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Sep 29, 2012 01:32 PM

Is Hard Anodized Aluminum ok w/acids?

Thinking of buying a new saute pan. Calphalon has a Commercial Hard Anodized Aluminum pan that looks good. Wondering if since it's "aluminum", it reacts the same way (negatively) with tomatoes, wine, etc. that regular aluminum would.

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  1. Hi, mousse:

    Yes, it's OK with acids. Aluminum naturally passivates/oxidizes (and immediately), and so, unless you're scraping/scouring your bare aluminum pan, even the bare aluminum is fine. The anodizing process takes this one big step further, and creates a hard, extra-thick oxide layer that should last you a good long time. There are posters here whose Calphalon hard-anodized pans have lasted 20-25 years of heavy use. But if you MUST wash in a dishwasher, that time will be cut appreciably.

    JSYK, the biggest culinary objection to aluminum is its occasional propensity to discolor certain foods, most notably eggs and onions. This is a reaction NOT to acids, but to sulphur compounds. Again, if unless you're OCD about scouring/machine washing your pans, even this should not be an issue.

    Calphalon are really good pans, with a track record a lot of companies would like to have. Be not afraid of aluminum, 95% of restaurants use it.


    1. Hard anodized aluminum cookware are essentially aluminum with an protective oxidized aluminum layer. For most regular cooking, it should ensure fine. It will wear down in prolong strong acidic or basic solutions which are unlikely to find in foods.