Stainless Cookware Vs Aluminium Cookware by Carlos Monuiz

Stainless steel cookware versus aluminum pots and pans. Much like fans' favorite sports teams, each has its supporters and detractors. Pros and cons can be discussed with each metal's uses.

Lets see the pros and cons of both.

Stainless Steel Pros

Stainless steel is basically iron to which up to 8 alloys have been added. The more alloys, better the quality. To be considered as stainless steel, the metal requires a minimum of 11 % chromium, and that reduces the effects of rust caused by air and moisture. Almost all stainless steel cookware contains 18 % chromium and up to 10 % nickel.

Stainless steel is very durable and resists scratches and dents. It is also easy to clean.

Cooks prefer stainless steel because it, unlike aluminum cookware, does not react to acidic or alkaline foods that are cooked in it. One more benefit of stainless is that browning or searing foods in it leaves bits of food stuck to the pan. Pouring wine over the bits is known as deglazing and helps create some delicious sauces and gravies.

Aluminum Pros

Aluminium cookware has been made since the late 19th century, but it was only in the 20th century that it started to sell well. More than half of the cookware ever sold is made of aluminium. This is so popular due the fact of its low prices and quick heating.

There are three kinds of aluminum cookware: pressed, this is the cheapest and normally also the quickest to be tossed after several uses because of wear; cast, whichis thicker and more porous than pressed and, thus, able to better retain heat; and anodized, which is aluminum that goes through an electro-chemical process. Anodized pots and pans are non-stick, scratch resistant and the most expensive of types listed here.

Stainless cons

The primary problem with stainless cookware is that it is an very poor conductor of heat, which is obviously rather essential for cooking. It also doesn t spread heat evenly. To alleviate these problems, many quality stainless pots and pans have a core of either copper or aluminum placed between layers of steel on the cookware's bottom. Using these other metals distributes heat much more efficiently than stainless steel alone.

Other con with stainless is that it tends to discolor over very high heat and its surface may pit with prolonged exposure to a salty environment.

Aluminum cons

The primary trouble with aluminum cookware is that it can react to some types of foods, particularly those with acidic or alkaline components. You don t want to cook tomato sauce in an aluminum pot because aluminum particles might be leached into the food.

Another con is that some people think that using the aluminium cause Alzheimer's disease. The FDA and most scientists believe that there is not threat, but if you are one of those that follow the "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", then you should use stainless steel cookware.


Deciding between aluminum or stainless comes down to cost, quality and your cooking needs. Cleaning for both materials is simple, with either being able to be put in the dishwasher or hand-washed with liquid detergent.

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