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Aluminum core in stainless steel cookware?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Is it common for stainless steel cookware to have an aluminum core? Does ALL stainless steel cookware have this aluminum core? I had not previously heard about aluminum being 'inside' of stainless cookware and am wanting to get info on it. I searched around the internet but am finding biased and confusing information. Wondering about the opinions of MDC health-minded mamas.
post #2 of 9
All stainless cookware will have a core or layer of something. SS itself does not conduct heat very well, whereas aluminum or copper are both excellent heat conductors. If you want to avoid even that core, then you're going to want to go with cast iron, enameled cast iron or glass.
post #3 of 9
I'm not sure that all ss has an inner core...I do know that most does and does leach that core unless it is super high quality stuff. (And pricey, lol) I know saladmaster claims to be surgical grade ss (the kind used in hip transplants, ect) with an oil interior that is sealed inside. Also, that theirs (if it has a core) don't leach. They do this taste test with your pots that's just boiling baking soda in water in your pots and I can tell you that aluminum and sswith al or copper is disgusting tasting. But not sure how scientific that is, lol. I am looking for a solution, but it'll have to wait until I can better afford high quality cookware.

ETA: I don't sell or own saladmaster, but had a friend who was a consultant...
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow, that is very interesting about the leaching. Do you think that an outer layer of copper could also leach through?
post #5 of 9
I don't know about leaching, I am of the opinion that ss with an aluminum core is perfectly safe. It is essentially three (or more) layers of metal bonded together, the aluminum or copper giving heat conduction, the ss keeping them out of your food.

(I also don't worry about copper leaching through. It's not a lot if any did leach through, not likely enough to give you copper toxicity, and copper is the ideal cookware material, in my mind, only cast iron can compare in perfectness for ease of cooking.)

That said, all my pots other than cast iron are stainless steel lined copper, ss with copper and aluminum base, and cast iron. They're expensive, and worth it.

there might not be anything perfectly safe in this world, but I am completely comfortable with the safety of these pots and pans.
post #6 of 9
I too and am of the opinion that SS with an aluminum/copper core is perfectly safe. I just bought two SS cookie sheets w/ aluminum cores yesterday at williams sonoma (by all-clad). I can't imagine how one metal could leach out through another, but I suppose its possible.
post #7 of 9
You really don't have to worry about aluminum leaching through the SS surface. There is a (slight) concern with nickel leaching from the SS, but it's not really an issue unless you abuse your cookware. If you don't make it a habit of using harsh scouring pads that will eventually damage the surface, you're fine.

If cost is an issue, consider buying your cookware piecemeal, rather than as a set. You can find good deals if you look.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ah, yes, the nickel factor. Mtiger, I didn't know that the nickel could only leach out if the surface was scratched. I have used copper scrub sponges to really scrub the bottoms of burnt stainless steel pans. Do you think that would release the nickel? It has been my understanding that the nickel in stainless steel was always as accessible as it could be because it was mixed in with the steel to harden it (as opposed to being beneath the steel).
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by May May View Post
Is it common for stainless steel cookware to have an aluminum core? Does ALL stainless steel cookware have this aluminum core? I had not previously heard about aluminum being 'inside' of stainless cookware and am wanting to get info on it. I searched around the internet but am finding biased and confusing information. Wondering about the opinions of MDC health-minded mamas.
The bottom of the utensils in stainless steel cookware normally has a copper or aluminum bottom, which allows good conduction of heat. So when choosing a stainless steel cookware set, it should have aluminum core to provide even heat distribution along the bottom of the pan.
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