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Cast iron pan vs. stainless steel pan — which should I buy?

Cast iron pan vs. stainless steel pan — which should I buy?
Let’s explore the benefits of healthy pots and pans, which are as important as the food that goes in them




There are​​ countless cookware materials in the market, but no two are as iconic as Cast Iron and Stainless Steel. From the rugged, classic look of Cast Iron to the sleek, industrial feel of Stainless Steel, these two materials may look like opposites. But they have more in common than meets the eye.

Today we are attempting to clear out the confusion and help you buy the best cookware for your kitchen.

 

 

Table of Content

  1. An Overview of Cast Iron Cookware
  2. An Overview of Stainless Steel Cookware
  3. Comparison between Cast iron & Stainless Steel
  4. Conclusion: Which Cookware Is Better - Cast Iron or Stainless Steel?

 

 

1. An Overview of Cast Iron Cookware

 

​​An alloy of iron and carbon, cast iron is a popular cooking material known for its bumpy textured surface and profile. This surface also makes cast iron more brittle, which is why cast iron cookware is designed to be extremely thick—but even with this dense design, it can still crack if dropped. 


Cast Iron is forged from a single piece of metal, which starts out as a liquid before being poured into a mold and fired. This means that when a Cast Iron pan heats up, all of it, including the handle, gets very hot.



 

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2. An Overview of Stainless Steel Cookware

 

​​Steel is also an iron alloy, however, it has less than 2% carbon. At least 10.5% chromium is added to a regular steel to produce stainless steel that has the ability to withstand corrosion and rust. But owing to the poor heat conduction of stainless steel, it is generally combined with aluminum or copper- high heat conducting materials- to balance the shortcoming.



 

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3. Cast iron vs. Stainless Steel

 

​​Let’s compare both the cookware and decide what matches our cooking needs & styles:


Cast Iron Stainless Steel
Weight Heavy. Cast iron cookware is hefty. On average, a standard 12-inch cast iron skillet weighs 8 pounds, which is twice as much as a comparable stainless steel skillet. Light
Seasoning Required. We need to season cast iron cookware to add a protective layer to its cooking surface Not required. Unlike cast iron, you don’t need to season stainless steel—it comes ready-to-go and doesn’t require any special ongoing maintenance.
Reactive Yes- to acidic food. Although there are few materials better for searing a steak or burger, cast iron doesn’t play well with acidic foods like tomato sauce, or foods with strong odors like fish. No. Unlike cast iron, stainless steel is non reactive, which means acidic foods like tomato sauce and wine are good to go.
Heat Capacity Can withstand and retain heat for longer. Since cast iron is so dense, it can withstand and retain heat for longer than most cookware materials. Depends on the core
Preheating Required Suggested for better result
Durable Yes. Its walls are thick and dense, which results in superior strength. With cast iron, you only need to buy it once, and you have it for life. Yes. It’s just as durable as cast iron. With stainless steel, you don’t need to worry about scratches, rust, or chipping. As long as you use it properly, it will last your lifetime.
Toxic No No
Versatility Yes. Suitable for all cooktops, including induction Yes. Suitable for all cooktops, including induction
Food Sticking Cast Iron pans are known to be naturally Non-Stick. The better the seasoning of a pan, the better the Non-Stick property of the pan. Food won’t release as quickly as it will with well-seasoned cast iron cookware, but if you learn how to cook with it properly, you can mitigate the issue.
Difficult to clean If the cast iron cookware is properly seasoned, it's relatively easy to clean. When food sticks, stainless steel cookware can be a challenge to clean. Over time, brown spots and discoloration are difficult to avoid.

 

 

 

4. Conclusion: Which Cookware Is Better - Cast Iron or Stainless Steel?

 

When it comes down to comparison, there’s a place in every kitchen for both cast iron and stainless steel cookware.


Some meals are best cooked with cast iron, while you’re better off using stainless steel for others.


Let’s dig deeper:


Your stainless steel set covers all your cooking needs, from a quick vegetable sauté to a slow-simmered tomato sauce, and everything in between.


While you can get an excellent sear with stainless steel, there is something magical about meat and cast iron.


Therefore, why settle for one? Invest in both and enjoy the magic of cooking!


Try Meyer Cast Iron in an all-new seasoned, ready-to-use avatar to make modern cooking a memory to cherish forever:


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Try Meyer Thick Stainless Steel with NO nickel or any harmful chemicals, the cookware is 100% safe for your cooking. It has no PTFE, PFOA or BPA that might leech into your food


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