How to choose stainless steel cookware: factors you need to consider before purchase

 

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Stainless steel cookware is one of my favourite as it's easy to clean, lasts long time, cook evenly, hygienic, looks really nice, and most importantly, nonreactive. I use them for stir fry, cooking rice, making soup base, sour sauce and a lot of varieties of jobs. It's also one of the best cookware if you want to deglaze anything and turn it into a sauce for your meat and veggies. But how to choose a stainless steel cookware? There are several factors to consider before you purchase.

1. Types of stainless steel

There are three types of stainless steel that are always found in stainless steel cookware: 18/8, 18/10 and 18/0. The number before slash means the percentage of chromium while the later means the percentage of nickel. For example, 18/10 means the stainless steel contains 18% of chromium and 10% of nickel. 18/8 and 18/10 are both 304 stainless steel (if contains Mo, then 18/10 could be 316 as well) and they are not magnetic, but are less likely to be corrosion compared to 18/0 because of the nickel.

Usually a decent stainless steel product would use 18/8 and 18/10 as interior layer to contact food and 18/0 as bottom layer as it's magnetic so it could be used on induction cook-top.

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2. Layers of stainless steel cookware

Stainless is good in a lot of ways, but one of the disadvantage is the ability to conduct heat. So usually a decent stainless steel cookware will use layers of different kinds of metal to combine all their advantages and avoid the disadvantages.

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The most common one is 3 layer with aluminium in the middle. There are also 5 layers with 2 layers of aluminium and 1 copper core. Fancier ones, of course, could have 7 layers and even have silver in the middle as a core layer.

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However, be careful, some so called "layered" stainless steel cookware is only layered with a metal disk on the bottom, so when compared to the full clad (the layers are evenly distributed around the whole pot), they are not as good as the later.

The more layers the better? Hmmmm not so sure. Compared to a normal 3 layer stainless steel cookware that has an aluminium core for instance, a 5 layered cookware with 2 layers of aluminium and 1 layer of copper is definitely much better, however, a 5 layered cookware with 2 layers of aluminium is not that advanced considering the weight is also increased a lot compared to a normal 3 layer one. So don't focus too much on the layers--focus more on if it's a disk only or a full clad product.

 

3. The handle

Personally, I don't like plastic handle on my cookware. Not only because that it's not so easy to clean and sometimes could be damaged easily, but also because that I'm lazy.

I'd like to put my pot or pan into the oven directly, and sometimes even on the dinning table, and then into the dishwasher--so much less to wash and so easy to clean. But it's impossible if you have a plastic handle. Also since I'm studying culinary art at the moment and from my past working experiences, all the commercial stores uses all stainless steel products without any plastic parts, I also get the influence and thought it'll be more hygienic even if I just cook for myself.

handle

With some good brands, the handles are usually quite long, which will make it easier when you shake your pot on the stove.

 

4. The connection for the handle

Pay attention to details when you choose pots and cookware. There are usually 3 types of connections: rivet, weld, and screw. For me, I don't like screw on my handle as it's hard to clean, easy to get corrosion and not as safe compared to others. Screws usually appear with plastic handles with some cheap brands or some "DIY kit" like the easy to carry ones from Ikea.

Rivet in my opinion, looks better and usually comes with better designs, and it could be used on pots with copper out layer as well. However it also requires additional attention on cleaning around the rivet inside the pot.

rivet handle

Weld is commercial standard, all the pots I had in commercial kitchen and culinary schools are using this type of connection. However, a good design for welded handle could cost a lot, others might just not look as good as the rivet ones.

handle weld

Don't worry about choosing between rivet and weld if you are considering a decent brand-- they are both very reliable and could last very long time. Just choose the one you think looks better.

 

5. Lids

Well the lids are pretty similar with handles-- I don't like screws and plastic parts on my lids either. A lid without plastic looks just nicer and keeps longer time, also it could be put into your dish washer safely. I like making my jobs easier, cheers.

lid

 

6. Conclusion

Based upon everything above, if the cookware you're looking for meets the following requirements:

『1. Use 18/8 or 18/10 stainless steel as the top layer. 2. Have 3 layers with aluminium as a core layer. 3. Doesn't have screws on the handle. 4. Doesn't contain plastic parts. 』

Then it's at least a decent cookware that worth purchasing.

If you want my own recommendation, my own preference would be:

『1. Use 18/10 stainless steel material as the top layer. 2. Have 3 layers or 5 layers with a copper core layer. 3. Must be full clad not disk bottom. 4. Doesn't have screws on the handle or lid. 5. No plastic at all. 6. Bottom layer is 18/0 stainless steel so I can use on my induction stove』

 

7. How to take care your stainless steel cookware

When you clean your stainless steel cookware, Use Steel wool not wire ball to protect your cookware.

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Also you can use the stainless steel cleaning powder, we used to buy this brand from US and it works just perfect.

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8. Some brands recommendation

When it comes to brand, it's also a personal preference if all the brands are decent cookware brands. It also depends on where you are-- when I was in the US I bought a lot of local US brands as they are cheaper with the same good quality and easy to find. Now I'm in Australia and sometimes I purchase European brands here as it's more popular with more selections. US brands here are quite expensive. The following brands are just some general idea, you don't have to limit within this range of selection.

  1. Scan pan, Denmark brand, I'm currently using a full set from Scan Pan and I loved them.5pc-axis.1454755574
  2. All clad, US brand, very famous for its full clad and 3/5 layers stainless steel cookware.All-Clad-Copper-Core-7-Piece-Set
  3. Calphalon, US brand. I used to get one in Marshall's with a discounted price when I was still a student in US with a tight budget-- it does the job without any problem and it lasted several years!1891243_005a
  4. Viking, US brand, Also famous for its stainless steel appliances.viking-contemporary-7-piece-stainless-steel-cookware-set
  5. Demeyere, German brand. It has a silver7 series, yes it's 7 layers with a silver core! The products look very fancy, just the price... hmmm just match their products.demeyere-atlantis-stainless-steel-10-piece-cookware-set-c

If you're in US, cuisinart is also a good value choice, if you're in Europe, WMF is also a good brand with good reputation. Just choose whatever you need based on the details I mentioned above.

Hope this article would be helpful when you choose your cookware!



不锈钢一直是我家所有锅中数量最多的一种材质(估计你们翻翻前面食谱里面不锈钢锅出现频率就知道了),好的不锈钢锅优点太多简直写不完:不容易糊锅,加热均匀,保养简单,清洁简单,特别耐用,特别卫生,看起来也特别干净,而且最最最重要的是,任何食物都可以用不锈钢锅烹饪。有些材质的锅(例如没有珐琅面的铸铁锅,铝锅,铁锅等)不适合做特别酸的食品,或者有些锅不能加热温度太高(铜锅、不粘锅),然而不锈钢锅却是完全没有限制,什么食物都能做,而且整个可以扔进烤箱,我煎炸炖煮焖饭都用它。

炒锅汤锅都有不锈钢材质的,家里根本不要电饭煲了,焖饭全都靠不锈钢的小汤锅,焖的饭非常好吃,完全不会糊底。至于平底锅,煎完鸡胸肉,大火加热锅,加一点点水立刻就可以融化锅底所有的残留,调味就直接变成酱汁(英文中这种烹饪手法叫deglaze),也是方便的不要不要的。有时做蔬菜或者土豆,先在锅里煎一下,有了脆皮就直接连锅带菜扔进烤箱,接着爱干嘛干嘛,等着回来的时候香喷喷的烤蔬菜就做好了,直接把锅端上桌连盘子都省得拿。总之,虽然有些料理可能别的锅更有优势(例如煲肉用铸铁珐琅锅,煮汤用砂锅等),但是不锈钢锅的全能性绝对不是别的材质能比拟的。除了煎溏心蛋我用不粘锅,其他基本所有菜完全都能靠不锈钢锅来做。

 

 

如果你搜不锈钢锅,一堆品牌的锅,价位从100多人民币到上万人民币都有。为什么不同品牌价格会差这么多?为什么有的不锈钢锅还是会锈?为什么同一个品牌不同型号价格也会差那么多?什么18/10, 304, 还有三层五层到底是什么鬼?

只有清楚了这些,才能帮你选到最好的不锈钢锅。

1. 不锈钢的分类:

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有时买了不锈钢锅,结果用了没多久就锈迹斑斑,甚至炒的菜还有点怪味——博主那些永远看起来闪亮亮的不锈钢锅跟我的到底有什么区别?

用于餐具的不锈钢,最常见的有两种,一种是18/8, 也叫做304不锈钢,一种是18/10,是316不锈钢的一种(有一些手术用的不锈钢用具也是316不锈钢的一种)。前面的数字是指铬(chromium)含量,后面的数字是镍(nickel)含量。例如18/10就是含有18%的铬和10%的镍。铬和镍都有防锈的功能,不过镍还有增加光泽感的作用,所以18/10比起18/8多了一点镍,防锈性能更好,而且光泽感也更强,我们家的不锈钢基本清一色18/10, 包括刀叉等餐具。非常易于清洁和保养,而且绝对食品安全级别。

用于锅底的不锈钢一般是18/0,也叫做430不锈钢,它的镍含量不到1%所以被忽略不计。也因此,比起300系列会略容易生锈(然而我们家锅底也没见过锈迹),被用于锅底是因为它有磁性,可以用于电磁炉(18/10的底则不能直接用于电磁炉)。

不知道大家有没有这种经历,有时用一些不是很好的不锈钢餐具吃饭(叉子勺子之类),吃到嘴里的菜都有点变味,甚至如果含着勺子,还有股金属味道,弄得牙都觉得难受。在国内吃饭时候我碰到至少两次这样的事情,真的是可惜了一桌子菜。这种所谓不锈钢,很有可能是非常廉价的,容易锈的,甚至不是食用安全的。餐具尚且如此,想想如果是锅呢?

 

2. 不锈钢的夹层:

 

一个比较好一点的,能让你感受到不锈钢的优势的锅,除了选择18/8或者18/10的不锈钢内层外,就是要看一下它的层数,3层是最常用的也是性价比比较高的。

因为不锈钢虽然优点很多,但是纯不锈钢导热性能不好,所以通常做成夹层的形式,这样通过不同金属的组合,扬长避短,最大发挥不锈钢的优势。中间夹层通常用铝,是因为铝的导热性能比较好,这样夹层之后的不锈钢锅不会产生局部过热或者烧焦的情况,导热快又均匀。铝芯三层全锅身夹层:

71GoMiFeiVL._SL1500_

比较高级一点的夹层,会有5层甚至7层9层,里面的材质也从仅仅铝变成2铝1铜的夹层,导热更快更匀但是价格也高一些。2铝1铜全锅身5层夹层:

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而且同样是夹层,有的是像右边那样整个夹层均匀分布在整个锅身,有的夹层却像左边那样只是在锅底加了一块铝片/铜片,都是打着『夹层』的旗号,仅在底部有铜片铝片的导热和均匀性完全比不上全锅身覆盖夹层的。

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有的锅底也有用铜的,导热性能更好,颜值也是妥妥的高。然而铜底的不能用在电磁炉,保养也更麻烦。

Cuisinart_Copper_TriPly_Stainless_Steel_Cookware_Set_7_piece1

那么层数越多就越好吗?也不一定。2铝1铜夹层的五层夹层不锈钢,跟只有铝的三层比起来,肯定更不容易糊锅,导热更快更匀。但是如果全都是铝夹层,虽然也会导热更好,但是锅身也更重了,不如更着重看一下夹层是否均匀分布在整个锅身而不是仅仅在锅底。

3. 锅柄:

通常不锈钢锅的锅柄也有两种材料,一种是塑料的,一种是不锈钢的。我个人推荐不锈钢的锅柄。虽然塑料的可能不太会烫手,但是明火加热时如果温度过高,很容易产生有毒气体甚至融化。而且全不锈钢的锅柄还可以扔进烤箱和洗碗机,非常方便。通常锅柄也长一些,一个是方便用力(毕竟力臂越长,用力越少),再一个不会容易过热。拿之前用茶巾之类垫一下就没问题了。

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4. 锅柄连接处:

对的你没看错,选锅时候这个都是我特别重要的参考。一般锅柄连接处也是有几种常见的连接方式:铆钉连接,焊接,以及螺丝连接。最不建议的就是螺丝连接,因为容易锈,容易松动,而且一般只出现在比较便宜的厨具 (常与塑料把手配对出现),或者包装简单需要自己组装的厨具(比如宜家的一些低价锅)。

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剩下的铆钉链接和焊接都各有优缺点,我家里两种也都有。铆钉的我个人觉得看起来很漂亮,而且也很牢固,基本除非是特别便宜的品牌或者工厂的问题,根本不会松动,而且铆钉的可以用在铜外层的锅,更适合颜值党。

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焊接的则是我们商业厨房会用的锅,因为锅内更好清理,不会有卫生死角(铆钉边),但是缺点是大部分都不是很美貌,而且如果同样是锅柄松动(虽然好一点的锅都不会有这个问题),铆钉的还是更安全,因为焊接的可能会直接锅柄掉下来不给你任何反应时间。这个选择凭个人喜好即可,稍微好一点的锅这两种焊接方式区别不是特别明显。

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5. 锅盖:

虽然有些不锈钢锅没有锅盖,但是这里也还是写一下,有些奶锅啊小汤锅啊也还是有盖子的。锅盖跟锅柄一样,强烈建议不含塑料的,即只有玻璃和不锈钢把手的,不仅更卫生安全,而且也可以直接放到洗碗机,特别方便(大部分稍微好一些的品牌都是这种设计)。

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A 237

介绍了这么多基本的,说一下要买不锈钢锅的最低选择:3层夹层,顶层是18/8(304)不锈钢,夹层是铝,底层是18/0(430)不锈钢,锅身锅盖不含塑料件,锅柄不含螺丝。

达到以上这些要求,就算是一个合格的,值得购买的不锈钢锅了。不论什么牌子,至少要达到这个要求。不然要么导热性能不好,要么易生锈,甚至可能不是食用安全。

我个人最喜欢的配置:3-5层夹层,夹层必须均匀覆盖整个锅身而不仅是锅底,顶层是18/10 (316)不锈钢,夹层是铝(2铝1铜更佳),底层是18/0 (430)不锈钢,锅身锅盖都不含塑料件和螺丝。

 

6. 清洗/保养:

虽然不锈钢锅真的很耐用,但是也不建议一直泡在盐水里因为长时间浸泡盐水还是会有可能造成生锈。平时清洗可以用steel wool钢丝棉(不是钢丝球)。

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每个月(或者视烹饪频率决定)来一次简单保养就行,你只需要一盒不锈钢清洁粉(图片仅供参考,国内可以直接某宝买),虽然味道不怎么好闻,但是只要沾水用海绵擦一下,直接跟新的一模一样!

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就算是黑料之王,把锅霍霍成这样,也真的只有不锈钢可以毫无痕迹地清理还原,而且这个粉真的很便宜,国外一瓶也才几块钱。

 

7. 品牌推荐

(因为同一个品牌不同型号的价位可以差蛮大,而且国内外价格也有区别,所以就不放价格了,海外的可以看amazon的价格,国内的可以咨询专卖或者代购):

  1. scan pan, 丹麦牌子,我现在用的就是它的全套,很好用很强大,打折季入一套中高端的,性价比很高。5pc-axis.1454755574
  2. all clad, 美国牌子。大概是最有名的不锈钢餐具品牌之一了,他家的5层设计就是经典的2铝1铜,性能也很好。All-Clad-Copper-Core-7-Piece-Set
  3. calphalon,美国牌子,之前在美国的时候就买的入门级calphalon, 当时预算不多,但是那个锅也非常常用,性能对于普通下厨爱好者来说也足够用了。1891243_005a
  4. viking cookware,美国牌子, 属于比较高端的品牌了,很多高级的商业厨房会用Viking, 而且他们的一些不锈钢器具(例如商业的炉灶、冰箱、冷柜等)也都做得很不错。viking-contemporary-7-piece-stainless-steel-cookware-set
  5. Demeyere, 比利时牌子,这个牌子也是走高端系列的,有一个他们的Silver7系列,中间夹层用的是银,导热也非常好,而且实在是高级~也是为数不多我认为用焊接式把手却设计的很美貌的牌子~就是价格也很高级就对了...demeyere-atlantis-stainless-steel-10-piece-cookware-set-c

当然以上有些牌子,只是给你们『科普科普』,大部分家庭用并不需要局限以上的牌子。其实基本所有的餐具品牌都有这种全不锈钢锅卖,从宜家、双立人、Cuisinart, 到国内的一些自有品牌,都有很多性价比很高的套装。只要掌握了上面提到的知识,再加一点你对颜值的偏爱,有条件的可以去实体店试试手感和重量,最后绝对就可以挑到称心如意性价比高的好锅了。

下次如果有跟你推销不锈钢锅的,直接问,你们家锅几层夹层的呀?什么夹层呀?夹层只在锅底还是覆盖锅身呀?内层不锈钢什么材质呀?外层不锈钢什么材质呀?把手连接处是什么设计呀?相信他们绝对不会再给你演示那些骗小朋友的把戏了。

 

希望大家都能买到好用的不锈钢锅!后面会推包括铸铁锅珐琅锅不粘锅砂锅等一个完整的锅具推荐~还待我慢慢写来~

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