Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel Cookware: Which is Better?

We compare Aluminum and Stainless Steel Cookware to see which deserves to be in your kitchen.

  • Team Made In
  • Feb 4, 2022
Share This

The significant differences between Aluminum vs Stainless Steel Cookware are durability, conductibility, and reactivity. It is important to have all of these three qualities in your cookware, to ensure even heating cookware that lasts a long time.

Here are the pros and cons of Aluminum and Stainless Steel Cookware.

Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum Cookware is a popular material used to make pots and pans. It is usually inexpensive and is widely available for purchase.

Advantages of Aluminum
  • Lightweight: Aluminum Cookware is extremely lightweight, which makes cooking with it appealing. You can easily bring it from the stovetop to the oven, and it makes tossing pasta or vegetables easy.

  • Heat Conduction: Aluminum is a wonderful conductor of high heat, which is why it’s used in Stainless Clad cookware. Aluminum cookware can get very hot, very fast, making it great for recipes that require high temperatures.

  • Price: Aluminum Cookware is relatively inexpensive compared to other materials since it doesn’t feature a cladded construction, commonly found in Stainless Steel. This means you don’t need as much metal to make an aluminum pot or pan.

Disadvantages of Aluminum
  • Durability: Aluminum cookware is thin, which means it can warp very easily.

  • Reactive: Aluminum cookware is reactive when cooking acidic foods, so if you cook high acid foods like tomatoes or citrus in aluminum pots and pans, there can be a metallic taste in your food.

  • Not Induction Compatible: Aluminum cookware is not compatible with induction cooktops, limiting its usability.

Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless Steel Cookware is the backbone of professional kitchens all around the world and is a great foundation for home kitchens. Similar to Aluminum Cookware, it is easy to find and purchase. It is used to sear, sauté, fry, boil, poach, and many other cooking tasks.

Advantages of Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Cookware is one of the best options to have in your kitchen. Here are some of our favorite reasons why.

  • Durability: Stainless Steel Cookware is extremely durable. It is pretty indestructible if you follow the proper care. For the most durable Stainless Cookware, look for Stainless Clad Cookware, which comprises different layers of stainless steel and aluminum.

  • Heat Retention: Stainless Steel Cookware is an excellent conductor of heat, meaning you can keep the pan at a temperature for a very long time without worrying about it losing temperature.

  • Safe on all Cooktops: Stainless Steel Cookware is safe to use on all cooktops and cooking surfaces, whether induction, gas, or electric.

  • Non-Reactive: Stainless Steel is completely non-reactive, meaning you can cook any and all ingredients in it without the worry of it leaching metals into your food.

Considerations of Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Cookware has some considerations, but we believe the advantages outweigh the few downsides.

  • Price: Stainless Steel Cookware is more expensive than Aluminum Cookware, however it lasts longer than Aluminum Cookware, so it is worth the investment.

  • Weight: Stainless Steel Cookware can be quite heavy due to its cladded composition. However, this heftiness is usually a sign of durability and is a worthy trade-off.

Aluminum vs. Stainless Steel: Which is Better?

Stainless Steel Cookware is often the better choice than Aluminum Cookware because it’s more durable and has better heat retention. So whether you’re simmering a stew for hours or basting a steak and need to turn the temperature to keep the butter from burning, Stainless Steel Cookware is the best option.

While Stainless Steel Cookware may be more expensive than Aluminum Cookware, the investment is worth it. If you choose to buy Aluminum Cookware, you will end up going through your fair share of pots and pans, while with Stainless Steel Cookware, one set will last you a lifetime.

Our Stainless Steel Cookware features a 5-Ply composition, is made in Italy and the U.S., and is trusted by professional chefs all across the world. So whether you need new cookware or want to replace old Aluminum Pots and Pans, Stainless Steel Cookware is the best choice.

Share this Article

Our Story

Our Story

Born out of a 100-year old, family-owned restaurant supply business, we work to ensure our Cookware is as detail oriented as the chefs who choose to use it in their kitchens.

Learn More

Stay In Touch

Weekly recipes, techniques, and tips. Plus the culinary stories that make cooking meaningful. Sign up for our newsletter.

Latest Articles

Discover More

Shop Made In