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Old 11-16-2007, 01:47 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by jeyges View Post
Hi,

This is my first post, and I have two questions pertaining to this thread -

1. It's been said that anodizing makes the aluminum more scratch-resistant than stainless steel; however, whenever I've looked at anodized pots in a discount store, where they've been banged around a bit, as they would be in a kitchen, they're always scratched - and it seems to be more noticeable than it would be on stainless.

2. It was also mentioned that the anodizing takes place only on the outside, to protect the finish - but my understanding is that it takes place on the inside as well, and that this results in a relatively non-stick surface (apart from pans lined with a true non-stick coating, of course). If the insides aren't anodized as well, why are they as dark as the outsides?

I need to buy cookware, and I'm trying to decide which kind I want. I've picked up a few consistent opinions from this and other websites - don't buy a set, and don't bother with non-stick except for frying pans. I know that everyone loves cast iron, but it's just too heavy, and All Clad, but it's outside of my budget, even at discount prices. I was going to buy the Cuisinart Chef's Classic stainless, but I noticed that IKEA has a clad line called Favorit, at very reasonable prices. Has anyone had any experience with their cookware?

Between anodized and clad - which would you recommend?

Also - does anyone have reservations about aluminum in light of recent research suggesting a link between aluminum and Alzheimer's?

Thanks very much.
Anodizing is a surface treatment that creates a harder surface than raw aluminum and makes it resistent to reacting with acidic ingredients.

The link between aluminum and Alzheimer's was debunked some time ago. There is no issue with raw aluminum cookware.

I prefer clad SS to any Alum. for its durability and performance.
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:37 AM   #32
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I prefer clad SS to any Alum. for its durability and performance.

As I mentioned, I don't have any high end clad stuff to compare but I do have some mid-grade quisinart SS and don't care for it at all (bottom has a copper sandwich but sides are not clad). I'm a huge fan of the Calphalon one line - very durable and outstanding performance, way better than the SS stuff I own. Outstanding for searing and deglazing.

We've had our calphalon stuff for several years now and it still looks fine.

As to anodizing, there's several ways to anodize and they have differing properties (hard, soft, thin thick etc..). The outsides of the pans are also anodized but not with the same treatment I would think.
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Old 11-17-2007, 09:42 AM   #33
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I do have some mid-grade quisinart SS and don't care for it at all (bottom has a copper sandwich but sides are not clad).
Why don't you like the Cuisniart? Uneven heating?
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:58 AM   #34
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As I mentioned, I don't have any high end clad stuff to compare but I do have some mid-grade quisinart SS and don't care for it at all (bottom has a copper sandwich but sides are not clad). I'm a huge fan of the Calphalon one line - very durable and outstanding performance, way better than the SS stuff I own. Outstanding for searing and deglazing.

We've had our calphalon stuff for several years now and it still looks fine.

As to anodizing, there's several ways to anodize and they have differing properties (hard, soft, thin thick etc..). The outsides of the pans are also anodized but not with the same treatment I would think.

beerco, clad ss refers to pots and pans which have a copper or aluminum sandwich throughout the body of the pan, not just a disk on the bottom.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:08 PM   #35
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Why don't you like the Cuisniart? Uneven heating?
Two things,

First like you mentioned the uneven heating since the sides aren't clad like all-clad etc. What happens is the sides get much hotter than the sandwiched part and stuff burns there (I have gas burners which exacerbates this too).

Second, I just don't like SS to cook on. If I'm browning something the Al stuff tends to release when It's supposed to where the SS seems to keep sticking until it's burnt. It also seems harder to deglaze than the Al stuff.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:22 PM   #36
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Two things,

First like you mentioned the uneven heating since the sides aren't clad like all-clad etc. What happens is the sides get much hotter than the sandwiched part and stuff burns there (I have gas burners which exacerbates this too).

Second, I just don't like SS to cook on. If I'm browning something the Al stuff tends to release when It's supposed to where the SS seems to keep sticking until it's burnt. It also seems harder to deglaze than the Al stuff.

You're right about the disk on the bottom stuff not working well with gas burners. I switched to clad for that reason.

I have to disagree on the second part of your post, though. I have had no problem with browning meats and having them release properly with my SS. The same goes for deglazing as well.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:25 AM   #37
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When cooking with stainless, I have found that you need to pre-heat the pan when the cooking survace is dry, and add the oil when the pan is hot. Then the surface releases properly. But I still love my cast iron.

As for aluminum, I once took cheap aluminum pans from a camp-set, put the frying pans and placed them on a Coleman Stove and seasoned them with oil, like I do with cast iron. These pans were raw aluminum. They became stick free, just like my cast-iron, but much lighter. I don't know if you can do this with full-sized aluminum pans, anodized or not.

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Old 11-19-2007, 08:34 AM   #38
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When cooking with stainless, I have found that you need to pre-heat the pan when the cooking survace is dry, and add the oil when the pan is hot.
I've heard this before. The Frugal Gourmet used to say it all the time. But, you know - I never see the chefs on TV do it. They're always putting the oil into the pan first, then heating both together.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:50 AM   #39
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What you may not realize is that the pan is already hot on the stove. Often burners are going all the time.

Regardless of what you see on TV (they sometimes take shortcuts to save TV time), you will have better results if you put the food into a hot pan with hot oil.

My personal experience indicates it does not matter if you heat the pan before you add the oil or add the oil to a cold pan and heat them together. When you put the meat into the pan, leave it undisturbed for several minutes. It will stick initially, that can't be helped, but if you wait, it will release itself when it's ready. Some patience is required. Then you can flip it and repeat the process.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:55 AM   #40
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Regardless of what you see on TV (they sometimes take shortcuts to save TV time), you will have better results if you put the food into a hot pan with hot oil.
I realize that; I meant that I don't see them heat the pan before they put in the oil. But you're right - it may just be to save time.
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