There are over 150 varieties of stainless steel, and each of them have different properties, which is why it's important to understand their variations.
In the restaurant industry, it’s also especially important to distinguish between the various types because one type of food grade stainless steel
may be better suited for a particular task. For example, if you’re shopping for cookware that’s going to come in contact with very salty foods,
a pot made with 316 stainless steel is probably better than 304 because of its superior corrosion resistance.
Understanding the differences between food grade stainless steel grades and types can help make sure that you make informed decisions
and purchase the best products to suit your needs.
200 Series Stainless Steel
Stainless steel in the 200 series is lower quality and less corrosion resistant than other types.
It still has its place in a commercial kitchen thanks to its affordability.
Best Applications: Food storage containers.
304 Series Stainless Steel
304 stainless steel is the most common type used in the kitchen. It has a bright shine due to a high level of chromium and nickel.
It's also very resistant to corrosion and rust, although it's susceptible to corrosion caused by exposure to salt.
Best Applications: Kitchen appliances, internal parts, kitchen utensils, smallwares, flatware, prep tables.
316 Series Stainless Steel
This is the second most common type of stainless steel, and its alloy includes an additional element, molybdenum,
which increases its resistance to corrosion caused by salt and other chemicals.
Best Applications: Kitchen equipment, grills, high-end cookware, equipment and furniture used outdoors,
outdoor equipment used near the ocean.
430 Series Stainless Steel
430 stainless steel contains a very small amount of nickel, and it's not as corrosion resistant as the 300 series steels.
This type is also magnetic.
Best Applications: Medium-quality flatware, prep tables, appliance doors, induction-ready cookware.
440 Series Stainless Steel
With a high level of carbon, 440 stainless steel is one of the strongest types used in the kitchen.
Products made out of 440 stainless steel are hard, corrosion resistant, and can stand up to wear and tear very well.
Best Applications: High-quality chef knives, cutlery, oven door handles, internal parts.
Flatware Stainless Steel Grades：
13/0 Stainless Steel
13/0 stainless steel is used to make knives. Because this steel contains less chromium and no nickel, it's softer,
allowing manufacturers to add serration to the edge.
Best Applications: Fine dining restaurants, casual eateries, hotels, and banquet halls.
18/0 Stainless Steel
18/0 stainless steel is a medium-quality option, and it's one of the most affordable choices.
It's not as corrosion resistant as higher flatware grades, but it's magnetic. Because it's magnetic, it can get caught by magnets in conveyor
dishwashers and trash bins, helping to prevent it from being discarded.
Best Applications: Dining halls, cafeterias, catering companies, high-volume restaurants, retirement homes, casual restaurants, diners.
18/8 Stainless Steel
18/8 is one of the most common types of flatware. This stainless steel has a hefty, professional feeling, and it's very corrosion resistant.
Pieces made from this stainless steel usually have some sort of decoration or design.
Best Applications: Casual restaurants, upscale establishments, hotels, catering companies, banquet halls, bistros, cafes.
18/10 Stainless Steel
This is the highest-quality flatware you can get. 18/10 offers superior corrosion resistance. Additionally, this flatware usually has unique
and interesting designs or engravings on the handles.
Best Applications: Upscale restaurants, bistros, hotels, banquet halls, catering companies, country clubs.
Stainless steel is an incredibly useful material in the foodservice industry due to its strength, durability, and corrosion resistance.
Among food grade stainless steel there are a variety of types, and knowing their different properties and uses can help you make an informed purchase.