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Stainless Steel vs Nonstick Cookware – Pros & Cons

Stainless Steel vs Nonstick Cookware
Stainless Steel vs Nonstick Cookware

Discussing stainless steel vs non stick cookware is just like discussing the difference between pasta and spaghetti.

Though both do have the same functions they are totally different in performance.

However, the reason to discuss both is to shed some light on their features and how they can be useful in a much better way; so it may not cost you your hard-earned money.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless Steel cookware

Named after its stainless feature, it is considered the most favorite cookware for its non reactive nature, durability, and heat resistance.

It doesn’t require seasoning and maintenance as other cookware do.

It is dishwasher and oven safe cookware; that is safe to use without any doubt of hazardous chemicals.

From browning to braising and pickling to sauce making stainless steel is a complete kitchen workhorse.

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Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

Products Brand Buy On
All Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set Amazon
Calphalon Premier Space Saving Stainless Steel Amazon
T-fal Ultimate Stainless Steel Amazon
Rachael Ray Create Delicious Stainless Steel Cookware Set Amazon
Circulon Momentum Stainless Steel Cookware Set Amazon

Stainless Steel Cookware Pros and Cons

Pros
  • It is a great option for those who avoid cookware made of chemicals. Stainless steel cookware is considered ideal for different cooking tasks such as boiling, baking, simmering, and sautéing.
  • High-quality stainless steel cookware consists of an aluminum or copper base to improve heat conductivity and helps retain heat well to prepare evenly cooked food.
  • Stainless steel is a tough cookware; can’t be easily destroyed. It is a scratch and warp resistant metal that doesn’t rust, stain, or chip.
  • Professional love to use stainless steel cookware not only due to the fact it is highly durable but it is very easy to clean and maintain this cookware. You can throw it in the dishwasher or can hand wash it with steel wool without worrying about the stains or scratches.
  • There is no risk of leaching chemicals into food and so it doesn’t impact the quality or flavor of your food.
Cons
  • Stainless steel cookware is a poor conductor of heat. Low-priced stainless steel pots and pans don’t perform well however if paired with copper and aluminum they perform well but eventually, they are much expensive.
  • Durable high-quality stainless steel cookware is much expensive but if you take that chance it will be an investment fora lifetime.
  • With stainless steel pots and pans, you cannot limit the use of oil or greasing; as it is not like non stick. If you try to omit oil or butter it will end up sticking food.
  • Although stainless steel doesn’t leach or flake chemicals in the food however it is made of nickel, chromium, and iron which have the potential to react with acidic foods.

Non Stick Cookware

non stick cookware

Non stick cookware is generally made of man-made coatings that prevent the food from sticking or burning.

It is the most defining feature which makes it apart from all the other options.

It is an ideal cookware for health conscious individuals as it requires less or no grease to cook food.

This is a highly efficient cookware that distributes heat evenly and releases food easily.

As per a few findings, the PFOA coating is hazardous for health however since the arrival of ceramic non stick coating all the doubts have vanished.

Non stick cookware needs special care; they are reactive to high temperatures and can lose their non stick shine if thrown in a dishwasher or use in the oven.

Best Non Stick Cookware Sets

Products Brand Buy On
All-Clad Nonstick Cookware Set Amazon
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Cookware set Amazon
Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set Amazon
T-fal Signature Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set Amazon
Circulon Symmetry Hard Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware Set Amazon

Non Stick Cookware Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Non stick cookware is available in a variety of price ranges. So everyone can enjoy it. Most people tend to buy low-cost cookware so it gets easier to replace them with a new one.
  • It is easier to cook and clean with non stick. It makes frying, sautéing, and browning easily as compared to other cookware material.
  • Other cookware needs much oil and grease to prevent food from burning while non stick cookware is capable of offers the scrumptious brown crust with less grease without burning; which makes it a healthy choice for your kitchen.
  • Non stick pans and pots are efficient at quickly distributing heat evenly across the surface which shortens the cooking time and increases the quality of the meal.
  • In non stick cookware, the chances of food sticking or burning is less and even if it does the slick and glossy non stick coating makes it easy to release. Not only this the cleaning process gets hassle-free with non stick; a gentle swipe of sponge with warm water does the work in coordination with the non stick coating.
Cons
  • Upon high heat, non stick cookware tends to chip and flake toxic chemicals. It is very complicated to choose the cookware that is made of non toxic chemicals and don’t react with the temperature.
  • It is not scratch and warp resistant cookware. One should be careful using utensils meanwhile stirring, sautéing or browning. Metal utensils aren’t recommended for this cookware.
  • Not all non stick cookware are dishwasher safe. Even if the cookware is safe mostly manufacturers recommend washing by hands to ensure longevity.
  • Non stick is not safe with all the stovetops or even if the oven. It is recommended to consult the manual before using it; using it on the stovetop thatis not supportive may damage the cookware.

Stainless Steel vs Nonstick Cookware

Discussing Stainless Steel vs Nonstick Cookware is not that difficult; because both are totally different materials and are known best for serving their consumers in their own unique way.

However, it is necessary to understand the differences so you may able to purchase the right cookware for your kitchen.

If cooking is a new experience for you or you prefer healthy cooking then non stick pan will a good option for you.

The reason is the slick and glossy coating of non stick cookware releases food effortlessly and offers hassle-free cleaning.

Food doesn’t get stick while searing, browning, or sautéing even with less grease.

Stainless steel is liked by professionals or experienced cooks because of its sturdy nature.

If you don’t want to get into the chemically made cookware then you can opt for stainless steel but for this, you have to be careful because stainless steel food is prone to stick.

However, if you are an expert cook then you can create a beautiful crust and scrumptious browning by utilizing its heat resistance.

If we talk about the maintenance stainless steel cookware doesn’t need to be handled carefully while the non stick cookware needs to handle with care as you can just throw it in the dishwasher and use any kind of utensils with it.

The major difference people found in stainless steel vs non stick cookware is that there is always a chance of chemical peeling and flacking in the food with non stick which considers as the major drawback in the non stick cookware pros and cons.

While there is nothing such hazardous found in the stainless steel cookware pros and cons. 

How to Make Stainless Steel Non Stick?

Regardless of how much we admire of non stick cookware one thing that bothers all of us is that the food gets stick easily.

However, it is not as bad if we make a comparison like stainless steel vs non stick cookware then we get to realize that food gets stick to non stick as well and it is hazardous to scratch that sticks food comparatively to stainless steel.

Well, we have already discussed this in the non stick cookware pros and cons; right now the question is can we make our stainless steel cookware to work like non stick or how to make stainless steel non stick?

You may wonder why we are seeking ways how to make stainless steel non stick when we can simply have an option to buy non stick.

Well, the answer is why one should spend a handsome amount on a whole new cookware when it can be achieved by just a simple trick!

Step-By-Step Guide To Make Stainless Steel Into Non Stick

  • Before trying this, make sure your pan, pot, or whatever cookware you are trying is properly cleaned or washed and no debris is present on the surface.
  • Now place your skillet on the stove over medium or medium temperature for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Now carefully add oil to the pan and make sure it covers the entire surface of your pan evenly.  Try to layer the entire surface with at least 1/8 inch of oil.
  • Remember not every oil works best, use oil that has a high smoking point like canola or vegetable oil.
  • Now let the oil to heat at the same temperature and it starts to smoke. Generally, it takes 5 to 6 minutes to reach this point.
  • Now turn off your stove, and carefully remove the skillet from it. Don’t be hasty; stay calm and careful while doing this. Make sure the oil wouldn’t spill, it can cause severe burn or injury.
  • Keep the skillet aside in a separate space where it not reachable to kids; to let the oil cool down completely.
  • Once the pan and oil are completely cooled off, transfer the excess oil to other container and wipe off the remaining grease left in the pan with a paper towel.
  • You will find a glossy and shiny layer in the bottom, and that is exactly your non stick which you are looking for!

Don’t need to wash it after every use; just a gentle sweep will be fine.

However, if it gets really worse then wash it with warm water and soap. It will cause you to lose the seasoning but now as you know it; you can easily reseason it again. 

What Should I Get?

We hope that we were able to give you a clear picture about how the two materials different by discussing the stainless steel vs non stick cookware comparison.

But if you want our suggestion whether to buy stainless steel cookware or non stick cookware; then we would recommend you to make both of the cookware part of your kitchen.

For instance, curries, rice, or soups don’t need non stick surface so you can use stainless steel pots and saucepans.

For eggs, pancakes, sweet delicacies you can use non stick pans.

In the end, your cooking needs can be helpful in making the right decision, and to find out which cookware is better to serve your needs if you find non stick cookware better then read about the non stick cookware pros and cons just to understand whether it is good to go.

And if you like to have stainless steel cookware then you should better know the stainless steel cookware pros and cons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is stainless steel or nonstick cookware better?

All professional cooks prefer to use stainless steel cookware; due to its extreme durability, nonreactive nature, and strength to withstand high temperatures.

However, non stick cookware has its pros as well it makes cooking extremely easy with its non stick surface allowing less oil to ensure a healthy diet.

Both are totally separate entities with different qualities so you may conduct a comparison between stainless steel vs non stick cookware but cannot suggest one over the other.

Why does everything stick to my stainless steel pans?

There are two reasons why your stainless steel pan is sticking. First, is you might be using less oil or grease and the second could be the high heat.

The main thing which makes a bigger difference in stainless steel vs non stick cookware is that; stainless steel cookware requires much lubricant to cook as they don’t have non stick surface to keep the food from sticking or burning.

What is the healthiest material for pots and pans?

If we talk about stainless steel cookware vs non stick cookware; Stainless steel cookware is the healthiest material considered after ceramic cookware.

The reason it is not made of toxic chemicals and doesn’t get hazardous, leach, or flake on high heat. 

Does stainless steel and non stick pans contain PFOA?

If you ask about the most reliable yet durable cookware that is free from PFOA, PTFE or any possible hazardous chemicals then stainless steel tops the list.

However, non stick pans aren’t considered PFOA free but this applies to all pans.

Some high-quality non stick pans do exist which are free from PFOA and offer a premium non stick performance as well, but they are definitely considered more expensive.

What is the best non stick cookware?

Calphalon Classic Nonstick Cookware (Buy on Amazon) is the best non stick cookware so far that is made with durable ceramic and PFOA free non stick coating available in a highly reasonable price.

What is the best stainless steel cookware?

All-Clad Stainless Cookware Set (Buy on Amazon) is the best stainless steel cookware of recent times.

This 3-ply bonded cookware is excellent at heat conductivity.

Compatible with almost all the cooktops it is known for all the features that are considered must-have for a sturdy kitchen workhorse.