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Aluminum pots that don't darken?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Starkman

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:19 PM

Hello all,

Say, I have a few aluminum pots: some that get dark and some that don't. The ones that do get dark have to be scrubbed periodically to get that black stuff off; the ones that don't darken have kind of a galvinized look to them. Does anyone know why it is that some pots don't darken and some do (and why the ones that don't darken look different)?

Thanks,

Starkman

#2 nickrey

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

Do you wash them in the dishwasher?

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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#3 Edward J

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:20 PM

Plain aluminum will oxidize, nothing will really stop it from oxidizing. Anodized aluminum is treated and won't oxidize.

Personally, I run away from any and all aluminum cookware, the only things it has to offer is cheapness and decent heat conductivity. The cons. are that it warps--real bad, it pits, it oxidizes of course, most mnfctrs are loathe to weld aluminum and so the handles are riveted on--with aluminum rivets. Aluminum is soft and so are the rivets, so these will eventually deform leaving you with a loosey-goosey handle dribbling liquid all over the place. Meh, aluminum belongs on aircraft and old Chevy Vega engine blocks...........

#4 jrshaul

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:26 PM

Meh, aluminum belongs on aircraft and old Chevy Vega engine blocks...........


These days, almost all engine blocks are aluminum. The only exceptions are relative dinosaurs.

I suspect that there's a large difference between the best and worst of the lot. There are quite a few different alloys, and there's a tremendous difference in the quality of construction between brands. All-Clad is a lot better than the junk from Wallgreens.

#5 Edward J

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

Yup.

Which brings us right back to the fact that untreated aluminum will oxidize no matter what, and that treated (anodized) aluminum is just as expensive as decent restaurant quality s/s pots. And if it doesn't have a "sandwich bottom" the sucker will warp and pit very fast. Cast aluminum won't warp but I haven't seen much of this in cookware

#6 jrshaul

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:28 PM

Inexpensive Brazilian clad cookware is good value for money. My mother owns a Tramontina saucepan that works very well; the same factory produces under a wide variety of brands.

#7 Edward J

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

Yup.....

And I have used and abused "IKEA 365" brand s/s cookware day in and day out for about 5 years now at work, and it still looks and works perfect, and it's probably from the same factory that produces 90% of the restaurant quality stuff too.

It's true, I am biased against aluminum, I hate the stuff for reasons listed above, but one of my biggest pet peeves is the oxidization, that greasy grey/black film gets on everything: Clothes, countertops, shelves, and hands--especially hands. Face it, the ubiquitous 18 x 26 aluminum sheet pan is standard in any N.A. kitchen. Handle just one sheet pan and you have black hands, no matter if it is squeaky clean or not. Drives me crazy. I have "found" steel baking pans at auctions, but not in the quantities I need, and they are in pretty bad shape too. The only thing that helps is to have the aluminum pans coated with a "baker's glaze" at about a buck a pop, which stops the oxidization. The glaze eventually wears off--it is food safe, but high sugar content foods will accelerate it's breaking down. The glaze won't last on pots and pans though, which is why I won't have any in my kitchen--either at home or at work.

#8 Starkman

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:54 PM

No, I don't wash my pots in the dishwasher (to answer Nickrey's question).
So, if I understand, anodized aluminum is what prohibits aluminum from oxidizing and pitting? Then what's so bad about that?!

I use my aluminum pots, which have been around for a long time, for general purpose, and I have no problems with the ones that are anodized. They serve well without imparting that nasty aluminum taste, and they've held out well all around.

Anyway, I'm glad to know now why some have not gone black on me.

Thanks much,

Starkman

#9 Edward J

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:05 PM

Nothing is the matter with anodizing, it is great for aluminum!!!

It is however costly, and a decent pot with a sandwich bottom and anodized shell can be as much or even more than a s/s one with a sandwich bottom.

#10 Starkman

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

My question, then, is that it must be that it is my pots that have anodizing which are not darkening? I assume that's what keeps them from doing so. And yes, I sure do like them with that treatment.

Thanks,

Starkman

#11 Edward J

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:57 AM

Anodizing is the only foodsafe permanent treatment for aluminum that I know of. Many metals rust, tarnish or oxidize in some form--other than gold, tin, and I'm not sure about platinum.

Enjoy your cookware. The next time you're in a "cooking paraphenelia" store, check out the cookware, the quality and the prices, just so you can compare.

#12 Starkman

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:05 PM

Thanks very much for all the replies,

Starkman

#13 TylerK

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 10:16 PM

Does no one season their aluminum? Sheet pans especially, I rub with oil and bake in the oven just like I would with a cast iron pan. They're almost as non-stick as the Teflon coated pans you can buy. They don't leave aluminum skid marks on my counter tops either.

#14 Starkman

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

Does no one season their aluminum? Sheet pans especially, I rub with oil and bake in the oven just like I would with a cast iron pan. They're almost as non-stick as the Teflon coated pans you can buy. They don't leave aluminum skid marks on my counter tops either.


I don't because at the daycare where I work, the pans need to look really clean. That oil-coated look tends to make inspectors think its laziness on my part if the pan isn't sparkling.