We know that finding a best match pots and pans for your kitchen is sometimes not easy, hard to understand, and very opinionated by ads, then our goal is to provide you with unbiased, honest information, easy-to-browse guides with links directly to stores that carry them.
How to Buy Stainless Steel Cookware
When selecting this kind of pots and pans for your kitchen, consider these:
1. The nickel ratio of the cookware
You’ll find these numbers: 18/0, 18/8 and 18/10. While 18 means the chromium content, the second number tell the content of the nickel (or chromium/nickel). The higher nickel share, the shinier finish and better durability. Or, 18/10 is the better durability for stainless cookware than 18/10.
2. Heat Conductivity Materials –Aluminum or Copper
As heat conductivity determines quality of cookware, check out the base or inside core of your pots and pans. Stainless steel itself can’t conduct heat very well, so manufacturers add copper or aluminum discs to the bottom of stainless products. Copper offers better temperature control quickly, while aluminum takes longer to get heat but it retains the heat longer. If your normal recipes are some kind of sauces and soups, look for aluminum core/base stainless cookware.
3. Clad or Disc Thickness
Quality cookware, such as All-Clad, holds better performance as the copper or aluminum inside runs from the bottom to each side of cookware. Or stainless steel wraps the heat-conductive materials, which make excellent capacity of cooking.
While standard pots and pans have heat-absorb materials in the bottom, or called bottom disc. As the result, the thickness of the disc is the key. Determine minimal acceptable disc thicknesses to allow for better heat distribution when cooking. Choose an aluminum pan with a good disc thickness of 3.0 mm up to an excellent thickness 5.0 mm. A good copper pan has a disc thickness of 1.0 mm up to an excellent copper thickness of 2.0 mm.
Tri-ply base simply means that stainless has been added to the bottom aluminum or copper disc to keep the pan shiny on the outside and add a little more durability as well.
4. Design & Construction
Like every pots and pans, the good stainless cookware need to be designed by concerning most about safety and cooking technique. The sturdy handles and lids shouldn’t be overlooked. The stay-cool and easy-to-grip handles will be practically helpful. Don’t forget to take the weight of each piece into the account.
5. Adequate Pieces or Set
Buying a set of cookware is much cheaper than piece-by-piece or a la cart. However, every chef knows that some pieces in the set are hardly used. Then, a wise way is seeking a set which suits your cooking styles or allows various recipes. The best set should includes these basic pieces: a sauté pan for every recipes, two sauce pans (one of soup, another for sauce), a stock pot for making stock, soup or pasta and a big enough skillet (8” and up). If you enjoying healthy foods, you may consider a steamer insert as an optional.
Determine your budget to meet the best offered pans. If your budget is tight, looking for 18/8 stainless produts with bottom disc, instead of 18/10 or clad cookware. This is a wiser way to get a great gear as it have the control of copper bottoms or aluminum discs on the bottom of your pans, instead of buying a ‘junk’ cheap set.