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Old 15-01-2010, 12:46   #1
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Aluminum vs Stainless Steel Cookware

First post, hope for many more great site thanks for the info!!

I am planing for long term cruising in a small power boat. Weight is a big consideration for me so I try to be as light as possible.

Is stainless cookware much better than alum? Alum is much lighter and I would rather use it.

Also what about Teflon? should I have Teflon on everything or just on a pan or two? always trying to keep it as simple as possible and have it last.
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Old 15-01-2010, 12:56   #2
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I don't like teflon for cooking over gas it get destroyed too quick plus more utensils ....
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Old 15-01-2010, 13:00   #3
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I dont think alu is lighter than stainless. Alu has to be thicker to keep its strength and its harder to polish clean.
Stainless is my prefered utensil, besides, ive read that alu might be linked to althzeimers.
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Old 15-01-2010, 13:03   #4
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Is stainless cookware much better than alum? Alum is much lighter and I would rather use it.

Also what about Teflon? should I have Teflon on everything or just on a pan or two? always trying to keep it as simple as possible and have it last.
Welcome aboard.

Stainless doesn't conduct heat as well and tends to allow food to scorch. But it's more physically durable. Aluminum is lighter and conducts heat better but isn't as durable. Because you are washing them all the time, oxidation isn't going to be a problem. Teflon is up to you. I like it for some things but once it gets scratched it ceases to be non-stick and moves to the "less stick" category. Some people are worried about an aluminum and alzheimer's or teflon and cancer link, but I think they have been shown to be specious claims.

From the Alzheimer's Society:
Quote:
The overwhelming medical and scientific opinion is that the findings outlined above do not convincingly demonstrate a causal relationship between aluminium and Alzheimer's disease, and that no useful medical or public health recommendations can be made − at least at present (Massey and Taylor 1989).
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Old 15-01-2010, 13:04   #5
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I would not use Aluminum pots or pans anywhere --althzeimers.!!
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Old 15-01-2010, 13:33   #6
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I've never cared for Teflon or any "non-stick" cookware. We bought the 8 piece stainless steel Cuisinart set (got ours at WM) and we really love it. I use the little frying pan almost daily for frying eggs and, with a shot of PAM, I don't believe you could possibly make those eggs stick. They actually slide around the pan when I'm trying to turn them. Add a steamer basket and, other than a pressure cooker, you have everything you need.
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Old 15-01-2010, 14:20   #7
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Allclad or similar pots and pans have a layer of stainless on the outside and the inside with aluminum in between. Cast iron is another alternative for your omlet/fry pan as it takes heat very well and is naturally non-stick as long as you do not wash it with soap.
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Old 15-01-2010, 16:11   #8
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Sometimes it just boggles my mind to see what today's cruisers worry about. Times certainly have changed.
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Old 15-01-2010, 16:21   #9
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Is stainless cookware much better than alum?
Not if it is solid stainless steel. Actually SS cookware isn't at all non stick. Can actually be your worst nightmare too. Lots of variations too. The best SS cookware is clad and so are allot of other good cookware. Weight? If the weight of the cookware is an issue then you really are concerned about cost. Cheap, worthless, thin, Al cookware weighs the least and costs less. Maybe that really is what you want.

If you look at Calphalon Cookware it's a cast Al, hard anodized, and with or without non stick inside. Not cheap either. It works well at home or on the boat too. Propane is a dirty fuel and you need something that can hold up. The material alone is not the whole issue.
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Old 15-01-2010, 17:43   #10
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We never found this to matter much. I think the weight saving is marginal and just use what you like.

We have teflon frying pans and love them. We had a couple of fake teflon pans and they sucked (Spanish made, Brazilian made, etc..), the real thing, I believe, is DuPont (French). More expensive and it makes sense.

The best ware we have onboard is a pan made in some sort of mixed technolody, where the bottom looks copper but the sides are apparently SS. It is the best stuff, cooks enely and fast.

One last word is beware of sh ()ty handles - good cooking ware should have them attached very very well. We sometimes have to chuck out our otherwise good ware because a handle comes off. Beware.

Argh - yes - glass lids, blessed ;-))

b.
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Old 15-01-2010, 19:02   #11
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The fear of Alzheimers from aluminum is BS. Aluminum is the most common metal in the earth and is everywhere and in everything in varying amounts. You can't get away from it as it's in your food, water, clothes, you name it. The original study that showed elevated aluminum content in brains of alzheimer patients hasn't stood up to successive scrutiny.

We have used good quality aluminum cookware clad in teflon or some newer variant for years. Usually get five or more years out of it before the non stick loses it's 'non'. We never use metal utensils in it so have no problem with scratching shortening it's life. The newer variants of Teflon are much harder than the original and really take work to scratch even with metal utensils.
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Old 15-01-2010, 21:05   #12
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The best cookware is cast iron. No second choice. But it's bulky and heavy, so I use a set of those nesting stainless Galleyware pots with removable handles, just like many other folks. It suffices and it's cheap.
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Old 16-01-2010, 05:07   #13
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I would not use Aluminum pots or pans anywhere --althzeimers.!!
In the early 90's I sat in a flight next to a top Alzheimers researcher from Germany. He told me that the aluminum thing is totally untrue.
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Old 16-01-2010, 05:13   #14
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Most researchers no longer regard aluminum as a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
In any case, it would be difficult to significantly reduce our exposure to aluminum, simply by avoiding the use of aluminum cookware, foil, beverage cans and other products.
Even if aluminum were clearly implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease (which it’s NOT), these means of exposure contributes only a very small percentage of the average person's intake of aluminum.
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Old 16-01-2010, 08:33   #15
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As an ex racer ive got say,Kudos to you for considering the weight factor,i have noticed that many cruisers who dont have a racing background tend to load their boats down with every gadget and gizmo under the sun until they look like a floating yard sale and sail like they look.You are wise to consider weight when selecting every item that goes on board, take care of the ounces and let the pounds take care of themselves.
On the cookware,im not much of a cook but i can tell you that aluminum is approximatly 1/3rd of the weight of SS so if the thickness is not 3x that of the SS its going to be lighter,what you can do is do an honest evaluation of what you actually use and you may find you dont need an 8 piece set but can get by just fine with 3 or 4 pieces,a big weight savings.Another thing i do when selecting anything for a boat such as hardware is take a small digital hanging scale and weigh things and compare in the store,i also have a gram scale at the shop to weigh things like blocks to compare them to the published weight in the catalog,manufacturers lie.If you keep an eye to saving weight you will save on fuel and be more seaworthy.
Steve.
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