By hard-anodized aluminum, we mean the material that has undergone an electrolytic process to control the natural oxidation of aluminum. Nowadays, the use of hard-anodized aluminum is very common in the cookware industry.
Hard anodized aluminum does not let the metal react with any kinds of acidic foods. It also makes the surface of the cookware solid, smooth and durable. If hard anodized is used in aluminum, the cookware can stay without corrosion for years.
However, nowadays there is a debate where many consumers are asking, ‘Is hard anodized cookware safe?’ Well, this article is going to answer the question after explaining the pros and cons of anodized cookware in detail. Let’s begin here.
Why is hard anodized used in cookware?
You may ask why the manufacturers use hard-anodized aluminum instead of mere using mere aluminum. Along with being cheap, lightweight and durable, hard-anodized aluminum is way harder than even stainless steel.
A thick coating layer on the aluminum is created as a result of the hard-anodized process. You can stay assured that your hard-anodized aluminum will remain scratch-free, rust-free, and reaction-free.
Let’s see some of the advantages of hard-anodized aluminum cookware to have a clear view about why the manufacturers love to use it in their cookware.
The Advantages of hard Anodized Aluminum cookware
- When it comes to the conduction of heat, hard-anodized aluminum is the best heat conductor. With the help of this, you can get the heat perfectly and evenly in all the parts of your pan.
- Hard anodized aluminum is not heavy- this is another reason why many people tend to choose it over other materials. You can handle it very easily.
- No matter which metal utensils you use, it goes well with all of them. As it is stable, you do not need to worry about any issue of your metal utensils.
- If you buy hard anodized cookware, it will not make your food sticky with the pan. It is because a non-stick coating is integrated there.
- Though it is lightweight and durable, it is not costly at all. You can very comfortably afford it to buy.
- If you want that your food should not react in your aluminum pan, hard-anodized aluminum has no alternative. As it features non-stick surfaces, your food will remain as intact as it should be.
- You can clean it without spending much time and energy.
- For oven and broiler, hard-anodized aluminum products of high quality are safe to use.
- With hard-anodized aluminum cookware, you are sure to experience a great cooking performance.
The disadvantages of hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware
- Be careful about using high heat for anodized aluminum cookware. It is always better to use a low to medium pressure of heat. Otherwise, your cookware may last for a shorter period than expected.
- If the aluminum that has gone under the hard-anodized process is not of high quality, there is a chance that you would consume metal from your cookware with your food which is very dangerous for your health.
- If you look for good quality in your hard-anodized cookware, you will need more money than that of a traditional one.
- The non-stick surface that comes with high anodized cookware may get washed or damaged due to the use of the dishwasher.
- When it comes to the cooking sprays, you should not choose the hard-anodized aluminum cookware as it is not safe for any of them.
- In spite of being flexible, sometimes the chemical coating may turn it heavy.
Potential Health Risks of hard anodized cookware
As aluminum, which is very available in water, soil, and the air is used for hard anodized cookware, many claims that it will not harm the body. On top of that manufacturers say that the aluminum that is leached from hard anodized cookware is of a very small amount, it is not going to of many risks for our health.
However, the health organizations note that taking about 7 to 9 milligrams of aluminum is not very harmful to our body. But if that exceeds the limit, we may end up with many diseases such as anemia, memory loss, the problem in kidney and liver, bone deterioration and so on. The non-stick coating is another point of danger here.
However, as most of the hard-anodized aluminum cookware uses non-stick coating in their pans. And the matter of concern is that the coating surface used there are made from Teflon. If you scratch the non-stick coating anyhow or expose it to high heat, there is a chance of health risk associated with it.
Is hard anodized cookware safe to use?
After knowing the advantage and disadvantages of hard anodized cookware, it is now the time to decide whether hard anodized cookware is safe to use or not. Whether the hard-anodized cookware is safe or not depends on the quality of aluminum used here.
Moreover, the non-stick coating material and price can also determine whether hard-anodized cookware is safe. Well, if you want to keep using hard anodized cookware due to its different advantages, we recommend you to follow these suggestions:
- Do not buy any hard-anodized cookware that is made of cheap and low-quality aluminum.
- Always look if the non-stick coating is durable and doesn’t splash with water after a few days of use.
- Never use overheat or much heat when you use anodized cookware in your kitchen. If you do so, your cookware may turn harmful for your health. Keep the heat in medium or low.
- Buy from an established brand even if the price is a bit high.
- Always think about the quality of the hard-anodized product that you are buying. Anything that is extremely cheap is never going to be healthy, keep it in mind.
- Do not use induction cooking with hard anodized cookware.
If you can maintain these, you can go for buying hard anodized cookware for your home. Compromising any of these may cause probable risk to your health.
By our discussion so far, you must have got that whether the hard anodized cookware is safe or not is relative and depends upon you. If you can choose wisely and pick hard anodized cookware products of high quality, you are going to get a good and safe service out of them.
How long does hard anodized cookware last?
The hard anodized aluminum cookware is durable, rust-resistant and dishwasher safe. It can also be used in the oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and on a gas or electric stovetop with its own heat source at any temperature. This type of cookware will last for years if you take care of it properly!
What is the difference between anodized and hard anodized?
Hard anodized aluminum is a thicker and better-protected version of standard anodized aluminum. Hardening the surface at lower temperatures with more current densities, hard anodize can produce results up to 25 microns thick! This thickness makes it more durable than its thin counterpart while still maintaining flexibility.
Is hard anodized cookware safer than stainless steel?
Stainless steel is more durable and less reactive than hard-anodized aluminum cookware, which means it’s a healthier choice. The problem with using dishes made of anodic oxide metal such as aluminum is that the acidity in food can react to create toxic substances like mercury chloride or hydrochloric acid, but stainless steel doesn’t have this drawback.
Are hard anodized pans dishwasher safe?
Yes. Hard anodized cookware is dishwasher safe, but it’s recommended to hand-wash them instead because they can scratch very easily. The most important thing to remember when handwashing these pots and pans is to leave the lids and handles off of the sink, and avoid soap residue on the non-stick surface or touchable areas of the body of the cookware.