Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe? An In-Depth Look

Sharing is caring ! Stainless steel is one of the materials that people frequently check when looking for non-toxic cooking utensil. It is said to be inert and doesn ’ t leach harmful chemicals to the food. How true are these claims ? Is stainless steel steel cooking utensil actually condom ?
Stainless steel cookware is safe provided that you’re well-informed on how to choose one and how to safely use it. Nickel-free stainless steel cookware is the safest but they’re more prone to corrosion. They’re harder to find and more expensive too. 300 series stainless steel is good too as long as you don’t cook acidic foods in it that can cause leaching.
Nowadays, people are getting more concerned in freeing their kitchen from toxins that can negatively impact their health. Cancer, dementia, liver excitement, smaller newborn birth weight, and ulcer – these are equitable some of the illnesses that are linked to toxins that are found in some cooking utensil.

Some of the most refer types of cooking utensil include Teflon-coated pans and cooking utensil with an aluminum or copper surface. Teflon-coated pans have PTFE and PFOA which are both dangerous to the health. Aluminum cooking utensil can cause leach and is linked to Alzheimer ’ sulfur disease. The same goes for bull which can besides leach into your food and cause heart problems and even death.
fortunately, there are still many other types of cooking utensil that you can choose from like cast iron, glass, and today ’ s subject, stainless steel. There is a bunch of debate surrounding stainless steel steel then today, I ’ ll try to shed some light on whether it is actually condom .

What Is Stainless Steel?

Stainless sword is a steel alloy which has 10.5 % chromium at a minimum. It is lustrous and resistant to corrosion and stain by nature. To enhance its other qualities, alloying elements like nickel, molybdenum, titanium, and copper are added to it. To go steady, there are more than 150 stainless steel grades based on the combination of metals .

The Different Types of Food Grade Stainless Steel

Types of Food Grade Stainless 
Based on the NSF International ’ s criterion for food equipment, the SAE steel grades which are dependable for food preparation are the following :

200 Series

In rate to lower the price of production, unreliable cooking utensil manufacturers sometimes utility part of the nickel component with manganese. Though cooking utensil made from this non-magnetic series is cheap and is distillery rated as food rate, I recommend avoiding them because they are more prone to corrosion .

300 Series

There are two types of 300 series stainless steel steel that are considered dependable for food training .

304 Stainless Steel

When it comes to cookware, the 304 SS is the most common stainless steel grade used. This non-magnetic material is very glazed since it has more chromium and nickel content. Compared to the 200 series, the 304 SS has better rust and corrosion resistance. Its disadvantage is that it has a tendency to rust when exposed to salt.
sometimes, the flatware grading system is besides used to describe 304 SS as 18/10 and 18/8. The beginning number pertains to the percentage come of chromium while the irregular numeral is the share amount of nickel. indeed, in an 18/10 stainless steel sword, 18 % of the debase is chromium and nickel is at 10 %. Likewise, stainless sword that has 18 % chromium and 8 % nickel is 18/8. Since the deviation in nickel amounts between chromium and nickel is just 2 %, the performance is about the same and the deviation is unnoticeable .

316 Stainless Steel

The 316 SS is high-end stainless steel steel that stands out for its excellent resistance to corrosion. In fact, it is besides called marine stainless steel since it is evening resistant to corrosion caused by exposure to salt and is much used in marine applications. The 316 SS has many medical uses ampere well and is known as surgical stainless steel.
What makes the 316 SS so durable is the addition of a humble sum of molybdenum. It is composed of 16–18 % chromium, 10–14 % nickel, and 2 % molybdenum. This makes this type of stainless steel steel quite expensive though, so there aren ’ t a batch of cooking utensil that uses it .

400 Series

430 Stainless Steel

The 430 SS is a magnetic and nickel-free grade of stainless steel steel. In the flatware grading arrangement, 430 SS is known as 18/0 since it has 18 % chromium and about 0 % nickel.
Do note though that evening if it ’ sulfur legally satisfactory to call it nickel-free, it still contains a negligible sum of nickel at about 0.75 %. Because of the absence of nickel, 430 SS is more prone to corrosion and it tends to slowly lose its luster .

Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?

The answer is yes but there are a few things that you need to know before you can safely buy and use stainless steel steel cooking utensil. now, I know that ’ s frustrating but hear me out first.
Stainless Steel Cookware Safety
Stainless sword is considered by the US Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) as safe for food contact a long as it has at least 16 % chromium. Though it isn ’ thymine quite a inert as some people claim, it is hush more stable and safer than other more reactive cooking utensil like copper and aluminum.
later, I ’ ll tell you some tips on how you can minimize your stainless steel cooking utensil ’ s reactivity. First, let ’ s look at the issues concerning stainless sword as cooking utensil .

Chromium Leaching

There international relations and security network ’ metric ton an established adequate upper intake degree ( UL ) for chromium since the Institute of Medicine hasn ’ thymine found any hard evidence that links high levels of chromium to adverse effects. But, the recommend casual intake is 50 to 200 microgram for adults. sol, our body actually needs little amounts of chromium. unfortunately, most of the chromium that we need, we already get from foods like broccoli, potatoes, beef, poultry, dairy products, and apples.
This means that if our stainless steel steel cooking utensil leaches chromium to our culinary creations, we might be getting more chromium than we need. And, according to a cogitation in 2013, stainless sword cooking utensil does leach chromium and nickel during the fudge summons .

Nickel Leaching

Compared to chromium, nickel leach is a a lot more dangerous issue since it ’ s right up there in the Substance Priority List ( SPL ) of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ( ATSDR ). We merely need trace amounts of nickel in our body, and most of that we already get from foods like nuts, cocoa, and grains. Plus, kitchen appliances like crockpots and chocolate machines which use stainless steel are extra sources excessively.
There ’ second research that supports the findings of the 2013 survey that I ’ ve mentioned above. It states that stainless steel steel cooking utensil can give us meaning amounts of chromium, nickel, and iron. so, if you consider all the possible sources of nickel around us, we ’ re possibly getting much more than the 25 to 35 microgram of nickel that we need per day.
What happens when one is constantly exposed to high levels of nickel ? There is a possibility of developing eczema, allergies, lung disorders, and cancer .

Minimizing Stainless Steel Reactivity

Since stainless steel steel cooking utensil can contaminate food with chromium and nickel, does this average that you need to stay away from them at all cost ? Well, not truly. Unless you ’ ra highly sensitive to these metals, in which case you should explore other cooking utensil options, you can hush stainless steel cooking utensil provided that you take special care in buy and using them.

  • If you’re looking for stainless steel cookware that have less nickel in them, you can do the magnet test. Check if a magnet will stick to the sides, bottom, and inside of the stainless steel pot. If the pot is magnetic, it is nickel free.
  • Sometimes stainless steel pots and pans have layers of aluminum in them which can cause aluminum leaching if exposed. So if you have stainless steel cookware, take special care to not to damage the surface. If that happens, it’s best to recycle it.
  • To minimize the risk of nickel leaching, buy stainless steel grades like 18/8 or 18/0 which have lower nickel content. Ideally, you’ll want to get a 400 series stainless steel, but 300 series ones are okay too. Stay away from cookware labeled 200 series.
  • Refrain from slow-cooking and cooking acidic dishes (i.e. tomato-based sauces) with your stainless steel cookware to prevent leaching.
  • Remove the food right away from your stainless steel pan after cooking.
  • Do not use abrasive detergents, scouring pads, and steel wool to clean it. If there are some food stuck to the pan, soak it in some water for an hour to soften it. You can also gently scrub it with a soft sponge and some baking soda. Alternatively, you can get something like the Bar Keepers Friend to clean your pans.

The Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Cookware

now that we ’ ve established that stainless sword is quite condom for cooking equally hanker as you ’ re intelligent on how to choose, practice, and maintain them, let ’ s lecture about the benefits and drawbacks that they can bring to your kitchen.
Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Cookware

The Benefits

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Will last long if properly taken care of
  • Magnetic stainless steel cookware work with induction cooktop
  • Can be used in the oven and broiler and on the stove
  • Comes in a wide variety of sizes and forms
  • Relatively non-reactive with proper use
  • Durable and resistant to rust, corrosion, scratching, and denting
  • Has a polished appearance that would look good in any kitchen
  • Completely recyclable
  • Most cookware made of this material are dishwasher-safe

The Drawbacks

  • Has a tendency to discolor when exposed to salty food at high temperatures
  • Poor heat conductor, requires an aluminum or copper core to boost conductivity
  • High-quality stainless steel cookware are expensive but will last you a lifetime
  • Not nonstick, requires seasoning or good temperature control to prevent food from sticking
  • Low-quality stainless steel pans might cause leaching

The Best Stainless Steel Cookware

Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Overall Best


Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Set, 17PC Induction Cookware Set, Impact-bonded...

Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Set, 17PC Induction Cookware Set, Impact-bonded…

  • FOOD GRADE STAINLESS STEEL & STURDY: Duxtop stainless steel pots and pans are made of premium food grade 18/10 stainless steel, which keeps the flavor of the food. Heavy bottom with impact-bonded…
  • FAST & EVEN HEATING: Heavy gauge impacted-bonded aluminum encapsulated bottom of the kitchen cookware set provides a quick, even and energy-efficient heating. Suitable for all stovetops, such as…
  • FEATURES: Duxtop induction cookware feature a classic straight-sided and drip-free pouring design. The tight-fitting tempered glass lids allow cooking to be monitored while sealing in heat and…

For one of the best stainless steel cooking utensil in the market nowadays, check out the Duxtop 17-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set. Coming in at around $ 250 ( fourth dimension of writing ), you get a higher quality product compared to other major brands like Calphalon and T-Fal at the lapp price.
The Duxtop arrange uses food grade 18/10 stainless steel sword, similar to many reputable stainless steel cooking utensil. however, the 3 ply layers of each vessel is fused together using what the ship’s company calls shock bonding. No adhesive material is used to combine the 3 layers, resulting in a longer lasting, safer finished product.
All cooking utensil in the Duxtop set have an aluminum core in the middle, sandwiched by a stainless steel top layer and magnet steel layer at the penetrate. This results in fast, even heating with no hot or cold spots. now, you might be worried about aluminum leach, but you don ’ t need to be. This aluminum core is embedded deep in the center.
aside from safe cooking and even heat distribution, what else can the Duxtop Stainless Steel Cookware Set offer ? Well, it is compatible with all types of cooktop including evocation. This put is oven-safe besides arsenic retentive as the temperature doesn ’ metric ton go over 550°F. finally, it ’ mho dishwasher-safe, so you can spend less time cleaning and more clock enjoying your tasty creations.
One thing that I think would make this Duxtop set an even better intersection is the accession of steam holes in the lids. Since the lids that come with the adjust wear ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have this feature, you have to place the eyelid askew when fudge to prevent the food from boiling over and making a mess .

  • Uses food grade 18/10 stainless steel
  • Aluminum core with stainless steel outer layers for fast and even cooking
  • Fused together without the use of adhesive
  • Works for all types of cooktops
  • Oven-safe
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Handles stay cool


  • Food sticks unless temperatures is carefully monitored
  • Lids do not have steam holes

All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Set – Best Stainless Steel Skillet

All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Frying Pan 8 and 10 Inch Cookware Set, 2, Silver

All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Frying Pan 8 and 10 Inch Cookware Set, 2, Silver

  • 3-Ply bonded construction consists of durable stainless steel encapsulating an aluminum core for even heating throughout
  • Highly polished cooking surface with starburst finish offers stick resistance and easy maintenance, plus won’t react with food
  • Contoured stainless-steel handles permanently secured with stainless-steel rivets; capacity etched on base

You no farseeing have to worry about toxins getting released in the air travel and into your food with the All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Set. For under $ 200 ( at clock time of writing ), you can get US-made 8 ” and 10 ” stainless steel steel fry pans to assist you with high-heat cook.
Unlike gloomy quality non-stick coated pans which can contain PFOA and PTFE, the All-Clad D3 Fry Pans is completely chemical free. It doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate use any kind of coating. It does have an aluminum congress of racial equality to promote even heat, but there ’ s little to worry about leaching either. The aluminum core is sandwiched between two layers of 18/10 stainless steel.
The All-Clad D3 Set doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate falter when it comes to aesthetics either. The department of the interior is beautifully polished while the exterior is mirror polish stainless steel. not to mention that you can wash these pans using the dishwasher without diminishing its beauty.
It isn ’ t all good though. Since the All-Clad D3 Fry Pans are made of 18/10 stainless sword, it has a inclination to form little white dots when used to cook salty foods. Though it doesn ’ t affect the spirit of the food, it surely isn ’ t pleasing to look at. To prevent scar, I suggest that you only add strategic arms limitation talks once the liquids have started to boil.
overall, I highly recommend the All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Set if you want to safely and evenly apply high-heat cook techniques to your food. Plus, the fact that these pans are quite versatile, pleasing to look at, and easily to clean are capital bonuses.


  • Doesn’t release PFOA and PTFE under high heat
  • Triply construction minimizes risk of aluminum leaching
  • The aluminum core ensures even heat distribution
  • Flared side make turning the food easier.
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Handcrafted in the USA
  • Has a beautiful mirror polished exterior
  • Comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty


  • Does not come with lids
  • Has a tendency to pit

Homichef 14-Piece Nickel-Free Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Best Nickel-Free Stainless Steel Cookware

HOMI CHEF 14-Piece Nickel Free Stainless Steel Cookware Set - Nickel Free Stainless Steel Pots and...

HOMI CHEF 14-Piece Nickel Free Stainless Steel Cookware Set – Nickel Free Stainless Steel Pots and…

  • 14-PIECE MIRROR POLISHED COOKWARE SET – Crafted from lustrous, brushed stainless steel and featuring clean lines and curvaceous silhouettes, this 14-piece cookware set blends well with your kitchen -…
  • NICKEL FREE HARM FREE – Nickel-bearing stainless steel, being more corrosion-resistant, is commonly used in industry, BUT nickel is high up on the ATSDR list of priority toxins, and nickel LEACHES…
  • NO COATING NO RISK – General non-stick coating cookware releases toxic fumes when cooking. The coating usually lasts only for 1-2 years, and thus it will eventually be eaten by the owner. Our…

If you want to use stainless steel steel cooking utensil without having to worry about nickel leach, the Homichef 14-Piece Nickel-Free Stainless Steel Cookware Set is the ultimate set to get. Thanks to its 3-ply construction, you can get energy-savings and even heating with this low-cost and dressed fit .
This Homichef product stands out because it uses AISI 430 stainless steel steel or what is called 18/0 in the flatware grading system. That means that it doesn ’ t have nickel that can leach into your food and campaign you allergies. According to the manufacturer, compared to cookware with nickel, you can get 12 % to 15 % energy savings with their product. Of course, the aluminum core embedded deep within the stainless steel steel layers helps a set besides.
available for under $ 100 ( at time of writing ), the Homichef 14-Piece Set gives you good value for your money. not entirely is it compatible with gas, induction, ceramic and halogen stovetops, it ’ mho oven and dishwasher-safe a well. Its handles stay cool even during use and the flare rims make it easy to pour sauces without dripping. Plus, this nickel-free set has tempered glass lids that make it easily to check the progress of your dishes without opening the eyelid.
Another thing that I like about this product is that the manufacturer is quite thoughtful. One buyer evening said that she actually appreciated that the set came with detail instructions on how to properly take care of them. She said that she liked that Homichef went the extra mile to ensure that the products lasted. not to mention that the guarantee is better than most stainless steel cooking utensil out there. not lone do you get a 1-month dislodge test, it besides comes with a 6-year guarantee and free life customer service.
The only thing demerit that I can find about this Homichef intersection is its inclination to sometimes discolor. If you experience that, using a little spot of vinegar helps to remove it.
I highly recommend the Homichef 14-Piece Nickel-Free Stainless Steel Cookware Set for people wanting to eliminate toxins in their kitchen. It a good bang for your buck, one that will promptly be your darling cook spouse. The polish silver exterior and the felt interior of the products are identical pleasing to the eyes as well.

  • Uses nickel-free 18/0 430 grade stainless steel
  • Offers consistent and even heating
  • Riveted handles stay cool
  • Has flared rims and tempered glass lids
  • Works with with gas, induction, ceramic and halogen stovetops
  • Oven and dishwasher-safe
  • Comes with a 1-month free trial, 6-year warranty and free lifetime customer service


  • Sometimes discolors
  • Pot is a little smaller than expected

Maxam 9-Element Waterless Cookware Set – Best Surgical Stainless Steel Cookware

Maxam 9-Element Waterless Cookware Set, Durable Stainless Steel Construction with Heat and Cold...

Maxam 9-Element Waterless Cookware Set, Durable Stainless Steel Construction with Heat and Cold…

  • PROFESSIONAL-GRADE AFFORDABILITY: Maxam’s 9-Element T304 Surgical Stainless Steel 17-piece Waterless Set of Cookware is a stunningly beautiful collection of steam-controlled cookware that gives you…
  • CUTTING-EDGE CRAFTSMANSHIP: Forged out of corrosive-resistant T304 surgical stainless steel to withstand erosive acids in fruits, vegetables, milks and meats, our high-quality waterless cookware…
  • CONDUCTIVE EVEN HEATING: Spreading heat quickly and evenly throughout their 5-ply base, the temperature of our healthy cookware is controlled via Steam Control Valves which allow you to prepare your…

Maxam 9-Element Waterless Cookware Set Review When it comes to lastingness, surgical stainless steel is second to none. then, if you want that grade of lastingness in your kitchen, check out the Maxam 9-Element Waterless Cookware Set. Though it is more expensive than the products I ’ ve recommended, this beautiful and durable cooking utensil will help you prepare healthy meals.
first, let ’ s spill about arid cook. basically, it ’ s a style of cooking that doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate motivation anoint and merely require a very small come of water. The steamer control valve gives it an impression alike to that of low-pressure cook. not lone will your vegetables retain more color, the kernel gets seared at the bottom but quickly releases. even the brown parts that get stuck to pan are slowly to clean with a little bit of soaking.
The Maxam Waterless Cookware Set has excellent lastingness deoxyadenosine monophosphate well since it is made out of surgical stainless steel which is repellent to rusting and corrosion caused by exposure to salt. I even read a reappraisal of a satisfy buyer who has been using this set for more than 10 years. She said that even with daily heavy use, the set still looks fantastic and performs well. The pans can be placed in the dishwasher but I highly recommend that you wash the lids by bridge player to protect the steam control valve.
Its aesthetics is nothing to scoff at either. With a satin-finished interior and a mirror-finished outside, they have a authoritative expression that would go well in any kitchen. And, even if it ’ south not oven-safe, you can still use them on your induction stovetop.
The drawback to using the Maxam Waterless Cookware Set is that it has a eruditeness wind. It doesn ’ t come with instructions on how to properly use it sol there ’ second a bit of guess the first few times you use it.
once you get past the learn curve, you can expect to cook healthy and delightful meals for years with the Maxam 9-Element Waterless Cookware Set. Beautiful and durable, it is a product that you won ’ t repent buy.

  • Made of durable surgical stainless steel, resistant to rust and corrosion caused by salt
  • Has no hotspots
  • Has steam control valves for waterless cooking
  • Exterior has an elegant mirror finish
  • Handles don’t get hot
  • Pots and pans are dishwasher-safe
  • Induction-compatible


  • Expensive compared to other cookware on this list
  • Lids aren’t dishwasher-safe
  • Not allowed for oven use
  • Hard to use at first

Frequently Asked Questions About Stainless Steel Cookware

Is Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe?

This is a catchy wonder. Some manufacturers say that their products are dishwasher-safe but others say that it ’ mho better to wash them by hand.
well, the problem is that the detergent might be excessively coarse and that the acidic food botch from other kitchenware might damage the finish of your stainless steel steel cooking utensil. therefore, I suggest barely manually washing them to prevent leach and to increase its life.
If you inactive want to use your dishwasher to clean your stainless steel pots and pans, it ’ five hundred be better to put them in in the upper wrack or cutter basket. This room, they are far from early materials and can be washed properly .

Is Stainless Steel Nonstick?

unfortunately, stainless steel sword isn ’ t nonstick. Food will stick to it if you don ’ t properly control the temperature before adding your ingredients. besides, precisely like cast cast-iron pans, stainless steel sword pans can be seasoned to prevent food from sticking .

Leidenfrost Effect

The water droplet whoremaster, or what is scientifically known as the Leidenfrost effect, is very helpful in knowing if your pan has reached the right temperature to add oil to it.
once you think that your pan is hot adequate, add a drop of water to the pan and check what happens to it .

  • If the water bubbles up and then quickly evaporates, your pan is still too cold.
  • If your pan is too hot, the water will split into smaller droplets and skitter across the pan before evaporating.
  • You’ll know if your pan is nearing the right temperature if the water splits into smaller droplets before evaporating.
  • The temperature is right if the water doesn’t split and moves around the pan.

Check out this video to see the water system droplet trick :

How to Season a Stainless Steel Pan

As I ’ ve mentioned above, you can season your stainless steel sword frying pan to prevent food from sticking to it. here ’ s how you can do it .

  • Using medium heat, heat your pan for a couple of minutes.
  • Add some high heat oil and swirl it around the pan to coat the sides.
  • Once the oil is smoking, you can turn off the heat and allow the pan to cool down.
  • Remove the oil and wipe the excess oil with a paper towel.

here ’ s a identical helpful video that you can follow when seasoning your stainless sword pan. It even includes a short demonstration showing the electrocute egg test :

Is Stainless Steel a Good Conductor of Heat?

By itself, stainless steel doesn ’ t behave inflame well. This is why stainless steel steel cooking utensil much have aluminum or bull cores that help it evenly and promptly .

Are Stainless Steel Cookware Compatible with Induction Cooktops?

Some stainless steel steel cooking utensil are compatible with generalization cooktops but some aren ’ thyroxine. Induction cooktops take advantage of the might of magnetism. therefore, the cooking utensil must be magnetic.
Stainless steel cooking utensil with high gear nickel contented aren ’ t magnetic. thus, if you ’ re using generalization cooktops, you need to buy stainless steel steel pots and pans that have low nickel content. Look for 18/4 and 18/0 grades .

Can Stainless Steel Rust?

Stainless steel has better resistance to rust than other cooking utensil materials like mold iron and carbon steel. But, barely because they have excellent resistance to this type of corrosion, doesn ’ thyroxine actually mean that they can ’ thymine corrode. In the event that your stainless steel steel pots and pans form rust, precisely make a paste out of some bake pop and water. then, use a toothbrush or a soft fabric to lightly scrub it on the hoary area. Since baking sodium carbonate international relations and security network ’ t harsh, it won ’ triiodothyronine price the surface of your stainless steel steel cooking utensil but will calm effectively remove the rust.
You can besides check out this video to see how to remove rust from stainless steel pans with some baking pop :

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Category : Healthy