A kitchen isn’t complete without some cookware; it feels odd to enter a kitchen without any pots or pans. Steel pans, specifically, are essential in almost every modern kitchen. Whether you’re an expert at-home chef or you’re aspiring to be an all-star on Food Network, there are a number of reasons why steel pans are a must-have.
“Aluminum and copper, on the other hand, are very strong heat conductors. This is why stainless steel pots and pans are manufactured with a base layer of metal that takes on the responsibility of heat absorption, retention, and distribution.”
Stainless steel pots and pans aren’t the only cookware options for modern home chefs, though; there are other popular materials for designing and manufacturing consumer cookware. Copper and aluminum are two of the most popular cookware material options, while cast iron and ceramic have entire markets of their own.
The Cooking Experience
Steel pans are an excellent staple in any kitchen for a number of reasons. However, knowing what’s beneath the shiny stainless steel finish of your favorite pots and pans is essential. The stainless steel finish is just that: a finish. This is because steel is a rather lousy heat conductor.
Aluminum and copper, on the other hand, are very strong heat conductors. This is why stainless steel pots and pans are manufactured with a base layer of metal that takes on the responsibility of heat absorption, retention, and distribution. Aluminum and copper are the most popular options because they’re effective heat conductors. They do, however, offer some differences, especially with the cooking experience.
Copper is a better conductor than aluminum, plain and simple. In turn, copper-based pots and pans offer the chef a higher level of control over the temperature of their dish during cooking.
Additionally, cooks almost never need more than a medium-heat when using copper-based cookware because it’s such an effective conductor. Aluminum, in contrast, is a slightly worse conductor than copper, though it is still effective enough to absorb and distribute heat evenly.
The big upside to aluminum over copper is the cost. This is why most cookware is designed with an aluminum base, as it offers a cost-effective solution to both consumers and professionals alike.
Stainless steel pots and pans are also highly versatile pieces of cookware, especially modern-day designs that can tackle any number of cooking challenges you undertake. High-quality stainless steel pots and pans can be manufactured to withstand in-oven temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit along with their traditional stovetop use.
Beyond this, stainless steel pots and pans can take on any number of dishes, whereas other pieces of cookware, especially cast iron, are better suited for specialty dishes and unique cooking situations. A versatile set of high-quality stainless steel pots and pans can elevate your home-cooking beyond the next level. You’ll even surprise yourself with how good of a chef you can be.
Easy to Clean and Maintain
One major benefit of stainless steel pots and pans is that they’re incredibly easy to clean and maintain. Most modern-day ones are even designed to be dishwasher safe, giving users a convenient and time-effective way to keep their cookware clean.
“Aluminum, in contrast, is a slightly worse conductor than copper, though it is still effective enough to absorb and distribute heat evenly.”
Even so, some experts suggest that hand-washing your stainless steel cookware remains the best way to extend its lifespan to its fullest potential.
When hand-washing, though, take care not to plunge your cookware directly into water immediately after cooking. You’ll want to give your cookware time to cool down so you don’t put the metal through thermal shock and end up warping your brand new pots and pans. Beyond the washing, stainless steel comes off the shelf brilliant and shiny. The occasional polish should suffice to keep it looking brand-new for years to come.
Made for the Modern Home-Chef
Some stainless steel pots and pans are even made to be hybrids. This offers consumers a variety of the best features from various designs to create one set that is specifically targeted at the modern consumer. These pots and pans are designed with an elegant stainless steel finish over a layer of magnetic aluminum that performs all of the heat conduction, making them conduction-cooking compatible.
These cookware products also incorporate patches of non-PTFE non-stick to deliver the smoothest consumer cooking experience there is.
Wrapping up on Steel Pots and Pans
No matter what brings you into the market for a new set of pots and pans, there’s a lot to consider before bringing your next cookware set into the heart of your home, the kitchen. A solid understanding of the difference in materials, design, and function can help you make an informed decision and choose the right set of pots and pans for yourself and your individual cooking needs.