Most of us follow a similar path when outfitting our kitchens. When we are young, we tend to gravitate toward cheap and plentiful utensils.
This usually means plastic items that we can find at any store and easily replace when we break or melt them.
As we age, we begin to appreciate quality over quantity and want our possessions to make a statement. Few things coordinate better with any color or pattern than shiny silver.
And what’s shiny and silver and reliable in the kitchen? Stainless steel, of course!
This material is hugely popular in kitchens across the world and for good reason. It is sturdy, it works hard, and it looks good doing it.
As with most things in life, though, not all stainless steel utensils are created equal. Thanks to the internet, globalization, and the popularity of cooking shows, we are awash in options.
Many of you question how to select the “right” utensils for your needs.
We understand because we have been there. That’s why we wrote this review.
Read on to learn all that you need to know about the best stainless steel utensils on the market today.
Quick-view: Our Top 5 Picks
|1.||OXO Good Grips||Spatula||
|2.||StarPack Basics||2 tongs||
|3.||All-Clad TSET1||5-piece set||
|4.||Culinary Couture||6-piece set||
|5.||Home Hero||29-piece set||
Stainless Steel Utensil Types
Stainless steel is an alloy of several metals. Each metal serves a specific purpose and improves the overall quality of the alloy.
The most common components are iron, carbon, chromium, and nickel. Stainless steel utensils are differentiated by the relative quantities of these last two metals.
The two most common types, or “grades,” are 18/10 and 18/8. These numbers represent the relative percentage of chromium and nickel, respectively, in the steel.
Why is This Important?
Chromium imparts hardness as well as rust resistance. Nickel enhances the corrosion resistance and provides a silver-like shine.
In other words, the higher the nickel content, the more luster your utensils will have. Now, back to those numbers.
18/10 is the most common grade of stainless steel cookware in general. This grade applies to utensils, as well.
The majority of the time, you will see this number stamped somewhere on your utensils or indicated on their box.
18/8 is less common but still popular. Keep in mind that this version of stainless steel includes less nickel, so the products will be less resistant to corrosion and be less shiny than the 18/10 options.
Stainless Steel Utensils Come in Two Main Types
Fully Stainless Steel
Fully stainless steel utensils are just what they sound like. These are generally the sleekest-looking options.
They are also more durable because they are usually constructed of a single piece of steel, making it less likely that parts will fall off.
Stainless Steel with Other Materials
It is very common to see cooking utensils made out of a base of stainless steel with other materials added on. This design can be for both utility and aesthetic purposes.
Silicone tips might be added to pad the ends of the utensils and prevent them from scratching other cookware. Plastic might be added to handles to increase comfort.
Anything can be added to improve the look of a piece and increase its sale ability.
Our Top 10 Best Stainless Steel Utensils
1. OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Turner
This sleek slotted spatula from OXO makes a great addition to any kitchen. Its handle edges curve under slightly and cradle a soft, non-slip grip that makes using it feel effortless.
It combines well with any decor and won’t melt or bend like flimsier options. While most most people will love its look and functionality, some may feel that the advertising is deceiving.
Photos make this spatula appear to be of solid metal, but the handle underside is plastic and can come unglued.
Another drawback is that it may not work well for pans less than 10 inches in diameter. Overall, though, you should be highly satisfied with its look and performance.
- Its dimensions are 13-1/2-inches long with a 3-1/4-inch-wide slotted head
- A soft, non-slip grip on the lower 5 inches of the underside provides comfort
- The handles have a hole for hanging storage
- It easily sits on top of pots without burning
- Other pieces are available to make a set
- This spatula is the larger side, so it can be difficult for smaller users to maneuver.
- The front edge is not tapered, making it hard to get under some food
2. Daily Kitchen Stainless Steel Spatula
This spatula offers a handle with even more comfort than the OXO option. Its silicone grip encapsulates the entire end of the handle, not just on the bottom.
This design feature means that you can use this spatula even with wet hands. It’s the perfect length to keep you safe from whatever heat source you’re using while maintaining control over your food.
Plus, its modern design has a thin blade edge that slides under food with ease. What more could you ask for?
You may end up having an appreciation for the handles design. This spatula hits the sweet spot between flimsy and burdensome.
- 14.25 x 3.25 x 2 inches in size
- The stainless steel metal core is coated with flexible silicone that is BPA-free, FDA-approved, and LFGB-certified
- Comes with a 100% full warranty and money-back guarantee
- Some find the handle to be too long
- The end of this spatula is too flimsy for heavier items
3. StarPack Basics Silicone Kitchen Tongs
It’s shocking how popular these tongs are. We initially intended to only review spatulas, but these tongs had such a great reputation that we felt compelled to give them a go.
StarPack’s set of two tongs offer the best grip and control available, and they won’t melt or rust. They are made with extra thick 1.00mm stainless steel and feature a ring-pull locking system that will preserve functionality for years to come.
The smaller tongs measure 9 inches long (10″ including lock) and the larger tongs measure 12 inches long(13″ including lock).
You will love how gently these tongs treat their pans while still securely grabbing all different types of food. You may also appreciate the free bonus ‘101 Cooking Tips’ PDF that comes with purchase.
- Made with high-quality FDA-grade silicone that has been safety-tested and guaranteed 100% BPA-free
- These tongs have no removable parts for bacteria to grow in and won’t scratch your pans
- There are no seams or cracks to trap food, making clean up a breeze
- 100% money-back guarantee
- Sharp edges along the side that can cut fingers
- Silicone can start to degrade and break off after time
4. Culinary Couture Kitchen Utensil Set
Pure stainless steel is undeniably classy and appealing, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting a pop of color from your kitchen utensils, too.
This 6-piece set of spoons and spatula is engineered from 304-grade stainless steel and food-grade silicone to hit that sweet spot between style and heavy-duty design.
We love the bold colors (you have 13 to choose from!). We are also impressed with the silicone, it is top-notch quality.
- The ergonomic silicone handles prevent nasty burns and offer maximum precision
- The pieces are stylish and color-coordinated
- Comes in 13 different colors
- Larger than most utensils sold in stores
- May be too large for some people
5. All-Clad TSET1 Stainless Steel Kitchen Tool Set
America’s favorite stainless steel cookware manufacturer also makes this nifty little utensil set. Everything is made of 100% heavy 18/10 stainless steel polished to a mirror finish.
While All-Clad products are always popular, you may take issue with the ergonomics of these pieces, they can be uncomfortable to hold and use.
Another complaint we have is that this famously “made in America” brand outsources manufacturing of its utensils to China.
- 100% stainless steel
- Same reliable quality as all All-Clad products
- Tool handles grooved on top, rounded on bottom for comfort
- Lifetime warranty against defects
- Quite expensive
- Made in China, unlike the pots and pans from the same company
- May scratch other cookware
6. Amco 8796 Stainless Steel 5-Piece Utensil Set
Crafted from top-grade material, these utensils are superbly balanced and weighted for comfort. They possess an easy grip and are useful for all types of cooking.
Each handle is approximately 14 inches long, which makes them perfect for reaching into deep pots and keeping your hands away from heat sources.
You will appreciate the versatility and stylishness of this set. Another upside is their rust resistance and consistent performance. One drawback may be that the set doesn’t come with a fork.
- Stylish design
- Innovative, intuitive tools that are easy to use
- Pieces are designed to be lightweight while resisting flexing and bending
- They work well both inside the home and outside on the grill
- The handles have a hole for hanging storage
- Great value
- Very lightweight
- Handles are uncomfortable
7. Darware 10-Piece Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils Set
This fully stainless steel set is the adult version of Amco’s 5-piece offering. It goes beyond the basics to offer tools for the more advanced cooks among you.
The variety of pieces is what drew us to this set. Most utensil sets of this quantity stick to the standard spoon and spatula equation, with possibly a fork thrown in for good measure.
This set boasts useful pieces such as a potato masher and whisk that you would usually have to purchase individually. And for those of you who are tired of things made in China, these are manufactured in India.
- 100% stainless steel
- Multi-use tools that are perfect for cooking, grilling, prep, and serving
- The handles have a hole for hanging storage
- On the thinner side
8. Alpha Grillers Heavy Duty Barbeque Grilling Tools Set
If outdoor grilling is more your style than cooking in the kitchen, you can still take advantage of the benefits of stainless steel.
This 4-piece grill set is made of extra-thick solid stainless steel. The pieces are perfect for just about anything you want to cook on a grill.
The massive spatula head flips even the biggest burgers with ease. The sharp fork tines are perfect for skewering and double as a bottle opener.
Scalloped tongs to allow you to handle delicate foods like fish, without tearing them.
While you should be thrilled with this set, you may not be too happy with the spring mechanism on the tongs. It is a bit flimsy and may be prone to problems.
- The fork and spatula are each made of a single piece of thick stainless steel
- The long reach lets you reach the back of the grill without singing your arms
- Contoured rubber grips ensure comfort
- Moderately priced
- Lifetime money-back guarantee
- Serrations on spatula are not designed for left-handed people
- Pieces are considerably heavier than the majority of similar products
- Rubber handles are glued on
9. Chef Essential’s Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil 23-Piece S
For those of you who like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, this utensil set is for you. It’s 23 pieces are made from 304-grade stainless steel to ensure longevity.
All pieces except the measuring cups also come with a non-slip grip handle for safe handling.
This professional-grade steel is made to last a lifetime and is resistant to warping, staining, pitting, and bending.
The slim design makes it the perfect starter set for smaller homes. The value and quality of this set really comes across.
- Includes everything you need to cook an elaborate meal in one set
- Items such as an ice cream scoop, can opener, and cheese grater usually have to be purchased separately but are included here
- Stylish design
- Lifetime warranty
- The potato masher is weak and bends easily
- The handles can detach
10. Home Hero Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil Set
If you thought that the previous utensil set was as good as it gets, you were wrong. Home Hero offers 29 pieces in this monstrous utensil set that will have you prepared for any culinary challenge that comes your way.
This set is ideal for both new homeowners and young adults who’ve recently set out on their own. It’s also great for those looking to up-level their kitchen to a sleek gourmet look.
Aside from the undeniable allure of having so many tools at your disposal, you should also appreciation the company’s stellar customer service.
When anything goes wrong or arrives in an imperfect state, the company has treated its customers well and addressed their concerns adequately.
- A wide variety of items
- Pieces are crafted with high-quality stainless steel and silicone
- Attentive customer service
- Quality varies among the pieces
- The can opener breaks easily
- Difficult to use for left-handed people
Buying Factors to Consider
Before purchasing an stainless steel utensils, there are a few things you’ll want to think about to help you make a purchase you’ll be happy with.
Sets or Individual Pieces?
This decision largely depends on how well your kitchen is already stocked. If you are recently starting out or are looking to revamp your kitchen style completely, you may want to consider large utensil sets.
If you only want to upgrade a few items, a small set makes the most sense. And, if you already have good-quality items or are on a tight budget, individual pieces are your best bet.
Will You Use Them?
This question is something that many people fail to consider when purchasing kitchen items.
That 29-piece set may look incredible and be priced well, but are you going to use most of those utensils?
If you are only an occasional cook or your recipe repertoire consists mostly of meals like spaghetti and meatballs, you may want to stick with a basic set.
But, if you are a culinary whiz (or at least want to appear that way), purchase that large set.
Are you more of a baker or a griller? Stainless steel for BBQ tool sets are a world all their own. But if you grill, investing in a good set will go along way to easier outdoor cooking.
Perhaps you make and eat a lot of soup. Having a few deep, quality ladles in your kitchen is definitely a must.
What you cook most matters when choosing utensils. Aside from simply choosing a piece or set that you will use frequently, you may also want to consider duplicates.
There’s no shame in wanting two different tongs for your salad and your meat.
Another detail that often gets overlooked when shopping for utensils is storage. Do you have enough counter space to display that nice set that comes with the sleek caddy?
If you’re planning to hang your tools, do they come with appropriately-sized holes?
No one likes to waste money. Luckily, most of the utensils we have reviewed are quite reasonably priced.
But, as we see with the All-Clad option, it is possible to spend quite a bit of money on your stainless steel utensils.
So, make sure the monetary investment merits the value that these utensils will provide you.
Stainless Steel Utensil Features
One of the most important reasons to choose stainless steel cookware over other types of cookware is its safety.
Quality stainless steel is non-reactive, meaning that it won’t leach metals or toxins into your food.
Since most stainless steel includes a small amount of nickel, those with specific sensitivities should choose nickel-free options.
You can read more about stainless steel cookware safety if you’d like to learn a more.
Stainless steel is very corrosion-resistant. If you choose good-quality utensils and treat them nicely, you can expect to get years and even decades of use out of them.
Plus, there is no protective coating to worry about maintaining. Just be careful about scratches.
Unlike plastic and wooden utensils, stainless steel items are incredibly heat tolerant. In fact, most can handle temperatures up to 400-500 degrees.
Of course, each item is unique and pieces with plastic or other additions may not be as durable, so check individual specifications to avoid any accidents.
Many companies these days offer “stainless steel” products that are not 100% stainless steel.
This could refer to a handle that has a plastic or silicone attachment or a set that includes cheap plastic items among the truly stainless steel items.
While these are not necessarily bad things, they do tend to change the overall durability of your purchase.
One of the great things about stainless steel utensils is that they come in so many variations.
Sure, you can buy a typical ladle or spatula. Those things are necessary and important.
More about Stainless Steel and Utensils
Stainless steel first came on the American cookware scene in the first half of the 20th century. Before that, aluminum and cast iron were the reigning kings of cookware material.
But as scientists began to discover the potential dangers of aluminum cookware and people grew tired of cast iron”s finickiness, stainless steel began its ascent.
These days you may hear talk about the “dangers” posed by stainless steel utensils. While it is true that the vast majority of manufacturers use metals with known toxicity concerns in their stainless steel products, you really have nothing to fear.
Aluminum and nickel are two of the metals most cited for concern. But these metals are used in relatively small quantities, and stainless steel products are crafted in such a way as to virtually ensure that no leaching will occur.
Here Are Some Other Good Things to Know About Stainless Steel Utensils:
How to decide between 18/10 and 18/8 grades:
Choosing between 18/10 and 18/8 stainless steel grades shouldn’t be too difficult because the vast majority of utensils are made out of the 18/10 variety.
As we explained above, the second number denotes nickel content. Nickel improves corrosion resistance and luster, both traits that you should value in utensils.
Two reasons that you might prefer 18/8 grade are if you have a severe nickel allergy or if you are trying to save money. This grade contains slightly less nickel than its counterpart and is also usually cheaper.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Utensils:
Treat them well. Don’t use them for things they are not designed for.
Clean them promptly and appropriately after use and dry them to avoid water spots.
Respect the usage guidelines included in the packaging, especially regarding temperature limits.
How to Care for Your Utensils:
Caring for stainless steel items is not difficult, but it is important. One great thing about these utensils is that you don’t have to season them like you do their fellow pots and pans of the same material.
Thoroughly cleaning these utensils and properly storing them will go a long way to preserving their lifespan.
- Let them cool down: To properly clean them, you’ll first want to allow them to cool completely. Exposing your stainless steel to extreme changes in temperature can cause warping.
This is a particular concern for utensils because they are much thinner and more delicate than a multi-quart pot, for example.
- Rinse and wash: Once cooled, rinse your utensils to remove large pieces of food. Then wash them with warm, soapy water to detach any stubbornly stuck-on food.
Make sure to use gentle detergents and sponges so as not to scratch or otherwise damage the utensils.
- Dry them off: Lastly, dry your items and store them in a safe place.
- Hand wash only: You may have noticed that we did not mention the dishwasher. While most if not all of our items reviewed in this article state that they are dishwasher-safe, we feel that hand-washing is the safer alternative.
It may take more time, but you will ensure that no food remains in any crevices.
Plus, the more gentle treatment will preserve the luster and resilience of your utensils for much longer. Dishwashers are simply more abrasive than hand-washing will ever be.
Best Stainless Steel Utensils Brands
All-Clad and OXO Are the Two Best-Known Brands on Our List
All-Clad is an American company that produces high-end stainless steel products. Founder John Ulam – a metallurgist – started the company in 1971 after acquiring more than 50 patents for various bonded metal products.
When he realized that some of these patents could be applied to kitchen products, a culinary revolution was born.
Unfortunately, while the majority of its products are still made in Pennsylvania, the company outsources production of its utensils to China.
On the other end of the price spectrum is OXO. It is also incredibly popular, particularly for kitchen utensils.
The company claims to look at everyday objects and activities and find ways to make things easier, simpler, designed more thoughtfully.
They design tools to fit in both your hand and your life.
Q: Are products made in China automatically toxic?
A: No. But because regulations are different in China and the US (usually being more lax in China), there is always a risk that you could be purchasing harmful products.
The US is not immune from issues relating to product toxicity, either. The best thing that you can do is stick to quality brands that have a reputation for safety, no matter where they produce their products.
Q: Why do I keep getting water spots on my utensils?
A: The three most likely culprits are the following:
- Not drying your utensils completely
- Not using an appropriate cleaner (see above for info)
- Using hard water (tap water)
As with all stainless steel and their non-stick capabilities, if you handle them correctly. So with water spots, they can be avoided by just wiping down your utensils following use.
Q: Will these utensils scratch my stainless steel pans?
A: It is possible for utensils with stainless steel edges to superficially scratch other stainless steel.
These scratches don’t pose and danger and won’t cause metal leaching, though.
If you are someone who does a lot of stirring or poking around your stainless steel frying pan when cooking with stainless steel, you might want to consider utensils with silicone tips to prevent any superficial damage.
Choosing the best stainless steel utensils can be a bit daunting. Since you likely plan to keep these items for many years to come, you want something reliable and functional but also stylish and aesthetically pleasing.
These ten pieces and sets that we have reviewed offer a variety of options for you, whether you are looking to purchase a single piece, a small set, or an entire kitchen’s worth of utensils.
Whichever you choose, we are confident that you will be pleased with your stainless steel selection for a long time.