Aluminum Cookware vs Stainless Steel Cookware


Choosing the best cookware for your restaurant or kitchen is an expensive and important decision. Kitchen equipment is made out of many different materials but two that continually appear is stainless steel and aluminum. Public Kitchen Supply has investigated the pros and cons of these two popular metals. We have determined the quality of each material based off of these benefits: ease of cleaning, heat limitations, life span and stick vs. non-stick.
Stainless steel is created from a variety of metals including: nickel, manganese, iron, chromium and copper. To even be considered stainless steel, 11% of its makeup must be chromium. This is a benefit because it prevents corrosion caused by moisture or air. Cooks continuously choose stainless steel over aluminum for its durability and scratch resistance. Browne’s 12 Quart Stock Pot is an excellent example of how stainless steel creates fantastic cooking equipment. Kitchen equipment, like this Browne Stock Pot, will not react to acidic or alkaline foods that are cooked in it.
However, more than half of cookware and bakeware ever sold was constructed out of aluminum. The popularity of this material is because it is economically priced and quick heating. There are three different types of aluminum: pressed, cast and anodized. Public Kitchen Supply suggests looking for products made out of cast or anodized aluminum, like the Browne’s 14″ Non-Stick Fry Pan. One of the benefits of aluminum is its ability to have non-stick properties. Aluminum is typically lighter than stainless steel but is still exceptionally strong.
Stainless steel’s greatest weakness is that it is a bad conductor of heat and does not spread temperature evenly. This is a weakness because unevenly cooked food can make people sick and is usually attributed to poor cooking. Heat is crucial in baking and cooking, making stainless steel cookware reliant on copper and aluminum. Another disadvantage is that stainless steel tends to lose its color over high heat and it may form dents when exposed to salt for long periods of time. While these factors are certainly disadvantages they do not affect equipment that will not be used in high heat like Update International’s 4 Quart Mixing Bowls.
Aluminum can react with certain foods, especially those with high acidic and alkaline components. For example, chefs should be cautious of cooking lemon or tomato based sauce in aluminum put because the particles may grab hold and contaminate the food. Toxicity is the most obvious of aluminum’s down falls but when lined with a plastic or epoxy this risk is drastically reduced.
Cleaning is typically a painless process with both aluminum and stainless steel. Simply wash with a liquid dishwashing detergent and use a non-abrasive sponge. For stubborn stains and baked on food, let kitchen utensils soak in soapy warm water and add about a tablespoon of vinegar. Always review a products specific cleaning instructions before utilizing these tips.
When deciding between stainless steel and aluminum it is important to consider quality, your cooking needs and cost. If you are looking for an inexpensive utensil that will work well in the oven consider products like this aluminum Update International’s 16” x 22” Bun Pan. If you have a bit more money to spend and heat conduction is not an issue, invest in stainless steel. Overall Public Kitchen Supply suggests looking for products that fit your culinary needs. Remember that aluminum and stainless steel are often the main materials used in cooking equipment, but are typically reliant on metals like copper and plastic. Both, aluminum and stainless steel, are great kitchen utensils and can easily be found at
photo credit: Dinner Series via photopin cc

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