Ways to Determine High Quality Food Grade Stainless Steel

Blog | January 29th, 2018

Stainless steel is one of the most common materials used in commercial and residential cookware. The reasons are simple and numerous and we’ll get into them later. However, a common misconception that people carry with them is that all food grade stainless steel is made the same. This just isn’t the case. Today, we are going to walk you down the path toward figuring out how to determine if your food grade stainless steel is high quality or not.

Understanding Food Grade Stainless Steel

The first thing that you will need to do when investigating the quality of your stainless steel cookware is to see what grade and composition it is. If you were to thumb through a catalogue of different food grade stainless steel kettles then you’d soon see a pattern. You’d see numbers like 430, 304, 220 attached to the product along with fractions such as 18/8 or 18/0. What do these numbers mean? How do they help you determine the quality of your food grade stainless steel?

– We’ll start by looking at the grading first. Numbers like 304 or 220 signify the quality, temperature resistance and durability of your stainless steel cookware. This number will allow you to know some important information for use when you begin cooking. 300 series cookware, for example, is the most common line of food grade cookware because of its nickel composition which helps to stave off corrosion.

– Next, we can look at the fractions we mentioned above: 18/8 or 18/10. These aren’t actually fractions as they are really just chemical composites. The 18 signifies chromium content and the 8 signifies nickel content in percentage form. As we alluded to above, nickel content has a great impact on how the stainless steel behaves when you are cooking with it. Chromium, for what it is worth, helps to bind oxygen to the steel which in turns helps to protect the steel from rust. A quick note to remember: the higher the nickel content, the less likely it will be for your cookware to corrode.

Finding High-Quality Stainless Steel

As we’ve mentioned above, there are varying grades and series to pursue when looking for high-quality, stainless steel cookware. Paying close attention to the series grade and chemical makeup will allow you to determine which food-grade stainless steel cookware you will be wanting to get for your kitchen. Remember, that stainless steel works the same across the board — you want high quality for your pots, pans, bowls, and flatware.

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