How to Use and Clean Aluminum Cookware

How to Use and Clean Aluminum Cookware

Are you looking for the best way to keep your aluminum cookware in top condition? Aluminum is one of the most common materials used to create cookware and is well-known for being lightweight and an excellent conductor of heat.

When aluminum comes into contact with oxygen, it oxidizes very quickly and forms a thin alumina layer. Therefore, correctly using and cleaning your aluminum cookware will significantly extend its lifespan so that it serves you well for much longer. 

So, let’s get started and find out exactly how to use and clean aluminum cookware…

Caring for Aluminum Cookware before the First Use

Before you use your new aluminum cookware, make sure that you remove all the stickers. You can lift a corner of the label with a non-metallic utensil and then scrape away any remaining sticker parts. You can also remove the sticker residue with rubbing alcohol.

Make sure that the utensil is not sharp, as this may scratch the surface of your aluminum cookware. Wash the new aluminum cookware with warm water, mild dish soap, and a soft sponge.

Before using a new aluminum sauté pan or frying pan, heat some oil in the bottom over a low heat. Discard the oil after coating the cooking surface of the pan and then wash it again.

If you are using a new aluminum pan, fill it three quarters with water and boil the water for thirty minutes. Throw away the water and wash the pan thoroughly. This will remove any traces of polish from the interior of the pan. Rinse the pan thoroughly and dry it with a cloth to make it shiny and prevent limescale from forming.

Caring for Aluminum Cookware while Cooking

How to Use and Clean Aluminum Cookware

Make sure that you use a medium or low heat when cooking with aluminum pots and pans. Aluminum is an excellent thermal conductor, and there is no need to turn up the heat. Placing this cookware over a high heat can cause the surface of aluminum cookware to become discolored.

Make sure that your stove top does not exceed the base of the pan, especially when you are cooking with gas. It is best to avoid metal cooking utensils, as they can scratch the surface and deteriorate the nonstick coating. Instead, opt for silicone, wooden, or polyethylene cooking utensils.

Highly acidic foods like tomatoes can eat away at aluminum over time. Make sure that you thoroughly clean your aluminum cookware after cooking highly acidic foods. Avoid cutting food directly in aluminum cookware and storing food in it for more than a few minutes.

Aluminum Cookware Cleaning Process

Aluminum Cookware Cleaning Process

Like other metal cookware, aluminum pots and pans can become discolored and grimy with extensive use. Fortunately, cleaning aluminum cookware is a fairly quick and easy process, and you can remove tough grease and burnt food and leave your cookware shining like new.

All you need is water, dish soap, a sponge, two tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar, and a dishtowel. You can also use a wooden spoon and use silver polish to make the cookware especially shiny.

Removing Dirt or Grease

When your pot or pan has cooled, wash away the grease or grime with a sponge, warm water, and dish soap. Use the rough side of the sponge to scrub away any particles of burnt food. You can also use the edge of a wooden spoon to dislodge stubborn food particles.

Creating Your Own Cleaning Solution

Aluminum oxidation causes a white and chalky film to form on aluminum cookware. This can be removed fairly easily with an acidic solution. You can create this from cream of tartar, white vinegar, or lemon juice.

Mix two tablespoons of your acidic cleaner with a quart of water. Stir the mixture together and bring it to the boil in your aluminum cookware and allow it to boil for around fifteen minutes. Turn off the heat, pour out the mixture, and your aluminum cookware should be clean and shiny.

One Final Clean

Before you hang up your cookware, it is time to give it a final clean to remove any remaining residue. Using dish soap, warm water, and the rough side of the sponge will also remove any remaining discoloration. Rinse your pot and pan after the final cleaning and dry it with a soft dish towel.

Cleaning the Exteriors

You can use silver polish to remove any discoloration from the exteriors of your aluminum cookware. Make sure that you remove the polish with dish soap, warm water, and a sponge before drying the cookware. After using a clean towel to buff the exterior of the cookware, it should boast a mirror-like shine.

Seasoning Aluminum Cookware

It is a good idea to take the time to season aluminum cookware before you use it. Proper seasoning will ensure that aluminum cookware retains its color for longer. New aluminum cookware should be thoroughly washed and dried before seasoning to remove excess polish.

Apply a small amount of oil to the interior of the cookware and heat the oil until it begins to smoke. Let the cookware cool, and then apply more oil and heat. Repeat the process one more time, and then wash the cookware with cool water after it has cooled down.

How to Use and Clean Aluminum Cookware – Tips for Longer Lasting Cookware

It is important to note that aluminum cookware is not technically dishwasher safe. Certain dishwashing detergents contain chemicals and salts that can damage aluminum cookware. Choosing detergents that are too harsh can cause irreversible corrosion and discoloration. 

Keep your cool…

Make sure that you always allow aluminum cookware to cool before you wash it. Sudden and dramatic changes in temperature can cause the base of the cookware to warp. This will mean that the heat conduction properties of the cookware will be ruined.

Wash your aluminum cookware with mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft sponge after each use. Dry the cookware immediately after washing with a soft, dry towel. This will help to prevent the formation of limescale. 

Nice and soft…

Like with most metal cookware, it is important to avoid using metal cooking utensils. Even soft utensils with sharp edges can scratch or otherwise damage the inner surface of the cookware.

Most food residue can be removed by simply boiling some water and vinegar in the cookware for five minutes. Avoid using corrosive cleaning products like bleach, oven cleaners, and harsh acids.

Make sure that you store your aluminum cookware away from direct contact with sharp objects. Aluminum is not quite as strong as stainless steel, and it can become warped with excessive weight, heat, or impacts. Place the lids upside down in the pans when storing them to prevent odor buildup.

Looking for some new high-quality cookware?

Then you’ll love our in-depth Best Scanpan Reviews, as well as our reviews of the Best Ceramic Cookware Sets, the Best Induction Cookware Sets, the Best Red Copper Pans, as well as the Best Titanium Cookware Sets on the market in 2022.

Or if you need answers to all your kitchen queries, then our informative articles on Where is Crofton Cookware Made? How to Season Stainless Steel Cookware?, or How to Clean Hard Anodized Cookware Interior and Exterior? Are Copper Pans Safe to Work With? or even What is Waterless Cookware? are well worth reading.

How to Use and Clean Aluminum Cookware – Final Thoughts

With proper care and attention, aluminum cookware can last you a lifetime. However, it is important to understand that not all aluminum cookware is created equally. Therefore, it is best to invest in quality when choosing a new cookware set or even a single pot or pan.

At first, it may seem that the cleaning process for aluminum is unnecessarily complicated. However, you are sure to find that the extra time and trouble pays off in the long run. You will be rewarded with clean and shiny aluminum cookware that serves you well for many years to come. 

Happy cooking!

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