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topic 29294, p2

18/10 vs. 18/8 and 18/0 stainless steel for flatware and pots & pans



1       2


March 24, 2010

Q. I recently bought two sets of Oneida flatware at Wal-mart. It has 56/9 stamped on the back of the forks. One of the spoons became discolored after being in the dishwasher. Is 56/9 a durable type of flatware for long-term use, or would 18/8 or 18/10 be better?

Rae Buckwheat
homeowner - Ashland, Wisconsin


March 2010

A. Hi, Rae. Similar to the last question, we have the issue of what does "56/9" mean? It certainly doesn't mean 59 percent chrome and 9 percent nickel.

Oneida claims that all of their flatware is 18 percent chrome, but they are unfortunately one of the manufacturers who has reduced the quality of some of their flatware from 18/10 to 18/0 to save on the high cost of nickel. With nothing else to go on, my assumption is that "56/9" is just a pattern number and this is the lower grade 18/0 rather than 18/10. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


November 1, 2010

A. Regarding the 18/8 and other 18 categories, the 18/8 is excellent for dinner dish, sink, and etc. However it is not a good candidate for heat use.
If you looking for Stainless Steel Pots I would consider 18/10 may be better, but if you are into Stainless steel dish only for serving the 18/8 is an excellent candidate especially for medical use. We test the 18/8 dipped into vinegar for a long time and it did show excellent resistance. I hope this help.

Regards,
Massood

M. Jelvani
- Middletown, New Jersey


December 8, 2010

A. Hello!
I found this thread very useful (as I bought a very pretty but cheap, no brand, no additional info Japanese stainless steel cutlery set, but it isn't magnetic, so I am happy).

I just have one observation: as I am a pharmacist, I wonder if the allergenic properties and the heavy metal toxicologic properties aren't confused sometimes. Many people are allergic to nickel. In this case a contact allergy is present - this is NOT toxic. Allergy means that the immune system overreacts, usually it's only uncomfortable, and only if it gets uncontrolled in rare cases (anaphylactic reaction) it can be dangerous. That means that in nickel allergy a non-nickel cutlery have to be used - strictly speaking the HANDLE has to be nickel free, because the tip doesn't have to be touched ever (that can be plastic, wood, bamboo, silver, titanium or whatever).

But modern materials as stainless steel shouldn't be toxic at all, no matter what type of food is used. Old cutlery has to be checked for lead and other toxic heavy metals.

Vera HG
- New Zealand


January 10, 2011

Q. Has anyone heard of 18/20 flatware? Have been told that Denby is saying you must use this configuration in flatware to avoid scratching and leaving marks on their dishes.

Fran Gallotti
consumer - Edmonton, Alberta Canada


March 10, 2011

Q. HI, I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU ABOUT CHROME TITANIUM COOKWARE, IF THIS METAL IS THE BEST OR THERE IS BETTER. ALSO WHAT IS THE BEST COOKWARE IN THE WORLD WE CAN USE FOR HEALTHY FOOD.THANKS

FADY LTEIF
working in cookware shop - LEBANON BEIRUT


March 13, 2011

Q. What is the difference in heat-retention qualities between 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel in, say, a teapot?

Gary Moore
retired / consumer - Pasadena, Texas

March 14, 2011

A. Hi,

No difference, Gary. If there is some very tiny difference in specific heat or thermal conductivity, it's beyond the roundoff error they measure to.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



May 16, 2011

Q. I bought a 18/8 stainless steel food thermal lunch box and the instruction says that the salt in the food will pit the container. I read a post above that says companies located near the sea will use 18/10 containers to guard against salt corrosion.

Since most of my cooking contains salt, my question is whether I should stay away from 18/8 material for food storage. I am also wondering whether the pitting will cause the nickel and chromium to leach into my food that's being stored in the container, and later eaten by me.

Thank you and I look forward to your advice.
Many thanks,
Juan.

Juan Rodriguez
- New York, New York, USA

May 16, 2011

A. Hi, Juan.

A material that is good enough and safe enough for pots and pans is certainly good enough and safe enough for a lunchbox.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


May 21, 2011

Q. I have a set of pots and pans that are made of 19/9 surgical stainless steel multi-ply metal. I wanted to sell them but since they have been in my family for over 20 years and still look in great condition I'm not sure if they are worth keeping them and pass them on to my children? is this good quality metal?

Selene Rios
housewife - Phoenix, Arizona


May 24, 2011

A. Hi, Selene.

In all likelihood 19/9 stainless steel is virtually identical to 18/8. I doubt that the extra 1% of chrome and extra 1% of nickel does any harm, but to assume that it does any good might be a stretch. I personally don't know of any standards writing body that accepts 19/9 as a recognized composition (but I don't claim to know everything; I can only relate my own knowledge).

But it is getting harder and harder to get high quality stainless at any price. If you have stuff that still looks great after 20 years, make them pry it out of your cold dead fingers.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



June 11, 2011

Q. Thanks for the informative discussion. We are considering purchasing some flatware which the manufacturer claims is made of 18/10 stainless steel with titanium finish. Would the titanium enhance the durability of the product or it just affects its looks?

Val Nya
- Miami, Florida, USA


September 20, 2012

Q. How about "316Ti" (Ti - Titanium)? That's the material one of the healthy cookwares is made of (which I'm interested in). Just wondering if it is really that good and doesn't have any leaching problem.

joe j [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Delta, BC, Canada


September 20, 2012

A. Hi, Val. This flatware is presumably solid 18/10 (type 316) stainless steel with a coating of titanium nitride (the color of gold)? The titanium nitride is a very hard finish, so it probably will take a very long time to wear away, and should not scratch easily.

Hi, Joe. 316Ti is not stainless steel with a titanium finish, it is stainless steel with a tiny amount of titanium stabilizer. Some feel it's slightly better than 316L, others feel it's not quite as good, and still others (probably including me) feel that there is no practical difference in a cookware application. Here's a link to a British Stainless Steel Association paper explaining 316Ti vs. other type 316 stainless steel:

http://www.bssa.org.uk/cms/File/SSAS2.25-Comparison%20of%20316%20&%20316Ti%20Types.pdf

Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


September 21, 2012

Hi Ted, Thanks very much for the information.

Regarding "...316Ti is not stainless steel with a titanium finish, it is stainless steel with a tiny amount of titanium stabilizer...", does that mean 316Ti does not contain chrome and nickel? Also, the cookware website claims that 316Ti is surgical stainless steel. Is that true?

joe j
- Delta, BC, Canada


September 21, 2012

Hi. 316Ti stainless is only a small variation on 316 as explained in the link previously offered. It is 18/10 stainless steel. All 316 stainless steel is surgical stainless steel.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


September 15, 2017

Q. Hello, so 316Ti also contains nickel, right? Not different than 316 or 18/10. Does 316Ti have no reaction from salt and acid, or 316 has less reaction?

liana budi
- bandung, jwabarat, indonesia


September 2017

A. Hi Liana. Again, the differences between 18/10, 316, 316L, and 316Ti are subtle and minor. It's not that there is absolutely no difference whatsoever, it's that in my personal opinion the tiny differences are of no consequence in cookware.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



July 12, 2011

Q. Thanks for the good information about stainless steel.

We recently installed a new induction cooktop. Most of our cookware works fine, but our old stock pot (that I use for brewing beer), doesn't work. I've been looking at several large (24+ qt) pots that claim to be 18/8 or 18/10 stainless AND also claim to be "induction ready." I was under the impression that this grade of stainless was non-magnetic and that non-magnetic cookware doesn't work in an induction stove. In fact, most people suggest testing your cookware with a magnet. If the magnet sticks, it will work on an induction stove. Can you shed any light on this? Would a pot made of, say, 18/8 stainless (with an aluminum core) work on an induction stove?

Thanks!

Tres Kutcher
- Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


November 1, 2011

Q. Stainless steel grade 18/10 and 403 are they same? if not can we use 403 cookwares? is it safe?

Vidhya kesavaraj
homemaker - Nagercoil, Tamilnadu, INDIA


November 1, 2011

A. Hi, Vidhya.

I believe that 403 stainless steel (18/0) is okay, but it contains no nickel and is not as stain-free and corrosion resistant as 18/8 or 18/10 (which contains 10 percent nickel).

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


November 5, 2011

Q. Could you please explain to me in detail about 403 grade? Is it a surgical stainless steel? For what purpose do they use this type of grade?

Vidhya Kesavaraj[returning]
- Nagercoil, Tamilnadu, INDIA


November 7, 2011

A. Hi, Vidhya.

While it is possible to answer questions, it is rather difficult to just generally discuss stainless steels because there are so many types, and there are multiple naming systems for the same types, and so many applications. To keep it fairly simple though, according to one of those naming systems most household stainless steel is either a "Series 3xx" stainless, like type 304 and type 316, or a "Series 4xx" stainless like type 403.

Household Series "3xx" stainless steels have about 8 to 10 percent nickel in them and are nonmagnetic whereas "Series 4xx" stainless steels have no nickel in them and are magnetic. The Series "3xx" series are generally considered more corrosion resistant, and they are more expensive because nickel is much more costly than steel. "Surgical stainless" is a "Series 3xx" stainless steel, so 403 is not surgical stainless steel.

In a different naming system, "Series 3xx" are sometimes called 18/8 or 18/10 depending on whether they have 18 percent chromium and 8 percent or 10 percent nickel respectively. In that other naming system "Series 4xx" is called 18/0 because it has 18 percent chromium and no nickel.

But there is nothing "wrong" with "Series 4xx" stainless steel. In fact, some people, rightly or wrongly, think it is better (safer for the body) because it is nickel-free.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


December 23, 2011

Q. Why does there seem to be a nasty metallic taste from a pot that's 18/10? The pot is made in China. Does it make a difference? I've had old 18/10 stainless steel pots that were made in Korea and don't have any such aftertaste.

Tammi Hayes
- Chicago, Illinois, USA


February 26, 2012

Q. I wonder if someone would mind drastically oversimplifying this information for me. Ideally, if someone's willing, I'd love a simple recommendation. I thought I'd done my research when I learned about 18/10, but clearly that's just the tip of the iceberg, and I'm overwhelmed.

My daughter's getting married in less than four weeks. She's finishing school and has three jobs, so as of yet, there's no bridal registry. People keep asking. At my suggestion, she's decided to prioritize getting stainless steel. She and her fiance will keep kosher and always have lots of guests, but they won't have much money, and they're leaving the country. Beautiful stainless steel is emotionally satisfying, portable, and too expensive to buy on your own after you get married.

If she decides to ask for place settings of nice stainless that's heavy and durable, then what should she consider? I realize that the answer to this question is embedded in all the posts I just read, but I think I'm getting information overload. If anyone would be willing to oversimplify, we'd be very, very grateful.

Mae Shelton
- Nashville, Tennessee, USA


February 28, 2012

Guy Degrenne
"Beau Manoir" flatware

Q. Hi, Mae. I bought stainless at Williams-Sonoma and am very happy with it. I'd suggest picking a pattern that is very shiny (indicating that it is probably electropolished), and not made in China. I picked the Beau Manoir pattern from Guy Degrenne, made in France =>

I guess I'm not a very 'continental' fellow because I feel the teaspoons are the size of baby spoons and the tablespoons almost the size of serving spoons -- but that's just me. They don't rust at all and they stay shiny in the dishwasher.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


March 4, 2012

Q. It is one of the best discussions I ever read, it is very informative and simple . Thank you all for questions and answers which enriched my information :)

I'd like to know which grade of steel is preferred for kitchen knives , because I always buy knives but after few days of using it needs to be sharpened .
Can you please tell me the best grade of SS that I can buy so it doesn't need to be sharpened regularly ?

Mohamed Bekheet
- Alexandria - Egypt


March 6, 2012

A. Hi, Mohamed.

Type 18/8 and 18/10, alternately called type 304 or 316, are fine for tableware but will not hold an edge for use as a knife. Type 18/0, alternately called type 400 or 4xx will hold an edge and are still stainless steel, although not as stain-less as the others.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


May 2, 2012

Q. Why is it that I get a weird taste on my tongue when utensil touches my tongue. I use mainstays brand with 18/0 stainless steel? Was wondering if it was because it was cheap at the store or something. Please help and see what I can do to resolve this issue. Thank you,

Luis Jimenez
- Oceanside, California


June 22, 2012

Q. Hi
My family uses SS dishware (Two toddlers and 10 year old). We were wondering if it's safe to put in the oven to bake pizza's on.
The bottom of the plate says in a circle 88 STAINLESS STEEL (that's top half of circle)
Then 555
Then bottom half says SHANGHAI CHINA

I looked at several plates, there is no 1 in front of the 8 but there may be a dash between the 8's.
Is this better or worse than the 304 SS?
Is it oven safe?
Thanks
-ron

Ron El
Concerned dad - Saugerties, New York

June 23, 2012

A. Hi Ron.

We have discussion threads here about every possible material of construction for cookware including aluminum, cast iron, stainless steel, ceramic, Teflon, etc. . . and the thing is, as soon as you name any material, there is someone out there in the vastness of the internet who thinks it is dangerous. There is nothing you can make cookware from -- absolutely nothing -- such that no one will say it is unsafe. But stainless steel is generally recognized as a safe material of construction for cookware.

I've never heard of type 88 stainless steel or type 555 stainless steel, and suspect that these stampings are model numbers or style numbers rather than an indication of material of construction.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



sidebar July 19, 2012

The Silver Superstore (online) has certain brands that are made in the USA with steel from the USA (Sherrill Steel NY). I typed "made in USA silverware" on my internet browser and was taken to their site and specifically to "Flatware Patterns made in the USA". They have silverware sets that are 18/10 stainless silverware sets. I stumbled upon this site and thought others would want to know about this.

Marily McKay
- Edmonds, Washington USA


July 20, 2012

Hi, Marily, and thanks. Yes, there is one small on-again / off-again factory making stainless steel flatware in the USA. Please see letter 15689 where we discuss the closing of this last American manufacturer, then the re-opening to some fanfare, then the re-closing in April 2010, but the re-opening again in August 2011. So stay tuned!

opinion! It's a tragedy that our current social system precludes open & intelligent discussion of the many barriers that our country has erected that preclude American success in manufacturing. But those barriers are insuring that low wages and very high unemployment are here for good. Even scarier -- although the bravery of soldiers is legendary and their heroism can make the angels cry -- in the end every war is won by the side with the resources & manufacturing capacity. The Arsenal of Democracy won two World Wars. Now that it has been razed, and been replaced with a gigantic new People's Arsenal, we'd better pray for peace like we mean it :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


September 24, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

USA made stainless steel flatware - after much research I found this company:

https://www.libertytabletop.com/

They have a lot of positive customer reviews as well.

Mariam Halstead
- Sparks, Nevada USA


September 2013

thumbs up signThanks for the nice direct link, Mariam. That's actually the same company Marily was mentioning (Sherrill Steel).

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey



February 21, 2013

Q. Getting ready to remodel the kitchen and are replacing our VERY old porcelain sink with a stainless steel one. I'm soooo confused! All I find online is the 18-gauge delineation. Would 18/8 or 18/10 be better? Our home improvement store sells both, but online all I can really find is 18/10. Which is better for a sink?

Holly Johns
- Fayetteville, North Carolina, USA


February 21, 2013

A. Hi Holly. Confusion is to be expected because the salesperson's job is to sell you, as quickly as possible, whatever they can make the most money on. Their job is not to educate you, and they will try to do so only if the education they offer would lead you to buy their product; they'll try to obfuscate if knowledge would lead you away from their product :-)

There are two technical issues here: gauge and composition. Gauge is the thickness of the material. The lower the number, the thicker it is. 16-gauge is 1/16" thick, 18-gauge is a bit thinner, 20-gauge is thinner still. The thicker it is, probably the less likely to get little dents if you drop a heavy pot.

Composition means the ingredients. Nickel is the most expensive ingredient and the number after the slash says how much nickel is in it. The number before the slash is how much chromium is in it. 18/10 is the best stainless you will find (for a sink ... I'm not saying more exotic stainless steels are impossible for specialty applications).

The current reputation of the brand is your best indicator of quality however.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


March 30, 2013

Q. Hi Mr. Ted Mooney,

You provide us with lot of usefully answers/explanations, could you please tell us what is your professional background? How do you know all this stuff?

Thanks and best regards,
Zoran

Zoran Munich
- Munich, Germany


April 1, 2013

A. Hi Zoran. Thank you very much for the kind words. I am a mechanical engineer who spent almost all of my career in the metal finishing field, but most of what I write here is either simple facts that I find by googling, or nothing more than personal opinions :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


April 19, 2013

Q. 1) Why are some pots such as Tefal & WMF pots and pans magnetic all over interior/exterior? Is it because they are using 18/0 and sandwiched in between? Or because of the bending and rolling process?
It is stated 18/10 on the below part.
As far as I know 18/10 does not have magnetic field.

2) Since 18/10 has no magnetic field (could not use on induction hob), then why do many brands of pressure cookers use 18/10 in the below part and stick it to the stainless steel surface?

3) What is the difference between a 3-ply stainless steel (with no stainless steel stick at below) and 3-ply that has one layer of Stainless steel stuck to it.
Which one is better?

Collin Poh
- Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia


July 11, 2013

Q. There is a French knife company, Forge de Laguoile producing knives and flatware advertising a 15/10 and 25/10 pieces. The 25/10 are supposed to be of very high quality. Ever heard of these and would they be a superior product?

karen kyle
- san diego, California


July 2013

A. Hi Karen. As long as their model numbers and trade names are not misleading, companies are allowed to use any words they wish. So I don't think 15/10 and 25/10 refer to the composition of the stainless steel. You'd have to ask them what it means . . . it could refer to composition, gauge, how many awards they've won, or anything at all or nothing at all. Sorry.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


December 11, 2013

!! Hi, Mr. Mooney, I have several tips to offer on this topic, based on deceptive experiences.

First, please warn people that even quality name-brand companies can fail to state the Whole truth regarding 18/10.

I just bought a supposedly-quality-name-brand kettle online, touted as 18/10 both on its underside, and the packaging. I'm very very upset at their deception because it turns out that while its VERY SHINY sides are indeed Non-Magnetic, yet its underpart IS magnetic. And it's the underpart that's usually most prone to rust from water resting on it. So why on earth did they make the underpart with Zero (or low) Nickel? That's very very deceptive because it's not the Whole Truth!

29294-1 29294-2 29294-3

Also, despite your suggestion that sometimes shininess sometimes indicates quality - here's my experience. Years ago I bought a Betty Crocker (mainstays) whistling kettle (18/10) and it remains corrosion-free despite many years of use. The finish on that wasn't even so shiny. By comparison, I'd bought an Off-Brand ""stainless"" kettle in similar size/shape, which had a shinier finish than B.Crocker, yet it rusted after about two years - proof of being a low-nickel grade. Naturally, no specs had been given regarding its grade, but at the time, I'd been ignorant about such matters. Subsequently I educated myself because once bitten, forever wary.

P.S. This thread deserves Five Stars.

Judy Smith
- Wash hts, New York


December 15, 2013

Q. Okay, I have been reading about stainless steel cookware and have talked to several people.

From what I have read somewhere between 15%-18% of people in the U.S.,(5-6% of males and 10-12% of females) have to some degree an allergic reaction to nickel. Most of the medical resources on the web as well as other scientific papers have recommended surgical grade stainless or titanium jewelry, cookware, etc. because they say it is generally considered hypoallergenic.

My understanding is that titanium is the least reactive of the metals used in the cookware. Now I have seen two different quotes for the titanium metals used one was 316TI and the other was 19-9. So to boil all this down, is titanium cookware better than regular stainless as far as allergic reactions? If so, which would be better, 316TI or 19-9? I also wonder about the steel mfg. standards in other countries. Do they have the same standards as America made products. Lately we have seen everything from dog food to drywall that made people and animals sick and it was all manufactured in other countries and imported to save money. I have web links for all of these sources if you want them but I am not interested in advertising, just trying to get answers about allergies. :)

Thank you for maintaining this thread. It is a great post.

Tracy Fannin
- Denver, Colorado, USA


December 2013

A. Hi Tracy. I hope I can help with a couple of things ...

First, don't let your kids see your math, where 5-6% of males plus 10-12% of females totals 15-18% of the total population :-)
I think you're actually claiming that 15-18% of the population has nickel allergies and 2/3 of them are female. My understanding is that women are not more susceptible, but that nickel allergy is acquired and women are just more exposed (piercings and such).

Just because something contains nickel doesn't mean people with nickel allergies will be allergic to it. Most people feel that it depends on whether the nickel is "leachable" (whether sweat and other things can attack it and turn it into a soluble salt) ... stainless steel does not leach nickel. Surgical grade stainless steel is type 316 stainless steel and contains 10% nickel.

316TI is just a small variation on 316 stainless steel, and contains 10% nickel and less than 1% titanium; 19-9 is also stainless steel containing 9% nickel. Neither is a titanium alloy (but there are titanium alloys). Salespeople want to sell, so if you express interest in titanium, they will let you believe their stainless steel or aluminum cookware is titanium -- so it may take patience to find "titanium alloy cookware", but very patiently google for it because almost none of it is really titanium.

I don't think Chinese cookware is dangerous, but you would be foolish NOT to worry about it's quality -- but what can you do?

Our reasons for disliking to post links are not solely commercial; 90% go bad very quickly and it is impossible for a tiny enterprise like finishing.com to post links on our 50,000 discussion pages that stay on line for years, and then maintain hundreds of thousands of links to ever-shifting URLs; and web pages full of broken links are crumby web pages :-(

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


December 7, 2013

Q. I want to know if 18/8 stainless steel cookware is heavy duty -- as in foods will not stick. For instance, if I want to make fudge in it, is it durable enough that it won't burn, etc.? I am most familiar with 18/10 stainless steel cookware. Thank you.

Beverlee Williams
- Amelia, Ohio, United States


December 27, 2013

Q. One vendor has come out with a new line of cookware for induction stoves; it is called 21/0 as it has 21% Chromium and 0% Nickel but claims lower corrosion than 18/10 because of lower carbon .008% and nitrogen .01% plus added titanium .3%, plus .43% copper for even heating. Do you know anything about their claims?

Scott Metcalf
- Shelby Twp, Michigan, USA


December 2013

A. Hi Scott. No, I don't think 21/0 stainless steel is as robustly corrosion resistant as 18/10 stainless, but only nickel-free magnetic materials work properly and efficiently on induction stoves, so 18/10 wasn't a potential choice anyway. I'm sure 21/0 is good enough.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


April 29, 2015

Q. What is the best brand of cookware? Would 3 ply 18/10 All-clad, made in USA be good pots and pans for cooking for children that didn't leach toxins? What is the difference in the All-clad with copper pans? Thank you for your wisdom.

Hi Lee
- NY New York


June 2015

thumbs up signHello Lee. Discussing types of cookware would be great, but brands not so much. On the anonymous internet there doesn't seem to be many sales managers who can resist posting with fictitious names, posing as satisfied customers, and telling us how awestruck they are with the greatness of their own brand :-)
And worse, how horrible their competitor's brand is. No testimonials or slams of brands please :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


May 31, 2015

Q. I am moving to a new place and have decided to use an Induction Range. I will acquire stainless steel cookware made of 316 grade. I was wondering if stainless steel thickness was a measure of the quality of the cookware?

T. Vaidya
- Short Hills, New Jersey, USA


June 2015

A. I think so, T. Fewer dents and dings, and obviously more costly for the manufacturer.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



June 29, 2015

Q. I am a big fan of stainless steel for its known safety and durability compared to other materials available on the market. I buy any kitchen products I can find that are made from it, including plates, bowls, cups, storage containers, kitchen gadgets, and pots and pans.

I have two concerns which I am hoping someone can help me with:
1) Besides pots and pans, none of the products that I have bought or that I see on the store shelves are marked with a specific composition label for the stainless steel, such as 18/8 or 18/10 (or 304 or 302). They simply say stainless steel. What does this mean about the safety and quality of these products? Is there any regulatory compliance standard regarding stainless steel products made for use with food? Is there anything that I should be concerned about regarding my health, especially if these kitchen items are being used with high salt, high acid or high heat food?
2) I'm noticing more products on store shelves that are labeled stainless steel on the package, but the items inside are not marked at all as stainless steel or simply say stainless. Is this a sure sign of deceptive practices by these companies or are they simply cutting corners by not labeling the products inside?

Many thanks for any replies to my post and for all the previous posts on this thread. I searched numerous websites before coming across this one and can easily say this is the best one by far!

Elisa Zanoni
- Richmond, Vermont, USA



21/0 Cookware for Induction Cooking

21/0 Cookware

July 6, 2015

Q. I found a cookware set that says it's 21/0 stainless =>
How can this be possible and can you explain if it's better than 18/0 (trying to stay low on the nickel content)? Here's what they claim:

Made from strong Japanese steel, the construction and design of the Induction 21 Steel® cookware line guarantee superior quality. Each piece has copper melted into the steel, which effortlessly conducts heat quickly and evenly. Titanium is also added for strength and durability to endure everyday cooking. To ensure healthy cooking, the steel is nickel free to prevent allergic reactions to nickel. The tempered-glass lid makes it easy to monitor cooking and the dripless pouring rim reduces spillage along the side of the body.

Features:
Made with superior 21/0 Japanese stainless-steel.
The steel includes: Copper for better heat conductivity, Titanium for quick heating and extra strength, and Chromium for added durability.
The steel is also nickel free to prevent nickel allergies and ensure healthier cooking.

Elda Marolli
- streamwood, Illinois


July 2015

A. Hi Elda. I'm not personally aware of any standards-writing body that has established what "21/0" stainless means. The vendor has said it's 21 percent chromium and 0 percent nickel, so at least the nomenclature is used in the same way as for 18/0 and 18/8 stainless. As for their claims about the value of the copper and titanium and chromium content, remember that this stuff is written by copywriters to induce you to buy, not by post-docs to metallurgically educate you.

I have no idea if it's "better" than 18/0 in any way. It's possible that it offers a higher level of ferromagnetism, and thus more efficient induction, or greater corrosion resistance, but they are claiming the proprietary nature of their cookware, so it's on them to prove it if you want it proved; we have no way of knowing that it's even as good.

Some people feel that nickel-free (magnetic) stainless steel is "healthier", others feel that claim is silly and note that nickel-bearing (non-magnetic) stainless is required (not optional) in implants, surgical instruments, dairy equipment, pharmaceutical equipment, etc., and that there is no question that nickel-bearing stainless is more corrosion resistant than nickel-free stainless. But the point is moot because the real reason nickel-free (magnetic) stainless is used for induction cooking is that nickel-bearing stainless won't work :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



July 30, 2015

Q. This is a very informative topic! Way up earlier in the topic you said that there is no aluminum in 18/8 stainless. To your knowledge, is aluminum included in any stainless alloys in common use for cookware? If so, what would be its value? Would the answer be different for older stainless alloys - for instance, Wearever Stainless from the 1950's?

Just to be clear: I am not asking about the aluminum layer that may be sandwiched between stainless layers, or on the bottom of an aluminum-disk pot, but in the stainless alloy itself.

Nancy Smith
- Duluth, Minnesota, USA


August 2015

A. Hi Nancy. There is no aluminum in stainless steel. Although, actually, there is almost no such thing as truly "none" -- after all, the reason you smell a rose or a pig is because, to some very tiny extent, rose molecules or pig-type molecules have drifted over into your nose :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



August 19, 2015

Q. I plan to purchase a stainless steel lasagna pan. There is $100 price difference between a top name brand 18/10 and an unfamiliar brand using 18/0. I believe, after reading this excellent thread, that if the 18/0 feels really great then I can enjoy the savings. If not, the 18/10 model is to be viewed as a long term investment that will likely outlive me. Anyone have experience or opinion to influence my decision?

Tana Plewes
- Kelowna, BC, Canada


August 2015

A. Hi Tana. As previously mentioned, 18/10 is more corrosion resistant, but 18/0 is nickel-free and can be re-warmed on an induction stovetop. If 18/0 is good enough for many flatware manufacturers these days, it's probably good enough for a lasagna pan.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



August 31, 2015

Q. I have flatware that is 18% chromium and 10% nickel. I also recently bought a magnet for them. Some of the flatware doesn't work. Is it because of the percentage of nickel? Can I get a stronger magnet to work with them?
-thanks

Scott Dewar
- Warrensburg, New York, United States of America


August 2015

A. Hi Scott. Magnets do not attract 18-10 stainless -- and it's indirectly due to the nickel. Nickel itself is magnetic, but 10% or more of nickel in stainless steel causes it to cool to an austenitic structure, which is not magnetic. Work hardening makes it slightly magnetic, and strong neodymium magnets will attract it to some extent.

But what are you attempting to do that you need the flatware to be attracted to magnets? It would be easier to just get 4xx series stainless (18-0) flatware because it is magnetic.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


January 5, 2016

Q. I just purchased some knives from a home shopping tv channel and when they arrived, the carbon forged stainless steel steak knives and the surgical steel cutlery set had stickers on them (required in California) saying that they contained lead and you should wash your hands after handling. My question is, how can these knives be safe to use? Should I return them?

Thanks

Bill Suggs
- Simi Valley, California, usa


January 2017

A. Hi Bill. Lead is not a recognized and necessary part of stainless steel as far as I have ever heard. But, yes, I have heard that it can be present in stainless made from scrap and that its presence can be determined with Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. I would return any stainless steel which is marked as containing lead.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

P.S. -- February 2018: Before returning it you might check with whatever office administers California's Proposition 65 whether all stainless steel must be so labeled, or maybe whether all manufacturers are known to be voluntarily so labeling their stainless to avoid being sued.
opinion! I bought a flex connector for my kitchen stove recently with a Prop 65 label that natural gas is carcinogenic. It seems that perhaps manufacturers are putting Prop 65 labels on everything they sell as their protection against rampant suits.


July 17, 2016

Q. Because I just learned the 18/8, 18/10 etc. and now have no idea how to tell the new grades of stainless steel, I sure would love to see a list, that shows the changes. I used wiki but it only shows the new numbers with no reference to them and the old numbers. Thank you, Sheila

Sheila Gilbert
- La Plata, Maryland USA


July 2016

Stainless Steels: An Introduction and Their Recent Developments
from Abe Books

or

A. Hi Sheila. Although Lee made the point that 18/0, 18/8, and 18/10 are older descriptions, there are actually thousands of different formulations for stainless steel, and almost endless names per ASTM standards, ISO standards, Indian and Japanese steel standards and others. Books on the subject are thousands of pages long and weigh in at well over 10 pounds each. But a simple chart for your purpose might be:

18/0 = Series 400, aka series 4xx = 18% chromium, balance essentially iron, although traces of other materials depending on whether it's 401, 402, 403, etc. Magnetic, no nickel, good for sharp knives because it can hold an edge, but less corrosion resistant than series 300, aka 3xx.

18/8 = Series 304 = 18% chromium, 8% nickel, traces of other materials. There are many small variations in the 3xx series like 303. Non-magnetic, more corrosion resistant than the 4xx stainless steels, but less resistant than 316.

18/10 = Series 316 = 18% chromium, 10% nickel, traces of other materials, notably Molybdenum. Variations exist like 316L (low carbon for welding applications) and 316Ti (a small amount of titanium added as a stabilizer). Not the most corrosion resistant stainless steel possible, but the most corrosion resistant that a consumer is likely to ever get involved with.

Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


July 19, 2016

thumbs up signI can't tell you how thrilled I am that you posted this information for me. I'm replacing all of my cooking ware, and it's almost impossible to find the answers to the Stainless Steel issues that many are having. I even found one that said it was 18/5 and I couldn't find even one other piece that was marked with that number. Your information will be a wonderful help to me for quite some time, as it's going to take a long time for me to replace everything. Bless you for your help, Sheila

Sheila Gilbert[returning]
- La Plata Maryland



August 21, 2016

Q. Hi, AMAZING SITE!! Sorry if its been asked before, I am wondering what the best option for stainless steel lunchbox would be ... 18/10 ? Concerned about sliced tomatoes (acid), etc. ? Many thanks :)

Zoe Tramo
- Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom


August 2016

A. Thanks Zoe. Yes, I think 18/10 (i.e., 316SS) would be ideal as it is the most corrosion-resistant stuff commonly available to consumers. Of course, 24 karat gold would be even more corrosion resistant :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



January 2, 2017

Q. The studies I have read suggest that 304 and 316 stainless both leach about the same amount of nickel into food. Saladmaster uses a form of 316 with titanium added, named 316Ti. Unfortunately, I cannot find a single study on Pubmed that documents less leaching of nickel into food from 316Ti than any other form of stainless. This is discouraging because Saladmaster wants to charge $950 for a skillet that would cost $50 in 304 stainless. If their main marketing pitch is on food purity, how can they make this claim with zero evidence?

From what I read, the point of titanium is to stabilize stainless that is heated to huge temperatures, like 800 °F. These are not temperatures used in cooking food, so it is unclear to me what is the point of titanium in stainless cookware?

Would it make any sense to put the food into a ceramic or pyrex container, and then lower than into the stainless cookware, to at least keep the food off the surface of the metal? My objective is to minimize absorption of nickel, for which I test very high levels in hair, urine, etc.

It should not be this difficult to cook food without metal contamination. It feels like no cooking method is completely safe, and that is discouraging.

W Estes
- Cupertino, California USA


January 2017

A. Hi W. Have you written to Saladmaster and requested their answer to your question? I sympathize with your intolerance to metals, but it is not their obligation to scour the websites of the world to see what questions their customers may have, and for readers to assume that their claims are baseless until they do :-)

It is possible that they electropolish their cookware, reducing the surface area and consequent amount of leaching, or at least improving the purity of food, for example; it's also possible that 316Ti was picked for no reason other than a nice sound.

Nothing is ever totally safe; life truly is a matter of "pick your poison" -- but there is pyrex, ceramic, ceramic coated, hard anodized, teflon, cast iron, nickel-free stainless steel (labeled "for induction cooking") and probably other cookware as well. Best of luck managing your problem.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


January 2, 2017

Q. 18/0 stainless uses no nickel. The good news is that it cannot leach nickel into the food you cook. The bad news is the lack of nickel means it is more corrosive and can rust, particularly if you have an acidic sauce.

My questions:

* What are the other metals used in 18/0 stainless other than chromium, and about what percentage of the total composition are those other metals?

* If you leave an acidic sauce in an 18/0 skillet, this is going to leach more of the metals on a percentage basis than would a 304 or 316 stainless? So effectively you would be getting large doses of chromium (which might be good for you) and large doses of iron (which might be bad for you depending on your iron status)?

W Estes[returning]
- Cupertino, California USA


January 2017

Hi. 18/0 is not a particular stainless steel, it's a class of stainless steels with, as you imply, 18% chrome, no nickel, and the rest mostly iron. To be able to determine the composition you would need to know specifically which stainless you were speaking of; for example type 410 has <0.15% C, 11.5-13.5% Cr, >0.75% Ni, <1.0% Mn, <1.0% Si, <0.04% P, <0.03% S.

"Large doses" is a relative phrase. Stainless steel cookware and flatware can last many decades of cooking and scrubbing. I don't know whether more chrome leaches from 18/0 that 18/8 or under what conditions, but you could study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4284091/
and its references. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



Making whistle pressure cookers out of mild steel

January 30, 2017

Q. Dear sir,
Now, I am producing whistle pressure cookers in 202 Stainless steel Material. But I want to produce from mild steel material. So I produced a pressure cooker in mild steel. Now what should I do for plating? But the plating should be such that it should be corrosion resistant, and it should be certified for food products.

Hiten Ambaliya
- Rajkot Gujarat India


January 2017

A. Hello Hiten. I think this will prove to be a poor idea!

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



Are some stainless steels more resistant to yellowing when heated?

April 23, 2017

Stainless steel cooking pans may become colored yellow after use with high fire.
Are there some stainless alloys that get "colored" less than others? Alloys which need more fire before changing color?

Baeng Soucy
IQC - Pai, MHS, Thailand



September 13, 2017

thumbs up signThank you so much for all this information. Thank you for taking the time to educate many of us on stainless steel and other things like deceptive sales and manufacturing practices. There is indeed so much more that we don't know than what we do know. Its nice to learn something from someone who is willing to teach and explain and share knowledge.

S Barton
- New York State


September 2017

Thanks for your kind words & thoughts.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"



She sells sea salts simmered in stainless alts

September 22, 2017

Q. Hello and thanks for this wonderful thread. I've read the entire thing, and feel like I learned a lot. I am writing on behalf of my girlfriend who has a tiny business producing sea salt in various flavours from the local ocean, here on the North Coast of British Columbia. it's a low tech operation to say the least- usually involving Pyrex pots of ocean water boiling on the woodstove for days on end.
Since we haven't found any Pyrex type pots that are much larger than a gallon, we're looking at stainless stock pots to find something in the 5- 10 gallon range. There's been reluctance to go this route because of the possibility of corrosion. Aside from the steel itself, many of these pots have an aluminium layer within the base which we would obviously wish never to be exposed.
Do you think 18/10 steel up to such prolonged torture by salt? And I know that this thread isn't about naming specific manufacturers but of course we would be delighted if you did have any recommendations :) Thanks again for the knowledge gained here and all the best to you.
Tyson

Tyson Nehring
- Port Clements, BC, Canada



February 26, 2018

thumbs up sign Just a simple thank you very much for your informative and valuable information, from one Australian architect of many, some of whom have been querying why almost all of the supposedly Type 316 stainless steel building components supplied here and used for handrails and posts and wires for balustrades, RUSTS after a few years in the rain or even when dry outside. It appears that they are probably not what is specified, so tests are probably required to confirm correct materials. Thanks, Chris

Chris Kennedy
- Lilyfield, NSW, Australia


February 2018

A. Hi Chris. Thanks for the kind words! But please also search our site for "Passivation of Stainless Steel". Two things control how prone to rusting stainless steel is, the grade/type and whether it has been passivated properly.

This thread is so long that we don't want it to also cover passivation, but briefly, when stainless has been worked in any fashion with steel tools, it must be passivated or the stainless will rust.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


February 27, 2018

A. Chris,
Three main factors here that will impact stainless.

1. The quality/country of origin of the metal
2. The environment it's sitting in (marine, swimming pool, etc., are harsh)
3. Iron contamination during fabrication

The first two can be long-term problems regardless of passivation, while the third can require extra passivation treatment depending on the severity.

ray kremer
Ray Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois
stellar solutions banner


March 5, 2018

thumbs up sign Thank you for this thread and all this info I am studying welding and taking a metallurgy class and it helped me with a paper I have to write on a common household metal

George Lang II
- Wyano, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.



April 9, 2018

Q. Hi there. Can you please help me to understand what "premium quality stainless steel" means? I could find nothing on the internet. Thank you in advance.

Angie Hayr
- Glendale, California


April 2018

A. Hi Angie. It means they claim it is stuff of very good quality, but it doesn't really mean anything at all; it's just sales pap.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"


April 10, 2018

thumbs up sign Dear Ted, thank you for very much. I will return it tomorrow :)

Angie Hayr[returning]
- Glendale, California



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