Most households cook using stainless steel cookware. Stainless steel is preferred to non-stick because it does an exemplary job in the browning food and heats evenly on electric or gas stovetops especially when they are wrapped around a copper or aluminum core. Stainless steel cookware is also rust resistant and does not react with foods when heated. They are also usually shiny, durable, and versatile and have a very low maintenance.
On the downside, stainless steel cookware sets require you to use more fat because they are not non-stick. This prevents food from clinging to the bottom of the cookware. They are susceptible to scratching as well as discoloration more commonly known as rainbowing in culinary circles. Also if they are not clad cookware; stainless steel cookware that has not been wrapped around aluminum or copper, they will not conduct heat very well.
When choosing stainless steel, go for cookware that has an 18/10 ratio of chromium to nickel. This is the best quality of stainless steel because of the high level of nickel it contains. This feature in stainless steel will mean that the cookware will have a better shine, non-magnetic, harder and more resistant to rust. It will be expensive but it is a better choice than the 18/0 or 18/8 stainless steel. The steel containing no nickel will not conduct heat well or clean as well as the other categories. If the type of stainless steel is not clear or has not been featured on the label, you can test its magnetism to find out. 18/0 stainless steel is magnetic while 18/8 and 18/10 are not.
The best stainless steel set according to reviews is the All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless 10-piece cookware set. This set is sold by Williams-Sonoma exclusively and is a bit pricy selling at approximately $700. It is used by many professionals the world over and is a multi-purpose set and safe to use in the oven up to a temperature of 800F. The others that have received good reviews are the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro MCP-12N, T-fal Ultimate Stainless Steel Copper bottom both oven safe to 500F, the Tramontina 8-piece 18/10 Stainless Tri-Ply-Clad Cookware set and the Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 8-piece cookware set.Use lemon juice or Bar Keepers Friend cleanser to restore the shiny exterior of your stainless steel cookware sets and make sure they are dishwasher safe before sticking your pans and pots in there.