Aluminum cookware has been around for a long time and has been improved a lot from the early days. It is one of the most popular types of cookware a long with stainless steel and cast iron. More than half of all cookware sold today is made of aluminum. Researchers have suggested that aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s but there is no evidence to prove that in the case of cookware. To be safe, avoid cooking highly acidic or salty foods in aluminum pans as low grade aluminum cookware will leach out small amounts of aluminum into your food and the pans get pitted.
There are a few different types of aluminum cookware on the market today such as pressed, cast, and anodized. Lets take a look at these.
Pressed aluminum is the most inexpensive and is usually found in the cookware aisle of the supermarket or retail store. It is cheap to buy and usually has the screw in type handle and are thin in thickness. It is also the most made on the market today. They don’t last very long and the handles usually fall off or get loose easily, after all, you get what you pay for. I really don’t recommend this type because you will end up spending more money in the long run and your food quality will not be as good.
Cast aluminum is a slower and more expensive process but the end result is that it is usually thicker than pressed aluminum. The bottom and rims can be made thicker than the sidewalls also. This makes it harder to to warp or “go out of round”. Cast aluminum is more porous than pressed aluminum which makes for better heat retention. For cookware, other than copper, aluminum has the best conductivity. Be careful when buying these first two types of aluminum cookware, make sure you read the label. Most types are either polished or coated which makes it very difficult to tell what you are getting and you don’t want to pay more than you should.
Lastly, anodized, or hard anodized, aluminum cookware which is the top of the line and what I would recommend. Hard anodizing is an electro-chemical process that increases the natural oxide film in aluminum. This process also gives the aluminum a hard non oxidizing finish which is nonstick and scratch resistant. It does not react with salty or acidic foods. The aluminum surface also becomes harder than steel. You can probably imagine how durable this is. The way to tell if you have hard anodized aluminum cookware is that the pans turn a dark gray after the anodizing process. This type of aluminum cookware is the most expensive of all the aluminum types but well worth it. Nonstick, easy to clean and light weight. I would put his type of aluminum cookware right up there with stainless steel, copper and cast iron.
Have a Great Day!!