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Magnalite

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I love mine......have loved them since 1973 when I got them as a gift. They have served me well for all of these many years. How come I don't hear much about them? What's the story with magnalite?

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  1. What exactly is Magnalite? Pots and pans? Knives?

    5 Replies
    1. re: FlavoursGal

      I don't know if this is true but , My Grandmother told me that years ago she cleaned her magnalite with coke she would soak it and wash with fresh lemons as a scrub... Has any one heard of that ..And if so how long do you soak it (she can't remember) but she said it keep a very nice shine..and looked like new all the time ...

      1. re: Donna47

        aye ... thats how my granny used to clean them..... alternatives are add water and low heat ...... or cheesecloth with an abrasive if you are in a hurry. Depends on how 'dirty' the cookware is and what was cooked in it. For example when I cook Swedish Pancakes (high heat 425) it tends to 'brown' a bit .... but comes clean via one of the aforementioned methods ... depending on the time you have. I do have to admit that it is my fav cookware ..... encompassing everything from how quickly/evenly it heats to how long it retains its heat ...to the design of the lids ..... I have almost every cookware manufactured (by the way the ORIGINAL ML not the imitation - inherited from my mother) and cant imagine cooking without them.

        1. re: Donna47

          I apologize I neglected to mention that you soak them overnight. Also ... FYI .... I also used Coke to clean out rusty cylinders on old frozen engines. No wonder it works on cookware!

          1. re: mike_w

            Hello;
            I am a newbie to these magnalite pots/pans. I love cast iron and wanted to know are they similar in taking care of them? I found a 8" skillet,a 3 qt and 2qt pot at a thrift store,all for $20. After researching this seems to be a great deal I got. They look to hardly or never even have been used. My question is when I used one of the pots the food tasted like metal when done. Is this normal or is there another way to take care of them. Any insight would be great. Thanks

        2. re: FlavoursGal

          From an Original Magnalite Care and Use Instructions Booklet...

          Magnalite [cookware] is made from aluminum and a special magnesium alloy which is an excellent heat conductor and reacts well to change in temperature, it is "cast as thick as two silver dollars" and "cooks food from all sides-it's like having an oven on top of your range (heat radiates from every part of Magnalite not from the bottom only.)" Can be taken from refrigerator to the oven.

          History...

          1934 - The Wagner Manufacturing Company of Sidney, Ohio developed and introduced the first blended aluminum and magnesium cast cookware line as WagnerWare Magnalite. (Magnalite Classic)

          1979 - The Wagner Manufacturing Division of General Housewares Corp, developed and introduced the first hard anodized cast cookware line as GHC Magnalite Professional. (Magnalite Professional)

          Today...

          Magnalite by Wagner was hand poured and cast in Sidney, Ohio. It is considered to be some of the finest American made cookware ever produced. Original WagnerWare and GHC Magnalite cookware are in high demand by collectors and daily users, alike.

          http://www.wagnerware.com/
          http://www.wag-society.org/

        3. General Housewares Corp, the company that makes Magnalite cookware, is now part of a very large conglomerate that includes Chicago Cutlery and Corning, among others. While they still make the classic shiny aluminum Magnalite, I believe the hard-anodized MagPro line may have been discontinued; there was a product recall in the 1980s due to lids sealing so tightly onto the pans that there were incidents where the lids blew off like a pressure cooker accident. It is/was comparable to Calphalon, but was heavier overall.

          6 Replies
          1. re: jillp

            Magnalite was bought by GHC and then sold. I lost track of who owns it now; might be what you said but I think it was sold again.

            I have several pieces of the Magnalite Professional and love them. It's a shame they're not made any more. You can find them on eBay but be expected to pay for some of the more unusual pieces. They are fabulous; I find them better than Calphalon (I have tons of that; both commercial and professional hard-anodized).

            The conglomerate that owns the Magnalite line has resurrected it; the base "1940s/50s" aluminum line. It's not nearly as good as the original. I've heard it's thinner, more prone to damage and may be made outside the US.

            1. re: Dee S

              Dee: I've googled magnalite and see that it is still available. Are those the faux ones....no hope of the original quality available through the magnalite sites?

              1. re: onefineleo

                "Faux" is kind of strong. They're being made again. Not as heavy as the old ones. I'm sure they're just fine but they're different. I heard they are using the orignal molds for casting but you know how metals are handled these days. I'm sure the purity is different; the cooling process is different. It's just different.

                To get the original quality, you have to buy the original stuff.

            2. re: jillp

              I'm looking for the roasters I bought in the past made by General Housewares Corp. Do you know any relevant website?

              1. re: elaida

                eBay.

              2. re: jillp

                William and Lious Wagner blended magnesium and aluminum alloy to form the original Magnalite cookware in 1934. They ultimately purchased a longtime competitor, Griswold Manufacturing, and transferred the tooling from Pennsylvania to Ohio.

                In 1979 they retained Burt Wolf to help the third generation cookware .... so dubbed MagPro by chefs throughout the world that utilized the cookware.

                American Culinary Corporation, purchases the manufacturing facilities, tooling, patterns, proprietary formulas, goodwill and intellectual properties of Wagner, Griswold and WagnerWare.

                Interesting history.

              3. just one other note. Magnalite is an alloy of aluminum and magnesium hence the name. I have 3 pieces of the Mag-Pro line. Love the stuff.

                1. When I was a student at the CIA some twenty years ago, the kitchens were equipped with Mag-Pro and it was a dream to cook in. Very heavy weight. I'd love to find some pieces to buy.

                  1. I just checked Magnalite on eBay. They got LOTS of all kinds of stuff. I loved the Magnalite I had years ago, and just might start building up a collection. Heavy stuff that cooked everything beautifully. I can't believe it's still out there.

                    1. Shhhhh! Don't talk about it or y'all will drive the prices up on eBay!
                      The young trendy set will want it and then we won't be able to afford it. Some young friends just paid an absolute mint for a restored Airstream Trailer. And Magnalite has that same streamlined mid-century modern look.
                      Everything old is new again!

                      1. http://www.worldkitchen.com/Magnalite...
                        (Magnalite

                        )

                        http://www.worldkitchen.com/aboutus.a...
                        (Fascinating history)

                        1. I still use the original MagPro as my everyday cookware because of its quality and near-indestructibility. None has yet exploded.

                          The Magnalite name, however, seems to have been debased by its application in recent years to such things as an inexpensive set of thin stainless pots and pans with disk bottoms, made in the Far East, and perhaps the products mentioned in posts above.

                          A company named American Culinary claims to have bought the "the proprietary metal formula, trade secrets, designs, blueprints, tooling, molds, patterns, manufacturing facilities, intellectual property, property rights, [and] goodwill of Griswold and Wagner," and sells Wagner cast iron, the "original" Magnalite, Magnalite Professional, and the newer Magnalite Masters (introduced shortly before GHC went belly-up) at the following web site:

                          http://www.americanculinarycorp.com/

                          This looks to be distinct from the World Kitchen site linked by RShea78; perhaps rights to the name remain in litigation. I have yet to purchase anything from American Culinary, nor have I seen its products in any store in New York City. The web site is ©2003, but I received a response to an e-mail query just a few months ago.

                          Following is the American Culinary version of history. What’s missing, from my recollection, is the purchase of Magnalite from Wagner by GHC and its purchase back by WagnerWare after GHC went bust—just before WagnerWare itself did the same.

                          http://www.americanculinarycorp.com/a...

                          1. Oh! I love my Mag-Pro pots, too. Got them 20 years ago as a newlywed. Haven't seen them in the stores in many years. The only thing I've noticed with mine is that the bottoms (inside) are no longer black. They've become shiny with years of stirring. I hope I'm not poisoning us with whatever that black coating is (was).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: AmyH

                              Mine never had teh black bottom. The bottom was like the rest of the piece. (I have a Dutch Overn and a large skillet).

                            2. Loss of your black finish on a magnalite pro pot. The most common cause of this is leaving acidic foods in the pot for long periods. This process takes a long time and repeated exposures to these mixtures. Warnings were noted by Magnalite in original documentation provided when sold as sets. They just told the buyer that storing highly acidic foods was not recommended as it will damage the hard anodized coating. Your pots are still usable with the damage. Health related issues related to the loss of this finish I have not seen documentation as of yet. I would think that if you had made a batch of some thing really acidic and then stored it in the pot in your fridge for a few days that food could contain some of the released hard anodized coating.
                              I have experienced the same problem on only my most used Magpro item a 3 quart pot. Probably 23 years on that pot and thousands of uses. I have almost every item Magnalite ever produced in the professional line.
                              The whole concept of hard anodized aluminum cookware allows you to use metal utensils because the surface finish is very hard. Once you have a loss of this finish you will not really notice any major problems with your cookware. However the best plan is to avoid the problem by proper use.
                              Many common Magnalite items can be found on Ebay but be ready to pay because they are sought after.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Magnapro

                                I've certainly cooked plenty of acidic things like tomato sauce in my pots, but have never stored anything in them. Maybe for an hour or until something cools down, but certainly never overnight or "in the fridge for a few days." I only have the 3 qt pot and the smaller one (1.5 qt?) and am seeing it in both. But I've had mine 20 or 21 years and use them constantly, so maybe it's the same normal wear and tear that you're seeing.

                                1. re: Magnapro

                                  I have owned my magnalite professional cookware for over 20 years and they are still great. I was unaware of the recall but the lid does stick on one of the saucepans. I am also concerned about the finish coming off. I recently started putting my pots in the dishwasher (for convenience) and they have discolored. Any suggestions on what to use to even out the finish? Any idea if the finish can be toxic? Thanks!

                                  1. re: magnalite

                                    Problem with dish washers is the detergents used sways toward the alkaline side in order to become an effective rinse agent. Alkaline is caustic to aluminum and one should guard against such harsh exposures.

                                  2. re: Magnapro

                                    You seem to know quite a bit about the Magnalite brand so I have a question for you. I have several MPS Magnalite Professional Stainless Steel pots and pans. They are NOT as most of you described. The are a shiny stainless steel throughout with a hollow round stell handle. On my 2QT pot is says Item No. 3602. They are very heavy as most of you have stated and it seems like there is an insulated copper piece on the bottom of the pan.
                                    I've had these since I got married 13 years ago and don't always use them because they aren't non-stick and I have issues cooking with them. Do you know anything about this version of cookware? Does it cook differently than the pieces you are mentioning? I'm thinking of replacing them but I'm not sure. They have certainly held up very well. Maybe I'm just not using them correctly. Any information or advise would be greatly appreciated!!!

                                    1. re: afugere

                                      afugere,

                                      The pots you have were sold by Service Merchandise before they went out of business. I lost half of my set in a divorce. Would you consider selling your set?

                                      1. re: afugere

                                        I used to work for GHC selling the Magnalite and Chicago Cutlery. The stainless steel pans are VERY durable. The only difference between the stainless and the MagPro lines is the heavy aluminum versus the stainless. (And the fact that the handles of the MagPro get VERY hot while the stainless do not). Personal preference.

                                        You said you had issues cooking with them. Such as?? Maybe I can help there.

                                      2. re: Magnapro

                                        I have a Magnalite dutch oven I bought on Ebay that was reanodized. I have not used it yet. Do you know if the anodization stays on very good the second time around?

                                        1. re: Magnapro

                                          Im responding to old posts but hopefully this is still of interest to MagPro owners. I bought my set in the 80s and I still love using the set. However, I am also concerned about the finish having worn off and a black buildup that wipes off even after several washings. Except for one skillet, all of my pots are worn to the silver finish but there is a kind of oxidation that must be occurring. My concern is that if the black residue can be wiped off after washing, it may be contaminating the food. Any thoughts, comments or updates on this?

                                        2. A sure way to destroy the finish on your Magnalite pro pans is to put them in the dish washer. There is no way to restore the finish and or important patina to your cookware. Never wash your magnalite in the DW. All you can do after is oil them and start cooking in them. Short of reanodizing the pans or pots your out of luck. I can provide further info if you need it. A blue kitchen scrubbbie and soap and water is about as agressive as you should get with a Magpro pan. Some would argue that this is destructive. An importantant characteristic of Magnalite is the buildup of Patina to some level. When you expose these pans to most DW detergents it removes any patina and also attacks the hard anodized finish. Read about anodizing on Wikipedia. There is a section on Hard anodizing that is a little informative.Toxicity issues I cannot address.
                                          But how to use and care for Magnalite Professional I can contribute a wee bit.

                                          1. Magnapro - how do you season the Mag Pro cookware? (satiny grey finish ones) I received several pieces (lucky me) as a wedding gift back in the early 90's - and believe it or not, never used them. (Lots of moving around, they just never got unpacked until now!!!) I love the weight of the pots, and love to cook - have been mostly using cast iron. Is the seasoning the same?

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: MishaB

                                              You really don't need to do anything special with respect to seasoning at all. It is not like cast iron in that way. Your pans will pick up some patina over time. Just start cooking. Follow the instructions for use and care that should be in your packages. If you don't have them I'll find mine for you. I'll post them here if you need.
                                              Happy cooking

                                              1. re: Magnapro

                                                I don't have the original boxes - if you can find your instructions and post, that would be GREAT! I appreciate your help!!

                                              2. re: MishaB

                                                You don't have to. :))))) Use them as they are and enjoy.

                                                1. re: MishaB

                                                  I can send the factory info to you if you wish

                                                2. Found it. I like to find out how to post a scan of this. But I guess it's probably proprietary info owned by World Kitchen now.(current owners of all things Magnalite)
                                                  So I will quote from old GHC literature delivered with cookware identical to yours.
                                                  " No Pre-seasoning is necessary. As Magnalite Professional cookware is used, it is naturally seasoned by the oil and moisture content in your ingredients."
                                                  There is more but I think this answers your original question.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Magnapro

                                                    As posted upthread, these people seem to think that they own everything Magnalite, or are World Kitchen and American Culinary one and the same?

                                                    http://www.americanculinarycorp.com/

                                                    1. re: meatme

                                                      What do you mean these people? Try this as a new start.
                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Ki...
                                                      Try contacting ACC or WK for more info.

                                                      1. re: Magnapro

                                                        "These people" means American Culinary, the link I provided immediately above and further upthread. Have you visited their web site?

                                                        As I said way upthread, ACC claims to have bought the "the proprietary metal formula, trade secrets, designs, blueprints, tooling, molds, patterns, manufacturing facilities, intellectual property, property rights, [and] goodwill of Griswold and Wagner," and sells Wagner cast iron, the "original" Magnalite, Magnalite Professional, and the newer Magnalite Masters (introduced shortly before GHC went belly-up). They were still responding to e-mail as of about six months ago.

                                                        The wiki article, of course, doesn't mention American Culinary. Do you have further information about the relationship between ACC and World Kitchen?

                                                        Edited to add: I understand that there's litigation regarding the use of the Magnalite name. See, for example, http://www.fantes.com/magnalite.htm

                                                  2. MAGNALITE HELP, STAT! PLEASE ADVISE!

                                                    Warning: This story contains some graphic abuse to Magnalite pans. Not advised for some readers.

                                                    We moved to a new house in September. The man next door to us seemed to be a recluse. We rarely saw him, until the day his mother died and the house went up for sale. Then we discovered, as the estate's liquidator began empting the house and putting things to the streetside for the dump, that he had a "hoarding problem." This is putting it lightly. 23 vaccuums, 16 different power sanders, stacks and stacks of old magazines, dozens of rugs, bicycles, the list goes on.
                                                    One day I noticed a huge stack of pans on the curb. I knew these. Magnalite! They were great quality! I snatched them up in a heartbeat and took them home. They were a little dirty, but what a find! I would clean them and make them my own.
                                                    Upon closer inspection, I noticed there was orange rust in the bottom of the pan. No problem, I'll use the ol' elbow grease and get it off.
                                                    Then I noticed uneven black patches all over the insides and out. Just some old burned-on food. More elbow grease.
                                                    Some of the rubber handles had been carefully nibbled away. Hmm. Rats eating the grease. Curious.
                                                    Long story short, these pans are whupped. The guy never cleaned himself, much less any of his propery or his house. They seem to have lost much of the adonized coating and are hence uneven in spots, rust never went away after much cleaning, grease seems to be everpresent. PLEASE help and tell me if there is a way I can save their lives! Is it safe to use them with the rusty brown stuff?? What kind of cleaner should I use? Can I send them to some kind of special clinic?
                                                    Thanks for your help...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: KaraM.

                                                      umm.. Kara, you may need to move to a better neighborhood! ;)

                                                      We bought several pieces of MPS, or Magnalite Professional Stainless, made by one of the succession of "Magnalite" companies. They were heavy and NOT anodized, just stainless and copper sandwiches. Still use most of them, though they're no longer made by whoever the company is these days.

                                                      If you see them online or on eBay, you should be interested. They're not quite up to AllClad, but very close and much more reasonable.

                                                      By the way, they recommended a cleaning method if you really scorched stuff onto the bottom of the pan... put a teaspoon of dishwasher detergent in the pan and about 1/4" of water, and set on the stove to a low simmer for ten minutes or so. PUT YOUR VENT FAN ON HIGH, because the fumes wil really asphxiate your cat! It's worked every time I've screwed up that way. (Not on the cat... the pan.)

                                                      Should be good for AllClad, too. I wouldn't try it on any anodized pots, though.

                                                      Mike

                                                      1. re: KaraM.

                                                        I think I've got you all beat. I will be 62 and have had most of my Magnalite for 35 to 40 years. We lived in Terre Haute, Indiana and it was made there at General Housewares. My husband would buy me a piece for my birthday back then on occasion at the outlet store, it wasn't cheap back then. I have 3 saucepans, 2 8 quart stockpots and a lasagna pan. I was using them all these years along with some Le Cruset and also iron skillets. But in the last few months the insides really started turning black. I thought maybe 40 years is to long. So I went and got some stainless pots and pans. I will keep the others but really not cooking in them for now.

                                                        1. re: KaraM.

                                                          They have a lifetime guarantee. Contact the company and see about getting them replaced.

                                                        2. All of my Magnalite stuff is by Wagner, all found in malls and at flea markets. I have two three-quart pans, one two-quart, a two-quart covered nonstick pot (NOS, never sold, still in the box when I got it) and a big oval dome-topped roaster. I think the whole pile represents about a $50 investment.

                                                          Yes, it's still out there - and it's really good stuff to cook with.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                            I have a Magnalite Pro 5511 11" Fry Pan and it is the greatest. I regret not having the money to purchase the lid, but now I want one. Was there a recall on that pan/lid? I bought this pan over 20-25 years ago I believe. I take good care of it and wash by hand.

                                                            1. re: debpcat

                                                              I've read that if the lid doesn't "stick" or "tighten" when placed on the pan and/or when rotating the lid on the pan a full turn you should be alright. The documentation showed pictures...I think it was documentation from the recall and it included all Magnalite pans and lids.

                                                              On a different note...

                                                              I just received my 9" and 11" skillets I bought on eBay and they look different then my other ones. All my other ones have the Magnalite GHC stamp on back but the ones I just got have only Magnalite on the back. They look newer but the inside is more "non-stick" looking - almost looks like a coating but it is hard. Are they the ones that the American Culinary Institute makes? The 9" one says "Magnalite USA 9 in. 23 cm" and the 11" says "Magnalite Professional 11 in. 28 cm 5311 USA" Whats the difference here?

                                                              See ya

                                                            2. re: Will Owen

                                                              I just started my Magnalite collection a month ago. So far I have one 1/2qt, one 1qt w/lid, one 2qt w/lid, one 10" fry pan w/lid and an 8", 9", & 11" skillet(s). I got them all from eBay is very good shape for about $170.

                                                              I found the 8" at my father's property up in the mountains. I cleaned it up and fell in love with it and started bidding away. Considering I had very very cheap stuff to cook in before; $170 doesn't seem that bad.

                                                              By the way; All my Magnalite is by GHC...are they that much different than Wagner? I hope I didn't buy the wrong ones....I still like them anyway.

                                                              1. re: ramosj88

                                                                magnapro,

                                                                Do you know how to remove the black encrusted stuff on the bottom of the pans? My pans are about 25 years old, and I just gently wash with dish detergent and dry. I think I should have been removing this stuff before it was all caked on. Any suggestions? Thanks.

                                                                1. re: arwen1

                                                                  The aluminum aspect freaks me out. I'd rather use Staub.

                                                                2. re: ramosj88

                                                                  All my Magnalite is by GHC. Yep. You have the originals. Wagner makes cast iron pans.

                                                                  1. re: skyes

                                                                    GHC bought the Magnalite brand from Wagner I think sometime in the '60s or maybe '50s. My Magnalite is all Wagner except for the Teflon-lined 2-qt pot, which is GHC.

                                                              2. I have a basic magnalite oval roaster I got for a wedding present in 1972. (Also have a wonderful baking/lasagna/roasting pan from the same time. I've been wondering if there is any problem cooking with red wine or tomato as there would be with standard aluminum pots.

                                                                1. Fascinating thread. My mom had a set of Magnalite from back in the very early 60s, I think it was. They had bakelite handles and knobs and the bottoms had a brushed finished. I don't know what became of them, but I had thought most people stopped using cookware like Magnalite after all the concern about Alzheimers and aluminum cookware.

                                                                  1. Hello, I have a 12" Magnalite with an aluminum handle on each side, one of which is cracked. After reading the thread, I see that Magnalite has changed hands several times. Does anyone know if I can have this item replaced under the original lifetime warranty?
                                                                    Thank you.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: scyntax

                                                                      This is a wonderful thread. I received a set of Magnalite Pro for a wedding gift in 1988. I love it. I noticed that the bottom of my favorite pot, the 7 qt., has turned shiney and even has several tiny flecks through the finish. Please let me know if you have found any info about the warranty.

                                                                      1. re: scyntax

                                                                        Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

                                                                      2. Here in South Louisiana, magnalite cookware is common. We give it to newlyweds as a wedding gift. You can buy it from Wal-Mart. (http://www.walmart.com/search/search-...) I can't find any cookware better for roasting.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: alikat33

                                                                          I have a Magnalite oval roaster (prob. about 40 years old) my mom gave me last year, and I've found that, although the Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys have moist, juicy meat, I haven't yet been able to get the lovely crispy brown skin I used to get with my mother-in-law's old graniteware roaster (with a roasting bag). I'm prepared to ditch the roasting bag & get a V-rack if necessary, but how do I need to adjust the way I've been roasting turkey to get nicely browned skin in a Magnalite roaster?

                                                                        2. How do you know you're getting the original product versus an imitation of poorer quality? How can you tell on eBay and such?

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: celticgirl123

                                                                            All Magnalite (one word, not hyphenated!!!) is marked as such on the bottom.

                                                                          2. It seems that Magnalite is available from American Culinary, which can be found at www.wagnerware.com, so it's the same people who make Wagner cast iron.

                                                                            I've had a Magnalite reversible griddle/grill for several years, and it's been excellent. It cooks like cast iron, but without the ritualistic seasoning and maintenance. It's also larger than most of the other reversible griddles out there. I checked over on the website, and it looks like the one in what is currently called the "Magware Masters Collection."--

                                                                            http://www.wagnerware.com/PLineCat.as...

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                                                              Is that site active? Its copyright is 2003, and I think I read a report on another food site of an order being placed but not filled.

                                                                              1. re: meatme

                                                                                Good question. A few years ago I tried to order another griddle like the one I have as a gift, and the order was never filled (my card wasn't charged either), but I didn't think it was from this site.

                                                                            2. I got a few the same year! The Dutch oven is my most-used pot! How do you keep the outside shiny?

                                                                              1. This line was sold as the fate of Magnalite faded. It can now be bought online at http://www.wagnerware.com/products.asp

                                                                                There is also a thriving market on ebay. However, it is frequently cheaper to buy new. I have a full collection started in the 80's. This stuff beats Calphalon by a mile. It is heavier and heats perfectly.

                                                                                1. I'm not impressed by the current owners of this brand, assuming they're still in business.

                                                                                  They won't answer my email inquiring about the alleged lifetime warranty on pots Magnalite made for Macy's about 15 years ago; these don't sound like the 'pro' line since they have an aluminum and copper clad bottom (plate) on s/s. BTW mine has become partially 'unclad' and makes a wierd hissing (!) noise when heated.

                                                                                  1. I just found two very nice Magnalite GHC 9" saucepans at the thrift store for $5 each. I bought them without realizing they were aluminum. I don't like to use aluminum but I'm wondering if the hard, anodized surface might prevent the aluminum breaking down into food. Any thoughts, anyone?

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: justmesuzanne

                                                                                      You have opened up the proverbial hornets nest with your question.

                                                                                      Magnalite uses anodized Aluminum and you will find a wide range of opinions on both sides of the issue. In my research I have found the high-end anodized aluminum products seem to be very safe (the cheap ones, not so much and Magnalite Pro series is a very high end product).

                                                                                      The scientific studies did on anodized aluminum under “normal” use show zero leaching of aluminum even into acid dishes. Now before the eco-warriors fire out the URL’s ‘disproving’ this, there are counter studies done on cheaply made anodized aluminum that was heated to near melting, pitted with highly corrosive acid and then used in tests that did show leaching. Pictures of those pots show a bent, distorted shape (due to almost melting) massive pitting (looking like the surface of the moon due to acid) and then the test was done. I would surmise that anyone who had a pot or pan that looked like that would never cook out of it, but some people have an agenda to prove.

                                                                                      For every cooking material you can find detractors, Iron Clad, Enamel, Stainless, etc. In each case the problems come from cheap manufactures using cheap processes.

                                                                                      My suggestion is if you are going to worry about it, get rid of them, it’s not worth the headache; sell them on Ebay you will probably get more for them there, many people highly cherish and desire magnalite pro series cookware, it will last a life-time and produces great results.

                                                                                      1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                        Thank you, Retired Chef! Actually, my parents' entire set of WearEver aluminum cookware looked like it had been used in the experiment you mention!

                                                                                        Generally speaking, I don't use aluminum at all or drink out of aluminum cans, but this cookware does, indeed, seem awfully solid. I can definitely tell the difference between this and the soft, low-end set my parents had.

                                                                                        I would think that for the purpose the pans are intended (quick cooking at moderate temperatures) they should be fine. I would not slow cook or simmer anything in them, but they are not the type of pan that would be used for that, anyway.

                                                                                        Thanks again!
                                                                                        :)

                                                                                        1. re: justmesuzanne

                                                                                          You'll be very happy with the performance of these pans. Don't use metal utensils and you'll be fine. I have several pieces and use them frequently. They've held up exceptionally well over the past 12 years. I expect them to continue. I do not recommend using them for pasta water; use them to cook in.

                                                                                          The handles will get hot!!!!!!!!! Always use a pot holder, even on the stove top.

                                                                                          1. re: Dee S

                                                                                            I like them so far, except that eggs always stick when I cook them.

                                                                                    2. I just ordered from American Culinary and received within a few days later a 4265 MagnaLite Roaster and it is just beautiful. This one is a gift for my son and it is almost identical to the one I have used for probably 30 years. The lids from the new one and the old one are interchangable and fit each other's pot so you know it is the same. It is also MADE IN THE USA and not the Chinese knock-offs that WalMart is selling as Magnalite. This is the same original Magnesium/Aluminum mixture and made by Wagner, and if you look at the Chinese versions by Corning you will see under the Q&A that they are all aluminum. I also did not get a repsonse when I left a message for American Culinary, but sent an email to Peter Pike the President of American Culinary and he called me a few minutes later! So while their customer service may need a little help there product is truly a work of art and I would get one while you still can. It is a product you can be proud of and will become a family heirloom. Just email Peter at americanculinarycorp if you have any questions.

                                                                                       
                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Jim and Kathy

                                                                                        Good to hear this support is going on.
                                                                                        Now with 30 years on some of my Magnalite you can enjoy that cookware for the rest of your life I hope.
                                                                                        As Jaques would say "Happy Cooking"

                                                                                        1. re: Magnapro

                                                                                          I've recently been watching Magnalite items on eBay to enhance my current collection. I'm curious as some of pieces show a raised Magnalite logo versus the inset logo on my current cookware. Any idea about the difference?

                                                                                        2. re: Jim and Kathy

                                                                                          I just receive a Magnalite roaster from American Culinary them today. It took a little while (I ordered on 4/28), but was worth the wait. This thing is a beauty -- lightweight but substantial, and it has the look and feel of something that has been machined by hand. Customer service is a bit spotty -- the sense I get is that American Cullinary is a very small and dedicated company, and is being outflanked by the conglomerate (World Kitchen) that has bought up and cheapened a number of proven brands (corning, pyrex, revere etc...). I'm glad I did the research to determine with one was the real thing. At any rate, I've also ordered a Wagner skillet from AC, which did not arrive with the roaster. Hopefully tomorrow...

                                                                                        3. I have had my Magnalite GHC since 1979. I remember reading that the metal is so strong & dense, if you see what you think is a scratch or nick, it is a piece of the metal that hit the Magnalite!

                                                                                          I have put my 2 qt. pot through WWIII! Once I was boiling some eggs and forgot about them. I was outside playing with my sons... WHAT A SMELL AND WHAT A MESS! The pot was so hot I rushed it outside and set it down on a carpet remnant doormat... bad idea!!! The nylon carpet melted onto the bottom of the pot and there was no way to get rid of it - until my girlfriend suggested putting it in the electric oven and turning on the clean cycle. It worked like a charm! The pot was like brand new!

                                                                                          Unfortunately, that's not all... I used it as a "humidifier" - I kept water in it on top of my wood stove for a couple of years. Now it is permanently pitted in several places, I'm sorry to say, but I still use it!

                                                                                          1. I inherited my Grandmother's much-loved set of Magnalite cookware. I love them too, but I do hesitate to cook tomato-based and other acidic recipes in them; I worry that they're reactive because of the aluminum. Is this a valid concern? Due to their age, I don't think mine are the hard-anodized Mag-Pro line that some people have mentioned, mine are shiny silvery inside and out, and on the bottom read, "WagnerWare, Sydney, -0-, Magnalite" then various numbers. I tried contacting the company, but never heard back from them. Thanks to anyone who can advise me. I would love to use them for all my cooking!

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: shaunaleee

                                                                                              I believe cooking high acid foods could damage the surface of the interior of the pot by causing pitting. My mom doesn't make tomato-based foods in my grandmother's old Magnalite pot. I think she tends to use it mostly for stews or thick soups like split pea.

                                                                                              1. re: shaunaleee

                                                                                                Do not cook anything acid based in these. You will strip the patina right off.

                                                                                                1. re: scyntax

                                                                                                  Authentic Magnalite has been the preferred cookware in Lousiana for Creole and Cajun recipes for generations. If properly cleaned after use, Magnalite will be a much loved and used family heirloom. However, pitting will occur when tomato and other acidic foods are allowed to sit in them for several days.