Cooking in Your Apartment: A Guide to Hard-Anodized Cookware

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Cooking in Your Apartment: A Guide to Hard-Anodized Cookware

Staff Writer · Apr 25, 2010

Hard anodized cookware is just one of many cookware options out there for your purchase. Because of the many options for cookware for purchase these days, you may know very little about hard anodized cookware. Exactly how hard anodized cookware is made, what it is made of and the benefits and drawbacks of such cookware are important to know prior to making your purchase.

Hard Anodized Cookware Defined

Hard Anodized cookware consists of specially treated aluminum. The aluminum in such cookware has been through the anodization process, which consists of submerging it in sulfuric acid and then submitting it to electrical charges. After anodization, the aluminum turns a very dark grey color and hardens. However, the surface is not non-stick, even though it will resist sticking to some extent. Hard anodized cookware, therefore, is cookware that has undergone this process.

The Benefits of Hard Anodized Cookware

Because of the surface strength, anodized cookware is extremely resistant to scratching, meaning that almost any type of cooking utensil can be used. Unlike other cookware, metal spoons or whisks will not damage the surface. Additionally, as the surface is processed in its entirety and not merely a coating over a different type of product, the surface will not chip or peel over time.

Another benefit of anodized cookware is its ability to brown foods without much sticking. Anodized surfaces heath quickly and evenly, meaning that your food will cook uniformly and brown as desired.

The Drawbacks of Hard Anodized Cookware

Because it is not truly non-stick, anodized cookware can cause your food to stick to the surface and be more difficult to clean. Therefore, this type of cookware is best used for liquids or other easily movable foods.

Additionally, there is significant debate about possible health hazards anodization poses to its users. Aluminum is present in many food products, and most individuals come in contact with it several times a day. However, it is still a heavy metal and poses a health threat if encountered in excess. Most experts agree, though, that very small exposure poses little to no health risks.

How to Clean Hard Anodized Cookware

As the anodized surface is somewhat resistant to sticking, it is easier to clean than regular stainless steel pots and pans. Using a simple sponge and regular dish soap, you will be able to remove most food residue. For tougher messes, use a gentle scrub brush but be careful to not press to hard or scrub for too long as this may cause damage to the cookware’s surface. Do not use steel wool or very harsh cleaning products as these will most certainly cause damage.

How to Store Hard Anodized Cookware

The surface of anodized cookware is much stronger than stainless steel, twice as hard to be exact. Because of this, such cookware is extremely resistant to scratching or denting, making it a breeze for storage. It is possible to stack multiple pieces of cookware on top of others with no damage to any of the pieces. However, anodized cookware should not be stored on top or inside other types of cookware because its hard surface may cause damage to the other surfaces.

Of the many options, hard anodized cookware offers many benefits with little drawbacks. Because of its hard surface and even cooking, such cookware will be useful for years to come.

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