Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Sep 7, 2009 06:04 PM

how to use aluminum cookware

Hello everyone

I need some help using aluminum cookware More than half of the cookware on the market today is made from aluminum. This is because aluminum is a good conductor of heat and is used frequently with non-stick pots and pans. The makers of aluminum cookware warn against storing highly acidic or salty foods in aluminum cookware. My question is it a hazard to use aluminum cookware?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There is cookware made from plain, uncoated, un-anodized aluminum, and it is usually very cheap cr@p indeed. Acids in your food will react with the metal, and impart a lovely gray cast to your foods and give everything a funky metallic flavor. Blech!

    This shouldn't be a problem with most decent cookware incorporating aluminum.

    For all-aluminum pieces, it is either coated, usually with a non-stick teflon finish, or anodized, which renders the surface non-reactive. Most multi-ply stainless uses a core of aluminum to help ensure good heat distribution -- the food never comes in contact with the alminum, so no problem.

    The health issues with aluminum are tricky. Early Alzheimer's Disease research suggested a link (aluminum is bound up in the "placques" which are the brain lesions that are the hallmark of AD) but no research to date has shown a link between aluminum in food and AD. Similarly tricky are the issues that swirl around teflon.

    My suggestion is not to stress -- a well-rounded suite of cookware is going to have some anodized aluminum, some non-stick, some stainless, and perhaps a piece or two of cast iron or copper.