FOOD-SAFE STAINLESS STEEL: UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT TYPES
Stainless steel cookware is a top choice amongst those new to cooking and top chefs alike. Its durability, heat distribution, and heat tolerance are all great reasons to choose stainless steel cookware for your home.
WHY DOES THE GRADE OF STAINLESS STEEL MATTER?
When selecting stainless steel cookware, it is important to remember not all stainless steel is created equal. According to the NSF International Standard for Food Equipment Material, stainless steel used in food equipment has to be of a type in the (AISI) 200 series, 300 series, or 400 series. Each series is differentiated by material and chemical composition. By understanding the makeup of each type of stainless steel, you can make an informed decision about what kind of stainless steel cookware will work best for your cooking needs. You can use the chart below to help guide you through the different series of food-safe stainless steel.
So how do you know what stainless steel you already own or wish to invest in? Some pots and pans will have the grade of the stainless steel stamped on the bottom. If not, you can call the manufacturer to know for sure.
TIPS TO MAINTAIN YOUR STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE
Both 300 and 400 series stainless steel make good cookware choices. For occasional use, 300 series pots and pans are affordable and work well. Chefs and heavy-duty users should pick the more durable yet pricier 400 series. Regardless of the grade of stainless steel cookware you choose, you'll want to protect it from corrosion, dings, and scratches. All of these things can compromise the integrity of the cookware.
When cooking food, consider using wooden cooking utensils to avoid scraping the pot or pan surface. Avoid using highly acidic foods in your stainless steel cookware for longer periods such as tomato-based foods and citrus. Over time, acids can damage pots and pans.
Wash your cookware with gentle soap and warm water and avoid using abrasive cleaning agents as these could scratch surfaces. Store by hanging up (not stacked on top of other cookware) to further prevent wear.
Whether you're a chef or an amateur in the kitchen, you'll want to ensure you take the best possible care of your stainless steel cookware.
Visit our website for more information about how to best protect all of the stainless steel surfaces in your kitchen. We can show you how to keep your stainless steel cookware and appliances looking glossy and fingerprint-free.