Professionals and cooking enthusiasts often have a hard time choosing which type of cookware to use. One of the most asked questions is whether it is better to use a stainless steel pan or a non-stick pan, and it is not very easy to answer because each has both good and bad points.
Below, we compared the cookware from the material it is made up of the best time to use it. Aside from that, we also listed non-stick cookware and stainless steel cookware pros and cons to determine which one is better.
Stainless Steel vs Non-Stick Cookware
Stainless steel cookware
Stainless steel cookware is uncoated pans that are usually made of a combination of stainless steel, iron, and chromium. There are times when manufacturers also include aluminum, nickel, and copper. Even though it is made of different layers of metals, only the stainless steel material touches the food.
When to use:
It can be used to cook anything!
- It is durable and sturdy. Because of the materials, it is made up of, it can be used for a really long time.
- Stainless steel pans with aluminum or copper is a good conductor of heat and spread it uniformly at the bottom. This way, the food can be cooked evenly.
- It is rust-resistant, and the surface is scratch-proof and smooth. Other materials like nitrogen and chromium help prevent corrosion as well.
- It is non-reactive. There is no limitation on what you cook with it.
- It is eco-friendly and it can be recycled. Old stainless steel scraps can be melted and turned into a new product.
- It can resist high temperatures and can even be used in the oven.
- It is great for searing and browning meat to a crisp.
- Safe to be cleaned in a dishwasher.
- Burnt food on the surface is quite difficult to remove and clean.
- If the material does not have a copper or aluminum layer, stainless steel cookware tends to be a bad heat conductor.
- It is more expensive compared to non-stick cookware.
- It requires oil or butter to make sure that the ingredients and the food do not stick to the surface.
- It needs to be preheated before adding the ingredients.
Non-stick cookware has a thin layer of Teflon to prevent any food matter from sticking on its surface. Aside from Teflon, manufacturers include iron, ceramic, silicon, anodized, aluminum, and other materials.
When to use:
Food that tends to stick on the surface and does not require high heat. Fried eggs, pancakes, and crepes are just some of the food that is great for non-stick pans.
- The Teflon layer prevents any food from sticking on its surface.
- It is very easy to clean.
- It is good for cooking with less oil or butter, some people don’t even use them at all.
- It is cheaper compared to stainless steel cookware.
- There is no need to pre-heat a non-stick pan before adding the ingredients for cooking.
- It is rust resistance.
- It conducts heat well.
- It is good for cooking food that turns sticky.
- It is not as durable as stainless steel cookware.
- Not recommended to be cleaned in a dishwasher.
- Once damaged, it cannot be used anymore because the non-stick coating can peel and mix with your food.
- It is not suitable for temperatures more than 350oc. Very high temperatures can make its materials from decomposing faster.
- When subject to high heat, it also releases strong fumes that are potentially toxic.
- Needs special utensils for cooking. Metal may scratch its surface.
- Caring for non-stick cookware requires additional attention since you need to be careful not to accidentally scrub and scratch the surface.
The ease of maintenance, heat conductivity, price, quality, and purpose are just some of the factors to consider when purchasing cookware. While both stainless steel and non-stick cookware serve different purposes, between the two, stainless steel is a classic option. It can be used in multiple ways, in varying temperatures, and it is eco-friendly. Even though it is more expensive than non-stick cookware, it can be used for a long time. It is a good investment for both professional chefs and amateur cooks.