Stainless Steel Vs. Non-Stick Cookware Stainless Steel Vs. Non-Stick Cookware

Stainless Steel Vs. Non-Stick Cookware – The Comparison!

Cooking at home can be challenging for beginners as there are a lot of things to consider. Selecting the right cookware is one of these, and this is why people compare cookware. However, one of the most unresolved comparisons is stainless steel vs non-stick cookware. 

Though the comparison is very tough, stainless steel tends to have more advantages than non-stick cookware. The major drawback of stainless steel cookware is that its cleaning gets harder when you burn the food in the pan. Overall, both have their pros and cons.

In order to cook deliciously, one must consider everything, from selecting the right cookware to following the perfect recipe. In this article, we will talk about the major first part of this cooking process, i.e., selecting the right cookware.

What Should You Know?

Stainless Steel Vs. Non-Stick Cookware

Before diving into the comparison of these two types of cookware, you should possess some basic knowledge about them. If you already know what a stainless steel cookware is and what a non-stick cookware is, then skip to the next section. 

Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel cookware comes in a variety of models. However, most stainless steel pans and pots are known to be made from more than one type of metal sandwiched between steel layers. The other metals are added to improve the performance of the cookware.

The additional layers of other metals, such as aluminum, play a major role in improving the conductivity, durability, and heat retention abilities. The outer stainless steel layer is non-reactive and free from toxins, making it safe for human health. 

On the other hand, stainless steel cookware is often sticky in nature. It means that if you try to cook food without adding oil or butter, chances are your food might stick to the pan. However, the durability of stainless steel allows you to cook food through various means.

Non-Stick Cookware

Unlike stainless steel cookware, non-stick cookware offers exceptional cooking experience. The surface of this cookware is coated with a non-stick layer, making it food-repellant. You can cook food without using oil or butter with zero fear that it will stick to the pan.

The non-stick pans are often made of aluminum or some other metal that is well known for its heat conductivity and distribution. However, such metals are only used for the base of the cookware. It is then coated with a non-stick layer, which in most cases is artificial.

The problem with these cookwares is that the non-stick coating could be toxic or may become toxic when exposed to high temperatures. Moreover, the non-stick coating may wear off after some time, exposing the metal base, which might be harmful to health.

Comparing The Features of Stainless Steel Vs. Non-Stick Cookware

Stainless Steel Vs. Non-Stick Cookware

The construction and manufacturing of both types of cookware are not similar, so we must be having a tight competition here. Let’s compare the features of these cookwares one by one to figure out the one most suitable for our kitchen.

Cookware Durability

Home chefs often look for cookware that lasts longer. Comparing the durability of these through facts, we see that stainless steel has a longer life when used the right way. Non-stick cookware can last for a maximum of a year or two, while stainless steel can stay for decades.

The reason behind this is that stainless steel is far more durable than aluminum, which is used in non-stick cookware. Though stainless steel also comes with an aluminum layer, the durability is still higher due to the multiple steel layers.

Though stainless steel is more durable and long-lasting than non-stick, it also has a drawback due to this. Stainless steel is heavier than non-stick cookware, making it hard to handle. Chefs who love flipping food while cooking often find it harder with stainless steel cookware.

Heat Distribution

Most people think of non-stick cookware as superior when talking about heat distribution abilities. The reason is that aluminum is a better conductor of heat than stainless steel. However, aluminum has a low melting point, which makes it unstable at high temperatures.

For cooking, you not only need conduction but also heat retention and distribution. When it comes to these aspects, aluminum often fails to compete with stainless steel. The higher heat tolerance of stainless steel makes it a better option for cooking purposes.

The best thing is that most stainless steel cookware comes with a layer of aluminum sandwiched between steel layers. This gives the cookware perfect heat conduction abilities along with heat retention and distribution. Thus, stainless steel is the winner here.

The Versatility

Nowadays, cooking is not only limited to stovetops. With the latest inventions, such as ovens and induction stoves, there is much more to explore. Both the stainless steel and non-stick cookware offer the best cooking versatility options. 

Stainless steel cookware is compatible with almost all types of cooking, from stovetops to ovens and induction stoves. Moreover, they are also good with the results, such as better searing and roasting abilities.

Non-stick cookware, on the other hand, is often non-compatible with induction stoves. However, you can get a better cooking experience with stove tops and ovens. The oven temperature limit for non-stick cookware is 450 °F, while for stainless steel, it is 600 °F.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your cookware can help increase its lifespan. Non-stick cookware stays way ahead of stainless steel when we talk about cleaning and maintenance. You just need a gentle scrub or a tissue to clean a non-stick cookware.

On the other hand, stainless steel cookware might burn some extra calories in the process of cleaning. As it tends to be sticky, food burns are hard to remove. You might need to soak the cookware before you try some elbow greasing.

Cookware Safety

When comparing stainless steel vs. non-stick cookware, the safety of these cookwares is of utmost concern. As we discussed earlier, non-stick cookware uses a non-stick layer over a metallic base. The outer, non-stick layer of these cookware is of concern to many people.

In the last few years, there have been some serious concerns about these non-stick cookwares containing harmful chemicals such as Teflon. Though it is correct to some extent, some of the latest non-stick cookware does not contain any such chemicals or toxins.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is non-reactive in nature and does not release any harmful chemicals, even at high temperatures. Moreover, there is no toxic chemical used in the manufacturing of stainless steel cookware. So, stainless steel cookware takes the lead.

Who Is The Winner?

In my opinion, stainless steel has a competitive victory over non-stick cookware. The reason is that stainless steel is highly durable, safe, and offers the perfect heat distribution abilities that are necessary for cooking. Non-stick cookware often compromises these features.

However, non-stick cookware has an edge when we talk about the food sticking to the cookware. Stainless steel is sticky in nature, and you must use some oil or butter before cooking. This might also give you some extra fats when you eat.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the disadvantages of a stainless steel pan?

Stainless steel cookware often tends to be sticky in nature. You need some oil or butter so your food doesn’t stick to the cookware. Moreover, stainless steel cookware is heavier but more durable. This makes stainless steel cookware more expensive than non-stick cookware.

Is it better to cook with stainless steel or non-stick cookware?

For beginners, non-stick cookware is a better option. However, expert chefs prefer using stainless steel cookware. Though non-stick cookware is lightweight and also non-stick, stainless steel cookware offers better heat distribution and searing.

Why do chefs always use stainless steel cookware?

Professional chefs and kitchen enthusiasts often tend to use stainless steel cookware for its better heat retention and distribution abilities. Moreover, stainless steel cookware is often more durable and also becomes non-stick when used the right way.


In a nutshell, the comparison of stainless steel vs. non-stick cookware concludes that both have their pros and cons. If you are looking for low-fat and easy cooking, non-stick cookware is the perfect fit. If you are after durability and versatility, stainless steel is the best choice. 

Meanwhile, you can also have both types of cookware in your kitchen. One must have a variety of cookware to deal with any type of cooking. Make sure that you go with the best quality product to have an exceptional cooking experience and a delightful taste.