There are a lot of different types of cookware to choose from and it can be tough to decide which one is best for you. Today, we’re going to compare two popular types of cookware: nonstick and stainless steel.
Each cookware has its own set of pros and cons, so let’s take a closer look at each of them in detail.
Non-Stick vs Stainless Steel: Quick Comparison
Let’s start with non-stick cookware.
This is usually made out of aluminum or some other type of metal and then coated with a non-stick material. The most common type of coating is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is also known under the brand name Teflon.
Non-stick cookware is popular because it is very easy to use and clean. Food doesn’t stick to it, so you don’t have to worry about scrubbing the pan too hard. And, if you use the right utensils, non-stick cookware can last for many years.
Stainless Steel Cookware
On the other hand, we have stainless steel cookware. This is made out of, well, stainless steel! It is a bit more durable than non-stick cookware, but it is also a bit more difficult to use. Stainless steel doesn’t have a non-stick coating, so food can easily stick to it and burn.
Non-Stick Cookware: Pros & Cons Detailed Guide
Above we have a quick comparison of nonstick but that’s not enough to make a decision, is it? Of course not! In order to help you out, we’ve put together a more detailed list of pros and cons for each type of Nonstick cookware.
What Includes in Nonstick?
Nonstick doesn’t only mean Teflon but we have Ceramic, Hard Anodized and last but not least we have Cast Iron. All these types of cookware have a nonstick layer that is different from each other.
Let’s start with the most common one: Teflon.
This is the most common type of non-stick cookware. It is made out of aluminum or some other metal and then coated with a non-stick material called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The most popular brand name for this coating is Teflon.
Food doesn’t stick to it, so you don’t have to worry about scrubbing the pan too hard. And, if you use the right utensils, Teflon cookware can last for many years.
However, there are some drawbacks to Teflon cookware. If you use too much heat, the Teflon can release harmful chemicals into the food. So it’s important to be careful not to overheat your Teflon cookware.
Ceramic Coated Cookware
Ceramic-coated cookware is quite different from pure ceramic cookware and it is less durable than porcelain enamel cookware. It is a kind of aluminum utensil that has been coated with ceramic.
As the name suggests, this type of cookware has a layer of ceramic coating which makes it different from plain aluminum cookware. There are many brands available in the market which offer ceramic-coated cookware sets.
Ceramic-coated cookware has many advantages. One of the main advantages is that it is non-toxic. This means that it does not release any harmful chemicals into the food.
Another advantage is that it is lighter than stainless steel cookware. This makes it easier to handle and less likely to break.
Hard Anodized Cookware
Hard anodized cookware is made with anodized aluminum, which makes it harder and more resistant to scratches and wear.
It also conducts heat better than other types of cookware, so it’s a good choice for those who want to evenly cook their food. It is important to know that anodizing process doesn’t make it completely non-stick, but many hard anodized cookware sets are treated with a non-stick coating to make it even easier to cook with.
The biggest advantage of hard anodized cookware is that it is non-reactive, meaning that it won’t leach any metals into your food. This is especially important for acidic foods, such as tomato sauce.
Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is probably one of the oldest and most widely used types of cookware. It is made from pure iron, which makes it very durable and long-lasting.
Cast iron cookware in itself is not non-stick, but it does become less sticky over time as the surface is “seasoned” with oil or fat. This can take some time, but it does make the cookware easier to use. The seasoning process involves coating the cookware with oil and baking it in the oven.
Non-Stick Cookware Pros
- It is easier to use because food doesn’t stick to it.
- It is non-toxic Ceramic.
- It is lighter than stainless steel cookware.
- Non-stick cookware is very easy to use.
- It is often less expensive than stainless steel cookware.
Non-Stick Cookware Cons
If you use too much heat, the non-stick coating can release harmful chemicals into the food.
- Non-stick cookware is not as durable as stainless steel cookware.
- The non-stick coating can eventually wear off with repeated use.
- It is not dishwasher safe
Now let’s talk about stainless steel’s pros and cons and its types. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium, and other metals. It is rust-resistant and durable.
Stainless steel alone is a poor conductor of heat, so it is often manufactured with an aluminum or copper core to improve its conductivity.
Expensive vs Cheap Stainless Steel Cookware
The factor that differentiates chap and expensive stainless steel cookware is the total number of layers and whether it is fully clad or half-clad.
Tri-ply stainless steel cookware is constructed with three layers of metal, including an interior and outer layer of stainless steel and one inner layer of aluminum or copper.
While 5D cookware consists of two layers of stainless steel, one inner layer of Copper, and two layers of aluminum.
The benefit of more expensive multi-ply cookware is that it will heat more evenly, but it will also be more expensive and it takes longer to heat up.
Full-clad cookware is fully clad with stainless steel from the bottom to the sides and is more expensive than half-clad cookware.
Pros of stainless steel cookware
- One of the biggest advantages is that it is very durable and will last for many years.
- Another advantage is that it is dishwasher safe. This makes it easy to clean and maintain.
- You can put stainless steel cookware in the oven, making it a good choice for those who want to use one pan for multiple purposes.
- Stainless steel is non-reactive, so it won’t affect the taste of your food.
- Stainless steel can withstand high temperatures, making it a good choice for those who like to cook their food at high temperatures.
- Stainless steel is Induction safe.
Cons of stainless steel cookware
- A disadvantage of stainless steel cookware is that it can be more expensive than other types of cookware.
- Another disadvantage is that it is not non-stick, so you will need to use oil or butter when cooking with it.
- Stainless Steel is known as a poor conductor of heat but except for single stainless steel, all other types heat evenly because their base is made up of aluminum or some other good conductor of heat.
- One downside of stainless steel is that it can be more expensive than other types of cookware. However, it’s a good investment for anyone who wants a set that will last for years.
Non-Stick vs Stainless steel: Conclusion
Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of both nonstick and stainless steel cookware, let’s look at who should opt for each type.
If you are a beginner-level cook and looking for cookware that is very easy to use and clean, then non-stick cookware is a good choice for you because nonstick cookware is best for beginners.
However, keep in mind that it is not as durable as stainless steel cookware and the non-stick coating can eventually wear off.
If you are a pro-level cook and looking for cookware that is very durable and will last for many years, then stainless steel cookware is a good choice for you.
However, keep in mind that it is not non-stick and you will need to use oil or butter when cooking with it.
Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it really comes down to what you are looking for in cookware.