Curious to find out where to buy cookware? Let’s look at stainless steel as a material. What exactly is “stainless steel”? Stainless refers to its ability to avoid corrosion or stains.
When mixed with nickel, steel becomes non-magnetic. This property makes steel cookware highly favoured by chefs around the globe. It is very resistant to acidic food reactions and rust-resistant.
Stainless steel is a combination of several different metals, including carbon, chromium, nickel, and/or manganese.
Stainless steel cooking utensils are a popular choice for several reasons. It is affordable, requires minimal maintenance, and is almost impervious to scratches when taken care of properly. However, if abrasive and caustic cleaning agents such as steel wool are used for cleaning, the surfaces will eventually be scratched and allow tiny amounts of nickel, and chromium to escape, and leach in your food.
The marking found on the bottom of your cookware means:
- 18/10 is 18 per cent chromium and 10 per cent nickel.
- 18/8 is 18 per cent chromium and 8 per cent nickel
- 18/0 is 18 per cent chromium and 0 per cent nickel
Stainless steel cookware marked with 18/8 or 18/10 means it has an adequate nickel content and thus be non-reactive with the food you cook. The second number designates the nickel content.
Stainless kitchen cookware with a nickel content of less than 18/8 is likely to have a reaction with some acidic foods, causing the pan to corrode. You can check the inner cooking surface of stainless steel cooking utensils with a magnet to make sure it is non-magnetic and is constructed of 18/8 or higher stainless steel.
It is advisable to choose stainless steel that has a copper or aluminium core that extends across the walls to offset the inability of stainless steels to conduct heat effectively. By deciphering the thermal conductivity of metals, copper is by far the best conductor, but it is also more expensive, followed by aluminium, carbon steel, cast iron, enamelled cast iron and, finally, stainless steel.
Stainless steel must be combined with other metal or metals or, at a minimum, have a conductive disc attached to the bottom of the pan, or else there will be hot spots or unequal distribution of heat.
Then consider the gauge (thickness) of the metal. Thicker metal allows for greater control when cooking by improving heat distribution and heat retention, which can eliminate concerns about cooking or overcooking food. The thicker the pots and pans, the more durable they are. Sturdy handles that stay fresh when cooking and are welded by stitches or riveted to the body are essential. Make sure the caps fit correctly and securely.
A recommended thickness of between 3.0 mm and 5.0 mm is ideal for aluminium core stainless steel cookware, while a 1.0 mm to 2.0 mm thickness is suggested for the copper core. This additional factor will contribute to a uniform distribution of heat.
Where to buy cookware? Check out this online shop.