HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Should I be worried about Aluminum bakeware?

I'm on the market for new kitchen things, and a restaurant supply store I am thinking of using has mostly aluminum bakeware (non-anodized as far as I know). I didn't think anything of it until I stumbled on an article about aluminum leaching into foods through bakeware and causing things like Alzheimers. What do you think?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What do I think? I think there's no science behind it.

    1. The Alzheimers thing was debunked decades ago, aluminum is fine to cook in. If it was unsafe to cook in, every single restaurant wouldn't be using it exclusively.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TeRReT

        Sure restaurants would be using it. They use what is the most convenient and works the best. That is why the health dept inspects them regularly and finds unhealthy conditions. Restaurants use aluminum because it works for them so well, not because it is perfectly healthy.
        For me. I seldom use it. I never liked it any way, because it scratches so bad and food stuck to it and then there is the food reaction thing. I do have a couple of alinum baking sheets that I like, but I always have something between my food and the pan. I use all try ply SS and CI.

      2. I've read several studies on the subject of aluminum and while there may not be 100% proof - I don't care. I'm not taking the chance. I don't use them.
        By the way, I've read studies that using plastic wrap in the freezer and microwave (and the plastic used to make certain water bottles) causes plastic to drip into your food, causing cancer.
        Again, may not have "science behind it", but why take the chance? If it's true - then I'm covered; If it's BS - what did I lose? Nada.

        15 Replies
            1. re: acssss

              That's not good enough. That you can't cite these "studies" says it all.

              1. re: acssss

                Agreed. You can read anything on the internet. Who sponsored the studies? How were the studies designed? You haven't substantiated your assertion.

                This business of aluminum causing Alzheimer's is an old, old charge, and it has never been substantiated. There is plenty of info out there about what might cause Alzheimer's but aluminum is never mentioned.

                1. re: sueatmo

                  Except for "it has never been substantiated" - everything you said is untrue and are pure assumptions.
                  I don't get my information from the internet.
                  There is research being conducted at many universities and research centers across the world with regards to the link between Alzheimer's, ALS, Parkinson's and aluminum.

                  ...and all I said was that while the research is still being conducted and studies are coming out demonstrating any connection, I prefer to be safe... that is what I believe... that is what I've decided. I really don't see the need for argument. If you think it's all a bunch of BS, then good for you... I really could care less..

                  1. re: acssss

                    It's too bad the Alzheimer's Association disagrees, but what do they know?

                    Myth 4: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

                    Reality: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.

                    1. re: ferret

                      The Alzheimer's association definitely does not disagree. They just cannot come out and say there is a link and take down the entire multi-billion aluminum industry until they have concrete evidence that there is a clear link. So far, there is inconclusive evidence but most think there is a link (not few) and they are shelling out a lot of dough to prove it. I believe one day they will. If not, no loss on my part - aluminum gives a bad taste to food anyway in my opinion.

                      1. re: acssss

                        So they're just recklessly exposing hundreds of millions of people to risk by stating there's no demonstrable link even though they know there is? Is no one safe from this conspiracy of misinformation?

                        1. re: ferret

                          I'd like to know where you've read that there is no link. I've only been able to find that the link cannot be proven.

                          1. re: acssss

                            No DEMONSTRABLE link.

                            And you can approach "cannot be proven" from 2 directions. You choose to approach it from the "I feel it in my gut but so far nobody can prove it" while the other approach is "there's no link." For all you know ingesting a certain quantity of peanut butter and jelly in a specific proportion can have a link to Alzheimer's or cancer. Nobody can prove or disprove that either.

                            1. re: ferret

                              So far I don't know of any studies being conducted on PB&J.
                              I do know that the Alzheimer's association and the health organizations in this country are still paying for research with regards to aluminum, therefore, I've decided that for me and my family, it would be wise to refrain from its use.
                              Why is that so offensive to you? I've never implied nor have I said that you are wrong to use it. You want to use it - go ahead an use it.

                              1. re: acssss

                                Also, be aware of aluminum in anti-persperents.

                            2. re: acssss

                              ex "Scientific American" (1997):

                              There is no proof, and the current consensus is that aluminum does not play a major role in the development of Alzheimer's disease.


                1. re: acssss

                  I have found it nearly impossible to avoid plastic. Aluminum is difficult to completely avoid too. I buy organic coffee, and the packages are lined with aluminum. Now, I am trying to avoid GMO foods..............very difficult since there is no requirement to label.

                2. Old old stuff. Long ago disproven. Trash science.

                  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic...

                    Study (one of many) from 2011 - states that the link between aluminum and Alzheimer's, ALS, etc still has to be established - it causes adverse effects on humans.
                    Which is my point. The link with Alzheimer's may be BS, and it may be proven fact in the future. For now, why take the chance? In any case it is "not essential for life" as the study states. I agree.

                    "Whilst being environmentally abundant, aluminum is not essential for life. On the contrary, aluminum is a widely recognized neurotoxin that inhibits more than 200 biologically important functions and causes various adverse effects in plants, animals, and humans. The relationship between aluminum exposure and neurodegenerative diseases, including dialysis encephalopathy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinsonism dementia in the Kii Peninsula and Guam, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been suggested. In particular, the link between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease has been the subject of scientific debate for several decades. However, the complex characteristics of aluminum bioavailability make it difficult to evaluate its toxicity and therefore, the relationship remains to be established."

                    7 Replies
                        1. re: acssss

                          You said you read several studies but only provided a link to one.

                          Where are these ongoing studies occurring?

                      1. re: acssss

                        Nevermind the abstract...., look at the actual data. It doesn't stand on its own.

                        1. re: liza219

                          If it didn't then why are there so many government grants being given to researches across the country (your tax dollars) to try and see if there is a connection. So far, no one actually knows whether there is or isn't and from what I understand, it is leaning toward - yes there is. Not conclusive, true, but hardly BS or trash science.

                          1. re: acssss

                            Because we all know grants are only given for proving positive results.

                        2. re: acssss

                          That isn't a study, it's a review article. It does cite several studies, however.

                        3. <aluminum leaching into foods through bakeware and causing things like Alzheimers>

                          I won't worry too much. There are plenty of things to worry about aluminum cookware, such as it being a soft for cookware, and that it can be oxidized, pitting, ...etc, but I won't worry about the Alzheimer's disease.

                          In all honesty, if it is real, then you better not eat out because >90% of the restaurant cookware are aluminum, and most processed foods are prepared by aluminum parts. Recently, I went to a Ramen shop. The kitchen is exposed like any Japanese Ramen shop. I believe I saw one stainless steel steamer, and the rest of the cookware (pots and pans) are aluminum.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            I agree and I don't worry too much - in fact, I don't worry at all. I'm a very calm and happy person, and I've very calmly and happily chosen not to use them :-)

                            1. re: acssss

                              < I'm a very calm and happy person, and I've very calmly and happily chosen not to use them :-)>

                              I am sure you are. I didn't imply you were not. In fact, I might be the few who said that your cited studies are interesting, and worth looking into. :)

                          2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22...

                            This is from 2013 that showed that reducing the Aluminum intake (in water) by individuals with Alzheimer's improved their cognitive abilities.
                            Proof? No. But enough to get them to explore the issue more. In the meantime, I'd use iron clad.
                            By the way, unless you eat daily in a restaurant, their aluminum will not hurt you. It is overexposure that is being discussed not eating from aluminum cookware once in a while.

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: acssss

                              Yeah, it was null hypothesis study with FIFTEEN subjects, already Alzheimers sufferers, and 3 showed "cognitive improvement" when they boosted their aluminum clearance. This study is worth nothing in terms of causality, since it is known that Alzheimers-damaged brain cells have an affinity for aluminum.

                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Thank you....never mind the title or the abstract....did you see how small the study was!

                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                  I never said the study was worth anything.
                                  I said there were several studies conducted - that is a fact.
                                  I said that there is not 100% proof - for either side - that is a fact.
                                  I said that I'm not taking the chance - I would say that is my right.

                                  1. re: acssss

                                    You provided a link to only one, small Japanese study.

                                    1. re: scoopG

                                      Why do you feel it is my job to provide you with studies or links?
                                      I know the studies. I've read them.
                                      I know people involved in research and I know the questions that are still unanswered, and due to all this, I've decided not to use aluminum cookware.
                                      I really am laughing now, because I don't understand why you have a problem with me not using aluminum.

                                      1. re: acssss

                                        Nobody cares what you use or don't use. That's indisputable. The problem we're having is with your lack of understanding about what you read.

                                        1. re: ferret

                                          You are one nasty person. Just like I chose to refrain from use of aluminum, I am choosing to refrain from communicating with you. Have a wonderful day!

                                        2. re: acssss

                                          I have no problems with your not using aluminum.

                                          You cite several "studies" that support your view but can only point to one small Japanese one that seems to rely a fair amount on meta-analysis. Where are the other supporting ones? Do they really exist?

                                          Please tell who are the key opinion leaders in this research field - if you are able.

                                          Is any of this research being published in the two main Western Scientific Journals, Nature or Science?

                                          1. re: scoopG

                                            I only pointed to one small Japanese study because I'm not going to spend my day searching for "studies". They are out there and have been out there for decades. It's a known issue - hence the thread.

                                    1. re: acssss

                                      This is a preliminary study of a methodology which the authors do not claim is definitive: "...a longer term study involving many more individuals is now warranted."

                                      A lot of science is done like this, in small steps with limited conclusions. Often, laymen cite such studies as if they were proof, which they are not.

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        I never said it was proof. In fact, I stated it is not proof.
                                        Laymen often don't listen/read and assume things that aren't true.

                                      2. I think there is a valid concern, but only regarding cheaply made cookware, with crud coatings flaking and falling off into food, and fraud marketing referring to how " Green, Natural, or Organic " that product is.

                                        Really, from a food safety standpoint today, I'm more concerned about what is being cooked in the cookware, and where it originated from, than what the cookware is made of.

                                        Food and product safety standards and regulations are better today than in the past, but the best cookware won't prevent contaminated or spoiled food from making you ill.

                                        1. Here is my 2 cents:

                                          I try to minimize daily toxic risks of all sorts, including ingesting aluminum. We get plenty of aluminum from our diet already and likely get too much "unnaturally" from antiperspirant, antacids, aspirin, aluminum foil, etc. Certainly, "more is not better" when it comes to metals in your body. I don't need a research study to figure that out, to prove causality, to tell me which disease it causes, might cause, etc. My philosophy on these things is to do what I can easily do to promote my own health. I don't worry about "occasional" anything, it is the daily issue that I prioritize.

                                          I use aluminum bake sheets with parchment or silpat on it. I use some silicon bakeware (muffins). I use lots of glass bakeware (most is glass). No aluminum cookware. I minimize aluminum foil and mostly use it for wrapping, not cooking in. I am really working to minimize aluminum foil though (that one is harder for me).

                                          It is not hard to think about daily use items and decide what you are comfortable with. These things are easy to take control of.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: sedimental

                                            There are aluminum feet on my Sodastream.

                                            1. re: sedimental

                                              Very articulate, and I should have just waited and "liked" your comment and refrained from use of the word "studies" :)

                                              1. re: acssss

                                                Some folks like to argue with others on the Internet for a good time. Everyone needs to figure out their own comfort level with things like aluminum in the diet to arsenic in rice to HFCS to whatever. Lots of toxins and lots of choices. I could give a rats ass what strangers on a website choose to do in their own kitchen.

                                                I am totally healthy, medication free, energetic, and physically fit ( unlike most of my American compatriates). We all make choices that work or don't work for us. Government or grant based research doesn't enter into it much for me. I am assuming that the OP is not asking for research opinion, just general opinions by people that like to cook. You gave your opinion....good on you. Be done.

                                            2. If you're concerned about it, just ensure that you cook nothing acidic in the aluminum cookware. I recently read something after searching for articles on the safety of aluminum cookware, (and of course now I can't find the particular article that I'm about to reference) that said one would ingest about 35 milligrams of aluminum per day if they cooked and stored all their food in aluminum. That is less than the 50 milligrams of aluminum you will ingest from one antacid tablet or from one buffered aspirin. And you would have to cook EVERYTHING in aluminum and store EVERYTHING you ate in aluminum to reach that 35 milligrams.

                                              Aluminum is the most common element on earth. It is everywhere around us: in the soil, in the water, in the plants. That is not to say it is harmless, but it is abundant. If uncertainty bothers you, either avoid aluminum cookware and don't eat canned or processed food, or just don't cook acidic foods in aluminum and don't use aluminum for storage.

                                              1. I never knew that cookware was such a delicate issue with some people. I don't intend on getting into a long discussion/argument especially with regards to cookware - I don't gives a RA what other people cook with.

                                                The studies I cited below were inconclusive and I repeatedly said that they were (if you were to take the time to read the entire post and not just the first line).
                                                I also said that although inconclusive, why take the risk?
                                                There are no studies that are 100% conclusive in that there is absolutely NO risk with regards to aluminum cookware - and that is enough for me.
                                                Aluminum is definitely not one of the major food groups, AND we get enough crap with the environment being what it is, so why go out of your way to put more crap in your body.

                                                If anyone prefers cooking with it and doesn't care about the risks, or doesn't think there are risks - be my guest.

                                                17 Replies
                                                1. re: acssss

                                                  Hi, acssss:

                                                  The implication that other people--who disagree with you--don't get it, is amusing. This is a topic that has been covered here countless times. People here actually read the studies, and many have acute BS sensors. Those would be the klaxons you're hearing.

                                                  "There are no studies that are 100% conclusive in that there is absolutely NO risk with regards to aluminum cookware - and that is enough for me."

                                                  Well, that's an odd standard by which to live or cook. Since you are an adept at research, why don't you link us up with a few studies that prove, "100%" conclusively, that SS, ceramic, CI, even glass have "absolutely NO risk".


                                                  1. re: kaleokahu

                                                    Where do you see anywhere that I said that people that disagree with me "don't get it"? I never said that, never implied it, never wrote it.

                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                      Hi, acssss:

                                                      You didn't *say* it, you implied it.

                                                      I do understand where you're coming from. I look askance at the safety of PTFE, at least when it is accidentally abused, so I avoid it even in the absence of solid studies questioning its safety when used on cookware. But it would be irresponsible for me to cite the lack of studies concluding that PTFE-coated cookware is "100% absolutely safe", when there is a broad scientific consensus that it is indeed safe in normal use.


                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                        I never implied it.
                                                        And I never cited the lack of studies concluding that Aluminum is 100% safe. What I said was that while research is being conducted (which it is), I said I would rather be safe than sorry and wait for the conclusive evidence to emerge - one way or the other.
                                                        I think it is irresponsible of me to cook my children's meals in aluminum while research is being conducted only to find out that yes, there is a connection. We aren't talking about nutrition for goodness sake, we are talking about aluminum! I can live without it. If the studies come out false and we find out it was all a bunch of bull - I've lost nothing.

                                                        1. re: acssss

                                                          The point is there's never "conclusive" evidence when you're looking for 100% certainty.

                                                          1. re: ferret

                                                            I'm not the one looking for 100% certainty. Everyone else on this thread is.
                                                            I'm the one who is saying that the uncertainty out there is enough for me to refrain from aluminum use.

                                                    2. re: acssss

                                                      I doubt there are any studies which prove conclusively that there is zero risk in any cookware.

                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                        Try not to take comments out of context. The issue is the controversy with aluminum. There have been studies on both sides of the issue - and until I see conclusive evidence on either side, I prefer to take precaution - that's my right. If you think that is silly, that's your right.
                                                        Very simple.
                                                        Should not be an issue.
                                                        All I did was voice my opinion and no one here has said anything to cause me to change it.
                                                        Attacking someone for their opinion is pathetic.

                                                        1. re: acssss

                                                          I have not made any personal attacks here. My interest is in the substantive question and the science behind it. You seem to be a little defensive.

                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                            Are you kidding me? I am laughing my butt off.
                                                            I write one comment that says "studies have been conducted and while there is no proof, I would rather be on the safe side" and I am bombarded with attack dogs. I find it hilarious that one person's opinion can cause such havoc.
                                                            Many people on this thread need to get their head examined and find out why they are so protective of aluminum.
                                                            I don't use bacon, animal fat, sugary drinks either. I wouldn't want to know what would happen if I said anything against coca-cola

                                                            1. re: acssss

                                                              Your premises here are being attacked - nothing personal about that as far as I am concerned.

                                                              I would just like to see you cite more published data or point to more studies or suggest where we can look further to understand more about this.

                                                              1. re: scoopG

                                                                Not to worry - I am not taking it personal. I find it amusing. I never came out and attacked anyone's personal preferences and said "Never eat out of an aluminum pan! It will cause you Alzheimer's!" All I said was I, personally, don't want to - and read some of these comments. It's funny!
                                                                With regards to the research... if I were to go into detail, it would get too personal - something I am particular about. I am not saying in any fashion that I know something about Alzheimer's that no one else knows - I don't.
                                                                I do know, however, that in order for research to be published without being 100% factual, is almost impossible, especially with regards to health. Some industries are too powerful and therefore, it must be 100% conclusive - like with the link between tobacco and cancer. It took decades for them to come out and publish their findings - findings that they had a strong theory about long before they published their research, while, many people were dying in the meantime. Will it be the same with aluminum (and not only with regards to Alzheimer's)? I don't know. What I am saying - and what I've been saying all along is - I am not going to take that chance. Aluminum along with many other metals/pollutants are already part of our lives (water, tuna, deodorant, foods, canned goods) why over-do-it and why not avoid it where we can? I've decided not to go hide out in a cave, but I have decided not to cook with aluminum cookware.

                                                              2. re: acssss

                                                                "Attack dogs"? Get a grip. The OP posed a question in the title of this thread. Many people, myself included, would answer "no." Your response to this is that people should "get their head examined." You are the one here making personal attacks.

                                                                1. re: GH1618

                                                                  Yeah right, that was my first response to the OP.
                                                                  The "get your head examined" was not due to the "No" answers and if you don't realize that - there is no need for further discussion.

                                                        2. re: acssss

                                                          I think what makes these studies inconclusive is that all our bodies react differently at different times. Such as some people use tobacco all their lives with no ill effects. For others it causes disease. In our young lives we can eat pretty much what ever we want with no ill effects, but as we age we develop problems from certain things. Some children can go through all the vaccine protocols with no obvious ill effects, for others, there is severe complications. Our genetic make up and lifestyles and history of our lifestyles determine our health or lack of. And that varies greatly with each individual. Makes studies long and difficult.

                                                          1. re: acssss

                                                            Whenever someone brings up the topic of avoiding anything--aluminum, plastic, nonstick cookware, pesticides, herbicides, GMO, fats, processed foods, etc.--feathers *always* seem to get ruffled.

                                                            I think people are just sick of opinions that make sweeping assumptions or judgmental statements that are not based on evidence. For example, "I only eat organic food because it will cure cancer and anyone who doesn't will die of disease." These kinds of statements make people roll their eyes so far back, that when others say "I personally prefer organic because of environmental, sustainability, and potential long-term health issues," CHers still have a knee-jerk reaction.

                                                            I personally am not concerned about aluminum, and I believe the scientific consensus is that we need not be concerned, but if you've decided that you want to avoid it, then more power to you. Your stance of "Why take the chance if there's even a small possibility of a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's?" is a perfectly valid one.

                                                            Of course, any sickness can be connected in some way to any factor in our lives--diet, cookware, environment, air quality, etc. We can't avoid them all, nor can scientific studies prove the exact threshold of safety for every substance, but we can pick and choose what we want to limit our exposure to. If you've chosen aluminum as one of those things, go ahead! And it doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can choose not to use aluminum at home, but it doesn't mean you have to fear and avoid aluminum 100% of the time.

                                                            No matter what your opinion is, you can explain your opinion and post helpful information without attacking the opinions, logic, intelligence, or sanity of others. I wish CH were more respectful in this regard.

                                                          2. No! But if you want to believe that stuff go ahead. keep in mind that Bauxite (from what aluminum is produced) is one of the most abundant minerals on earth. You cannot avoid it.

                                                            That said, aluminum cookware has the best heat conduction and fewer hot spots. Stainless steel has some of the worst. That is why companies like All-Clad sandwich stainless and copper into the cores of the pans or like good old Revere Ware had copper bottoms.

                                                            I've had customers who insisted on no aluminum but stainless bakeware. Okay, if you want to pay the price and it is pretty high, you can also lay down some parchment paper and be done with it. But if you want it I'll special order it for you with a deposit and you understand it will not be returnable unless there is some defect from mfg.

                                                            1. No, do not worry. Stress DOES cause illness.

                                                              I avoided aluminum for awhile but I use a mixture of cookware. I like bare aluminum, usually lined in someway with parchment paper for baking but sometimes pyrex. On the stove I also use a mixture of materials as I do for storing food. I don't cook anything acidic in aluminum.

                                                              Eventually almost anything you pick out will eventually become suspect, not to mention the food itself. Pyrex and parchment both have "issues" now)

                                                              I have found out through life, the thing you worry about the most is usually not what ends up being the problem.

                                                              By using all different things, I am mitigating future risk!

                                                              This is what the Alzheimer's Association says.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: wekick

                                                                I agree with your logic for cookware, food and life in general. Moderation is key. That way you are not over-exposed to anything.

                                                              2. In India, I have seen Aluminium cookware since my childhood and it has been used for much longer. But the Alzheimers rate is very low compared to other places. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/ca.... So I don't think it should be a cause for worry. This is not a scientific statement, but strictly an opinion based on observation.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: pallu

                                                                  I agree that aluminum is not the only, single cause for Alzheimer's. There are many factors. That is why it is very difficult for any organization to come out and say that there is a direct link between aluminum and Alzheimer's. They would be sued by all the companies making aluminum products. However, from that statement to "there is no link what-so-ever - keep on using aluminum products" is a giant leap. One that I choose not to take, and thank goodness I live in a country that I still have free will.

                                                                  1. re: acssss

                                                                    OK, acssss [applying saw to limb]:

                                                                    You said two minutes ago that "aluminum is not the only, single cause for Alzheimer's."

                                                                    So you now think aluminum causes Alzheimer's, when 22 hours ago you acknowledged that proposition has no science behind it. Really?

                                                                    Um... did you cook in aluminum for a long time before you gave it up?


                                                                    1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                      You should read it as "if it becomes a conclusive fact that aluminum has anything to do with Alzheimer's, it probably wouldn't be the only factor." It was in response to the theory that the two cannot be connected because in India they've been using it too and there is very little Alzheimer's. That's silly. It's like saying butter does not have any effect on heart disease because in France there is a lower rate of heart attacks than in America. It doesn't work that way.

                                                                      1. re: acssss

                                                                        Hi, acsss:

                                                                        Yes. There's very little alien extermination of Earthlings on Rarotonga. And no definitive study proving 100% absolutely that these exterminations aren't happening whenever someone disappears outside Polynesia. And there's that Japanese study of 15 disappeared people voicing concern when 3 of them got better after they were found--completely full of butter. Better to avoid aliens altogether than risk being butter-stuffed, right?

                                                                        And what's a "conclusive fact"?

                                                                        We all need something to be afraid of, and aluminum is apparently your thing. That's OK, better than wearing hats made out of it.


                                                                        1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                          I would answer you with a long, descriptive reply, but I was taught: "If you have nothing nice to say..."

                                                                          1. re: acssss

                                                                            Nothing personal, I was trying to illustrate the illogic of your presentation.

                                                                2. I wouldn't be concerned myself in regards to the original question posed.

                                                                  1. In response to your question, I recently bought heavy 10 gauge aluminum cookie sheets and I LOVE them- get really nice baking results with them. I also use aluminum foil, as so many people do - even those that avoid aluminum cookware. A real purist is going to have to limit their cookware to glass/pyroceram or iron in the form of cast iron or carbon steel. I avoided aluminum cookware for years because of all of the discussions, but looking back, I wonder how much of the metal can actually leach out in anything other than acidic ingredients. Stainless steel has Nickel, teflon has flurocarbons, etc, etc. Borosilicate glass bakeware can be found if you want a truly inert material, but it is hard to get a crisp cookie with such bakeware.