of your pot, if it is not at least 3 mm high do not use it on the stove over high heat, or use it only to boil the water of the pasta.

Stainless steel utensils are by far the most widely used material for the pots for domestic use, the best is to 18/10 stainless steel that contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. But steel is not a good conductor of heat, the walls of stainless steel cookware overheat easily and risk burning the food if it comes into contact with the flame. For this reason, many have a thick aluminum base.

Silicone: eye on first use

Practical, colorful, light, dishwasher safe, resistant to low and high temperatures, silicone has entered the kitchen forcefully because of these undoubted qualities. Used especially for baking trays and utensils such as spoons and spatulas is a safe material, provided it is of high quality (platinum silicone) and at first use, it is advisable to wash in the dishwasher and a cooking test with a mixture of flour, oil, and yeast then you’ll throw away. This is to avoid any processing residues that could move on food the first time the mold is used.

Kitchen utensils: which to choose?

Although they are less easy to clean, for cooking you prefer spoons, forks and wooden spatulas rather than plastic. Wood is a natural material that resists high temperatures, while plastic with heat tends to warp and deteriorates easily.

Wood utensils avoid burns, do not damage pots and non-stick coatings, but because of its porosity, wood tends to absorb odors and food so the tools must be washed carefully. In particular, in the case of wooden cutting boards, it is better to use a different one for meat, fish, and vegetables. More practical the spoons and ladles of steel, which must, however, have the handle covered with plastic, to avoid burns.