(Closed) stainless steel vs. nonstick anodized

posted 9 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 3
Member
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I have a mix of non-stick and stainless steel. I have certain pans that I like for certain things. I mostly use the medium size non-stick pan though. Mine are from Crate and Barrel and I’m pretty sure they’re All Clad non-stick and I have stainless steel ones too that are All Clad.

What I really want is, an entire set of Le Creuset. I have collected a couple pieces- they making cooking a dream.

If I were registering, I would just wish for all Le Creuset! 

Post # 5
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I don’t have any advice, but I’m so glad you asked this.  I’ve been wondering about many of the exact same questions.  On the one hand, I find cooking with non-stick so much easier, but I’m also not a very advanced cook and fully expect to (or hope to) learn more and become more advanced once we’re actually settled in with a "real" kitchen, so then maybe stainless is the way to go since all the hardcore cooking people swoon over it.  Then, of course, there’s brand and price issues…it seems almost absurd to ask people to buy you a $190 stainless sauce pan–but then they’re supposed to last so much longer, come with lifetime warranties, etc, while my cookbook says non-stick will need to be replaced every 5 years or so.  And Calphalon/Cusinart/All-Clad/etc??  I have no clue.  I’ve been using my grandmother’s old Reverwere pots my entire adult life and have probably never purchased anything more exotic than an Ikea frying pan.  I’m in over my head when it comes to picking out "nice" things.  Hopefully the hive can help!

Post # 6
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Hi girls,

(this is long, bear with me!)
I recently had these exact same questions and did lots of research, so for what it’s worth, here’s what I found! (please don’t take this as gospel—I am certainly not the expert on this!)

To start with, Stainless vs. Nonstick. What the bridal registry expert at Macy’s told me was essentially if you’re the kind of cook that mostly “warms things up,” nonstick will be fine. It is easy to cook with and easy to clean and many people who aren’t trying to really COOK prefer it.
However, if you’re planning to make sauces, blend flavors in certain ways, or lots of other more “chef-like” tasks, non-stick will not work. Just as its name suggests, food won’t stick to it easily, and this needs to happen to cook certain things. You also have more control over temperature with stainless, and…well, some other chef-ish tasks I can’t remember. J
Stainless also lasts a lot longer. It is really easy to ruin a non-stick pan if you use the wrong utensils, clean it incorrectly, etc, but stainless can last a lifetime. Some people also worry about the non-stick coating leaching into their food if it’s scratched at all, but I’m not sure if this is proven.

So because of all this, we decided to register for stainless. We’re not hardcore chefs yet, but we hope to learn a lot more about cooking in the future!

Next is brand, etc. Yes, brand does matter for quality, as it does in lots of stuff, but whether it matters that much to you is another story. For us, the most expensive cookware set was just not worth it, but it is for some people. We wanted something that would work well, but we didn’t really care about the brand name or that it might perform the tiniest bit better, so I found that some other brands would work perfectly well for us.
All-Clad is generally thought to be the best, but there are other brands that can stand up to it, according to my research. And it’s not just the brand—within each brand there is high end and low end.
The biggest reason the All-Clad is so good is that it is “Clad” or “TriPly,” which means that it has three layers (stainless, aluminum, stainless) that aren’t just on the bottom of the pan, but go all the way up the side for more even heating. The lowest end pans you’ll find don’t have multiple layers at all, or have them only on the bottom.
There are a few brands, though, that are TriPly just like the AllClad, and a couple got really good reviews (almost as good as AllClad) on lots of cooking sites. There are others, but the ones I liked best from reviews were Cuisinart Multiclad Pro and Calphalon Contemporary and Calphalon Tri-Ply (which is the older version of the Calphalon Contemporary). All of these are far less expensive than the AllClad.

We decided to go with the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro because we liked the look of them better than the Calphalon, and the two of them had gotten very similar reviews. We’re also getting one non-stick frypan for things like eggs that just will never cook well on stainless, and a non-stick wok.

Phew! That was long, but I hope it helps someone. (and PS-reviews on cookware online are so helpful. Some cooking sites make you pay to be a part of them—but you can get a free trial, yay!—and Amazon has tons of reviews.) I’m not trying to convince you either way, but knowing all this stuff was really helpful to me, and hopefully it will be for you too. Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2009 - University of Michigan Union

We did stainless, and we love them!

We actually can’t have non stick in our house, as Teflon kills birds! We have two pet canaries and we would never chance them gettng sick because of our pans. Just the chemicals released from normal cooking temperature can kill birds in your house, even if they aren’t in the kitchen! I didn’t know about this before we brought our canaries ome, but it probably isn’t good for people either. I almost wrote a post about it, as we had to make sure that our registry was clear of any non stick items! But I was worried I might sound a little crazy.

Post # 9
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Wow!  Thanks so much for the info about the pans, Greta B.  That’s really, really useful.  Also thanks to Taffy re: birds and teflon.  I had never heard that before and, as someone planning to get a canary once we’re married and settled into one place for a while, that’s really good to know.

Post # 11
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I am only throwing in my two cents because I love my cookware. So yes, I sell pampered chef, no big deal. Why? The main reason i sell it is to get free stuff for myself, so i’m not going to try and sell you on something just because I want commission or whatever. I have pretty much all i want. I like pampered chef cookware because of their warranty and my pans have been awesome. It’s a lifetime warranty! I got all my cookware for 200 before i started selling it.

They have the stainless and the nonstick. Which btw, they don’t use teflon, so no worries about the birds. Most higher end nonstick products do not contain teflon. It totally depends on the diswasher issue. and while yes, you can’t use metal utensils, i love the nonstick. I do crazy stuff with my cooking, I would even say i’m a decent cook, and the nonstick works just fine.

Calphalon is great too though. I always wanted it, but the pampered chef was cheaper with the deal i got.

Post # 12
Member
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I like the non-stick for flatter skillets (for making things like pancakes, grilled cheese, etc. that you flip — I sometimes have issues with the ones that aren’t non-stick :-P), but for everything else I prefer stainless steel. In general, they’re more durable because once the non-stick coating scratches or cracks, the pan’s no good.

Post # 13
Member
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

About 2 years ago I bought a Caphalon stainless set of cookware for the reasons you said. It was dishwasher safe and so pretty! The only thing is I HATED cooking with them. I can’t tell you how much I burned things and how long the "learning" process took. I had a set of T-fal before that but they were old already. Non-stick is definitely easier, but I have since learned a little better to cook with the stainless. I also now understand why cooks "deglaze" the pan all the time. LOL Watching Food Network WORKS to learn some tricks of the trade. I registered for a set of anodized since I have the stainless because there are some things I think they are still good for. For example: eggs. Scrambled, omlet, over easy, etc….still easier to do on my non-stick electric grill then in my stainless pans. AND I saw either Barefoot Contess or Paula Deen (can’t remember which one) making scrambled eggs and hers looked like mine too with the egg stuck to the bottom and a little on the sides! 

Post # 14
Member
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We registered for a mix of both. I like non stick for frying pans but stainless for my pots.

Post # 15
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Good stainless steel is beautiful, cleans easily and will last for many years if properly cared for. Non-stick WILL flake into food as it gets older, it requires special utensils and will not last nearly as long. From my personal experience and based on what my bro says – he is a chef!

Post # 16
Member
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I prefer cast iron and stainless steel over non-stick every day of the week. We have one non-stick pan in our kitchen and that is ONLY to be used for making crepes (although fi does use it for other things >.<).

Stainless steel cooks food much more evenly than non-stick and I also fall in the camp of people who believe the flakes of teflon that are missing from the pan have been injested in your body! Not good!

The secret (in my opinion) to cooking successfully on stainless is to warm food up more slowly than you would in a non-stick pan. Unless you’re searing! But when you warm food up slow it allows the natural juice to come out a little and that will lubricate the cooking surface. I fry eggs and cook salmon and other fish in my enameled cast iron fry pan, they both cook beautifully. I use stainless steel for pretty much everything else. I have also found that if food is sticking to stainless its not ready to be flipped yet.

The other benefit of stainless: as long as the entire pan is made of steel (no rubber handles!) you can stick the thing right in the oven! So I can take a chicken breast with skin on, dry sear it in my stainless steel deep saute pan, then stick the pan right in the preheated oven to finish baking. No need to dirty two dishes for one meal ^__^ Then when I take the chicken out of the pan I can add some flour and water to make the gravy right from the drippings.

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