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Old 08-20-2009, 11:17 PM   #1
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Cool In process of buying a new cookware set

Hi all,
I am in process of renewing my cookware. Actually, i got a bit frustrated with these health concerns and dont know which material is safe. I dont need a set, but it looks like it is more expensive to get two variety pots than buying a set. Also I saw very very expensive sets, i cannot make such an investment.

However, my first priority is safety, than being something light and practical since I will move anyhow in two years out of the country. Cleanign is not a problem for me, will handwash anyhow.

I'd be glad to hear suggestions about material and brand. Thanx a lot, nice cooking

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Old 08-21-2009, 08:39 AM   #2
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Anything on the market (in the US at least) is safe. There have been lots of reports of health issues with all sorts of materials over the years, but what it boils down to is that if you use the pans as they are intended then there is no problem.

Just to name a few, aluminum has not been shown to cause Alzheimers. Teflon is safe too as long as you use it properly which means do not heat a teflon pan super hot with nothing in it. That means don't leave it on a burner on high for 10 minutes without food or oil or something in the pan.

If you buy an inexpensive set you are going to end up with cheap pans that do not perform well. You will have hot spots which will encourage burning and sticking and the pans may also warp and/or fall apart. It will be much better in the long run to get one or two quality pans instead of getting a cheap set. it might cost you a little more up front, but it will save you money in the long run.

As far as wanting something light, understand that when it comes to cooking pans (for the most part) heavy is better. the lighter the pan the less mass it has which means there is more of a change of hot spots and burnt food or food that is not evenly cooked. Heavy means more mass which helps at regulating the temperature which means less hot spots and better heat distribution. There are some exceptions to this rule like woks and crepe pans, but for the most part heavier is better. Of course some people do need lighter stuff because they just can't work with heavy so that is something you will need to figure out and make compromises where you need to.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:18 AM   #3
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Actually, the jury is still out on the dangers of aluminum and the way it may or may not accumulate in the brain, but Stainless Steel is a superior, long lasting material for cookware.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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Every study that has come out has proven that aluminum is safe. I would love to see where you have seen that the jury is still out from a reputable source.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #5
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A quote from the National Institute of Health Government Web site:

"Cooking foods in aluminum pots and pans or storing foods in aluminum foil or cans may result in increased aluminum concentrations in food (ATSDR, 1999). In precooked foods such as applesauce, green beans, beef, eggs, ham, pudding, rice, and tomato sauce, levels ranged from <0.1 to 21.6 ppm, while concentrations in the foods after cooking in conditioned aluminum pans ranged from 0.24 to 125 ppm compared to <0.1 to 3.4 ppm when cooked in stainless steel pans. The more acidic the food, the greater the migration of aluminum. The extent of exposure to aluminum from leaching from cookware, however, is uncertain (Rajwanshi et al., 1997). For example, studies have shown that the presence of fluoride results in aluminum leaching from cookware (Casdorph and Walker, 1995). When 1 ppm of fluoride in water, adjusted to a pH 3, was boiled in an aluminum container, almost 200 ppm of aluminum was released in 10 minutes and 600 ppm with prolonged boiling; without fluoride <0.2 ppm was measured. Rajwanshi et al. (1997) found levels ranging from 4.9 to 8.1 ppm under the same conditions during the first 10 minutes. Discrepancies were the result of several factors, including the composition and type of food cooked as well as the aluminum utensil used; previous use of the utensil; duration of cooking; the presence of salt, sugar, and other ions; and the method of analysis."
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
A quote from the National Institute of Health Government Web site:

"Cooking foods in aluminum pots and pans or storing foods in aluminum foil or cans may result in increased aluminum concentrations in food (ATSDR, 1999). In precooked foods such as applesauce, green beans, beef, eggs, ham, pudding, rice, and tomato sauce, levels ranged from <0.1 to 21.6 ppm, while concentrations in the foods after cooking in conditioned aluminum pans ranged from 0.24 to 125 ppm compared to <0.1 to 3.4 ppm when cooked in stainless steel pans. The more acidic the food, the greater the migration of aluminum. The extent of exposure to aluminum from leaching from cookware, however, is uncertain (Rajwanshi et al., 1997). For example, studies have shown that the presence of fluoride results in aluminum leaching from cookware (Casdorph and Walker, 1995). When 1 ppm of fluoride in water, adjusted to a pH 3, was boiled in an aluminum container, almost 200 ppm of aluminum was released in 10 minutes and 600 ppm with prolonged boiling; without fluoride <0.2 ppm was measured. Rajwanshi et al. (1997) found levels ranging from 4.9 to 8.1 ppm under the same conditions during the first 10 minutes. Discrepancies were the result of several factors, including the composition and type of food cooked as well as the aluminum utensil used; previous use of the utensil; duration of cooking; the presence of salt, sugar, and other ions; and the method of analysis."

Very nice quote. But nowhere in that quote does it say, or event hint that there is any danger to your health.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Very nice quote. But nowhere in that quote does it say, or event hint that there is any danger to your health.
True, but there are over 2000 references in the National Library of Medicine on adverse effects of aluminum. Take your pick.

I'm not here to discuss aluminum toxicity. I was just answering what I saw as a false and misunderstood generalization. Have a good day.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:21 AM   #8
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Thank you for discussions, I see your point.

What do you think about hard-anodized ones vs. aluminum vs. SS?
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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Selki does not have enough posts to be able to post links here yet, but sent me the following in a PM so I thought I would post them here for Selkie as it could be important information to the discussion. I have not had a chance to look at any of these yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie
I am unable to post URLs yet, so:

Aluminum Toxicity

https://www.uic.edu/pharmacy/services/di/aluminum.htm
and pay particular attention to the last paragraph.

And here is the National Institute of Health Government Web Site:

HUMAN EXPOSURE - National Toxicology Program

And here is a quote:
"The extent of exposure to aluminum from leaching from cookware, however, is uncertain (Rajwanshi et al., 1997)"
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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The most versatile are SS as they are totally non-reactive with any foods. Unprotected aluminum is not. Hard anodized aluminum is non-reactive as long as the anodized coating remains intact.

I recommend tri-ply stainless steel (Also referred to as clad). That is two layers of SS with an aluminum layer sandwiched in between. The alum. provides quick and even heat distribution while the SS provides impervious cooking and exterior surfaces. It is also the only one of the three that is dishwasher safe if that ever became an issue.

The top of the line for clad SS is All-Clad. However, there are several brands that perform very well and are a lot less expensive.

Top quality in a clad item is key for high temperature applications such as fry pans and skillets.
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