Can You Use Metal On Stainless Steel?

A long-term debate is whether you can use metal on stainless steel. The answer is yes; you can use metal on stainless steel. However, use caution as you are more prone to scratches using metal than nylon or plastic. 

Stainless steel can last many years and stay durable as long you maintain your stainless steel and do not scratch it. Scratching your stainless steel could be harmful as it could leach toxic chemicals into your food. 

How Durable are Stainless Steel Cookware?

Stainless steel is one of the better metals for cookware. With being helpful and not prone to rust or decay, stainless steel can be both long-lasting and durable. You may hear stainless steel referred to as one of the safest metals to cook on. It is ideal for sauteeing, baking, and boiling. 

Stainless steel is great for small-batch baking due to retaining heat well as long as you maintain your stainless steel well. To maximize its life span, you should avoid using coarse brushes and harsh cleaning solutions on your stainless steel. 

Only use non-abrasive cleaners and soft sponges to clean your stainless steel. 

Can You Use Metal Utensils On Stainless Steel Pans?

A common misconception is that you cannot use metal on stainless steel. However, since stainless steel is metal, there will be little to no consequences for using metal utensils on stainless steel. Metal on metal should not hurt your stainless steel. 

Though, you may encounter shallow scratches. These superficial scratches will not cause harm, although the metal utensil may ruin the beautiful finish of your stainless steel. Stick with a plastic, nylon, or wooden cooking utensil with stainless steel to avoid issues. 

What are the Best Utensils to Use On Stainless Steel Pans?

Metal utensils are not ideal when you are cooking with stainless steel. You have much better options that will not scratch your stainless steel pan’s surface. It is better to stick with utensils that are guaranteed not to scratch your pan to avoid any problems with your pans.

The best material you can use on stainless steel is wood. Due to being so soft on your pans, wooden is the best utensil you can get for stainless steel. Wooden utensils are guaranteed not to scratch your metal’s surface. You can also use plastic or silicone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions or need more clarity on if you can use metal on stainless steel? Refer to the frequently asked questions below. 

Is it okay to scratch stainless steel pans?

It is okay to scratch stainless steel pans as long as they are not deep scrapes or gouged. Stainless steel will resist most scratching. Though if you deeply scratch your stainless steel, you could expose yourself to toxic chemicals like chromium or nickel. 

Chromium and nickel can harm your health when consumed in high amounts, especially if you have a nickel sensitivity. Large amounts of chromium and nickel could cause health issues such as dermatitis. 

If your stainless steel pan is old, badly burned, and scratched, you may be allowing chemicals to seep into your food. Once your pan looks burnt or scratched, it is best to throw it out. 

What should you not do with your stainless steel pans?

There are several things you should never do regarding stainless steel pans. The first rule of using metal cookware is never to submerge a hot pan in cold water. Doing so can cause warping of your pan and ultimately cause the pan to be unable to be used. 

However, there are a few other things you must never do with your stainless steel pans, such as: 

  • Keep your stainless steel pan from sitting empty on the burner for an extended time.
  • Do not use cooking spray on your stainless steel pan.
    • It can become gummy and stuck onto your pan.  
  • Do not use a knife on the pan.
    • If you were to cut something in the pan. 
  • Do not use household cleaners on your stainless steel, such as bleach.
  • Do not let the fats in your stainless steel pan heat past their smoke point.
    • They will leave your pan yellowed and sticky. 
  • Do not use your stainless steel pan on a grill.
    • Stainless steel pans are for moderate heat. The grill is too hot. 
  • Stainless steel is not dishwasher safe, so do not put it into the dishwasher. 
  • Never put your hot stainless steel under cold water.
    • Doing this will warp your pan; it may make it unusable. 

Is it safe to cook with scratched stainless steel?

It is unsafe to cook with scratched stainless steel as it can leach toxic chemicals, like chromium and nickel, into your food while cooking. 

Consuming large amounts of these toxic chemicals can cause extreme illness, serious health issues, and more. It is best to throw out your scratched stainless steel pan to be safe. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, you can undoubtedly use metal on stainless steel with little concern for problems. However, it is not impossible to scratch your stainless steel with metal, so you should always be cautious using metal utensils. Your best bet is to use a safer material, such as wood or nylon, on your stainless steel pan.