Stainless Steel vs Non-Stick Pots

What type of cookware do you ladies use?  Stainless Steel or Non-Stick?  Which do you like better?  Any brand preference?


I have a non-stick set from Farberware that I've been using for years, but I registered for the Tri-Ply Stainless Steel set from Calphalon.  I really wanted nice pots that would last forever (my sister has this set and loves it).  Well since we didn't get it for the wedding, we picked it up yesterday using our Bed Bath & Beyond giftcards.  The good thing is the girl at BB&B said that if we don't like the set, we can return it and switch to something else.  So I took it out of the box tonight.. but I'm a little scared to use it! I read so many reviews and I hear that it's hard to switch to stainless steel if you're used to non-stick.  Calphalon had a nice non-stick set too, but I prefer the look of Stainless Steel.


Any tips or suggestions for making the switch?  I'm thinking about keeping a non-stick pan on hand just in case ;)


 


 

Posted on November 7, 2010 at 11:48 am
missbliss
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GatorBride
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GatorBride

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I prefer my stainless set because I'm a little freaked out by the non-stick stuff when it starts flaking; and I'm paranoid that even when it's not chipping, it's leaching chemicals into our food. Also, I find the stainless so much more durable, and you can do more preparations with stainless than you can with coated pans (since stainless is non-reactive). We do have some non-stick pans, which DH uses more than I do, but they're not great quality.


The only issue with stainless is that stuff tends to stick. So I cook at lower temps, and stir frequently. Also helps to use some oil. I use olive oil most often, but have experimented with some others. I try to preheat the pan and then add the oil and heat it thoroughly, which does seem to help. Also, the closer to room temperature a food is before you add it to the pan, the less it's supposed to stick - I haven't really tested this theory because I don't really have time to let stuff sit before adding it to the pan, but I do try to heat things slowly so the temperature differential doesn't cause more sticking.


If food does stick, you can usually just boil some water in the pan and then use a nylon pan scraper to get it out. If you burn oil and get black spots (happens if you use too high temps), I've found vinegar is good to get rid of them.


 

Posted on November 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm
Alatiel
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I have all kinds of pans.  Mostly (Le Creuset) cast iron, one (KitchenAid) stainless steel, and a couple non-stick from IKEA.  I use the stainless one the most, and like GatorBride said, it does tend to stick, but it cleans pretty easily.  Once, I left some oil sitting too long and it just turned into a sticky grease, but some fresh lemon juice and salt cleaned it right up.  I like the cast irons for steaks and to sautee things.  I usually only use the non-sticks for breakfast (eggs and bacon mostly) and when I make simple things like quesadillas and grilled cheeses.  Don't be afraid to use your cookware!  That's what it's for!  And how else will you know how well it works for you?

Posted on November 7, 2010 at 1:12 pm
missbliss
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missbliss

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Thanks for the tips, gatorbride!  I know what you mean about the flaking with non-stick pans.  I made mash potatoes one night and noticed little black flecks in it and thought to myself "hmm, I didn't add black pepper?".  Thank goodness I realized it was the non-stick coating before we ate them.. bleh! lol


And it's good to know the clean up is not that difficult.  That was one of the things I was hestitant on, I thought clean-up would be alot more time consuming!  My sister uses something called Bar Friend (I think) and she said it repolishes them after some wear.  Have you used it?  I might pick some up if it's worth it.


 

Posted on November 8, 2010 at 2:08 am
missbliss
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@Atatiel.. I'm so glad other people are saying clean up is not that bad!  That was actually on my "cons" list before I picked up the set.  I think I'll keep that non-stick pan for eggs and pancakes though ;)


I did finally break in the set last night.  I really wanted to make something elegent.. but what did I end up making? Ramen noodles! I figure if I screw up ramen noodles, then I am DEFINITELY returning the set.  Happy to say they came out perfect! lol


I'm making a grown-up meal tonight though.. seared ahi tuna! yum.  We'll see how it turns out!

Posted on November 8, 2010 at 2:15 am
GatorBride
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I think it's Bartender's Friend? I've used it on a nasty stainless steel sink in an olllllld apartment, and it cleaned it up easily, so I would imagine it works just as well on pots and pans... That's actually a great idea; I'm gonna have to try it!

Posted on November 8, 2010 at 3:30 am
jackieg
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we have quite a bit of non-stick Calphalon...but i want to get a nice stainless skillet for searing, so you can make a sauce or deglaze all those yummy brown bits....that's the only problem with non-stick...BUT....i recently saw a commercial for Calphalon that says they now have a non-stick "searing" set....

Posted on November 8, 2010 at 6:26 am

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