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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Stainless Steel Cookware Without Aluminum (Top 10)



If you’re worried about aluminum leaching into your food, you’re not alone. While aluminum is often chosen for its durability, quick heating, and lightweight nature, it also reacts to acidic foods and you can end up with aluminum content leaking in minute amounts right into your food!

There’s also the important fact that aluminum cookware won’t work on induction stoves without pricey modification. In this article, we’re going to talk about the best stainless steel cookware without aluminum or more accurately, without aluminum that comes in contact with your food!

These stainless steel options are perfect for those concerned about health issues like aluminum exposure, especially when cooking at high temperatures.

Let’s get started and we’ll explain why avoiding aluminum is so tricky, as well as show you 10 fantastic options for stainless steel cookware that can give you all the benefits without the caveats. We’ll also touch on some frequently asked questions along the way, so if you’re ready, then let’s get this started!

Our Top 3 picks at a glance

We know that some of you are in a hurry, so before we get this ball rolling we wanted to give those folks a sneak peek at our 3 favorites for today. Keep in mind we’ll just cover the basics, but we’ll give a more comprehensive look for everyone at the end of this article today.

With that said, these were our favorite 3 pieces of stainless steel cookware:

Avoiding Aluminum – The Good News and the Bad News

Choosing the best stainless steel cookware sets involves understanding the materials used. For instance, a 3-quart saucepan made of high-grade stainless steel is a safer option compared to non-stick pans, which often contain harmful substances.

Aluminum cookware first made its appearance in the late 19th century, as a novel replacement for cast iron and copper cookware. While aluminum was soft and light on its own, it was discovered that alloying it with other metals had a lot of amazing uses – including extremely durable, lightweight cookware.

While it’s a definite game changer in ship and plane building, the problem with aluminum cookware is that it can react to acidic foods being cooked in it.

Ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice, tomato sauce – anything with a pH under 7.0, really – can react with the metal and cause minute amounts of aluminum to end up in whatever you are cooking.

Keep in mind, however, that this can be avoided one of two ways – either by using anodized (specially hardened) aluminum or aluminum that is clad in a non—reactive metal – such as stainless steel!

Now we promised you good and bad news, and we’ll go with the bad news first. Aluminum is so lightweight and energy efficient, that you’re going to find it in about 99% of the stainless steel cookware you find on the market. It’s simply that good at handling heat and keeping it well-distributed.

Anodized and standard aluminum pots and pans still make up 50% of the cookware on the market today, but the tricky part is that you can also find it in some copper core and in most stainless steel cookware – so how are you supposed to avoid it?

Well, the GOOD news is that cookware manufacturers use aluminum in these pots and pots in the form of a disc that is safely sandwiched with layers of other metals – usually stainless steel or copper – so that you get the superior heat conduction without that aluminum ever getting near your food.

Granted, you could theoretically scratch a pot enough to get to that core, but you’d REALLY have to work at it. That’s because from a practical standpoint, you’re dealing with a top layer of quality 18/10 or 40 stainless steel.

Some cookware even incorporates 5 ply construction and if it is well made, it’s durable to the point that it might be decades before you need to replace it.

Now, we’re not saying that you can’t find 100% stainless steel pots and pans. They DO exist, but you really have to dig. If you see terms being used like ‘tri ply’, even without the mention of aluminum in the description, then that triple-ply is most likely steel on both sides of an aluminum disc.

You could go with copper cookware, although this is pricey, and also tends to tarnish with acidic foods, so the practical choice is really going to be simply ensuring that the aluminum is safely stored behind walls of stainless steel.

With that said, we’ve done our homework and found 10 very robust stainless steel cookware offerings that can give you the perks of that aluminum, while being safely clad in solid stainless steel. Let’s take a look at them and you can see what you think!

The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Without Aluminum

In this section we’ve collected for you 10 examples of some of the best stainless steel cookware on the market. Each selection has been chosen for the fact that any aluminum used will be safely behind layers of solid stainless steel.

We’ll divide the selections up into 3 categories:

  • Stainless Steel Skillets
  • Stainless Steel Stock Pots
  • Stainless Steel Saucepans

For each one, we’ll share the dimensions and weight, as well as what perks they bring to the table, what we liked, and what we didn’t like. If you’re ready, then let’s get this stainless-steel showcase started!

Our selection includes various types of cookware, from fry pans to sauce pans, catering to different cooking needs like searing, simmering, or even cooking rice.

Stainless steel skillets

1. Cuisinart 722-20 8-Inch Chef’s-Classic-Stainless-Cookware-Collection Open Skillet

Cuisinart 722-20 8-Inch Chef's-Classic-Stainless-Cookware-Collection, 8", Open Skillet

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Our first entry is this Cuisinart 722-20 -inch open skillet from their Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel cookware line and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a name you already know and trust. Measuring in at 15.63 x 9.25 x 1.65 inches and weighing just a pound, it’s lightweight, durable, and sear and sauté ready!

While it DOES contain aluminum, it’s at the core so that you can get the heating benefits, while still being able to use induction stoves and not having to worry about aluminum touching your food. It’s safely in the core, after all, sandwiched between layers of steel.

That core helps to eliminate hot spots and the pan itself is a beautiful mirrored stainless steel finish. If you’re looking for a stainless steel skillet for sautéing and searing, the even heating from this Cuisinart will definitely not disappoint you!


It’s a Cuisinart skillet, folks, and for those who love that brand, that’s a definite perk. Aside from the weight of the name, it’s a solid stainless steel pan that’s beautiful, built to last, and good at its job!


It’s a nice skillet, but a small one, and that won’t be a perfect fit for everyone.

2. Made In Cookware – 10-Inch Stainless Steel Frying Pan – 5 Ply Stainless Clad

Made In Cookware - 10-Inch Stainless Steel Frying Pan - 5 Ply Stainless Clad - Professional Cookware Italy - Induction Compatible

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This handsome skillet comes from ‘Made In’ and hails from Italy, where they know a thing or two about fantastic cooking!. Measuring 18 x 10.5 x 3.5 inches and weighing 2.25 pounds, it’s got a little heft to it, and 5 metal layers for superior heat conduction and distribution.

Its layers of stainless steel ensure even heat distribution, ideal for high heat cooking, making it a popular choice among professional chefs.

While it looks a bit on the spartan side, this skillet is all about business, and the top cooking layer is solid 430 gauge stainless steel – so this is definitely a skillet you’ll get a lot of mileage out of. Stainless steel rivets also keep the handle securely in place well into the foreseeable future.

If you’re looking for a skillet that’s got a little heft to it and won’t need replacing anytime soon, then this Made In Cookware Frying pan might just be your new favorite skillet!


Well-built, all-business, and with excellent conduction and heat-distribution, this Italian beauty is a joy to use in the kitchen and you’ll be enjoying the perks for many years to come.


It’s not as cost-effective as some of our other options showcased today, so this may not be the best skillet if you’re on a tight budget.

3. Delarlo Whole body Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 10-inch Frying Pan with Lid

DELARLO Whole body Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 10inch Frying Pan With Lid, Oven safe induction skillet,Suitable for All Stove (Detachable Handle)…

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If you prefer your skillet to have a handy lid, then Delarlo has got you covered with this lovely Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 10 inch frying pan with lid. Measuring 3.38 x 11.18 x 11.25 inches and weighing a substantial 4.5 pounds, it’s definitely a solid piece of cookware.

The tri-ply design does feature aluminum, but keeps it safely sandwiched between a bottom layer of steel and an 18/8 stainless steel cooking surface, so that you get the benefits without the fear of leaching aluminum.

This pan also has an ergonomic handle, safely double bolted in place, so that as it eventually loosens from use you can simply tighten it right back up, and the glass lid lets you watch your cooking while it helps to seal in more of the flavor!

All in all, it’s a pretty fine piece of cookware, courtesy of Delarlo!


This is an amazing pan for the price. It heats evenly and well, and we really like the option to tighten up the handle – Usually with economy-friendly pans the handle is the first to go, but you can get more mileage with this design.


Some folks like a hefty pan, but for others this might be a deterrence.

4. KitchenAid Stainless Steel Frying Pan, 12 Inch

KitchenAid Stainless Steel Frying Pan/Skillet, 12 Inch, Brushed Stainless Steel

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Our final fryer is this KitchenAid 12-inch Stainless Steel Frying pan that gives you a lot of room to work with if you feel like whipping-up a substantial fry. Measuring in at 11.9 x 11.8 x 3 inches and weighing only 3.05 pounds, you get the strength of steel without a lot of added weight.

Easy to clean and oven safe up to 400 degrees, the KitchenAid features a silicone grip handle for cool handling, and said handle is double-riveted into place so that it’s gonna stay there! Like our other offerings that incorporate aluminum, in this pan it’s safely between two layers of steel.

This way you get all the perks without any risk of leaching or incompatibility with induction stoves. If you need a good-sized skillet for reliable frying, searing, or sautéing, the KitchenAid won’t let you do!


It’s a solid pan that heats well and evenly, and we really like the silicone handles – they work – so you’ll have less worry about grabbing a hot handle and potential accidents.


Stainless-steel ‘purists’ may not like that silicone handle and prefer a more uniform build – whether or not that’s the case for you is purely a judgment call on your part!

Stainless Steel Stock Pots

Remember, the best choice for cookware is one that maintains temperature changes efficiently, like this pot, ideal for everything from slow-cooked stews to rapidly boiling water.

5. KitchenAid Stainless Steel 8-quart Stockpot with Measuring Marks and Lid

KitchenAid Stainless Steel Stockpot with Measuring Marks and Lid, 8 Quart, Brushed Stainless Steel

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Our first stock is this 8-quart stainless steel model from KitchenAid and it’s a brushed-steel beauty. Measuring 13.5″D x 9.5″W x 9.5″H, this stock pot weighs a respectable 6.24 pounds, so you can tell right away that it’s going to last. It also has a handy glass lid, so that you can keep an eye on your food!

This stockpot, like our other top picks, is free of heavy metals, aligning with growing health concerns about non-stick cookware and toxic chemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid.

Measurement marks are stamped inside to help ensure that your recipes may be performed perfectly and silicon grip handles are riveted firmly in place and do a great job making sure that you don’t burn your hands when you need to move your stew or soup.

An aluminum core in the base also ensures even heating, while keeping that aluminum isolated from your food. If you want a robust 8 quart stock pot that does its job well and won’t need replacement anytime soon, then this KitchenAid definitely delivers!


It’s a robust stock pot and with the built-in measurements and stay-cool silicone handles, it’s one you’ll enjoy using.


If you have a large family, then 8-quarts may be inadequate for your needs and you’ll need a larger KitchenAid model.

6. Cooks Standard Stock Pots Stainless Steel, 11 Quart Professional Grade Stock Pot with Lid

Cooks Standard Stockpots Stainless Steel, 11 Quart Professional Grade Stock Pot with Lid, Silver

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Need something a little larger? Well, feast your eyes on this Cooks Standard 11-quart stockpot! Measuring in at 9.4″D x 13″W x 9.4″H and weighing just 5.25 pounds, it’s made of durable 8/10 stainless steel and features a nice, thick bottom – just like you want in a good stock pot.

That magnetic base also contains an aluminum disc, sandwiched between the stainless steel for so that you get better heat distribution and conductivity, but also induction stove compatibility. The handles are also stainless steel, securely riveted in place, so that the entire stockpot is durable and robust.

If you like the classic look and reliability of stainless steel, then this Cooks Standard might just be your new favorite stock pot!


You’ll get a lot of mileage off of this pot and we like the thick base – you won’t be burning your stew or soup unless you really work hard at it. Aside from its great utility, it’s also easy on the eyes, and you won’t mind showing it off in the kitchen.


Stainless steel handles heat up pretty quickly – better use your mitts with this pot or consider a model with some wrapping built into the handles.

7. Cook N Home 16 Quart Stockpot with Lid, Stainless Steel

Cook N Home 16 Quart Stockpot with Lid, Stainless Steel

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Our final stock pot is this Cook N Home 16-quart Stainless Steel number with a handy see-through lid. Measuring at 12″D x 14″W x 8.6″H and weighing a respectable 7 pounds, it can certainly take a beating, and it’s oven safe up to 500 degrees without the lid and 350 with.

Like most of our other entries, the aluminum in this model is in the form of a disc, sandwiched between layers of steel so that it will not leach into food, but only provide superior conductivity. The steel itself is 18/10 gauge, so it’s a nice, heavy quality that won’t easily dent or otherwise deform.

The lid is made of tempered glass and features a steam vent and the handles are all stainless steel and securely riveted so that they’ll stay in place through years of happy use. Overall, it’s a tough pot with serious capacity and it’s definitely priced to go!


If you need a shiny, high-capacity stock pot that you can get long years of use out of, then you’ve come to the right place with this Cook N Home.


If you’re short on space then a smaller model might be a better fit – this is a whole lot of pot and you’ll need to store it – and for some folks that might be a dealbreaker.

Stainless Steel Saucepans

Whether you’re using an induction cooktop or a traditional heat source, this type of cookware maintains the integrity of your food, ensuring that it goes from room temperature to cooking heat safely.

8. Cuisinart 1 Quart Saucepan w/Cover, Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Collection

Cuisinart 1 Quart Saucepan w/Cover, Chef's Classic Stainless Steel Cookware Collection, 719-14

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Our first stainless steel saucepan is this Cuisinart 1-quart that’s petite but built to take a beating. Part of their Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel Cookware collection, this saucepan measures 6.5″D x 12.5″W x 4.5″H and weighs 1.57 pounds.

Safely sandwiched inside the thick base is an aluminum disc, to provide more efficient heat distribution without touching your food, and cool grip stainless steel handles are firmly riveted into place to finalize this fine piece of Cuisinart efficiency. It’s small, but mighty, and great for personal saucepan needs.


Cuisinart is known for their quality and this little saucepan is no exception to that rule. It’s durable, heats well, and won’t be falling apart on you anytime in the foreseeable future.


The 1-quart capacity might not cut it for everyone and if you have a family or a lot of folks to entertain, a bigger saucepan will be a better fit.

9. AVACRAFT 2.5 quart Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid

AVACRAFT Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid, Two Side Spouts for Easy Pour with Ergonomic Handle, Multipurpose Sauce Pot (Tri-Ply Capsule Bottom, 2.5 Quart)

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This lovely and useful 2.5 quart saucepan comes from AvaCraft and it performs as good as it looks! Measuring at 8 x 14.5 x 7.5 inches and weighing 2.6 pounds, it’s got a lot of heft for a saucepan it’s size, and it’s also packed with useful features.

For one thing, that lid has strainer holes, to save you from fishing out your strainer when you make a little pasta. Measurement marks inside the saucepan also help you follow recipes to a T, and while it does incorporate 2 aluminum layers, they are safely inside the 5 ply metal array for superior heating.

The steel itself is quality 18/10 and the handles are made of it as well, riveted nicely and snugly into place for a solid grip, and the lid has a silicone covering so that you can remove it when you like without getting burnt. There’s even a pour spout on one side for easy content transfer!

All in all, it’s a good-looking saucepan that doesn’t skimp on features, so if you like a lot of utility in your cookware, then AvaCraft has got you covered!


Handsome and handy, with the pour spout, measurements, see-through lid, and solid layers of steel to safely house the aluminum, it’s a fantastic saucepan at a price that definitely won’t break the bank.


The only problem here might be the size – everything else is great, but if 2.5 quarts is too much or too little for your needs, then another model is going to be the better choice.

10. Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 4-Quart Covered Saucepot

Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 4-Quart Covered Saucepot - - Silver

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If you’re looking for a saucepan with a lot of room to work with, this Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 4-quart covered saucepot might be just about a perfect fit. Measuring 10.5″D x 10.6″W x 6.6″H and weighing a lightweight 2.8 pounds, it’s easy to handle but strong enough to do the job right.

Oven safe to 350 degrees, the mirror polished stainless steel does feature an aluminum core at the base, layered in the steel to keep it out of your food. It also has an opaque lid with a heat-resistant handle so that you can check on the pot’s contents as you like without burning your hand.

It’s lightweight, stylish, heats-evenly, and has enough capacity to accommodate larger recipes – and at the price, it’s also one heck of a bargain!


This is a good-looking saucepot that gives you a lot of capacity and which performs well in the kitchen.


We would have liked it to be a little heavier, although the lighter weight may be more of a perk to some folks out there. It’s really a judgment call.


We’ve covered different types of cookware, including those without layers of aluminum, ensuring the safest cookware for everyday use.

It’s almost time for us to wrap things up and give you our verdict on the products we’ve reviewed today, but before we do, here are a few frequently asked questions we wanted to address.

Let’s take a look and then we’ll get to our finale!

What does stainless steel with an aluminum core mean?

What this means is that aluminum is present, however it is in the form of a disc inside the base of the cookware, between layers of steel or other metals, such as copper. This keeps it away from your food, but allows for better distribution and faster conductivity of heat.

It also helps to prevent random ‘hot spots’ on the cookware and is a safe way to incorporate aluminum into a design, as the surrounding layers would have to be scratched to the point of exposing the aluminum in order for there to be any chance of it leaching into food.

Which is better: aluminum or stainless steel for cooking?

While 50% of the cookware on the market is made of aluminum, the chief advantages of this are simply that it’s lightweight and that it heats very fast. Stainless steel, however, has the advantage that it will work on induction stoves, and that once it’s heated, it will retain that heat longer.

It’s also more durable and that brushed or mirror-polished look is definitely easy on the eyes. So, in a nutshell, with stainless steel you get better durability, better heat retention, and a better-looking piece of cookware.

What are the disadvantages of aluminum pans?

While it heats fast, it also cools pretty fast, but aluminum also has the disadvantage of reacting with acidic foods. Vinegar and citrus fruits, for instance, can react with the aluminum and actually cause some seepage of aluminum into the food.

Aluminum pans won’t work with induction stoves, either, unless they have a specially engineered base. While aluminum still makes up 50% of the cookware on the market, the times are changing – stainless steel, copper, and layered alloys are slowly becoming the more popular market option.

The Verdict

Now that we’ve reviewed these 10 fantastic stainless steel cookware options, it’s time for us to talk about our 3 favorites and what we liked about them. If another piece of cookware caught your eye – don’t worry – they’re all fantastic options, these were just OUR favorites for the day.

With that little disclaimer out of the way, here are our favorites and what we liked about them!

Made In Cookware – 10-Inch Stainless Steel Frying Pan – 5 Ply Stainless Clad

Made in Italy, by a company called ‘Made In’ Cookware, this 10-inch stainless steel frying pan gives you 5-ply quality, with the top layer of metal being 430 stainless steel. You end up with 7.5 inches of cooking space to work with a very workable weight of just 2.25 pounds.

This is the kind of skillet that’s built to last, and it has an 18 inch stay-cool handle so that you’ll have plenty of control as you Saute, sear, or simply fry-up your favorite meals.

While it does cost a little more than the other skillets we reviewed today, it’s definitely worth it in the long run to have a frying pan in your kitchen that looks beautiful and definitely won’t let you down1

KitchenAid Stainless Steel 8 Quart Stockpot with Measuring Marks and Lid

The KitchenAid Stainless Steel 8-Quart Stock pot is off to a good start already with its weight – 6.24 pounds – so you know that you’re not getting something flimsy. This brushed stainless steel beauty has an 8 quart capacity, as well as nice little features like measurement marks and silicon wrapped handles.

Heat resistant up to 400 degrees without the lid and 350 with it, you can stick this in the oven when you like, and when you want to check on your food the shatterproof glass lid lets you peek right inside. It’s not super fancy, just good-looking, useful, and THICK — exactly what you want in a good stock pot!

AVACRAFT 2.5 quart Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid

Our final favorite is this AvaCraft 2.5-quart stainless steel saucepan and it’s full of features to make your life easier.

Starting off, it’s built durably, with 18/10 food grade stainless steel, but you also get handy features like a shatterproof strainer lid, a pour spout for easy emptying of contents, and measurement marks inside to allow you to follow your recipes perfectly.

The 5 ply construction also ensures that the aluminum present in modern cookware never gets anywhere near your food. Instead, you get superior heating and stainless steel protection and durability for an efficient, clean cooking experience!

That’s all the time that we have for today, but we hope you’ve enjoyed our exploration of the best stainless steel cookware without aluminum.

As you can see, the trick is in ensuring that you’ve got layers of steel keeping that aluminum away, as 99% of cookware produced today utilizes it in some form or fashion. Layered safely in the steel, you can get all the perks without the pitfalls and the lasting durability and reliability of stainless steel.

Remember, when choosing your new cookware, consider factors like even heat distribution, compatibility with different types of stoves, and the grade of stainless steel to avoid health issues. Look for features like stay-cool handles, glass lids, and whether the product offers a lifetime warranty.

Thanks so much for visiting and we hope to see you again soon!