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Is stainless steel superior?

“I see a lot of chefs prefer stainless steel cookware. Is it really superior? How so and how do you keep it from getting those black stains on the cook surface?” —Anthony from Kaukauna

The most important aspect of any cookware is the ability to transfer heat from the heat source through the cooking vessel and to the food. Stainless steel is an excellent material to cook with for several reasons. There is no metal transfer from the cooking vessel to the food when stirring or whisking as there can be with aluminum. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and the best stainless steel cookware has a layer of copper embedded in the bottom of the vessel to help evenly distribute the heat. To keep cookware looking new, one suggestion is to have two different types of abrasive scrubbing supplies. A green “scrubby” will work well for most cleaning applications and often has a sponge on the other side of it. A stainless steel “scrubby” kind of looks like a ball of wire and comes in very handy for those times when food is really stuck on or possibly even burned. Stainless steel cookware should look like new after every use, and certainly can with consistent vigilance.

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