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6 Best Cooking Utensils for Stainless Steel Cookware ‒ Guide

6 Best Cooking Utensils for Stainless Steel Cookware
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Is it better to use certain types of cooking utensils with stainless steel pots and pans? Is one spatula or spoon better than another?

With seemingly endless utensil (and cookware) options, it can be tricky to know which is best. In particular, the best cooking utensils for stainless steel cookware…

Luckily, stainless steel pans are tough, so you can use them with most utensils.

But, as with most things, each type of utensil has its pros and cons.

To help you out, we weighed the benefits and challenges of each and found the six best utensils for stainless steel cookware.

Come along with us as we review the most common utensil materials, exploring their positives and negatives so you can find the best cooking tool for you (and your cookware, of course!).

Jump to a Section

What utensils should I use with stainless steel?

Some types of cookware are notoriously finicky (looking at you, non-stick pans!).

Stainless steel cookware, on the other hand, is wonderfully versatile.

It’s made from steel enriched with chromium and nickel, making it resistant to rust and acidic foods. It’s also free from pesky, fragile coatings and, to put it simply, is nearly impossible to damage.

While you can use any utensil safely with stainless steel cookware, each material has its benefits.

Before we get into the finer details, here are some quick pros and cons of different types of cooking utensils:

What-utensils-should-I-use-with-stainless-steel

Okay, now let’s dive into the details!

Wood

Wooden spoons are a real classic – for a reason! Not only is wood naturally bacteria-resistant, it’s also durable, especially when cared for properly (more on that soon).

Wooden utensils are a popular choice for delicate cookware (i.e., non-stick pans) as they don’t create scratches. Yet, they’re rigid enough to rid stuck-on food. Wood is biodegradable, too, making wooden utensils a good choice for the environmentally conscious.

Finally, wood is an excellent choice for comfort, as it poorly conducts heat. The utensil handles don’t get too hot, even when left sitting on a hot steel pan!

However, wood utensils are porous and can “soak up” food flavors and stain quite easily. Wood also can’t go in the dishwasher, so it’s a bit higher maintenance.

To keep your wooden utensils in tip-top shape, dry them immediately after washing. This helps avoid cracks (which make them even harder to clean). Also, try rubbing your tools with a food-safe mineral oil or beeswax every six months.

Jump to our #1 wood pick.

Bamboo

Bamboo is more like grass than wood. It’s a biodegradable material that regrows naturally (and quickly) once harvested, making it highly sustainable.

Bamboo cooking utensils are also durable, lightweight, and heat-resistant, making them easy and comfortable to use. Its sleek texture won’t scratch non-stick cookware, either.

Another benefit to bamboo is hygiene—

Unlike many conventional kinds of wood, bamboo is resistant to water, stains, and odors. Its properties discourage bacterial growth and make the tool easier to clean.

However, some bamboo tools use a toxic glue called melamine-formaldehyde resin to stick pieces together. So if you choose bamboo utensils, make sure they’re carved from a single chunk of bamboo rather than glued together.

Bamboo utensils shouldn’t go in the dishwasher (to prevent swelling).

Jump to our #1 bamboo utensil pick, or read more about bamboo dinnerware in our Guide to Bamboo Plates for Kids.

Silicone

Stainless steel cookware can reach incredibly high temperatures, often when searing. Your tools must keep up without melting!

Silicone utensils are incredibly heat-resistant (up to 650°F), so they’re excellent for high-heat cooking.

Silicone is also unique because of its non-toxic, chemically-stable nature. It does not leach chemicals into food when heated like plastic often does. It’s also flexible, making it easier to scrape food in the corners of pans. And the soft, non-scratch texture won’t damage any pan, including non-stick.

But silicone has a downside. While it’s more environmentally friendly than plastic (see below), silicone is made of silica, a nonrenewable resource. Its production requires burning fossil fuels to process silica into usable material.

Also, keep silicone away from sharp objects, as it can tear more easily than rigid materials.

Jump to our top choice for silicone utensils.

Nylon / Plastic

When it comes to affordability, plastic or nylon (a type of plastic) utensils are where it’s at. They’re dishwasher-safe and also flexible, which makes cooking delicate foods easier.

But, plastic utensils come with a host of problems. First, they melt quite easily, causing the tool to deform. Food also tends to stick to plastic utensils, making cleanup more difficult.

Lastly, plastic can introduce dangerous chemicals into your food, such as BPA or phthalates. Buying “phthalate and BPA-free” plastic utensils can be a better option, but BPA-free plastic’s safety is controversial. So, we recommend avoiding plastic if you can.

Jump to our #1 plastic utensil pick.

Can you use metal utensils on stainless steel?

Yes! You can use metal utensils on stainless steel, but you must keep a few things in mind.

Most metal utensils today are made from stainless steel. And like stainless steel pots and pans, these tools are incredibly durable and heat-tolerant.

Steel utensils won’t chip, bend, or leave rust-colored stains behind. These are just a few reasons stainless steel is the #1 utensil choice for professional chefs.

As an added benefit, stainless steel is eco-friendly and low-impact, as the material is 100% recyclable!

But, steel can get hot to the touch. So many cooks use stainless steel utensils with silicone handles to prevent discomfort.

Metal utensils may also cause small micro scratches on steel cookware, though this shouldn’t affect performance, only dull the appearance. You can opt for silicone-tipped steel utensils to prevent scratching.

Do not use stainless steel utensils on non-stick cookware, however. It could scratch through the coatings and expose you to toxic chemicals.

Jump to our pick for the best stainless steel utensils.

Top 6 Best Cooking Utensils for Stainless Steel Cookware

Here are our picks of the best cooking utensils for stainless steel cookware. From wood spatulas to metal slotted spoons, you’ll find what you need here.

1. Best Wood Cooking Utensils: OXO Good Grips Wooden Cooking Utensil Set

best-wood-cooking-utensil
Source: OXO & Amazon
  • Material: Beechwood
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Price: $16.99 (when published)
  • Rating: 4.5-stars | 3,400+ Amazon reviews (when published)
  • Number of pieces: 3
  • Length: 12 3/4″

This time-tested 3-pack features a spatula, a slotted spoon, and a regular spoon. Shaped from solid beechwood with a natural oil finish, these are the best bang for your buck regarding sturdy yet elegant wooden utensils.

These are safe for both steel and non-stick cookware and feature clever designs to make the most of each tool. For example, the spoons feature straight sides to help you scrape the walls and corners of your cookware.

And to really top things off: cookware brand OXO donates a portion of each sale to environmental nonprofits.

Pros:

  • Affordable, durable, and non-scratch – suitable for any cookware.
  • Versatile straight sides to aid in scraping.

Cons:

  • Limited pieces in the set.
  • Not dishwasher-safe.

2. Best Bamboo Cooking Utensils: Lochantie Bamboo Spoons for Cooking

Source: Lochantie & Amazon
  • Material: Solid bamboo
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Price: $9.99 (when published)
  • Rating: 4.6-stars | 3,600+ Amazon reviews (when published)
  • Number of pieces: 6
  • Length: 12.2″

This 6-pack includes several handy bamboo spoons and spatulas that are easy to clean, durable, and sustainable.

Each utensil features a slightly different yet deliberate design, offering you more convenience. You’ll always have handy the best tool for your cooking needs, whether stirring, scraping, flipping or draining.

Plus, the polished wood is smooth and beautiful, making cooking more pleasant.

Most importantly, these bamboo spoons are all carved from a single piece of bamboo! And remember what we said about toxic glues? Luckily, there’s none here.

Pros:

  • Rugged, lightweight, and non-scratch – suitable for any cookware.
  • Generous set for such a low price.

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher-safe.

3. Best Silicone Cooking Utensils: SiliPot Silicone Cooking Utensils Set

Source: SiliPot & Amazon
    • Material: Korean-Made Silicone (Safest Grade with Platinum Catalyst)
    • Dishwasher-safe: Yes
    • Price: $24.99 (when published)
    • Rating: 4.9-stars | 50+ Amazon reviews (when published)
    • Number of pieces: 4
    • Length: 10″

If you want to add a splash of color to your kitchen, look no further than these silicone utensils. Available in various color combinations, this set comes with a spoon, cooking spatula, baking (scraping) spatula, and ladle.

SiliPot uses Platinum silicone, the safest, highest grade silicone available. It makes their utensils highly flexible, lightweight, non-toxic, and heat-resistant up to 482℉. Thanks to an innovative double baking process, these tools will not stain or hold odors.

Best yet, these tools make cleanup easy as all you need to do is pop them into the dishwasher!

Pros:

  • Durable, easy-cleaning, non-scratch material that’s compatible with all cookware types.
  • Dishwasher-safe.
  • Doesn’t melt or leach chemicals like plastic.

Cons:

4. Best Nylon / Plastic Cooking Utensils: Anolon SureGrip Nonstick Utensil Kitchen Cooking Tools Set

Best-Nylon-Plastic-Cooking-Utensils
Source: Anolon & Amazon
    • Material: Nylon, with stainless steel neck and silicone grip
    • Dishwasher-safe: Yes
    • Price: $44.99 (when published)
    • Rating: 4.7-stars | 800+ Amazon reviews (when published)
    • Number of pieces: 6
    • Length: 15.2″

Anolon’s SureGrip utensil set is among the most versatile out there. Thanks to nylon’s gentle texture, it won’t leave unsightly scratches on stainless steel pans. Nor will it damage non-stick coatings.

Plus, the silicone handles provide a secure grip on the tool, helping you avoid dangerous slips.

This 6-piece set includes several spatulas, spoons, and a ladle, all with different styles. Each tool’s innovative shape slides under food and into tight pan edges, helping you make the most of your kitchen utensils.

All Anolon kitchen utensils are heat-safe up to 450℉ and dishwasher-safe.

Pros:

  • Versatile, non-scratch utensils with added flexibility to aid in tight corners.

Cons:

  • Nylon utensils are prone to melting and deformation. Some foods stick and make cleanup more difficult.

5. Best Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils: All-Clad Professional Stainless Steel Kitchen Tool Set

Best-stainless-steel-cooking-utensil
Source: All-Clad & Amazon
  • Material: Stainless steel (18/10)
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes
  • Price: $119.95 (when published)
  • Rating: 4.8-stars | 800+ Amazon reviews (when published)
  • Number of pieces: 5 + stainless steel storage caddy
  • Length: 11.5″ – 13″

This set of five stainless steel cooking utensils features a ladle, spoon, slotted spoon, spatula, and carving fork. Each features a long handle, perfect for reaching into pots and pans of any size.

All-Clad crafts these tools from robust 18/10 stainless steel, a rust-proof, highly damage-resistant material. As a result, this set consistently ranks at nearly five stars for durability, comfort, and ease of cleaning.

Best of all, All-Clad stands by its products’ durability… These tools are dishwasher-safe and covered by a lifetime warranty!

Pros:

  • Versatile, unbreakable utensils that handle any task, including high-heat cooking, without melting or bending.
  • Effortless to clean.
  • Lifetime warranty.

Cons:

  • Will damage non-stick cookware.
  • Pricey, though All-Clad is undoubtedly worth it. Here’s an excellent lower-cost alternative if you’re budgeting.

6. Best Hybrid Materials Cooking Utensils: IQCWOOD Stainless Steel and Wooden Utensils Set

Best-Hybrid-Materials-Cooking-Utensils
Source: IQCWOOD & Amazon
    • Material: Stainless steel and rosewood grips
    • Dishwasher-safe: Yes
    • Price: $27.99 (when published)
    • Rating: 4.3-stars | 70+ Amazon reviews (when published)
    • Number of pieces: 5
    • Length: 13.8″ – 15″

One issue with metal utensils is that they can get hot. Enter our top “hybrid” cooking utensil set, which features stainless steel utensils with wooden handles.

By combining materials, we harness the benefits of both in one tool. You gain stainless steel’s heat resistance, durability, and anti-corrosive properties. Yet, the wooden handle slows heat transfer and keeps your skin comfortable!

Durable and non-toxic, you can put this set through its paces without damaging your tools, cookware, or health.

Each 5-piece set includes a slotted spoon, multiple spatulas, a ladle, and a spaghetti server.

Pros:

  • Versatile, unbreakable steel ideal for high-heat cooking and daily use as it won’t melt or bend.
  • Wooden handles stay cool to the touch.

Cons:

  • Will damage non-stick cookware.
  • Should not use the dishwasher in order to protect the handles from cracking. Suppose you’re looking for something more low-maintenance… In that case, you’re better off with a silicone/ stainless steel mix, such as La Cucina’s 12-piece set (complete with potato masher and whisk!).

Final Thoughts on Cooking Utensils for Stainless Steel

This all feels like a lot, I know. But when it comes to choosing the best cooking utensils for stainless steel cookware, it mostly boils down to personal preference.

If I had to pick my personal best cooking utensil for stainless steel pans, I’d choose the hybrid set above. I love the comfortable and versatile combination of wood and steel.

Decide what you value, whether that’s the ease of cleaning or affordability, and go from there!

If you get stuck, don’t forget to use our handy comparison chart to help you out.

Adam Heck
Adam Heck

Adam - the author and TGL founder - has a background in product research and design. For years, he's successfully created, produced, and sold eco-friendly, sustainable kitchenware in all fifty states. When he's not reading, cooking, or lifting, he's helping families level up their kitchen and dining gear with relevant blog posts.

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