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Old 11-13-2007, 08:28 AM   #1
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What does "Anodized" mean?

I am looking for a large stainless steel skillet - at least 12" - with a lid - but I don't want to spend a fortune. I came across a "limited time" deal - something from Calphalon - not stainless - not non-stick - but "anodized". I have one of these stock pots and I like it but I don't saute in it - can anyone tell me if this type of finish would cook like stainless and how it would wear? Thanks!

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Old 11-13-2007, 08:54 AM   #2
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basically it means that`s it`s been used as an Anode (positive terminal) in an electrolytic setup.
for cookware it`s normally done to Alu, this makes the surface more porous and changes the microcrystaline structure, a coating can them be added that will adhere well to this surface. I`ll see if I can find so easier info, one sec.....
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:56 AM   #3
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try this: Anodizing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
any questions about it, just ask :)
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:59 AM   #4
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Thanks Y2 - you always pull through - but now in english - what does all that mean? From what I can gather it is still "coated" - am I correct in saying that? If so, it stands a chance of peeling, right - like the non-stick stuff?
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:07 AM   #5
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it is a sort of Coating yes, it`s made from the metal itself rather than something added to it After though.

for instance let`s look at Aluminium, it is a Very reactive metal! and forms an oxide almost instantly in air, but it`s only very thin!
treating it with electrolysis can make this coating Much thicker, (you may be interested to note that Ruby or Garnet is also a form of aluminium oxide).

it can Not peel away (at least not without dragging off a layer of metal with it also).
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:14 AM   #6
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In your opinion, do you think it would cook like stainless then? As long as it doesn't peel, I'm interested!
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:15 AM   #7
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perhaps it may help to explain that Aluminium oxide (Al2O3) is Very Tough! and quite inert for the most part (non reactive).
and of course if the Crystaline structure is done correctly (during electrolysis), it`s going to be extremely tough indeed, as I said, you would have to get down to the metal itself and take a layer off to remove it.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelemarie View Post
In your opinion, do you think it would cook like stainless then? As long as it doesn't peel, I'm interested!
depends what you`re cooking and if the crystals had been treated (made to absorb a lubricant such as PTFE).

not having all the details of the pan here I can`t really answer that, no one can.


edited to add: in my Opinion (not based on Science but personal Pref) I`ll stay with my all SS ware, it can take all the punishment I can dish out (so far) and will still be here long after I`m dead and gone.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:17 AM   #9
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I love ss too, that is what I am looking for. The problem is - I need a large one pronto - and I am having a hard time finding one, WITH a lid, in my price range - any suggestions? I can only go to TJ Maxx so often!
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:38 AM   #10
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I found this helpful for anyone who is interested:




Stainless steel vs.
hard-anodized aluminum cookware
Hard-anodized aluminum is 30% harder than stainless steel. It is more scratch resistant and, because of its darker surface tones, scratches and other signs of wear are not as visible to the eye as with stainless.
Even with its hardened surface, hard-anodized aluminum like stainless steel can occasionally react with foods high in acids or alkali. Most often, however, it takes an intense combination of factors to cause discoloration or reverse the hard-anodization process. These factors include certain minerals in local water, highly acidic ingredients (such as highly concentrated lemon juice with cranberries), even soil quality where foods are grown.

The Results

The hard-anodized sauté
Sautéing. As the chicken sautés, it bonds quickly and consistently with the surface of the pan. The bonding, or "sticking" effect contributes to the even, golden browning over the whole exterior. As the natural juices escape from the meat and are "cooked down" or reduced, they become darker and more concentrated (called caramelising) on the bottom of the pan. Flavours become richer and more intense. Small bits of the chicken remain on the bottom of the pan, also developing new, intense flavours. As the chicken reaches its ideal degree of "doneness" it actually releases itself from the hard-anodized cooking surface. The chicken "tells you" when it's ready to be turned or removed.
The chicken results:
  • Even, golden browning over the whole exterior.
  • Moist and tender texture, no fibrous texture in the meat.
  • Juicy interior, although juices are left in the pan.
Deglazing. Wine is added to the heated pan, creating lots of steam and bubbling. The caramelised juices and flavour bits release easily from the cooking surface and mix consistently with the wine. As it reduces, it thickens.
The deglazing results:
  • Thick, hearty liquid.
  • The liquid is of an even consistency throughout, a smooth suspension of food bits and colour.
  • Rich colour, flavour, and aroma.
Stainless steel (with aluminum core) sauté
Sautéing. As the chicken sautés, it bonds with the surface of the pan, but not as quickly or to the same degree as with hard-anodized aluminum. The bonding contributes golden browning over the surface of the chicken, but there is often a subtle difference in the depth of colour.
As with the hard-anodized aluminum surface, the natural juices escape from the meat and become darker and more concentrated on the bottom of the pan, creating richer, more intense flavours. Small bits of the chicken remain on the bottom of the pan, also developing new, intense flavours.
The chicken results:
  • Golden browning with slightly less consistent coverage.
  • Slight loss of tenderness in meat, more fibrous texture when bitten into.
  • Juiciness closely comparable to hard-anodized version.
Deglazing. Wine is added to the heated pan, again creating lots of steam and bubbling. The caramelised juices and flavour bits release easily from the cooking surface and mix consistently with the wine. As it reduces, it thickens, but the juices caramelise less evenly The liquid is not as rich or as consistent in depth as the hard-anodized pan's liquids.
The deglazing results:
  • Less consistent colour in juices, although still very acceptable.
  • Slightly thinner and less depth than the hard-anodized results.
Comparing the Results
Note the differences between the hard-anodized and stainless steel results. They are subtle at times, but these differences should be considered.
Then compare the results of the first two surfaces with the results of the nonstick surface. The differences are staggering. Because the food cannot interact with the cooking surface in the same way, food in nonstick cookware steams more than it sautés. The difference in cooking results creates a vastly different texture, look, and taste. This is the nature of any nonstick surface.
NOW YOU KNOW why we recommend:
Hard-anodized aluminum for almost any type of cooking, but especially for people who prefer "crisp, rich, golden flavours with robust natural juices for sauces" and recipes which require deglazing for sauces and gravies. Although the results with aluminum-core stainless steel are good, the browning and deglazing results are consistently best with hard-anodized aluminum. Nonstick cookware for people who prefer "health-conscious, lowfat, light golden flavours with pale natural juices, mostly from liquid added for deglazing" and recipes in which the caramelization process is not required for richer sauces or gravies.

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