Stainless steel cookware is known for its durability and versatility, but is it safe to use in the oven?
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- If stainless steel cookware is oven safe
- The maximum oven-safe temperatures of the best-selling stainless steel pans
- If stainless steel pans with a non-stick coating can go into the oven
- How to determine if your pan is oven safe
- Precautions to take when using stainless steel cookware in the oven
Let’s get started.
Use the links below to navigate this guide:
- Is Stainless Steel Oven Safe? The Short Answer
- Can Non-Stick Stainless Steel Pans Go in the Oven?
- How to Know If a Stainless Steel Pan Is Oven Safe
- Are Stainless Steel Pan Lids Oven Safe?
- Precautions When Cooking With a Stainless Steel Pan in the Oven
- Bottom Line: Is Stainless Steel Cookware Oven Safe?
Let’s get straight to the question: is stainless steel cookware oven safe?
The short answer is yes. Most stainless steel cookware is oven safe, but the maximum oven-safe temperature varies by brand and collection, ranging between 400°F and 800°F. Based on my analysis of 20 different cookware collections, the average oven-safe temperature of stainless steel cookware is 500°F.
In addition, the cookware material, thickness, and construction can affect its top oven-safe temperature.
For example, stainless steel cookware with a non-stick coating usually has a lower maximum temperature. And thinner pans or pans with plastic or silicone-wrapped handles (like Farberware Classic) also have lower heat tolerances.
The table below shows the maximum oven-safe temperatures for top-selling cookware brands and collections.
|All-Clad D3 (non-stick)||500°F|
|Made In Stainless Steel||800°F|
|Misen Stainless Steel||500°F|
|Zwilling Spirit Ceramic Non-Stick||400°F|
|Henckels Clad Impulse||500°F|
|Henckels Clad Impulse Ceramic Non-Stick||400°F|
|Demeyere John Pawson||500°F|
In most cases, you can put stainless steel pans with a non-stick coating into the oven. However, the oven-safe temperature for pans with a non-stick coating is lower than most uncoated stainless steel pans.
For example, Made In offers stainless steel cookware with and without non-stick coating. The oven-safe temperature for the stainless steel cookware without a non-stick coating is 800°F compared to 500°F for pots and pans with the coating.
Similarly, as you saw in the chart above, the All-Clad D3 stainless steel cookware is oven safe to 600°F, but the maximum oven-safe temperature drops to 500°F when the non-stick coating is added.
Non-stick coatings degrade when exposed to high heat (500°F is the highest it can handle), which is why pans with this type of coating have lower oven-safe temperatures.
Additionally, when non-stick coatings like Teflon degrade, they release fumes that can cause temporary flu-like symptoms if you’re exposed for too long. Learn more in my guide to PFOA-free cookware.
How to Know If a Stainless Steel Pan Is Oven Safe
The owner’s manual is the most reliable place to find your stainless steel cookware’s oven-safe temperature. You can usually find a copy online if you’ve misplaced or thrown out the original paper version.
The manufacturer’s website might have a copy of the manual or include the oven-safe temperature in its product description or specs.
For example, Made In lists the oven-safe temperature in the product descriptions on MadeInCookware.com.
All-Clad does the same on All-Clad.com.
Contact the manufacturer directly if you can’t find the information you need online.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t rely on Amazon or other third-party retailers for accurate oven-safe temperature information.
Most of the information on those sites is uploaded by third-party sellers and is frequently incorrect or conflicts with information found in owner’s manuals or on the manufacturers’ websites.
Are Stainless Steel Pan Lids Oven Safe?
Most lids for stainless steel pans are oven-safe. However, the lid and handle materials affect its oven-safe temperature. In many cases, the lid can’t handle as much heat as the cookware.
For example, Zwilling Spirit cookware is oven-safe up to 500°F, but its tempered glass lids are only oven-safe up to 400°F.
Stainless steel lids usually have the highest oven-safe temperature limits. In many cases, the oven-safe temperature is the same for stainless steel cookware and its lids.
There are some exceptions. For example, All-Clad lids aren’t oven safe at all. I spoke with an All-Clad product specialist, and they said their stainless steel and tempered glass lids are not oven safe. The steel lids can warp, and the glass lids could explode when exposed to the heat of an oven.
The point is, in some cases, the lids that come with stainless steel cookware are oven-safe, but in other cases, they’re not. Read the product manual carefully before using your stainless steel cookware in the oven with the lid.
Although most stainless steel pans are oven safe, you still need to take precautions to avoid personal injury or damage to the cookware. Keep these tips in mind when cooking with stainless steel in the oven.
First, you should never guess or assume the oven-safe temperature. If you overheat your cookware, it could warp the steel or damage the non-stick coating.
Know Your Cookware
Additionally, cookware with a PTFE (Teflon) non-stick coating can only be heated to a specific temperature before it becomes dangerous.
According to Teflon and research studies, you should never heat stainless steel cookware with a non-stick coating in the oven above 500°F. Doing so will degrade the coating, diminish the non-stick properties, and release harmful fumes.
Have Enough Space
Make sure there is sufficient room between your oven racks to fit the pan, including the handle. If you’re moving a pot from the stovetop to the oven, the last thing you want to do is adjust the racks with a hot pan in your hand.
Change Temperature Gradually
Avoid sudden temperature changes, which could cause thermal shock and warp your cookware. For example, don’t rinse a hot stainless steel pan with cold water.
Protect yourself by always using two hands and potholders while transitioning a pan to or from the oven.
Unlike when you use a pan on the stovetop, the entire piece, including the handles, will be hot when you take it out of the oven. Also, higher temperatures in the oven can cause liquids or oil to splash.
When you remove the pan from the oven, turn the handle towards the wall. Place an oven mitt on the handle to remind yourself that it’s hot.
Don’t Use Damaged Cookware
If you notice a loose or broken handle on a stainless steel pot or pan, replace the cookware as soon as possible.
A damaged handle could break while using it, potentially leading to burns or other injuries.
Bottom Line: Is Stainless Steel Cookware Oven Safe?
Yes, stainless steel cookware oven safe. Its high heat tolerance is one of the factors that make it stand out from other types of cookware.
The maximum oven-safe temperature ranges from 400°F and 800°F, and the average is around 500°F.
Stainless steel cookware with non-stick coating or silicone-wrapped handles usually has lower heat tolerance. Also, pans with thinner walls are more prone to warping at high temperatures.
Before you start cooking, confirm whether or not your pan is oven safe by checking the product manual or the manufacturer’s website. Don’t rely on the information on third-party sites like Amazon, as it’s frequently incorrect.
The bottom line – stainless steel is one of the most versatile cookware materials. If you follow the manufacturer’s care and use guidelines and practice a few simple safety measures, you can use your stainless steel pans in the oven without any issues.
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