You need to understand that not all Stainless Steel Cookware Sets are the same. They are not made in the same way. This means that some of them are considered safer than others and you need to find out which ones are safer for you and which ones are not. You will find that they are graded depending upon their metal composition, and that grade is going to play an important part in your decision.
Yes and as long as we are on the metal composition part, it is important for you to know that stainless steel cookware sets are made not from a pure metal but a metal alloy comprising iron and chromium. Along with these metals you will also find differing percentages of nickel, titanium, molybdenum, copper and vanadium.
Understanding Metal Compositions
You need to pick a stainless steel set that allows minimal metals to leach into your foods. You need to understand that elements in stainless steel such as iron, chromium and nickel can have negative effects on your health. Whenever you are out in the market looking for the right stainless steel cookware, you’ll come across numbers such as 18/0 and 18/8. These commonly refer to the percentages of chromium and nickel. The chromium content in this alloy gives the whole set its rust-resistance properties. The nickel content of the alloy on the other hand is responsible for the silver-like shine that our stainless steel utensils have.
- According to experts 18/8 and 18/10 are the most common types of metal alloys that are used for stainless steel cookware and other primary food applications.
- According to studies the safest amount of chromium that can be ingested by any adult or adolescent is 25 to 45 μg per day. However, the same study doesn’t really state any Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL).
- The chromium present in solid stainless steel is not the one present in fumes of welding chemicals.
- The health risks associated with nickel are worse than what come from chromium. It is advised to stick to Stainless Steel Cookware Sets that have higher chromium content.
The Bottom Line Remains The Same; Is Stainless Steel Cookware Safe?
For the most part, they are safe. As a consumer you need to be aware that all the different brands of stainless steel cookware sets that you see in the market are constructed differently. There is a large variety of stainless steel compositions and various qualities you should be aware of. As pointed out earlier, the alloy composition stainless steel is made of has chromium and nickel. Our body requires small amounts of chromium but having more than necessary may lead to heavy metal poisoning.
You will find a lot of statements and claims that will be enough to scare you off and prevent you from buying stainless steel cookware. But you need to know that the bond of the alloy or mixed metals that is used to construct them is quite strong to begin with. This alloy has massive strength this is why pots and pans made out of it can easily resist leaching. This makes them quite safe and much safer especially in comparison to non stick cooking.
So, the next time you think of buying a set that has TEFLON or PTFE, remember that once they start wearing off, they can be highly toxic for you. Also the risk in stainless steel is quite minimal. Only poorly constructed stainless steel cookware sets are capable of potentially harming you by contaminating the food you eat. So, now you know how safe your stainless steel cookware set is.