cast aluminum from restaurant supply store?
Having read the Bittman article about buying cheap cookware from a restaurant supply store, I went to pick up some stuff for my kitchen. I bought two Amko (korean brand) cast aluminum saucepans that were both under $20. Since buying them, I have been reading about the debates over aluminum...healthwise (aluminum getting into food, etc.) and tastewise (acidic stuff not doing well with aluminum) Anyone have advice for me? I need to decide whether to return this stuff and maybe invest in a more expensive but non-problematic piece of cookware. Thanks in advance!
Keep them. There is a small amount of controversial evidence that aluminum has something to do with Alzheimers (not necessarily cause and effect), but no evidence that cooking in aluminum pans increases your aluminum intake. The element is one of the most common ones on earth. See the wiki article on aluminum.
Most inexpensive commercial grade aluminum cookware is spun molded in to shape, not cast. It is the workhorse gear in many restaurants. For acidic foods (e.g. tomato sauce) you are better off using stainless steel. For things that might stick, non-stick or seasoned iron or steel is better. Aluminum does not develop a seasoning like cast iron does. But a good thick aluminum pan heats quickly and evenly. Your pans probably have metal handles, with or without a removable rubber grip. Without the grip they can be used on the stove top, and then transferred to the oven for finishing. The lids probably have a metal handle, so keep a pot holder on hand.
The one big concern for me is......it has been suggested Parkinson's disease may be connected to cooking with aluminum cookware.
I would recommend you analyze how often you intend to cook with the pans to make your decision on whether to keep them or not.........bear in mind every commercial kitchen cooks with aluminum cookware......the effects may be sensationalized.
BTW.....if you do use them, never wash them immediately under cold water....that will warp the bottom of the pan or pot.