Aluminum cookware?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by nosborne48, Aug 5, 2021.

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  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Everybody will think I am one of those ad-bots.

    To the cooks and foodies here on DI: Has anyone ever bought and used commercial grade NSF aluminum sauce pans or skillets? These things are ugly but dirt cheap and that 4 mm aluminum should handle heat really well. There's a lot of stuff out there about the downsides of "natural" aluminum in cooking. The Alzheimer's connection is pretty thoroughly debunked but what about cooking acidic foods and leaching? I've never tasted anything metallic in any restaurant food I've eaten but maybe the professionals use stainless steel for that cooking?
     
  2. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Cookderosa, you are missed! While not on the dirt cheap end, there's a lot of brands including commercial brands that use the layers of aluminum in between stainless steel to have the advantages of aluminum but the integrity of steel. I picked up All-Clad D5 cookware a few years ago with some apprehension... wish I would have done it sooner! Never anticipate buying cookware again and it's amazing to cook with. Did take a bit of a learning curve with adjusting cooking temps to it, and cleaning is a bit different if you want to maintain that mirror finish.
     
  3. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I have a set of tri-ply cookware that I do like pretty well. Stainless inside and outside with an aluminum core. I also use a good bit of Le Creuset enameled cast iron which is amazing stuff. But all that gear is heavy and not particularly easy to clean. I'm getting rid of my beloved gas range in favor of a glass top electric in a couple of weeks and I'm thinking about all that glass. Sure, it's tough but...it's GLASS. It CAN break, right?

    Incidentally, the reasons for the new stove are that I wanted a double convection oven and my kitchen has no ventilation. A range hood cannot be installed as a practical matter. That was okay when I lived in a leaky old adobe house but we've put in much tighter windows and doors and closed off much of the natural air movement. Burning natural gas without at least some ventilation scares me.

    I thought about induction but my tri-ply cookware isn't magnetic and I don't want to replace everything.
     
  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    I have a glass top electric cook-top and still use the insanely heavy cookware, All-Clad is seriously heavy, and also have some of the Le Creuset ironware. I've never had any problems. I thoroughly enjoy cooking and haven't had any problems or concerns with it and the glass. Still prefer gas, but just not an option where I live. Also agree with you, wouldn't be in favor of gas without ventilation.
     
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    At least your last meal will be delicious!
     
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  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Warden. Good to know you care.:p
     
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  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Tell you what, Vonnegut. If I could get a modern high tech double oven convection version, I think I'd prefer bare coil cooktop elements to the glass top. But unless you want to shell out mega-bucks for a commercial range and the kitchen modifications to deal with its heat and lack of insulation, the only coil stoves left are bottom end contractor grade boxes. Not so bad but not what I want.
     
  8. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    Personally, I try to avoid purchasing pure aluminum cookware. It may be cheap but I feel like I get poor-quality results. It feels like everything burns much more easily and then the aluminum gets scratches and dings more easily. I would be willing to try a steel-clad or copper-clad aluminum pot but I definitely don't want pure aluminum. Even copper is a bit iffy because it's also a soft metal. I like being able to scour my pots & pans if I make a mistake.
     
  9. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    So you cook in cast iron? Gas or electric?
     
  10. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    I prefer cast iron or stainless steel. Unfortunately, cast iron is way too expensive to get more than just a handful of useful pieces. This is my preference for both gas and electric.
     
  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well, contemplating my own collection, I guess I'm stainless or cast iron too except for a cookie sheet or two.
     
  12. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    What about the ceramic?
    We had mixed experiences with aluminum saucepan and the cookware.
    Recently got a ceramic one and so far very happy.
    Its T-Fal aluminum cookware that's been finished in a ceramic coating.
    More expensive but we like the results so far.
     
  13. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Ceramic pans meaning coated aluminum? Nothing at all wrong with that except that like all non stick finishes ceramic has a limited life span and needs gentle cleaning and not to get too hot.

    What didn’t you like about the uncoated aluminum?
     
  14. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    Ceramic can be amazing. I have one of those now because it was relatively inexpensive and I couldn't find a good stainless steel one in that size. I don't think it's fully aluminum otherwise, though, because it feels heavier than that.
     
  15. AsianStew

    AsianStew Active Member

    <sigh> All this food talk is making me hungry! <gonna grab some lunch>
     
  16. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    If it's induction capable it will have a steel base.
     
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  17. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Which aluminum saucepan when cooking Pemeni or Vareniki unless I was stirring the content all the time some of the Pelmeni would stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
    This is not happening now, I can stir a little bit and let the Pilmeni cook and noting ever gets stuck to the saucepan, I added some oil etc all kind techniques exist, it didn't help.
    Same for some other low fire soups the lower layers got a little burned for some reason as well. Maybe I had a cheap product?
    Now with the ones we have its not happening.
    I do think about the limited life span, and how long this set will last before things start sticking again.
    We have like 30 year old set of Kazan Cast Iron Cookware Pan from Russia that we purchased locally from immigrants around 1992, and these seem to last for ever.

     
  18. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Cast iron will last until the Sun goes dark.
     
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  19. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Active Member

    As long as you treat it right and don't put toxic substances in it. I've heard that you shouldn't buy cast iron at thrift stores because you don't know if the previous owner put unsafe things like paint thinner or whatever in it and those non-foodsafe substances could get into your food. Could be a myth, though. I've never looked into it because I've never seen cast iron at a thrift store.
     
  20. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    We use Kazan mostly for stew - Zharkoye - wonderful ancient Ukrainian/Eastern European food that I ate often growing up.
     

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