Difference between Non-stick and Stainless Steel
By Theydiffer - June 14, 2015

Making the decision to purchase new cookware can be difficult. Both non-stick and stainless steel cookware are heavily advertised. Be informed to choose the one that will work best for you.

Definitions

Stainless steel frying pan

Stainless steel cookware is made up of a metal alloy made into steel that will not stain or become marred. You can cook anything in stainless steel cookware, it is dishwasher safe, and can last a lifetime. Stainless steel is not a great conductor, so it can be difficult to heat up the pot or pan. However, you can purchase stainless steel cookware that has an aluminum or copper core to help with conductivity. Stainless steel is preferred by most professional chefs.

Comparison chart

Non-stickStainless Steel
Coated metalUncoated metal
Can be easily damagedExtremely durable
Easier to cleanEasier to moderate temperature
Concerns about healthPreferred by chefs

Non-stick vs Stainless steel

What is the difference between non-stick and stainless steel? Let’s compare them by construction options, durability, cooking with food, and chef preference.

  • Non-stick is metal with a coating such as Teflon, ceramic or titanium. It can also be a coated cast iron pan. Stainless steel is of single metal construction unless you purchase cookware with an aluminum or copper core.
  • Non-stick, particularly Teflon, can become easily damaged if metal utensils or rough sponges are used on the cookware. Stainless steel cookware is very durable and can last a lifetime.
  • Non-stick is easier to clean but does not necessarily keep food from burning. If food does get too hot the non-stick surface can bubble and cause the coating to come off into the food. Stainless steel may allow food to stick if it burns, but you can cook anything in it including things that must be cooked at higher temperatures.
  • Chefs prefer stainless steel with a copper core because it is a good conductor of heat, is easily controlled with cooking any food, and does not risk the deterioration of Teflon.