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Home > Carbon steel cookware convey heat more efficiently than steel cookware

Stainless steel, on its own, has a drawback for use in cookware, however – it doesn’t distribute heat very well.  Primarily for this reason, most good stainless Carbon Steel Cookware will be created from stainless steel combined with other elements in multiple layers.  These extra layers also make for more heavy duty cookware.


Tri Ply (3-ply) stainless steel cookware consists of an inner and outer layer of polished stainless steel with a solid aluminum core which extends from top to bottom. The aluminum core allows for even heat distribution and avoids hot spots.


The 5-Ply stainless Carbon Steel Cookware consists of 5 layers of metal. The inner and outer surfaces are stainless steel with aluminum, carbon steel and stainless steel between. The aluminum layer allows for even heat distribution and avoids hot spots.


The 7-Ply stainless steel cookware consists of seven layers of metal. The inner and outer surfaces are stainless steel. The middle 5 layers consist of a carbon steel core for even heating, another stainless steel layer, and 3 aluminum / aluminum alloy layers for heat distribution and bonding.


Please note that the 5-Ply and 7-Ply construction may not be that thickness all over, as that could make the Carbon Steel Cookware too heavy. Good quality cookware would have at least 3 layers all over, one being a good heat conductor. The extra layers may be on the bottom only, possibly in a special capsule. Individual manufacturers may vary the composition.


The newer designations of 9-Element and 12-Element construction are similar to 7-Ply construction. They utilize capsule bottoms with various combinations of metallic elements – I’ll leave it to the scientists to explain the merits of each element.


If you have or are considering getting an induction stove, be aware that not all cookware will work well on them. There needs to be a magnetic property involved. If not indicated in the cookware advertising, you may need to ask.


Rest assured, though, that none of the above constructions of stainless steel cookware are necessarily inferior or superior to another. They all may cook a little differently from each other, and professional chefs may favor one over the other, but most users usually love whichever kind they buy.