You may want to check stainless steel cookware when you’re looking for non-toxic cooking items. It’s said that this type of cookware doesn’t leach harmful metals to the food. Is it true? And is it really safe? If you know how to choose one and use it properly, it could be safe for you.
These days, people are willing to have a toxin-free kitchen so that they can stay away from diseases like cancer, liver inflammation, ulcer, etc. That’s why you need to consider non-toxic cookware, such as cast iron, glass, and today’s topic, stainless steel.
There are plenty of debates about stainless steel, whether it’s safe or not. You may also find yourself confused about this matter. Don’t worry; we’re going to shed some light on this issue. Be connected with us until the end of this article.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is made of a variety of metals, including iron, carbon, chromium, and nickel. Iron is the main component, while carbon is the supportive item that increases the hardness of pure iron. The combination produces what we know as steel.
Besides, chromium provides anti-oxidative properties to the main component. And nickel enhances heat resistance and reduces corrosion. These elements react with oxygen to form a thin film and prevent water and oxygen from entering into the components.
Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?
Using stainless steel cookware is safe, but you need to consider a few things before purchasing and using one. We’ve already known that stainless steel combines some metals, including chromium and nickel.
Your body may require a little amount of chromium that you usually get from your regular diet. It’s probably 50 to 200 mcg for adults per day. We already get it from foods, such as potatoes, beef, broccoli, dairy products, poultry, and apples.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the US recognizes stainless steel as safe for cooking food as long as it has at least 16% chromium. So, if your stainless steel cookware has a little amount of chromium, it’s still considered as safe for you.
On the other hand, there is no such benefit of having nickel. If you take nickel in large quantities, it may cause metal poisoning. You might develop eczema, allergies, lung disorders, and cancer into yourself.
We need a little amount of nickel in our bodies. Perhaps, it’s about 25 to 35 mcg per day. And we already get most of that from foods like chocolate, nuts, and grains. After all, if you use nickel-free stainless steel cookware, then you can feel safe.
How to Make Sure Safe Cooking in Stainless Steel Cookware
Ensuring safe cooking in stainless steel cookware is necessary because it can contaminate your food with nickel and chromium. Does it mean that you stay away from this type of cookware? Not really.
If you’re highly sensitive to these metals, use other cookware options or minimize its reactivity, following some useful ways. We’re going to share with you some of them below.
Try the Magnet Test
If you want a piece of cookware made of stainless steel with less amount of nickel, you can try a test, which is called the magnet test. Check the stainless steel pot, whether a magnet sticks to the sides, bottom, and inside the pot or not. If the cookware is magnetic, it’s nickel-free and safe for you.
Take Care of the Aluminum Coating
Stainless steel pans and pots sometimes have layers of aluminum. It can cause aluminum leaching into your food in case it’s exposed. Therefore, you should take care of your stainless steel cookware so that the surface cannot be damaged. If it’s damaged, you should recycle it as soon as possible.
Don’t Purchase One under 300 Series Stainless Steel
For minimizing the chances of nickel leaching, you need to purchase stainless steel grades, like 18/8 and 18/0, due to their lower nickel components. Try to use a 400 series stainless steel, although a 300 series one is also a safe option. Make sure to stay away from cookware under 300 series.
Keep Yourself Away from Cooking Acidic Recipes
When you’re cooking acidic recipes, your cookware may have a higher chance of leaching harmful components into your food. So, try not to cook acidic dishes, like tomato-based sauces. Avoid slow cooking and keeping the food on the stovetop for a long time.
Avoid Using Abrasive Detergents
In the case of washing stainless steel pans, using abrasive detergents, steel wool, and scouring pads may cause leaching of harmful components. If some food gets stuck to the cookware, submerge it in some water for 60 minutes. Put some baking soda on it and gently clean it with a soft sponge.
After reading the entire article, you’ve already understood that stainless steel is not 100% safe. It has some disadvantages and dangers for you. But, if you purchase quality stainless steel pans and pots, you can minimize the chances of leaching. So, make sure that you get one of the safest pieces of stainless steel cookware.
Hello! I’m Paula Deen, a mother who loves to create memories in the kitchen. As a kitchen enthusiast, I love to do experiment with different kitchenware for daily recipes. This is my blog, where I’ll share my experience, knowledge, and reviews on various kitchenware and appliances.