If you’re considering buying aluminum pots and pans, you’ll want to know about aluminum cookware advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum is a versatile metal that is frequently used in cookware.
It’s a fairly soft metal that can easily be scratched or dented in everyday use. This means that aluminum must be well maintained and cared for, as it is still quite easy to damage, even if you are extremely careful.
You can quickly destroy the nonstick coating on your aluminum cookware if you dent it, especially the hard-anodized aluminum cookware. Damaged nonstick coatings are bad news since they can begin to leach into your food, posing health risks.
It’s now time to get down to business. What are the benefits and drawbacks of using aluminum in the kitchen?
WHAT IS ALUMINUM COOKWARE?
Aluminum is a lightweight metal with excellent thermal conductivity. They came in pots and pans and are useful for a variety of recipes, including baking.
Aluminum is commonly available in cast, sheet, or anodized forms, and it can also be combined with other metals or materials during manufacturing to meet specific requirements.
ALUMINUM COOKWARE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Aluminum has been around since the 18th century. It is a common kitchen and household material used in the production of cookware. If you’re thinking about buying aluminum cookware, don’t do so until you’ve thoroughly researched the material’s advantages and disadvantages.
See below the 7 major aluminum cookware advantages and disadvantages;
|ADVANTAGES OF ALUMINUM COOKWARE||DISADVANTAGES OF ALUMINUM COOKWARE|
|Aluminum cookware is Lightweight||High temperature causes Aluminum to leach into your food.|
|Aluminum cookware is easily fabricated||Mixing Aluminum with acidic food isn’t healthy.|
|Good conductor of heat||You can’t store leftover cold acidic foods in Aluminum utensils as this can develop bacteria and lead to health risks.|
|No corrosion unlike Copper and Iron||Aluminum increases the acidity of the food.|
|Aluminum cookware is affordable||Aluminum cookware isn’t suitable for induction cooktops because it doesn’t have magnetic properties.|
|Aluminum cookware heats up food equally|
|Aluminum cookware has a beautiful appearance|
ALUMINUM COOKWARE HEALTH RISKS
First, because aluminum is the third most abundant element on Earth after oxygen and silicon, it is extremely difficult to avoid because it is almost everywhere and in everything.
Aluminum is found not only in cookware but also in other household and kitchen materials that we use on a daily basis.
Aside from cookware, aluminum can also be found in soil, food, cosmetics, drugs, beverage cans, baking powder, antiperspirants, antacids, vaccines, and infant formula.
Basically, the body isn’t designed to take up all of the aluminum, so we take the excess. The body absorbs 1% and discards the rest. It will not harm you because it has not reached a toxic level.
As previously stated, aluminum has a tendency to leach into your food, posing a health risk, particularly with acidic foods.
Furthermore, high levels of aluminum can pose the following health risks:
- Neurological issues
- Bone Disease
- Kidneys cause brain cell damage
So, now that we’re aware of the health risks associated with aluminum cookware, what should we do? Instead of harmful aluminum foil, we recommend using surgical 18/10 stainless steel cookware, pure ceramic cookware, and a cloth napkin to store food.
In another case, you can simply avoid using aluminum cookware or avoid preparing acidic foods with it and storing food for extended periods of time to avoid leaching.
Please see my previous posts below for more information on healthy material cookware:
- What is the safest cookware for your health?
- Is 18/10 Stainless steel safe?
- 100% pure ceramic cookware
Finally, contrary to popular beliefs that high migration of Aluminum into our food causes cancer and Alzheimer’s isn’t true as this report isn’t backed up by scientific reports and studies.
To know more about the health implication of Aluminum, kindly check the reports below:
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ANODIZED ALUMINUM COOKWARE
We can’t discuss the benefits and drawbacks of aluminum cookware without mentioning hard-anodized aluminum cookware.
What exactly is anodized aluminum cookware, and why is it so important? Anodized or hard-anodized aluminum cookware is a better version of regular aluminum cookware.
Anodized aluminum goes through a natural oxidation process, giving it thickness and a layer that makes it stronger and harder than regular aluminum cookware.
So, what is the significance of anodized aluminum? It is significant because, unlike regular aluminum surfaces or cookware, anodized aluminum does not have space between the particles for toxins to accumulate, and the smooth surface and oxidation process make it impossible for it to react with food.
Let us now look at the advantages and disadvantages of hard-anodized aluminum cookware:
|ADVANTAGES OF ANODIZED ALUMINUM||DISADVANTAGES OF ANODIZED ALUMINUM|
|Doesn’t react with food even acidic food.||The use of abrasives can damage the surface.|
|Cooks very well and distributes even heat.||Doesn’t work on the Induction cooktop because the base isn’t magnetic|
|Heat can be controlled by cooking with it.||Hand wash recommended. Dishwashers can damage surfaces.|
|The surface is non-stick because of oxidation.||Not suitable with hard detergents and sponges|
|Stronger and Durable than regular aluminum cookware||Avoid using cooking spray as it cause the surface to become sticky over time.|
|Easy to Clean||Avoid the use of metal as it can scratch or puncture the surface.|
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE
As I mentioned in the introduction, the cookware used at home or in restaurants is made from a variety of materials, one of which is stainless steel.
One distinguishing feature of stainless steel is that it is used in the fast-moving consumer goods industry because of its ability to resist corrosion, making the food we consume safe and healthy.
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of stainless steel cookware:
|ADVANTAGES OF STAINLESS STEEL||DISADVANTAGES OF STAINLESS STEEL|
|It is 100% recyclable||It is Expensive|
|Corrosion-resistant||It is not non-stick so food can be burnt|
|Durable||Not available in the Dutch oven category of cookware|
|Versatile and non-reactive cookware||Stainless steel cookware is a poor heat conductor that’s why some are blended with an aluminum base.|
|Easy to clean|
|Stainless steel cookware can be seasoned|
Check out this post on USA Made Stainless Steel Cookware to learn more about stainless steel cookware.
COPPER COOKWARE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
Copper cookware is an alternative to stainless steel and aluminum cookware. Copper is a material that has been around for a long time and is used in homes and restaurants to prepare various food recipes.
One unique quality about copper cookware is that it can be lined with either tin, stainless steel, nickel, or silver to prevent contact with acidic foods.
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of Copper cookware:
|ADVANTAGES OF COPPER COOKWARE||DISADVANTAGES OF COPPER COOKWARE|
|Original taste and nutrition of food are maintained.||It is expensive|
|Good conductor of heat and cooks food evenly.||Not ideal for everyday cooking|
|Extremely responsive to heat changes.||Need proper maintenance, time, and patience for cleaning.|
|Resistive to bacteria and germs.||Copper reacts with acidic food which can result in corrosion.|
|Helps with gas, acidity, and constipation.||Copper does not store heat when removed from the heat source.|
|Copper builds immunity in the body.|
|Helps the body to easily digest nutrients.|
|Prevents the risk of heart failure.|
|Helps to improve and regulate kidney function.|
ALUMINUM COOKWARE BANNED IN EUROPE
We all know that no system, rule, or material created by man is perfect; there will always be flaws, and aluminum cookware is no exception.
There have been reports on the effects of aluminum cookware not only in Europe but also in West African countries.
As a result, scientists at Europe’s food safety watchdog evaluated the safety of aluminum in food from all sources and established a Tolerable Weekly Intake (TWI) of 1 milligram of aluminum per kilogram of body weight.
The Panel’s opinion came in response to a request from the European Commission for advice on the potential risks to human health from the presence of aluminum in the diet, and it will now inform any future consideration by EU risk managers regarding the use of aluminum in foods and food contact materials. However, it was not stated that aluminum cookware has been banned in Europe.
Furthermore, studies show that approximately 35% of all aluminum materials manufactured in the United States are made from old recycled scrap.
Aluminum cookware made from scrap has been identified as a potential source of heavy metal poisoning in developing countries, particularly lead and arsenic poisoning.
Researchers from Ashland University in Ohio and the nonprofit Occupational Knowledge International examined 42 pots from ten developing countries and discovered that more than one-third of them posed a risk of lead exposure.
The highest level was found in Vietnam, where one pot released 2,800 times the maximum allowable dose level of 0.5 g/day.
The WHO has established a provisional tolerable weekly intake of lead of 25 g/kg body weight (equivalent to 3.5 g/kg body weight per day).
Please see the following information to learn more about aluminum cookware and the public health risk it poses to developing and European countries:
Finally, now you are acquainted with the advantages and disadvantages of Aluminum cookware, you are well equipped to know the best cookware healthy choice for you and your family.