How to tell what frying pan is made of - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-16-2009, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a nice silver pan that I do not know whether it's aluminum or stainless steel. There's no markings on it I can find. It's really old and I don't even know where I got it - I think dh had it when we got together. It isn't coated with anything, just solid metal. If it's aluminum I want to get rid of it, but if not I may keep it - it's a really nice size and cleans up relatively easily.

Anyone have any idea how to tell what it's made of?
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#2 of 7 Old 02-16-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
I have a nice silver pan that I do not know whether it's aluminum or stainless steel. There's no markings on it I can find. It's really old and I don't even know where I got it - I think dh had it when we got together. It isn't coated with anything, just solid metal. If it's aluminum I want to get rid of it, but if not I may keep it - it's a really nice size and cleans up relatively easily.

Anyone have any idea how to tell what it's made of?

is it shiny? my stainless pans are shiny but the aluminum ones I used to have were darker in color after being used for a few months and became easily pitted.

Heather married to my highschool sweetheart 6/7/02 :cop: Mother to Dani age 14 and Timmy age 10 Nadia 1/29 :
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#3 of 7 Old 02-17-2009, 03:18 AM
 
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Stainless steel is heavier than aluminum, so if you have another pan of similar size that you _do_ know what it is (or you can guesstimate even if the sizes are different) that'd be one way to tell.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-17-2009, 07:40 AM
 
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When you say old - how old?

Stainless steel is a relatively poor conductor of heat. If the pan is really old and stainless steel, then there is probably a disc attached to the bottom of the pan that would be composed of different metal(s) to improve conductivity where the pan touches the stovetop. (If it's new enough, though, it could have a bonded construction with alum core sandwiched between ss.)

Aluminum conducts really well. If the pan is aluminum, odds are the pan will be constructed all of one piece since there would be no need to add a better conductor with a disc on the bottom. (Again, unless it's new enough and has the bonded constr.)

Like the pps said, alum is much lighter than ss and has a different look - silver but less shiny. It's also a softer metal - you could probably scratch it with a key or something.

Aluminum pans will also react with certain foods (egg yolks, lemon juice, wine) and discolor the food and/or pan.

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#5 of 7 Old 02-18-2009, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm, there's nothing at all on the bottom. It looks like it's cast metal. It is very shiny. It's got to be at least 20 years old.
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#6 of 7 Old 02-18-2009, 07:30 PM
 
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If I was taking a guess it is ss my parents had a ss one as I was growing up that was rather heavy ss. It was one solid piece with the handle a separate piece riveted on. The one they had was somewhat shiny kinda had a slight brushed appearance, from being scrubbed at times. It did not have a core or a different bottom or anything like that. If you had a pic it would make it a lot easier to guess what it might be made out of All the older aluminum ones I have seen have dings and dents in them where the metal is so much softer then ss.
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#7 of 7 Old 02-21-2009, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This one does have dings and dents. I'll take a pic later tonight and put it up.
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