I have a set of stainless steel tri-ply cookware (non-coated). To save space inside my cabinets I stack fry pans and saucepans inside each other (smaller in bigger ones). I wonder is that safe?

They are all made of steel, so I imagine they can scratch one another. Instructions for my cookware set recommended to avoid using metal utensils to avoid scratches.

2 Answers 2


If the inside of your pans has some kind of non-stick coating (for example containing PTFE), it's advisable to avoid scratches. There are pans with no coating, like many cast iron pans or uncoated stainless steel pans; scratches are not an issue with them, except for deeper scratches, which might cause sticking of proteins or might be hard to clean. Since your instructions tell you to avoid scratches, I'll assume your cookware is coated.

To avoid scratches while stacking, many people use some kind of felt mats to protect the coatings (for example these) or anything else which cushions the cookware.

  • 2
    Thank you for the detailed answer. My pans are non-coated; the inside is pure stainless steel. I updated my question to be more precise. Dec 28, 2022 at 19:34
  • 3
    Potholders make good padding between pans, and it's the kind of thing many people have more of than they really need for holding pots, so it's a good alternate use for them. Dec 29, 2022 at 15:14

In order to scratch cookware you would need something that is both metal and has pointy edge somewhere. Other steel pots are clearly metal but don't really have pointy edges. So I wouldn't worry when stacking the pots inside each other, they are just not shaped in a way where one could scratch the other.

  • 8
    Two metal pots stacked on top of each other could have a tiny bit of quartz or other foreign substance stuck between them, so that when they move slightly, the sand scratches both pans...
    – Mr47
    Dec 29, 2022 at 9:28
  • 1
    @Mr47 a) Do you usually have quartz or some similar sand in your kitchen in or around your pots? b) For all the pots I have, if I stack them, the handles of the smaller pot will rest on the rim of the bigger pot, the bottom sides of the pots do not touch each other. One can construct theoretical situations where pots will scratch each other, they just aren't relevant in practice.
    – quarague
    Dec 29, 2022 at 13:03
  • 8
    a) As a matter of fact I do; it's rather easy for a single speck of sand to wind up in the kitchen. Vegetables from the garden are a notorious (but not the only) source. b) That prevents this issue completely,, so you are lucky that way :)
    – Mr47
    Dec 29, 2022 at 13:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.