About stainless steel

Stainles steel in commercial kitchens

One thing that you will find prevalent in the majority of commercial kitchens is the abundant use of stainless steel.

Have you ever wondered what is it that makes stainless steel a favored choice for commercial kitchen manufacturers?

There are multiple answers and explanations to this question, and some of the most important ones are discussed below. Let’s look at them.

What is stainless steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of Iron with a minimum of 10.5% Chromium. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel known as the ‘passive layer’. This prevents any further corrosion of the surface. Increasing the amount of Chromium gives an increased resistance to corrosion.

Stainless steel also contains varying amounts of Carbon, Silicon, and Manganese. Other elements such as Nickel and Molybdenum may be added to impart other useful properties such as enhanced formability and increased corrosion resistance.

Stainless steel is usually divided into two different types:


These steels are the most common. Their microstructure is derived from the addition of Nickel and Manganese. It is the same structure as occurs in ordinary steels at much higher temperatures. This structure gives these steels their characteristic combination of weldability and formability. Corrosion resistance can be enhanced by adding Chromium and Molybdenum. They are nominally non-magnetic. They are referred to as X5CrNi18-10, AISI304 or 1.4301 grade.



These steels are based on Chromium with small amounts of Carbon usually less than 0.10%. These steels have a similar microstructure to carbon and low alloy steels. High Chromium steels with additions of Molybdenum can be used in quite aggressive conditions such as seawater. They are not as formable as austenitic stainless steels and are magnetic. They are referred to as X6Cr17, AISI430 or 1.4016 grade.


Other types

In addition to the two, there is martensitic and duplex stainless steel.


Color Compatibility

A major advantage of using stainless steel in commercial kitchens is its ability to blend seamlessly with a broad range of materials and colors.

No matter if you have traditional or contemporary interiors; stainless steel will add the right amount panache to the kitchen.

Apart from this, it is also easier to spot a stain or a spillage on a stainless steel countertop compared to a black granite or a green marble. This helps in ensuring hygiene is maintained while cooking the food.

Stainless Steel Doesn’t React With Food

Several materials react with the food and can impart their taste to them. Stainless steel doesn’t react with the food and ensures that the food retains its actual taste. Moreover, it is also one of the safest surfaces for cooking as it doesn’t allow microorganisms to colonize on it. Due to this reason, not just commercial kitchens, but hospitals too, use stainless steel in their kitchen abundantly.


Unmatched Durability

Stainless steel is strong, durable and most of all, it is corrosion-resistant. Moreover, stainless steel will retain its shiny appearance over an extended period as it doesn’t absorb stains, which is a common problem with many other cooking materials. They can be used at low temperatures as well as high-temperature environments.

Easy Maintenance

Commercial kitchen designers use stainless steel because of its non-porous. This makes stainless steel an extremely easy to clean material. Also, most of the other materials used in the kitchen can easily break due to impact or scratch, whereas, stainless steel can withstand the strongest of impacts. While stainless steel is more expensive than other materials, you won’t be replacing them due to staining, cracking or warping. So, in the longer run, they will prove much more cost-efficient.


How to clean stainless steel

When stainless steel furniture and equipment is new, it acquires its oxide film as soon as it’s exposed to oxygen in the atmosphere. To protect this passive film, you need to clean stainless steel frequently. Otherwise, contamination from dirt and debris will trap corrosive agents and reduce the protection that prevents corrosion.

You can clean stainless steel as often as you like – the more often, the better. Unlike other materials found in commercial kitchens, stainless steel will never “wear out” from repeated or excessive cleanings. Because there’s no surface coating to erode, stainless steel surfaces can tolerate unlimited cleanings.

Cleaning Stainless Steel With Water

For most types of dirt that might be found on tables and equipment, water will do the trick for cleaning stainless steel. Use a soft cloth and warm water to clean stainless steel, and that should remove most materials, including mild stains. To avoid water stains, do a final rinse with clean water and dry cloth.

Cleaning Stainless Steel With Solvents

If you need to remove fingerprints, oils, or greases from stainless steel surfaces, you may need to use a solvent. It’s important, however, that you choose a solvent that doesn’t include chlorine, so you’ll need to avoid acetone, mineral spirits, and isopropyl alcohol.

What To Do If Stainless Steel Rusts

Chlorine solutions can remove the protective chromium oxide layers from stainless steel surfaces, exposing them to iron and causing corrosion. Once rust sets in on stainless steel, the only way to fix it is through passivation. Passivation is the process of treating stainless steel with a mild oxidant (a nitric acid solution, for example) that will cause the protective passive film to form again.