This article will discuss the pros and cons of using aluminum cookware. The pros are that it is a good conductor so food heats up fast. It is lightweight and easy to move around, this can be a con too because it can be easily damaged by rough handling. But aluminum cookware is mostly used in commercial kitchens.
Aluminum pots and pans are very popular and easy to find. They are low cost because of their popularity which took off in the mid 20th century.
Another con is that it can discolor sauces when they are mixed with a metal spoon and stored in aluminum pots. Also, aluminum can react with certain foods and discolor them making them less appealing to eat so aluminum pots can not be used to store certain sauces and foods.
In the book “Professional Cooking” by Wayne Gisslen it mentions that there are special types of aluminum pots called anodized aluminum that have a harder, corrosive resistant finish on them, unlike regular aluminum pots. These pots are beneficial because foods stick less to the surface of the pot than with regular aluminum pots and other types of pots. However, these pots are more expensive and they are not as heavy duty and long lasting as regular aluminum pots. Also, this type of pot easily stained and not dishwasher safe.
There are different types of aluminum pots and each one has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Heavy aluminum pots heat quickly and evenly. Thin aluminum pots heat unevenly as well as become dented quickly making more difficulties to let food lay evenly in the pan and cook evenly. Low end lines of pots have are usually enamel coated aluminum pots. There are other varieties of aluminum pots such as heavy-cast, pressure-cast and polished aluminum.
The three main catagories of aluminum pots and pans are:
These are the cheapest variety and they have the shortest lifespan. They are easily tossed out after they become damaged through rough handling.
These pots last longer than pressed pots because they have thicker sides and off more porousness. Heat is held in longer with these pots offering better cooking abilities.
These pots were mentioned earlier. The aluminum in them has undergone electro-chemical changes to affect its cooking abilities. They are the most expensive of the three catagories of pots but they offer great benefits such as non-stick surfaces, and scratch resistance.
At the end, if you are looking for a good quality pot or pan that can be found easily than invest in anodized aluminum pans. They have been used for a long time and have a good reputation for quality and cooking strength.