Many cooking experts firmly believe that hard-anodized cookware can prove to be a true game-changer in your kitchen in a number of ways. They provide a versatile and effective solution to numerous cooking dilemmas. That said, hard anodized cookware is more of a double-edged sword and has certain drawbacks to boot.
You have indeed come to the right place if you are looking to gain some insight into the pros and cons of hard anodized cookware. However, before we delve into that, let us first understand what is hard anodized cookware.
What are the pros and cons of hard anodized cookware?
What is Hard Anodized Cookware?
The first thing you need to know that hard anodized cookware is not like the typical cookware available in the market. To put it simply, hard Anodized cookware is cookware made out of an aluminum base that has been treated by a string of electro-chemical processes.
These cookware pieces are extremely durable to use (more on this later) since they comprise a layer of aluminum ceramic. This layer is made up of acidic chemical compounds which have been passed through an electric charge. It is 30 percent stronger and tougher than stainless steel.
In addition, hard anodized cookware is very easy to clean and cook in.
Pros of Hard Anodized Cookware
Hard anodized cookware has some pretty awesome advantages which make it the superior choice for chefs. For starters, hard-anodized pots and pans can be used in a wider temperature range than other types of cooking equipment out there – from really low to scorching hot! So what exactly are these advantages which give it the edge? The following are some of the many pros of hard anodized cookware.
Strong and Durable:
Their strength and durability are some of the biggest advantages of hard anodized cookware. In contrast to other aluminum cookware that you will find in the market, utensils that are made from electrochemical aluminum are considerably stronger.
They are 100 percent resistant to scratches, dents and dings since they are coated and non-porous. With careful and proper handling, you can use such utensils in the kitchen space for an extended period of time.
Since hard anodized cookware has a long lifetime, most people prefer them to other types of utensils used in the kitchen.
As the manufacturers use a non-stick surface to make hard anodized cookware, the latter needs minimal oil while you cook in the kitchen. You simply require a pat of butter to lubricate your edibles and owing to this great feature, you can cook healthy foods with the utmost ease.
Oven and Broiler Proof:
It is true that some of the very hard anodized skillets can be used in ovens very easily since they are equipped with metal handles. That also makes them quite versatile!
Excellent Heat conductor:
A cooking utensil that is worth its salt will always be a very good heat conductor and so is hard anodized cookware. It’s base that is made from aluminum assists in heating the utensil much quicker from the bottom as well as from the sides. That, in turn, helps you to cook your food much faster.
Ease of Cleanliness:
Almost everyone will agree that food that gets stuck to the surface of a pan or pot can sometimes be difficult to remove and that is very annoying! However, when it comes to hard anodized cookware, you do not have to worry about any burnt or stuck food.
That is because its non-stick surface makes the cookware extremely easy and effortless to clean. In addition, if you do see any tints, you can apply some mildly warm water added to baking soda for about half an hour to clean it with ease.
Easy Storage and Swift Cooking:
Unlike other kinds of utensils, you can store the hard-anodized cookware virtually anywhere very easily. That once again stems from its immense durability and its very high levels of dent and scratch resistance.
In addition, hard anodized cookware allows you to cook very quickly. If you value time spent in the kitchen, then you are sure to find hard anodized cookware very appealing. In case you are wondering how this cookware helps you to cook so quickly, it is because of its anodized composition that turns its aluminum base effectively into a very effective heat conductor.
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Hard Anodized Cookware Disadvantages: What you Need to Know
Although hard anodized cookware has ample plus points, it has certain drawbacks as well that you need to be privy to before you buy it for your kitchen. Knowing about these drawbacks will help you make an informed decision whether hard anodized cookware is good for you or not. The following are some of the hard anodized cookware disadvantages that you ought to know about.
Not Dishwasher Friendly
Unlike other kinds of cookware that you can buy in the market, hard anodized pans are often not dishwasher-safe apart from a few top-end brands. This in fact is a considerable disadvantage!
Although your dishwasher will not ruin these pans if you put them inside, it is sure to expedite wear and tear if you do it very regularly. Hence, most of the cooking experts around the world highly recommend that you thoroughly wash anodized cookware manually if you would like to ensure its maximum lifespan. Also, you ought to be very careful not to use very harsh soaps. Rather, opt for soft scrubs and mild soap for cleaning purposes.
Not Compatible with Induction Cookers
Hard-anodized cookware, for the most part, can easily be used for a broad variety of cooktops. These tend to include everything from electric to gas stoves. That said, one of the drawbacks of hard anodized cookware is that it is not compatible with induction stoves.
In case you did not know, the induction cooktops need a magnetic material at the pan’s base – this is something that hard anodized cookware lacks.
Hard anodized cookware is quite expensive and considerably costlier than other types of cookware available in the market. Are you thinking why are they priced so high? The truth of the matter is that the production process of the cookware’s deep anodized surface needs a lot of time and that boosts its cost.
Hence, you will have to most likely fork out a considerable amount of cash if you would like to purchase top-quality hard anodized cookware.
Hard Enamel vs Hard Anodized Cookware
Hard enamel cookware is a popular alternative to hard anodized cookware. A common question most people have is which one is better: hard enamel or hard anodized cookware?
The truth is that it is difficult to say since both have their own distinct plus points. The common denominator between these 2 types of cookware is that both feature a very efficient cooking surface that is pleasant to work with.
In addition, both enamel and hard anodized cooking surfaces are easy to clean, smooth, and can effectively stand high temperatures. Furthermore, both of these cookware materials are free of any damaging chemicals that may be injurious for you.
On the flip side, these 2 materials happen to be quite different both in composition and in appearance. Generally, hard anodized aluminum only comes in a single gray color. This particular color is the direct result of the anodization process.
While this gray color gives your pans and pots a very classic and elegant look, those who have a preference for colorful cookware may find themselves gravitating towards porcelain enamel. Such pans and pots typically come in a variety of colors.
Ultimately it comes down to what you expect from your cookware. For instance, if you are looking for something that you can get in numerous colors and looks catchy to the eye, then hard enamel cookware is probably your best bet.
On the other hand, if you are looking for extremely durable cookware, then you might want to go for hard anodized utensils.
What is Hard-Anodized Aluminum?
What the particular term “anodized” means is that a certain material like the aluminum in cookware has been exposed to an electrolytic procedure, where the natural oxidation has been completely controlled. This entails dipping the aluminum in a bath (chemical) and then applying a current to it.
That causes oxide to be generated on the aluminum from the resulting rust. This oxide layer considerably hardens the aluminum and makes it corrosion resistant. Hard anodized is in fact an extension of the procedure using a lower temperature and higher voltage. That leads to more durable and even harder cookware coating.
Is it Safe to Use Hard Anodized Cookware?
You can rest assured that an anodized finish is stable chemically. It will not decompose and what that means is that is non-toxic and completely safe to use by anyone.
Even if you apply high levels of heat, it will not ruin the anodized finish of the cookware. You will be surprised to know that anodized cookware surfaces are heat-resistant to the aluminum’s melting point (1,221 degrees Fahrenheit).
How to Clean Hard Anodized Cookware?
The good news for you is that it is quite easy to clean hard anodized cookware. Thoroughly wash your cookware in hot to warm soapy water. A sponge, rag, or nylon scrub pad (like a Scotch-Brite pad) can be effectively used to scrub away stains and food. Then rinse in warm water and dry with a towel.
If you come across any stubborn stains, you may clean them with water paste and baking soda.
To summarize, hard anodized cookware and hard anodized bakeware has several advantages like stronger build and longer lifespan. On the other hand, no cookware is without its faults.
For example, hard anodized cookware is more expensive than its conventional counterparts and you cannot use it on induction cook tops either. Cooking experts strongly recommend you to weigh these cookware advantages and disadvantages against your own requirements in the kitchen to decide if anodized cookware is the ideal choice for you.
I hope these pros and cons of hard anodized cookware is helpful, please share with your friends and family.
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