Wondering about Aluminium Cookware? Here is an interesting fact about every aluminium cookware that you use.
According to the Cookware Manufacturers Association, aluminium cookware sales accounted for almost 60% of all cookware sold in the UK in 2015.
So basically, more than half of us are using aluminium cookware and also many buy aluminium cookware online. Yet we do not seem to know enough about it. Not a day goes by when experts don’t get some amount of queries about aluminium cookware or a request to do an in-depth review. Questions like these always arise about aluminium cookware:
- What is anodized aluminium?
- What is hard anodized aluminium?
- Difference between hard anodized aluminium and non-stick cookware?
- And the overriding question: Is aluminium cookware safe?
So, let us understand in simple language about why one should buy aluminium cookware online.
Why use aluminium?
Aluminium is a great conductor of heat which makes it an ideal choice for cookware. Here’s a table so you can see how Aluminium compares to other metals. The thermal conductivity of metals is measured in w/m.k. or watts per meter-kelvin. Aluminium has a thermal conductivity that is 16 times that of stainless steel.
What that means for you is that Aluminium will heat up quickly, evenly and 16 times faster than a stainless steel pot!
There however, lies a certain problem with aluminium. Aluminium sometimes also reacts with acidic food which causes the metal to leach into the food. Because of that, you will find that most of the aluminium cookware that is available is either coated with a non-stick layer or is anodized when webuy aluminium cookware online.
What is anodized aluminium?
We should give time to some chemistry 101 back from school if we buy aluminium cookware online. If you leave aluminium exposed to the air, it will naturally form a thin layer of aluminium oxide on the surface. While this layer is very thin, it is strong and hard. It prevents the metal from further oxidation by forming a barrier between the aluminium and the air. Scientist calls this process ‘passivation’ which means that it makes the metal passive vs. reactive. As a matter of interest, both sapphires and rubies are gems made of aluminium oxide with different colours. Because of its hardness, aluminium oxide is also used as a commercial abrasive.
Now in order to make the layer of aluminium oxide thicker, the metal is subjected to an electrochemical process called anodization. This forms a much thicker layer of the non-reactive aluminium oxide, creating what is known as anodized or hard-anodized aluminium when we buy aluminium cookware online.
Is anodized aluminium the same as hard anodized aluminium?
While both imply a layer of aluminium oxide on the surface of the metal, there is a difference. Hard anodized is, in simple terms, an even thicker layer of aluminium oxide than regular anodized. The resulting metal has twice the strength of stainless steel and is durable, non-reactive and resistant to corrosion and abrasion.
Can hard anodized aluminium peel off?
The layer of aluminium oxide in anodized aluminium is not like paint or a coating but is completely fused into the base metal. Meaning it’s a part of it as we buy aluminium cookware online. This means that it cannot peel away or chip off.
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