When it comes to shopping for cookware, you might be wondering what materials work best on a gas stove. In this article, we’ll be discussing stainless steel, non-stick and other types of cookware, and whether or not they’re suitable for cooking over gas.
Is stainless steel good for gas stove?
Stainless steel is a popular material for cookware, after all, it’s durable and non-reactive – meaning it won’t change the flavor of your dishes – plus it’s resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel is generally hard-wearing and will last for years without getting easily marked or damaged, plus it’s easy to clean.
On the other hand, stainless steel isn’t so good as a heat conductor, and usually, manufacturers coat it with another material to offset this – such as aluminum or copper.
Can you use non-stick pans on a gas stove?
Non-stick cookware is designed to be used on a variety of stove types, and the idea is that you don’t need to use as much oil to cook your food, and of course, the food can be removed from the pan more easily, leaving behind less residue.
Nonstick cookware usually features Teflon – a special coating material that provides the non-stick quality. However, Teflon-coated utensils should be used with caution as when heated at high temperatures the Teflon disintegrates at a molecular level, which can produce toxic gases and particles.
Therefore, it’s important that you always keep the heat turned down when using non-stick cookware. Avoid heating Teflon above 500 degrees F, as at this point it starts breaking down. Or, in simpler terms, just avoid using non-stick cookware over high heat. Keep the burner turned to medium or low, as a high heat could easily damage your cookware and could release toxic fumes, too. That said, using this cookware over medium or low heat is perfectly safe.
Is stainless steel toxic?
Stainless steel cookware is generally perfectly safe to use. However, as we said previously, stainless steel does not conduct heat well, so the cookware is usually made of additional sheets of aluminum or copper which improve the stainless steel’s heating ability.
It also contains other metals: always at least 10% chromium, as well as varying amounts of nickel, manganese, aluminum, silicon, and sulfur. The combination of metals determines the grade of the cookware.
There are usually numbers on the bottom of your cookware that indicate the grade of it. These numbers specifically refer to the amount of chromium and nickel contained within the stainless steel. So if the numbers displayed were ‘18/10’ – this indicates that the pot consists of 18% chromium and 10% nickel.
As we said, stainless steel cookware is widely used and has many benefits, but there are a few things to be aware of.
There are concerns that the metals blended in stainless steel cookware can leach into your food, which could be toxic. Nickel usually leaches into the food at higher rates than the other metals, and this can be an issue for those with nickel allergies.
However, the aluminum or copper core in your stainless steel cookware is only really an issue if the pot is scratched or worn to expose it. So if you’ve had your cookware for a while and it’s showing signs of wear and tear – it’s time to replace it.
Keeping your cookware safe
One way to reduce the chances of toxic metals leaching into your food is to use your stainless steel pans correctly and to clean them without harsh chemicals or any abrasive materials.
As we said, you’re trying to preserve the surface of the cookware, as you don’t want it to become scratched or damaged, as this is when you’re at risk of toxins being released.
How to use stainless steel cookware
Avoid using high heat as you don’t want food to stick to the pan or burn, which will make the pan difficult to clean.
Gently heat the pan before you add your oil and butter, and, if possible, don’t add cold food to the pan – particularly not meats. The heat causes steel to expand, and then it contracts with the pan, so when you add cold meat to a hot, oiled pan, the pan contracts and causes the food to stick. Instead, allow your meat to adjust to room temperature before adding it to the pan.
Cleaning stainless steel cookware
When it comes to cleaning, avoid heavy commercial cleaning products. Keep it simple, regular dish soap – or natural cleaning agents like baking soda and vinegar – are perfect for cleaning stainless steel, along with a non-abrasive brush or scrubber which won’t scratch the surface of the cookware.
Before cleaning, allow the pan to cool to room temperature, and avoid adding cold water to a hot pan as the temperature difference can cause warping. Once the pan has cooled, you can then clean it with warm, soapy water. If needed, you can leave it to soak for a bit to loosen any food particles or use a non-metal spatula or pan scraper – made of a material such as bamboo – to remove these.