Using Aluminum Cookware

Category Kitchen Tools
An anodizing process produces a hard, dark gray finish on professional aluminum cookware. Acidic ingredients cooked in some aluminum pans can change the color of the food due to a chemical reaction. This page is about using aluminum cookware.


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I was reminded by the tip from the person who poured rice and weevils into her soup and watched with horror. If you are making a dish with acidic ingredients (mine was a sweet and sour fruit and nut salad), DO NOT use an aluminum pan. The whole dish will turn gray because of a chemical reaction.

I was using the aluminum pot because I was cooking and then cooling. When I poured in the sauce, the whole content turned gray. . . and it was a birthday gift. I cried (and didn't know what I had done wrong, that's why I cried (paranoia can strike at the weirdest of times).

Don't do as I did, beware of aluminum cookware. A sweet and sour fruit and nut salad is really good, though. I wish I still had the recipe.

By susan winship from Bristol, TN

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May 3, 2004

Aluminum is a light-weight metal with a bright silvery luster. Small amounts of other metals are added to aluminum to make harder alloys for most uses. Its affinity for oxygen makes it resistant to corrosion and attack by most chemicals. Most aluminum used in visible parts of appliances is lacquered or otherwise coated, anodized or painted.


Aluminum reacts with air to grow its own thin oxide coating very fast. This hard, dark gray coating protects the metal. It's found on all bare aluminum surfaces, including utensils which, if rubbed on a counter or range top, or other material, makes a dark gray mark. If washed off the outside of the pan, it quickly forms again. A commercial process, called "anodizing", thickens this coat and often colors it. Anodizing does not rub off. A special anodizing process produces a very hard, dark gray finish on professional type cookware.

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus with references from Mary Ellen Delsipee and Isabel Jones, previous Extension Specialists.

Source: MSU Extension

Wikipedia: Aluminium or aluminum (see the spelling section below) is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery and ductile member of the poor metal group of chemical elements. Aluminium is found primarily as the ore bauxite and is remarkable for its resistance to corrosion (due to the phenomenon of passivation) and its light weight.


Aluminium is used in many industries to make millions of different products and is very important to the world economy. Structural components made from aluminium and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and very important in other areas of transportation and building in which light weight, durability, and strength are needed.

Sources: Wikipedia - Read More

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