Cooking can be a joy if you have the right tools, but knowing which one to choose can be challenging with so many different materials and coatings available. Different cookware results in different outcomes, so this is not a simple decision for an avid cook.
Hard anodised cookware is a popular option that offers many benefits, but it also has some drawbacks to consider. So in this blog post, Kitchenways dives into the details of hard anodised cookware, exploring its pros and cons to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your kitchen.
What is Hard Anodised Cookware?
Hard anodised cookware is aluminium pots and pans treated with an electrochemical process called anodisation. The process creates a hard, non-porous surface that is highly durable and resistant to scratches, corrosion, and wear. The resulting cookware is typically dark grey and has a smooth, non-stick surface that makes it easy to clean.
Hard anodised cookware is a safe, healthy and durable alternative to non-stick cookware, which sometimes contains chemicals such as PFOA and PTFE. Because hard anodised cookware also has a non-stick surface, it requires less oil for cooking than stainless steel cookware, making it a popular choice for health-conscious cooks. We’ll look at a few more of the benefits of hard anodised cookware below.
How is Anodised Cookware Made?
Hard anodised cookware is made by treating aluminium with an electrochemical process called anodisation. The aluminium is immersed in a chemical bath during this process, and an electrical current is passed through it. This causes a layer of aluminium oxide to form on the surface of the metal, which is sealed and hardened through a series of heat and chemical treatments.
Hard Anodised Cookware Benefits
Here are some of the most popular advantages of hard anodised cookware:
- Non-Stick Surface: Hard anodised cookware has a non-stick surface that requires less oil for cooking, making it a healthier option than others. It also makes cleaning non-stick pans easier, as food is less likely to stick to the surface.
- Durability: This cookware is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, chips, and dents. It can withstand high temperatures without warping, making it suitable for a range of uses, from the stovetop to the oven and grill.
- Stylish Appearance: Hard anodised pan sets have a sleek, modern look that looks great in almost any kitchen.
- Versatility: Hard anodised cookware can be used on a variety of hobs, including gas and electric stovetops, ceramic and glass hobs, and induction hobs. It’s also oven safe, which means it can be used for roasting and baking if you have a hard anodised pan without silicone sleeves for safe handling.
- Even Heat Distribution: With quick and even heating, food cooks evenly, and the likelihood of hot spots is reduced. This makes it easier to achieve consistent results in your cooking.
Hard Anodised Cookware Disadvantages
While hard anodised cookware has many benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider before making a purchasing decision. Here are some of the most significant disadvantages:
- Price: Hard anodised cookware can be a little more expensive than other types of cookware, such as stainless steel or non-stick coated pans. However, we find that this difference is negligible when considering its long life span.
- Not Ideal for Dishwashers: While hard anodised cookware is generally not dishwasher safe, ours is. However, as the cookware is very easy to clean, we recommend washing the pans by hand to prolong their life and keep the induction base in good condition.
- Not Suitable for High-Heat Cooking: While hard anodised cookware can withstand high temperatures, it’s not recommended for searing or charring. This is because the non-stick coating can break down at high temperatures, harming the cookware and possibly releasing chemicals into your food.
Should You Invest in Hard Anodised Cookware?
Overall, hard anodised cookware is a popular choice for home cooks due to its durability, non-stick surface, versatility, even heat distribution, and stylish appearance. However, it’s important to consider the potential downsides and how you like to cook. If your favourite meals are made with high heat, this may not be the option for you. However, if your priority is a high-quality, durable pan set, then you cannot go wrong with hard anodised cookware.