Stainless steel cookware can steal every cook’s heart with its performance, look, and durability. Whether you’re beginning or already a pro at cooking, stainless steel cookware is a reliable friend to keep. But, can stainless steel go in the oven? Can you make one-pot lasagnas and cakes in a stainless steel pot without worrying about its color/balance? Here’s a No-BS answer:
Stainless steel is sturdy and oven-safe metal, so you’re free to bake anything in a steel pot or pan. However, be sure that your stainless steel pot or pan has a metal or heat-resistant handle; wooden and plastic handles melt in the oven (you don’t want that). Thick stainless steel pans with heat-resistant handles allow you to cook anything without requiring extra effort, so no added work.
That aside, all are stainless steel pans the same? Can you put any stainless steel pan in the oven whose handle is metallic? Umm, not always; you must fulfill several pre-requisites to get the best results from stainless steel cookware.
Interested in knowing some pro tips? Keep on reading!
Stainless Steel Cookware – Convenient and Reliable
Stainless steel is an Iron alloy combined with several trace elements to form a resistant metal that doesn’t rust. When Iron ore is mixed with Chromium, Nickel, Carbon, and Silicone, it becomes more durable and resistant to stains.
Stainless steel cookware has been in our kitchens for centuries, and it won’t leave anytime soon, thanks to its performance. If you’re fond of professional-level cookware, stainless steel is a good bid. You’ll find several reliable and budget-friendly steel cookware sets that’ll suffice your kitchen requirements.
However, if there’s one thing stainless steel isn’t good at, it’s heat resistance. Although steel is tough as nails and heating doesn’t damage it beyond repair, regular usage and careless handling can destroy steel cookware’s look, leaving you with a warped, discolored mess.
Balancing the correct temperature and greasing is primitive while you work with stainless steel cookware. Yes, stainless steel cookware is oven-safe, but there are some temperature limits you must understand.
What is the Maximum Oven Temperature Limit For Stainless Steel Cookware?
500 degrees Fahrenheit is the maximum temperature achieved by most home ovens, and coincidentally, it collides with stainless steel’s maximum temperature. Most stainless steel pans and pots are safe up to 550F; steel particles start weakening after that. So, keep the temperature within the safe limit and enjoy your durable steel cookware for years.
Whether your recipe requires prolonged baking or direct high heat, a good quality steel pot/pan can live up to it. If you cook on a gas stove, maintain a consistent low-medium flame, and your stainless steel cook will be fine.
Consult your steel cookware set’s user manual for better clarity or ask the seller about its specs; although home cooks rarely cook at such high temperatures, being clear is still better.
A Pro Tip: Never expose your metal cookware to sudden heat shocks; metals must contract and expand at their natural rate; these shocks can warp them.
Which Handles Work the Best With Stainless Steel Cookware?
Although some home cooks prefer stay-cool handles, the classic metal and baking silicone handles are ideal for stainless steel cookware. These handles are safe for high-heat cooking and don’t require much upkeep, so you’re always on the winning side. Always remember to use a kitchen mitt/towel while holding metal handles to protect your skin from burning.
Wooden handles can catch fire at extremely high temperatures, and plastic ones don’t last long in the oven, so avoid both. Some cookware handles are marked heat-resistant even if they’re plastic; they are good too.
If you own stainless steel cookware with wooden handles, forget stuffing it in the oven. But if you’re to buy new pots and pans, get those with polished silicone or raw steel handles.
Can A Gas Oven Disturb Stainless Steel Cookware’s Color?
Yes, it can. If your steel cookware has lost its shine and there are white stains inside it, heat is the culprit. Consistent heat thickens steel’s oxidized layer, eventually making it foggy. Heat tinting and pitting discoloration is more common in thin steel cookware, as its heat resistance capacity is lower.
When you are careless about greasing, seasoning, and cleaning your cookware, you lose its shine, regardless of the cooking medium. Heat tints and discoloration are common when you use a gas oven because, during baking, your pot/pan is constantly exposed to high heat, causing some food to leach inside the metal and disturb its color.
How To Treat Discoloration in A Stainless Steel Pan?
Cooks like to keep their kitchens tidy, but discolored cookware can hinder that goal. Luckily, you can treat discoloration of stainless steel cookware caused by consistent oven use and keep your kitchen shiny.
Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda has acetic acid, which removes stains from your cookware and retains its shine. Here’s how you can remove heat tints from stainless steel pans:
- Mix 1 part baking soda with 1 part water and make a thick paste
- Apply this paste on your discolored pan/pot with a brush and let it rest
- After an hour, remove the dried paste and scrub the pan with a spaghetti sponge
These easy steps will retain your stainless steel pan’s look and keep it new-like for a considerable time. But if some stains are still there, use a scouring powder to fight them. Strong scouring agents eat away stubborn stains and discoloration from your cookware, eventually making your steel pans shine bright.
Is stainless steel bowl oven-safe? Yes, most steel mixing bowls are oven-safe if they have thick walls. If your steel mixing is thin, putting it in the oven can disturb its shape and affect the food too, so beware. If you aren’t sure whether the bowl is marked “oven-safe” by the manufacturer or not, put it in the oven at low heat and see the results. If the bowl’s shape and color are intact, you’re free to bake further things in it.
Can you bake a cake in a stainless steel pan? Yes, you can bake in stainless steel pans. Stainless steel is a heavy, non-reactive metal, so baking in it isn’t a problem for home cooks. Generously coat the interiors of your steel pan with some shortening/oil to prevent food from sticking to the walls and enjoy home-baked cakes. Professional chefs prefer steel pans to attain that thin, brown cake crust. Whether you’re baking bread dough or a sponge cake, you don’t have to shift the mixture/dough from a steel mixing bowl to a baking dish; stuff it in the oven as is, and enjoy.
Stainless steel cookware is a reliable option for home cooks; it offers impressive heat distribution, is non-reactive, and doesn’t require much cleaning effort. And if paired with its oven-safe feature, stainless steel cookware will become your go-to choice in the kitchen. If your steel cookware has heat-resistant handles, confidently use it in the oven and enjoy delicious baked meals. Be careful about your steel cookware’s heat limits, and it won’t leave your kitchen for at least a decade!