Can You Put Soy Sauce In Stainless Steel? (Fully Explained)

If you’re a fan of cooking with soy sauce, you may be wondering if it’s safe to use with your stainless steel cookware.

After all, stainless steel is known for its durability and resistance to corrosion, but certain foods can still cause a reaction.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential risks of using soy sauce with stainless steel and provide some tips for avoiding any damage to your cookware.

So, can you put soy sauce in stainless steel? Let’s find out.

Can You Put Soy Sauce In Stainless Steel?

The short answer is yes, you can put soy sauce in stainless steel. However, there are some things to keep in mind.

Soy sauce contains high levels of salt and soy protein, which can cause a reaction with stainless steel. This can lead to discoloration and staining of the cookware.

To avoid this reaction, it is best to use a different type of cookware, such as a ceramic or enameled pot, when cooking with soy sauce. If you must use stainless steel, make sure to rinse the cookware thoroughly after cooking with soy sauce.

Additionally, if you add salt to the mix, be certain it is well dissolved in the marinade as salt granules can sometimes cause pitting if they settle on the bottom of the pan.

The Properties Of Stainless Steel Cookware

Stainless steel is a popular material for cookware due to its durability and non-reactive properties. It is resistant to corrosion, heat, and stains, making it a great choice for cooking and storing food. However, there are some things to keep in mind when using stainless steel cookware.

Stainless steel is not a good heat conductor, which can result in hot spots in the cookware. This is why copper coating is often used with stainless steel cookware to improve heat distribution.

While stainless steel is generally non-reactive, there are some foods that may cause a reaction. Foods that are high in acid, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, can cause the metal to leach into the food, resulting in a metallic taste. Soy sauce contains high levels of salt and soy protein, which can also cause a reaction with stainless steel, leading to discoloration and staining of the cookware.

To avoid these reactions, it is best to use non-reactive materials like glass or ceramic when cooking or storing acidic foods. If you must use stainless steel with acidic foods or soy sauce, make sure to rinse the cookware thoroughly after cooking to prevent staining and discoloration.

The Chemical Composition Of Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is made using essentially five basic raw ingredients: soybeans or soybean flakes, wheat or wheat flour, salt, water, and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae, salt-tolerant yeast, and lactic acid bacteria. The fermentation process is remarkably diverse and complex, making soy sauce a widely varied product with strong local and cultural heritage.

There are essentially two general production processes: traditional fermentation and acid hydrolysis. Traditional fermentation uses starter cultures of microorganisms that secrete enzymes capable of breaking down the proteins, lipids, and starches into peptides, free amino acids, volatiles, and saccharides. Acid hydrolysis, on the other hand, uses high concentrations of acid for the initial polymer break down of soybeans and wheat. However, in China, the latter type is since 2018 no longer recognized as an accepted method to produce soy sauce.

Flavor and color development during the production process are attributed to the enzymatic reactions mentioned above, along with additional non-enzymatic Maillard reactions occurring between amino acids and reducing sugars, as well as Strecker degradation of amino acids, lipid oxidation, and esterification. Maillard reactions occur at higher temperatures and trigger the formation of a wide range of molecules which create the characteristic and distinct soy sauce flavor and color.

The chemical compounds present in soy sauce contribute to its taste and aroma attributes. Recent research has highlighted the growing importance of using advanced approaches that move more toward untargeted methods. Combining analytical platforms and chemometric analysis can link flavor attributes with chemical composition, thus bringing us closer to conclusions on causality.

The Risk Of Corrosion And Staining

Stainless steel is generally known for its corrosion resistance, but there are certain factors that can increase the risk of corrosion and staining when using it with soy sauce. The high concentration of salt in soy sauce can cause common stainless steels to pit, corrode, and undergo stress corrosion cracking. This can result in discoloration and staining of the cookware, which can be difficult to remove.

To avoid this risk, it is recommended to use super stainless steels that provide powerful corrosion resistance against harsh corrosive environments. Duplex stainless steels have been found to have higher corrosion resistance than austenitic stainless steels, even at elevated temperatures. Among the duplex stainless steels, S39274 has shown the highest corrosion resistivity.

If super stainless steel is not available, it is best to use a different type of cookware, such as ceramic or enameled pots, when cooking with soy sauce. It is also important to rinse the cookware thoroughly after cooking with soy sauce to remove any residual salt or soy protein that may have adhered to the surface.

In addition, when adding salt to boiling water, it is recommended to bring the water to a rolling boil before adding salt and stirring well. This helps prevent the pan from pitting due to settling salt granules at the bottom.

Tips For Using Soy Sauce With Stainless Steel Cookware

If you decide to use stainless steel cookware for cooking with soy sauce, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Rinse thoroughly: After cooking with soy sauce, make sure to rinse the cookware thoroughly to avoid any discoloration or staining.

2. Avoid prolonged contact: While stainless steel does not react with salt, prolonged contact with cookware can corrode it. It is recommended to rinse the cookware thoroughly after cooking with salt.

3. Use a well-dissolved marinade: If you add salt to the marinade, make sure it is well dissolved to avoid any pitting caused by salt granules settling on the bottom of the pan.

4. Consider alternative cookware: If you are concerned about discoloration or staining, consider using alternative cookware such as ceramic or enameled pots.

By following these tips, you can safely use soy sauce with your stainless steel cookware without any worries.

Cleaning And Maintaining Your Stainless Steel Cookware

Proper care and maintenance of your stainless steel cookware is essential for keeping it in good condition and ensuring that it lasts for years to come. Here are some tips for cleaning and maintaining your stainless steel pots and pans:

1. Use the right utensils: Avoid using metal utensils, such as knives or forks, on your stainless steel cookware as they can scratch the surface. Instead, opt for wooden, silicone, or nylon utensils to preserve the surface of the pan.

2. Avoid overheating: Do not allow your stainless steel cookware to heat up empty, as this can cause the metal to become discolored and distorted. This is especially important for stainless steel pots and pans with a thick base, as they are more prone to overheating.

3. Avoid abrasive cleaners: While stainless steel is easy to clean, it is important to avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, as they can damage the surface of the cookware. Instead, use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild detergent to gently clean the surface.

4. Dry thoroughly: After washing your stainless steel cookware, be sure to dry it thoroughly to prevent water spots and streaks. A dry cloth or paper towel works well for this purpose.

5. Store carefully: When storing your stainless steel cookware, avoid stacking it as this can cause scratching and denting. Instead, store each piece separately or use pan protectors to prevent damage.

6. For cleaning chalky white spots: Bring a solution of vinegar and water (think 1:3) to a boil in the pan, let it cool, and then wash and dry as normal.

7. For general buildup: Fill the pan with hot soapy water, and let sit a few hours before scrubbing with a non-abrasive sponge.

8. For stuck-on food bits: Scrub the pot with a non-abrasive sponge to get off any food bits you can, then fill the pot or pan with enough soapy water to cover the food, bring to a boil, and scrape (the food should come away easily). You can also do this by replacing soap with a couple spoons of baking soda.

9. For discoloration (often rainbow in appearance), which can occur from overheating: Splash a little white vinegar diluted with water into your pan, swirl the mixture around, and use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe away the rainbow stains. Rinse, dry, and…voila! Your stainless steel will be gleaming good as new.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can keep your stainless steel cookware in excellent condition and ensure that it lasts for many years.