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All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set Review

My All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set Review awards it for the Best Quality stainless steel cookware set. It can take your cooking to the next level. This healthy, nearly indestructible, dishwasher safe, stainless steel cookware set is built to last a lifetime. All-Clad is a premiere American bonded metal cookware manufacturer. Used in countless restaurants, All-Clad stainless steel cookware can help any home cook make the tastiest meals.

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set Review

People who have new cookware enjoy cooking even more!

Perhaps you have mismatched cookware or some that is chipped or peeling. Perhaps you have some old scratched nonstick and concerned over health reasons. Maybe they are slightly warped and don’t lay flat. Maybe yours sticks too much, doesn’t perform the way you would like it to, and perhaps you want a cookware set that is healthy.

You may have noticed scratches on the cooking surface, your current cookware handles get too hot, or it is too heavy. Perhaps you would like some that is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.

If you are like me, I have some cookware that has been passed down from my parents and other family members. I have a little bit of everything. I know I get tired of some pieces that are warped and don’t lay flat. It would be nice to have cookware with comfortable handles that stay cool, heats evenly and all the way up the sides of the cookware, and maybe even uses less heat. And it would be great if it could last for many years to come!

Stainless Steel Cookware Sets

In reviewing stainless steel cookware sets, I found one that stands above the rest when it comes to PREMIUM QUALITY. There are many brands to consider including All-Clad, Calphalon, Cuisinart, Farberware, KitchenAid, and Scanpan. But when it came to the ultimate quality of the cookware set, only 1 kitchen cookware set remained.

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set Review

The All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware Set Wind for Best Quality Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Besides All-Clad being built so well, I like what it does for my cooking. Start with a thick pork chop or steak. Preheat the All-Clad stainless steel skillet on the stove at medium high heat for about 3 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon of your favorite healthy oil. Lower the heat to medium. Just before it starts to smoke put your seasoned pork chop or steak in the skillet and let it saute for a few minutes. The bottom side of the food will caramelize and create some awesome flavors. Flip the thick food over and place it in the oven. Insert your thermometer and set it to beep when it hits the ideal temperature. That is good pan roasting! 

An All-Clad stainless steel cookware set gives the home cook a lot of choices. It can be used with any cooking method, whether it is pan roasting as mentioned above, braising in the stock pot or 3qt saute pan, or poaching your favorite chicken or salmon. The cookware set can be used on induction stoves, put into the dishwasher, and all without worrying about harmful chemicals leeching into the food. While All-Clad cookware cost more than most, it is cookware that can truly last a lifetime.

REVIEW: What I Liked

  1. It is well built. It is a tad heavier than most, but that is a good thing. It won’t warp when de-glazing a sauce.
  2. The fully clad cookware with an internal aluminum core heats very evenly
  3. Dishwasher safe
  4. Healthy
  5. Because of the quality construction, lower heat levels can be used to get the same results
  6. Can handle any type of cooking method 
  7. The price is actually better than some other All-Clad cookware lines 

REVIEW: What I Didn’t Like

  1. As a 9-piece set it is a little small. I’d like to see a 12″ skillet added to the set.
  2. It does need a nonstick skillet for delicate foods like eggs and fish.

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All-Clad 5000-9 Stainless 9-Piece Cookware Set All-Clad 5000-9 Stainless 9-Piece Cookware Set
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  Features How It Benefits You!
checkmark Stainless Steel Flat Bottom Great for all FLAT top stoves>
checkmark Fully clad with aluminum core Excellent heating abilities. No hot spots.
checkmark Healthy material Stainless steel does not leech chemicals into food
checkmark Stainless steel handles Easy to hold. Stays cool.
checkmark Induction ready Future proof for induction stove tops
checkmark Oven safe to 500 degrees Expands the cooking techniques you can use
checkmark Dishwasher safe Easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher
checkmark Lifetime Limited Warranty It’s a risk free purchase

All-Clad 5000-9 Stainless 9-Piece Cookware Set

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Details

  • Set includes 2-quart covered saucepan, 3-quart covered saute pan, 10-inch fry pan, 3-quart covered casserole pan, 6-quart covered stockpot
  • Three-ply: stainless-steel layers sandwich pure aluminum core for even heating
  • Comfortable lid and stay-cool pan handles riveted for strength
  • Dishwasher safe, but hand washing recommended
  • Lifetime warranty against defects

Scanpan CTX Cookware Set Review

If you haven’t seen a Scanpan CTX cookware set review before, prepare to be amazed. Scanpan cookware is becoming very popular and rightfully so. Scanpan CTX cookware is a 5-ply brushed stainless steel exterior, aluminum layers on the inside and the Scanpan titanium/ceramic GreenTek PFOA-free cooking surface. It has a clean contemporary look. Glass lids have stainless steel edges and are vented. Scanpan CTX cookware is identical to the Scanpan CSX cookware line except that all CTX products have the nonstick interior instead of mostly stainless steel. Scanpan CTX cookware is induction capable. Scanpan is made in Denmark.

Scanpan CTX Cookware Set Review

New cookware has a way of bringing out hidden cooking talents in people!

Perhaps you have some old scratched nonstick cookware and concerned over health reasons. Maybe they are slightly warped and don’t lay flat. Perhaps you have mismatched cookware or some that is chipped or peeling. Maybe yours sticks too much, doesn’t perform the way you would like it to, and perhaps you want a cookware set that is healthy.

If you are like me, I have some cookware that has been passed down from my parents and other family members. I have a little bit of everything. I know I get tired of some pieces that are warped and don’t lay flat. It would be nice to have cookware with comfortable handles that stay cool, heats evenly and all the way up the sides of the cookware, and maybe even uses less heat. And it would be great if it could last for many years to come!

Nonstick Cookware Sets

Virtually every cookware manufacturer makes nonstick cookware. Unfortunately most are not very durable and cannot be used on higher heats. Experienced cooks know that certain cooking methods, like saute, require a higher heat level. Traditional nonstick surfaces even gave off harmful fumes that kills birds and gives humans a condition known as polymer fume fever. Fortunately PFOA-free nonstick surfaces are becoming more popular and the dangers of harmful fumes should disappear. In searching for the best nonstick cookware set in terms of quality I looked at and cooked with a lot of cookware. I wanted a cookware that was durable, attractive, lays perfectly flat, could take high heat, had advanced features and also could be put into the dishwasher. Even though that was a tall order, I was successful in finding a brand that makes just what I was looking for.  

Scanpan CTX Cookware Set Review

The Scanpan CTX Cookware Set Wins for Best Quality

I really like Scanpan cookware. Having used their nonstick surface for several years now, I know it is durable and the nonstick surface lasts. I am please that the Scanpan CTX cookware set with a brushed stainless steel exterior is just as solid and durable as I expect from Scanpan. Cooks of all caliber will love Scanpan CTX cookware because it is easy to cook with and very easy to clean. The nonstick surface can take high heat, but you’ll be surprised you won’t need to jack up the heat very high because the layers of aluminum in the core of the cookware heats quickly and distributes that heat very well. This is an outright winner for many reasons.

REVIEW: What I Liked

  1. The PFOA-free nonstick surface is top quality and long lasting
  2. Vented lids is just one of the advanced features I liked
  3. The contemporary styling is really slick. Rounded corners make it easy to handle and look at.
  4. The glass in the lid makes it easy to see what’s cooking
  5. It is very solid, and even though it is not very heavy, you know you are holding on to solid cookware
  6. Dishwasher safe
  7. The handles are an excellent size and shape. They stay cool.

REVIEW: What I Didn’t Like

  1. No 12″ skillet in this cookware set. If you have to cook a lot of food a 12″ fry pan is necessary.
  2. Sauce pans are a similar size. There should have been a bigger variety in sizes

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Scanpan 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set Scanpan 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set
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  Features How It Benefits You!
checkmark Stainless Steel Flat Bottom Great for all FLAT top stoves
checkmark Aluminum core Heats quickly and distributes heat well
checkmark Scanpan PFOA-free Nonstick Durable, long lasting and healthy
checkmark Brushed stainless steel exterior Attractive and doesn’t show spots like regular stainless steel
checkmark Cast stainless steel handles Easy to hold. Stays cool.
checkmark Induction ready Future proof for induction stove tops
checkmark Oven safe to 500 degrees Expands the cooking techniques you can use
checkmark Dishwasher safe Easy to clean. Rare for nonstick cookware
checkmark Lifetime Limited Warranty It’s a risk free purchase

Scanpan 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set

Scanpan 65100000 CTX 10-Piece Deluxe Set Rating:
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Details

  • Patented non-stick coating sears, browns, and deglazes with ease. More flavor, effortless clean-up.
  • Suitable for all stove tops including induction.
  • Manufactured with a 3 ply/5 layer construction with stainless steel and pure aluminum at its core.
  • Patented non-stick coating is 10 times harder than stainless steel and scratch resistant.
  • Built to last in Denmark with a limited lifetime warranty for your piece of mind. PFOA-Free and dishwasher safe

Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Review

You may not have seen a Scanpan CSX cookware set review before. Scanpan cookware is becoming very popular and rightfully so. Scanpan CSX cookware is a 5-ply brushed stainless steel exterior, aluminum layers on the inside and stainless steel as the cooking surface. It has a clean contemporary look. Glass lids have stainless steel edges and are vented. A great feature of Scanpan cookware is their PFOA free nonstick surface. It is a high quality healthy nonstick surface made of titanium and ceramic. Scanpan CSX cookware is induction capable, even though some reports show it is not. Scanpan is made in Denmark.

Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Review

New cookware has a way of bringing out hidden creativity in people!

Perhaps you have some old scratched nonstick cookware and concerned over health reasons. Maybe they are slightly warped and don’t lay flat. Perhaps you have mismatched cookware or some that is chipped or peeling. Maybe yours sticks too much, doesn’t perform the way you would like it to, and perhaps you want a cookware set that is healthy.

If you are like me, I have some cookware that has been passed down from my parents and other family members. I have a little bit of everything. I know I get tired of some pieces that are warped and don’t lay flat. It would be nice to have cookware with comfortable handles that stay cool, heats evenly and all the way up the sides of the cookware, and maybe even uses less heat. And it would be great if it could last for many years to come!

Healthy Cookware Sets

Healthy cookware sets tend to be stainless steel, cast iron, enameled cast iron, stoneware or clay. Stainless steel is common and popular because they can be put into the dishwasher and the cooking surface does not leech into the food. I reviewed a lot of cookware to come up with the one cookware set that is better than all the rest. I am very comfortable with my selection, even after looking at cookware from All-Clad, Le Creuset, Staub, Emile Henry and Calphalon.

Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Review

The Scanpan CSX Cookware Set Wins for Best Quality Healthy Cookware Set

Scanpan cookware is fast become my favorite cookware. I like the look and feel of Scanpan. It is very solid cookware that is built to last. The stainless steel is solid and very attractive. Because it is built so well and includes 3 layers of aluminum in the core of the cookware, it heats very quickly and evenly. Home cooks of all caliber will love the cookware because it is easy to use. The set comes complete with just about every piece one might need:

  • Fry Pan – 10.25″
  • Fry Pan – 12.50″
  • Fry Pan – 10.25″ with Titanium Ceramic nonstick surface
  • Covered Sauté Pan – 11″
  • Covered Sauce Pan – 1 qt
  • Covered Sauce Pan – 3 qt
  • Covered Stock Pot – 8 qt
  • Pasta Insert – 8 qt

Cooking enthusiasts will like the pasta insert for making and draining pasta quickly. With 3 skillets, one being nonstick, a cook can whip up any kind of meal quickly.

REVIEW: What I Liked

  1. The PFOA-free nonstick skillet included in a stainless steel cookware set is a huge advantage allowing one to saute for the fond and cook delicate eggs or fish in the nonstick skillet
  2. Vented lids work exceptionally well and reduce mess when cleaning up
  3. The 12 1/2″ skillet is a great size and rarely included in cookware sets
  4. The glass on the lids is very handy to see what is cooking
  5. It is very well built and solid
  6. Very flat non-warping bottoms are great on any stove, especially flat top stoves
  7. Dishwasher safe
  8. The handles are very comfortable and stay cool

REVIEW: What I Didn’t Like

  1. It’s hard to find anything wrong with this cookware. If anything, I wish it had a steamer insert. The pasta insert can work but one has to watch the water level.

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Scanpan CTX 14-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Stratanium Nonstick Coating Scanpan CTX 14-piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set with Stratanium Nonstick Coating
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Features How It Benefits You!
checkmark Stainless Steel Flat Bottom Great for all FLAT top stoves>
checkmark Aluminum core Keeps it lightweight and even heat distribution
checkmark PFOA-free Nonstick Excellent healthy nonstick surface that can take higher heat levels
checkmark Brushed stainless steel exterior Attractive and doesn’t show spots like regular stainless steel
checkmark Cast stainless steel handles Easy to hold. Stays cool.
checkmark Induction ready Future proof for induction stove tops
checkmark Oven safe to 500 degrees Expands the cooking techniques you can use
checkmark Dishwasher safe Easy to clean.
checkmark Lifetime Limited Warranty It’s a risk free purchase

Scanpan 67801200 12-Piece CSX Pan Set

Scanpan 67801200 12-Piece CSX Pan Set Rating:
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Details

  • Compatible with all cooking surfaces; including induction; Oven safe to 550 Degree F
  • Securely riveted; stay-cool handle is gently curved for a comfortable grip and easy maneuverability
  • Smooth to the touch; the rim fully conceals the inner layers of aluminum
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Made in Denmark

The Most Useful Cookware Christmas Gifts

Cookware Christmas gifts are well received and here is my Christmas gift giving guide. I do a good job of stress testing cookware. I’ve discovered cookware that is durable and useful in the kitchen. I only recommend cookware as gifts that are functional or something I would use. The Christmas Gifts listed below is cookware or related kitchen items I use or recommend giving as a gift and the reason why I recommend it. As a cook, I love to receive cookware and give it as gifts. With Christmas around the corner, this is my “Christmas Gift-Giving Guide.” The prices from Amazon.com are always up to date.

My Christmas Gift-Giving Guide

1) Serving Platters

Christmas gifts - Clay Art PlatterWe eat with our eyes first. Any dish can whet the appetite when served on a nice platter. Pfaltzgraff and Fiesta serving platters make beautiful Christmas gifts that can make any dish look fantastic. I use them when taking pictures of my work for my Home Cooking Academy. There are many beautiful ways to present your masterful, or even ordinary, creations. Find serving platters here.  Here is another example:

Fiesta 9-5/8-Inch Oval Platter, Cobalt Fiesta 9-5/8-Inch Oval Platter, Cobalt
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2) NonStick Frying Pan Combos

All-Clad ComboNonstick frying pans wear out. Quickly. It’s always better to replace them before they get too many cuts or peeling. I prefer the 10″ and 12″ combo’s as they are more useful. Here is a quick listing of NonStick Frying Pan Combos.  Here is an All-Clad combo I use myself and am VERY happy with. Comes in 10″ and 12″ nonstick. VERY good quality.

All-Clad 2100100269 HA1 10" 12" Fry Set, Black All-Clad 2100100269 HA1 10" 12" Fry Set, Black
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3) Combo – Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet & CIA Masters Collection Wire Cooling Rack

Christmas gifts - NordicWare Baking SheetThis is a 2-item combo. Each are great, but when given as a gift together, the possibilities are endless. The Nordic Ware baking sheet is very durable. When friends see this they think it’s commercial grade. It is. I love it. The CIA Masters Collection cooling rack is also commercial strength and very strong.

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet and Big Sheet Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet and Big Sheet
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CIA 23304 Masters Collection 12 Inch x 17 Inch Wire Cooling Rack, Chrome Plate Steel CIA 23304 Masters Collection 12 Inch x 17 Inch Wire Cooling Rack, Chrome Plate Steel
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4) Lodge Color 6qt Dutch Oven

Lodge Color Dutch OvenLodge makes terrific enameled cast iron cookware rivaling the French Le Creuset or Staub and at significantly less money. A 6qt Dutch Oven is a versatile piece of cookware that can be used on top of the stove or in the oven. Lodge enameled cookware makes excellent Christmas gifts! They come in a variety of attractive colors and are a steal at these prices. The price varies depending on color. Pick from a variety of colors. HIGHLY reviewed!

 


 

5) Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron CookwareCast Iron cookware has been a fan favorite for generations, and nothing has changed. Even with all the new styles and nonstick formulations, cast iron cookware remains a fan favorite and very inexpensive. Whether you go native or the enameled variations, cast iron is always a favorite. Here is the full selection of cast iron cookware. Here is one of my favorite pieces:

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware Set - Grill Pan with Tempered Glass Lid (10.25 Inch) Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware Set - Grill Pan with Tempered Glass Lid (10.25 Inch)
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6) Le Creuset 1.5 quart Enamel Cast Iron Oval Baker

Le Creuset Oval BakerLe Creuset enamel cast iron is beautiful and functional. The rich color and even heating characteristics makes this 1.5 quart oval baker a go-to piece of cookware. Baking potato au gratin, warming left-overs, or cooking a small roast is easy with this oven to table cast iron oval baker. A perfect Christmas gift.

Le Creuset Enamel Cast Iron Signature Oval Baker, 1.5 quart, Cerise (Cherry Red) Le Creuset Enamel Cast Iron Signature Oval Baker, 1.5 quart, Cerise (Cherry Red)
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7) All-Clad Brushed Stainless Steel D5 10-pc Cookware Set

All-Clad D5 Cookware SetAll-Clad is the absolute best American stainless steel cookware manufacturer. If you need to get a gift for someone you know who likes to cook and is adventurous, this is a fantastic gift! This is the new D5 brushed stainless steel outside. It has 5 layers to evenly distribute heat. You not only need but also can’t beat stainless steel skillets for saute and deglazing sauces. I recommend folks who want a nonstick cookware set to also get a stainless steel skillet for sauteeing. The 10-piece set gives you all the necessary pieces. No, it is not cheap. If you want the best quality, look no further.

 


 

8) Scanpan CTX 12 ¾” Nonstick Eco-Friendly PFOA-Free Skillet

Scanpan CTX SkilletWhen it comes to healthy or eco-friendly cookware, I love Scanpan. While the surface still uses PTFE in the manufacturing process it is PFOA free and uses an environmentally friendly cast aluminum core. It is a very good nonstick surface given it does not have the PFOA’s. Best of all, it is also dishwasher safe. Scanpan CTX 12-3/4-Inch PFOA Free Fry Pan.

Scanpan CTX 12-3/4-Inch Fry Pan Scanpan CTX 12-3/4-Inch Fry Pan
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9) Emile Henry Flame Top Stewpot Dutch Oven

Emile Henry Dutch OvenI love Emile Henry Flame Top products. This is the only clay cookware that can be used on the stove top as well as in the stove since the old Cornflower Corningware cookware. It is pretty, useful, and the clay surrounds the food with a steady even heat that is great for braising or slow cooking. This Dutch Oven is very versatile and makes a great presentation from stove to table. Best of all, it looks like an enameled cast iron piece, but it doesn’t weigh a ton like cast iron! All Emile Henry products are wonderful. Here is the Emile Henry page.

Emile Henry Flame Round Stewpot Dutch Oven, 4.2 Quart, Burgundy Emile Henry Flame Round Stewpot Dutch Oven, 4.2 Quart, Burgundy
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10) J.A. Henckels International Definition Knife Set

Henckels Knife SetEvery home cook needs a good knife set. Sharp knives are safer. This Definition knife set includes 3″ Paring Knife, 5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 8″ Bread Knife, 5″ Hollow Edge Santoku, 8″ Chef’s Knife, 4x 4.5″ Steak Knife, 9″ Sharpening Steel, Kitchen Shears, and Hardwood Knife Block. This machined knife set is beautiful and perfectly functional.

J.A. Henckels International 19480-012 Definition Knife Block Set J.A. Henckels International 19480-012 Definition Knife Block Set
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11) Cuisinart MultiClad Pro 12-Pc Stainless Steel Cookware Set

Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Cookware SetI love stainless steel for cooking. It is healthy, durable, easy to clean, and dishwasher safe. As I’ve stated before the best brand is All-Clad. Cuisinart Multiclad Pro is next on this list. As you see, All-Clad is premium quality and premium priced. For a near performance equivalent, the Cuisinart MultiClad Pro is unbeatable for performance and price. I use Cuisinart MultiClad Pro and love it. To complete the set I recommend the All-Clad nonstick skillets above or the Scanpan skillet to provide a very complete and dishwasher safe cookware set.

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
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12) Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Cookware Set

Scanpan ClassicFor the discerning cook who wants the best performance and style, Scanpan Classic is it. At around $500 it is not cheap, but it is a great value. The PFOA free nonstick interior is amazing. I use the Classic skillet myself and LOVE it. It works great on flat top stoves. The aluminum core surrounds the food with an even heat that makes cooking a joy. Check it out here:

Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set
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Is Anodized Aluminum Cookware Considered Safe Cookware?

With all the hard anodized aluminum cookware on the market, is it considered safe cookware? You’ll be surprised to know where you can ingest aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight, a great heat conductor, and generally inexpensive. Since normal aluminum is reactive with food and known to be toxic, anodized aluminum with its electro-chemical treatment, has become the standard for aluminum cookware. Because it is still aluminum, questions remain about its safety. In this article, I expand on a previous article on safe and healthy cookware where I first addressed the safety issue of anodized aluminum cookware.

This article was updated on October 12, 2017.

Aluminum in our Environment

Aluminum is the 3rd most common element in the earth’s crust. It is in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the dirt we walk on. Because it is so plentiful, it is inexpensive. Aluminum is already in many products we use:

  • cookware and utensils
  • cans for our beverages
  • anti-caking agents for salt and sugar
  • baking powder
  • antiperspirants
  • bleaching agents for white flour
  • cake mixes
  • commercial teas
  • toothpastes, sunscreens, and cosmetics
  • infant formulas – soy formulas contain 10 times more aluminum than milk formulas
  • antacids, buffered aspirin, and many over-the-counter medications
  • vaccines

Anodized Aluminum Cookware

Anodized aluminum cookware has been around for a long time. It is lightweight and inexpensive. Natively, it is soft, and it does react with acidic foods, becoming toxic. Manufacturers found that aluminum can be anodized to make it stronger, slicker, more durable, and non-reactive with foods. Calphalon, a maker of anodized aluminum cookware explains it this way:

Unison Anodized Aluminum Cookware“Hard-anodization is an electro-chemical process that hardens aluminum. (Hard-Anodized aluminum is 30% harder than stainless steel.) During hard-anodization, aluminum is submerged in an acid bath, then subjected to electrical charges. The result is a chemical reaction wherein the surface of the aluminum combines with oxygen to become aluminum oxide. This reaction is also known as oxidation, a process which occurs spontaneously in nature. Hard-anodization is actually controlled, accelerated oxidation.

What does it do?

Hard-anodized surfaces resist abrasion and corrosion. A hard-anodized pan is the most durable pan you can buy.

Anodized materials have an extremely long life span. Anodized surfaces do not chip or peel. In fact, anodized aluminum is used to protect satellites from the harsh environment of space, to harden automotive racing parts against friction and heat, as well as for display cases, coolers, and grills for the food industry.

An anodized finish is chemically stable. It does not decompose. It is nontoxic. High heat levels will not damage the anodized finish. Anodized surfaces are heat-resistant to the melting point of aluminum (1,221°F).

Most important for cookware, hard-anodizing makes cookware surfaces so ultra-smooth that they become virtually nonporous (without pores). Pores in metal cookware are one of the leading reasons why foods stick while cooking.”

Aluminum as a Health Concern

Aluminum and our health was brought to our attention in the 1970’s when a Canadian research team linked aluminum with Alzheimer’s Disease when they found high concentrations of aluminum in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Since then, the research has been scrutinized in a manner similar to the chicken and the egg story. Which came first, the disease or the aluminum?

We do know that high concentrations of aluminum are toxic. The December 2007 Idaho Observer article “Aluminum Toxicity: A Misdiagnosed Epidemic” shows that aluminum is a known toxic substance when accumulated in tissue or the brain by reporting the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) info on aluminum:

“In simple terms, the most notable symptoms of aluminum poisoning are diminishing intellectual function, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and, in extreme cases, full blown dementia and Alzheimer’s. Aluminum toxicity also causes bone softening and bone mass loss, kidney and other soft tissue damage and, in large enough doses, can cause cardiac arrest.”

From the “Toxological Profile for Aluminum”, September 2006, we also know that:

  • Foods such as processed cheese and cakes may contain moderate amounts of aluminum as a result of its addition during processing.
  • People are exposed to aluminum in some cosmetics, such as deodorants, and in pharmaceuticals such as antacids, buffered aspirin, and intravenous fluids. Antacids have 300–600 mg aluminum hydroxide (approximately 104–208 mg of aluminum) per tablet/capsule/5 milliliters. Buffered aspirin may contain 10–20 mg of aluminum per tablet. Vaccines may contain small amounts of aluminum compounds, such as aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, or aluminum sulfate (alum).
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration limits the amount of aluminum in vaccines to no greater than 0.85 mg/dose
  • Factory workers who breathe large amounts of aluminum dust can have lung problems, such as coughing or changes that show up in chest X-rays.
  • Some workers who breathe aluminum dust or aluminum fumes have decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of the nervous system. Some people who have kidney disease store a lot of aluminum in their bodies. The kidney disease causes less aluminum to be removed from the body in the urine.
  • People may get skin rashes from the aluminum compounds in some underarm antiperspirants.

Healthy Cookware Recommendations:

Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set Cuisinart MCP-12N Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
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Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set Scanpan Classic 11-Piece Deluxe Cookware Set
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Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware and My Recommendation

Anodized Aluminum Cookware Manufacturers and industry lobbyists all claim it is safe. Their biggest argument is that the amount of aluminum leached from hard anodized aluminum cookware is a mere 35 micrograms. That is a small amount. By itself, as a single dose, it is not harmful. My recommendation is this:

I recommend you to avoid hard anodized aluminum cookware. The issue is not about the small single dose. It is about the cumulative effect it can have. Just like eating a single chocolate bar is not going to cause a serious disease. However, 3-6 chocolate bars a day every day, will have an impact on your body. If most meals are cooked with anodized aluminum frypans, saute pans, sauce pans, and stockpots, the cumulative effect, along with the aluminum you already get from other items in our environment, may cause a health issue.

February 2015 Update:

Since the time I originally wrote this article, the cookware industry has made some changes. Today, many cookware products made of hard anodized aluminum are coated with nonstick surfaces. Nonstick surfaces have their own health issues, especially when scratched or exposed to high heat. Even the outside of aluminum cookware is now often coated. This does limit the exposure to aluminum. Beware of these products if the outside nonstick surface is scratched. ALSO NOTE: When baking, I see a lot of baking products made of native aluminum like baking sheets, etc.

Aluminum is everywhere. If you are like me and try to eat healthy, the cookware we use is a place where aluminum exposure can be reduced. As a tester of a lot of cookware, I admit I do like the way anodized aluminum cooks. For me, I try to use the healthy cookware materials I mention in my other articles, or the recommended cookware sets above, and pay attention to the surface quality of any anodized aluminum cookware I may use. We may not be able to control the aluminum in our food when we eat out, but it is something we can control at home.

In this article, I offered information about how common aluminum is in our environment, and how dangerous it can be if too much accumulates in our body. By itself, the aluminum leached from a single cooking with anodized aluminum cookware is not harmful. The caution is in the accumulation of aluminum not only from cookware, but also from other sources already in our environment and other products we may consume.

Happy Cooking!