There have been many thoughts about the safety of cooking with aluminum for years. Many people cook with aluminum regularly, so when the idea of aluminum being unsafe came about, it made many people reconsider their cookware. Since this became such a hot topic, it has been proven that aluminum can be a safe product to cook with. Let's learn more about how and when aluminum is safe and the reasons you should start cooking with aluminum.
Is Cooking With Aluminum Safe?
The answer is yes, as long as you use aluminum cookware made with a ceramic or stainless steel coating. Having these coatings on your cookware is important because it creates a barrier between your food and the aluminum. If your food is coming in direct contact with the aluminum, it can contaminate your food. This is where the idea that cooking with aluminum was unsafe came from.
Possible Health Risks
There are some health risks that should be kept in mind if you are cooking your food directly on aluminum. Research shows that the amount of aluminum that can leach into our food from cooking with aluminum is small and should not affect your health. We are exposed to aluminum on a daily basis through the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the additives and preservatives we consume. So, our bodies know how to remove it from our system. But, trouble comes when there are high amounts of aluminum in our system, aluminum toxicity. This isn't something that happens in one sitting but over a period of time. Although the evidence isn't concrete yet, it is believed that high amounts of aluminum can lead to Alzheimer's, kidney failure, and the health of our muscles, bones, and other tissues.
Avoiding The Dangers
So, how do you avoid aluminum from seeping into your food? First is what was mentioned above: make sure your aluminum pans are coated in either ceramic or stainless steel. The second is to use a different material when cooking at high temperatures. There is research that shows cooking with aluminum at high temperatures can increase the amount of aluminum that seeps into your food. This is also true with cooking or storing acidic or salty foods. If you're worried about this, you can switch out aluminum foil for parchment paper when cooking above 400 degrees. Or, if you're storing acidic food, you can store it in a glass container instead of wrapped up in foil.
Now that you know the dos and don'ts of aluminum and when cooking with aluminum is safe, here are some benefits to having aluminum cookware in your home.
If you've ever cooked with heavy cookware like stainless steel, you know that having a heavy pan can add a layer of complexity to your cooking. Having pots and pans made with aluminum means that they are lightweight and much easier to handle. This can come in handy when you're moving pots and pans around on the stove. It's especially helpful when you need to use one hand to lift your pan and the other to scrape out and transfer the food. Having to lift up a pan that's full of food with one hand can make your cooking experience more difficult.
Good Heat Conductor
Another benefit of using aluminum cookware is that it is great at conducting heat. That means that your pots and pans will heat up very quickly, but the heat will also be evenly distributed. This is a great feature to have because it will help your food cook evenly and consistently. It's also nice if you're new to cooking or if you're multitasking. It can help reduce the risk of burning your foods if you end up being distracted for a moment or two.
Lastly, you will find that aluminum cookware is going to be cheaper than stainless steel. Although these are both metals, aluminum is cheaper because it's easier to work with when cutting and forming it. Stainless steel is significantly more resistant, which makes it harder to work with and, therefore, more expensive. But this doesn't mean that you can't find expensive aluminum pans. Like everything, you'll be able to find a cheaper and more expensive version of what you're buying.
Purchasing Aluminum Cookware
Now that you know everything you need to know about aluminum cookware, here are some pots and pans you can check out to purchase and use in your home.
Glass Lids, 10-Piece Pot and Pan Set, Gray with Orange Handles
The image featured at the top of this post is ©New Africa/Shutterstock.com.