Over the years, Chef’s Pick has shared the best cookware in the UK with our readers to help them fill their kitchen cupboards with the best cookware for their budget and cooking style.
To help you choose the best cookware for your needs, we’re going to look at aluminium cookware and the advantages and disadvantages of using it.
Aluminium cookware is some of the most widely used cookware in the UK, but is it right for you? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Advantages of Aluminium Cookware
One of the reasons that aluminium cookware is so widely used is thanks to the price. Aluminium cookware can be found just about anywhere at a very good price.
You can buy three saucepans made from aluminium for the cost of one stainless-steel saucepan, for example. When it comes to price, aluminium cookware is very difficult to beat.
2. Very good heat conductor
The main reason that many cookware manufacturers use aluminium to make cookware is that it’s a fantastic heat conductor.
In fact, aluminium is such a good heat conductor that only copper can really beat it in this regard.
So, while aluminium is the cheapest cookware money can buy, it is actually one of the better metals to have in your home if you want to do some speedy cooking.
Now, you can buy cast aluminium cookware that does have some heft to it. Still, most aluminium cookware is fantastically lightweight. Lifting heavy cookware on and off the hob can be a pain for a lot of people, so using aluminium cookware is a great way of keeping the weight down.
4. Easy to clean
Most aluminium cookware is protected by a durable layer of non-stick coating. These coatings come in many forms but makes cleaning up aluminium pots and pans really easy.
Even unfinished aluminium cookware is nice and simple to clean, although it does require seasoning like a cast iron pot to keep it in good condition.
5. Corrosion-resistant and doesn’t rust
Aluminium is a tough old metal. It is highly resistant to corrosion and doesn’t rust. It can corrode, most commonly from coming into contact with other metals.
In the kitchen, there is also a chance of aluminium corroding after it comes into contact with acidic foods.
So, if your aluminium cookware is unfinished, don’t cook acidic foods in it. And if you have non-stick aluminium cookware that has heavy scratches on the surface, we wouldn’t recommend it either.
Still, if you keep your aluminium pots and pans in good condition, they will never corrode.
Disadvantages of Aluminium Cookware
1. Not very durable
Aluminium is a very soft metal, so it can get banged up and dented just through normal use. Even if you’re very careful with your cookware, aluminium is very easy to dent.
Once you dent this cookware, you can damage the non-stick coating very easily. Once the non-stick coating has been damaged, you can start getting the coating in your food, and that is just bad news.
Aluminium cookware doesn’t last as long as some other types of cookware. Most aluminium pots and pans will last about 3-5 years. This is another reason this cookware is so cheap. Compared with other pots and pans, it is almost throwaway.
Don’t worry, though; aluminium is basically endlessly recyclable. So, when you throw your pots and pans away, they will be turned into new pots and pans, maybe a dishwasher or a can of beans that you can heat up in your new pans!
2. Unfinished aluminium can stain
Many people believe that unfinished aluminium can be unsafe when used to cook with.
We are not here to say that unfinished aluminium is safe or unsafe. However, if you do use unfinished aluminium pots and pans, you need to be very careful when cooking acidic food. This can stain the pan, and actually make it corrode.
So, if you do use unfinished aluminium cookware, avoid cooking anything acidic in it as it can ruin your cookware.
Aluminium cookware is some of the best to buy when you’re just setting up your kitchen. It is nice and cheap, easy to clean, and will get you cooking quickly.
Of course, it doesn’t last long, but you’ll get a few years of use out of this cookware. By then, you may be ready to invest in some cookware made from a different material or buy aluminium pots and pans again.
Aluminium cookware gets the job done nicely, and unless you want extremely good quality cookware or stuff that is designed for a specific cooking task, it will serve you well for a few years.
We hope this look at aluminium cookware and the advantages and disadvantages of using it in the kitchen has been helpful.
For more advice and info about cookware, please explore Chef’s Pick some more. We have the best cookware in the UK right here and everything you need to know to stock your cupboards with the most suitable pots and pans for your needs.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.