Many home appliances are used basically from stainless steel material. Stainless steel is mostly used because it has a lot of advantages. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion as well as heat so that it will strong enough to withstand high temperatures. But, how far do you know about food grade stainless steel cookware that you may be used in daily life?
Most people may recognize stainless steel as a good material to be used in cookware since it has a good resistance toward corrosion. This is true but not enough. There are a lot of things that you should learn if you are planning to purchase new cookware that used food grade stainless steel material as explained by Cookwares.co.
The Basic Knowledge about Stainless Steel
Why does steel call as stainless? The basic different properties between these two are because of stainless steel more corrosion resistant than steel. Stainless steel consists of more elements such as nickel, chromium, molybdenum, titanium, copper, carbon, nitrogen, manganese and also silicon. Chromium addition can increase the resistance to oxidation of the material.
While nickel is one of the fundamental elements for 300 series of stainless steel. The addition of silicon can improve the corrosion resistance properties of the material when exposed to sulfuric acid. The type of stainless steel itself is consisted of austenitic, ferritic, and also martensitic.
Among most of the classification of stainless steel material, not all of them are classified as food grade cookware stainless steel. One of the stainless steel that is commonly referred to as food grade is 316 grades. Moreover, there is also other stainless steel that is classified as food grade such as 430 series, 304, and also 200 series.
Grade 316 food grade stainless steel has the addition of molybdenum for about 2%. While grade 304 classification consists of 8% nickel and 18% chromium. The minimum level of nickel can be added in food grade stainless steel material is 8% for stainless steel that contains 18% amount of chromium within.
The Type of Food Grade Stainless Steel Cookware
- Stainless Steel 200 Grade
Stainless steel 200 grade is mostly applied in dishwashers, cookware, cutlery, and also beverage and food storage equipment. Stainless steel 200 grade is mostly referred to as chrome-manganese. It has quite low nickel content with properties such as toughness, cheaper, and also good corrosion-resistant.
Though stainless steel 200 grade has quite good corrosion-resistant, but this type has lesser resistance than stainless steel 300 grade. Stainless steel 200 grade is also cheaper because it has low nickel content.
- Stainless Steel 304 Grade
Stainless steel 304 grade is being widely used in whole around the world due to the fascinating properties of this type of stainless steel. It has a great ability to withstand harsh environments that lead to corrosion issues. This type of stainless steel is commonly applied for piping applications, commercial equipment for food processing, structure in the environment, refrigerators and also dishwashers.
Stainless steel 304 grade has a higher percentage of chromium than 200 grade. Therefore, 304 stainless steel can withstand a corrosion environment that is mostly caused by oxidizing acids. Otherwise, stainless steel 304 grade still has a weakness. This stainless steel is easy to corrode when exposed to chloride solutions.
- Stainless Steel 316 Grade
This type of stainless steel is categorized as austenitic based on chromium-nickel. It contains about 2 until 3% of molybdenum element. Molybdenum within stainless steel can improve corrosion resistance properties and durability of the material when exposed to high temperatures. If the risk of corrosion increase in material, then stainless steel 316 grade is one of the best options.
This is widely used for commercial kitchens, water treatment, food processing, and also chemical processing. It is also found in laboratory equipment and swimming pool fittings. Despite, several applications are using stainless steel 316 grade, 304 grade is gaining more popularity. It is because stainless steel 316 grade is pricier. Otherwise, not many applications need high corrosion resistance ability.
The Best Stainless Steel for Cookware
When we are talking about the best option to be used for cookware, then the answer may be varying. It all depends on the reason why you are using the applications. Food grade stainless steel cookware itself consists of martensitic, austenitic and also ferritic. Stainless steel 316 grade and 304 grade are several types of austenitic stainless steels that have food grade properties.
The austenitic stainless steel is better used for water bottle application. This is because it has better corrosion resistance. Meanwhile, for knife usage, it will be better to choose a knife that is made from martensitic since it has a stronger quality than austenitic stainless steel grade. And according to Cookware Ninja, they are also safe for dishwasher cleaning.
Despite most people believe that stainless steel is one of the best materials being used for cook appliances, it is not the safest material for cookware. The combination of several elements within stainless steel leads to a higher risk of metal leakage. Despite the risk is very low, but it still has the probability to leak and enter into our body when we use the appliances to cook, eat and drink.
One of the dangerous metals that should not enter our body system is nickel. Most stainless steel alloy has consisted of nickel while this metal is not supposedly entering our body system. This could lead to other bigger problems if you have allergic to nickel. The good option of stainless steel for those who want to avoid nickel is 430 grade ferritic.
Healthy Stainless Steel Cookware
When cookware that is made from stainless steel is heated, chromium and nickel elements in it will be leached and may enter our body system. But, the amount of nickel and chromium still don’t reach toxic levels so it is still safe to be used. Of course, the same condition doesn’t apply to those who are experiencing chromium and nickel allergies.
It is important to choose food-grade stainless steel cookware that is designed for certain equipment only.
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