If you’ve been surfing the web for information about aluminum (or magnalite) cookware in the kitchen, you must have seen that many researches claim that it’s bad for your health. Although it is true that aluminum is not always your best friend, certain things have to be said. Let’s find out if it’s safe to cook with this type of cookware in our following guide.
What magnalite cookware is made from?
Magnalite cookware, or originally called Wagnerware, first came into the market in 1934. The main goal of this type of cookware was to offer an easy-to-use and affordable alternative to the cast iron pans and pots, without the heavyweight in the equation.
Nowadays, many professional cooks still use aluminum in their kitchen, but many try to avoid it for various reasons. That said, is it really due to the fact that it’s dangerous for your health?
Is magnalite cookware safe to cook with?
Of course, as a general rule of thumb, too much aluminum in your body is never a good thing. However, there are no conclusive studies or enough evidence that regularly cooking with magnalite cookware would be in fact dangerous for your health.
There were some claims in the past saying that in the long term it could augment the risks of having Alzheimer’s. Interestingly, these claims have been since debunked or abandoned by various Alzheimer’s Associations, since there is still no proof that this is true.
What are the bad effects of cooking with aluminum?
Here’s a list of bad side effects that could be potentially linked to cooking with magnalite or aluminum cookware on a regular basis:
- Apparition of certain skin problems
- Intestines chronic inflammation
Aluminum can also reduce the growth of your bones, and could cause Alzheimer’s, but as explained above, there is no tangible proof yet.
So why people don’t want to cook with magnalite cookware?
Aluminum is everywhere, in your food, in your water, and obviously, in your kitchen! Your body and its digestive system are not made to manage an excessive amount of aluminum on a regular basis. However, cooking with magnalite cookware shouldn’t be too difficult for your kidneys to digest. Now that’s out of the way, why do some people still despise cooking with magnalite cookware? What’s so bad about it?
To better understand why some chefs almost hate cooking with magnalite pots and pans, here’s a list of the top 5 reasons why they avoid aluminum cookware:
Aluminum will eventually oxidize, that you like it or not! The oxidization process will sometimes leave black stains on your clothes, your counter, your hands, and even on your shelves. It is painful to always manage these stains when you could just use another type of cookware in the first place.
Can’t cook with acidic food
As you may already know, it is not recommended to cook with acidic food in a magnalite pan, woke, or pot. Concentrated acid levels will make your food absorb the aluminum better, which will result in more aluminum being transferred into your dish. That said, it would take years and years of repeating that every day in order for you to feel any bad effect from this. But some chefs say that it also changes the taste of the food.
It is well-known that if you use aluminum cookware often, some models will eventually warp. Cookware warping, in other words, is when your pan becomes bent or out of shape. This happens especially with stamped or non-casted magnalite pans, for example.
The rivets are the screws holding the handles. Some models won’t have any rivets but when they do, aluminum and riveted handles are usually not good friends and will then cause the rivets to leak or literally fall off.
Are there any advantages to cooking with magnalite pots and pans?
The main advantage is the lightweight of an aluminum pan or woke. It’s easy to manipulate, if you compare this with a big cast iron pan, for example. Yes, try to manoeuver that one, it’s pretty much a workout of its own!
Another big advantage that chefs love is that aluminum cookware conducts heat very well. Therefore, you can control precisely the temperature of your food since magnalite cookware will quickly adapt to a new temperature.
What are the best alternatives to magnalite cookware?
First thing first, if you decide to go with an aluminum pan, just make sure that it has been cast. A cast aluminum pan is generally much better and will last longer. If you want to try another cooking material, a stainless or cast iron pan should be good as well.
To conclude, yes, an excess of aluminum in the body is not good for anybody. But, there are no solid studies yet proving that cooking with aluminum cookware is hazardous for one’s health. On that note, just enjoy what works best for you in the kitchen, and don’t worry too much, life is too short for that!