25 answers

Stainless Steel Vs. Non-Stick

My pans are in bad shape. Looking for new ones. I have always used non-stick - but learning more now that they are unsafe. I cook a lot for my family (4 year old daughter and 9mos old son).

Which would you recommend and also any tips on where to get them at a good deal?


3 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Long overdue THANK YOU for your help! I went with stainless and have been very happy!

Featured Answers

I love cast iron. Once it is seasoned it cooks evenly cleans nicely and I have heard it is very healthy. It acctually helps the body absorb iron. They are also very inexpensive. It may just be coincidence but my family is very healthy. Almost no sick days, ear infections, ect. I don't supplement their diets but I do cook at home almost every night. Hope this helps. Also if I use cooking spray they are very easy to clean even stuff like cornbeef hash (yuck)or eggs dosn't stick.

I love my stainless steel pans but I still have a non stick pan too for frying eggs and country potatoes. But if I had to choose it would be SS.


More Answers

A good stainless steel pan should provide you with great food and an awesome cooking experience.

However, people continue to make the same mistake over and over again when using stainless - they want to cook EVERYTHING on high. Silly, silly, silly! Don't do it.

When using a stainless pan, about the highest you want to go is medium. Heat the pan first, then add the oil or the butter and let that heat - THEN add what you're going to cook. Unless you are sauteeing, do NOT touch the food in the pan. Leave it alone and let it cook. If you scoot it around in the pan or try to flip it repeatedly, then the outer layer of the food will stick to the pan and leave a holy mess. If you are patient and let the food cook the way it is supposed to, the food will release flawlessly when it is time to flip ip.

Finally, wash your stainless steel pans by hand and use a product called 'Bar Keepers Friend'. You only need a little bit. It is like a powder and won't create a 'lather' but it will clean your pans. I tend to follow that with a little bit of dishwashing detergent. Avoid putting your stainless steel pans in the dishwasher.

Cook correctly, treat your pans right, and you'll enjoy them for years and years to come. We've had our All-Clad set for 8 years and they still look shiny and new and do a great job cooking for us.

2 moms found this helpful

I searched this one for a long time myself. I just bought a new set and it is stainless steel. The is is the multiclad cuisinart. I haven't used them yet but they have great reviews. I actually had replaced my nonstick fry pans with a couple stainless steal pans of good quality to try them out. It is my feeling that no one needs nonstick pans for soups, ect.... I haven't ever had them and have never spent much time cleaning the SS pans. A little soak helps if they are super dirty. The same with the fry pans, esp. Lets say you cooked eggs or hamburgers, when you serve them fill the bottom of the pan with water and let sit. You could also bring the water to a boil. This is easy, easy to do. I recently read to use a few drops of oil and salt for cleaning. I tried that and even with out soap, they came out sparkling. I think they cooked better the next time, too, though could be my imagination.
Two things to remember. 1. The pans should have heavy bottoms (the ones I bought are rated for up to 550 degrees so watch that too. some were only rated up to 350 and that sounded like they must be too thin and poorer quality) and 2. Watch your temperature. You can use high temps for searing if you want, but for most things, when people have too much sticking they temp was too high.
They are not non stick and will take a tad more effort, but honestly, I don't even think about it. I don't necessarily think it hurts to keep a little non stick around for the occasional egg, either, just watch the temp carefully on those because that is what releases the chemicals, which you probably already know.

1 mom found this helpful

I know that this is late, but wanted to add my 2 cents worth. I have stainless and love them too. Mine are 10+ years old and still look brand new, I've had a few accidents burning things in them - but a little soak with dawn detergent and they clean right up. Also - there was a cooking show on tv - the Frugal Gourmet - and he used to say "hot pan, cold oil, no stick". I don't think the pan has to be hot enough to spontaneous combust, and the oil, spray, butter etc.. doesn't have to be refrigerated, but you get the idea. Always works for me!

1 mom found this helpful

I know you have a ton of answers already, but I just completed months-long research for the best, non-toxic cookware now that I am pregnant and finally settled on a mix of stainless steel skillets, a cast iron skillet, and le crueset pots and a le creuset saucier pan. The best piece of advice for cooking with each of those (and the hardest adjustment to make from cooking with non-stick) is to use medium heat, at the absolute highest. High heat cooking will make your food stick and burn easily in stainless, enamel and cast iron, and is just not necesary. Also, be sure not to scour you stainless with anything abrasive because it scratches off the non-reactive surface and exposes the aluminum and chromium (that is what the 18/10 in stainless steel stand for, 18% aluminum and 10% chromium) and those compounds will leach into the food your cooking. Expensive endeavor, but well worth it!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi - I didn't read all of the postings and am a little late to respond but thought I'd offer a couple of tips for keeping your SS pans in great shape. To avoid scratches, use nonstick utensils and never clean them with a scouring pad. I use the plastic scrub brushes, which work great and don't scratch the pans. I buy the large ones at Crate & Barrel, and Trader Joe's sells a small pack of 3 or 4. If you get "spots" from boiling water or other similar spots yet the surface is clean and smooth, pour a little white vinegar and swirl it around, empty the vinegar (but don't rinse) then add some baking soda. It will "sizzle" from the acid/base combination, then scrub and wash with soap and water. They'll be good as new. Enjoy!!

1 mom found this helpful

I'd keep a non stick for eggs (pancakes come off of stainless just great if you use oil and let them cook thoroughly) and go stainless for all the rest. Le Creuset of something like that is nice but really heavy. I find I don't use it as much as I thought I would for this reason. But if you go this direction, try Marshalls or TJ Maxx as they have it (or something like it) for less. America's Test Kitchen tested a bunch of stainless cookware and while they liked the very expensive All Clad, they liked pretty much equally well the set sold at Costco. Can't remember the name, but you could Google ATK and see if you can find it there. It was really inexpensive and worked as well as the All Clad. Good luck!

Think about how often you are going to be using these pans- almost everyday, right?

Before just going out and buying a set of cookware which will most likely include things you don't use or really need,(and its all boxed up, so you can't take the pans out and really check them out), I would take a look at your inventory now:

1) What pans do you REALLY USE ALL THE TIME? If you use your 12" saucepan every night, then invest in a really good one.
Don't automatically go for one just because it is expensive- shop around for an afternoon and 'try out' a lot of pans- handles are different, some are heavy to work with, etc.

Find a couple of really good, high quality stainless steel pans that feel comfortable in your hand and are sizes that you use all the time and invest in those.

2) For a good, big soup pot, and other bakeware, etc. check out Home Goods! They often have amazing deals on high quality cookware - I got a wonderful Dutch oven there and a le Cruset soup pot as well that I use all the time for a fraction of the price anywhere else.

Have fun! Take a GF who likes to cook with you and head out for some pan shopping :)

Get stainless steal and 1-2 cast iron pans, they are great for cooking most things, including nice fluffy omlettes, you also get some extra iron from the cast iron pans. I got one at Bed, Bath Beyond for under $20, they are heavy duty and will last you for years! Teflon/non-stick contain harmful chemicals, if damaged, leaks into your foods.

Good Luck,
Chicago Examiner Family Health Expert

I use Wolfgang Puck's stainless steel pots and pans. They are heavy duty and can go from the stove top to the oven to the table. You can find them online or you can order them through HSN (Home Shopping Network). I even cook eggs in them and they work out just fine. I've had mine for over 10 years, use them every day and they still look brand new.

Good Luck!

Princess House has a line of nonstick stainless steels pans that are healthy to cook with and come with a PFOA-free manufacturing process.
They are beautiful to have in your kitchen and backed by our lifetime warranty. Please check up my web site at www.princesshouse.com/DSILVAS or call me at ###-###-####

I too found out a few years ago about the safety issues with non-stick pans. We switched to all stainless steel, bit the bullet, and bought a huge set at Costco, the Kirkland(Costco) brand. They are holding up extremely well, I don't expect to have to replace them. We also eat exclusively at home, so they see a lot of use! Good luck, Jen

I love cast iron. Once it is seasoned it cooks evenly cleans nicely and I have heard it is very healthy. It acctually helps the body absorb iron. They are also very inexpensive. It may just be coincidence but my family is very healthy. Almost no sick days, ear infections, ect. I don't supplement their diets but I do cook at home almost every night. Hope this helps. Also if I use cooking spray they are very easy to clean even stuff like cornbeef hash (yuck)or eggs dosn't stick.

I love my stainless steel pans - best on the market. Contact me privately and I can tell you more - I cannot post here because I sell the pans and my company has specific internet rules. You can get the cookware for 50-60% off!


We have avoided non-stick for about 5 years now. We have stainless pots and pans, which I will use for making soup, spaghetti, etc., however, we now use cast iron pans for frying, etc. and I really like them. If the cast iron pans are well seasoned and kept oiled, you won't have a problem with sticking. We just keep a brush on hand and clean them up. It also add healthy iron to your food, which is always a good thing!

Good for you for giving up on non-stick!

i have stainless steeel as the non stick have toxins in them. It took me a bit to get used to cooking in them but now I NEVER have an issue. I would buy a good sets (ALL CLAD) they are pricey but this time of year loook for discounts and they will last! I have had mine for 5 years and they look brand new still

How about trying the TJ Maxx Home Goods Store if you have one near? I changed out all of my pots and pans also and bought them there one by one. I love them and have no problem cooking with them.

We have both stainless steel and a non-stick set. For the most part, I use the stainless steel set b/c of safety issues. However, I cannot make a decent egg in the stainless steel set!!! It turns into a huge mess and burns to the pan. I have tried butter and different spray oils with no luck. So, for eggs and pancakes, I do use the non-stick set. So my advice, get stainless steel sauce pans and pots and buy a non-stick skillet for eggs and pancakes. Good luck!!

Stainless steel is a better idea, however keep a non-stick frying pan on hand for foods like scrambled eggs, ect - nightmare to clean off stainless steel. If you get them at Bed Bath Beyond, you can use one of the 20% coupons they mail out...

I love my stainless too!!! I can beat it up and it still looks nice. It's MUCH easier to clean than I ever imagined. I know you posted a long time ago and this was just an update but I just had to share the love!!!

Happy cooking ☺

I love my stainless steel pans but I still have a non stick pan too for frying eggs and country potatoes. But if I had to choose it would be SS.


Totally agree with M R shes hit the nail on the head

I don't know too much about brand names, but I wholly support your decision. Stainless steel and cast iron are so versatile -- you can cook anything, using any technique. Don't get me started on plastic-coated cookware ("non-stick" is a marketing term). Why would someone cook with something that you can't even pre-heat, can't put in the OVEN? Plastic pans teach people that they can't COOK! (Ok, eggs and pancakes work if that's all you want to cook).

So ... that's my rant. Anyway, make sure to get items with handles and lids that can go in the oven (avoid plastic) and I always find that if a pan has a screw-on handle, the screw will come loose pretty quickly, so I avoid those as well. I get by with a $20 15" stainless frying pan, a 9" iron skillet ($5 at a flea market) and a 6qt cast iron dutch oven and I cook the H. out of all of'em. Keep the cast iron cured, use kosher salt and hot water to clean.

If you host a Pampered Chef party then you can get their line of pans 1/2 off. They are awesome and have a lifetime warrenty! Email me if you want more information ____@____.com

We have Farberware stainless steel pots and pans and they are as good as new after over 10 years of use. They're very basic, but they are durable, clean up well and work great. I think ours are from Field's, but I would say maybe Bed Bath and Beyond is a good place to get them, especially if you use a 20% coupon. Amazon is also a good place to look for cookware- and read reviews. Our set has a stainless skillet, but it looks like the new ones have nonstick skillets. I believe the nonstick surface is safe as long as it is intact (no scratches, bubbles, knicks). I know there are so many choices it can be overwhelming. Hope this helps.

I just bought a set of Curculon, non-stick to replace my stainless steel fry pan. I was tired of everything sticking to the pan no matter what I did. I got two pans at Bed Bath & Beyond on sale for $29.99. If you get the 20% off coupon in the paper, you'll save a few bucks. The new pans have a limited lifetime warranty too. Though I haven't used them yet, they did come out of the dishwasher nicely. Hope this helps. Also, I did my shopping on these & found this is the best price between BB&B & Kohls.

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