HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

Magnalite

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  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.

          7 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: Dee S

                Sharon P
                I have magnalite professional cookware many pieces that have never been used. I an willing to let them go for unheard of prices due to the fact I do not have space to keep them anymore.If anyone out there who wishes to get an exceptional price on these pots, pans skillet,huge pot (to cooks 3 or 4 lobsters) and more. I live in Los Angeles, CA if anyone living nearby and can pick up I am willing to give a huge discount.I have worked for Magnalite so I can explain about the quality of these pans are incredible. I am speaking of the anodized cookware that was sold in Macy's years ago. Top of the line.
                Serious Buyers can contact me at my email Pookey888888@yahoo.com
                The company no longer produces or sells this so it's very difficult to find. I have checked on Amazon and have seen their prices. I have better quality cookware and anodized alluminum is 10 times harder than stainless steel pans. These pans are anodized through a special process so no scare of aluminum contact with foods which is bad for your health. You won't find a prices at which I am willing to sell my never been used pieces and have many types of pots, pans, and skillets and more!!

              3. 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: 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.

                2. 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.