Over the years, many people have shied away from using stainless steel cookware for a variety of reasons, especially since non-stick has become popular. Some believe non-stick is easier to clean; others believe that non-stick is healthier because you don’t need to add as much oil to cook foods. Still others believe they can’t afford quality stainless steel cookware. This article is intended to dispel some of the myths about stainless steel cookware.
Myth 1: Stainless can be Difficult to Clean and Maintain
With the proper care and maintenance, your cookware will truly last a lifetime. Not only will your stainless cookware cook terrific meals for your family, but it can look as good 20 or 30 years from now as it did when you purchased it.
Although advertised as dishwasher safe, many experts believe that you can better keep your cookware looking like new by hand washing your cookware in hot, soapy water and drying it thoroughly with a soft cloth before storing. If you prefer to use the dishwasher, it is recommended that you remove the cookware after the wash cycle to avoid any spotting.
When using your stainless steel cookware, remember the following basic principles. If you do, your cookware will last a long time and still look like new.
- Never use high heat when cooking with your waterless cookware. You can start the cooking process on medium-high to heat the pan, but then turn it down to medium or low.
- Proper Maintenance – clean properly after each use.
- Hot Pans – Always allow the cookware to cool slowly before immersing it in cold water.
Myth 2: Cooking with Non-Stick Cookware is Healthier
Stainless Steel cookware is tough; it is not prone to chipping, rusting or even staining if cared for properly. It contains primarily iron, chromium, and nickel-none of which have an adverse affect on your health. Iron, in fact, is beneficial and a required mineral in our diets. Chromium is also beneficial in small quantities, and cooking in stainless steel stays within these limits. Nickel can be harmful if ingested in large quantities, but only trace amounts enter into the food. Only those who are allergic to nickel should avoid using stainless steel altogether. Unlike with Teflon cookware, you do not have to worry about the particles of the pan coming loose over time and entering your food. In fact, stainless steel is one of the most hygienic surfaces for the preparation of your food, meaning that it is not likely to harbor bacteria and germs. Cookware
Stainless steel cookware and waterless cookware in particular, is noted for its flavor preservation. Quality stainless steel cookware will have at least 5 layers. These layers allow for even heat flow and durability. Aluminum conducts heat well in the inner layers, but would not be desirable on the outside because of its corrosive properties. Stainless is used on the top and bottom layers to protect not only the food, but the cookware itself.
Waterless cookware uses a steam-control process that promotes healthy cooking because it uses very little water and minimal, if any, fats. The encapsulated bottoms of this cookware lie flat on the burner and allow for even heat distribution. With waterless cooking, low or medium heat is all that is required-never use high heat. Because you can use minimal water with this cookware, 98% of the vitamins and minerals are retained in your foods rather than the 58% retention rate of normal cooking methods. A vitamin-rich diet is a key factor in preventing age-related diseases
Myth 3: Stainless Steel Cookware is Expensive
Stainless steel cookware sets can be quite expensive, costing well over $2000 per set. Many of these sets are sold at state fairs or home shows, requiring a sales staff to promote the product which, in turn, drives up the price. However, there are many quality stainless steel cookware sets that you can purchase for between $200 and $300. These sets have all the great features of the expensive sets: durability, a waterless option, multi-ply for even heat distribution, lifetime warranties, etc.