Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stainless Steel Cookware Versus Aluminum Cookware

Stainless steel by itself is not a good conductor of heat. What this means is that when cooking, parts of your pan or skillet will be hotter than other parts, causing uneven cooking. For a cook, that means more time-consuming attention at the stove moving food around or flipping the food often so it cooks more evenly. Non-clad cookware will be less expensive than clad cookware.

As induction cooking becomes more mainstream in America, the magnetic properties of quality make it a natural choice. Today, stainless steel is seen with both shiny and designer finishes. Some manufacturers are coating their cookware with enamel on the outside and non-stick surfaces on the inside.

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum cookware sets are affordable, twice as hard as stainless steel, and attractive with its typical dark color. Today, they are even being made in colors, like bronze, other than the familiar black or dark gray. Most today do not have native anodized aluminum on the exterior or interior, but rather a non-stick surface. Cooks love anodized aluminum cookware because it heats very evenly, surrounding your food with a steady heat. It is no surprise that anodized aluminum cookware sets are found in many homes.

Aluminum is a great conductor of heat, and roughly 5 times better than stainless steel. Consequently, cookware manufacturers clad, or layer, stainless steel with copper and/or aluminum to give it better heating properties. Copper is the best heat conductor. Since copper is a more expensive material, copper clad stainless steel cookware will be more expensive than aluminum clad cookware. Quality stainless steel cookware requires much less heat to cook. Recommended heat levels is low to medium.


T304 Steel also known as 304 Steel is one of a grade from the family of 300 Steel grades (301, 302, 303, 304, 307, 316, etc). The T304 steel is the one of the most soft grades. The difference which makes it more recognizable as soft steel is that this grade is soft yet very durable, flexible and easy to trim, mold or bend.

T-304 is the most commonly used stainless steel all around the world. It is used in variety of products including forks, knives, steel wires, medical and personal care instruments, automobiles, machine parts, etc. It is weldable, machinable as well as having good corrosion resistance characteristics. Although it is effectively corrosion resistant, it is not recommended for salt water environments.

Grade T304 steel has a competitor known as T409. This steel grade is a low price grade compare to T304, therefore, at some places it is preferred to T304, but when it comes to reliability for long time, better finish and durability, T304 is the final choice. The T409 can get surface corrosion easily, though as the corrosion appears on the surface, it does not damage the structure from inside and it is just on the surface. However, it is a huge negative point. Whereas the T304 is more durable, it has a better surface finish and will not get surface corrosion unless it is exposed to really extreme atmosphere, such as sea water, etc. Therefore, T304 is definitely a preferable choice to T409.