Why Stainless Steel is Important for Utensils
Here is something that you did not know that Stainless Steel was first discovered by Metallurgist in 1913 through his weapon experiment. He was trying to product the strong material for weapons
Stainless steel is everywhere, in appliances, utensils, cookware, flatware, weapons, bulding construction and the list goes on.
But if you are this market of stainless steel, you just thinking about the utensils that you own. So, you might have question regarding stainless steel. Like:
But if you're within the marketplace for a stainless-steel set, or simply wondering about the pans you already own, you would possibly have questions on chrome steel . Like:
Is it easy to use?
Is it easy to clean?
Why on earth does stainless steel cookware stick?
And most importantly: Is stainless steel cookware safe?
You’d be surprised to understand that the solution thereto last question isn't as simple because it appears. Here’s an exhaustive guide to Stainless Steel Cookware. Hopefully, it will answer ALL the questions you have. Read on….
What is stainless steel?
Back when I didn’t know any better, I used to think that steel was just another element – like oxygen, carbon, aluminium etc. But obviously, i do know better now, that it's not.
Steel is an alloy (which means mixture) of mostly iron combined with up to 1.7% by weight of carbon.
Steel is far stronger that plain iron but it can rust and corrode. In order to form it immune to rust and corrosion, it's combined with chromium and other elements to make chrome steel .
Stainless steel, in it simplest form, is an alloy of steel with 10.5% or more of chromium by weight. Chromium makes stainless steel ‘‘passive’ (i.e. non-reactive) by combining with oxygen and immediately forming a layer of chromium oxide which prevents the oxidation (i.e. rusting) of the iron present in the stainless steel. The higher the chromium content, the upper the corrosion resistance of chrome steel .
The amount of chromium in chrome steel varies consistent with what it'll be used for, e.g. cookware, pipework, industrial uses, medical equipment etc. For food contact, it's mandated by the NSF International Standard for Food Equipment Material that chrome steel must contain a minimum of 16% chromium by weight.
It is chromium that gives stainless steel its characteristic lustre and mirror-like finish.
Stainless steel gets its name from the very fact that it doesn’t stain, tarnish or rust like steel.
Other elements also are added into chrome steel like molybdenum, nickel and nitrogen.
Most food grade stainless steel contains nickel. Nickel makes chrome steel stronger and improves its resistance to oxidization and corrosion, particularly within the presence of acidic materials. It also adds a ‘silver-like’ shine to the metal.
So, to sum it up:
Steel = (mostly) Iron + (a bit of) Carbon
Stainless Steel = Steel + (at least 10.5%) Chromium + Other optional elements like Nickel, Molybdenum, Nitrogen, Titanium etc.
There are literally thousands of different formulations for stainless steel, but for our purposes, we will focus only on food grade stainless steel.
What is Food Grade Stainless Steel?
According to the NSF International Standard for Food Equipment Material, chrome steel utilized in food equipment has got to be of a kind within the (AISI) 200 series, 300 series, or 400 series.
Let’s have a more detailed check out what these series mean.
304 stainless steel
By far the most common type of stainless steel used in cookware. The two most popular types of stainless steel are 18/10 and 18/8 which form part of the 304 series. You might have seen these numbers stamped on chrome steel cookware and wondered what those are. Let’s explain what these means.
The first number refers to the quantity of chromium present and therefore the second represents the quantity of nickel. For example, 18/10 stainless steel is made of 18% chromium and 10% nickel.
Likewise, 18/8 chrome steel has 18% chromium and eight nickel.
In terms of performance, there is negligible difference between 18/10 and 18/8 and if a manufacturer claims otherwise, it is just a marketing ploy.
304 chrome steel is understood as an ‘austenitic’ sort of chrome steel and is non-magnetic.
316 stainless steel
Less common that 304 chrome steel , the 316 sort of chrome steel may be a high-end version of chrome steel that contains alittle percentage of molybdenum. The chemical composition is approximately 16–18% chromium, and 10–14% nickel and 2% molybdenum. This grade of chrome steel is even more immune to corrosion but is additionally costlier .
316 is additionally called marine chrome steel since it's utilized in marine environments where a better resistance to corrosion is required thanks to high exposure to extreme salt water erosion. It is also called surgical chrome steel because it is employed in biomedical implants.
So if you’re wondering about a Surgical Stainless Steel Cookware Set, now you know the difference: it contains molybdenum (or titanium), has a higher corrosion resistance and might cost you more.
Is 316 surgical stainless-steel superior to 304 chrome steel for cooking?
Concise answer: No. In day-to-day cooking, you're likely to not notice any difference and for love or money you would like to cook, an honest quality 304 chrome steel set will do exactly fine. But it does not hurt to be offered a choice, especially if it is a choice between two quality options.