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Q: How safe are stainless steel pots and pans? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: How safe are stainless steel pots and pans?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: cyntlhiadiane-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 30 Dec 2003 15:11 PST
Expires: 29 Jan 2004 15:11 PST
Question ID: 291607
Will stainless steel pots and pans leach any kind of metal?  (I am
looking to buy a set and do not want Teflon, non-stick or aluminum for
health safety reasons.)

Cynthia Diane
Subject: Re: How safe are stainless steel pots and pans?
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 30 Dec 2003 15:34 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi cynthiadiane,

Stainless steel cookware is what most people in North America use
today, (43%) especially folks like myself who are ?afraid? of aluminum
pots and pans. I found no documentation that there are any dangers
from routine use of stainless steel cookware. However, beware plastic
handles that get too hot and may emit toxic fumes!

From the Clemson University Extension site: ?Manufacturers caution
against allowing acidic or salty foods to remain in stainless steel
for long periods. Although there are no known health hazards from
leaching of the metal, undissolved salt will pit steel surfaces.?

?One meal prepared with stainless steel equipment gives you about 45
micrograms of chromium, not enough to cause concern.? Most stainless
pots and pans contain 11% chromium.
Health Canada site

?Stainless steel with a label of 18/10 (chromium steel/nickel steel)
is the best type of cookware. Select a model with a 3 ply, sandwiched
metal base consisting of layers of SS+aluminum+SS, or SS+copper+SS.
Some brands even have a 3-ply base with copper cladding which is
decorative as well as functional. This heat distributing base works by
absorbing and spreading the heat evenly over the entire base of the
pan. Unlike plain SS, the 3-ply base will help you avoid hot spots
that burn food. Pots with the 3-ply bases also require less fuel to
maintain the heat and provide maximum fuel economy. Avoid plain
stainless steel cookware. The best, and coincidentally the most
expensive brands are triple ply throughout (sides and bottom),while
others only clad the bottom of the pan. Look for stainless steel
handles that are riveted to the pan. This means the pans can go into
the oven, and there is no danger of melting a plastic covered handle
if it accidentally gets too close to a hot burner.

I hope this helps! Please request an Answer Clarification if any part
of this answer is unclear, before rating.This will enable me to assist
you further, if possible.


Search Terms:
stainless steel cookware safety
dangers of stainless steel cookware
cyntlhiadiane-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
I would give you six stars for outstanding, exceptional answer.  Gave
me information to select, not only "safer" pots and pans, but quality
as well.

Subject: Re: How safe are stainless steel pots and pans?
From: crabcakes-ga on 05 Jan 2004 16:15 PST
Hi cynthiadiane, 
Happy New Year! I am glad you are pleased with the answer. Thank you
for your kind words, stars and nice tip! THey are all appreciated!
Regards, crabcakes-ga
Subject: Re: How safe are stainless steel pots and pans?
From: norcalidave-ga on 20 Jan 2005 09:54 PST
I definitely have a different take on this issue of stainless steel
safety. Several years ago I read a university report that clearly
concluded that the nickel content in American stainless steel cookware
is dangerous. European stainless cookware does not allow the high
nickel content that U.S. cookware uses (the nickel is what gives the
products their high "shine").

After extensive research, I have pretty much concluded that enameled
cookware is the safest, that non-stick cooware is clearly not safe,
and that my own stainless cookware is probably not safe, either. 
However, I would definitely rank the non-stick (polymer/plastic
coated) pots and pans as the most dangerous.

I recommend that you email the manufacturer of your stainless steel
cookware, and ask them about the dangers of nickel.  I suspect your
emails will never be answered....

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