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aluminum balti pan??

Jenni899 Apr 4, 2011 05:26 PM

My mother gave me this aluminum pan , looks sort of like wok, but more like a balti pan. I have never used aluminum cookware, except for a steamer. Is it worth using? any advice would be great
I know you cant use much in the way of acid foods, aluminum is odd in the way it reacts.

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  1. kaleokahu RE: Jenni899 Apr 4, 2011 06:39 PM

    Hello Jenni899:

    I have heard of Balti pans. This shape seems very utilitarian for a number of things. Why *wouldn't* you cook in it?

    Would you post photos? I have only seen these in cast iron. What is the thickness of the aluminum?


    6 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu
      Jenni899 RE: kaleokahu Apr 4, 2011 07:14 PM

      well, I have heard that aluminum can leave residues in foods, that can be a risk. whether this is myth or fact I dont know. I do know if I soak my aluminum garlic crusher in water, it gets covered in little white crystals, which I assume are aluminum salts.

      1. re: Jenni899
        kaleokahu RE: Jenni899 Apr 4, 2011 07:45 PM

        Hi, Jenni899:

        Thank you for the photo. Your pan appears quite thick, and well-machined or -finished. I would not hesitate to cook, although I would pause at storing acidic foods, in it.

        With respect, the eHow article you linked to is pretty vacuous--and somewhat nonsensical when it comes to high heat "chemical breakdown". Aluminum cookware has been with us now since Bonaparte, and still dominates the restaurant markets. The reason for that domination is that it works very well, costs little, and is easy to handle.

        Aluminum is very corrosion resistant due to the self-forming nature of a very thin (only 2.5-10 nm) layer of hydrated aluminum oxide. It is actually two layers, the outermost of which is somewhat permeable. This protective film is stable in aqueous solutions, so long as its pH is somewhat between 4.0 and 8.5.

        Aluminum pans subjected to unrinsed immersion in salty water can form those crystals.

        1. re: kaleokahu
          Jenni899 RE: kaleokahu Apr 4, 2011 07:57 PM

          Ah, perhaps that the water here is full of limescale, maybe that is why crystals forms so readily. I guess the next question is do I season it? I am very unfamiliar with aluminum cookware, or how it transfers heat etc.

          1. re: Jenni899
            kaleokahu RE: Jenni899 Apr 4, 2011 08:22 PM

            Hi, Jenni899:

            No seasoning required.

            Aluminum is actually the best conductor of heat among the more common cookware surfaces. Copper and silver are better still, but aluminum is vastly superior in this regard to SS, carbon steel, cast iron and pyrex. Pound for pound, aluminum actually stores and holds heat better than cast iron, too.


            1. re: kaleokahu
              Jenni899 RE: kaleokahu Apr 5, 2011 05:26 PM

              I look forward to trying some good Balti style dishes to start :) it seems very well finished on the cooking side, so I anticipate it doing a good job, no residue. thanks for all the advice.

              1. re: Jenni899
                kaleokahu RE: Jenni899 Apr 5, 2011 07:25 PM

                Hi, Jenni899:

                You're welcome. Happy Cooking.


    2. luckyfatima RE: Jenni899 Apr 7, 2011 07:15 AM

      That looks like a karhai to me. (A balti means a bucket and the term applies also to a flat bottomed karhai as opposed to a round one) In the UK there is the restaurant genre of "balti cuisine," but that cooking vessel is just a regular old karhai. I have an aluminum karhai and don't use it for cooking much but occasionally for deep frying.


      1 Reply
      1. re: luckyfatima
        Jenni899 RE: luckyfatima Apr 7, 2011 07:58 AM

        a karhai is is also very useful, as I love cooking Indian and Pakistan foods !I think you are right here. thanks :)
        it Does have a flat bottom. Either way I look forward to trying some dishes in it.

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