About Stainless Steel Kitchen Items

Stainless steel is one of the hottest kitchen looks today. From stainless sinks, cabinets, knobs and appliances, these design elements bring a sleek look to your home.

About Stainless Steel Kitchen Items
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Overview
Since it was developed in 1911, stainless steel has become one of the most popular metal alloys for common use in the kitchen. Rust-resistant, durable and virtually stainless, it is less likely to bend, break or spot than other kitchenware materials, such as aluminum, plastic or porcelain. Since it is relatively cheap to produce, it is affordable to purchase.
Features
This chromium-based metal is 100 percent recyclable and is durable under stress. Able to withstand heating at high temperatures, it heats evenly and is one of the most versatile kitchen item metals. Although it is referred to as "stainless," it is not entirely stain-free and can, in fact, be spotted or discolored when burned-on food stuff is allowed to remain for too long.
Benefits
Stainless steel is easier to clean than other kitchen metals because it has no pores or cracks. Dirt and bacterium have no place to hide, so stainless steel items will not mildew.

You don't have to season a stainless steel pot or pan because it is resistant to burns and is less likely to singe foods or give off a metallic flavor while cooking.

Stainless steel remains pleasing to look at, even after years of use. It does not damage easily and can be scrubbed clean with minimal effort or scratching.

Because it does not react with the acids in food, the flavor of food cooked in stainless steel is better.

When cared for properly, stainless steel kitchenware can have a life expectancy of 100 years or more and is completely recyclable.

Care
Wash your stainless steel kitchen items by hand with warm soapy water before the first use, and then dry them thoroughly with a soft kitchen towel.

Use a gentle, non-abrasive soap when hand scrubbing your stainless steel. Never use ammonia or bleach on stainless steel. Wipe stainless steel knives with a soft cloth when food sticks during cutting. Allow hot stainless steel pots and pans to cool thoroughly on the stove before immersing them in cold water.

When necessary, use a metal cleaner to remove yellow or blue streaks from the surface of your stainless steel pots and pans. Always use a soft cloth or non-scratch scrub sponge when buffing surfaces.

Wash any spills away before returning stainless pots and pans to a heat source.

Clean burnt food off your stainless steel pots and pans by immersing it in hot, soapy water, allowing to soak, then boiling it for 10 minutes before wiping with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Do not store liquids or foods in stainless steel pots or pans after cooking.

Types
There are three main types of stainless steel products. Martensitic is a strong chromium-iron alloy with magnetic properties. It is commonly used in knives. Austenitic is the most corrosion-resistant form of stainless steel. It has a low carbon content and is made up of chromium, nickel and iron and is non-magnetic. This is the most common type of stainless steel. Ferritic is the type of stainless steel common in cooking utensils, is magnetic and contains the highest levels of chromium.
Health Effects
People that are allergic to nickel should not use stainless steel pots or pans for cooking. Because iron is beneficial to the body, cooking in stainless steel pots and pans can actually benefit your nutrition health. In small quantities, chromium can be beneficial to the human body. Cooking too frequently (four meals a day, every day) in a stainless steel pot or pan can create a chromium toxicity in the bloodstream, although this is a rare phenomenon.
Resources
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More on Stainless Steel
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What is Stainless Steel?
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History and Information about Stainless Steel
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Why is Stainless Steel Stainless?