Stainless steel cookware vs nonstick cookware. Stainless steel is steel that is alloyed with another metal such as chromium to keep it from rusting. Though they are not nonstick, food doesn’t stick to stainless steel pots and pans as it would to cast iron. When it does, it’s relatively easy to clean out. Nonstick pans used on the stovetop release foods that tend to stick with ease. The black coating of nonstick cookware easily absorbs heat and gives breads a good, dark crust. However, they can make the crust of cakes and cookies look burnt. One tip when it comes to using nonstick cookware is to lower the oven temperature about 25 degrees Fahrenheit.