How To Determine If The Aluminum In Your Kitchen Cookware Safe And What You Can Do
More and more lately it seems that the most dangerous material we can use in our kitchen and on our bodies is Aluminum. It’s not safe for Aluminum to touch our foods nor is it is the healthiest ingredient in our deodorants.
There are charts created by companies that showcase The Best of the Best Kitchen Cookware materials, and we decided to share one from Xtrema Cookware to help clarify and narrow down the healthiest options in the best way possible.
In this chart you can see that glass and ceramic are the top materials best used in the kitchen because they are the safest and after those top two, it’s a mix between Cast Iron, Stainless Steel, and Copper.
Related Article: The Award For The Healthiest Ceramic Cooking Pots Goes To…Xtrema
Although Ceramic and Glass Cookware is the safest, the downside is the weight of the materials and their ability to break. Carbon Steel and Cast Iron are also good options, but there are pretty heavy, contain iron, and are probably best utilized by those who are anemic. With that being said, there is only one material that is sturdy, budget-friendly, doesn’t break easily, and is also considered safe, and that is Stainless Steel.
Now that we have established which materials are best, you must be aware that with Stainless Steel cookware, Aluminum is used the inside layers of pots or the bottom of the pot, and a lot of them are not honestly advertising them in a way where people could easily identify or understand.
Aluminum can be advertised with descriptions such as Anodized, Thermal Diffused Base, Capsulated, or Encapsulated Bottom when it is used within layers of a pot. Other companies may use the term AllClad, 2-ply, or 3-ply / Tri-ply, Multi-ply to indicate Aluminum is inside the pot layers as well.
Looking Into It
When we look into why Aluminum is being used in cookware we find answers such as “it creates even heat distribution and Stainless Steel alone couldn’t do that…also it allows Stainless Steel to be used induction stove,” and some websites say “it’s okay for Aluminum to be used in pots as long as it doesn’t touch your food.”
It’s bad enough that nonstick cookware is coated with chemicals that can chip away and leach into our foods which is not safe, and now we are faced with Aluminum coated, or embedded in layers or encapsulated at the bottom of our cookware but its necessary for even heat distribution.
So, What's The Best Thing To Do?
The best thing you can do is learn about the different types of Aluminum Stainless Steel cookware and choose what’s best for you or buy Glass, Cast Iron or Enameled Cast Iron pots.
The Breakdown Of Aluminum Cookware
Aluminum Cookware comes in two forms. The Aluminum either lays between two layers of stainless steel that covers the entire pot or is placed at the bottom of the pot. The difference between the two types are cost, weight and functionality.
When the Aluminum is a disc at the bottom of the pan that is the only area that will have even heat distribution, cost less and weigh less. If the entire pot contains three or more layers, where the Aluminum is sandwiched between two layers of stainless steel the entire pot will have even heat distribution when cooking, costs more and weighs more.
Examples of this is seen with the brand KitchenAid and Calpahon. KitchenAid shows a picture of the aluminum disc at the bottom while Calpahon shows three layers as stainless steel, aluminum and another layer of stainless steel.
Glass and Enameled Cast Iron
We recommend Glass and Enameled cast iron cookware as an alternative to stainless with Aluminum because their positive attributes. Glass and enameled cookware does not leach into food, does not require seasoning, it is safe to cook acidic foods in, and is oven safe (some of the knobs aren’t).
The only downside is the weight of the item. If heavy cookware is not a problem for you, glass or enameled cast iron might suit you best.
An example of this is with Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Braiser, 1.5 qt. It weighs 7.7 pounds.
Brands That Use Other Materials
There are some companies that resort to other materials such as Copper, Carbon Steel, Wrought Iron or Titanium instead of Aluminum in Stainless Steel cookware.
These companies are:
In a nutshell, when shopping for cookware, buy a high quality stainless steel grade, and look out for the keywords that mean aluminum to avoid confusion when purchasing new cookware. The keywords used are encapsulated, capsulated, thermal diffused, diffused bottom, any type of numbers Ply like 4-Ply. Also, try to stay within your budget.
Written By The Resource Manual
The Resource Manual publishes resourceful articles on the topic of personal, health, love, finance, well-being, and business. Our goal is to provide valuable resources to help others navigate through life more smoothly.