Bakeware and cookware come in various shapes, sizes, textures, and different materials. These materials vary mainly because of their heat-retaining, heat-conducting, or nonstick abilities. And one of the most popular materials used in cookware and bakeware is aluminum. It is a part of our daily cooking life, but how well do we know it? Let us learn more about aluminum cookware.
What is aluminum?
Aluminum is a metal or material with high thermal conductivity and is corrosion-free. And not only this. It is also a lightweight material, and you won’t be hurting or aching your hands while using it.
Cans, foils, kitchen utensils, window frames, etc., are just a few of the items made of aluminum. It has a low density, is nontoxic, has high thermal conductivity, is corrosion-resistant, and is simple to cast, machine, and shape. It is also non-sparking and non-magnetic.
Why is aluminum considered best for cookware?
Aluminum cookware accounts for nearly 60% of all cookware sold in the United States. Despite this, we have minimal knowledge about it. There is no scarcity of aluminum; as a result, cookware made from it is always inexpensive.
- Heat Conductor: Aluminum can heat up sixteen times faster, which is more than any metal in the kitchen.
- Nontoxic and Easy to clean: Non Toxicity is what we want in our kitchenware, and aluminum metal is a good example. Additionally, it is simple to clean.
- High tensile strength: Aluminum is way too flexible concerning other metals as it holds its shape in high and low temperatures.
- Ductility: Because of this, metal’s ductility can be formed into various shapes and sizes easily, such as utensils, baking sheets, etc.
- Corrosion Resistance: What makes aluminum corrosion-resistant? It is one of the unique characteristics. A thin natural oxide coating will protect the metal, which is highly necessary for the kitchen.
- Light Weight: This metal is way lighter than steel as it has a specific weight of 2.7 g/cm3. Consequentially, it will reduce aluminum production costs.
Types of Aluminum cookware
There are three types of aluminum cookware available today– anodized pressed, and cast.
- Anodized Aluminium Cookware: Anodized or hard-anodized cookware is the one you should get for your kitchen. Anodized Cookware does not react to salty or acidic foods. Furthermore, it is durable and has a non-oxidizing finish, making it scratch-resistant.
- Pressed Aluminium Cookware: Today, pressed aluminum makes up the most significant proportion of aluminum vessels in the market, and it is one of the cheapest options available.
- Cast Aluminium Cookware: Better than pressed aluminum, cast aluminum cookware makes up decent cookware for kitchen use. It is more complex and thicker than pressed aluminum and will satisfy your cooking needs.
Which metal cookware to buy, Aluminum Or OTHERS?
Cookware shopping can be daunting when there are so many choices available. That is why today, we compared our favorite aluminum cookware metal with others, and here are the results. So, like a pro cook, let us take a look at what should we keep and discard from our kitchen cabinets:
If you think about why you should pay more for copper cookware, then the reason is that it is an excellent heat conductor. However, being a reactive metal, it should always be coated with another metal, such as tin or stainless steel.
- Copper heats up fast, so there is no need to pre-heat it.
- Copper is suitable for temperature/ heat adjustments and acts as an outstanding heat conductor.
- It Demands a lot of hard work to maintain its luster, and it has to be polished regularly.
- Induction cooktops are not compatible with copper cookwares.
- Extremely costly.
Stainless steel is chromium-containing steel. The steel’s chromium reacts with the oxygen in the air to form a robust and oxidized coating on the metal’s surface.
Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, it is corrosion-resistant, non-scratchable, rust-free, dent-resistant, non-reactive, durable, and dishwasher-safe.
- Less expensive.
- Stainless steel has to be clubbed with other metals like copper to make it a good heat conductor.
- Proper care is fundamental for this metal.
- Unable to retain heat for a long time.
This metal heats up quickly and is also long-lasting. It can be used on direct fire, broiler, stove, oven, and grill. You can say it is all-around cookware.
- Utensils made from cast iron are long-lasting.
- They come with a reasonable price tag.
- You can even use metal on cast iron; the coating will not scratch off.
- Cast iron cookwares are naturally nonstick.
- It is like an all-purpose coating that we can find on almost any cooking surface, from ovens to grillers, etc.
- Remains hot for a long time.
- Cast iron needs proper care, or it will start to scrape, chip, or rust.
- Cleaning and maintaining it takes time and effort.
- Can react with acidic foods.
- Utensils made from cast iron are pretty heavy.
Unlike nonstick surfaces and anodized aluminum, traditional materials like aluminum and cast iron are healthy options. When assessing the healthfulness of cookware, consider whether the material deals a significant risk of toxicity and how likely the cookware materials are to leach into the food during cooking.