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Old 05-10-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
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Beginner Questions on Stainless Steel Cookware

Hi everyone,
I am new to the world of cooking and was looking to buy some stainless steel cookware to start my new culinary adventures, but I've been overwhelmed by some of the vocabulary used to describe them. My main questions are:

1) What's the difference between tri-ply and all cast? Is one better than the other?

2) What's the difference between the above and SS cookware with copper/aluminum bottoms? What are the pros and cons of these? I've read that the bottoms can be further broken down into disk and full base, can someone please elaborate?

3) Through research, I've learned that all clad is usually the most expensive while the ones with bases made of aluminum/copper are cheaper. If I was to go with the latter, what types should I go for if health/safety is my main concern? After reading all those articles on certain metals being bad for you, I am trying to be cautious.

If someone can point me to a website where I can get a good start on the types of cookware and the pros and cons of each, that would be appreciated too. Thanks!

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Old 05-10-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
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Among SS options, multi-ply (tri-ply) is the best option. It provides even heat distribution throughout the pot/pan greatly reducing the possibilities of burning/scorching food.

If you're going with SS, there are no health concerns. Any non SS metals in a tri-ply or disk bottomed pan never come in contact with food.

Not sure what all cast is. Cast iron is a different story and very different from the SS options.

Search through this site's cookware forums and you will find a number of discussions on this very topic.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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Fante's Kitchen Wares Shop - fantes.com has a cookware primer.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410 View Post

Thanks for the link, Robo!
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:44 AM   #5
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I did some searching within the forum for past discussions but was a bit confused with some of the material.

Andy, thanks for clearing up some of the confusion and thank you, Robo, for the link.

I have one last question regarding the disk based cookware. I've read that there are those that are entirely exposed and then there are those that are covered by another layer of stainless steel. Any difference between these two? Would the latter fall into the category of tri-ply?
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:02 AM   #6
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i like 18/10 stainless steel cookware
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:24 AM   #7
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...I have one last question regarding the disk based cookware. I've read that there are those that are entirely exposed and then there are those that are covered by another layer of stainless steel. Any difference between these two? Would the latter fall into the category of tri-ply?

For disk bottom cookware, The thickness of the middle material, either aluminum or copper or a combo, is the key. Whether it's completely encapsulated with SS or partially exposed is less important.

Tri-ply refers to a pan where the entire body up to the lid, not just the bottom, is layered.
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help =)
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:40 AM   #9
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there is professional grade stainless with copper encapsulated disc bottoms and a magnetic stainless layer for use on induction or any other burner type. These are pricey. The much less expensive disc bottoms out there really don't cook as well or efficiently. Most of the tri ply out there, pricey or not, seems to cook well.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:58 AM   #10
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Hi everyone,
If someone can point me to a website where I can get a good start on the types of cookware and the pros and cons of each, that would be appreciated too. Thanks!
If you go to egullet.org and search for "Understanding Stovetop Cookware" you will find a very good and detailed explanation. There is a Q&A forum at the end of it too.

I would provide the direct link but I don't have enough posts here to post URLs.
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