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 What Kind Of Pans To Buy


Choosing safe pans to cook with | WholeLifestyleNutrition.comI have had a lot of people asking me lately which pots and pans do I like to cook with?  

It seems like EVERYONE has their own opinion on this subject, but for me it always comes down to how my food taste after I am finished creating one of my dishes and if the pan is safe and not leaching any chemicals into my organic food.

I went on a mission to find a set of pans to invest in (yes invest, they can be a bit pricey). There were several key elements that I was looking for: 

  • I did not want  teflon coated/nonstick pans.  Sure it is convenient to cook quickly on these pans, but you loose so much flavor for sauces and I am not convinced that teflon is safe anyways.  
  • I knew I wanted stainless steel.  Not all stainless steel however is safe to cook with.  

According to Ray Peat, there are two main types of stainless steel, magnetic and nonmagnetic. The nonmagnetic form has a very high nickel content, and nickel is allergenic and carcinogenic. It is much more toxic than iron or aluminum. You can use a little “refrigerator magnet” to test your pans. The magnet will stick firmly to the safer type of pan.

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The Pans I Cook With


So the pans I purchased were All Clad.  I am so impressed with these pans and I often wonder how I ever managed without them in my kitchen!  

The other day I made some Sautéed Chicken with a mushroom white wine gravy that was so great I couldn’t stop thinking about it!  

Many people find it hard to cook with stainless steel, especially after using teflon pans for so long.  It might take a little practice, but below you will find a video I did with some helpful tips when cooking with stainless steel.  

Here are a few more tips…

  • Stainless steel pans MUST be preheated before you add any food to the pans.  I usually turn my stovetop on medium low heat and allow it to heat for 2-3 minutes.  You should be able to still touch the rim of the pan safely, but it should be hot (see video below).  Add your oil to the pan after it is preheated.
  • When foods are browned, carmelization begins, that brown goo and dark bits stuck on the bottom of your pan, becomes a goldmine of taste, flavor, aroma, as well as adding visual appeal to the finished dish. That brown stuff is highly desirable as it provides the base for the delicious sauces, soups, stews, and gravies. This develops because the drippings, the juices, sugars and fats from the food stick to the pan and brown; so you want it to stick to the pan, that is flavor!  To deglaze your pan (get up all the yummy bits that add so much flavor to your dishes) simply add a little chicken stock or wine to the pan and it will pull all those yummy bits off the pan and into your dish!
  • Avoid plain stainless steel cookware. The best, and coincidentally the most expensive brands are triple ply throughout (sides and bottom),while others only clad the bottom of the pan.  The Key to its high performance is a three-ply, bonded construction. Sandwiched between layers of stainless steel is a thick core of pure aluminum that spreads heat evenly across the bottoms of pots and pans and all the way up the sides.
  • Look for stainless steel handles that are riveted to the pan. This means the pans can go into the oven, and there is no danger of melting a plastic covered handle if it accidentally gets too close to a hot burner.


How To Cook On Stainless Steel


Cooking with Stainless Steel Pans add so much flavor to your cooking.  Below I have done a video segment showing how easy it is to cook with stainless steel.

(I know the egg is totally overcooked, but you still can get the correct method of cooking on the stainless steel pans)  :-)



I did a new video that uses a lot less fat and shows you how to properly season a stainless steel pan.

I highly recommend that you watch this video!


Cleaning Instructions


For daily cleaning, warm soapy water is sufficient. Clean your pans thoroughly after each use. Food films left of the pan may cause discoloration and sticking.

To get rid of stuck-on food or discoloration and stains from using too high of a heat, clean your pan with a product called Bar Keeper’s Friend. To use the Bar Keeper’s Friend, simply use a soft cloth or sponge and water and make into a soupy paste. This can be used on the interior, as well as the exterior of your pan. The Bar Keeper’s Friend can also be used on the exterior of your pan. If your water has a high iron content, you may notice a rusty discoloration. Use Bar Keeper’s Friend to remove it.

I also use baking soda and make that into a water paste.  That works really well too.


Share Your Thoughts


What do you cook on?  Are you looking to make the switch to Stainless Steel?

Final Comment


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Join the Conversation

17 thoughts on “Buying And Cooking Tips For Stainless Steel Pans & How To Video”

  1. Knives says:

    We always asking what should we consider in buying stainless steel and you’ve given us great tips in choosing for the right  kitchen stainless steels. And the fact that you also includes the proper way of cleaning it..Cheers for this!!

  2. Geoff says:

    Why do you say “For daily cleaning, warm soapy water is sufficient. Clean your pans thoroughly after each use. Food films left of the pan may cause discoloration and sticking” but in the video you just wipe down with a wet paper towel?

    1. hallecottis says:

      @Geoff This was for the first video I did.  Thanks for catching that…I will make the change, you do not need to use soapy water and shouldn’t after you season.
      FYI, the first video I did on this topic was just how to cook on stainless steel and not how to season.  Sorry for the confusion.

      1. Geoff says:

        hallecottis Thanks for the reply and your great posts!

  3. MamaTaylor says:

    I recently switched to induction so we had to purchase a new cookware set. My husband convinced me to go s/s with no non stick coating. I was/am intimidated but know its better than all the chemicals of the non stick coating. We have the Cuisinart MultiClad pro s/s set. The first 3 things I cooked (Scrambled egg, grilled cheese, chicken breast) I was able to cook it beautifully without a hitch. However since then EVERYTHING has been sticking. I’m starting to get a little discouraged. I use coconut oil and even tried seasoning the pan but still no luck. Any suggestions. I have followed your videos to a T (using my tablet as I was doing it so I could stop/start as I needed) but still no luck.

    1. hallecottis says:

      MamaTaylorIf it is sticking then you most likely don’t have the pan hot enough.  Try allowing your pan to preheat a bit longer (maybe another minute) and come back and let me know how it works and then we will go from there.  I allow my pan for my eggs to preheat sometimes 2-3 minutes before adding the eggs.  (it all depends on the temperature of heat you have it on)

  4. Me Too says:

    I have Cuisinart Multiclad Pro stainless steel also and it sticks like crazy. I am equally discouraged. It will not even come clean with Barkeeper’s Friend. It seems there are permanent stains on them even though I have only used the pans a few times.

  5. Lonnie says:

    Thanks very informative….

  6. Jonathan says:

    Isn’t All Clad treated with a non-stick surface of some sort?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      No it is not treated with a non-stick surface.

  7. Nina says:

    We recently replaced all our cookware with AllClad and no matter what (I bought high heat oils) after cooking with them there’s this thin brown film/stain that forms and we have to scrub out with Bar Keeper’s Friend every time! So are we not allowed to ever cook on high heat with these pans or is it the standard when cooking with these pans? I feel like I’ll put the heat on medium and it still happens. What are we doing wrong?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Sound like you are overheating the pan. Try lowering the heat even more, and allow it to warm up more gradually.

  8. Ph says:

    I…. did not know you needed to season stainless. There, I said it. I have this really nice Pampered Chef omelette pan that has never done anything but butcher the countless omelettes I’ve tried to make over the years. I watched your video, marched straight into the kitchen, followed your instructions and five minutes later a perfect French-style omelette fell effortlessly out of the pan onto the plate. I cried.

  9. Jay G. says:

    Hi Halle,

    Great post! I’m taking some online cooking courses and it seems that you hit the nail on the head with what you covered above. Believe me, I’ve got my share of stories about how much of my food has stuck to stainless pans, but what I’m beginning to learn is that all that sticking my be beneficial. Apparently, the “browning” is the magic the inexperienced aren’t aware of.

    I just picked up an All-Clad stainless skillet and am excited to try it out. The reviews are good and the one I purchased (12 inch) should be ample for experimentation.

    Anyway, thanks for the tips in your post and congrats on the videos!

    Take care,


  10. Marhum says:

    Thanks for these tips. I’ve been struggling in sticking pans whenever I fry chicken.

  11. AQJones says:

    I was so excited to get stainless steel pans but didn’t know I needed to season then before using them. Thank you so much, even though I have tried them without seasoning them I’m looking forward to them being fabulous!

  12. Greg says:

    I purchased a Allclad skillet and tried your seasoning process only to find my pan had discolored after the process. I lost the stainless steel brightness and now have a slightly brown finish on the interior of the pan. Any thoughts? I used medium high setting on a glass top stove.

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