HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
What's your latest food quest? Tell us about it
TELL US

Aluminum cookware.....????

e
erica Dec 13, 2002 04:45 PM

I do almost all of my cooking in Magnalite and Club aluminum pots and pans..the same ones I have used for 25 years. They are made from cast aluminum. I have seen references to health hazards posed by this type of cookware....is this a valid concern?? What are the pros and cons of cooking with this material??

  1. j
    JudiAU Dec 13, 2002 04:57 PM

    No. It is just an old wives tale, like the Nieman Marcus cookie. Several scientific studies have shown that there is no link between the use of aluminum pans and cancer.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JudiAU
      e
      erica Dec 13, 2002 05:41 PM

      Judi, thanks....but what is the Neiman Marcus cookie???????????

      1. re: erica
        t
        Thea Dec 13, 2002 06:14 PM

        Agree with the above comment, wow this is years old concern--where you been? Anyway, the aluminum you have is annodized anyway so it never mattered in the first place.

        1. re: Thea
          e
          erica Dec 13, 2002 08:16 PM

          I guess I have been traveling too much (!!!!).....the aluminum in these pans is not anodized..it is cast aluminium, as I said in the original post.

        2. re: erica
          b
          Bruce H. Dec 13, 2002 06:46 PM

          >> ... but what is the Neiman Marcus cookie?

          See link below.

          Link: http://www.snopes.com/business/consum...

      2. j
        Janet A. Zimmerman Dec 13, 2002 07:20 PM

        The concern regarding aluminum cookware was not about cancer, it was about a link between aluminum intake and Alzheimer's disease. But studies have shown no definitive link between aluminum use and Alzheimer's. However, aluminum is highly reactive, meaning that it will discolor and produce off-flavors when exposed to acid. Magnalite is anodized, which eliminates the reactivity of aluminum, but I'm not sure about Club. If it's not anodized or coated with stainless, you may want to avoid acidic ingredients (such as lemon juice, tomatoes, or wine) when cooking with it. But it's not a health hazard, just a culinary one.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Janet A. Zimmerman
          e
          erica Dec 13, 2002 08:13 PM

          But the old Magnalite I have is cast, not anodized...isn't anodized the one that has the darker, matte finish???????

          1. re: erica
            b
            Bruce H. Dec 13, 2002 08:52 PM

            Cast aluminum can be anodized. Anodizing is a finishing operation that can be applied to any aluminum object, no matter how it was fabricated. I'm not familiar with Magnalite, but I have a Club saucepan that is enamel on the outside and anodized on the inside.

            1. re: Bruce H.
              e
              erica Dec 14, 2002 08:08 AM

              Not to belabor a point, but the pots I am rferring to are not anodyzed....I think the anodyzing is a newer process, maybe in the last 20 years, whereas my stuff is older than that.....doesn't anodyized almuminum usually have a rather dark finish???

              1. re: erica
                b
                Bruce H. Dec 14, 2002 09:08 AM

                Calphalon certainly has a dark finish, but there's nothing about the anodizing process that requires the finish to be dark. The natural color of the anodized layer is just barely darker than polished bare aluminum.

                I don't have any particularly compelling reason to believe your pots are anodized, and I can't think of any quick and easy test that would say for sure, so I'm not disputing you. My point was that you shouldn't assume they're not anodized just because they're more than 20 years old. I think my Club saucepan is also more than 20 years old, and as I said, it is anodized.

            2. re: erica
              i
              ironmom Dec 14, 2002 08:51 AM

              I have one of those Club non-anodized cast aluminum pots, too. It's gotten so much use over the years that the enamel is worn off the outside in spots. It's still a great pot.

            3. re: Janet A. Zimmerman
              m
              Mr. Softee Dec 13, 2002 10:24 PM

              I've heard the concern about acidic foods producing off flavors, but I've cooked tons of acidic food in aluminum cookware and I've never noticed any type of reaction. Can anyone else taste it?

              1. re: Mr. Softee
                i
                ironmom Dec 14, 2002 12:11 PM

                I always made tomato-based dishes in my Club pan, and there was no off taste. Also, there was never any visible corrosion.

                The major source of aluminum intake is antacids, and drinking Maalox will make any traces of aluminum from your pans insignificant.

            4. t
              The Loaf Dec 14, 2002 12:50 PM

              I know exactly what you're talking about. I have 2 pieces of Magnalite passed along by my mum. They're not anodized either, and they are great pots. However, they have become a bit pitted over the years, the result of acids and salts. Personally, I don't use them for acidic foods anymore (for the taste reasons posted here), and it's obviously not good for the pots either. As far as your health concerns, I wouldn't exactly call it an old wive's tale, but I've never heard the Alzheimer's relation ever substantiated in a definitive way, as Janet says. There are lots of spun aluminum pots and pans being used in restaurants.


              On the other hand, if I was buying new, why take the chance?

              2 Replies
              1. re: The Loaf
                k
                k brough May 12, 2003 01:55 PM

                Can you buy Club Pans, do you have and email add or telephone number or address?

                1. re: k brough
                  a
                  AlanH May 12, 2003 02:00 PM

                  I believe Club was bought by Mirro many years ago. Try Googling.

              Show Hidden Posts