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Equipment & Gear: Cooking With Aluminum
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Graciela
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Season Aluminum cookware Reply with quote

Hi, Michael congratulations for this great site!

I love to cook with luminum pans and I have been using Soy Lecithin to season them, just wipe a small amount on the heated pans with a paper towel and keep heating them on the stove for 10 minutes. Try it and let me know.

Regards from Venezuela,

Graciela
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Guest
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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 3:30 am    Post subject: Aluminum pots and pans Reply with quote

The most efficient aluminum pots and pans I’ve found are Wearever brand. These are the pans found in most restaurant kitchens, as opposed to those glitzy pots and pans displayed on the cooking shows, and can be found in any restaurant supply house. They are thick walled, hold heat evenly and well, and very sturdy. For myself, I use the heat resistant rubber handle covers also found in restaurant supply houses. My wife disapproved of my "flaming towel" method of moving the pots when the handles got hot.

They are not necessarily inexpensive – a 14-inch Wearever sauté pan with lid (sold separately) can cost over $100. Restaurant supply houses also are great places to find double-walled, heat cored, Vollrath stainless steel stock pots for those acidic foods, but that’s another story.

I’ve cured smooth Wearever fry pans with great results using Crisco and following the directions given to me by a local chef. Here’s how it’s done: If you don’t have at least a 750 cfm exhaust fan, temporarily disconnect your smoke detector. Fill the fry pan with solid Crisco. Heat until oil turns slightly brown. Turn off heat until pan cools. Repeat the process until the oil smokes. Turn off heat and let the pan cool until the Crisco just begins to solidify. Pour the Crisco into a container. Rinse the fry pan in warm water and dry with a paper towel.

Once cured, Wearever fry pans cook like they were teflon – providing that sufficient heat, butter and/or oil are applied. I’ve tried curing Wearever sauté and sauce pans using the same method with differing results. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. I think it has something to do with the radial machining on the bottom of the sauce and sauté pans.
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HeidiS13
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Cooking in nonstick Reply with quote

I cook a lot, and use both nonstick and "other" pans. Including aluminum.

Basically the best pans are the "restaurant quality" pans. First, they are CHEAP. A good cookie sheet costs $7. A good fry pan cost about $30, and they last and don't warp (meant for high heat).

As for sticking: nonstick is good for beginners. It's no good for "real" cooking, at least not for me. First, I need high heat to carmelize foods. Once it is carmellized, it surely makes a mess: all this brown gunk on the bottom! But then, you add a douse of water or wine, which makes this amazing SHOOSH! of steam (very impressive). It's called "deglazing" but the main point is: 1) It cleans your pan and 2) It makes this amazingly delicious sauce.

You can't cook on high heat OR do deglazing in nonstick. You can do both in either aluminum or steel. Steel works better, in my book, because it puts up with more abuse and stays "flatter". However, my steel pan does have an aluminum core, so it doesn't have hot spots. Steel also outlives nonstick amazingly. I had 2 sets of nonstick before I switched to steel, but none of the steel pans have died, whereas the nonstick needs to be replaced every few years, usually after someone else had them on high heat for too long.

I do have one pan that has some sort of "glass steel" coating that is listed as "nonstick" but isn't teflon of any type. It's a different kind of steel. Very expensive, and amazingly effective, and rarely sold.
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KGWagner



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:51 am    Post subject: Aluminum cookware Reply with quote

For those disposed toward needless worry, you'll get a lot more aluminum in your body through the use of antiperspirants than you'll ever get from your pots and pans.

As for non-stick pans being less than ideal for high-heat cooking or deglazing, that's no longer true. There's at least one manufacturer - Scanpan - who makes a line of non-stick pans that use a ceramic-titanium coating over aluminum that can take a great deal of heat, doesn't off-gas PTFEs, and will withstand the abuse of metal utensils. They're also oven and dishwasher safe. On top of all that, they still guarantee them for life.

Of course, they don't give the little rascals away; you'll pay a pretty penny for them. But, if they last as long as they say they will and they're willing to replace them forever, they're a bargain. We have a set here and while we've only been using them for a couple months, They're everything Scanpan says they are, and clean up almost as easily as rinsing. I can't recommend them highly enough.
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Superchef
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aluminum pans don't work on induction stoves and have not enough thermal mass to keep temperature high when you put a large hunk of meet in. Nothing for the serious chef.
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twoblink



Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my take on aluminum..

I personally don't find it a safe cooking medium; so I don't use it. Basically 2 items are not used in my kitchen; aluminum pans, and the microwave.. I take that back.. I use the microwave to nuke my sponges. 2 minutes on high. But never food. Both aluminum pots and pans, and microwaves do things to food that are bad for you, IMHO.

BUT.. if you want really really sound scientific proof as most are engineers here; I'll give you the argument from the food quality standpoint.

Cast iron heats evenly, browns beautifully, and is cheap to own and will outlast you. Aluminum is soft, and has a funky taste.

I cannot think of a situation in which aluminum is superior to either cast iron or stainless steel with a copper core. Stainless definitely has a more neutral taste; if you don't believe me, throw a few tomatoes into a recipe and see how strange things taste in aluminum pans. Any meats, I prefer cast iron. Anything that is acidic sauce in nature, I prefer stainless.

There is almost no point to arguing that aluminum pans are bad for you, because those who believe it will always believe it, those who don't, will die early.. Laughing Out Loud And I agree with Superchef, slap down a heavy piece of meat and the aluminum pan gets cold.

So you shouldn't use an aluminum pan because it is simply an inferior cooking surface..
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rsauerheber
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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 4:29 am    Post subject: aluminum fluoride Reply with quote

In fluoridated water cities I would throw out aluminum pans because it has been published repeatedly in journals incuding Nature that aqueous fluoride leeches aluminum efficiently during heating. The studies by Varner in Brain Research proved that levels of fluoride intentionally injected into water supplies, when present with aluminum at very low levels, cause aluminum incorporation into brain in tested animals very rapidly with neural degeneration mimicking Alzheimer's disease. It is bad enough cities such as San Francisco and most other large cities in the U.S. must accept fluosilicic acid fluoride in all water, but to also do so while intentionally injecting alum (aluminum sulfate) as a clarifying agent at the same time is unconscionable, with what is now known about aluminum toxicity. The ion itself is usually eliminated from the GI tract, but in fluoridated water the aluminum fluoride complex forms at stomach pH which is probably assimilated in the duodenum prior to acid neutralization in the jejunem of the intestine. In any event, aluminum is rendered a toxic substance in fluoridated water, when nondrugged water would have left aluminum well enough alone as a nontoxic metal ion.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would much prefer to err on the side of safety....

http://search.mercola.com/Results.aspx?q=aluminum%20cookware&k=aluminum%20cookware
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1011
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

err any side you'd care for, but Dr. Mercola is a Quack.

no science, all hyperbole


Last edited by Dilbert on Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dilbert wrote:
err any side you'd care for, but Dr. Mercola is a Quak.

no science, all hyperbole

Agreed.
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foodZu
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: Cookware Reply with quote

When I began learning about food I cooked with aluminum, Now Stainless Steel has been my preference for years now.

..
Natalie C.
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joegreen



Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:08 am    Post subject: Aluminum Griddle Reply with quote

I had a 3/8" Stainless Steel Griddle along side my 6 burner Gas Range top. It was heated from the center only and gave very uneven heating results. I replaced the Stainless with 1/2" Cast Aluminum plate (Seasoned with Canola Oil). The temperature distribution across the entire Griddle Cooking area is now very even (if I remember correctly it is within +- 10 Degrees F) and gives perfectly golden brown pancakes 8 at a time.
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Reici
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:58 pm    Post subject: Cooking Apple Butter in an aluminum pot Reply with quote

Man!!! And All I really wanted to know was; if I cooked my apple butter in an aluminum pot will it change the flavor or just deepen the color?
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1011
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"classical" prep for applebutter is a very long slow cook time -

I would not recommend using aluminum - the acid of the apple will darken the pot and over that length of time, you could pick up some off flavor.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject: The imaginary hazards of microwaves Reply with quote

How exactly do you propose a microwave oven "changes" food aside from cooking it? There is no difference, between microwave cooked or any other food. You probably are the sort of idiot that has to wait a few minutes to even open a microwave despite the fact any microwaves will dissipate at the speed of light
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