What is Waterless Stainless Steel Cookware?

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Do you want to cook tasty, nutrient-packed meals more sustainably? Waterless stainless steel cookware allows this by steaming food in its own juices.

This article covers what waterless cooking is, the benefits of waterless stainless steel cookware, how it works, top brands, and tips for using it.

Let’s dive into understanding this innovative cooking approach.

What Is Waterless Cooking

Waterless cooking refers to the method of cooking food without using any water or other added liquids in the cookware.

It relies solely on the natural juices and moisture within the food itself to create steam inside the tightly sealed pots and pans.

As the steam heats up it continues to build pressure, reaching temperatures above the normal boiling point of 212°F (100°C).

The hot steam cooks food very quickly while retaining more nutrients that may otherwise leach out into cooking liquids.

The defining features of waterless cookware are the specially designed stainless steel construction and tight-fitting lids that trap steam and circulate it around the food.

This lets food cook in its own juices for a healthier, tastier, and more efficient result.

Waterless cooking minimizes the need for oils and fats too.

It allows you to cook rice, vegetables, meat, and even desserts using the food’s own moisture and a minimal amount of water or oil.

Waterless cooking has slowly been gaining popularity as more people discover its benefits over traditional cookware and methods.

It can take some getting used to at first but delivers delicious full flavored results and provides an eco-friendly option to boil, steam or simmer conventionally.

Benefits Of Waterless Stainless Steel Cookware

Waterless stainless steel cookware offers several notable benefits over traditional pots and pans that require added liquid to cook foods.

Firstly, it allows for faster, more energy efficient cooking.

As the cookware retains heat extremely well due to its thick multi clad stainless steel and aluminum layered bases, food cooks in less time without losing as much heat to evaporation or absorption by water.

This also makes it very consistent for searing, frying or browning food evenly.

There are no hot spots that can lead to burning or undercooking certain areas.

Using less heat over shorter cooking duration saves on energy bills too versus running a pot of water to boil for ages.

Secondly, waterless cooking locks in moisture and nutrients better.

Since food essentially steams in its own juices, vitamins and minerals that may otherwise leach out into boiling water are preserved inside the food itself.

Clean up is easy too as there is less residue left stuck on the pan surfaces after cooking given the lack of liquids added.

The stainless steel itself also provides benefits being more eco-friendly and non toxic than materials like non-stick or aluminum pans which may pose health risks when overheated and ingesting the coating or leached metals.

Waterless stainless steel does not contain these harmful chemicals.

As stainless steel is non porous, it does not retain odors either despite repeated cooking.
This makes waterless cookware low maintenance and enduring.

How Waterless Stainless Steel Cookware Works

Waterless stainless steel cookware features special engineering to circulate hot steam around the food for quick and even cooking results.

It typically features thicker gauges of stainless steel compared to regular pots and pans which enhances heat retention.

The bases often feature highly conductive metals like copper or aluminum layered in them which rapidly heats up the vertical sides too.

The tight fitting lids are a defining feature, trapping steam inside rather than letting it easily escape like with a pot boiling water.

As heat converts the natural moisture in food to steam which has no way to escape through tightly clamped rims, it builds pressure.

This allows the temperatures to supersede 212°F so food cooks faster while sealing in nutrients and moisture at the same time.

The trapped hot steam condenses when coming in contact with the inner lids and the cooler outer walls and rims of the cookware.

This causes droplets of hot condensed liquid to steadily drip down the inside walls back onto the food.

Enabling this self basting process continually coats the food surface for even exposure to heat so there are no undercooked spots.

It basically creates a mini pressure cooker effect within each pieces of waterless cookware.

Some waterless stainless steel cookware also includes slightly raised boiling chambers or drip catchers on the underside of lids which further aid in circulating steam and self basting food.

The riveted handles provide a comfortable, stay-cool grip on the hot cookware.
Tempered glass lids make it easy to view food while cooking without losing heat and steam.

Top Brands Of Waterless Cookware

There are a several leading global manufacturers of waterless stainless steel cookware, with each differentiated by their own patented design features, metal compositions, heat conductivity and pricing.

Knowing the key brands available helps identify the best cookware to suit different cooking needs and budgets.

Brand 1: Wonderchef Cookware

Wonderchef is a popular Indian cookware brand specializing entirely in waterless cookware made from high grade 18/10 stainless steel and aluminum bottoms.

Their latest product range is the Nutri+ collection featuring stay-cool handles and vented tempered glass lids for easy viewing during cooking.

It includes a steamer, fry pan, pots, tawa and more at an affordable price point.

All Wonderchef products carry a 50 year warranty.

Brand 2: Hawkins Contura Cookware

Hawkins Contura is the flagship waterless stainless steel cookware line from India’s largest pressure cooker manufacturer.
Their Contura line is made up of five layers of stainless steel and aluminum encapsulated together under high pressure bonding.

This ensures maximum heat conductivity across the cookware for quick, uniform cooking without hot spots.

Contura waterless cookware carries a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Brand 3: Berghoff Orion Waterless Cookware

Berghoff Orion waterless stainless steel cookware features patented tri-ply construction with magnetic 18/10 stainless steel outer layer, wraparound aluminum core going up the sides, and a polished 18/10 stainless steel interior cooking surface.

This delivers fast precise heating control while distributing heat evenly across bottoms and walls to prevent food burning.

Its drip-less rims lock in nutrients and flavors.

Orion cookware provides a lifetime warranty.

When comparing top waterless cookware brands, it is worth checking the grade of stainless steel used, whether tri ply bases are included, ease of handling, steam locking lids fitting, working pressure rating and heat resistance ratings amongst other features that enhance cooking performance, safety and durability.

Tips For Cooking With Waterless Stainless Steel Pots & Pans

While waterless stainless steel cookware delivers healthy and tasty cooking results, there are some adjusted techniques required from regular boiling, steaming or pressure cooking methods.

Here are useful tips for getting the best results from waterless pots and pans:

Properly preheating waterless pans before adding food allows the metal to expand slightly and seal tightly.

The general rule of thumb is to heat it for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat on the stove top before adding a small amount of oil or butter followed by the food itself.

Avoid overheating empty stainless steel cookware to prevent uneven expansion and buckling.

Using the right sized cookware helps generate adequate steam for the volume of food inside.

Having enough food content to produce steam is crucial – too little and it may char or burn instead of self basting.

Too much food crammed inside and it slows down cooking speeds while only food at the top gets steaming contact.

Go by the manufacturer guidelines for capacities.

When it comes to ingredients, keeping food prep pieces larger rather than finely chopped or minced exposes less surface area for moisture to escape.

Whole vegetables, hearty cuts of meat, and grains like rice benefit most from waterless cooking methods over stir fries or shredded meats.

Plus cook times are faster for larger intact pieces.

While waterless stainless steel cookware does not mandate using much oil due to its non stick properties, lightly coating lean meats and sticky foods like eggs or cheese can help prevent them getting stuck too aggressively.

Use only plastic, wooden or silicone utensils to flip and stir food to avoid scratching the polished cooking surfaces.

Let the steam release fully by opening lids away from you before removing entirely.

This ensures evenly cooked food without any underdone moist patches.

It also prevents accidents from the hot steam rushing out.

Use potholders to avoid burns when handling hot cookware.

Clean waterless cookware thoroughly after each use once cooled.

Non abrasive sponges with warm soapy water easily remove residue without ruining the mirrored steel finish.

For stubborn deposits, boiling a vinegar-water mixture helps dissolve them better.

Avoid harsh chemical or metallic scrubbing cleaners to retain the shiny polished surface.

Common Myths and Queries About Waterless Cooking

Despite its many benefits, some people still harbor uncertainties about waterless cooking methods and equipment.

Here are answers to some common myths and queries raised regarding waterless stainless steel cookware:

Is food cooked in its own juices very greasy?

Contrary to perception, using little to no water prevents food from losing so much natural flavor and moisture during cooking.

As vitamins and minerals stay preserved within instead of leaching away, the food retains its aroma, texture and taste way better.

Less need for compensating fats or oils for enhancing taste too.

Does waterless mean you only use steam for cooking?

Waterless just indicates cookware designed to retain steam and moisture for efficient cooking.

Dry roasting, pan frying, sauteing all adapt well on waterless cookware just ensuring tight lids during the moisture releasing stages.

The steam circulation handles it after.

Is special cookware really needed for waterless cooking?

While it is possible to cook without much water in regular pans, the vented lids and poor insulation will not generate enough steam and heat to quickly cook the food or seal in nutrients effectively.

The multi clad built and self basting systems underpinning waterless cookware gives superior results.

Can waterless cookware go over very high heat?
Waterless stainless steel pans feature heavy duty construction to withstand high heat for searing, browning etc.

But basic care guidelines apply e.g preheating properly before adding oils or cold food ingredients to prevent buckling or uneven cooking.

Always check the recommended stove top heat tolerance for the cookware brand.

Waterless cooking offers people a healthy and sustainable alternative for everyday home cooked meals.

The specialized waterless stainless steel cookware makes harnessing steam and self basting food easy for anyone familiar with basic cooking techniques.

With a plethora of durable brands to choose from, households can whip up nutritious delicious recipes more efficiently.


Waterless stainless steel cookware provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly alternative to standard boiling and steaming options.

It uses patented technologies like tight sealing lids, tri ply bases and condensation circulators to steam food naturally in its own juices.

Leading brands such as Wonderchef, Hawkins Contura and Berghoff Orion available globally offer excellent cooking performance and features.

With some technique adjustments to enhance steaming and sealing in moisture during cooking processes, home cooks can produce great tasting results in less time while benefiting from superior vitamin and nutrient retention compared to other cook methods.

The energy savings and non stick properties of waterless cookware also make it low maintenance and sustainable.

Considering its multiple advantages, waterless stainless steel cookware delivers on providing healthy meals for families and professional chefs alike.

Madison Taylor

Madison Taylor Anderson is a passionate home improvement enthusiast and lifestyle writer, born and raised in the heart of Colorado Springs. With over a decade of experience in interior design and DIY projects, Madison brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to the world of home enhancement. After earning her degree in Interior Design from the University of Colorado, she embarked on a journey to transform spaces into comfortable, beautiful, and functional homes. Madison's journey began in her own small apartment, where she discovered the power of creativity and design in transforming living spaces. Her ability to turn limited spaces into cozy havens on a budget caught the attention of friends and family, leading to numerous projects and a growing reputation as a go-to advisor for home aesthetics. In 2015, Madison launched her blog, "The Cozy Hearth," a platform dedicated to sharing her love for home décor, practical DIY projects, and sustainable living. Her blog features a mix of personal projects, design tips, and how-to guides, aimed at helping readers create their dream homes, regardless of budget or space constraints. Madison's work has been featured in several home and lifestyle magazines, including "Better Homes & Gardens" and "Elle Décor." She is known for her approachable writing style, which combines technical advice with personal anecdotes, making home improvement accessible to everyone. When she's not writing or knee-deep in a DIY project, Madison enjoys hiking in the Colorado Rockies, experimenting with new recipes, and spending time with her family and two dogs, Bailey and Max. Her belief that everyone deserves a beautiful home drives her to continue sharing her knowledge, inspiring her readers to embrace their spaces and make them uniquely their own.