Stainless steel pans are one of the most advisable alternatives if you do not want to buy a non-stick pan made of titanium, Teflon, or ceramic, or if you are not convinced by cast-iron ones.
Many cooks are great supporters of stainless steel pans and know how to use them without food sticking to them.
However, you are not sure if they are the best option for you. If you are faced with the dilemma of which pan to buy, the first thing you need is to know the advantages and disadvantages of a stainless steel pan compared to other types of pans: titanium, cast iron, ceramic, or Teflon.
Advantages and disadvantages of stainless steel pans
Stainless steel pots and pans have important advantages over other kitchen utensils and utensils:
- Easy to clean – They don’t need as much care as a cast-iron skillet or those old polished steel skillets that needed to be seasoned. Many models are dishwasher-safe. Although it must be recognized that they are not as easy to clean as a non-stick pan.
- Durable – Stainless steel pans are very durable. If we know how to care for and use them correctly, they will be for life. It is not the same as with non-stick pans. Once they lose their coating it is better to discard them.
- Healthy – Cooking with stainless steel pans is healthy. They can be heated to high temperatures without emitting toxic gases. They do not give off substances or particles while food is being cooked. They are free of PTFE and PFOA
Stainless steel pans also have some disadvantages:
- Stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat – you will need more energy to heat the pan and the heat is distributed less well. For this reason, many stainless steel pans have diffuser bottoms that combine other metals that are good conductors (copper or aluminum).
- High price – Although its price is higher than other pans, in the long run, stainless steel pans and pots are not expensive, since they can last a long time in our kitchen, which is amortized over the years that you are going to use them
- Food sticks – The biggest handicap that many people find when using stainless steel in the kitchen is that food sticks when they are cooked with it. It is true that compared to other options of non-stick-coated pans, stainless steel requires a certain technique.
What is stainless steel?
Stainless steel is an alloy of steel (iron + carbon) and chromium to which other metals such as molybdenum or nickel are added in different proportions, giving rise to different types of stainless steel. It presents a high resistance to corrosion thanks to the metals with which it is alloyed and that are capable of creating a layer that is what gives it that quality of being stainless.
However, this layer can be affected when it comes into contact with certain acids, in which case the iron (a component of stainless steel) could oxidize, giving rise to widespread pitting. Not all steels used in kitchenware are the same. They do not have the same quality or the same composition.
18/10 stainless steel ( 18 parts nickel and 10 chrome) is the one usually used in the best kitchen utensils and corresponds to AISI* 304 steel. Most super-fast pots, pans, and quality cookware are made of 18 10 steel. The manufacturer already makes it clear.
* AISI stands for American Iron and Steel Institute. This organization classifies the different types of steels based on their crystalline structure.
How to prevent food from sticking to stainless steel pans?
Why is stainless steel pans the favorite of some cooks, while for others cooking with them is a real ordeal, and they can’t keep food from sticking to them?
The same pan can give very different results depending on how and for what it is used.
How to heat a stainless steel pan?
The only secret to preventing food from sticking is to preheat the pan. We have already seen that in general, stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat, so the pan must be sufficiently heated before putting the food in it.
Put the pan on the fire so that it heats up. The fire does not need to be too strong.
As you see the pan getting hotter, add a little water. Soon the water evaporates. Dry up any remaining water and add another little water again. Repeat the process 2-3 times until you see that when you pour the water, small balls of water are formed that jump brightly on the surface of the pan. This tells us that the pan is already hot enough.
Add a few tablespoons of oil and tilt the pan so that it is distributed evenly over the entire surface of the pan. You can now place the food and cook it as normal. You will check that the food does not stick and the pan.
Cleaning and maintenance of stainless steel pans
These pans are easy to clean with just a little mild soap and hot water. Use scouring pads that are non-abrasive (this goes for any pan) and won’t scratch the pan. Then dry it with a cloth and you will have a pan for many years. Most quality stainless steel pans are dishwasher-safe. The manufacturers themselves indicate this.
If you buy a quality stainless steel pan, pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions regarding its care and cleaning. Not everyone tells you the same thing. Some claim that the pan can be washed in the dishwasher, although they do not advise it. When you cook, do not use metallic instruments that cause damage to the surface, and try not to leave food residues in the pan that will later take much more work to remove.
Do not leave food containing acidic foods such as tomato sauces or vinegar in the pan for a long time. Acid is detrimental to stainless steel.
The best stainless steel pans
De Buyer Affinity Stainless Steel Pans
Characteristics of the Affinity De Buyer
- Constructed of 18/10 stainless steel
- Multilayer: they have 5 layers, of which the 3 central ones are aluminum and the outer ones are stainless steel.
- Diffuser base that allows it to be used in any type of kitchen
- Free of PFOA and PFTE
- Ergonomic stainless steel handle for a comfortable grip
- Very elegant and modern polished finish
Cooking with an Affinity De Buyer
These pans are ideal for grilling meat and fish. They are also ideal for browning and flambeau. With an Affinity De Buyer stainless steel frying pan, you can prepare all kinds of sauces because the heat is distributed not only along the bottom of the pan but along the sides. This is thanks to being made of a multilayer material. It guarantees that cooking will be uniform. You can even make tortillas in it if you know how to use them.
The temperature goes quickly from the pan to the food you are cooking and drops when you remove the pan from the heat source. This allows you to have maximum control over the recipe you are cooking.
In pans made of other materials, the food continues to cook because the pan holds a lot of heat. This may not be very important in a stew (if you take it into account), but it can be vital in grilled meat or fish.
Being a very robust plan, you will not have the problem of the base becoming deformed and what happens with other types of pans, when you make oil, only occupies the part of the pan that is sunken. In any case, De Buyer advises that the temperature be increased gradually. Being made of stainless steel, the handle of the pan can reach high temperatures, especially when the pan remains on fire for a long time during long cooking times. In these cases, you should use gloves or some type of silicone handle.
The pan is manageable and not excessively heavy. To give you an idea, a 24 cm frying pan . in diameter weighs about 1.2 kg. It may not be as light as nonstick (aluminum), but it weighs less than cast iron.
Cleaning and care of the Affinity pan De Buyer
These stainless steel pans can be washed in the dishwasher. Stainless steel is very resistant to scratches or knocks. However, the more you take care of her the better. Use silicone spatulas and utensils.
Where to buy the Affinity De Buyer frying pan: offers and sizes available
There are various sizes available. The diameter refers to the top, not the bottom of the pan. Weight of the Affinity De Buyer 20 cm frying pan: 0.7 Kg, 24 cm frying pan: 1.1 Kg, 28 cm frying pan: 1.4 Kg. Depending on the offer you find on Amazon.es or any other store, a larger pan may be cheaper than a smaller one. The lid is not included in the pan. According to De Buyer, it is only for saucepans.
Opinions about Affinity De Buyer stainless steel pans
Good reviews among people who haven’t had the bad experience of food sticking to it. They are more comfortable to use than cast iron skillets because they weigh less. Perfect in terms of finishes and robustness.
Fissler Crispy Steelux Stainless Steel Pans
Characteristics of the Fissler Crispy Steelux pans
- Made of high-quality 18/10 stainless steel
- The entire pan is stainless steel. It does not have intermediate aluminum layers.
- Indelible internal measurement marks (laser marked).
- Interior base with Novogrill system to achieve grill effect
- Pouring edge that prevents sauces and creams from spilling
- Steel or plastic handle with high heat resistance (depending on whether the model is Premium or Comfort).
Cooking with Fissler Crispy Steelux stainless steel pans
They are perfect for cooking at high temperatures. Before putting the food you are going to cook, you must heat the pan without any oil. Heat over medium heat; and once the ideal temperature is reached, you can add the oil or the meat (use the procedure described above to know when the pan has the ideal temperature). You can use them on all types of stoves: gas, electric, in vitro, or induction.
Fissler Crispy Steelux pans are all-rounders. Meat and fish are perfectly grilled, preserving all their juices and with a grilled or grilled appearance thanks to the kind of embossing that the surface of the pan has. They are perfect for making sauces. The rim prevents the sauce from spilling when you transfer them to a gravy boat.
You will always have a reference on the amount you are cooking thanks to the internal filling marks (similar to what many pressure cookers have)
They are pans that need learning to get the most out of them, but once you get it you will enjoy cooking with them for many years. Keep in mind that they do not have any aluminum, so they will take a little longer to reach the optimal temperature than other models.
Care of Fissler Crispy Steelux stainless steel pans
Before using the pan for the first time, it is recommended that you wash it well. Bring water to a boil with a splash of lemon juice. With this, you will be able to eliminate the remains of polish and dirt that may remain in the pan after its manufacture.
This protects the pan from the beginning. Daily, the pans can be washed in the dishwasher. They are very durable pans. The guarantee is 5 years.
Where to buy the Fissler Crispy Steelux frying pan: offers and available sizes
As I mentioned before, there are two types of Fissler Crispy Steelux pans, depending on the type of handle:
The Fissler Crispy Steelux Premium with a stainless steel handle, which you have in the following sizes:
Fissler Crispy Steelux Comfort (in the same sizes) with a plastic handle. The weight is very similar to that of De Buyer’s Affinity pans (the 24 cm diameter one weighs 1.2 kg)
Opinions on Fissler Crispy Steelux pans
Opinions are very favorable when it comes to grilling meat. Distributes heat very evenly. On the other hand, not everyone is capable of making potato tortillas in them.
There is no doubt about its resistance, finishes, and durability. They are an investment for many years that withstand the dishwasher well. It is an expensive pan, but the investment is worth it. It is not a pan for a person who cooks occasionally and has little time.
Le Creuset Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Pans
Features of Le Creuset Tri-Ply Pans
- Material: 18/10 stainless steel
- 3 layers (stainless steel, aluminum, and stainless steel). They are lighter than other brands
- High gloss finishes on the outside (matte on the inside)
- Ergonomic and hollow handle to reduce the effect of heat
- drip edge
- Inside capacity markings
- Suitable for all types of cookers (including induction).
- Some models have a lid.
- Made in Portugal
Cooking with Le Creuset Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Pans
With any pan from the Tri-Ply collection, you will be able to make a wide variety of recipes. They are used to seal the meat well as well as to make grilled fish. You can make many more recipes with them (proof of this is the lid that some models include).
The heat is distributed evenly over the entire surface that comes into contact with the food you are cooking on it. Not only the base is heated, but the walls of the pan are. This avoids points of overheating in certain areas. It has an edge designed so that you do not spill the sauce, juice, or cream that you are preparing on it.
You can put them in the oven (resistant to oven heat up to 260°c / 500°f). It is recommended to use the fire at a low or medium level (it is enough for most cooking). They are somewhat more manageable because their weight is less than other stainless steel pans (De Buyer, Fissler)
Cleaning and caring for Le Creuset Tri-Ply stainless steel pans
They are dishwasher safe, although the manufacturer recommends that they be washed by hand. It is not recommended to heat the pan when it is empty. Overheating can cause damage, especially aesthetic damage (color changes in the pan).
Although metal utensils can be used with care, wooden or silicone spatulas are best used. They are guaranteed for life (do not cover normal wear, professional use, or misuse of the pan).
“The warranty provides coverage for both manufacturing and material defects, provided that the product has been used under normal conditions and in domestic use and accordance with the instructions for use and care provided” (Le Creuset)
Le Creuset Tri-Ply pan models and offers
The most common model is 24 cm in diameter. This pan already comes with a lid. You also have the option to buy the set of 2 pans without lids (20 and 24 cm.) And the size of 28 cm. capless. The weight of a Le Creuset Tri-Ply pan of 20 cm in diameter does not even reach 900 grams.
Reviews Le Creuset Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Pans
Very good opinions regarding the quality of the recipes that can be prepared with it. Being multi-layered, the heat is distributed quickly, which helps the recipe to be delicious. It is ideal for grilled and fried meats.
They are comfortable to handle because they are a bit lighter than other stainless steel pans. However, some have had problems because the pan has been deformed when put on high heat in the induction cooker.
In general, to cook in these stainless steel pans you have to heat them first, it does not mean that you have to put them on maximum heat. If in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. Not all “nuance” in the same way how to care for and cook with them.
WMF stainless steel pans
Features of WMF Profi stainless steel pans
- Made of high-quality stainless steel (Cromargan 18/10). They are not multilayer.
- stainless steel handle
- Resistant to high temperatures. Suitable for use in the oven.
- Suitable for induction cookers. They have a TransTherm diffuser base.
- They can be washed in the dishwasher
- antique embroider
Models and offers in stainless steel pan Profi WMF
The price of the stainless steel pans from the WMF Profi collection is somewhat cheaper than other brands.
They can be an alternative without losing quality. WMF knows better than anyone what it is like to cook with stainless steel. Its Perfect Plus pots are a benchmark in pressure cooking in a fast pot. The sizes available are the usual 20, 24, and 28 cm in diameter.
Opinions about WMF Profi stainless steel pans
The WMF Profi collection has very good opinions in terms of design and finishes. It is one of the options with the best value for money. It is not as expensive as other premium stainless steel pans and it does its job very well: cooking healthy and not having to buy a new pan every so often.
However, some people have had bad experiences with it. Especially when food sticks to them. In addition to the fact that the recipe goes wrong, then you have to clean it. The truth is that this, like any other stainless steel pan, requires a certain mastery of the technique.