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breasley_gw

Aluminum Clad Stainless Steel

breasley
17 years ago

What the heck does that mean? Is it considered non-reactive?

Comments (13)

  • annie1992
    17 years ago

    What does that mean? It depends on the pan and the manufacturer. If the aluminum "clad" is on the inside of the pan, it's reactive. If the aluminum clad is only on the outside of the pan, as is often the case, then it's not.

    I learned this the hard way, having gotten a great buy on a "hard anodized" pan. Unfortunately, only the OUTSIDE of the pan was hard anodized, the inside was "non-stick". Pah. Just what I was trying to avoid.

    Read the description of the cookware carefully, it's often misleading.

    Annie

  • breasley
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    The pot appears to be stainless except for the bottom on the outside.

  • ksrogers
    17 years ago

    Clad means its got a layer of aluminum on the bottom SANDWICHED between two layers of stainless steel. Stainless steel by itself is an extremely poor heat conductor. For this reason, these steel only pans will easily scorch things if there is direct heat applied. For it to be a higher quaility pan, a layer of aluminum and/or even copper are added between the inside and outside layers of stainless steel. You can usually see this much thicker layer by looking at the bottom of most good quality stainless steel pans. Its usually much thicker there, than on the sides of the pans. A aluminium pan that has teflon inside isnt safe to use for any acidic foods like tomatoes. Even a slight nick can leech out aluminium. The hard coatings on these anodized pans are just a heavy layer of aluminum oxide thats used to keep them from getting scratched. When its on the inside, its still reactive, but not as much. As far as I know, teflon cannot be applied to stainless steel because its just too easily scratched. The stainless steel has to be a very rough surface for the teflon to adhere.

    Some people still insist on using aluminium pans for acidic foods, but taking into consideration the of adding a metal to a food, it just doesn't sound that tasty.

  • gardenlad
    17 years ago

    Breasley, I think you have it backwards. Clad cookware usually means stainless, with a layer of aluminum (or copper, on really high end stuff, or both, sometimes) sandwiched between the SS. This serves several purposes, the most important of which is evening out the heat so there are no hot spots.

    The better pieces have the nonferrous layer rolled a little up the sides, in a tub-like effect.

    If you haven't used stainless cookware before, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First and foremost, read, and understand, the manufacturer's instructions for use and cleaning.

    Never use high heat. It's unnecessary, to begin with, and can cause problems with the finish ranging from staining to separation of the laminates.

    Do not put stainless in the dishwasher unless the manufacturer specifically says you can.

    When buying stainless, get items with metal handles, so they can be used on the range or in the oven. But here's a strange thing: Because it's totally made of metal, stainless can be used on top of the range or in the oven. However, some makers caution to _not_ use their products under the broiler.

    Almost all manufacturers, and certainly all the high-end ones, offer sets. While there may be some cost savings with sets, buying them is usually not a good idea, because they may not have the products that fit your cooking style. It's better to buy the ones you need, from open stock. Keep in mind, too, that you might find Brand A's skillets more to your liking, while Brand B's sauce pans fit you better. Obviously, you cannot mix and match with sets.

    There are lots of great companies out there, making all sorts of stainless cookware across the full spectrum of prices. I won't make any recomendations except to point out that in my experience All-Clad's customer service ranges from slim to non-existent. As a result, I'll never have another All-Clad product in my house. FWIW, Emerilware is made by All-Clad (in China, though, not domestically), so I'll never buy any of that, either.

  • ksrogers
    17 years ago

    Isn't that what I just wrote too?

  • shirleywny5
    17 years ago

    My favorite jam making pot is 8 quart aluminum clad stainless steel. It is all stainless except the bottom which has a middle layer of aluminum. The bottom layer is unpolished stainless. This pot is totally unreactive.

  • gardenlad
    17 years ago

    Shirley, you're doing the same thing Breasley did; i.e., phrasing it backwards.

    The cladding material is the outside laminate. So if you really had aluminum clad stainless what you would have is a stainless middle layer clad (i.e., covered) with aluminum. Obvious, what you have is the reverse: SS on the outside cladding a layer of aluminum.

    Technically, what described is a "disk-bottom" pot, in which only the bottom is clad. Lots of examples of that type of construction around, at all price levels. It is not, as some people think, a cheap shortcut. Just another way of accomplishing the task. Very often there's a copper strip lining the seam between the disk and the rest of the pot. Although they claim benefits for that approach, I've always thought it was more decorative than functional.

  • shirleywny5
    17 years ago

    Gardenlad,

    It's not the first time I've been confused. My pot is all stainless inside and out. Where is the aluminum? Isn't it between the two layers of stainless on the bottom?

  • gardenlad
    17 years ago

    Yes, Shirley, that's exactly where it is. At least that's how you described it above. My point is merely that what you have is stainless clad aluminium rather than aluminum clad stainless.

    Yours is a disk-bottom because of the construction method. Start with a stainless pot. Then laminate an aluminum disk to the bottom. Then laminate that with a stainless disk.

    In appearance it looks as if a heavy disk of metal had been glued to the bottom of the pot. The aluminum is sandwiched between the two stainless layers.

    This differs from full-clad, in which the aluminum is the shape of the total pot, and covered---inside and out--with layers of stainless.

    Is one type better than the other? Depends on the type of utensil and what authority you listen to. I prefer full-clad in things like skillets and saute pans. But for a saucepan, where even bottom heat is primaily what matters, a disk-bottom serves just fine.

    I've never used a disk-bottom pot as large as the one you have, so offer no opinion on it other than to say there is no reason I can think of why it shouldn't work as a preserving kettle. And the proof of that pudding is that you've been using it, successfully, for that purpose.

  • shirleywny5
    17 years ago

    Gardenlad
    I think I've got it. It's the disk bottom thingy. I now know the difference. My stainless steel pressure cooker[not canner] is made the same way. Thanks for clarifying this. The sauce pot is my favorite. Great for cooking down tomato sauce and I don't worry about it burning on the bottom.

  • gardenlad
    17 years ago

    Breasley, it's most likely satin-finished stainless. That's the usual practice, even on pieces that have highly polished sidewalls. A polished surface on the bottom would merely reflect heat away from the pot, so is not only unnecessary, it could be counterproductive.

    Is your pot stainless on the inside? Almost all the Faberware I've seen has had a non-stick coating on the inside, no matter what the outside is made of.

  • breasley
    Original Author
    17 years ago

    It's the same polished finish inside and out but for the bottom outside.

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