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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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
  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!





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?


1. 不锈钢的分类:



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。




2. 不锈钢的夹层:












3. 锅柄:




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)。

A 282


2697_-_scanpan_maitre_d_saucepan_10cm0.35l3.1454723962 IMG_2208-300x200


Tri-Lux_Casserole_handle 55628

5. 锅盖:



A 237



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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7. 品牌推荐


  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。




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