Stainless steel is well known for its durability and high resistance to corrosion. It is these two characteristics that make it one of the favorite kitchenware materials. However, not every cooking pot that claims to be made from stainless steel is of high quality. This is because despite some pots are made using very low quality stainless steel. By looking at the pot physically you may not be able to know if quality steel was.
To ascertain the quality of the material used you can do a few simple tests at home on your own. Two simple tests that you can perform are the magnetic test and the vinegar test.
The magnetic test
To perform this test, simply take a magnet to the stainless steel kitchenware and if it sticks the pot is safe for use. If it does not stick it means that it contains nickel (which means it is austenite steel). However, you will notice that the magnet does not stick on the inside of the pot. This is because there is no fully magnetic stainless steel used to make kitchenware.
This is the most commonly used test but it is not very reliable. Besides from proving that the pot or any other utensil is made from steel it does little to show the quality of the material used. Some proponents of this method argue that the strength with which the magnet holds onto the ware will indicate the quality.
The vinegar test
Some people have different ways of testing the quality of stainless steel or the reactivity which is the main concern. One of this ways is to boil some water with a tablespoon of baking powder in the pot for some time. If the water has a metallic taste it means that the stainless steel is more reactive and hence is of lower quality.
The problem with this test is that with stainless steel the real issue is with the acidic foods. Due to this it will be prudent to taste it using an acidic food like vinegar. Repeat the test using vinegar in order to get more accurate results but leave out the water so as not to dilute the vinegar. All you will need to do is to pour a couple of tablespoons of vinegar into the pot and leave it for a while. After a few minutes you should go back and taste the vinegar if it tastes like metal then the pot is made of low quality steel. We would like to thank SizeMetal.com for providing the stainless steel sheets required for this test!
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