Taking advantage of stainless steel in the kitchen
Stainless steel is known to be a very resistant alloy, it is unlikely to tarnish or rust. It should also be noted that it does not emit any toxins. For these reasons, it is increasingly used in our kitchens, household appliances, but also cooking equipment. Let's take a closer look at stainless steel, the best metal for cooking!
The advantages of stainless steel.
Stainless steel is mainly composed of iron and chromium, sometimes nickel. Stainless steel is an extremely resistant material. It can sustain very high temperatures, shocks and corrosion; which makes it invaluable in any kitchen. In addition, stainless steel offers a very elegant finish and a beautiful product quality. For all these reasons, it is very popular with restaurant professionals. It should also be noted that stainless steel is perfectly safe for use with food and does not alter the taste in any way. Stainless steel is completely neutral for our organism: it does not contaminate us and does not present any kind of danger for our health. Finally, as far as the environment is concerned, stainless steel is 100% recyclable. 50 to 60% of stainless steel objects are actually made from recycled stainless steel. Choosing the right stainless steel utensil
Within the food industry, there are 4 different types of stainless steel, namely:
- Martensitic stainless steel
Martensitic stainless steel owes its name to the German metallurgist Adolf Martens. This type of stainless steel is attracted by magnets and is mainly composed of iron, to which carbon is sometimes added. The main advantage of martensitic stainless steel is its high resistance and hardness. It should be noted that it has very low nickel content.
- Ferritic stainless steel
This type of stainless steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Ferritic stainless steel is mainly used for utensils with rust protection coatings. It is one of the most widely used stainless steels for the manufacture of kitchen utensils and industrial materials. Its advantage is that it is not quench hardened, as it is the stainless steel with the highest chromium content – i.e. up to 27%. This also makes it extremely resistant to corrosion.
- Austenitic stainless steel
This type of stainless steel is the most common. It is an alloy of iron and carbon to which zinc, manganese and nitrogen have been added to improve its stability and ductility. Austenitic stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Its main advantage is its remarkable resilience. Austenitic stainless steel is used in many sectors of the food industry.
Duplex stainless steel is an alloy of ferrite and austenite – it is also known as “austeno-ferritic” stainless steel. Duplex was developed in the early 1930s to improve the corrosion resistance of industrial equipment. Duplex has a high chemical resistance as well as a high ductility due to its nickel and molybdenum content.
How to maintain stainless steel utensils?
There are many products available in supermarkets for cleaning stainless steel. However, you should be very careful, as many of them are abrasive and dangerous in the long run. Some products or sponges are really aggressive and you should avoid using a scraper, baking soda or pure white vinegar. There are more natural solutions for cleaning stainless steel utensils and removing stains. These include soaking a soft cloth with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar diluted with water or soapy water, black soap or even a mixture of oil and lemon. Very gentle and natural, these solutions will remove stains from stainless steel while preserving the alloy's integrity over time.