Triply stainless steel cookware are gaining immense popularity in India owing to its durability, heat retention, safety and uniform heat conductivity. I am also a proud owner of multiple 3-ply stainless cookware from Stahl and Meyer. We have also tested 3 ply stainless steel frying pans from top brands and are really in awe at how they brown food uniformly.
In an attempt to up their game, Bergner and Borosil have introduced 5 ply stainless steel cookware in India. They cost much higher than 3 ply stainless steel cookware. But are they worth the premium price? Let us explore in detail.
What Is 5 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware?
5 Ply Stainless Steel cookware are made by bonding layers of stainless steel and aluminium (or copper in some cases). These layers are bonded together to make sturdy cookware that heats up quickly and evenly and also retains the heat for longer.
To understand why they act so, let us first take a look at the properties of aluminium and stainless steel. Aluminium has a high thermal conductivity of 205 W/m K. As a result, it heats up quickly and spreads the heat evenly throughout the surface.
Stainless steel on the other hand has a comparatively poor thermal conductivity of 50.2 W/m K. As a result, it doesn’t heat up quickly. However, it retains the heat for longer. When you bond stainless steel and aluminium, you get the best of both. They heat quickly, evenly and retain that heat for long. Moreover, stainless steel surface increases durability and avoids the harms typically associated with aluminium cookware.
In 5-ply stainless steel cookware, there are 5 layers of metals bonded together. At the bottom, you have stainless steel, then, a layer of aluminium, followed by a stainless steel core, aluminium and then again stainless steel. Sometimes, one or both layers of the aluminium inside the cookware are replaced with copper as it has better thermal conductivity than aluminium.
In India however, 5-ply stainless steel cookware has different constructions depending on the brand. Let’s take a look at it.
Bergner 5 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware
Bergner sells frying pans, Kadhai and casseroles made of 5-ply stainless steel. They are sold at double the price of 3 ply stainless steel options. In their 5ply stainless steel cookware, they do not have a stainless steel core. Instead, they have a copper core sandwiched between aluminium. The cooking surface and the outer surface are made of 304-grade stainless steel.
Copper is one of the best conductors of heat. As a result, the cookware heats up quickly and you have better control over the heat. The stainless steel surfaces and copper core also help retain the heat for longer too.
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Borosil 5 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware
Borosil sells 5 ply stainless steel pans, saucepans and Kadhai. But here, they don’t have a stainless steel core. Instead, they have an aluminium core and two aluminium ‘layers’ at the centre and stainless steel surfaces. So, though they call it a 5 ply stainless steel cookware, it really isn’t the case. They seem to have a thicker aluminium core. Honestly, we would only consider it as triply stainless steel cookware.
3 Ply Vs 5 Ply Stainless Steel Cookware
As you would have guessed, just like 5-ply cookware, 3-ply stainless steel cookware have 3 layers- a layer of aluminium sandwiched between two layers of aluminium.
In India, you have just one major player-Bergner, which sells 5 ply stainless steel cookware. So, we are comparing it with the standard 3-ply options to help you make an informed decision. We are not considering Borosil as they are merely playing with the words to give the impression that they sell 5-ply stainless steel cookware.
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As mentioned, triply stainless steel cookware conduct heat evenly owing to the aluminium core. In Bergner, as you have a copper core, the heat distribution is even better.
But we doubt if it would have a noticeable impact on the cooking performance because typically in India, we don’t cook at high temperatures for a short period. Instead, we cook at a low temperature for a long period. So, even if it takes a while to heat up the cookware, it doesn’t really affect our cooking.
The stainless steel surfaces on 3 and 5-ply stainless steel cookware helps retain the heat. Copper too has excellent heat retention capacity.
As a result, Bergner 5-ply stainless steel cookware does have an edge over other 3-ply stainless steel options in heat retention capacity. This aids in slow cooking and also helps save fuel.
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Typically, 5 ply stainless steel cookware are thicker and heavier than 3 ply options. As a result, it is less prone to warping and more durable too.
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As mentioned earlier, 5 ply stainless steel cookware costs much higher than 3 ply ones. The price of Bergner can be justified considering it has a copper core. But with Borosil- not quite so.
If you ask whether a 5 ply stainless steel pan is worth the extra money, we would say- Not really. While we do agree that it has better heat retention than 3 ply ones, the huge premium on the price doesn’t really make it worth it.
Overall, considering the premium price, most households would do well with a triply stainless steel cookware. You needn’t invest in a more expensive 5 ply stainless steel cookware unless you have any specific needs to be met with it.